How to Save Money on PC Games

How to Save Money on PC Games
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Adult gamers who have been playing PC games since they were kids might have fond memories of scrimping every penny so that they can buy the latest games. Kids today are lucky because parents have become more lenient in letting them buy these games, and there are many other options for them to source new games from.

Now, if you are a gamer, you know that it takes money and a lot of time to buy and play your favorite PC games. You may not necessarily mind spending a lot of time in front of the computer while playing the latest PC games – but what about the money? If you will purchase every new game that the developers release in the market, you can easily find yourself out of funds in no time.

If you’re still a student, you will find it doubly hard to look for fund resources for your PC games. So what can you do in order to save money when buying PC games? That is exactly what we will find more about here.

The Cost of Buying PC Games

If you think that you are not spending that much on PC games, think again. Take a look at the following price list of the latest PC games released, as rated on popular selling website

  • Assassin’s Creed I & II, $8.99 for disc
  • Battlefield 4, $44.99 for PC download
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts, $20.82 for PC download
  • Dishonored, $8.99 for PC download
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, $18.65 for PC download
  • Fallout 3: Game of the Year, $16.21 for PC download
  • Grand Theft Auto IV, $18.71 for PC download
  • Seduce Me, $16.99 for PC download
  • Tomb Raider, $19.99 for PC download

For gamers who will purchase 50 new PC games per year, the total cost is around $400 or more. If you’re an avid gamer, this price can be doubled or even tripled. Naturally, you would not want to spend so much money on a hobby but you’d still grab the opportunity to play.

How can you create that delicate balance between the two? What are the ways for you to purchase the latest PC games in the market, but without having to burn a hole in your pocket? Find out in the following section:

Top 10 Ways to Save Money on PC Games

Here are the top ten ways for you to save money on PC games:

1. Rent before you buy

The number one thing that you need to remember about PC games is that they are luxuries, not necessities. There is absolutely nothing wrong in buying them if you can afford the price and if you can find good buys. But if you’re willing to go in debt just so that you can buy the latest PC games in the market, that is not good financial management at all.

If you end up not liking the game, you’ll be wasting your hard-earned money. So what are you supposed to do? The number one rule is to rent or even borrow before you buy.

Renting a video game will give you the opportunity to test drive and preview it. If you like it enough to purchase the game, you can probably wait for a few weeks or months for the price to go down before buying.

There are plenty of local video game rental stores where you can get the latest titles from. You can also subscribe to game rental programs where you will be sent the video games to your mailbox, and you can enjoy the games on a temporary basis.

2. Buy used

Think of buying video games like purchasing books. Book lovers adore that new book smell and collect new titles even if they have stacks of books still on their reading list. After they are done reading a book, the copy simply gathers dust in their bookshelves. This is the reason why it’s more practical to buy used books or simply borrow them from the library.

The same thing holds true if there’s a game that you would like to buy. Purchasing used games will significantly lower the price. Some of the places where you can buy used PC games from include video game rental stores, online retailers like Amazon or eBay, and gamers who might be interested in selling their PC games collection.

When buying used, remember that the disc should still be in good working condition and should not have any scratches. Check out the refund policy before buying so you will have that assurance that you can still return the item if it fails to work or be installed on your system.

3. If you really want to get your hands on a new-release PC game, wait for a few months for the price to go down

You already have Battlefield 3 and you can’t wait to play Battlefield 4 which was just recently released. However, you do not have the budget to buy a game that’s more than $40. What can you do instead? If you can, wait for the game to cool in store shelves for a bit.

After a few weeks or months, the price for the new game should go down – especially if a new version is set to be released. Better yet, wait for a fellow gamer to sell his Battlefield 4 PC game to you – or look for used ones online to take advantage of a lower price.

4. Swap PC games with friends, family or co-workers

The good old bartering system still works in the gaming community. If you have friends, relatives or workers who are also avid gamers, you can simply swap the old PC games that you have with ones from their collection. This is a great way to enjoy new PC games without having to spend a dime.

5. Buy games which are on sale

Video gaming rental businesses and online retailers frequently hold sales for PC games. The prices of PC games when they are on sale are naturally lower than what they would be if you bought them brand new. Watch out for these sales so that you can grab the latest game titles at a lower rate.

6. Don’t impulsively buy games – read the reviews first

As mentioned earlier, you will simply be pouring money down the drain by buying PC games which you have not tried out yet. If you don’t want to rent the game, how about at least reading the reviews?

