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Get Paid to Play Video Games: Seek a Career as a Video Game Tester

By Chris Pennington - May 22, 2019

Can you really get paid to play video games? The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes.” Imagine a career doing something you truly enjoy. If you have spent years playing video games and can’t imagine daily life without a gaming console, then becoming a video game tester might be the career for you! 

How to Get Paid to Play Video Games

A video game tester is formally known as a “Quality Assurance (QA) Tester.” The QA tester plays the game in various ways to determine if it is free of glitches or bugs. Another way of describing this work is as follows: You aren’t simply playing the game; instead you are actually trying to break it. You methodically move through the game, playing in as many different ways as possible. You’ll have to explore every aspect of the game and take on the persona of all characters to uncover the system’s flaws.  


Working as a Video Game Tester

When developers submit unreleased games to QA testers, they inevitably will be replete with undetected bugs. Motion graphics may fail, and a myriad of other problems may lock up the game or prevent it from working as it should. Testers must identify each potential bug and clearly communicate each issue to the game developers.  The developers need enough information to replicate the bug in order to fix it. This back-and-forth between developers and testers continues until every aspect is checked.  When the new game is eventually released to the public, it must be bug-free.

Potentially Work from Home as a Video Game Tester

Do you want a job that doesn’t involve getting up at dawn and making a long commute into work? As a video game tester, you may be permitted to work from home and set your own hours. Some companies do require you to work in-house, but others allow you to work remotely. While you may not be at the mercy of a rigid schedule, you will still have deadlines to meet. Working from home takes dedication and the ability to manage your time. Once an assignment is given, you will be required to meet certain deadlines and fulfill key criteria. You’ll spend most of your time in front of a computer or television screen. Concentration, commitment, and dedication are critical skills to achieve success in this career.

Perks of Becoming a QA Tester

  • Flexible work-from-home settings
  • Set your own hours
  • Interact with the latest video games before they hit the market
  • Potential for advancement in industry

Requirements of a QA Tester

Despite the allure of getting paid to play, working as a QA tester is not all fun and games. It can be very tedious and repetitious. Certain fighting games need matrix testing, which requires the tester to play the game as all the characters on all levels. Such testing requires extreme attention to detail. Many might consider this process monotonous, but that painstaking attention to detail is what makes a good game tester.


Iron Galaxy Studios game development team in Chicago

 Specific Video Game Tester Skills

Knowledge base:
An In-depth understanding and appreciation of video games. You must know the elements that make an excellent game, the essentials of gameplay, and the various genres.


Possess strong writing ability so you can provide developers with clear, concise information on issue reports.


Detail oriented:
A keen ability to detect even the most minute glitch.


Gaming proficiency:
The ability to play a wide range of games at a high level of expertise.


Tolerate repetition:
A superior tolerance of repetition is necessary for repeated game play.


Team player:
Even if you work from home, you still must be a team player and work well with others in the game development process.

Education Requirements to Become a Game Tester

There are no specific educational requirements to become a game tester. However, there are ways you can increase your chances of breaking into the industry and getting hired by a leading game development company. Virtually all video game testers are educated in game design or have skills in something similar such as computer science, software development, or 3D animation. It is important to understand how games and code function together. Focus will also be on the artistic components of the game such as image balance, user behavior, and color composition.

Degrees or certifications that can help you land the job as a video game tester:

  • Software programming
  • Game design
  • Software engineering
  • Software quality assurance

Additionally, courses in software programs like C++ and Unity will be extremely helpful.

The Growing Need for Testers

With the rapid growth of the video gaming industry, the need for qualified testers has increased. However, competition for such jobs, especially at the leading game development companies, is fierce. Bringing relevant education and experience to the table will give you a distinct advantage from the field.  


Watch Video of a professional Video Game Tester from Iron Galaxy Studios


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