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How to Become a Computer Games Tester

If you love computer games and enjoy the job of a quality assurance tester, you may consider becoming a Computer games tester.

A computer games tester is a person who is entrusted with the job of playing games number of times so as to test it for any bugs and mistakes before selling the game. He is basically the game’s first public user and usually reports on its playability. His primary job is to ensure that game runs error-free.

Job Responsibilities

As a computer games tester, you may be expected to perform various tasks such as:

  • Playing games in detail in as many ways as possible
  • Testing different levels and versions of games
  • Recording problems and enter each 'bug report' into a quality management system
  • Comparing the game with other games in the market
  • Suggesting ways to make it better
  • Recreating the problem by recording the steps
  • Checking for any spelling mistakes and copyright issues such as logos
  • Checking the text on packaging and in instruction manuals
  • Translating in-game instructions and manuals for overseas markets
  • Checking for accessibility options
  • Liaising with programmers, artists and designers

Working Hours and Conditions

As a games tester, you usually work for longer hours and are expected to meet strict deadlines. You may have to work on weekends and public holidays as well.

You usually work in an office and spend most of your time on computer.

Remuneration Scheme

 Starting level

£12,000 to £18,000 a year 

 Experienced

£25,000 to £30,000 a year

Source: nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

To become a computer games tester, you do not need any formal qualification. Your playing skills and knowledge of the games give you an advantage over others. It may be useful to have a basic knowledge of programming.

You may enroll for a foundation degree, BTEC HND or degree in games design, games development or computing. Various computer game courses are offered by several universities. The courses you enroll for must offer a lot of practical work and job placements.

To know the details of industry-approved courses, you may refer to Creative Skillset - course search

Training

In this profession you are usually trained on-the- job. Your employer may train you so as to use their bug reporting software and design test plans.

To further enhance your skills, you may consider gaining Professional Certification in Software Testing (formerly known as ISEB) through the Chartered Institute for IT

Skills and Interests Needed

To become a computer games tester you need to demonstrate the following:

  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Good logical reasoning and analytical skills
  • Be able to handle pressure and meet deadlines
  • Team working skills
  • Patience and persistence
  • Impeccable communication skills
  • Love playing computer games
  • Ability to play games at higher levels
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Methodical approach and organizational skills
  • Flexible attitude towards work
  • Proficiency in working with computers

Foreign language skills may be useful for testing games aimed at overseas markets.

Career Prospects

As a computer games tester, you may find easy employment with a games publisher, a larger games developer, or for an independent QA testing company.

After significant experience, you may be able to move up to the role of a lead tester and QA management, or move into level design, production management or marketing.

Career Tips

  • Gain experience in games retail
  • Participate in gaming events
  • Keep yourself up to date through magazines and websites

Lastly, if you can’t master playing games and find it a boring task to do repetitive work, this profession might not suit you.

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