How to make money gaming
If you spend hours playing video games and wonder if you could make a bit of money from shooting aliens or building a farm, you're in luck, because there are lots of ways to make a living out of gaming, or make a few extra quid if you're not quite ready to go pro.
So dust off your PC, start making friends online, and watch the cash roll in.
The most popular way of making money by gaming is Twitch, ‘the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers’. With over 1.7 million broadcasters and 100 million community members, it makes sense to see it as a realistic source of income. The average Twitch user watches 106 minutes of video streaming a day!
If you have a decent PC, Mac or gaming system, webcam, and a Paypal account, you can sign up to a free Twitch account and get going. Stream what you do live, and get yourself a fanbase.
If you want to make actual money, you’re going to need to be a Twitch partner and prove that your viewership is big enough to financially benefit both you and the platform. Then, you’re going to need to play three to four ad commercials per hour of broadcast to start generating ad revenue.
If people like what they see, they’ll subscribe to your channel for about $5 a month which will go to you and Twitch. You’re able to control what ads are broadcast through the dashboard on your account. Twitch prefers partners with an average of 500 views per broadcast and a regular schedule of streamed content totalling three days a week.
Ad revenue payouts occur when a member has accumulated a balance of $100 or more. Money is issued as a check in US dollars or paid via PayPal. The amount of money you earn has everything to do with how much traffic your channel generates. On average, you make $2.50 per Twitch subscriber per month.
If you want to become famous in the community while bagging some serious and legitimate cash, then eSports are the way forward. The prize pools are massive and it’s open to everyone, you just have to beat everyone else (which to be honest, is easier said than done).
With that in mind, you need to play and play a lot. You will need to know your game inside out and even just to have a shot at the prize money. That’s a lot of unpaid hours just to have a chance at it, so eSports is unlikely to pay your household bills unless you can get sponsored.
It goes without saying that very few gamers make money at tournaments, and the professional gamers that do make it this far are dedicated and talented.
However, the spoils are huge. Big players earns millions of pounds and are celebrities in their own right - plus it's only going to get bigger!
If you’re one of those gamers who need to get your hands on the new game before anyone else, the idea of being an actual games tester is incredible appealing. The truth is, as fun as it sounds, there isn’t a huge amount of money in it and you’ll probably have to spend a long time playing games you don’t actually like.
Game testing is where large video game companies employ video game testers who test games in development and report any problems or glitches they discover.
A lot of games testers in the industry do it as a way to make money while studying at university (which then puts them in good stead if they want a career in the games industry after graduating).
To be a decent games tester you need to have a good attention span, and not get bored of a game even if you’ve played hundreds of hours of it. You’ll need to be detail-orientated to spot bugs, and describe the precise steps to the development team to help them find and fix the bugs.
Keep looking at job board postings at major development companies like EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo and any other company that makes games you like. Also check out sites such as gamesrecruit.co.uk, datascope.co.uk, bubblejobs.co.uk and gamestester.com. The downside of QA testing is that you’ll almost certainly have to live near the studio to be a QA tester.
It’s not particularly easy to get into the walkthrough industry because the market is pretty saturated, although if you love gaming, and are funny (you do have to talk the whole way through it)- why not give it a go!
So you just play a game, record your gameplay, record a comment and upload the whole thing to YouTube. You enable monetise on your video and start earning money through YouTube’s Google Adsense ads displayed on your video. Each time someone clicks on an ad, you get paid a small amount.
It you really want to make money, you’re going to have to build yourself a solid subscriber base on YouTube. For a long time, you’ll be uploading videos while getting hardly any views. The more you upload, the more people will subscribe and the more money you’ll earn. It will take a long time though.
Farm items & gold
If you’re the kind of gamer who is into multiplayer online RPG like World of Warcraft (WOW), you can sell gold in-game. Selling virtual gold can make you real cash.
Virtual worlds have become so popular and financially lucrative that there is even a factory in China that hires young people to play online games like World of Warcraft and Lineage, 24 hours a day! In these games, you can create a virtual identity and interact with thousands of other players from around the world.
World of Warcraft is the biggie, and the game's official currency is gold. That currency has led to other forms of virtual currencies where hundreds of virtual businesses have opened up to buy and sell all kinds of virtual commodities.
In WOW you can't buy gold with virtual money, it has to be actual real life money. This business is so profitable and popular that there are even WOW gold making add-ons and dedicated forums for people to discuss strategies and gold farming techniques.
If building up characters is a large part of the game, kitting them out in the end game gear takes time, effort and skill.
If you get bored of the game, or want to make some cash, you can just sell your character.
Depending on the game, this is likely to be forbidden by the game's terms, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still do it on the sly.
Places such as player auctions allow you to offload your account for a profit. HOWEVER, don’t be dismayed if it you only get a paltry fee... People only pay for the best of the best when they're gaming the system.
Share your knowledge
If you’re an expert at a game, there are people out there who will pay for your knowledge. You can make money writing an eBook, and put it on Amazon to turn that knowledge into cold hard CASH.
Check out our 100 ways to make money guide for more money making ideas