Playing games is a fun and at times challenging way to spend our spare time. But wouldn’t it be great if you can also earn money while you are at it? We are here to answer the question, can you really make money playing games?
The short answer is yes. There are many ways you can earn make money with gaming, but it is not always about companies giving away money when you win.
Read on to learn how you can earn money with video or online games and what gaming-related careers you can pursue.
This is the most straightforward way of making money through games. You play an app or online game and you get reward points that you can exchange for cash, cryptocurrency or gift cards.
So how is it possible for the companies that own these apps able to pay the players? Aside from the games that you have to play, you might also need to watch some ads or answer surveys in between. That’s how they get their money and they share a part of their revenue with the players.
So, are these play-to-earn games worthwhile? When it comes to earning money via these games, it is important to set your expectations. Playing such games will not make you tons of money. It is also most likely that you have to reach a threshold before you can get the prizes that you won.
If you just like playing games in your spare time and don’t mind watching ads, then play-to-earn games are not that bad. Just don’t expect to earn a lot from doing it.
Create a Gaming News Website
Another way to earn money with your love for gaming is by creating a gaming news website. Once you have a significant following, you can earn via advertisements, sponsorships or affiliates.
Where would you get the news for your website? You can follow the official social media accounts of gaming companies and sign up for their newsletters to keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the gaming industry.
What do you need to start your own website? To build a website, you need a hosting provider like Bluehost, Dream Host, etc. You also need to use a content management system like WordPress. Some companies offer both hosting services and CMS.
If you are just starting out, you can use the basic and more affordable plans and upgrade later.
Create A Handheld Gaming Website
This one works like the above except that the focus of your news website is portable gaming consoles. You can talk about the devices themselves and the latest game titles available for these handhelds.
One way you can earn money with games is by making game reviews. You can put out your reviews via blogs or vlogs and earn money via advertisers on your website or channel.
It is important to know that reviewing games will not make you money right away. You need to invest time in growing your channel or website and you need to be consistent in putting out your reviews.
Set Up a Twitch Streaming Account
If you are really good at playing video games, you may want to consider streaming. Twitch is a good streaming platform where you can earn in various ways.
If you are a beginner, you can ask for direct donations from your followers. You can add a donate button to your Twitch page through PayPal. Another option is Stream Labs. Note that these are third-party services not connected to Twitch.
If you have merch to sell, you can use the Twitch platform to promote your products. You do have to set up your store through a third-party company.
You can also earn money through affiliate programs (this is different from the Twitch Affiliate Program discussed below). For instance, you can mention products during your Stream and provide affiliate links for the products. You will earn a small commission for every sale using the affiliate links.
If you meet certain criteria, you will be invited to join the Twitch Affiliate program or Partner Program which will open up more income streams.
The Twitch Affiliate program
If you meet the following criteria, you will be eligible to join the Twitch Affiliate program.
- At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the past 30 days
- At least seven unique broadcast days in the past 30 days
- An average of three concurrent viewers or more over the past 30 days
- At least 50 followers
Once you get accepted, you can start offering subscription tiers to your fans. You split the subscription earnings with Twitch.
You can also start accepting “Twitch Bits”- a virtual currency that viewers send to streamers to support them. Each bit is equivalent to 1 cent.
The Twitch Partnership Program
The Twitch Partnership Program is a level up from the Twitch Affiliate. Only those with a significant following get invited to this program.
If you become a Twitch partner, you get all the perks an affiliate has plus you earn a share of the revenue generated from any ads played on your channel. Partners will be considered for special promotional opportunities such as Partner Spotlights, Meet & Greets, Partner Panels, Streamer Zones, and more.
Other Ways to Earn on Twitch
Once you have gained a lot of followers and established yourself on Twitch, more opportunities for meaning could open up for you like brand sponsorships and partnerships.
Be A Gaming Creator at Patreon
Patreon is a membership-based creators platform. Creators create content–whether music, videos, comics, artworks, novelists and more and the “patrons” support them.
The content produced by creators and other perks can be accessed by the patrons who subscribe to the Patreon page of the creator.
What’s great about Patreon is that the creator can set the subscription tiers for their fans and determine what kind of benefits the fans receive based on the tier. The minimum tier is $1. The patrons pay the membership fee every month.
As a gaming creator on Patreon, you can either stream your games, produce gaming-related videos or podcasts, or create your own games or mods.
