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How Can You Make Money Gaming?

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Is it possible to make money playing games? The answer is, yes, absolutely! The global video game market is a multi-billion-dollar industry, supported by billions of players and hundreds of thousands of employees. Within this huge economic sector, there are many ways to make money from home. 

Here we’ll walk you through 10 ways you can get paid for playing games, including methods that don’t require tech skills as well as ones that leverage technical know-how.

But first, let’s start by looking at the bottom line: how much can you make playing games?

How Much Money Can You Make Playing Video Games?

To appreciate the profit potential in gaming, consider the size of the video game industry. Globally, about two in five people play video games, with the number of gamers estimated to grow from 2.95 billion in 2022 to 3.07 billion by 2023, according to a report by game market research firm Newzoo.

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The global video game market was valued at $195.65 billion in 2021, on track to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% from 2022 to 2030, according to a report by market analysis firm Grand View Research. This huge industry employed nearly 300,000 workers in 2020, industry data analyzed by market research firm IBISWorld indicates.

While this number doesn’t directly reflect the number of employees who earn a full-time living from video games, it indirectly illustrates the larger number of people required to sustain the industry. Besides hundreds of thousands of full-time office and remote workers, the video game industry is supported by a proportionate number of open-source developers, beta testers, reviewers, bloggers, brand ambassadors, social media marketers, and others. Within this vast infrastructure, there’s lots of room for video gamers who aren’t full-time employees to make extra money from their favorite hobby.

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The Stardew Valley Success Story

How much money? To start with a best-case scenario, consider the story of Eric Barone, developer of Stardew Valley.

A computer science major who couldn’t find work, Barone originally had no intention of pursuing a career in gaming, but only started developing video games to keep his coding sharp so he could impress prospective employers. He became obsessed with perfecting Stardew Valley, often working on it 80 hours a week until his girlfriend dragged him off the computer.

His regime almost burned him out, but the hard work paid off in game quality. Stardew Valley was an instant hit upon its release in 2016, and by the next year, it had raked in $34 million. Barone soon had to hire staff to help him support millions of players.

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Elspeth Eastman’s Live Streaming Success

Obviously, not everyone will achieve Barone’s level of success, but his story illustrates that you can earn a good living in gaming. To take another example, voice actress Elspeth Eastman, known for voicing Tristana in League of Legends, gets paid to stream live videos of herself gaming.

Because she has hundreds of thousands of followers, advertisers are willing to pay her for partnerships, and she also earns commissions for paid subscriptions. While she hasn’t disclosed her income publicly, analysts estimate that she earns as much as $646 a month from Twitch subscriptions and as much as $221 a month from her YouTube channel, in addition to her regular income as a voice actress.

Of course, you’re probably not a famous voice actress, and we can’t guarantee you’ll achieve the same income levels, at least not without a lot of hard work. But you can use similar strategies on a smaller scale to add to your current income or transition into earning a full-time living from video games. How much you earn will depend on which method you use and how you approach it. Here are 10 methods you can use to make money playing games:

How to Get Paid for Playing Games: 10 Methods

Some methods of earning money from gaming require you to be a skilled player or game developer. Others only require enthusiasm for gaming and a willingness to work. Our list of the 10 best ways to make money gaming includes

1. Live Streaming

If you’re good at gaming or if you have an entertaining personality, you can make money live streaming yourself playing. Now you might be wondering, why would anyone want to watch me play, and why would anyone want to pay me to play? There are a number of reasons people like to watch other people play video games:

  • To pick up tips from someone who is a more advanced player
  • To witness exceptional gameplay
  • To listen to someone who offers entertaining narration as they play
  • To connect with others in the gaming community who are watching

The fact that people like to watch others play video games creates a number of ways to earn money from broadcasting gaming live streams:

  • Viewers may make donations to express appreciation for good or entertaining play
  • Avid viewers may sign up for paid subscriptions
  • Attendees to special live-stream events may pay for tickets
  • Gaming brands may sponsor players who attract attention to their games
  • Advertises may pay players who have large followings
  • Affiliate marketing partners may pay commissions for promoting their products
  • Popular gamers can make and sell their own merchandise

To make money from live streaming, you’ll need to be interesting enough that people want to watch you play. Being a good player is the easiest way to attract interest, but if you’re funny or good at telling stories while you play, people might watch you even if you’re not the best player.

You’ll also need a suitable platform for live streaming. Some of your best options include:

  • Twitch
  • YouTube Gaming
  • Facebook Gaming
  • DLive

Fiverr offers Twitch services to help you with tasks such as creating logos, overlays, and emotes to make your streams more visually appealing.

