While many aspire to make money from gaming, only a small fraction of gamers realize their goal. Getting started is a challenge, but it’s nonetheless possible to play your favorite games and make it profitable. Through a combination of determination, internet savvy, and personal branding, you can start building a reputation and cultivate a following that can be flipped into a reliable cash flow.
The most common goal for gamers is to become a popular Twitch streamer, but because it’s easy to start and the dream appeals to so many, the competition is incredibly stiff. Even the most talented gamers with the perfect rig have a hard time convincing viewers to watch them play, no matter how entertaining they may be. If you want to make money gaming, you have to be willing to think outside of the box.
Monetized podcasts—meaning the show has developed enough of a following that advertisers are willing to sponsor it—are a great way to earn money without having to compete for the attention of streaming views. However, getting the attention of sponsors might be challenging when you’re beginning. An alternative option is to start a Patreon account, which allows your viewers to donate and support the show.
If you’re passionate about industry developments or the drama of the professional level, there’s no end to the topics that you can cover in your podcast. Providing commentary, putting changes into context, and covering the latest updates is a rewarding and great way to immerse yourself in the community.
Compete in Tournaments
Tournament gaming is challenging by definition, but if you believe you’ve got the skills to cut it then the payoff can be sizable. Most are run using a player versus player (PvP) format, where competitors square off and eliminate one another until there is only one remaining. Even if you don’t manage to take 1st place, prize money often goes to several of the top competitors.
Making sure that you have the best computer and best GPU for gaming is essential if you’re going to best opponents in fast-paced competition. Try to cultivate any edge you can and exploit the weaknesses that you detect in opponents.
While it sounds glamorous, game testing can be rather tedious. The job usually involves searching for bugs and trying to identify ways that gameplay can be improved. However, if you’re a diehard gamer, you might find these tasks entertaining.
It’s easier to get started than you may think. Many large studios are on the lookout for testers, and you can find applications on their websites or by calling and inquiring. It’s also possible to find job offerings on websites like Monster.
Guides and Walkthroughs
Sure, social gaming may not make much money, but there are still ways to make it work for you. Some people consider walkthroughs the equivalent of unfairly hacking a game, but if you’ve ever been stuck on a level or boss fight for days on end, you know how helpful they can be. If you’ve managed to work your way through a popular video game that others find challenging, consider creating one. You can charge whatever you want and the sales can really add up.
Getting paid to live stream is potentially lucrative but it’s hard to be successful. You need to be a talented gamer—someone that’s entertaining enough to justify a viewership—but you also need to have an engaging personality. Being able to provide lively commentary will endear yourself to viewers and will encourage people to share your streaming channel with their friends.
Determine what videogame you’re most comfortable playing, do some research and see how others approach streaming that game, then try to cultivate a unique online personality. There are options beyond Twitch, too. For instance, Facebook offers a popular alternative and services like Mixer are on the rise.
It’s important to remember that while gaming for money is fun, it’s is still hard work. If you take it seriously you can hustle your way to a large viewership or testing job, but you have to maintain momentum in order to make a profit. That means no slacking off and spending days on Netflix. Some people believe that this takes the fun out of gaming, but others see it as a worthy challenge that just adds another layer of entertainment. Making money is a game in itself. Treat it that way and you’ll stay aligned with the passion that brought you to video games in the first place.