Top 10 Unexpectedly Plausible Ways To Earn Money by Playing Video Games

Tags: #Steam ,   #GamingLife ,   #videogames ,   #esports ,   #Gaming

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2022-05-25 10:09:45

Gaming is an activity most of us consider a hobby. Yet, there are many benefits you can get from it, besides having fun. Video games improve our reflexes, giving us faster responding times to stimulation. Also, they put us in a situation where quick decision-making is crucial. Finally, video games help us relax. That is unless you play Souls games, in which case you could switch "relaxation" with "frustration." But, what if we pointed out that there are many ways to earn money playing video games? Furthermore, we have the answer to how to make money playing video games at home. While some of these are pretty obvious, others might surprise you. Without further ado, let's see the lucrative side of gaming in our top ten list.

10. Steam Marketplace 

I sell, I buy, I sell again

Becoming a Steam Marketplace seller is basically dealing with online virtual goods. This might not be the most lucrative outlet for making money as a gamer, but it's legitimate. Gamers can actually sell in-game items and make money on the Steam Marketplace.

When selling an item this way, 10% belongs to the game publisher, and 5% will go back to Steam. The process requires a minimum of three cents for each item sold at the market. Participating in the Steam Community market requires an unlimited account protected by Steam guard for at least 15 years.

9. Twitch Donations

Money for gaming

Twitch has become a major platform for gamers. Thus, people can stream their play sessions and communicate with other gamers and audiences. Consequently, they create their own gaming communities. Gamers can earn money by presenting their gameplay sessions and accepting monetary donations.

If popular enough, gamers can earn pretty hefty amounts monthly. Lately, there's been a trend among beautiful "gamer girls" to stream their sessions and get very lucrative with it. However, be aware that none of the money earned on Twitch is tax-free. Therefore, you'll have to report your income to the IRS every tax season.

8. Game Tester

Don't expect an extravaganza

You don't have to be a game designer, developer, or publisher to earn money playing video games in the video game industry. Instead, gamers can become QA (quality assurance) testers in development. Major video game companies use paid game testers. 

Regardless, keep in mind that although you might earn money playing video games, being a game tester isn't a glamorous life. The hourly pay is around $10 - $15, and the job itself can be pretty tedious. If you are eager to become a game tester, don't expect some otherworldly merits.

7. Gaming Journalism

Journos are always wanted

Gaming has become an ever-growing, booming billion-dollar business. Consequently, many video game blogs and websites could use competent reporters who know their ways around video games.

The main articles, and the most sought-after content, are video game news as well-informed sites earn a faithful audience and clicks. Other popular contents are previews and reviews of popular games. Good reviews significantly improve the game's chances of becoming recognized. Overall, all gaming journalism is an excellent option for a gamer.

6. Sponsorships

If you're good at something, don't do it for free

Sponsorships and endorsements are another way for gamers to earn money in both worlds of eSport and streaming. Endorsements and sponsorships are how many gamers pay the bills and fund their lifestyle. These expenses include housing, salaries, and gaming equipment

For gamers, earning a paying sponsor depends on a multitude of factors. Sponsors are looking for interesting personalities with a promising or growing fanbase. They want someone loyal but also entertaining. Not to mention, a funded individual will also have to promote the products in exchange.

5. Patreon

Patrons will show some love with cash

Patreon is a crowdfunding platform created to help content creators achieve sustainable income. Gamers can utilize Patreon to receive pledge money and funding from their viewers, fans, and patrons. Funding can come regularly or for specific works of art or projects.

Using Patreon, a gamer with their own upstart YouTube or Twitch.tv channels can earn money from patrons every month. Patreon users have options to set a monthly maximum of funding. Alternatively, they could receive donations every time they create something. This option offers gamers direct funding for their projects. Consequently, it's one of the best ways how to make money playing video games at home.

4. Twitch.tv Partnership

Make yourself famous and share your revenue

You don't necessarily have to be a competitive pro gamer to earn money playing video games. The gamers who started their own channel on the popular Twitch TV can actually apply to become a Twitch partner. Once that happens, gamers can add a subscription button to their channel, allowing people to follow them.

Gamers will share 50/50 with Twitch on subscriber revenue. Twitch also offers pay through effective cost per 1000 impressions for each video on the channel. Popular gamers have the opportunity to negotiate better cuts with the platform.

3. Game Development

If you like games, try making them

This option seems simple enough. If you like games, technology, and the art of gaming, you might want to take a step further. You might enter the video game industry. The world of video games is a developing multi-billion dollar business. Therefore, it sounds reasonable for any gamer to take part in it. 

The gamers can take their love of gaming and gaming-related creation and make it into a job. If gaming is what they love, there's a career in video game development. That way, they can express creativity and make countless worlds and characters.

2. YouTube Let's Plays

Show your skills in front of people

Gamers now have the opportunity to become YouTube Gaming partners. That way, they can monetize their videos on the most powerful video streaming platform. Here, gamers can earn money through ad revenue. Earnings may vary depending on the type of ads, but it's still a pretty tempting idea.

However, beware of one thing. It's important to remember that Let's Play videos or playthroughs/reviews must include commentary or new footage that'll add instructional or educational value. That's because video game material is copyrighted unless for educational purposes.

1. E-Sports

Think you're better? Prove it!

But what if you want to earn money playing games online? You can always try testing your skills in the professional E-sport arena. Gaming became a professional sport a while ago, and young people worldwide rushed in to show their parents they could actually earn a living that way. Esports is a huge and still growing and expanding area.

Prize pools for Esport competitions are measured in hundreds of millions each year. Thus, the most popular tournaments have multi-million dollar prizes for the winners. If you think you are good enough to compete with the best players in the world, go for it!

As you can see on our top ten list, there are numerous ways to earn money, and we haven't even mentioned blockchain gaming. Depending on your preferences, you can be a journalist, game developer, or professional gamer. With a bit of luck and skill, you may strike a deal that'll make you very pleased. 

Is there any other way to acquire money by gaming? Which one is your favorite?  

Cover photo: Chuck Fortner/Unsplash


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