You can make money playing video games, but the truth is, you can! But it’s hard work.
Many who go this route will give up within a few years because the work aspect kills the fun of playing video games. Instead of doing what they love, they end up hating what they once loved. And, it’s risky: for every success story, there are hundreds of others who tried and failed.
It’s not something I’d recommend unless you are young, single, and willing to commit several years knowing that it may all be for nothing. But it’s certainly possible! Here are several potential ways you can start earning money by playing video games.
1. Get Paid to Live Stream
Stream your gameplay in real-time for the world to see. Aim to build a large audience (which you can monetize with ads) or a loyal audience (which you can monetize with donations and subscriptions). The biggest platform right now is Twitch, but YouTube Gaming is also an option.
2. Try Your Hand at Games Journalism
Either join an existing site or launch your own and start writing news, reviews, and interviews for a specific game, genre, or industry. If writing for an existing site, you can get paid on a per-article basis as a freelancer. If starting your own site, you can monetize your traffic with ads or Patreon subscriptions.
3. Create Guides and Tutorials
Newbies love reading guides, especially for multiplayer player-versus-player (PvP) games. You can either create a website for written guides, upload video guides to YouTube, or publish guides as ebooks. The first two are often monetized with ads, whereas the ebook route earns revenue through sales.
4. Host a Podcast or YouTube Channel
Create a daily, weekly, or monthly show related to gaming. It could be an opinion-based roundtable discussion, a series of interviews with high-profile players, tips and tricks for a specific game, etc. Podcasts and YouTube videos can be monetized with ads, but this format can also be supported through Patreon subscriptions.
5. Win Tournaments and Acquire Sponsorships
Tournaments are commonplace for PvP games, and the more popular the game, the larger the prize pools become. If you’re skilled enough to join an esports organization, you may be able to earn a livable salary through winnings and sponsorships. Most competitive gamers also take advantage of Live Streams (#1) for additional income.
6. Get Paid to Test Games
Games go through various phases of development. Near completion, developers need outsiders to playtest their games with fresh eyes. As a playtester, your job is to test everything the developer wants you to test, which includes finding and documenting bugs