What’s up, fellow gamers? You’re here because you love to game and are wondering how to monetize that. Luckily, there are so many ways to make money playing video games.
Today, I’m going to show you how to get paid to play video games—in 21 different ways!
We’ve compiled an extensive list of the best sites, side gigs, and full-time jobs where you get paid to play video games at home. In 2021, there’s always going to be a demand for entertainment in the form of gaming. In fact, live streams and YouTube gaming channels have become some of the most popular types of content on their respective platforms.
A few years ago, getting paid to play video games might have seemed like a crazy idea. We knew that YouTube channels like PewDiePie, Markiplier, and more had gained massive followings, but the same success seemed unattainable to the average gamer. Nowadays, with the boom of social media, streaming sites, and cross-platform play, video game content has become super in-demand.
To give you some context, here’s how much the gaming industry has grown over the last few years:
According to Statista, the gaming industry’s overall value has almost doubled since 2012. Back then, it was worth just over $31 billion, and in 2020 it was worth over $60 billion. That’s astronomical! Revenues from consumer spending on games have been projected to reach almost $160 billion this year, which could mean great news for you if you decide to partake. With all this money flying around, why not try your hand at earning cash through gaming?
21 Ways to Get Paid to Play Video Games in 2021
Get Paid to Play Video Games Online:
1. Start a gaming channel on YouTube
We’ll start with one of the most popular ways to get paid to play video games: YouTube! If you’re a knowledgeable internet user, you’ve almost definitely heard of the site—it’s the largest video-sharing social media platform to date! Founded in 2005, there are millions and millions of monthly users that subscribe to content creators. YouTube is a haven for entertainment, and one of the most popular categories is Gaming. So, why not try making a gaming channel and get paid to play video games online?
When you create a gaming channel, you’ll be able to choose your style. The great thing about YouTube is that there are so many different areas of demand when it comes to gaming—for almost any game you like to play, there’s sure to be a good potential following. What you need to keep in mind is that you’ll also need to choose your audience. Depending on who you want to make content for, you might have to adjust your playstyle or commentary.
To get started, you’ll need a gaming setup. Whether you play on a console, PC, or mobile, you can buy adapters that will stream your game content to video form. You can find many tutorials and equipment recommendations from other popular streamers. After that, all you need is a stable internet connection and your gaming skills!
2. Start streaming gameplay on Twitch or Mixer
Another way to get paid to play video games is streaming over popular sites like Mixer or Twitch. This has become an insanely popular option for people that want to earn a little bit of money by gaming. Some of the top streams on Twitch can get into the multi-millions, and you’ll be happy to know that streaming works similarly to YouTube. We’ll get into some other options down below, but these are the most prominent.
If you stream over Twitch or Mixer, you can also gain subscribers who could get a notification when you’re going live. It’s different from YouTube because instead of watching your streams after the fact, viewers will see exactly what’s going on in real-time. Because of this, you’ll be able to choose your hours, as it eliminates the need for video editing and the like.
In fact, lots of streamers have both a Twitch and Mixer account so that they can post the highlights from their stream once they’re finished for the night.
How to get paid playing video games on YouTube or Twitch:
If you garner a considerable following, you should be able to make money through online gaming quickly. It might not be much at the start, but here’s the inside scoop on how to make actual money from your gaming channel:
Ads are the primary moneymaker for online gamers. You can join numerous programs, the most popular being Google Adsense if you have over 10,000 views per month (this number has changed in the past, so make sure you know the minimum!). For each view you get on your videos or streams, you will get a couple of cents if you put advertisements on your videos. It’s all about monetization, so make sure your content is family-friendly for the most earning potential!
Another way is selling merchandise. If you’re not making what you want from Adsense alone, you can try diversifying your output! Partner with a few clothing production brands and make some money through designing merchandise.
3. Test games for developers
If you want to look into jobs where you get paid to play video games, you should consider becoming a part-time or full-time video game tester. This is a great way to make some extra cash doing the exact thing you love. You won’t have as much freedom over the games you play, but if you’re a lifelong gamer, you could really help companies iron out any kinks in their game designs.
Also, you could gain a lot of connections by going the structured route. This could open up many doors later on and boost your credibility if you want to pursue other options on this list!
