Years ago, no one could’ve imagined that you could make a career out of playing video games. Back then, gaming was nothing more than something you did during your downtime. But today, gaming isn’t just a hobby. It has become a viable way to make money, and for some, it’s even their full-time job.
If you’re already an experienced gamer, why not take your skills to the next level and find a way to get paid for playing games? To help you get started, we’ve put together a few options for you:
1. Live stream
If you have good gaming skills and a fun personality, you’ve got the potential to be a streamer. Through streaming, you can broadcast yourself playing video games to live viewers. Money is made in a variety of ways, such as donations from fans, paid subscriptions, advertisements, sponsorships, and many more.
Anyone can become a streamer as long as they have a gaming PC, good-enough upload speeds, and a suitable streaming platform. Some of the most widely-used streaming sites include Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming.
The challenge is convincing people to give you a chance. Why would they watch your stream when they can stick to streamers they already know? The streaming world is oversaturated, so you’ll have to find a way to set yourself apart. For example, you could play up your personality or focus on a specific game genre like strategy games or unblocked games. Once you’ve grown your viewer base, video game streaming can be a reliable money-maker.
2. Create a YouTube channel
We’ve all witnessed how gamers on YouTube managed to make millions on the platform. The good news is that you can too, considering how low its barrier to entry is. Whether you want to create video game tutorials, review games, or give general gaming tips, you’ll have complete control over what you want your channel to be about. As long as you create content that people actually want to watch, you’ll be able to make money off of YouTube in no time.
YouTube money comes from various sources, but most creators rely on advertisements via the YouTube Partner Program. On average, creators can earn $18 per 1,000 ad views or around $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views. Subscribers can also pay you a monthly subscription to access members-only videos.
It should be mentioned that you can only monetize your content if you’re in YouTube’s good graces. That means you can’t upload content that goes against their community guidelines. With that said, read the terms of the YouTube Partner Program thoroughly and protect your account so no one can compromise your channel to post inappropriate content.
3. Participate in tournaments
Video game tournaments or e-sports are events where participants play competitive games (e.g. Dota, League of Legends, and Fortnite) to win rewards, often in the form of money. An example is The International, one of the top e-sports competitions in the world. In 2021, the competition awarded its winners $40 million.
While you can make a significant amount of money through tournaments, the downside is that it will take a lot of work. You can’t be a member of an e-sports team if you’re not a pro gamer. To get into competitive gaming, you must choose a game you know you can be great at. Once you’ve mastered the game, sign up for local tournaments. Eventually, you’ll be able to make your way to the big leagues.
4. Coach other players
If you’re an experienced player who’d rather work behind the scenes, you can coach people who want to participate in e-sports. As a mentor, your role is to walk your mentee through the game, give them tips, and ultimately, help them prepare for tournaments. Most of your time will be spent in-game as you’ll need to engage in one-on-one matches with your mentees.
As an e-sport coach, you may also be responsible for managing your team’s communications, social media, and brand deal negotiations. While you can earn some serious cash by being a coach, it’s worth mentioning that representing big teams can be a huge undertaking. You’ll also need to build a name for yourself first, because how else can you convince people to be coached by you?
5. Test games in development
If you’ve built your name in the gaming community, there’s a good chance that game developers will reach out to you to ask you to “playtest” their games. Since gaming is what you do for a living, you should know what a great game should look and feel like. That makes you the best person to beta-test games.
However, if you aren’t that well-known in the gaming world, you can try to pitch your services to game developers. Some companies don’t care about experience. Ubisoft, for example, is looking for “gamers of all kinds” to playtest their games — even ones who’ve never played games before.
As a playtester or beta tester, your goal is to spot bugs and give your general feedback to the developers. That way, the developers can make sure the game is glitch-free before it’s released to the general public. Since playtesting is contractual work, don’t expect to make millions doing it. But it can be a great way to make extra money — according to Indeed, game testers can earn about $18 per hour.
6. Become a video game writer
Combine your flair for writing with your love for gaming to become a video game writer. According to Salary.com, video game writers can earn an average of $74,841 a year. To get started, you can either create your own site or write for existing sites. Your job will be to write about news in the gaming world such as upcoming games, gaming tournaments, and even movie adaptations of games. Since you’ll also be tasked to write game reviews, you’ll get to play games while at work and get paid for it!
Ready to get your game on?
Contrary to what your career counselor told you, gaming can be a career. While it may be an unconventional path to take, it provides plenty of lucrative opportunities for individuals who are brave enough to push the boundaries of gaming. So grab your controller (or your keyboard if you’re a PC person) — it’s time to bulk up your bank account while doing what you love!