Become a YouTube Gaming Content Creator
A lot of gamers have made money by creating content for YouTube. There are different kinds of content that you can create for YouTube such as gaming reviews, gaming tutorials, gaming news, let’s play videos, live stream gaming and more. You have the option to focus on a gaming niche such as handheld gaming, retro gaming, PC gaming, console gaming, or a gaming genre.
Like in Twitch, YouTubers can earn in various ways. When you meet certain criteria, you can be eligible for different ways you can monetize your channel. The most popular way is to run ads and get a share of the ad revenue. You can also earn via channel memberships or selling merch on YouTube. You can also get a share from YouTube Premium subscribers’ subscription fee when they watch your content.
Other features on YouTube that can help you make money are the Super Chat, Super Stickers and Super Thanks. Fans pay to get their messages (Super Chat) or animated images (Super Stickers) highlighted in chat streams, and messages highlighted in the video’s comment section (Super Thanks).
Aside from making money within the YouTube platform, there are other ways to make money with your gaming channel. You can be an affiliate for Amazon or other companies, and you get a commission for every sale made through your affiliate links. You can also get brand sponsorships if you have a significant following.
Create Video Games Tutorials
There are many people who are just new to a particular game and would want to learn the tips and tricks to win and enjoy the game.
If you have expertise in several games, then you can create video game tutorials on YouTube. Like the method mentioned above, making money this way will take some time and you need to invest a lot of time and effort to grow your channel.
Do Game Podcasts
If you like talking about games and you feel that you can keep your listeners engaged, you might have a future as a video game podcaster.
Podcasters earn money through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and memberships. They can also use their podcasts to promote their merch, courses, and courses.
Decide where you will host and distribute your podcasts. A hosting site is where you store your podcast files online. Examples of podcast hosting are Anchor, Podbean, and Buzzsprout. A podcast distributor is where your listeners access your podcasts such as Spotify, Stitcher, Player FM, and Pocket Casts.
Write Gaming EBooks
Another way of earning money with your gaming expertise is by writing ebooks about gaming tips and walkthroughs. You can publish them on self-publishing platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Google Play Books or Smashwords.
You don’t have to pay anything to these self-publishing platforms upfront, but they get a cut of your sales. Also, you might need to spend money hiring a proofreader, book cover designer, and layout artist. If you don’t have enough budget, you can also use layout and cover templates for ebooks instead of hiring a designer. But it is best to have someone else proofread for you to read your work with fresh eyes.
Selling ebooks from your own website is also an option. You might need to spend more upfront since you need to set up your own website. You also have to pay transaction fees. However, it is possible to earn more by selling ebooks from your own website. Amazon’s commission can go as high as 65% when you publish through their self-publishing platform.
Write Fiction EBooks Based on Your Favorite Games
If you are a creative and imaginative type, you can also write stories based on your favorite games. The video game-based novels genre has a significant following. Like with gaming ebooks, you can also use self-publishing platforms or sell your fiction books on your own website.
Sell Game-Related Items
Sell Used Games or consoles on eBay
Some people want to let go of their old games while others are fond of collecting them. Take advantage of this situation and make money by buying and selling used games and game consoles. You don’t need a physical store for this. You can sell them on eBay or other online marketplaces.
Build PC Gaming Systems
If you are a PC hardware geek, you can make serious bucks building gaming PCs. You can buy new or second-hand PC parts and assemble ultimate gaming PCs. You can start by building gaming PCs for your friends. Later on, you can advertise your business via social media or online marketplaces.
Build Retro Gaming Systems
Some people who grew up in the 80s and 90s love to play retro games. If you like tinkering and building new from old, you might want to build retro gaming systems to cater to the 90s kids.
Build and Run Gaming Servers
You can set up your own dedicated gaming servers and charge players to play on them. Just be aware that you need to invest a significant amount of money and time in this but you can potentially earn much too.
Make and Sell Custom Gaming Hardware
If you love building PC rigs or modding a gaming console, you’d be glad to know that there is a market for custom gaming hardware. Customizations can be as little as switching a few buttons here and there, repainting, or a total overhaul.
Join Gaming Leagues and Tournaments
If you have mastered a certain game and are confident that you can beat anyone who challenges you, you might as well get money for all the hours that you spend gaming. Watch out for professional tournaments and find out what it takes to become a participant.
