7 ways to make money playing video games


The workforce has undergone major shifts in the past few years, especially given the dramatic rise in remote work in 2020 and beyond. Many people have begun rejecting the standard 9-5 job, and they are now looking to be their own boss in unconventional careers. Surprisingly, some have had major success in making money through playing video games, an activity that many in older generations have dismissed as a “waste of time.” 

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

There has never been more of an opportunity to make money playing video games. Learn more below!

1. Find a job as a quality assurance professional

Video game quality assurance professionals are typically given a nearly finished video game, and they are expected to test many aspects of the product. They may look for bugs and errors here and there, but mostly they seek to ensure that the video game experience as a whole is enjoyable and has the right feel. 

Many quality assurance professionals work as contractors for video game companies, which might be an excellent part-time or full-time job for patient and detail-oriented video game enthusiasts. Most quality assurance professionals make at least $10-$15 per hour to start. More seasoned quality assurance professionals can expect much higher salaries as they gain experience and credibility. 

Some people use the role of a quality assurance professional to break into the video game industry to take on other roles down the road. Either way, it can be an excellent place for a person seeking to make money in video games to start. 

2. Become a beta tester

At first glance, it may seem like a beta tester would have the same job as a quality assurance professional, but these two roles differ greatly. The main difference is that beta testers go through games before they are polished to a certain degree, and they actively seek ways to break the game and find bugs. The position can get tedious, as beta testers are expected to explore every part of an unfinished game in detail to see if there are any glaring errors that can entirely mess up the gaming experience in the early stages. 

3. Create a gaming YouTube channel

Many people who make money playing video games do so by creating their own gamer-themed YouTube channel. Some upload tutorials for especially difficult parts of video games, and others create funny videos based on video games. To make legitimate money from a YouTube channel, you will likely need to employ a marketing strategy small business to help get your page noticed and draw viewers.

YouTube is saturated with millions of people trying to make money from their content, so devising a marketing strategy to make you stand out from the crowd can give you a leg up over the competition. 

Once you have enough of a viewer base, you can start making money off advertisements that pop up before or during your videos. This may not generate much income to start, as advertisements like these may pay a few cents per viewer (or less); however, this can add up over time, especially if your channel attracts millions of viewers like some YouTube stars do.

4. Become a Professional Gamer

If you thrive in high-pressure situations and you can’t get enough of playing video games, you may be suited to become a professional gamer. Although this job title didn’t exist a couple of decades ago, professional gamer leagues now exist worldwide. Some competitions and tournaments have huge payouts to those who finish in the top spots, and it appears as though the world of eSports will only continue growing in the coming years. 

Becoming a professional gamer isn’t easy. Many players spend ten or more hours a day practicing and perfecting their techniques to stay at peak performance. Plus, there is no predetermined path to make it as a professional gamer like there are for other, more straightforward jobs. Even still, becoming a professional gamer is a lifelong dream for many, especially those of younger generations. 

5. Become a Sensation on Twitch

Easier said than done, clearly. Twitch is similar to YouTube in that many gamers use this platform to show off gameplay and discuss features and strategies in video games. Twitch differs from YouTube in some key ways, however. 

For starters, Twitch is focused on live streams of video games instead of uploaded videos. This allows followers and fans to connect with gamers in real-time, providing a more personal connection. Twitch also has a partner program that allows Twitch users to make small sums of money based on the number of views they get and the subscribers they recruit. The more viewers and subscribers you have, the higher your income will be. 

Twitch also has an affiliate program, and many smaller channels may find this strategy better suits their income goals, at least in the beginning. 

6. Start Your Own Video Blog or Website


If you would rather write about video games than talk about them on videos, perhaps creating your own blog would be a better fit. Blogs no longer cost tons of money to start, and many websites provide intuitive tools and apps that allow you to customize the look and feel of your site. 

Starting your own blog or website would give you more control and say over the content you post, though you may have to work even harder to get noticed by viewers to grow a following. You could write video game reviews, strategy guides, or write essays about how certain video games relate to everyday life. The options here are limitless. 

7. Get Sponsored by Brands

If you find some success with YouTube, Twitch, or your own website, you may be able to secure some sponsorships with brands that will pay you to plug their products or services to your viewers. This can be an awesome opportunity for video game content creators, though it may require more work on your part. 

If you reach a certain very high number of viewers, some brands will seek you out for sponsorship opportunities. Smaller websites and channels may have to be the ones to forge initial connections with brands. Try reaching out to brands with products you regularly use and recommend over social media or on their website and pitch your sponsorship ideas. This requires large amounts of patience and persistence, but it can really pay off for video game content creators in the long run. 

In conclusion

Making money by playing video games may not be an easy path for most people who seek to do it, but it is entirely possible for those with passion and persistence. 

What do you think about these seven ways to make money playing video games? Do you make money playing games? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter, or MeWe.


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