11 Ways to Make Money Playing Video Games

Video games are becoming popular day by day. Advanced technology has made video gaming more attractive and fun with sophistically designed graphics and attractive mechanism. From kids to adults, it’s relaxation after a stressful day.

However, parents often get worried about their children spending so much time playing video games. They may think it’s a waste. But maybe their kids are actually playing to make real money. Is it possible?

Yes, absolutely. One can participate in tournaments to win a huge winning amount. The highest-paid gamer Johan Sundstein (popularly knows as N0tail), a professional Dota 2 player, won $6,889,592 from 108 tournaments at age 26. Besides, online media platforms allow making a professional career as a gamer. One can make money by live-streaming, sitting at home. Popular gamers like PewDiePie, which makes $58.3 million/year, has 108 million YouTube subscribers.

Furthermore, by involving in different gaming services, it’s possible to make money. Don’t forget that the gaming industry is the biggest one to make over $150 million.

Now it’s your turn. But at the same time, drop the idea that you can make a great fortune out of it. You have to wait for the real opportunity to make real money without any scam.

With this warning in mind, let’s know the potential ways of how to make money playing video games.

How To Make Money Playing Video Games: 11 Ways

Are you interested to know about career prospects in video gaming? Here are 11 ways you can make money playing video games.

Become a Tester

Have you ever imagined a career as a game tester? Sometimes, bugs and problems in the game can be overlooked by the developers. These need to be removed for smooth functionality. Here’s you’d come in.

Testing a game is an excellent way to earn money. Start as a freelancer or on a low-scale level to become a professional game tester.

Alpha testing identifies the bugs within a game before releasing it in the market. On the other hand, in beta testing, some intended players try the game out to identify the glitches. Thus, enhance the game design, graphics, and functionality. That’s why companies look for real users to test the game first.

So isn’t it fun to play a game before it’s officially released?

However, it isn’t easy to find which company will hire you. Initially, you may work with not so popular games because only low-level games go for beta testing before hitting the market. Sometimes, those games are not even too fun to enjoy.

But to earn experience, create an attractive profile on social media to get noticed and hired for game testing. An experienced game tester can earn up to $20/hour. Microsoft game tester salary is about $211,201/year.

2. Become a Quality Assurance (QA) Tester

The game design and developing companies need to know how the computer will react to the game. So, they can understand what is good or bad in the game, what works or what doesn’t. A QA tester does this job.

Quality assurance (QA) testers check the activity designed for the games. They play a game with different builds multiple times to find the most enjoyable one. The QA testers lookout for any technical errors and help to upgrade the quality and design if necessary.

The QA tester often works with the game programmers or designers. They must have the logic and reasoning ability to identify the games’ errors/bugs/glitches. Moreover, they make sure the game looks more realistic and fun to the users, such as Star Trek’s Holodeck.

However, the QA job is mostly contractual. You can make little money from this, about $15-$20/hour. But once you’re experienced, it ranges from $70,000-$100,000. So give it a try.

3. Find Sponsorship

A good sponsor helps to make the revenue for both of you and that company. All you need is an attractive social media profile as a gamer to get sponsors.

First, you need to choose with whom you want to collaborate. Then, you convince them that you’re worthy of bringing profit for them. Once you get a sponsor, you can attend gaming events and tournaments. eSport is one of the largest gaming sponsors.

4. Become a Professional Video Gamer- Join Tournaments

Do you want to earn big bucks from gaming? Then joining tournaments as a pro is the biggest way for how to make money playing video games.

If you can become a professional video gamer, you may get sponsors and win big tournaments. Thus, making a lot of money. International Dota 2 Championship, Intel Extreme Masters, eSports games are top sponsors who arrange tournaments and events for videogames.

The sponsors host and do live streaming of the tournaments. Companies find the best players on the internet.

Moreover, a professional video gamer must-have skills, creativity, and passion for the game. If you want to participate in any gaming tournament, you better pick up the game you’re an expert in. A good team can also help you to win millions of dollars.

Though there is no regular monthly salary for gamers, they can earn $1000-$1500/month. The highest-paid gamer can make money up to $15,000/year from sponsors and prize amount. They also get a bonus of up to $20,000/tournaments from digital channels if they win the match. In the US, the winning amount from a tournament can be up to $200,000.

