Do you love playing video games? Do you enjoy making money?
Play video games, post them on social media, and get paid. Pretty awesome, right?
Despite what your 8th-grade English teacher might have told you, you can earn extra cash playing video games. Many people turn their love of Grand Theft Auto, Pokémon, and mobile games into part-time or even full-time income by just being able to play video games.
If you're already gaming, why not take it to the next level, monetize your fun, and help pad your bank account?
Here are several ways you can earn and game at the same time.
How To Make Money Playing Video Games?
Recent years have seen the growth of new avenues for monetizing gaming. There are now far more opportunities to make money from this hobby than you might imagine.
We have pulled together the top 15 ways to make money by playing your favorite video games!
1. Get Paid Directly To Play – Try Mistplay!
Mistplay is an excellent app available on Android that is a great way to monetize playing video games on your phone.
The app provides users with an environment to participate in games in exchange for prizes. Users can join in in-app games to receive gift cards from retailers such as Amazon, Google Play, and even virtual Visa gift cards by earning points.
With Mistplay, you are eligible to receive compensation from the minute you start playing. You can even play with friends and level up your avatar to unlock achievements and earn units faster. They also support user communications and offer a chat feature, encouraging connections amongst participants. Another important note is that users will not pay fees to download, join, or play games in Mistplay.
There are several other options for apps to monetize gameplay, but Mistplay is definitely at the top of our list!
Through Gamehag, you can play free online games to collect Soul Gems and exchange them for rewards. Earn free Robux, Steam Wallet, Prepaid Mastercard, and more!
Play games, complete tasks, and get rewarded.
3. Video Game Coaching
Coaching is an up-and-coming new way to make money in gaming. You can offer to coach your favorite competitive match (such as League of Legends).
Video game coaches can earn between $20 to $200 per hour, depending on their skill level and how many players want their services. For example, Metaphor (a League of Legends coach mentioned in the YouTube section) offers coaching services for $50 to $80 per hour.
Getting started as a coach typically means gaining an audience through a platform like YouTube and offering your services to your audience.
4. Game Tester
A ‘Game Tester' or ‘Beta Tester' is good for people who love trying new games. The biggest difference between a Quality Assurance (QA) tester and these testers is that a QA tester deals with a product that already meets a certain level of quality as desired by the developers.
By contrast, being a game tester involves trying to ‘break' a game, find ways to mess it up, or analyze why it may or may not be fun for users.
5. Become a Professional Gamer
Professional gamers compete worldwide and win millions at events sponsored by the Major League Gaming (MLG) circuit, the International Dota 2 championship, and Intel Extreme Masters. MLG has built arenas to host and stream live professional gaming events across the country. It even has scouts and communities on the internet to find the best-untapped players.
The best advice for going pro is to pick a game you are already good at playing and then become an expert at it. From there, work on building your reputation as both a skilled player and a team player. Then it is time to enter the esports arena!
6. Start a YouTube Channel
We've mentioned YouTubers a lot over the past few months, and that's because the financial gain for gamers in the YouTuber-verse is full of potential.
Through YouTube, you can grow your channel to a level where you can monetize your content. If you haven't already, check out our piece here that gives you the insight you need to become a successful YouTube content creator.
Once you've mastered the steps required to monetize your channel, you can take your content in any direction. Whether you want to stream your gaming, critique others' gaming, or offer tutorials on gaming tips and tricks, YouTube is an excellent platform to address all these subjects.
We recommend using YouTube to further your gaming research, too. If you're looking for in-depth information on monetizing your gaming habits, YouTube has a wealth of content that can provide you with guidance on that topic. Whatever your approach is, starting with YouTube is the way to go.
7. Stream on Twitch
Many gamers stream their online play to turn a profit. Twitch, an online streaming mecca, is the most popular platform for players to earn by streaming.
Monetizing your streaming is made possible through an on-platform feature that is similar to Google Adsense, and you get paid for the number of views you get. Twitch has a monetization structure similar to YouTube. It requires you to build a following and apply for monetization status once you've established yourself as a gamer who can drive traffic to the site.
When you've become a monetized streamer, Twitch will compensate you in various ways. For every subscriber who visits your channel, you will receive $5.00.
You will also have the option to add a Google Adsense-like set-up with your channel. This will enable you to receive monetary compensation for ads on your page. For every 1,000 ad views you receive, you'll earn $3.00.
Amazon Affiliate Links
Twitch allows its users to capitalize on Amazon affiliate links. This means gamers can recommend products and items available on Amazon. They can offer their viewers direct access to the products via an affiliate link.
Every time a product purchase uses the link, the gamer receives payment for creating this connection. It's a passive income generation method for players to advertise items and products they like to anyone who views their channel.
Many successful gamers have found that they can market and receive PayPal donations from loyal fans or sponsors.
You read that right. How gamers do this is by inviting fans to help them continue to game at their current intensity. They ask for money, and people give it so they can keep playing video games.
Part of enabling this commitment is assuring the gamer can financially satisfy their basic living needs. Okay, maybe some of their needs aren't so “basic,” but you get the picture.
Many gamers will receive PayPal donations because viewers want to learn and replicate the tips and tricks the player uses. Donating to a gamer's PayPal account becomes much more reasonable if you consider gaming a performance art.
It beats the thought of giving some cash to your younger brother for playing video games.
Practical Tips To Increase Revenue When Live Streaming
As we mentioned above, thinking of gaming as performance art is the best way to grasp how to achieve the most success. Live stream gamers need to be engaging.
