The best ways to make money playing games

Did you know it’s completely possible to make money playing games?

Remember the last time someone told you that video games were a horrible waste of time? Tell that to the teenager who won $3 million by winning a Fortnite championship.

For comparison, the winner of Wimbledon won $2.8 million and the Masters golf tournament winner a measly $2 million.

So yes, it is possible to make money from playing video games.

Chances are slim that you’ll be the next big Fortnite winner, raking in millions of dollars. However, with the creation of the internet making a full-time income is a reality.

So what are the best ways to make money playing games? Today, I’m showing you real ways to make a living online. Are you up to the challenge?

The Best Ways to Make Money Playing Games

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Professional eSports competitor

eSports competitions are one of the most difficult ways to make money gaming. However, becoming a professional can be one of the most profitable ways to make money playing games.

It takes a lot of skill and time playing to become good at a specific game. Even if you do end up joining an eSports team, you still have to win competitions against thousands of other skilled players to get large payouts.

Even the 16 year old Fortnite champion had to beat out 99 other individuals to claim his $3 Million prize. Getting to the Fortnite championship took six to eight hours of playing daily.

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So how can you start your eSports journey?

  1. Pick a game – Popular games are going to have more competition and a larger fan base. With a large fan base, competition payouts are larger. Make sure the game has an eSport competition.
  2. Play a lot – You need to practice a ton if you want to be good enough to be invited to competition or join a team.
  3. Make yourself known – If no one knows who you are then you can’t be invited. Stream every second on YouTube or Twitch. Build a following and have great personality that people can relate too.

Video Game YouTuber

PewDiePie YouTube Channel - Make money playing games

There are numerous ways to make money as a video game YouTuber. YouTube is big with the gaming community, so finding your audience should come with consistent effort.

There are so many ways you can monetize your YouTube channel. Examples include:

  • Partnering with Google Adsense for display ads.
  • Creating custom merchandise and selling to your audience or subscriber base.
  • Reviewing games or products in exchange for compensation.
  • Joining video game related affiliate products and linking to them within your videos or video descriptions.

The best thing you can do is to put great content on YouTube and figure out your monetization along the way. You can choose to either target a specific game or a specific platform as a video game vlogger.

Targeting a specific game

Targeting a specific game can help build you a loyal audience around a common interest.

Let’s say you’re a huge Clash Royale gamer or even FortNite. Your YouTube channel could cover game news, upcoming updates with commentary, awesome battle moments, strategies, and more.

Fans will come to your channel because they have a shared interest in the game. It’s your job to keep them entertained, build a subscriber base, and find a monetization strategy that works for you.

The downside of targeting a specific game is that most games lose their popularity over time. Halo was once on of the biggest video games, but lost its momentum to other games like Call of Duty.

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Targeting a specific platform

Another way to go is targeting a specific platform or gaming console. Staying with one specific platform or console allows you to spend your efforts attracting a fan base that owns that specific console.

Someone who plays more computer games could sell more to other computer gamers. A Nintendo Switch player might not care what’s going on in computer games.

Maybe you’re a computer gamer who wants to play and review games on STEAM. Another option is that you’re a loyal Xbox gamer and want to cover the world of Xbox.

Be cautious as video game consoles constantly evolve. STEAM has been around forever, but vlogging about Xbox might make most of your content outdated once the new console is released.

Twitch Streamer

make money playing games as a twitch affiliate

I recommend anyone who wants to be a well known video gamer start with Twitch. Twitch is the platform for streaming video games. You will be able to connect with a targeted audience, earn income from streaming, and funnel your audience to your income opportunities.

There are a variety of ways to make money with Twitch. You can earn as a Twitch Affiliate or Partner with donations, advertisements, subscriptions, and sponsorships.

  • Donations – People can buy Twitch currency and donate it to their favorite streamers.
  • Advertisements – Earn money as people view your stream and are exposed to advertisements. You also have a “show add” button to use at your disposal.
  • Subscriptions – You can offer perks for subscribing to your Twitch channel. When someone subscribes, you earn 50-70% of the subscription fee. The more subscribers, the more you earn.
  • Sponsorships – Popular streamers can earn money through paid sponsorships. In other words, you’ll be paid to stream a specific game.

Don’t focus on the income when you’re starting out. Stream quality content often and with your audience in mind. Have fun and show your personality and your subscribers will grow.

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Video Game Blogger

Blogging about video games is another way to make money playing games. However, blogging takes a while before you start to earn actual money. If done right, blogging can provide a full-time income in a few years of consistent work.

RoyaleAPI has a great example of what it looks like to cover a video game with a blog.

Clash Royale blog

They cover Clash Royale game play, updates, strategies, and more! You can see they have a section for people to donate and a section for business inquiries. This blog has the potential to make money from sponsorships, ad revenue, affiliate links, custom merchandise, and donations!

The key to successful blogging is providing consistent content that actually provides value or entertainment. Video game blogs have an easier time because the content is around something the reader already loves.

Don’t go into blogging thinking you’ll be an overnight success. Even the most successful bloggers dedicate at least two years before their blog sees a profit.

Paid Video Game Tester

If you want to play video games and give your feedback then a paid video game tester is the job for you. Your job is to make sure video games run smoothly without any unexpected errors. Surprisingly enough, some video game testers can work from home.

Video game testing is harder than it sounds. You’ll need to play the same game in a variety of different ways to ensure smooth playability. Finding an error requires you to communicate the problem very concisely to the game developer.

While not required, knowledge of video game design and creation experience or education in a related field is preferred. You can learn more about becoming a video game tester at Get Educated.

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Video game developer

There are two ways to make money as a video game developer. Either work for a video game company or create your own indie game.

Obviously, you’re going to need to know how to create a video game. If it’s something you’re interested in, start now.

Once you manage to learn how to make video games the real fun begins. A video game company will offer a steady paycheck. Indie games can make you wealthy if done right.

Indie games can be very popular. Just look at the success minecraft had! Now the creator of minecraft has millions of dollars from creating and selling one game.

However, creating your own indie game is hard work. You’ll spend countless hours coding and designing your game especially if it’s only you. It’s way easier to create a game if you don’t have a family or overtaxing job.

Play online games to make money

There are several gaming websites that will pay you cash to play games. Most of these websites won’t pay much money so don’t expect much from them.

Most of these websites will pay via PayPal. If online gaming is what you want to do then make sure you have a PayPal account.

Again, don’t expect much in pay. However, if you are just looking to pass the time while earning a few dollars here and there, it could be worth it.

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Summary: Make money playing games

As you can see there are many ways to make money playing games. The only question is how much money do you want to make gaming? Making more money involves a serious commitment while casual gaming might earn you a few bucks.

Ask yourself what you would enjoy. Do you want to be the next biggest video game reviewer on YouTube? How about designing your own video games for others to enjoy?

The most difficult but potential high reward is to become an eSports gamer. You’ll need to be the best of the best if you want to make money gaming in eSports.

Video game YouTubers and blogging are one of the best ways to make money playing games. Generally, building an audience and making money takes time. However, you can turn your passion for video games into a full-time income with consistent effort.

Twitch streaming is another good option to connect with people in the video game community. People come to watch streamers play video games, you just have to monetize your channel.

Career choices include video game testers and designers. Game testers ensure the games are flawless while designers create video games. You may need extra knowledge or schooling.



John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.