Some highest earned professional gamers are Kyle Giersdorf (gamer ID- Bugha) won $3.1 million for Fortnite, Andreas Hojsleth (games ID- Xyp9x) won $1.8 million in CS: GO tournament, etc.

5. Become a YouTube Live Streamer

YouTube live streaming is a trendy way to make money playing online. The gaming company will let you play their games free online. If you’re a popular YouTubers, it’ll be easier. All you need a good streaming platform.

Are you familiar with the name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg? More or less, every gamer or YouTube follower knows him as PewDiePie. With YouTube live game streaming, he became the most popular gamer.

He chose this name as it sounds like shooting “pew, pew”, the sound of electronically simulated gunfire or laser shots. Initially, he started his channel naming PewDie but lost his credentials to YouTube. So, he came up with the new name PewDiePie.

This gamer now has 108 million subscribers on YouTube and earns an average of $400,000/month. Another popular gamer Markipiler, with 28.1 million subscribers, earns $10-$18 million each year fromYouTube gaming.

So how do you start live streaming? Here’s a quick guide.

  • Start a YouTube channel first with your Google account. Go to Creator Studio> Create a Channel.
  • Then go to Video Manager to upload videos that you already downloaded on the computer. Click the Upload button from the top right corner. You may also find an icon for streaming live.
  • If you want to stream through a PC, you need a video card with streaming software XSplits, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), or Streamlab OBS.
  • If you are going to stream directly from the console, you need “PS4” and “PS5” to stream to UStream and Twitch. Tv, “Xbox One”  for Twitch. Tv, or “Nintendo Switch”.
  • High-quality webcam and microphone.
  • Good internet connectivity.
  • You may use a green screen behind, if possible, to remove the background.

Now you’re ready to upload videos of yourself playing games on YouTube. Keep in mind, the more viewers you have, the more you earn.

6. Join Twitch- Video Games Streaming Platform

Most of the players favor the platform, Twitch for live streaming. It is one of the popular video game streaming platforms after YouTube.

Twitch is a subsidiary of Amazon, acquired in 2014 for $930 million. Currently, there are 15 million active daily users. In case you want to stream seriously, this platform can give you a real opportunity to earn.

 So how to make money playing video games on Twitch?

  • Twitch Partner: Twitch’s “Partner Program” allows the producers to share advertisement revenue showing on their platform. It pays $3 per 1000 ad views and $5/month for each subscriber.

However, it’s not easy to become a Twitch partner. Some players achieve it in one year, where some may take more than three years.

To get brand sponsorship, you must meet the Twitch milestones.

  • Stream for 25 hours in the last 30 days.
  • Stream for 12 days in the last 30 days.
  • Reach up to 75 average viewers in the last 30 days.
  • Fan Donations: Fans can donate to their favorite gamers if you have a good reliable fan base. You can add a donate button to your channel while streaming. This is known as tipping. However, don’t expect to money roll in quickly. Keep patience and work on your fan base.
  • Twitch Affiliate: Twitch also affiliates its partnership by giving Amazon referral link, PayPal donations. It is nothing but an invitation-only level.

But to get a Twitch affiliate, you must fulfill the following criterias.

  • Stream for 500 minutes in the last 30 days.
  • Stream for unique 7 days in the last 30 days.
  • Reach 3 viewers in the last 30 days.
  • Must have at least 50 followers.
  • Subscription Fee: Additionally, viewers can subscribe to your channel. It’s an interesting way to make money as you can offer them VIP perks like discounts on merchandise, customize emoticons and chat rooms.

The monthly subscription fee is $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99. The streamers get 50% for each subscriber, while the other 50% goes to Twitch.

  • Twitch Merchandise: Once you build your large audience base, you can start selling your merchandise at your channel through Teepublic or Spreadshop. Viewers will buy those t-shirts, caps with your logo by clicking the referral link from your channel. Thus, you will get an amount from there.

Sell Games While Streaming: Furthermore, you can sell games too while streaming them. Your viewers can purchase the games through the given links. Thus, you can earn a percentage of each sale.

7. Join Facebook Gaming

Everyone is familiar with the term Facebook Gaming, more or less. Facebook has become an excellent platform for gamers. It’s easy to sign up, build more viewers and make money playing video games.

Additionally, you can watch your favorite gamers playing video games and interact with others or share the game. Above all, Facebook Gaming is now giving tough competition to Twitch.

