Do you love playing games? Do you enjoy making money?

With all the ways you can get paid in 2020, have you considered monetizing your gaming habit? It’s one of the newest ways to make money online, and unlike freelance blogging or other nice-like work, it can be tons of fun. Play video games, get paid. Play video games, post it on social media, get paid. Pretty awesome, right?

Despite what your 8th grade English teacher might have told you, you can earn extra cash playing video games. Many people are turning their love of Grand Theft Auto, Pokemon, and mobile games into part-time or even full-time income, again, all by just being able to play video games.

You might be a casual gamer who likes to hop on your PS4 and play a few rounds of Modern Warfare 3. Instead, you may prefer a round of online poker, or downloading the newest candy crush variation. No matter what your preference is, gaming is a hobby you can use to relax and make extra cash or earn gift cards.

If you're hoping to advance your gaming career beyond novice dabbling, there are ways you can do that, too. If you're already gaming, why not take it to the next level and monetize your fun and help pad your bank account? Think of it like social media customer service and quality assurance for game development companies and the video game industry. Your customer service representative-like work and quality assurance help make people interested in game companies and the game developer might want to work with you in the future, meaning more ad revenue.

Here are several ways you can earn and game at the same time. Becoming a video game Twitch streamer (or YouTube, etc.) is a great way to have your opinions expressed and work as a side hustle.  While you can become a video game tester, this article will go over how to stream and make money. Becoming a game tester is a whole other set of things to talk about!

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How to Make Money Playing Video Games


We've mentioned YouTubers a lot over the past few months, and it's because the financial gain in the YouTuber-verse is full of possibilities if you're looking for a way to earn money while gaming, YouTube is a great place to start.

Through YouTube, you can build your channel to a level in which you are monetizing your content. If you haven't already, check out our piece here that gives you the insight you need to become a successful YouTube content creator.

Once you've mastered the steps required to monetize your channel, you can take your content in any direction you choose. Whether you want to live stream your gaming, critique the gaming of others, or offer tutorials on gaming tips and tricks, YouTube is an excellent platform to use to address all of these subjects.

We recommend using YouTube to further your gaming research, too. If you're looking for in-depth information on monetizing your gaming habits, YouTube is a wealth of knowledge for that topic, as well. Whatever your approach is, starting with YouTube is the way to go.

  1. How to Make Money on YouTube
  2. How To Get More Views On Your YouTube Channel

Become a Pro Gamer

Becoming a pro-gamer is an option if you're willing to invest yourself in the long haul. Please note that in no way are we suggesting that becoming a pro gamer is quick or easy. We're not even suggesting that we can tell you how to become one. Reaching pro-gamer status is a feat that doesn't come with a guide book of rules and regulations. Obtaining the achievement boils down to having the financial backing, inherent talent, and a little bit of luck.

If you have the resources and drive to start attending gamer competitions, that is where you would begin your journey as a pro gamer. Naturally, you'll want to make sure you have a strong knowledge base and history playing any game you enter to compete in.

We're definitely not recommending that you roll in off the street with a basic understanding of poker, or Leagues of Legends. A gaming competition should be something you invest in and attend when your talent for the game is reaching new heights.

Prepare yourself to lose a lot.

However, in each loss, evaluate what you've learned and how you can apply that to your next competition. Keep your momentum going by preparing ahead of time mentally and by increasing your gameplay. Practice makes perfect. And in this case, getting in the right headspace to manage the pressure of the competitive environment is critical.

When and if you start winning competitions, you'll receive awards that are often substantiated by a generous monetary prize. As you read the previous sentence, we hope you noted that we said when and if. Getting to the competition level, alone, can cost you thousands of dollars in investment, and years of practice in your game of choice.

If you achieve making it to the level in which you can attend competitions and become a viable contender, only then will you receive any sort of reward for your efforts? Becoming a pro-gamer is definitely not the most feasible method for people to earn a profit from their favorite hobby.

If you do find that the opportunity as a good way to make money, you’ll be able to sell your brand. You’ll be getting paid to do well in gaming. Sounds awesome, right?

Stream Your Online Play

Many gamers stream their online play to turn a profit. The most common platform for doing so is Twitch, an online streaming mecca for players around the world.

Twitch has a monetization structure similar to YouTube. It requires you to build a following, and apply for monetization status once you've established yourself as a gamer who can drive traffic to the site. Money-making your streaming comes from ad ventures like Google Adsense, and you get paid for the amount of views you’ll get towards your videos. 


When you've reached your status as a monetized streamer, Twitch will compensate you in a variety of ways. For every subscriber who visits your channel, you will receive $5.00.

You will also have the option to add a Google Adsense-like set-up with your channel. This will enable you to receive monetary compensation for ads placed on your page. For every 1,000 ad views you receive, you'll earn $3.00.


Other methods for achieving monetary compensation include sponsorships. If a specific company wants access to the audience your channel gets, they may approach you for a sponsorship deal. This can include everything from endorsing a product they make, to running ads in your live streams that promote their product or service.