The online reviews would give you an idea about whether a specific title is worth the investment or not. You can even get tips on how you can try out the game for a limited period, so that you can decide if you like it enough to buy it.

7. Save money on games with Steam

If you’re an avid gamer, you are probably familiar with Steam. Developed by Valve Corporation, it’s an online distribution, digital rights management, social networking and multiplayer platform.

The software allows PC gamers to purchase their favorite titles at a discounted rate. Through Steam, you can look forward to sales which are held almost on a weekly basis where you can get low, low prices for PC games.

During special occasions, there are also sales held on Steam including price slash-offs during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the summer season or Halloween.

You can also use the software to search for PC games which are well within your price range. With all these features, PC gamers would definitely be missing out on a lot of saving opportunities if they will not use Steam.

8. Take advantage of game bundles

When you go online, you can stumble upon deals like Humble Bundle where you can pay lower-than-usual rates for indie games. There are also popular titles but what makes the PC games from Humble Bundle such a joy to purchase is that aside from the low prices, the games are also high quality.

9. Purchase PC games through digital distributors

When you’re buying a game from Amazon which is for PC download, the price of packaging and shipping is eliminated so you will be saving a lot of money. The PC download option is made possible because games can be downloaded online on virtually any console. Not only is it cheaper, but you can have quicker access to your favorite games, too.

10. Buy games during holiday sales

Finally, watch out for big discounts on PC games during holiday sales. Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best times for you to take advantage of the lower prices for PC games.

Being an avid gamer does not mean that you should burn a hole in your pocket if you’d like to purchase the latest PC game titles released by developers. With some resourcefulness, you can look for cheaper options to download and play your favorite PC 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.


  • The best way to save money on games is to use Steam, they have constant deals and discounts and you can download them straight to PC.

  • Absolutely, Phil. Steam has amazing sales and deals and bundles all the time. I’d say 90% of the games we buy in our house (we have 4 gamers here!) are steam sales or used games from Gamestop. The other 10% are digital downloads from various sources.

    No reason to pay full price on gaming these days. Especially if you have some patience to wait and not need to play a game on release day 🙂

  • I always tend to wait a few months after the a game has been released just to save me a few bucks and I agree with Phil here, if you really wanted to save a lot of money on PC games go for Steam. When there is a Steam sale you can pretty much buy like an entire series of games for half the price of a single game.

    Also you might want to consider reviews. You don’t want to spend that much money on a bad game. Try and read or watch reviews of the game first that way you can determine whether that game is worth your hard earned money or not.

  • I always wait to buy games until they are available for rent or are used. I don’t see a point in paying full price if I don’t need to. I also don’t buy games without reading some reviews, usually just for peace of mind. If I can I will also try to test out a game at a store beforehand, but that isn’t always a choice.

  • Renting or trading games with friends has pretty much cut the amount I spend on games in half. Some new copies of PS2 games that are over 10 years old can still run upwards of 40 dollars. A used copy of that same game on amazon can be about 5~10 dollars.

    There has been some disturbing news however, developers are trying to put anti-used DRM on their cd’s which “lock” games to a particular console or account. This makes it impossible to use a game once someone else has played it. This hasn’t yet been solidified, but it’s certainly being talked about. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on this topic, and not support any games or consoles that try to use this.

    It makes gaming, which is already a rather expensive hobby, even more prohibitive and difficult to get into.

  • If you buy computer games new from a retail store – you are going to spend money – but there are a lot of great online sources where you can download them either free or really cheap.

  • I think Steam has got to be one of the best ways to save. You won’t have a game disc but a game library attached to whatever you pick for a username. I have got The Sims 3 expansions as low as 15.99. This year they never put them on sale at Christmas time but maybe they will next year. We use to have a Blockbuster also and I bought quite a few used games and movies from there and everything I bought always worked.

  • Most of my games on my PC were bought on Steam and Humble Bundle. Always keep an eye out for Steam Sales. They can really save you a lot. I know I have. There are instances of a game that is given out for free! I got Sniper Elite II for free because of it. Careful though, steam sales can be addicting. You might end up getting games you do not intend to play just because it is on sale.

    For Humble Bundle, wait for the ones with the genre you like. Even if the prices are lower, you do not need to buy every game in a bundle, now do you?

  • Great tips but also I suggest using steam as well. Since they have some promos that will surely help you saved up. Anyways, will take note of this as well. Cheers!

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