They should have larger-than-life personalities that attract a high volume of views. This goes hand-in-hand with having a voice that is enjoyable to listen to. If a gamer isn't pleasing to listen to or dull, both will turn viewers off.
Another facet of the live streaming puzzle is creating regular content. You'll want viewers to know when to tune in to your streaming. Keeping a regular schedule will help them start watching you on a particular day and time.
Networking is the final piece to the trifecta of tips and tricks of live stream gaming. Interacting with your viewers, fellow live streamers, and sponsors are some of the most effective methods to advance your reputation and bankroll.
Much like business networking, live stream gaming requires an equal, if not more, amount of investment in your relationships.
8. Contact Potential Sponsors
Once you have a following (whether on YouTube, Twitch, or elsewhere), you will likely want to contact sponsors to generate more revenue. This is very similar to how TV producers used to seek out sponsors for programs.
To acquire sponsors, you must first impress them. Make sure your channel expresses a certain style and ethos, one which may also align with your sponsors' goals. You will then want to search for brands you like that might be interested in sponsoring you. Also, consider whether or not you would use their products (this is important since you'll be marketing for that brand!)
The most crucial part is that you present yourself as someone who would be a great fit to sponsor their brand.
9. Provide Game Play Tutorials
Providing gameplay tutorials is a great way to grab new viewers and monetize gameplay. Your YouTube channel or streaming site will earn money with every person that clicks on it. Advertisers pay Google, for instance, to display ads on videos. Google, a division of Alphabet, owns YouTube.
To start, open an AdSense account and link it to your YouTube account. Choose whether you want video or banner ads to display.
It does take more time to make money off the concept of video game tutorials. You need to grow your audience into the thousands to make decent money off this.
10. Compete in Tournaments
While not a consistent source of money (unless you're incredibly talented), winning game tournaments for competitive games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, Fortnite, etc., can net you some serious cash.
One of the world's top esports competitors, Timothy Miller (aka “Bizzle”), earns around $322k per year participating in Fortnite tournaments.
This is probably the most straightforward way to make money playing video games, but it's not a big earner unless you're really good at the game and consistently win.
11. Quality Assurance Tester
Video games are ultimately the result of computer programming. For developers to get the look right and the game to feel realistic as possible, they need outside feedback. So game design companies hire independent people to tell them what works and doesn't.
That's where being a QA tester comes in. The designers and developers need to know how users feel about a new game or upgraded design, not just technical problems. They're not testing the wiring or circuitry, or power supply. Like kids with a new toy, they're trying how much more fun a new or upgraded game is for players than those already on the market.
QA testers don't just play a game to its highest possible level. They play different designs and different builds multiple times until they can find nothing to object to and report if they had fun!
Think of working in QA as being paid to solve multiple puzzles. Any glitch, mistake, or thing wrong in a program must be reproducible, so developers can figure out how to eliminate it.
Much QA work is contract work, but it could still pay between $10 and $15 an hour. That is a pretty good wage for playing video games!
12. Become a Game Developer
Another way to earn as a gamer is to develop the games yourself. Game developers at major companies like Ubisoft or EA earn an average salary of $83,000. However, jobs for major game companies are notoriously stressful and tend to force you to work long hours and holidays.
Alternatively, you can become a solo game developer and make money through game sales and in-game purchases. For example, Minecraft was developed solely by Markus Persson under his company Mojang. Mojang sold to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion.
13. Work as a Video Game Journalist
Another avenue is through journalism. Most video game journalists earn around $26,000 annually, making it one of the lowest-income opportunities on this list.
But if you love games and writing and reporting, this is a great opportunity, and you can earn much more as your skill increases!
To start as a journalist, you'll need a bachelor's degree and some journalistic experience (like a school paper or an internship). An unpaid internship is a great way to get your foot in the door as a video game journalist.
14. Work in Customer Service for a Game Company
Like every other industry, gamers also need customer support. Becoming a customer service rep for a game company is a great way to get paid in the video game industry. The average customer service representative makes $13.64 per hour, with some making up to $20 per hour.
Like Blizzard, some companies even have in-game admins who play the game and deliver support via the in-game chat function.
Getting an internship is one of the best ways to start this career path. Landing this job is more about your customer service skills than your gaming skills. You have to be good with people and have excellent communication skills.
15. Create & Sell Video Game Inspired Merchandise
One of the most remarkable ways to get paid to play is by creating and selling your game-inspired merchandise. Go on Etsy and type “Legend of Zelda” — you get over 16,000 results of t-shirts, figurines, coffee mugs, and more.
If you take this route, it means you're creating a business and the sky's the limit when it comes to how much you can make. Getting to $50,000 yearly is possible with the right product and excellent marketing skills.
You'll need to figure out precisely what type of products you want to sell to get started on this. From there you can figure out what you will need to make those items.
16. Farm In-game Currency
Many Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games have a farmable in-game currency that people who don't feel like earning their time can pay for.
This is probably the most time-consuming and lowest-paying opportunity, next to customer service work. Gold farmers in countries like China do this for a relatively low amount daily. This is not the most popular form of getting that extra cash through gaming, but it is worth noting on this list as an option.
Now that you have an entire list of options go ahead and explore which ones are best for you.
Try not to forget that it will take some time and effort to make substantial money while playing those awesome games.
Consider trying several different outlets at once! For example, you could give both streaming and doing game tutorials a try.
Time to grab your controller and start on your journey toward making money playing your favorite video games!
This post was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.