2. Creating Game Guides on Video Platforms

Making video game guides on platforms such as YouTube is another way you can earn money from gaming. Video game players seek out guides for a number of reasons, including:

  • To see if a game is interesting
  • To learn how to play
  • To get advanced gaming tips
  • To hear the latest gaming news
  • To be entertained
  • To socialize with other players

You can appeal to these interests by creating a video game guide channel that offers:

  • Game reviews
  • Tutorial tips for beginners
  • Advanced tips for experienced players
  • Industry news
  • Informative or entertaining commentary on gameplay

Once you’ve got a guide channel up and running, you can monetize it in a number of ways, including:

  • Donations and subscriptions from viewers
  • Advertising commissions from brands that promote links on your channel
  • Sponsorships and affiliate marketing from gaming brands

To successfully employ this method of making money from gaming, you’ll need equipment such as a camera, microphone, and video editing software, in addition to whatever equipment you use to play video games, whether you’re on a console or PC. You’ll need to be able to make video guides. This involves:

  • Recording screenshots of yourself playing
  • Using video editing software to edit your raw footage
  • Adding effects such as text, music, and animation
  • Uploading and sharing videos

If you need help creating videos, Fiverr provides access to video editing services and YouTube promotion services from experienced professionals.

3. Writing Gaming Guides for Your Website

You can monetize gaming guides in written form as well as video form. One option is selling written gaming guides through your website. These can be standalone or you can sell them alongside videos.

What should a written video game guide cover? Topics to consider include:

  • Walkthroughs telling players basic details such as where they go, what they do, what enemies they encounter, what rewards they get, and what different abilities and items do
  • Basics of gameplay, such as what platforms you can play on, system requirements, and how to play solo versus multiplayer
  • Tutorials on game features
  • Tips and tricks for advanced play
  • Expansion options

Written content should be supported by screenshots and other graphics to make it easier for your readers to see what you’re talking about. You can include video content on your site to supplement your written content.

You can publish your content on protected pages or posts on your site or in eBook format for download. One promotional strategy is to offer some free content as an incentive to buy your premium content. Another alternative is to offer free tutorials but monetize your site in some other way, such as advertising or affiliate marketing.

To deploy this method of making money from gaming, you’ll need to develop and promote your website. If you need help creating a website, Fiverr offers web development services.

4. Offering Game Coaching Tips

Another way to make money sharing your gaming expertise is by becoming a video game coach. Video game coaches help clients improve their gaming skills. Game coaches may provide services such as:

  • Reviewing recordings of game replays and offering insights
  • Providing guidance through strategies, tips, and practice drills
  • Observing live play

Game coaches may provide services one-on-one or in a group coaching setting such as a webinar or digital workshop.

Depending on your level of expertise, you can offer game coaching services to any level of player from beginner to tournament competitor. The higher your skill level and the deeper insight you can offer, the more you can charge.

To become a game coach, you’ll need a number of qualifications:

  • Experience as a gamer
  • Up-to-date knowledge of game versions and gameplay
  • Teaching skills, including the ability to observe player behavior, communicate instructions, answer questions, and gauge progress

If you want to teach gaming in a formal setting such as a university, you may need to get a teaching certification or fulfill other requirements.

To find students, you can use a number of marketing strategies, including:

  • Setting up a website with a blog providing how-to-tips
  • Creating a YouTube channel offering free coaching samples
  • Becoming a coach on a platform such as Gamer Sensei
  • Promoting game coaching services on Fiverr

Coaching can work well in conjunction with some of the other monetization ideas covered here. For example, if you’ve already got a live stream following or you’ve been sharing video guides with your followers, you can offer coaching services to them.

5. Becoming a Video Game Journalist

If you’ve got writing skills to go with your love of video games, you could be making money as a game journalist. Gaming journalists can get paid for:

  • Writing game reviews
  • Reporting gaming news
  • Interviewing figures in the video game industry
  • Covering game industry events

If you want to go into game journalism, you’ll need strong writing skills first. A degree in journalism or a similar subject can help, but it’s not as essential as demonstrating your ability to write. Consider starting a blog to gain experience and build a portfolio you can show editors. You can monetize your blog through methods such as ads and affiliate marketing while you’re building your credentials.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to writing about video games, either. If you can gain writing experience blogging on other topics, this can provide you with a platform for launching into game journalism.

Once you’ve got the writing background, you can start looking for opportunities to contribute freelance articles or get hired as an employee. You can look for opportunities by:

  • Studying the submission guidelines of video game websites you’d like to write for and developing article ideas to pitch
  • Networking with other writers, editors, and gaming industry contacts through social media and industry events
  • Replying to want ads on sites such as Video Game Journalism Jobs

You may find it easier to break in if you can carve out a specialty in a particular niche. For example, you might focus on writing about a specific game or brand.

6. Video Game Playtesting

Playtesters provide video game companies with feedback on how easy and enjoyable a game is to play. This helps game developers identify issues that detract from user experience and make improvements to enhance gameplay.

