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Is playing video games your hobby?
The good news is, you can turn your hobby into a source of additional income.
You may have heard people making money testing video games. While video game testing is a lucrative career, you can also make money playing more casual games like trivias, Second Life and others.
So how do you make money playing games and how much can you actually earn?
Read on to get all the information you need to start earning some cash on the side while you continue playing games you’re already playing.
How Much Can You Earn Playing Games?
If you just want to monetize your current hobby and earn money on the side, you could earn anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per month.
But if your goal is to play games full-time, you could expect higher numbers, such as $60,000 per year.
What Do You Need to Play Games for Money?
You don’t need any extraordinary tech or additional items to start making money playing games. You can use the devices that you already own.
Let’s take a look at some basic stuff you might need to play games:
- Smartphone – iPhone or Android – with the latest software updates
- A PC or a laptop – Intel 5 or more
- A PayPal account on your name to withdraw earnings
9 Best Websites to Play Games for Money
(Earning potential: $2.5 – $12.5 per subscriber)
Twitch is the world’s leading live streaming platform typically used by gamers to stream their games and earn money.
4 ways of earning money via Twitch:
- Channel subscriptions. Twitch viewers can choose from 3 subscription tiers to subscribe to your channel paying $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99. And you’re getting 50% of the subscription fee your subscribers have paid to view your content.
- Cheers and donations. Twitch subscribers support their favorite streamers with “Bits” (a Twitch virtual currency). 1 bit equals to $0.01. Viewers may also support you via PayPal or Patreon.
- Influencer collaborations. Brands like to collaborate with streamers that have engaged and loyal viewers, sponsoring gamers to promote their games or other gaming related products.
- Ad revenue. If you allow ads on your streams, you’ll get paid based on how many people have seen the ad while watching your stream.
Successful, full-time streamers earn between $3,000 and $5,000 per month through Twitch subscriptions alone.
- Earn money by playing games
- Over 1.8 million average viewers on Twitch at any given time
- Get paid for each subscriber – $3 each
- Get paid extra from donations and merchandise
(Estimate earning potential: $1 – $2 per hour)
InboxDollars is one of the most popular destinations for making extra money playing online games.
When you sign up to InboxDollars, you’ll be able to select classic games like Sudoku and Solitaire. However, you can also test new mobile games as well.
Plus, you’ll get a $5 bonus for just creating your InboxDollars account.
Playing games with InboxDollar, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in cash tournaments and get cash-back on every dollar you spend in the game.
Additionally, you can also earn money watching videos and taking surveys on InboxDollars.
- $5 sign up bonus
- Great referral program – 30% that referral makes
- Most of the surveys pay $0.50 to $1
- 13 extra ways to earn money
(Estimate earning potential: $2 – $3 per hour)
Swagbucks is a go-to place to make money playing games for casual gamers.
Upon registering on Swagbucks, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus.
Once you’re signed in, you’ll notice that Swagbucks has a pretty rich games hub. Note that some games will offer you direct cash while others will offer cash-back.
On average, Swagbucks will pay you $2-3 worth of points per hour, which you can redeem for a gift card or withdraw via PayPal once you reach the $5 threshold.
Got bored of playing games? You can also earn some money completing surveys and watching videos on Swagbucks.
- 18 ways to earn money
- $5 sign up bonus
- Up to 10% cashback
- $1 minimum gift card withdrawal
(Estimate earning potential: $2 – $5 per hour)
MistPlay is an Android-specific app that actually pays you for playing games online.
The app has been launched in 2017, rewarding you with points when you join in-app games.
The points you collect playing games with MistPlay are redeemable for various gift cards from top retailers like Amazon, Google Play and virtual Visa gift cards.
You can start earning money playing games with MistPlay as soon as you set up your account.
And the best part about it is that you can play with friends and level up your avatar to unlock achievements and earn more units.
The app also provides you a built-in chat so you can communicate with your friends or other players to stay connected.
(Cash prizes can range from $250 to $1 Million)
The app offers various ways to win rewards. Here are some of the current opportunities:
- Sugarplum Surprise – receive $250 each week of the promotion.
- Sweet Money Contest – win up to $100,000 cash
- Crack the Code Contest – win up to $1 Million
The best thing about Lucktastic is that even if you don’t win cash prizes, you can still earn points every time you play. And those
Every time you play, no matter if you win cash prizes or not, you still earn points. And these points are redeemable for gift cards from Amazon, Restaurant.com and other retailers.
6. Second Life
(Minimum earning potential: $66.4 annually)
Second Life is an extremely popular online virtual world simulator where you can create avatars and interact with other people’s avatars like you would in real life.
As a Second Life premium member, you’ll be able to earn money playing the game.
Linden Money (L$) is a virtual currency within the game that you can actually convert to real money. The exchange rate for L$ to real USD is L$250 to $1 USD.
Just by signing up, you’ll earn L$1,000 and by becoming a premium member (costing $99 annually), you’ll receive L$300 every Tuesday. That alone totals L$16,600 annually ($66.4), almost paying off the premium membership.
But that’s not all. You can actually have your own land on the mainland, which enables you to make money. For example you can sell objects, find employment or do “hunts” to earn Linden cash.
The best thing is that you can withdraw your earnings anytime via PayPal or Skrill.
(Estimate earning potential: $10 – $20 per tournament)
GamerSaloon offers you various types of online multiplayer gaming tournaments including top games like Call of Duty and NBA2K20.
You can participate in existing tournaments either individually or in teams. Additionally, you can create your own tournaments and invite your friends or let the strangers join.
Here’s how to get started with GamerSaloon:
- First, sign up for free.
- Next, fund your account – you’ll receive up to a 200% deposit bonus on your initial deposit.
- Join multiplayer tournaments and play.
- Cash out your earnings via direct deposit or PayPal.
8. World Winner
(Get $10 Bonus on your first deposit)
World Winner is a web and app-based gaming platform, giving you an opportunity to enter gaming tournaments and win cash.
Here’s how it works:
- Make a deposit – minimum entry fee is $0.25 – and practice for free before you commit to a tournament.
- Once you’re ready, pick a tournament and play. Gaming tournaments available include Angry Birds, Spades and Super Plinko.
- Finally, wait for the results and withdraw your earnings via PayPal or direct deposit on your credit card.
Pro tip: entering the promo code WELCOME while making your first deposit will get you a $10 Bonus Bucks credit.
(Estimate earnings: $1.8 to $5 per completed quest)
Bananatic is an app giving you an opportunity to earn rewards while playing video games.
“Banana” is a virtual currency Bananatic rewards you with for completing game quests and missions. 500 Bananas equal $1.
Generally, completing game quests earn you anywhere from 900 – 2,500 Bananas, i.e. $1.8 to $5.
When it comes to cashing out your Bananas, you have 2 options:
- You can cash out your earnings via PayPal
- Or redeem for prizes like Amazon gift cards, steam wallets and CSGO skins.
Another Ways to Play Games for Money
Become a Video Game Tester
A video game tester is one of the most lucrative modern careers nowadays. There are people making up to $65,000 annually testing video games full-time.
There are also exceptions like PewDiePie – the most famous video gamer, who has made $15,5 Million in 2018.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
If you’re interested in what video game testers really do on a daily basis, here’s a quick summary.
Video game testers get paid to play video games to identify bugs and errors in games that are still under development. Not to miss any details, testers play every possible variation of the game, repeating game levels multiple times.
Basically, testers help game developers identify and fix the bugs before they roll the video game out to the public.