So you are a gamer looking to monetise your skills and knowledge of video games. Maybe you are a seasoned professional who wants to take your gaming career to the next level, or maybe you are just starting out and looking for ways to make some extra cash. Whatever your motivations, there are many ways that you can make money playing games.
In fact, in the last decade, the gaming industry has grown more profitable than any other entertainment industry, valued at almost 195.65 billion USD in 2021 alone.
The industry is only expected to continue growing in the coming years, which means gamers have more opportunities than ever to make money playing video games.
The best part?
You don’t have to be a hardcore gamer or professional to make money gaming.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to get in on the action and start earning.
So, if you’re ready to start making money from your gaming habit, read on to learn about some of the best ways to do it.
Become A Professional Gamer
If your gaming skills are better than most average players and you love the thrill of high-stakes competitive gaming, then you would probably do well as a professional gamer.
Professional gamers earn a living by playing video games competitively. They participate in gaming tournaments and events worldwide and can even make a comfortable living from it.
Pro gamers play games requiring a high level of skill and dedication. These games are referred to as esports and include some of the most popular multiplayer games like Counter-Strike, Valorant, DOTA 2, League of Legends, and FIFA.
Of course, becoming a professional gamer is not easy. It takes years of practice and dedication to become good enough to compete at the top levels.
But if you are serious about it and willing to put in the hard work, then it could be a great way to make money playing games.
How Much Does A Professional Gamer Earn?
A pro gamer can earn between $1,000 and $5,000 per month or between $12,000 and $60,000 per year.
They earn money from prize pools, teams’ salaries, sponsors, bonuses, and streaming and coaching.
Their earnings can depend on several factors, such as
- The popularity of the game they play
- Their level of skill and expertise
- Tournament participation and wins
- Brand deals and sponsorships
- Streaming and other fan interactions
Here is a list of top successful professional gamers:
1. N0tail (DOTA 2)
2. Tenz (Valorant)
3. S1mple (CS:GO)
4. Shroud ( CS:GO)
5. Bengi (LOL)
Bae, Seong Ung
How To Become A Pro Gamer?
There is no fixed path to becoming an esports professional. You just have to pick a popular competitive game in which you are good and climb the leader boards in hopes of attracting any esports teams or sponsors or becoming popular enough for the gaming community to notice you.
If you are good at competitive games and have the required skills for it, then you can enrol yourself for different tournaments or apply for already existing esports teams like the Faze, Cloud 9, Astralis, Vitality, Fnatic, etc.
However, it’s not that easy to be a pro gamer. You have to be extremely skilled at your chosen game with thousands of hours to even be considered for tournaments, and it requires lots of practice and dedication to become an esports professional.
How To Make Money As A Pro Gamer?
Let us look at some ways you can make money playing games as a professional gamer:
Competing In Tournaments
Various games conduct tournaments and championships with prize money and sponsors. Some of the most competitive games even have international tournaments that have huge prize pools, sponsors, and publicity.
You can start by participating and winning in local tournaments and contact sponsors or esports teams to play at major esports events.
How Much Money Can You Earn From Tournaments?
Tournament prize pools vary according to the game, popularity, and number of teams participating. The International, a Dota 2 tournament has the largest prize pool in esports history with prize money of over $40 million in 2021.
Similarly, all solo players who reached the finals of the Fortnite World Cup in 2019 received a minimum of US$50,000 and shared a prize pool of $30 million.
While these are for top performers, even smaller tournaments offer prize money that can make playing games a viable career option.
You can find many online and offline tournaments for a variety of games with prize pools ranging from $100 to $10,000. All you need to do is Google “game + tournament” to find one that matches your skills.
Sponsorship And Brand Deals
Big brands such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Razer, etc often sponsor pro gamers and pay them to promote their products. These deals can earn professional gamers millions of dollars, and even amateurs can make a few hundred dollars from such deals.
All you need to do is have a large enough social media following and reach out to brands that you think would be interested in sponsoring you.
It works like this: You use their products and promote them on your social media channels; in return, they pay you a certain amount.
How Much Can You Earn From Sponsorships?
Pro gamers can earn millions of dollars from sponsorships. For example, Faker, a professional League of Legends player, is reported to have signed a deal for his team with Nike, which is said to be worth millions.
Not just this, Faker has also signed an exclusive partnership with Razer becoming the face of the Razer gaming mouse. The brand plans to release a limited edition of the Faker line of products, including mouse and mouse peripherals.