The return on these sponsorships will range in compensation, so remember to be careful when you choose the companies you represent. Show a preference for companies that align with your personal and ethical background. It would be unwise to accept any sponsorship that comes your way, without considering the repercussions that come with promoting their product.

Amazon Affiliate Links

Twitch allows its users to capitalize on Amazon affiliate links. This means that gamers can recommend products and items available for purchase on Amazon. They can offer direct access to the products to their viewers via an affiliate link.

Every time a product purchase occurs utilizing the link, the gamer receives payment for creating this connection. It's a method of passive income generation for players to advertise items and products they like to anyone who views their channel.

PayPal Donations

Many successful gamers have found that they can market and receive PayPal donations from loyal fans or sponsors.

Yep, you read that right. You can ask for money, and people will give it to you to keep playing your video games. The thought process behind this is that gamers will invite fans to help them continue to game at the intensity in which they are doing so.

Part of enabling this commitment is assuring that financially, the gamer can satisfy their basic living needs. Okay, maybe some of their needs aren't so “basic,” but we're going to trust that you get the picture.

The reason many gamers will receive PayPal donations is that viewers want to learn and replicate the tips and tricks the player uses. If you think of gaming as performance art, then the idea of donating to a gamer's PayPal account becomes much more reasonable.

It beats the thought of giving some cash to your younger brother for playing video games.

Expenses Associated With Gaming

Much like maintaining an expensive instrument, live stream gaming requires specific equipment. This is because you want to ensure viewers can see your stream by both quick and clear means. So, you'll want a fast, stable internet connection, a modern gaming system, and a webcam.

If you plan to game on a computer, you'll need to purchase desktop software, too. While you’ll make extra money and get paid to play, you will have to deal with these expenses. Live stream gaming is not a cheap habit, and to make money, gamers need to enlist the help of many resources to maintain their hobby and receive financial gain.

Practical Tips to Increase Revenue When Live Streaming

Much like we mentioned above, thinking of gaming as performance art is the best way to understand how to achieve the highest level of success. Live stream gamers need to be engaging.

They should have larger than life personalities that attract a high volume of views. This goes hand-in-hand with having a voice that is enjoyable to listen to. If a gamer isn't pleasing to listen to or is dull, both of these will turn viewers off.

Another facet of the live streaming puzzle is creating regular content. You'll want viewers to know when they should tune in to your streaming. Keeping a regular schedule will help them start a routine of watching you on a particular day and time.

Networking is the final piece to the trifecta of tips and tricks of live stream gaming. Interacting with your viewers, fellow live streamers, and sponsors are some of the most effective methods to advance your reputation as well as your bankroll.

Much like business networking, live stream gaming requires an equal, if not more, amount of investment in your relationships.

Guide to Playing Video Games for Money

  1. 10 Ways to Play Games for Money 
  2. The Complete Guide to Video Game Streaming
  3. Mixer vs. Twitch: Which Live-Streaming Platform is Best???
  4. How to Make Money on Twitch
  5. How to Become a Twitch Affiliate (Fast!!!)
  6. How to Make Money on Mixer
  7. How to Stream on Mixer
  8. The Best Game Streaming Software and Equipment

Apps that Pay You to Play Games

Maybe streaming video games or online cards is not your forte. That's okay. You still have options to earn money while you play games.

Online sites often offer compensation for trying a new game. If you've reviewed our recent piece on how to earn gift cards online, you'll know that places like Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, and Survey Junkie are sites that offer individuals ways to make online. One of the methods to earn is to download game apps and play them on a trial basis. Some of the apps will continue to pay you every time you play.

A word of caution, though. None of these methods will pay you as much as any of the techniques we mentioned above. However, this is a much more reliable way to ensure you generate some level of income with your gaming.

Our top choice to make money playing mobile games s is Mistplay. Unfortunately, the app is only available on android so that IOS users will miss out on this opportunity.

Mistplay pays you to play games! Discover new games in your mix list, choose a game and start earning units! There may even be an available option to also earn points (units) by watching games. Redeem your units for cash rewards, whenever you want.

One of our favorite money hacks is to combine Mistplay with the S'More locks screen app, so you get paid every time you unlock your phone.

The Bottom Line

To start earning money and play games online can be as complicated and profitable as you make it. If you prefer consistency for trying a few new games to keep your mind stimulated, then checking out some new apps is an excellent choice for you.

If you're seeking a way to maximize your income potential by devoting your time to your favorite hobby, then live streaming on a variety of platforms and entering professional gaming competitions may be the ticket to your success.

Just remember, whenever you do anything, make sure your intentions are genuine. Many pro gamers emphasize that if your attempts to break into the field are only to make money, then you're destined to fail. Passion for the game and a desire to play, often unrewarded, is the best way to gain some sort of financial gain.

Perseverance will be critical, and a commitment to the love of the game will be the only thing that will carry those to real success.

About the Author

Michael Dinich

Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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