How to Get Paid to Play Video Games

Is it possible to earn a living by playing video games all day? For any hardcore gamer, this seems like an ideal job. And the answer to the question is yes, you can earn money by playing video games. Moreover, you’ll probably get the job easier than you think. Gaming is a colossal branch of the entertainment industry in today’s world, and being part of it in any way is bound to pay off.

There are many ways you can earn a living as a gamer nowadays, however, rest assured that it is not as fulfilling as you might think. In fact, anything that you do as a job, and not a hobby, must be approached from a professional angle to be adequately monetized. Therefore, your treasured activity of escapism will ultimately become your jailor.

Still, no matter how you look at it, being able to utter the sentence “My job is to play video games, and yes, I get paid for it!” is one of the best things you can achieve career-wise, if you are a gamer. Now, let us see how playing video games today can earn you money, and what you’ll need to do to set this scheme in motion. Of course, before you begin, you’ll have to be good at gaming in general.

See Also:  Why Playing Video Games at Work Makes You More Productive

1. Boosting and selling accounts

The most popular games during the last decade were MOBAs (multi-player online battle arena), League of Legends (LOL), Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), Heroes of Newerth (HON) etc. Since, MOBAs are played online, they bring out the true competitive spirit in people, but they also have a tendency to become what is known as a “toxic community”. Back to the topic at hand, online games in general usually require people to create user accounts, and any in-game achievements, such as game currency, gear, advanced content, online rank etc. are tied to that user’s account. There are a lot of players, who either don’t have time to advance, or simply want bragging rights, but lack the skill to back it up, so they buy an account with some desired features.

If you have reached a certain level of expertise in an online game, and can blaze through its content with ease, there is a good chance you can sell these accounts. If you are a skilled player you can easily advance in ranks, and the higher rank you achieve in a particular game, the greater the price you can get for that account. The same applies for content and in-game resources – if you manage to unlock perks, such as rare items or something related to a character’s aesthetics, you can use these features to boost the price of the merchandise. However, this is very demanding and time-consuming, and to get a decent amount of money out of it, you’ll have to play for at least two months, and approximately 10 hours per day. It is also worth mentioning that you can earn up to $2000 or more by selling a single account, depending on the game and account “quality”.

2. Competitive Play

Another way to get paid is to become so good that people start to notice you since you are one of best in the world. Nowadays, certain games are considered to be e-sports, and if you live in Korea, not knowing how to play StarCraft will only make you look like a sissy. Although, it is highly unlikely that you’ll become part of a globally renowned team in a particular game, those who manage to pull it off are generously rewarded. Yes, you would have to do countless drills and train for hours on end each day, and you’ll start to have mixed feelings about the game in general, but in the gaming community you will become a superstar.

3. Writing game reviews

If you are a devoted gamer, this is probably your best shot to get involved in the gaming industry. Basically you play the game and then write your review. However, it is not your gaming skills that determine how much you get paid, but your writing skills. People who want a written review are more interested in the quality of the content, than in your gaming expertise. Additionally, you’ll have to meet a lot of deadlines to beat the competition. The reason your gaming skills are important here is because you need to finish the game as soon as possible and pay attention to details at the same time, so that you can write a solid review.

Another thing that you’ll need to do this job efficiently is access to a so-called debug console. Debugs are consoles only available from the manufacturer, and they give you access to early releases and reviews of the upcoming games. This is a huge advantage over those reviewers who do not possess such a device.

Since the gaming industry is so vast, there is always room for good reviewers, and you can become a full-time freelance writer. Again, you’ll need to be able to offer some quality writing to make a living out of this profession. The approximate income of a freelance game reviewer is $26,000 per year, however, the tax for self-employment is much higher when you work as a freelancer, plus you won’t have perks like health insurance.


4. Video game testing

guy playing video games

Yet another gaming related job that is highly overrated. Once you start working as a game tester, you are bound to reevaluate your life decisions. Working as a game tester does not mean you get to play the whole game and give constructive feedback. What you actually do is get a part of a game, a scene, and play it over and over until your eyes bleed, for a whole month. You need to go through every nook and cranny of the scene to see if there are any glitches. This is very mind-numbing and the average pay is $10 per hour. Furthermore, your bug reports may fall on deaf ears, and the company will still blame you if their final product is flawed.  

5. Streaming

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to earn money while playing games is start up a streaming channel. Streamers are really popular, since they entertain, offer good game related advice, and interact with their followers. However, only popular streamers earn a lot of money, and becoming a popular streamer is not as easy as it looks.

But, you can ask for help from a more popular streamer to give you a boost, and if you are persistent, you can accumulate a decent crowd. Also, if you are new, focus on games that are new and still unexplored. If you go into the swarm of a well-established community, there is a small chance you’ll get noticed since popular games already have popular streamers.

P.S If you are a girl with admirable cleavage, streaming and finding subscribers will be a piece of cake for you.

6. Starting your YouTube channel

We all know just how a YouTube channel with a lot of subscribers can be a lucrative asset. Making walkthrough videos, and “let’s play” videos is basically like streaming only you do not do it live – you record a game session and then add your voice to it, to explain what is happening on the screen.

You will also have to do this as soon as possible after a certain game has been released, but it is a method that works since a lot of people have managed to acquire subscribers in this manner. Also, you can split your play sessions into smaller 20-minute videos, to get more views on the channel.

As you can see monetizing your gaming skills is not always awesome. But if you truly love games, maybe the positives outweigh the negatives.

Are you thinking of making a career in any of these fields? Has this article changed your mind at all? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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