8 ways to make money by playing video games

Gamers playing at home

Have you ever been told by your parents that gaming is a waste of time and you should look for a more lucrative occupation? Now you can tell them they were wrong and show everyone you can outsmart them by playing video games while they are still bored at their 9 to 5 job. Do they need some good arguments or are you a gamer looking to make money from their passion? Check these 8 ways you can earn money in front of the computer, doing what you like the most:

1. Trading virtual goods

Games like Diablo III (action role playing games mainly) allow players to operate in-game auction houses – buying and selling virtual items can bring you money. At some point, a gamer claimed he had made $10,000 by using this method and even provided a screenshot of his PayPal account as a proof. However, Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Diablo III eventually decided to remove this auction feature because it had a negative impact on the product’s core gameplay. Even if you cannot apply this method with Diablo III anymore, there are countless other games that give you the opportunity to make money out of virtual commerce, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

2. Selling characters

MMOs require you to spend hours and hours building a character and completing missions. There are people willing to pay for an evolved character – so if you are bored with the game or want to make some money, you can sell your character. Make sure the game you are playing allows you to do this and go to places like Player Auctions to find out more.

3. Game testing

Game testing is one of the best-known methods of making money from gaming. The facts are simple – large video game companies hire video game testers to play games which are still in the development phase – their duty is to identify possible glitches and issues. There are some downsides to this scheme, however; playing games for testing purposes may not be so entertaining and at times you’ll have to play games you don’t really like. Some testers have compared this job to watching over and over again 1 minute of your favorite movie an entire day – it doesn’t really feel like watching movies all day long and it soon becomes exhausting.

4. Live streams

Children playing video game

Who would have thought there are people who like to watch gamers playing their favorite title? It looks like there is a large market for this type of product. What you need to do is stream your gameplay live for the world to see. If people like your content and the way you play, your audience will slowly grow and you will be able to monetize with ads. If you have a smaller but loyal audience you can ask for donations or require viewers to pay subscriptions.

5. Teaching others how to play

It happens very often – you want to progress in a certain video game, but you’re stuck at some level and don’t know how to get further. Of course, today’s video games are somehow easier – you don’t have three lives and get “Game Over” as soon as all three are consumed. But newbies are always looking for guides to help them play better and defeat other people in multiplayer PvP games. If you know a game very well, you can create a website with the written rules or upload tutorials to YouTube. You will obtain money either through ads (when you already have a large audience) or by selling e-books where you teach people how to play.

6. Writing reviews

Old game console

Online reviews are the heart of online marketing these days. When people can’t get information about products or services through word-of-mouth, they look for reviews on the Internet. If you are pretty good at writing and have played many video games, you can make your opinion public and get paid for it. A disadvantage of this method is that you will have to invest time and effort into writing reviews until you manage to break the barrier and enter the community. Once your reviews begin to gain traction, the job becomes easier.

7. Podcasts

Keyboard view

Another method that implies creating content related to video games is podcasting. You will need to create a regular show on gaming, and content ideas include roundtable discussions, interviews of successful gamers, tutorials and tips for certain games, and so on. Monetization is done through ads or subscriptions. If you are passionate about video games, you’ll enjoy making a podcast on the topic. One of the difficulties would be that you need to release new content at the same interval so you meet your audience’s expectations.

8. Taking part to eSport tournaments

Person playing videogame

If you want to do gaming for a living, this is how you will make most of your money – participating in video game competitions at a professional level. These games are called “eSports” – money can be made by winning these competitions and through sponsorships.

What about you – have you ever made money from gaming? Which method do you recommend?

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