How to make money playing video games

I’ve always wanted to make money playing Video Games! Have you?

People used to ask me the big question “What do you want to do/be when you grow up?” I’ve always said, I want to play video games for a living. At the time, it looked like it was almost impossible. Yet every year, more and more people have found a way that allows them to make money playing video games.

There’s many different ways to earn a living playing video games, you don’t need to be the best. While some of methods may not be the highest paid, they’ll definitely be more fun than that 9-5 you work.  

Lets discuss how to make money playing Video Games.


Competitive Gaming/esports

Fnatic Win ESL Cologne 2015

Becoming a professional player in games such as Dota 2, CS:GO, Call Of Duty and more will earn you a lot of money. Some Tournament prize pools are in the millions! There’s not an easy road to becoming a pro player. You will need to invest many hours into playing the game before you are anywhere near the required level.

Once you feel you are near or at a competitive level, the grind doesn’t stop. Playing a team game? you will need to find other players at the same level, with the same goal. Then it is up to you to Scrim, enter tournaments and qualifiers both online and offline. Playing a solo game such as FIFA? Work through the competitive ladder in-game and enter tournaments provided by Gfinity & MLG.

Should you work hard enough and finally make it. There will be sponsorship deals, tournament winnings and other money making opportunities. Even if you don’t have the time and dedication to invest in becoming a Pro, you should try competing. It’s great fun.


Game Testing/Quality Analyst

Get paid to play video games become a game tester

This is a job recognised by many. Game testing doesn’t pay much above minimum wage, if at all and it may not be as fun as you’d think. Chances are, you will not be playing a game you’re interested in. It’s also not fun to play the same level repeatedly, looking for bugs and glitches. Boot up your console or PC and try it.

Companies only hire people with coding knowledge. This is because they can explain the problem in greater detail. There is some that will take on people without that knowledge, but it’s very few. At the end of the day, you’re still getting paid to play video games although it may not be the job for you.


Farming Coins and In-game Items

A lot of modern games have an in-game market and economy. This will allow you to buy and sell items, players or something else in the game. You can sell these for real money, yet it takes time and doesn’t pay enough to be a full time job.

There’s a lot of Black Market sites which sell Ultimate Team coins. Ultimate Team is a very popular mode in Madden, FIFA and NHL.

World Of Warcraft also has many different third party sites selling gold.

The Steam market allows players to make money playing video games

Valve has allowed developers to create items which can be used in-game and sold on the Steam market. This helps players to make money playing video games.

That being said, Valve has altered the drop systems in their own games to mostly give out items with a value of £0.03.

There’s still many different ways to earn using steam items. You can set buy orders at a low price and hope to snag a deal or trade with others for profit. Once you have a valuable inventory you can cash out for real money using sites like OPSkins.


Livestream on Twitch or Youtube Gaming

Become a full time streamer on Youtube Gaming or Twitch TV - earn money playing games

Streaming requires good internet speeds without any usage limits. If you have that, then you are able to stream. Both the Xbox One and PS4 have built in streaming features which you can use. This allows you to stream game-play in 720p quality. 720p resolution looks good and is a great, free way to get started. If you’re on PC and looking for a streaming solution check out Open Broadcaster Software.
What should you stream? Almost anything will get an audience. It’s harder to get noticed in the more popular categories. You will need to get viewers from forums and other sites before people start to find you on Twitch. But if you choose a niche game, with less streamers you will get people clicking your stream on Twitch.
Where does the money come from?  To make money directly from Twitch, you will need to apply for a partnership. You can put a donation button in the description of your channel, just don’t beg for donations. That will only put viewers off.
Whatever you choose to stream, make sure it’s something you enjoy and will not get bored of. After all, you’re in for a long haul.

Account levelling

Almost any game that has a ranking or progression system has a market for accounts. There’s a market for every account but the most expensive accounts are highly ranked or have valuable in-game items.
Selling the accounts may be against the games Terms Of Service but very rarely are they banned.
You can sell your accounts on PlayerAuctions, Forums you’re trusted on or even start up your own online store using Shopify or WordPress.
I’m interested in doing this myself. It’s probably one of the more fun ways to make money playing video games.


Game Reviews

There’s many different ways you can get paid for game reviews. You can become a YouTuber. TotalBiscuit has found great success reviewing PC games on youtube. Websites are always looking for writers, not to mention you can always start your own.

Like every other method, this will take time and a lot of learning. Should you venture down the website route, you will have to learn about inbound marketing.

Once you’re a trusted game critic, it’s very possible that you will keys from developers. Your income would be inconsistent, coming from Google Adsense and/or commission sales.

Game Blogging (Walkthrough/Stories/Opinion Pieces)

Different from writing reviews, you can write about anything gaming. If you want to do walkthrough articles, you can. Opinion Pieces of why AAA titles are not as good as they used to be, you can.

You can do anything with a blog, if it can be done on YouTube it can almost certainly be a written article vice-versa.

As I’m interested in Football Manager, I often read about experiments and careers. As seen on The FM Addicts. Perhaps you could tailor it to fit the game you are currently playing?


Parting thoughts

There’s obviously a lot of ways to make money playing video games. Some better than others no doubt. However almost anything worthwhile doing in life requires a lot of time and effort. So If your hearts not in it, don’t do it.

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