9 Different Companies That Pay You To Play Video Games

Is the idea of playing video games while earning money spark your interest? Check out this comprehensive guide on how to get paid to play video games.

Key Takeaways

  • You can earn money playing video games through various platforms and opportunities.
  • The average annual salary for video game players in the US is $56,202.
  • Essential tools include gaming equipment, a stable internet connection, and gaming knowledge.
  • Platforms to explore include Play Game Apps, Axie Infinity, Twitch, YouTube, e-Sports Competitions, Video Game Testing, Game Journalism, Video Game Coaching, and Video Game Development.
  • Several people play video games for fun, but fewer know how to earn cash out of this venture.

    If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place. You can explore different options if you’re interested in making money out of playing video games, and we’ve highlighted nine of them here.

    We’ll teach you how to get paid to play video games and everything you need to get started.

    How to Get Paid to Play Video Games (Overview)

    1. Play Game Apps (Mobile Games)
    2. Axie Infinity (Crypto Gaming)
    3. Twitch (Game Streaming)
    4. YouTube (Game Streaming)
    5. e-Sports Competitions (Professional Gaming)
    6. Video Game Testing (Side Hustle)
    7. Game Journalism (Career)
    8. Video Game Coaching (Profession)
    9. Video Game Developer (Career)

    Can You Get Paid to Play Video Games?

    Yes, you can get paid to play games. You can earn money with video games through several platforms and opportunities. It’s a great option for passive income, although you can also choose to make it a full-time job.

    How Much Can You Make by Playing Video Games?

    According to ZipRecruiter, video game players in the US can expect to earn an average annual salary of $56,202. To simplify, you can make about $27.02 per hour, $1,080 per week, and $4,683 per month.

    However, you can earn more or less than those figures based on your gaming skills.

    What You’ll Need to Get Paid to Play Video Games

    Here are some things you need to earn money as a gamer:

    • Gaming equipment: You’ll need gaming equipment like a gaming chair, headset, mouse, keyboard, computer, etc.
    • Internet connection: Most video games are played online, so you need a stable internet connection.
    • Gaming knowledge: While you don’t need to be an expert to play video games, you still need substantial knowledge to make money out of it.
    • Quick reflexes: A good gamer needs to have quick reflexes and the ability to think on their feet.

    Where to Get Paid to Play Video Games

    1. Play Game Apps (Mobile Games)

    Playing game apps is one of the simplest, easiest, and fastest ways to earn money. You only need your mobile device to get started, making it possible to play anytime.

    Some popular game apps that pay gamers are Mistplay, Solitaire Cash, Blackout Bingo, and Rewarded Play. While Rewarded Play and Mistplay are only available on Android devices, you can also use the others on iOS devices.

    You can get several rewards on these apps, from cash prizes to gift cards.

    Related: Get Paid to Play iOS Games

    What Makes this Option Great

    These game apps require little capital, and you can get more rewards the longer you play.

    They also offer a wide range of games, so you’ll always find something that suits your fancy. Some popular games on these apps include Solitaire, Wheel of Fortune, Mahjong, Wordscapes, Fruit Ninja, Super Mario Run, Pokemon Go, etc.

    How Much Can You Make?

    Some mobile games reward players with gift cards to popular stores. In terms of real money, while you can earn some bucks from some apps, it might not be as substantial as what you’ll get from other gaming ventures.

    For instance, Solitaire Cash gives you $25 for playing at least three games. This is after you’ve made an initial deposit of $5 to play those games.

    With Blackout Bingo, you can earn $60 after winning one game each day for ten days straight. And for Mistplay, the max amount you can get monthly is $50, which depends on how committed you are to gaming.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: Direct deposit or gift cards

    2. Axie Infinity (Crypto Gaming)

    With cryptocurrency and NFTs becoming increasingly popular, it only makes sense that more crypto-based games will be available for video gamers.

    A popular game in this category is Axie Infinity, which allows gamers to raise, battle, and trade NFT pets called Axies.

    These pets or characters become more valuable as you level up, and you can sell or buy them for a cryptocurrency called SLP. And gamers can convert this SLP to Ethereum.

    Axie Infinity also has an in-game virtual currency called Axie Infinity Shards, which can be sold or bought on exchanges like Coinbase.