As a pro gamer, you can also start by reaching out to companies and brands that you think would be a good fit for you. All you need is an excellent social media following, and some sponsors will start reaching out to you.
A pro gamer with a good following can earn anything between $5,000- $20,000 per month from sponsorship alone.
There are several platforms like this where you can find gaming sponsorship opportunities.
Become A Video Game Coach
If you are really good at a particular game, you can start charging people for coaching services. You can start by teaching beginners the basics of the game and help them understand different concepts. Once you have established yourself as a reliable coach, you can start charging more for your services. There are people who are willing to pay good money to get better at their favourite games.
Video game coaches can earn anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 a year. Coaches and trainers of popular esports teams can earn even more.
Becoming A Gaming Content Creator
The video game industry is worth billions of dollars, and there’s a good reason for that. Games are entertaining, and people are always looking for new ways to be entertained. If you can tap into that market, you can make a lot of money playing games.
PewDiePie, Jackseptic Eye, and Markiplier are some of the most popular game streamers on YouTube. They play games and provide commentary for their viewers. In return, they make millions.
And it’s not just streaming. You can also make money by creating Let’s Play videos, walkthroughs, and other types of gaming content on YouTube, Twitch or your blog.
To succeed, you need to find a niche that you’re passionate about and build an audience around it. Once you have an audience, you can start monetising your content with ads, sponsorships, and affiliate links.
Here are some ways you can make money playing games and using them to create content:
Streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming allow you to live-stream your gameplay while providing commentary for your viewers. If you’re good at what you do, you can build a following of people who enjoy watching you play games. The great thing about streaming is that it doesn’t require any investment other than a good internet connection and a webcam.
The best part about streaming is that you don’t necessarily have to be a pro gamer to make it big. You can just be really good at playing a certain game, or you can be really entertaining.
As your following grows, you can start to monetise your channel by running ads, offering paid subscriptions or partnering with brands.
How Much Do Streamers Earn?
The top streamers on Twitch and YouTube Gaming can make millions of dollars per year just from their streaming income.
A professional streamer can earn between $3,000 and $5,000 per month by playing around 5 hours per day.
If you’re an average streamer, you can still earn $250 in ad revenue for 100 subscribers or $3.50 for every 1000 views.
How To Become A Streamer?
You can start streaming on Twitch or YouTube Gaming with just a webcam and an internet connection.
You’d require the help of some tools like Streamlabs, OBS, or XSplit to help you set up your stream and a bit of creativity to make your channel stand out.
To be a successful streamer, you need to have a strong personality and be able to entertain your audience for hours at a time. You also need to be able to play the game at a high level and offer insights that your viewers can’t get anywhere else.
What Games To Stream For More Viewers?
You can stream any game that you’re good at and enjoy playing. Some of the most popular games on Twitch are Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PUBG, League of Legends, and Dota 2. You can also make money by streaming other games that are not as popular but have a dedicated following. Sites like TwitchTracker can help you see which games are being streamed the most.
Developing Gaming-Related Content
Gaming-related content is also a really lucrative money-making niche for gamers. You can create videos, write articles or even start a podcast about gaming. This type of content is really popular on YouTube and other platforms. You can make money from ads, sponsorships, and even by selling products related to gaming.
The content can be anything from game reviews to gameplays, walkthroughs, tips and tricks videos, or even funny gaming montages. You can also create informative content about the industry. However, to make money from this type of content, you will need to build up a large following and get enough views to make it worth your while.
How Much Do Gaming Content Creators Earn?
Gaming content creators can be YouTubers, bloggers, or even podcasters. Their earning potential is directly related to the number of views or downloads they get. The more popular game content creators can earn thousands of dollars per video or blog post. However, most game content creators earn a more modest income.
According to Business of Apps, the gaming industry see an average CPC of $3.41 and CPM of $40.09. This means that if you’re a content creator with 1 million views, you can expect to earn $3,410 from ads. But you can also earn money from sponsored posts, product placement, and other forms of marketing.
How To Become A Gaming Content Creator?
People not only enjoy streams, but they also watch game previews, reviews, walkthroughs, etc. If you can entertainingly provide that content, you can make money.
All you need to do is target intent while being entertaining.
Know that when someone is searching for how to do something in a game, they are looking for a specific solution. That’s what you need to provide. Your content needs to be well-researched, informative, and helpful. It should solve the viewer’s problem. You can make videos on YouTube or Twitch or write articles on a gaming blog.