4. Go professional
Are you a highly-skilled gamer that thinks you can make it on the pro level? If this sounds like you, or if you have ambitions in the gaming world, try going pro. You’ll be able to try out for different eSports teams, so make sure that you are able to prove your worth. eSports teams will pick you based on your gaming ability, personality, and drive.
It can be hard to break into this scene, but if you constantly find yourself on the leaderboards amongst your friends, you could have a future in pro gaming. Once you go pro, you’ll be able to earn money through a salary as well as prize money from competitions.
5. Become a video game coach
Another path to choose if you’re highly skilled in a popular game is becoming a video game coach. If you want to get paid to play video games online, this is the perfect idea for a great gamer that is able to teach others their craft.
You could join a site like Fiverr to start connecting with potential students. All you have to do once someone agrees to pay is play a couple of games with them or hit the training grounds. You could charge money by the hour or offer a flat fee package for a certain amount of time. The opportunities here are plentiful as there are always people wanting to improve their skills.
6. Create video game tutorials
Sometimes, starting a new game can be rough for some people. If you are a master or experienced in playing a certain game, you could be looking at some great money. A great route to go is making tutorial videos.
Perhaps it’s tricky to get started, or there are certain boss fights where many people get stuck. You could help them by making a video on the exact steps and strategies to beat these fights or pass levels.
7. Make walkthroughs
Making game walkthroughs is a good option if you want to get paid to play video games at home. This is not to be confused with making tutorials, as tutorials are generally used for certain aspects or levels of a game. Walkthroughs are basically when you play through the entire game continuously, providing commentary on each part.
In effect, it’s a compilation of multiple tutorials together and can be marketed as such. You can use a streaming or video platform for this, or you could bundle up walkthroughs and sell them through a website.
8. License and sell merch
If you want to make money playing video games but don’t want to dedicate too many hours, you could choose to license from your favorite games. Once you have the rights to their logo, content, etc., you can sell merchandise for them to turn a profit!
Design t-shirts, socks, hats, really any type of clothing or gadgets. You may have to pay a small percentage royalty on each item you sell, but this shouldn’t matter much if your designs take off.
Check out this article for the best t-shirt design softwares to use for this.
9. Garner sponsorships from top companies
If you are a casual gamer with excellent skills, you could potentially be looking at some sponsorships. If you stream or record videos for Twitch or YouTube, you could get sponsorships that way. Otherwise, you might want to reach out to sponsors yourself.
Those companies will pay you to use their equipment, make videos with their products, or win tournaments wearing their merchandise if you get sponsored. This is a great way to get paid to play video games online.
10. Enter video game tournaments
Another great way to get money playing games is to enter tournaments. This is a great idea if you can compete at the expert level in certain games. The thing about entering tournaments is that you don’t need to be on a pro eSports team. If you qualify through in-game competitions, you’re automatically in!
Tournaments often have astounding prize packages for the top placements. Even if you don’t get 1st place, you could still earn some serious money by playing in video game tournaments.
11. Create your own games
Now, this is a way to earn video game money that requires a lot of training. If you’re passionate about coding and game design, you could get paid to make your own video games.
If you like creative freedom and earning money off your ideas, code them into reality if you can! There’s always earning potential for a great idea, so even if you don’t have the coding experience, there are development companies that can help you make your dream a reality—for a share of the profits.
12. Test for quality issues
This idea to get paid to play video games is a bit different than becoming a game tester. Quality assurance is a gaming career as well but focuses much more on the technical side of testing.
For example, a game tester might look for story issues, ease of progression, and other conceptual flaws. On the other hand, as a quality assurance tester, you’ll be looking for more concrete bugs and glitches in the game. If you have an eagle eye for bugs, you could be compensated handsomely for your efforts.
13. Start a video game blog
If you’re not super into the idea of creating gaming videos, you could be interested in starting a video game blog. This way, you get to play all your favorite games and discuss them without using your likeness on the internet.
You could choose many niches for your blog to cover, including glitches, hacks, reviews, analyses, and lore. There are so many possibilities for video game blogging, and if you’re able to monetize the blog, you could earn some great money this way. Just make sure to write well and take measures to attract traffic!
14. Review your favorite games on YouTube
If you liked the idea of reviewing games you love (or hate) to play, think about starting a game review channel on YouTube. This is another way to make money from home that requires little investment—and lets you play games all day!
