Are you a big-time gamer? If you’re a fan of gaming, you must have indeed thought at some point how wonderful life would be if you could earn by playing video games.

It really is a thing, and millions of people earn money through the video game industry. Today’s advanced, easily accessible and hyper-realistic technology has led to sophisticated video games with complex mechanics and beautifully-designed graphics.

earn money playing video games
Courtesy: alphr

Video games are big money makers and the gaming industry is expected to top valuations of $300 billion by 2025. With the rise in popularity, modern platforms have started allowing gamers to take up careers as professionals.

Even you can get a slice of that pie if you know what to do, when to do and how to position yourself in the world of video games. You can build an empire right from the comfort of your couch by following your passion and interests dedicatedly.

While a successful career in the gaming industry is possible, there are some caveats as well. It guarantees no security and success, and only the best make a fortune doing it. The role may also not be quite as fun and exciting as it sounds; it rather demands a lot of commitment and hard work.

While success and earnings vary, the truly dedicated have always proved that a career in video games can be a lucrative full-time job. It can also be another fun way to make a little extra cash on the side.

Here’s a list of ways to earn money playing video games. Pick one that suits your talents and start working towards achieving your dreams.

1. Become a professional gamer

If you want to earn money playing video games, then going pro is one of the best ways to go. If you are good at online gaming, and winning matches or fighting till the last is a regular habit of yours, then consider taking part in tournaments.

Participating in ESports is one of the best ways to earn some money while playing video games you love. Professional ESports Tournaments are ample across the world and most competitive online video games have a ranked system or professional league that gamers can compete in to earn money.

Pro Gamer Earn Money Playing Video games
Courtesy: MoneyNation

Pro ESports gamers are now competing at different championships in various levels and winning millions at tournaments sponsored by the Major League Gaming circuit and Intel Extreme Masters. You can also earn money from playing video games by creating your own professional ESports team.

Dota 2 is famous for hosting international tournaments with a prize pool of billions of dollars. ESports is gaining tremendous popularity and these figures speak that the world is finally taking professional gamers seriously.

It’s no easy way to go through; to make your way into big-time gaming, you have to be extremely dedicated to your chosen game and hone the necessary gaming skills to the finest.  You must treat your game like every other professional sportsperson their sport.

You’ll have to commit every possible moment to practice and work hard to level up your account to garner scouts’ attention. However, if you have the right will and skill to succeed, there’s a lucrative career awaiting you.

2. Launch a YouTube channel

Every enthusiast gamer or streamer knows the moniker PewDiePie. But how did Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg took the gaming world by storm? Well, it’s YouTube!

PewDiePie started by simply playing video games and uploading videos of him playing on YouTube. And a star was essentially born. Even Justin Bieber was discovered after the singer uploaded videos of himself performing some songs on the video-sharing platform.

make money playing video game on youtube
Courtesy: GAMERANT

So what’s stopping you from showing off your gaming skills to the world? One of the most straightforward routes for earning money playing video games is to churn out some significant gaming content for your YouTube channel. You can choose to focus on either a single game or multiple titles.

One of the primary ways of making money on the video platform is by increasing your video’s number of views. And to accomplish this goal, you must amass a considerable following that looks forward to your videos with bated breaths.

You can also flourish your career in the gaming industry by producing tutorials on ‘how to play’ video games. Almost all gamers turn to YouTube to seek guidance and direction on a new game.

So if you’re happy playing online games and want to earn money playing video games, creating a YouTube channel is one of the best bets for you.

3. Sign up on Twitch

Twitch is the biggest gaming online platform and it offers you to stream your gameplay in real-time for the world to see. It is a streaming platform subsidiary of Amazon that lets you earn money playing video games through your fans’ support.

Twitch allows you to create your gaming content and also follow fellow gamers in your community. Gamers can also record screen as you play video games and showcase your gaming prowess.

earn money streaming games
Courtesy: Digital Initiative

To earn money playing video games in Twitch, one needs to live stream at least 500 total minutes in 30 days, have seven unique broadcast days in 30 days, have an average of 3 concurrent viewers in 30 days, and also have should have at least 50 followers.

While everything sounds very much within the league, it’s no child’s play. Most subscribers on the platform follow gamers only when their contents are consistently interesting enough or if they are outstanding gamers. But once you’re settled on these fronts, you can start making money.

As your subscriber base grows, big brands may even reach out to you and offer sponsorship in exchange for some screen time on your channel. One of the highest earners on Twitch is Ninja – he earned about $10 million in 2018 alone from sponsors, ads and subscribers.

4. Test video games

If you genuinely enjoy exploring new video games and themes, you will thrive as a video game tester.

Video games are ultimately the end products of computer programming and when ready completed, game developers need outsiders to playtest their games with fresh eyes. It’s crucial to the designers and developers to know how users feel about a new game or an upgraded design. And this is exactly where you earn money playing video games as gaming companies need people to tell them what is good or bad about their game and what works and what doesn’t.

video games testers

Video game testers must look for bugs in the gameplay and any glitches that have negatively impacted a player’s gaming experience. Your role is not just to play a game through to its highest possible level; you also play different designs, different builds and play multiple times until there is nothing for you to object about.

An excellent approach to build your profile as a video game tester is to build your social media presence. When brands notice a considerable following on YouTube or Twitch, they’re immediately more interested in working with you. A strong follower base always helps remarkably in boosting visibility to the target audience.

However, this route to earn money playing video games is no cakewalk. It’s still a job that demands hard work and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll end up playing only the games you love.

