How to Make Money Playing Games

Oct 2, 2022 - 2 min read
Gamer sitting at the computer playing video games

In today's world, it's possible to earn money by playing video games. But the truth is that doing so is hard work.

Many who go this route will give up within a few years (or months) because the work aspect kills the fun of playing video games. Instead of turning what they love into a career, people end up hating what they once loved. And it's risky due to the crowded market. For every success story, hundreds of others tried and failed.

Earning your primary income by playing games is not something we'd recommend unless you are young, single, and willing to commit several years, knowing that it may all be for nothing. But it's certainly possible!

Here are several potential ways to earn money by playing video games.

1. Get Paid to Live Stream

Anyone can stream their gameplay in real time for the world to see. Aim to build a large audience (which you can monetize with ads) or a loyal audience (to monetize with donations and subscriptions). The biggest platform for streaming is Twitch, but YouTube is making its way to the top of being a big competitor for Twitch.

Why It's Difficult to Earn Money by Streaming Games

It takes a long time to build a live stream audience. You may not break ten concurrent viewers for several months, and you may not get 100 viewers at a time for years. The reality is that most streamers never reach that point—and you'll need thousands of regular viewers to earn a living by streaming video games. Or just a few genuine fans willing to support you through.

The streaming landscape is oversaturated. Why should someone watch you when there are plenty of other popular streams? That's the tricky part. Set yourself apart with your own brand of humor or personality by being a world-class player or playing games no one else is playing. But playing Minecraft in 100 different ways is possible to find your audience.

Minecraft
Minecraft
$28.85

Getting Started

Fortunately, the barrier to entry for streaming is relatively low. All you need is a decent computer, some games viewers want to watch, a fun personality, and streaming software. Make sure your internet upload speed is fast enough to handle the stream, and have a powerful enough PC for whatever games you're playing.

It always helps to cooperate with your friends, or other streamers in your early day, by joining streamer hub discords or any discord that allows it to share your stream link.


2. Try Your Hand at Games Journalism

Fancy yourself a writer? Either join an existing site or launch your own and start writing news, reviews, and interviews for a specific game, genre, or industry. If writing for an existing site, you can get paid per article as a freelancer. If starting your own site, you can monetize your traffic with ads, Patreon subscriptions, or similar. Even just a basic weekly newsletter would do the job.

Why It's Hard to Make Money Writing About Video Games

As with most kinds of journalism, games journalism is competitive. Lots of people want to write about games for a living! If writing for an existing site, you'll likely have to work for next to nothing while establishing a portfolio and proving your skills. Starting your own site will take years to build an audience from which you can earn enough to live.

Journalism can be intensive. For news writing, you'll need to tap into all sources around the clock to get scoops before others do. Reviews and interviews take a lot of time to do correctly. And in general, writing every day can be a massive drain on mental energy.

Getting Started

Look for open positions at intermediate-sized gaming sites. Forget major gaming sites like IGN for now, and ignore startups that have no readership. Make sure you have some writing samples on hand. Send your application (with writing samples included) and hope for the best. If you don't have any past work to provide, consider volunteer writing for smaller sites first.

We don't recommend launching your own games journalism site until you have several years of experience writing for an established site. Writing day in and day out is hard enough. Managing a site on top of that? That's a new level of effort that can easily lead to burnout.

3. Get Paid to Test Games

Games go through various phases of development before they're released. Near the completion time, developers need outsiders to playtest their games with fresh eyes. As a playtester, your job is to check over everything the developer wants you to look at, which includes finding and documenting bugs and other issues.

Why It's Difficult to Earn a Living by Testing Games

These days it isn't too difficult to become a tester, but it can be mind-numbing work. Playing to intentionally break games becomes boring fast, especially if you have to keep checking the same places after every game revision.

The pay isn't great. And unless you can land an internal position at a large game development company, most game testing positions are for mobile games, which aren't as exciting as full-blown console and PC releases.

Getting Started

For on-demand playtesting, look into services like PlaytestCloud and BetaTesting. Becoming an internal tester at a company is more burdensome. You'll have to browse job boards, research companies for open positions, send applications, and hope for the best. Looking for indie studios in your area can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door.

After some time, maybe you will be testing games like Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 5, Elden Ring
but, if you are not up to testing, you can always find Elden Ring Cheaper than usually on Gamecamp.gg

Elden Ring
Elden Ring
$43.65
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6
$16.61
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5
$38.99