    Other platforms you can explore for crypto gaming include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and My Crypto Heroes.

    What Makes this Option Great

    Crypto gaming is a safer way of trading NFTs and cryptocurrencies without issues. This method helps to promote blockchain and crypto adoption, and gamers can learn more about this technology as they play the game.

    Crypto gaming is also rewarding for both the developers and the players.

    Developers get to monetize their games, while players can earn cryptos or virtual currency while playing—a mutually beneficial relationship.

    How Much Can You Make?

    With crypto gaming, you win and lose some—a common phenomenon in cryptocurrency.

    Still, for games like Axie Infinity, you can earn about $2,000 per month. An average player on My Crypto Heroes can earn an average of $950.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: Cryptocurrency

    3. Twitch (Game Streaming)

    If you’d like to earn real money from video gaming, then Twitch is one platform you should jump on.

    It’s one of the most popular gaming sites worldwide, and several video gamers rely on it to earn money.

    As long as you’re highly entertaining and are extremely good at a particular game, you should have no issues finding your footing on Twitch.

    However, note that several video gamers are on the platform already, so you must ensure that you create compelling content to attract more followers.

    What Makes this Option Great

    Twitch lets you earn money through several options, including paid subscribers, rolling ads, and receiving bits. As a way to show your support, Twitch bits are purchased and given to a streamer.

    You can also make more money through direct donations, affiliate links, and selling merchandise. And as you get more followers, your revenue increases. In fact, you can end up earning six or seven figures in a year.

    How Much Can You Make?

    Twitch subscription costs $5-$25 monthly, and streamers get about 50% of this subscription. This is $2.50-$12.50 monthly.

    So, based on the number of subscribers you have, you can earn as low as $50 and as much as $1,000 or more each month. This amount increases as you get more subscribers.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: 30-50% of earnings
    • Typical Payment Methods: Twitch Gift Cards, Credit/Debit Cards, Amazon Pay, and PayPal

    4. YouTube (Game Streaming)

    YouTube is another platform to earn extra money while playing video games. There are many avid gamers whose YouTube channels allow subscribers or followers to watch recorded videos or stream live gameplay.

    Besides game streaming, you can provide useful gameplay tips, interesting video game reviews, and tutorials.

    The more followers you get, the more revenue you can generate until you earn substantial money from YouTube.

    You can also earn commissions by making product recommendations and using your affiliate links to get people to make a purchase.

    What Makes this Option Great

    There are different earning options available for video game YouTubers. Some of them include affiliate marketing, viewer donations or support, YouTube ad income, brand sponsorships or partnerships, product merchandise, and sales.

    Typically, video game channels earn between $3 and $5 per thousand views in advertising, and this can become a huge amount of money if you own a popular channel.

    How Much Can You Make?

    YouTubers make an average of $18 on every 1,000 views. According to Finance Buzz, YouTubers in the US can earn about $1,154 weekly and $4,616 monthly. Of course, this depends on how many subscribers you have.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: 45% of earnings
    • Typical Payment Methods: Credit card

    5. e-Sports Competitions (Professional Gaming)

    e-Sports or electronic sports competition has become increasingly popular over the years, with many gamers earning cash prizes by playing video game tournaments.

    This option involves professional players competing against one another, either individually or as team members, in a multiplayer contest.

    Due to its popularity, and the fact that more gamers want their favorite games to feature in these competitions, gaming companies have started launching competitions to showcase their games and raise funds for these events.

    Most of the games available in e-Sport competitions are multiplayer online battle arenas, first-person shooters, real-time strategy, sports, and battle royales.

    Some of the popular games in these categories include League of Legends, Street Fighter, Counter-Strike, StarCraft, etc.

    Related: How to Make Money With a Laptop

    What Makes this Option Great

    As a professional gamer, you don’t need any special qualifications to play. And you can earn as much as you want, based on your skill level, although this means you need to be one of the best in the game or be a team member that participates in online tournaments regularly.

    You can also choose to participate in casual competitions if you’re not experienced enough to play competitive e-Sports levels.

    How Much Can You Make?

    Professional e-Sports competitors can make anything between $12,000 and $187,200 yearly, minus bonuses and extra sponsorships. The average earning is $60,000.