The popular streamer Tyler Blevins (known as Ninja) used to earn $500,000 -$1 million/month while playing on Twitch. Surprisingly in 2019, he left Twitch and joined Microsoft’s new gaming platform Mixer for $20-$30 million/year.

Although Mixer gained lots of attention, it couldn’t beat Twitch. However, in summer 2020, Microsoft closed down Mixer and made a partnership with Facebook Gaming. With the existing streamer and viewers, it became a popular gaming platform.

So how to make money playing video games on Facebook?

Gaming creators set up their accounts in the streaming dashboard. Facebook pays the creator $0.01/star that received from the viewers. Gamers keep track of how many stars they’re getting while playing. Viewers can buy 100 stars for $1 and pay monthly $4.99 to subscribe to their favorite gamer’s channel/page.

8. Get Paid to Play Games

There are several gamers in the US currently who play online regularly. Now, what if you get paid to play games? Yes, some apps will pay you a fair amount if you’re a consistent player. However,  the payment is not in cash. But maybe in electronic or cryptocurrency like tokens or coins that turn into gift cards or prepay cards.

Few apps that will like to pay you are InboxDollars (gets instant $5 bonus), Swagbucks (gets $10 bonus), LifePoint ($10 bonus), etc. Once you sign up for those apps to play games, you will earn a reward at your  PayPal account.

9. Become a Game Reviewer and Post Tutorials

How to make money playing video games doesn’t mean you’ve to play games only. But reviewing games and providing tutorials can be an income source for you.

Start by creating your website or blog to write reviews for games or a specified game. You need to make at least 15 blogs to get affiliated. You can review and sell games on popular selling sites like Amazon or eBay. Once you get a fair amount of audiences, it becomes easier for you.

With this intention, write the blog in a professional but fun way. Remember, your task is to help the gamer with quick tips and guides.

However, for many people, blogs are too inconvenient. So maybe a YouTube tutorial or review can be a much better way to reach a large audience. YouTube channel or other streaming sites will earn money for every subscriber click on it.

Additionally, advertisers can pay Google to display ads on your YouTube channel. Thus, you’ll get a percentage of money from the ads. But make sure you at least have 1000 subscribers with 4000 video views in 12 months to make it happen.

In general, it takes time to build an audience and then make money. There is also no guarantee of huge earning. But once you gain a good audience base, create a gamer media kit. Then send it to game development and publishing companies as well as advertisers to collaborate.

Here are some tips for creating your media kit.

  • # of fans such as followers, loyal subscribers, etc.
  • # of readers/watchers.
  • Unique game assessment style.
  • Audience demography, including age, gender, location, etc.
  • Any preferable genre.
  • Blog post schedule.
  • Links to your other social media pages.

10. Gaming Merchandise Store

Moreover, you can create your own merchandise store to design and sell. Create custom merch for your fans and earn money from it. Etsy.com, Redbull.com are few good commerce websites for this purpose.

If you love physical art, then Etsy.com is here for you. Sell your designed clothes with customized game characters on them or jewelry and accessories or logos to earn a profit.

Redbull.com is suitable for a digital artist. You can sell customized t-shirts, pillows, coffee mugs, duvet covers within 24 hours.

11. Gaming Customer Service

Lastly, working on the helpdesks is a good way for how to make money playing video games.

Are you an expert gamer? Then with all the technical knowledge, you can join the company’s customer service. You can help others to understand the game while solving technical issues.

Therefore, you can contact the distributor or manufacturer of games. Or else, try different technology support companies like Sutherland Global service. Some companies may allow you to work from home.

A customer support representative of a gaming company can make $10.00/hour. The national average salary is $27,834/month in the United States.

Final Thoughts

Finally, making money by playing video games online is not easy. It would help if you were experienced, expert and passionate about it.

In order to earn a huge amount, you can contact the manufacturers or the company directly for sponsorship. Create a blog or website to continuously post or review about a game you’re good at. The most popular way is to create a YouTube channel and do live streaming. It may take time to build up audiences and profit. But your social media presence and sometimes through word-of-mouth eventually make you a famous video gamer. That’s it. Hopefully, this article will help you to understand to make money playing video games. Have patience and keep practicing games. The more you become an expert, the more you’ll get the opportunity.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.