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How to Become a Video Game Tester [Step-By-Step]

Are you wondering how to become a video game tester?

You’re not alone. Many people aspire to become video game testers. They only wish for someone to show them the way. Luckily, it’s easily done!

You can become a video game tester by acquiring the necessary technical knowledge as well as some gaming and soft skills.

Keep reading for more information about becoming a video game tester. This article lists all the requirements and responsibilities.

It also gives you some insights to set realistic expectations about the field.

An Overview of Testing Video Games: A Primer

If you enjoy playing video games, you may want to make some money out of it.

Interested? You can work with game developers to release iconic games that last for generations.

There are, generally, two career paths you can take in the field of video game testing:

  1. Play Testing: this career path involves testing the game experience to find out when it gets boring and how fast people can win the game on average.
  2. Quality Assurance Testing: as a quality assurance tester, your mission here is to identify any technical issue in the game, such as inconsistencies, bugs, or glitches.

Many developers require game testers who can perform both paths with a comprehensive set of duties. The primary responsibilities of a video game tester involve performing specific tasks, such as:

  • Turning the game on and off
  • Playing the games on different platforms and devices
  • Downloading the game while playing another
  • Recreating the steps that lead to glitches

The aim of performing such tasks is to give feedback about the game design and report the following:

  • When the graphics fail
  • Sections of the game where players may get stuck
  • Any boring or confusing parts of the game
  • Any technical problem

How Much Do Video Game Testers Make?

You can choose to do video game testing as a side gig or make it your full-time job. In both cases, you can make money out of something you enjoy. That, in itself, is a dream come true.

Experts expect an expansion in the video game industry from $229.16 billion in 2021 to $545.98 billion by 2028. Such substantial growth indicates the high importance of testing jobs.

On average, video game testers earn about $15.66 per hour. The actual hourly wage ranges between $7.27 and $35.75, depending on your knowledge, experience, and technical skill level.

In other words, a video game tester’s average annual salary is around $53,227, plus bonuses and commissions that can account for a median of $4,000.

You may also earn extra cash by broadcasting your game experience and testing results. That way, you can add a Twitch streamer income to your salary.

What You’ll Need to Become a Video Game Tester and Associated Costs?

Thinking about the costs? Here’s an outline of all the elements required to get a job as a video game tester with estimated costs:

  • Training: you need specialized training in various fields to gain an edge over your competitors. For instance, you should learn technical writing, video game essentials, software development, and time management skills. Such training cost varies, but you can find training courses free online.
  • Education: Although no formal education is required, a relevant college degree can boost your resume. This degree’s costs can range between $4000 and $50,000 yearly. Education is optional for this job but can be worth your money.
  • Certification: instead of getting a formal degree, you can get certified. The ISTQB certification costs between $199 and $229, depending on the type and level of the certification.
  • Equipment: you don’t have to set a budget for the equipment. Most video game companies would provide you with the equipment you need. In case you opt for having your tools, you’ll need a game console that may reach $100 and a special camera made for live streaming that ranges between $50 and $1800.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Video Game Tester?

To sum it all up, you’ll need between $4350 and $52,930. It depends on what you’re willing to do to get a game-testing job.

Some of these costs are optional. For instance, the degree, which costs the biggest bulk, isn’t mandatory to land a high-paying job in the field of game testing.

Having a degree can increase your chances, as some companies prefer testers with technical and game development knowledge.

Is It Hard to Become a Video Game Tester?

Yes and no!

Yes, it’s hard to become a video game tester because of the high competition. No, becoming a video game tester doesn’t require much effort or money.

The job hunt isn’t only competitive because of the number of testers looking for work.

It’s also because video game developing companies try to reduce costs by hosting public beta testing events and using automated testers. These two trends make finding a job even harder than you think.

Why hire testers if you can gather a group of enthusiasts to do the job for free? Most companies try to reduce costs by hosting public beta testing events, where college students get to test the games for free.

Other companies now resort to automation. Machines can test the games and find out all bugs and glitches at no extra cost.

That way, it becomes harder for those who make a career in game testing to get a good job in the field.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Video Game Tester?

It might take several years to become a video game tester. First, you need some time to familiarize yourself with the field to get basic technical knowledge and understand the terminology.

Second, a game developer may prefer to work with testers with some experience in a related field. Take your time and prepare yourself for this job.

The more you work on yourself, the faster you can get a job as a video game tester.

How to Become a Video Game Tester in 6 Simple Steps

Becoming a video game tester requires some knowledge and training, but it’s manageable and you can do it in these six easy steps:

STEP 1: Polish Your Gaming Skills

A game tester isn’t a casual gamer. whether it’s playtesting or QA testing, you need some gaming skills and a keen eye for details.