While this type of channel would be focused less on the actual play aspect, you could help people figure out which games are worth buying and playing. You could really help people avoid buying incomplete, terrible games that they’ll regret later.
15. Exploit in-game currency glitches
If you are a natural hacker, you’ll be happy to see that there’s a huge demand for in-game currency glitches. There’s almost guaranteed to be a type of currency that you can either earn by playing or by spending real money on any game you play.
Know a couple of in-game money glitches? You could exploit them and share them with the world so that they can share the wealth. These channels garner huge followings, but be careful—try to stay in the good graces of the game developers. If you lose them too much money, you could risk being banned from the game permanently.
16. Play for other people
Sometimes, we play games that are just super annoying to grind XP on. Maybe you play Call of Duty and want to level up your AK but just don’t have the time? Or you play NBA 2K and need that Hall of Fame Corner Specialist badge. We know the feeling; it just takes too long!
If you want to make money playing video games, you could do this work for other people. Of course, you’d have to find a way to build trust as they’d be giving you their login information. Grind out all the hard work, and charge the player for your time. It’s a thankless job sometimes, but you can earn real money this way.
17. Build powerful accounts and sell them
This way to get paid to play video games online is grueling, but not too hard if you know the game well. Many a time, a game will have level-up systems for characters and/or limited-edition item collections. For example, the Skull Trooper skin in Fortnite helped people sell their accounts for hundreds of dollars back in 2018 (before they brought it back!).
If you have an eye for what will be popular or get into a game early, you could invest in this type of thing. Power up your accounts until they’re ready to sell, and if the game is popular, you could sell them for a pretty penny. This is a long-haul option, so make sure it’s worth the time investment!
18. Create mods
Something you can do if you like to customize things is to create game mods. Modifying is what keeps certain games popular for so many years after the developers stop regularly updating them. If games are open-source (and many of them are), you can change aspects of the game through coding. This requires a bit of knowledge, but you could also work with coders if you have great mod design ideas.
There are many free mods on the internet for certain games, but you could monetize your creations if there’s enough demand. Lots of popular games, such as the Sims, Pokémon, Minecraft, and more, wouldn’t be what they are today without amazing fan-made mods. Personally, Sims 4 mods alone make the game exciting for me.
Check out this list of the best Pokémon mods for 2021.
Apps that Pay You to Play Them
While many of the above methods to get paid to play video games require existing equipment, you can make great money through these apps that pay you—literally!
Swagbucks is one of the most popular apps that pays you real money for playing games. The app offers more than just games, though—you can also take surveys, watch videos, and more in order to earn money. You can redeem the money you earn in the app for various gift cards, and it can amount to a good chunk of money in a year!
If you want to make money playing video games on your phone, Swagbucks is one of the best. The whole idea is that you’re testing games for developers, so there’s a good cause to this as well! You can earn up to 2 bucks per hour for just playing games.
Mistplay is another uber-popular app that gives you an opportunity to make money playing video games it features. If you’re an Android user, you can use Mistplay to test numerous exciting games and earn compensation for your time. Once you earn $5 in the app, you can start redeeming your money for gift cards. The gift cards can range from Best Buy to Amazon, as well as other popular merchants.
A great thing about Mistplay is that an algorithm will personalize your gaming suggestions once you start playing. Effectively, you’ll have a constant stream of your favorite games and earn money to play them. If you play enough, you could be looking at a considerable amount of money on time!
The last method to get paid to play video games is through an app called InboxDollars. You might have heard of this one—its user base is impressive, and this is for a good reason. This app might not pay the most, but it definitely has the best variety of games. Another plus is that it’s also available as a website, www.inboxdollars.com. This way, you can play to earn money no matter where you are!
For a single game, you can expect to earn up to $2 per hour.
So, we hope that this list of 21 ways to make money playing video games helped you decide which route to take. 2020 has been a crazy year, and working from home has become the new normal in 2021. Luckily, earning money through playing games has so many different variations and possibilities. We think that the best option for you will depend on your play style, availability, and skill level, so choose wisely!
Thanks for reading. If you have found success in earning money through playing video games, share your experiences with our readers! We love to hear these stories. If you have any other ways to make money playing video games online, let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them to the list in the next update.