Do you love playing video games? Do you enjoy making money?
With all the ways you can get paid, have you considered monetizing your gaming habit? It’s one of the newest ways to make money online, and unlike other side hustles and side jobs, 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 turn their love of Grand Theft Auto, Pokémon, and mobile games into part-time or even full-time income, again, all by just being able to play video games.
If you're already gaming, why not take it to the next level and monetize your fun and help pad your bank account?
Here are several ways you can earn and game at the same time.
How to Make Money Playing Video Games?
In recent years, they are far more opportunities for monetizing your video game hobby than you might imagine.
We have pulled together the top 15 ways to work toward making money playing your favorite video games!
1. Get Paid Directly to Play – Try Mistplay!
Mistplay is an excellent app available on Android that is a great way to monetize playing video games on your phone.
The app's main focus on providing users an environment in which they can participate in games in exchange for prizes. Through the earning of points, users can join in in-app games to receive gift cards to various retailers such as Amazon, Google Play, and even virtual Visa gift cards.
With Mistplay, you are eligible to receive compensation from the minute you start playing. You can even play with friends and level up your avatar to unlock achievements and earn units faster. They also support user communications and offer a chat feature, encouraging connections amongst participants. Another important note is that users will not pay any fees to download, join, or play games in Mistplay.
There are several other options for apps to monetize gameplay, but Mistplay is definitely at the top of our list!
Play free online games to collect Soul Gems and exchange them for rewards! Earn free Robux, Steam Wallet, Prepaid Mastercard, and more!
Play games, Complete tasks, Get rewarded!
3. Video Game Coaching
One of the coolest ways to make money playing video games is by offering to coach your favorite competitive game (such as League of Legends).
Video game coaches make anywhere from $20 to $200 per hour, depending on how good they are and how in-demand their services are. For example, Metaphor (a League of Legends coach mentioned in the YouTube section) offers coaching services for $50 to $80 per hour.
Getting started as a coach typically means gaining an audience through a platform like YouTube and offering your services to your audience.
4. Game Tester
The most basic difference between a Quality Assurance tester and a ‘Game Tester' or ‘Beta Tester' is that QA deals with a product that is already met a certain level of quality as desired by the developers.
Being a ‘Tester' involves trying to ‘break' a game or find out ways to mess it up or analyze why it may or may not be fun for users.
5. Become a Professional Gamer
Pro Gamers are now competing worldwide and winning millions at events sponsored by the Major League Gaming circuit, the International Dota 2 championship, and Intel Extreme Masters. MLG has built arenas across the country from which to host and stream live professional gaming events. It even has scouts and communities on the internet to find the best, untapped players.
The best advice for getting involved is to pick a game, namely one you consider yourself already good at playing, and become an expert at it. From there, work on building your reputation as both a skilled player and a team player. Then it is time to participate in eSports games!
6. Start a YouTube Channel
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 to stream your gaming, critique others' gaming, 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.
7. Stream on Twitch
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 worldwide.
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 adventures like Google Adsense, and you get paid for the number of views you’ll get towards your videos.
When you've reached your status as a monetized streamer, Twitch will compensate you in various 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.
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 passive income generation method for players to advertise items and products they like to anyone who views their channel.
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 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.
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 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.
8. Contact Potential Sponsors
After you get a following for your stream, whether it's on YouTube, Twitch, or elsewhere, to generate more revenue, you will likely want to contact sponsors. This is very similar to how television producers used to seek sponsors for programs.
To acquire sponsors, the first thing you need to do is prepare to impress them. Make sure your channel displays precisely what you envisioned. You will then want to search for brands that you like that might be interested in sponsoring you. It is also essential to consider whether or not you would use their products. This is important as you will be marketing for that brand!
The most crucial part is that you are presenting yourself as someone that would be a great fit to sponsor their brand.
9. Provide Game Play Tutorials
Providing gameplay tutorials is a great way to grab new viewers and monetize gameplay. Your YouTube channel or streaming site will earn money with every person that clicks on it. Advertisers pay Google, for instance, to display ads on videos. Google, a division of Alphabet, owns YouTube.