You should get out of your comfort zone and practice different game genres on varied platforms.

You also need to improve your communication skills. An important part of this job is the ability to describe your game experience in detail and point out how to enhance it.

Video game testing is a competitive job market, so you should learn a bit about major game companies and studios. That can help you expect each company’s requirements for the job.

STEP 2: Acquire Technical Knowledge

Although being a video game tester doesn’t require formal education, having some technical knowledge is a plus. Start by learning the main responsibilities in the job description.

You should try to familiarize yourself with the necessary terminology to be able to communicate with programmers and game developers.

For instance, you can learn technical writing and reporting skills. That way, you can fulfill the job requirements if it entails writing progress reports.

Fortunately, there are several ways to gain this knowledge. For instance, you can get a degree in game programming or computer science. You may also take extra courses to get the technical knowledge the job requires.

To learn how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a game, you can take online courses.

Courses in game design can teach you to work with various tools, including Marmoset Toolbag, Maya, Sketchup, and Unity. It also gives you the essentials of 2D and 3D game productions.

STEP 3: Participate In Beta Testing Events

Put your name on the map by participating in beta testing events held by major companies. Being a beta tester can help you:

  • Get more hands-on experience
  • Earn game rewards
  • Learn about upcoming computer games

Finding those events might require some effort. For example, you may join online communities that announce such events or check beta-testing websites frequently.

To get the most out of this experience, you should document everything you learn or notice. That way, you can keep a log for future reference.

STEP 4: Get Certified

Getting a game testing job can be a challenge. Although the industry grows, the number of applicants also increases. To get a job, you need a competitive edge over others.

Becoming certified is a great plus on your resume. Several video game companies hire only certified testers who understand the game development process.

For example, Epic Games, Blizzard Entertainment, and Riot Games require testers with International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification through the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB).

With such certification, you can secure a position in a major game-developing company.

STEP 5: Create a Solid Resume

Showcase all your knowledge and skills in a solid resume. A good video game tester resume includes:

  • Certifications
  • All specialized degrees or courses
  • Previous experiences
  • Specific details about previous jobs, such as game name and bugs reported
  • Any public beta training event you’ve done
  • All training opportunities you’ve undertaken

Your resume is the first element that recruiters look at, so make sure it helps you stand out. For instance, you can customize your resume to highlight the specific skills that each job requires.

That way, you won’t be sending the same resume to multiple companies. Each company will rather find in you the skills it’s looking for.

STEP 6: Start Your Job Hunt

Now, you’re ready for the final step. You can start applying for job openings. To find the best job, check out openings on popular websites.

You don’t have to confine yourself to specialized job sites, like Hitmaker and Gaming Jobs Online. Instead, you should also look into general job sites, such as Glassdoor or Indeed.

Stay alert for each job’s requirements, salary, and specific skills. That would allow you to highlight matching training or previous experience on your resume.

4 Reasons to Consider Becoming a Video Game Tester

Getting paid to play video games can be a rewarding experience. Think about all the fun and freedom you’ll enjoy.

Here are some reasons why you should consider becoming a video game tester:

  • Fun: not everyone gets to do what they like for a living. Imagine getting paid for being an avid video gamer. This job can be so much fun if you have a passion for gaming.
  • High earning potential: in addition to the basic salary, video game testing can open new doors. For instance, you can earn more money through streaming, bonuses, and commissions.
  • Access to games: as a video game tester, you’ll get access to the latest games in the market. That’s an exclusive perk of this job.
  • Polish your skills: video game testing can sharpen your strategic thinking skills, give you an eye for details, and help you explore new worlds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have concerns? Check out these frequently asked questions:

Is a Game Tester a Stressful Job?

Yes, it can be stressful due to repetitive tasks, bugged games, tight deadlines, long working hours, and harsh working environments.

Spending a large portion of your day in front of a screen can be hectic and stressful. It may even cause some health issues.

Do Video Game Testers Work From Home?

Contrary to popular belief, game testers don’t work from home. Most companies require game testers to work from the office. That makes communication and collaboration much easier.

If there are no game developers in your area, try relocating to a big city to become a video game tester.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

The digital world is expanding significantly, offering new jobs every day. Here are some similar gigs that may interest you:

Wrapping Up

With the vast expansion of the gaming industry, it’s vital to learn how to become a video game tester. That way, you can earn money for performing a task you’re passionate about.

Becoming a video game tester doesn’t require a formal degree. Instead, it’s crucial to polish your technical and communication skills.

Leave your question in the comments, and we’ll get back to you. Please like and share the article if you’ve found it interesting.

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