Gold farming is the act of collecting in-game currency in an MMORPG with the intent of selling them for real money. Gold farming usually involves repetitive tasks so just be aware that it can get monotonous at times.
Sell Rare In-Game Items
Like in gold farming, you need to spend some time to earn rare in-game items which can be sold for real cash.
Achievement hunting is another way you can make money. Other people will pay you to earn achievements for their character.
Sell Your Leveled-Up Characters
Believe it or not, some people are willing to pay someone else to level up their character in the game. These people may be bored for the first few levels of the game or don’t have time to start from the beginning and want some action. If you are great in a certain game and you don’t mind doing this for other people, then this is a legitimate way to make some money.
Become an Esports Commentator
If competing in eSports is not for you, but you do enjoy watching and giving your take on the game, then you can try to become an eSports commentator. You can start by practicing commentating on your own or your friend’s gameplay and uploading it on YouTube. Once you have a portfolio, start offering to commentate on small tournaments.
Video Game Coach
If you have enough gaming experience and you think you have coaching skills, you can pursue a career in video game coaching. You can sign up in a gaming coach platform such as gamer sensei to start. Once you build a name for yourself, you can find direct clients yourself.
Run Gaming Tournaments
If you have a passion for gaming and organizing events, you can combine both passions and run gaming tournaments.
Create a Discord Server
Discord is a chat app that is popular among gamers. It allows for voice and video chatting.
Like with other platforms discussed above, there are many ways you can make money with discord. You can sell products and services as Discord also allows you to set up a store. You can offer premium services. You can make a paid membership server too. Affiliate marketing also works in this platform.
Modding Video Games
If you have a passion for modding, it is also possible to earn money doing it. Most modders create a Patreon page or ask for donations to support their work. Some modders who have created popular mods eventually get hired by a developer company.
Freelance Game Content Writer
Do love writing you don’t have the time to manage your own website? If are just looking for a side gig, you can find a job as a freelance game content writer. How much you earn will depend on how much job you accept and the niche that you are writing for.
Become an Indie Game Developer
If you have a knack for programming, you can create your own games and sell them on different channels like Steam, Good Old Games and Itch.io. For mobile games, you can sell them to Google Play and the Apple App Store.
You also have the option to sell your games on your own website. And as mentioned above, you can create a Patreon page where you can provide updates to your followers and give away some perks in exchange for their support.
Become a Freelance Game Tester
Do you want to try out new games and get paid to play them? You can be a freelance game tester. Many independent game developers need someone to test their games before they release them to the market. A game tester can help in finding bugs and provide feedback about the game. This gives the developer a chance to fix the bugs and improve the game.
Voice Over Artist
If you think you can make a good narrator for a videogame, you can consider a Voice Over Artist job. You can find freelance voice-over artist jobs on freelancing sites. You can also be an in-house voice artist if you want a regular job.
Do you like both gaming and music? If you are into composing music, you can be a video game composer. The soundtrack is a very important aspect of a video game as it enhances the gameplay. To start a career as a video game composer, you should not only be good in music, but you must also be familiar with video games.
Game Community Moderator
Game community moderators monitor discussion boards and ensure that the rules are followed so that everyone will have a productive experience within the community.
Story Board Artist
Creating story boards is part of the process of creating role playing video games. Story board artists help visualize the scenes for the game. If you love drawing, this a possible career for you.
Foley artists are needed to create sound effects for video games. The work is much like what they do in movies.
Video Game QA Tester
This is different from the ordinary video game testers as QA testers focus more on the technical aspect of the game to make the user experience better. So aside from playing games and general feedback, they also need to write bug reports and report crashes.
Customer Support for Video Games
Customer support is an essential aspect of any product or service, including video games. This is a good career if you have excellent communication skills.
If you have technical know in bringing characters and objects to life, then you can pursue a career in gaming animation.
To make animation more realistic, gaming companies hire Motion Capture (MoCap) actors to portray realistic facial and body movements to be picked up by the animators. You’ll be an “actor” except that you will have dots placed around your face and you need to wear a special suit. Having skills in sword fighting, gymnastics, and hand-to-hand fighting is a plus.
As a PR Professional, your job is to create a hype around a game by writing press releases, organizing events, or connecting with influencers.
So there you have it: 40 ways you can turn your love for gaming into a career or a way to make money. You have so many options but you have to remember that none of them can make you rich quick. You need to be dedicated and spend a lot of time and effort to be successful.