To start, open an account at AdSense, and link it to your YouTube account. Choose whether you want video or banner ads to display.
It does take more time to make money off the concept of video game tutorials. You will want to grow your audience into the thousands to make decent money off this concept.
10. Compete in Tournaments
While not a consistent source of money (unless you're incredibly talented), winning game tournaments for competitive games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, Fortnite, etc., can net you some serious cash.
One of the world's top e-sports competitive, Timothy Miller (aka “Bizzle”), earns around $322k per year participating in Fortnite tournaments.
This is probably the easiest way to make money playing video games and not a big earner unless you're really good at the game and consistently win.
11. Quality Assurance Tester
Video games are ultimately the result of computer programming. Getting a computer to react to the developer and gamers want it to, look right, and perhaps feel as realistic as possible. To achieve this, game design companies need some independent people to tell them what is good, what is bad, what works, and what doesn't.
That's where being a QA tester comes in. The designers and developers need to know how users feel about a new game or upgraded design, not just technical problems. They're not testing the wiring or circuitry or power supply. Like kids with a new toy, they're testing how much more fun a new or upgraded game is for players than those already in the market.
QA testers don't just play a game through to its highest possible level. They play different designs; different builds multiple times until they can find nothing to object to and report if they had fun!
Think of working in QA as being paid to solve multiple puzzles. Any glitch or mistake or thing wrong in a program must be reproducible, so developers can figure out how to eliminate it.
Much of QA work is contract work, but it still could pay between $10 and $15 an hour. That's is a pretty good wage for playing video games!
12. Become a Game Developer
Another way to earn as a gamer is to develop the games yourself. Game developers at major companies like Ubisoft or EA earn an average salary of $83,000. However, jobs for major game companies are notoriously stressful and tend to force you to work long hours and holidays.
Alternatively, you can become a solo game developer and make money through game sales and in-game purchases. For example, Minecraft was developed solely by Markus Persson under his company Mojang. Mojang sold to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion.
13. Work as a Video Game Journalist
Another avenue is through journalism. Most video game journalists earn around $26,000 per year, making it one of the lowest-income opportunities on this list.
But if you love games and love writing and reporting, this is a great opportunity, and you can earn much more as your skill increases!
To get started as a journalist, you'll most likely need at least a bachelor's degree in journalism and some journalistic experience (like the school paper and/or an internship). Speaking of internships, an unpaid internship is a great way to get your foot in the door as a game journalist!
14. Work in Customer Service for a Game Company
Like every other industry, gamers also need customer support. Becoming a customer service rep for a game company is a great way to get paid in the video game industry. The average customer service representative makes $13.64 per hour, with some making up to $20 per hour.
Like Blizzard, some companies even have in-game admins who play the game and deliver support via the in-game chat function.
Landing this job is more about your customer service skills than your gaming skills. You have to be good with people and have excellent communication skills. Getting an internship is one of the best ways to get started on this career path.
15. Create & Sell Video Game Inspired Merchandise
Possibly one of the coolest ways to get paid to play is by creating and selling your own game-inspired merchandise. Just go on Etsy and type “Legend of Zelda” — you get over 16,000 results of t-shirts, figurines, coffee mugs, and more.
If you take this route, it means you're creating a business. The sky limits how much you can make, but getting to $50,000 per year is possible with the right product and excellent marketing skills.
To get started on this, you'll need to figure out precisely what type of products you want to sell. That will then give you the list of what you will need to make those items.
16. Farm In-Game Currency
Many MMO's have a farmable in-game currency that people who don't feel like spending their own time earning can pay you for it.
This is probably the most time-consuming and lowest-paying opportunity on this list next to customer service work — there are gold farmers in countries like China who do this all day for a fairly low amount. This is not the most popular form of getting that extra cash through gaming, but it is worth noting on this list as an option.
Now that you have an entire list of options to choose from go ahead and explore which ones are best for you.
Try not to forget that it will take some time and effort to make substantial money while playing those awesome games.
Consider trying several different outlets at once! For example, you could give both streaming and doing game tutorials a try.
Time to grab your controller and start on your journey toward making money playing your favorite video games!