Since civilizations took shape, parents have been telling their children to find something they enjoy doing and get paid for it. It’s the basis of an economy and lauded as the core of a fulfilling life.
In spite of some misgivings and warnings from fuddies in the ’80s and ’90s, the ability to make money playing video games continues to grow. Like any industry that makes money, there are ways to get in on that cash.
As a gamer, you know that putting in the work is key to getting the reward. Whether that takes the form of honing skills, learning strategies, or farming the best gear and items, the principle is the same.
Check out this list of ways to get paid to play video games.
Make Money Playing Video Games (with Caution)
This list ranks the difficulty of getting into each avenue, which, as is often the case, also reflects the earning potential of each position.
No matter which path you pursue, remember that learning to save money is always a part of making money. Using capital and resources wisely beats splurge and regret every time.
1. eSports Athlete
As 2019 winds down, projections that the eSports industry will break a billion dollars appear to hold true.
There’s a lot of money in the pot for advertising and revenue from spectacular events, like the upcoming League of Legends World Championship.
Getting a piece of that for yourself takes some dedication, skill, and a bit of luck — but less than in other professional sports leagues.
One of the big advantages of breaking into the world of eSports is that you don’t have to be discovered. Most of the eSports games have a ladder built-in to put the best players toward the top, where they can form teams and get prizes.
Still, if you intend to make money through eSports, you have to take practicing seriously and commit to learning the meta of your given game.
Even if you don’t hit it big by being recruited in a team, its’ possible to win tournaments and contests from the comfort of your home. The purse on some events reaches hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It doesn’t matter if you go through YouTube, Twitch, or an emerging service. Getting into streaming is a tough field.
As a way to get paid to play video games at home, it has a lot of potential. Some streamers rack up six figures or more a year even before the endorsements and side deals come into play.
The difficulty you find is in finding and growing an audience. This takes careful attention to your presentation and image. The wrong word in the wrong stream can be the end of your career.
Streaming also takes a lot of additional skills outside of the game. Some streamers even specialize in bad gameplay, making the stream itself entertaining through personality or gimmicks.
Consider building yourself a careful plan before starting on the streaming path.
3. Quality Testing
Gaming and quality testing are two slightly different jobs. They are, however, jobs. You show up to a building and put in the hours, often getting paid hourly but sometimes with a salary.
Unlike everything else in this ranking, this method of how to get paid to play video games involves a direct exchange. There is no non-game time or additional work that you’re getting paid for.
You aren’t getting paid for your personality or ability; you get money to brute force through the game and complain about the bits that don’t go well or argue about which bits are best. Those elements are essentially perks of gaming, so it’s easy to include them as job duties that are technically gaming.
4. Selling Currency
Different games have different legality attached to what can and cannot be sold. Third-party sites for selling currency, items, and accounts all carry their own risks but are viable options.
If you enjoy ripping your way through the hordes of mobs to get that just-so piece of loot or currency, it’s not impossible to cash in on the effort.
More and more gamers find themselves with less time to play and more money form other jobs. They’re willing to pay for your time to save theirs.
It serves you to get a good grip on the meta of the game and the item effects before you start. Consider watching prices carefully, and don’t fall into the undercutting to sell temptation that hurts your bottom line.
5. Create a Community
A bit different than streaming but also containing video releases, community creation is about building.
This is the last item on the list because it generates currency the slowest and contains the least ratio of gaming to side work.
To build a community, start by gaining as much knowledge as you can in a game. Build and write strategy guides and walkthroughs. Delve into the lore and make some sensible guesses at future developments.
Once you strike on an interest, pursue it. You generate money by monetizing your pages with ads and asking for donations to keep you going.
Many players are more than willing to put up with a few ads to find a secret or puzzle answer they’ve been struggling with. The more niche your community, the more likely someone will want to chip in and appreciate the work you do to keep a particular game interesting for others.
This method of making money playing video games often lays the groundwork for a streaming career.
Put in the Time
These aren’t the only ways to make money playing video games; they’re just the most common with a proven track record. If you don’t feel ready for any of these, find your own path. Several of these methods have only existed for a decade, so there’s time to build your own niche.
In the meantime, you can always learn more about saving through gaming. Check out our FAQ to get a clearer understanding of what Lootfeed does for you.