Every week, the average person spends a minimum of seven hours per week playing video games.
This may not sound like a massive number, as many of us play for far longer than that per week! But with all things considered in a world with a very busy workforce, seven hours is actually a lot of time!
It would be pretty awesome if you could make money playing your favorite video games. The great news is now you actually can!
It does take a bit of creativity, hard work, and perseverance to be successful at monetizing your love of video games.
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 apps 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 work toward receiving 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!
2. Quality Assurance Tester
Video games are ultimately the result of computer programming. Getting a computer to react the way the developer and gamers want it to, to look right, and perhaps feel as realistic as possible. To achieve this, game design companies need some independent people to play them to tell them what is good or 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 that it has some technical problems. They're not testing the wiring or circuitry or power supply. They're testing, like kids with a new toy, 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!
3. Video Game Coaching
One of the coolest ways to make money playing video games is by offering to coach on 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 around the world, 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 how to get 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
On YouTube, you can connect with a community and have an opportunity to make money while doing what you love. Creators around the world have shared their voices on YouTube, and many have turned their passions into earnings. With a dedicated audience that loves tuning into your channel, you can explore various ways to generate revenue, including from ads and other sources.
If you want to know more about YouTube, check out this more detailed post.
7. Stream on Twitch
Twitch is a streaming platform where millions of people come together, live every day to chat, interact, and make their entertainment together. Twitch is a subsidiary of Amazon and serves as the leading video live streaming service.
Mainly, the service is for streaming video games, whether live or broadcasting previously recorded games. If you want to know more about Twitch, check out this more detailed post.
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 work toward growing 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, but also not a big earner unless you're really good at the game and consistently win.
11. Get Signed on an eSports Team
Esports players earn an average of $1,000 to $5,000 per month or about $60,000 per year. It's grown massively since its inception in the late '90s and has been increasing each year exponentially.
Top games paying players include Dota 2, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Starcraft II, and Fortnite (among others).
The best way to become a pro player is to focus on a single game, get extremely good, and use other platforms to show off your skills (like Twitch and YouTube). Many of these players are actually found and signed on thanks to these platforms.
However, you don't have to be a player to make money in eSports. There are multiple other career paths, such as:
- Hosting esports events
- Coaching other online players
- Streaming and commentating on esports matches
- Acting as a referee
- Sales and marketing specialist
- Social media manager for a team or game producer
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 you 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.
Some companies, like Blizzard, even have in-game admins who play the game a 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 is the limit on 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 it can simply 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 if you want to be able 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!