Playtesters play games under the guidance of developers’ instructions so that developers can observe them and gather information about:

  • Whether players understand game instructions
  • Whether game controls and features work as intended
  • What players learn easily
  • Where players get stuck
  • What players spend their time doing
  • How players evaluate their overall experience
  • What players like
  • Which aspects of gameplay players want to see improved
  • Which features and benefits are most appealing
  • Whether the game is commercially viable in its present form

Playtesters may be volunteers, freelancers, or regular employees. To become a playtester, you’ll need to combine a passion for playing with a good work ethic which includes the ability to follow directions, meet deadlines, and communicate feedback.

You can find playtester jobs through want ads, or you can take the initiative to approach video game companies yourself to see if they need playtesters. You’ll want to develop a cover letter and resume that sum up your background in gaming and your experience as a gamer, especially any previous playtesting experience.

7. Video Game Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

A QA tester reviews gameplay from a technical perspective. They differ from playtesters in that playtesters focus more on improving user experience whereas QA testers focus on fixing technical issues which underlie user experience. QA testers are regular employees, while playtesters often are freelancers. However, terminology usage is not rigid, and you’ll sometimes find QA testers being called playtesters and vice versa, so before applying for a job, make sure you understand what the exact duties are.

QA testers’ responsibilities include:

  • Playing games and providing technical feedback
  • Writing bug reports
  • Recording crashes
  • Passing on feedback to other members of the development team, such as engineers, designers, and artists

Within QA testing, there can be specialist positions. For example, some QA testers run automated test tools, while others review specific aspects of gameplay. Specialized QA positions often are senior positions.

Professional video game companies generally prefer QA testers who have International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification from the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB). Some positions may require college degrees, but even when this isn’t required, you may find it helpful to have a degree in a field such as computer programming or graphic design. Good writing skills will help you write better bug reports, so consider taking a course in technical writing.

One way to start gaining experience as a QA tester even before you’re certified is by volunteering as a beta tester. Beta testers are groups of users who help development teams review products that are nearly ready for public release. They often are volunteers, though they can be paid. You can join beta testing communities to get involved. This also can be a great way to network and learn about job opportunities.

8. Video Game Development

If you have the passion and talent to create your own video games, another way to make money playing games is to become a game developer. Game developers take game concepts and translate them into programming code that can be used to play games. They also serve as game testers. Some developers also may contribute to the creative development of game concepts prior to or during the programming phase.

Game developers need to know relevant programming languages such as C++, C#, JavaScript, Java, and Python. Fiverr offers online programming lessons to assist you.

A degree in software engineering or computer science will help and may be necessary for some jobs, though this is less critical than actual programming know-how. You’ll also find it helpful to be familiar with math, physics, 3D graphics, and animation.

To gain experience as a developer, you can practice developing games on your own. Start with simple games, and as your skills improve, try more complex projects. This will help you build a portfolio you can use to demonstrate your skills to employers.

You can find postings for game developers on LinkedIn, on job boards, and on websites of game companies and gaming industry sites. To land your first job as a game developer, you may find it easier to start with an independent company or smaller company, which are more likely to hire freelancers.

9. Hosting a Gaming Podcast

If you like to talk about gaming, hosting a podcast can be a way to make money. Podcasts can include various types of gaming-related content, including:

  • Commentary on gameplay
  • Game reviews
  • Industry news
  • Interviews with gaming industry representatives
  • Audience question-and-answer sessions
  • Humor

Podcasts can be monetized in numerous ways, such as:

  • Crowdfunding and donations
  • Selling premium content, such as tutorials or coaching
  • Hosting exclusive events
  • Advertising revenue
  • Brand sponsorships
  • Promoting affiliate marketing products

To start a podcast, you’ll need a microphone, audio editing software such as Audacity, and a podcast hosting platform such as Buzzsprout. You’ll also need to promote your podcast using tactics such as search engine optimization and social media marketing. Fiverr includes a marketplace for hiring podcast promotion specialists.

10. Participating in Gaming Tournaments

Video game tournaments offer a number of ways to make money playing games:

  • If you’re a skilled player, you can enter and compete for cash and prizes in eSports competitions, which are held in physical arenas, or online video game tournaments
  • If you’re a good event organizer and marketer, you can host a gaming tournament, recruit sponsors, and charge entry fees to participants and promotional fees to advertisers
  • If you’re good at marketing and sales, you can use a tournament to sell products for yourself, a sponsoring brand, or an affiliate marketing partner
  • If you’re an investor, you can invest in gaming tournaments

If you’re considering getting involved in gaming tournaments for money, you’ll want to gain some experience with them first. Sites such as GamerSaloon can give you an introduction to the world of online gaming tournaments. If you want to visit a live tournament, you can find local tournaments through sites such as Battlefy or you can visit major tournaments such as The International (TI). You can learn much more about gaming tournaments from resources such as the University of Esports.

So there are 10 ways you can make money playing games! Some of these methods will be more suitable for different people based on varying interests and aptitudes. Many of them can be combined together to multiply your revenue. Use the methods which work best for you. Good luck!

Source: Fiverr

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