5. Design and Develop video games

If you love games, have decent technical and artistic skills and have envisioned a million-dollar concept in mind, you may design and develop your own video game. You can either pitch your idea to significant gaming companies or band together with your IT friends and start working on your dream project.

It’s a perfect time to put up video game companies as investors worldwide feel confident about the gaming industry. It’s booming at an all-time high rate and would most likely continue to do so, in part, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With people locked indoors without much work except binge-watching TV shows and playing their favourite video games, the gaming industry upped their game.

video games developers
Courtesy: The HARD Times

However, this career path demands incredible passion and dedication if you want to survive within the gaming industry. While working for a big video games developing company gives you job security, the pressure of leading the bandwagon can become hard at times.

Further, partnering with an indie studio or starting your own once you get the expertise brings financial security burden. You would require considerable capital as the project would entail hiring illustrators, animators, testers and several other people.

While video games development is surely an exciting and rewarding career, it is an extremely competitive one. You should come armoured for a challenge and give yourself a good reality check before entering the industry.

6. Review video games

If you don’t like to stick to one particular game and have a passion for exploring different video games, reviewing them is one of the best ways to make money.

The sole purpose is to become a credible review source of video games. However, thousands of websites are reviewing games, so your content needs to stand out to pull in the crowd. You can add unique twists to your reviews of video games, or let your ‘born to entertain’ personality shine on video or in writing, which will enhance your chances of succeeding.

video games reviews
Courtesy: steemit

As you build up a follower base and your site’s popularity grows, you eventually start generating income from advertisements. There are many ways to review video games – you can put them up on websites like blogs or video sites like YouTube.

You can even create your blog for this purpose or put up your reviews on popular selling sites like eBay and Amazon.

However, this isn’t a get rich quick way – you’ll have a review hundreds of games and be consistent at it. You’ll have to commit huge amounts of time and effort to grow your online video games review business.

But if you have your aim and goal in place, you have just as much a chance of succeeding as any other mega gaming site floating about the internet.

7. Host a podcast on video games

Podcasts are the new radios. As podcasts continue to rise in favour, people are jumping in head-first and creating new, unique shows. Besides leveraging themselves as industry experts and building an audience, many people are also now successfully using podcasting as an additional revenue stream as they build brands and boost exposure for their business.

how to make money playing video games

And if you love chatting about games and want to earn money playing video games, launching your podcast is your go-to ticket. However, like all online ventures, podcasting demands your full attention. Simply flipping the switch of the mic and talking about games will beget no shower of money.

You have to commit yourself to build a valuable brand, for which you need an adaptable marketing plan and a trendy content strategy. But these are no unachievable feats. Once you have everything in place, podcasting can offer you a pretty good career in gaming while also allowing earning money playing video games.

8. Farming Gold

You can’t get to the top and make a fortune with this practice, but if you enjoy playing video games and play a lot, it can be a way to make some money while you enjoy the gameplay. Farming Gold involves creating a character and levelling it up and raising its skills or collecting in-game money.

And now, there exists a category of gamers who can’t be bothered to spend hours legitimately earning the gold needed to buy level-ups, armoured battle cloaks and pixelated crossbows, so they actually pay money for a high-level character or in-game coins, so they don’t have to level themselves.

make money from video games
Courtesy: HowStuffWorks

The easiest way to do this is to “farm the character” – you create an account, spend a lot of time levelling up the character and going up the ranks, acquiring items and other valuable in-game goods. After reaching a particular stage, you can sell the account to people and make money playing video games.

Not all video games allow this Farming Gold, but there are a few, including RuneScape and Counter Strike, that do.

9. Write on video games

If you have a love for writing apart from your passion for video gaming, becoming a writer for video games seems like the ideal job. After all, writing is one of the best ways to indirectly make money playing video games you love.

Work for a good website as a content developer and you can generate a decent income and get the necessary exposure. You can also choose to freelance with different organizations. With the gaming industry ballooning in size, online searches on game-related information are growing faster than websites can serve it up.

Video games blogs
Courtesy: WhatPixel

There’s a massive demand for talented writers who are also passionate gamers. You can even start your blog from which you can earn money once a strong follower base is built. If you start a gaming blog, it’s essential to be consistent and maintain volume as they’re crucial to the blog’s growth.

You can also cover professional events as a video game journalist. Since ESports has become popular globally, leading news outlets amongst other industries are noticing the industry’s lucrativeness. If you have a knack for writing and like to be out there in the field, you can cover tournaments and other types of events on behalf of your company.

10. Start video game coaching

Yes, video game coaching is a legit money-making path. With the ESports industry seeing tremendous growth and potential, gamers and their families are starting to take professional gaming careers more seriously. And for some, that means hiring a professional video game coach.

There’s nothing unusual about it; if thought from the right perspective, it makes total sense. Having a coach for video games is no different than having a coach when playing football or tennis. There’s a growing market for video game coaches throughout the world and they don’t come free or cheap, especially the highly-skilled coaches.

video games
Courtesy: businesswire

Additionally, you don’t have to be super skilled at playing video games to become a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches who are never as skilled as the players. Yet, these players are coached every day by people who never approached their abilities.

It’s not the coach’s skills of playing video games that help the players; instead, it’s the coach’s ability to observe that drives improvement and success. In any sport, a coach has a keen ability to monitor players’ skills and formulate a plan to address deficiencies and work on them.

And you can do the same as a coach for video games. You can learn to observe players looking to improve their game, spot skill areas that can be improved, and then devise methods and drills to improve their game playing. They are numerous game coaching businesses that have gained success and if you are dedicated to your work, you can do it.