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How to Make Money Playing Video Games

How to Make Money Playing Video Games
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Are you a winning gamer? We’re not talking gambling, of course, but good old-fashioned ‘develop your skills’ games. If you’re one of the people who always comes out on top when you tackle a computer game, you may just be able to turn your skill into a sum of money. A word of warning: there’s a lot of false info on the money to be made for gaming, so don’t absolutely bank on it!

Sell your characters for bucks

Have you built up a powerful character in one of the big games out there? A World of Warcraft character was once sold for $10,000. Although you’re unlikely to repeat this performance, you could still make a tidy amount if you have a particularly good character to sell. Armory bids and Player Auctions are among the websites that help with advertising and selling characters.

Play someone else up to the level they want to be

You’ll have to visit gaming forums for this, but some people don’t feel like playing a new character through earlier game levels. If you can get them where they want to be, you could get bucks for your efforts!

Become a YouTube Star

Believe it or not, there are people who will watch you play games online. If you get paid advertising, you can make bucks with your monetized channel. However, the competition is tough. You need to keep up a running commentary that helps other players, and it has to be hilarious and interesting before you get the kind of traffic that attracts top advertisers.

That said, people like PewDiePie and MarkiplierGAME are getting millions of hits on their YouTube videos, and PewDiePie has an incredible 16 million subscribers. He makes about $4 million a year from advertising according to Forbes. Do you fancy yourself as an entertainer? You might just become a gaming star and get rich into the bargain.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games

Game competitions have huge money prizes!

Sell game weapons or game money for real money

A lot of games depend on players being able to find good weapons or game money. If you don’t find enough of these items, it can seriously cramp your style as a player.
Many players are willing to buy that awesome magic sword or the extra swag you don’t need, provided there’s an in-game way to transfer the goods.

Talk to fellow-players in-game or on a forum. You might just make some real money from selling imaginary money and imaginary goods. Although Blizzard Entertainment no longer facilitates transactions, you can still swing a deal off-platform.

Write an eBook

If you know all the tips, tricks and cheats that can get someone through an otherwise tricky game, you can share your secrets for cash. Just make sure that the info you’re offering really is valuable enough to be worth paying for, and plan your marketing before you begin.
Yes. It is a bit of a spoiler, but some people don’t like the trial and error approach the rest of use, and will pay for an inside edge.

Be a game tester

It may not be as much of a cool job as you hoped it would be. The pay’s not brilliant, and you’ll have to play a lot of games you might not actually enjoy, looking for ‘bugs’. You also won’t be able to talk about your work to anyone because you sign a non-disclosure agreement. But if you don’t mind hard work for pretty low pay and have lots of patience, you can make a little on the side.

Play free games and win cash

It’s not altogether as easy as it sounds, but if you love gaming, you may as well turn some of the time you spend into money! CashDazzle, Lala Loot and Swagbucks are examples of games that could actually make you a few bucks in real life. GSN Games also offers cash prizes to top players.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games

Amazing gaming arena.

Join a tournament for a cash prize

Are you always a winner? If you’re one of the people who plays games until you’ve become a master, you can enter tournaments with cash prizes. Check out HowCast to find out more about how to turn your passion into pennies – or even big bucks! Houston resident Michael La Belle says he’s won as much as $10,000 from a single tournament.
Tournaments are often organized by the games provider, and once again, World of Warcraft offers lucrative options for super-hot players.

Use your writing skills

Online job platforms often offer writing projects to experienced gamers. You could be scripting the game or even reviewing it online, and you can get paid. It’s not usually a massive amount, but if you’re a passionate gamer, it’s still better than nothing.

How about setting up your own blog site? If you get enough traffic thanks to your entertaining games reviews, you can monetize through advertising, or get people paying you to be a guest blogger on their sites, or even for just inserting links to their sites on your blog.

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How to Make Money Playing Video Games

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

14 Comments

  • I used to play Runescape a lot and I was good at it, and I would build up characters to high levels and earn lots of coins and then sell them. I don’t think it would be a good way of spending my time now, because I can earn more from just doing my job, however when I was younger and at school it was a great way to earn some extra cash. So yes I would certainly recommend that to anyone who enjoys playing games – as it can turn into quite a hobby as well as anything else!