    Certain gamers can earn as much as millions of dollars per year.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: N/A

    6. Video Game Testing (Side Hustle)

    Before video game companies release a game, they usually take it through play testing, and this is where you come in.

    Your main objective would be to play these games and provide feedback that the developers can implement. This means you need to be quite knowledgeable about how video games should work and look.

    You can also get hired as a Quality Assurance tester to detect bugs and other issues with the game before it finally gets released to the public.

    What Makes this Option Great

    This option is great for people who enjoy playing new games and providing input that might affect how the public views and receives the game. Your feedback will help the game developers improve the game to increase gameplay.

    How Much Can You Make?

    Video game testers can expect to earn $30,000-$85,000 annually. Your academic qualification can also determine how well you’ll be paid.  

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: N/A

    7. Game Journalism (Career)

    If you’ve got excellent writing skills, you can become a video game journalist and write about different things in the gaming industry.

    Your job will cover main areas like writing game reviews, covering game industry events, interviewing people in the video game industry, and reporting gaming news.

    Besides having good writing skills, you may also need a degree in journalism or other related courses for this kind of job. However, what’s more important is your writing ability.

    Most video game journalists start by creating a blog to build a portfolio and gain experience before contacting editors. You can even monetize this blog through affiliate marketing and ads.

    What Makes this Option Great

    Game journalism allows you to explore your writing abilities and make money in the process.

    And if you have a blog, you may not limit yourself to writing about video games alone. You can also blog on other topics and make money out of it.

    Writing different gaming articles is a great way to learn new things in the gaming industry.

    How Much Can You Make?

    Game journalists earn about $26,000 per annum, so it’s one of the least-paying opportunities for a video gamer.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: N/A

    8. Video Game Coaching (Profession)

    People who have a deep passion and understanding of certain games can choose to be a coach instead. This involves instructing other gamers via screen-sharing walkthroughs, group classes, and tutorials. In turn, you get paid.

    Other services you may render include observing live play, reviewing game replays and providing insights, and offering practice drills.

    What Makes this Option Great

    As a video game coach, you can offer your services to any gamer (beginners and experts) based on your level of expertise. The more experienced you are, the more you can charge.

    Plus, if you register on platforms like Fiverr or Gamer Sensei, you can set your own rate per hour. Most game coaches charge $20-$200 per hour, based on game popularity and your skill level.

    You can also earn more if you take more group classes.

    How Much Can You Make?

    In the United States, video game coaches can earn an average annual pay of $43,411. As a breakdown, this amounts to approximately $2.87 per hour, $834 per week, and $3,617 monthly.

    However, you can make as low as $18,500 and as much as $112,000 based on several factors.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: N/A

    9. Video Game Developer (Career)

    Beyond playing games for money, you can go behind the scenes and become a video game developer. For example, you can create a popular game and make it available for download on the App Store.

    Doing this means you’re entitled to a 70% royalty on in-app game purchases on the app or the sales of the app itself. The more popular your game becomes, the more money you’ll make.

    Similarly, you can work with other developers in different game companies to transform game ideas into actual games for people.

    What Makes this Option Great

    Working as a video game developer is a lucrative career option. This is an in-demand skill, so you won’t have to be without a job for long.

    How Much Can You Make?

    People who choose this career path can expect to earn anything from $40,500 to $69,000. But it all depends on your experience level.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: N/A
    • Typical Payment Methods: N/A

    Why You Should Consider Playing Video Games As a Side Hustle

    These are some reasons you should consider playing video games as a side hustle:

    • To earn extra money: Whether you already have a full-time job or nothing to do, you can always play video games for extra cash.
    • Helps to boost the gaming community: Some online games require you to connect with other games, either as competitors or collaborators. This will encourage a more social gaming community.
    • Make money out of a hobby: If you’re an avid gamer, it’s even more profitable to play video games for money. Earning while doing what you love sounds like a dream come true.
    • You can work from anywhere: As long as you have all your gaming equipment and a good Internet connection, you can choose to game whenever and wherever you wish.