You need to keep a few things in mind when creating this type of content. The first is that you need to be an expert on the game. You need to know everything about it, from the mechanics to the lore. If you’re not, your viewers will quickly figure it out and they’ll stop watching. The second is that you need to be entertaining. No one wants to watch a boring video or read a dry article. You need to find a way to make your content fun and engaging.
Few types of content that you can develop around this theme:
- Walkthroughs: A walkthrough is a video or article that takes the viewer or reader through a game, step by step. This type of content is great for new gamers who are just starting out and need some help getting through the game.
- Gameplays: A gameplay video is a recording of someone playing a game. Gameplay videos can be either live or recorded. They target a wide audience, from new gamers who want to see what the game is like before they play it, to experienced gamers who want to watch someone else play and learn new strategies.
- Top 10 lists: The top 10 lists satiate our curiosity for the best of everything. You can do a top 10 list for almost anything related to games. Some examples include: top 10 ways to plant a garden in Stardew Valley, top 10 builds in Minecraft, or top 10 tips for getting through Dark Souls.
- How-to guides: These types of guides show the reader how to do something related to gaming. For example, you could show them how to beat a certain boss in a game or build a fire in survival games.
- Reviews: As a gamer, you’re in the perfect position to review the latest games. You can do a review for a recently released game, or an older game that you think is still relevant. Your readers will be looking to you to give your honest opinion on whether a game is worth their time and money.
- Previews: Game previews are where you give your readers a sneak peek of an upcoming game. This could be in the form of a hands-on preview if you could play the game early, or it could be based on the information you’ve gathered from various sources.
- News: In the world of gaming, there is always something new happening. Whether it’s a new game being announced, or an update to an existing game, your readers will want to know about it.
- Interviews: You can interview developers or other well-known figures in the gaming industry. This is a great way to give your readers some insight into the minds behind their favourite games.
- Features: Features are similar to previews and news but tend to be longer and go more in-depth. They can be about anything related to gaming, such as the history of a particular game, or an in-depth look at a new game.
Provide Freelance Gaming Services
Gaming is no longer a simple task of completing objectives. Some games require lots of planning and time investment to play them properly.
So, you can offer your gaming skills to people who don’t have the time or skills to play games regularly but want certain items or achievements in them.
Let us take a look at some of the freelance gaming services you can offer.
Levelling Gaming Accounts To Sell
Many games feature a levelling-up system that locks things like certain game modes, achievements, and items behind those levels. Not everyone has the time to level up their accounts.
Therefore you can level up accounts and sell them to people who want high-level accounts. You can also offer to increase the account level by either playing with them or playing for them.
High-level steam accounts for popular games sell for a good amount of money on sites like playerauctions.com.
Grinding For In-Game Items
If you play online multiplayer games or any large-scale online role-playing games then chances are you know what grinding or farming means and how much effort and time it takes to get certain in-game items and resources.
Many people simply don’t have the time or the inclination to farm for hours. They just want to enjoy the main game.
You can offer to farm in-game resources for them on sites like Fiverr and Upwork and charge them for it based on it.
You can set up these gigs and the rates you charge for them according to your wish on freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Freelance gaming services are a relatively easy way to earn money as all you have to do is play games normally, and it doesn’t require a high level of skill or building an audience.
Trade In-Game Items
Several games have a robust in-game economy with their own virtual currencies and items. Many games even allow players to interact with the game economy and buy and sell different items for real-world or in-game currency.
If you play games like Warframe or Counter Strike Global Offensive, you know certain items are hard to obtain but can easily be bought from other players.
So if you have items like these, you can sell them on the dedicated Steam market or even approach third-party services to sell your in-game items.
Make Use Of Play To Earn Apps and Sites
Several apps and websites pay you to play and test mobile games. Several others capitalise on web 3.0 and pay you just to be a part.
It is pretty straightforward; you just have to play the game as you usually do and earn points that can later be converted into cash payouts, gift cards, and even cryptocurrencies.
Even though the payout is significantly less, it is still a great way to earn when playing games, especially on your phone. It’s especially great for people who play games on smartphones and want a little side money.
Some of the best apps that pay you for playing are;
- Inbox Dollars
Some of the best websites that pay you for gaming are:
- Axie Infinity
- The Sandbox
- My Cryptoheroes
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think of this article on how to make money playing games in the comment section.
A lawyer dealing with corporate laws, a voracious reader and a keen writer. Satyaroop has a broad experience in the legal and startup industries and has worked with more than 15 companies, startups and legal publications on research-oriented projects. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, biking and playing video games.