    • I second this. Selling in-game currency is one of the easiest way to earn money through videogames, especially if you have being played these games for a long time already.
      Same goes for in-game tradable items, especially in competitive games (Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2 are the most popular ones). There are full-fledged online marketplaces for that, and, if you’re lucky, you can find items which are worth more than a hundred dollars.

  • A friend of mine makes some money gaming on Steam. The company has marketplace that allows him to buy and sell in-game items as well as achievement cards. The funds from the sales are added to his Steam wallet, and he uses those funds to buy other games which offer in-game items and cards that are selling for a good price on the market. He repeats this process until he has enough saved up in his Steam wallet to buy a game that he wants.

    Since users cannot transfer funds from their Steam wallets to their bank accounts, it is not the best way to earn an income; however, selling items on the marketplace can help you save money on future purchases from Steam.

    • I’ve considered doing this to give me some extra game funds lol. The list the author wrote is awesome and I’ve considered trying to do review videos on youtube for some side money (can never have enough income) but what your friend does would be a good way to make some currency in a place where I’m going to be using it anyway. Would you happen to know how much he can make off each card? I’ve never considered selling them because I never thought it would be enough of an amount to matter lol.

  • Becoming a youtube star is becoming a little harder these days with everyone posting their gaming online. You just have to set yourself apart from the rest and don’t have an annoying voice. I think selling an e-book would be a great thing after you build up your following.

  • I am noticing the game niche is really HUGE on Youtube. I do think it is possible for people to still break through but I had a gaming channel once too and it went well for a while but then interest was lost. I would love to try again though or do Twitch TV.

  • Great tips.

    I would include “make video games tournaments in your town”,already did that and im still making profit through this.
    But we can agree that the real money is running in the youtube nowdays.

  • Those sites like Swagbucks and Perk that ask you to play games are really tough – they start you off on a super-high level, intending for you to fail multiple times. This is because there are ads shown between each try of the game, often lasting longer than the time you spend playing the game. This method is very tedious often for very little reward (perhaps 20c).

    I would much prefer to level-up characters on games in my own time, then sell them on once they are at a certain level.

    One other gaming related task you could get into is console/controller modding/repair. A lot of people want slimmer buttons so they can press faster, or cool decals on their console. Learning to fix old XBOX 360s that overheat can be a nice little earner. You just need a soldering iron and some patience.

  • When we play a game it’s usually as a form of escape and entertainment. If we can take that a step further without losing that then it’s just all the better. I tend to play online games with a group of friends and what we do is play whatever is the latest and greatest together, get our fix, then sell our accounts while the anvil is still hot. Then we move onto another game.

    On some games it’s better to sell currency and/or items instead of your account, Diablo 3 was the best example of this in the past, but not so much any more. With Diablo 3, I easily made over $3000 in the first couple of months.

    Streaming is also a great idea, but it’s hard to be “on” all the time for the audience. If that’s naturally for you then perhaps something like YouTube, as you suggested, may be another option.

  • The world of esports is growing bigger everyday. The fact that games like League of Legends can fill up Madison Square Garden is phenomenal. I am huge into the Super Smash Bros competitive scene, where I have seen major growth in just the past several years. You mentioned playing in a tournament, but you can also earn money commentating a tournament or helping it run. Now these are not jobs that you can just do with no experience, but there are opportunities if you have the passion and work ethic.

  • I love playing video games! I will definitely take a look at those pages, thanks for sharing!
    I also had no idea about this, but now that you think about it, you can actually make some money on e-books sharing video game tricks, I have actually thought about writing an e-book to make some extra money since I’m kind of good at writing histories and some poems.
    What a better way to make some money than spending the time doing something that you like? 🙂

  • I think I need to have my husband read about this. I usually try to get him to not play games, so that we can do other things. A lot of these ideas might give him a reason to play that I won’t object to if it brings in money.

  • Great article irina! I have found a way how gamers can make money online. Video Games Pay My Bills is a straight-forward website providing only the best information on gaming, website hosting, marketing, and social media management to set gamers on the path towards a new career. These guides are complete with step-by-step instructions that are detailed and easy to follow. We put a lot of time into creating only the most helpful guides in the most comprehensive way found online today. Here’s the link if anyone is interested; http://track.fitnessgeek.club/VGPMB

  • Streaming online can also be a big help to gain cash. Anyways, I’m planning to try some of these tips as well. Hopefully, it works! Great post.

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