    Problems With Playing Video Games for Money

    Although it’s great to play video games for money, these are some problems you may encounter along the way:

    • It can become addicting: Playing games for hours can become addicting, and you may soon find out that you aren’t doing much of anything else.
    • Some games are built for earning, not fun: Since the goal is for the gamer to make money, most video game developers design these games to be more challenging than they should be. This can take the fun out of the gaming process.
    • Can be quite expensive: Some games take as much from you as you get from them. For instance, you might be required to purchase some items in the game, which can be quite expensive.
    • You may lose money: While the goal is to make money, it might take a while to earn as much as you’ve invested to gain access to the game. It can take weeks and even months to earn enough to make up for your initial investments.

    How to Get Paid to Play Video Games: Step-By-Step Instructions

    You can follow these steps to start getting paid to play video games:

    Step 1: Invest in Good Gaming Equipment

    Your gaming equipment goes a long way in determining how successful you’ll be in the gaming industry. This is why you have to ensure you get the best gear. Some of them are gaming chairs, consoles, computers, headsets, etc.

    Investing in high-quality gaming equipment will make you feel more comfortable, give you an edge over competitors, help you focus, and give you a more enjoyable gaming experience.

    Step 2: Choose a Niche in the Gaming Industry

    Since many video game types are out there, you may be tempted to engage in as many as you want.

    Still, focusing on one competition is the first step to becoming a pro. It streamlines your focus and makes it easier to practice and develop the necessary skill set to become an expert.

    Consider the different game types available and choose a niche.

    Step 3: Find a Platform

    The next step is finding a platform to play and get paid. For instance, if you want to be a video streamer, you can register on YouTube or Twitch.

    Mistplay would be a great option for people who want to play video games on mobile gaming apps.

    Step 4: Play/Work and Earn

    Once you’ve found the right niche and platform, you can start playing or working for money.

    Things to Consider When Playing Video Games for Money

    Before starting out in this industry, you should consider the following factors:

    1. Gaming Equipment Can Be Quite Expensive

    While getting good gaming gear is important, you might need to make a huge financial commitment. Plus, it may take a while to begin earning enough to cover up for the initial investment you made in starting your gaming career.

    You don’t have to go out of your way to purchase every high-tech gadget you find, as there are less expensive alternatives on the market. However, gaming tools are generally expensive, so even cheaper ones might cost you some money.

    2. Be Active in the Gaming Community

    If you want to succeed as a professional gamer, you must be an active gaming community member. This is because many gaming tournaments are team affairs, so being a part of a team is highly beneficial.

    Being an active gaming community member can help you become a skilled player, understand competitions, and make important connections.

    3. Practice Often

    Practice makes perfect, and that’s how it works in the video game field. Studying and practicing your playing is a surefire way to improve your skills and become a professional gamer in no time.

    You can do this by practicing certain techniques and strategies you need to win and researching new strategies you can deploy while playing.

    And it helps to watch expert players and even your game replays to detect ways to improve your plays.

    4. Build Your Experience

    It’s tempting to start with a bang, but like most careers, you should begin with smaller competitions and work your way to the top. This will help build your experience and prepare you for more complicated games.

    You can excel in higher competitions as you become familiar with the intricacies of video games and e-sports. Becoming a pro in smaller events can make it easier for teams to welcome you into their fold.

    5. Pay Attention to Yourself

    Gaming requires minimal body movement, and the long hours of engaging in this activity can wear you out in the long run. This can make you lose your steam and affect your games.

    To avoid that, you should focus on your physical health by exercising and stretching to feel better.

    You should also take care of your mental and social health. Doing all these will come together to make you a better gamer.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where Can I Work As a Game Journalist?

    Game journalists are primarily freelancers who can render their services to news organizations or create their own websites.

    How Soon Can I Start Earning As a Video Game Player?

    Video gaming isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It might take a few weeks, and even months, to start making enough money as a professional gamer.

    Similar Ways to Get Paid

    If you’re considering other means to make money, here are other options for you:

    • Read Books Aloud: If you’re an avid reader, you should check out this site to learn how to earn money by reading.
    • Watch YouTube Videos: You don’t have to watch YouTube videos for free. Check out how to make real money out of this venture.
    • Get Paid to Type: You can also earn money by typing. Check out this tutorial to find out how.

    Wrapping Up

    Many video game jobs can earn you some real money. You can always find something suitable in the video game industry based on your skill level and interest.

    Do you think this is a rewarding venture? Let’s know in the comments!

    And you can also share this article with video game enthusiasts interested in making money while playing.

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