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Thirty years ago, the average person would call you crazy if you said you could get paid to play games. At the time, it was seen as unproductive, meaningless, and a waste of time.
While I can’t say public opinion has changed from those stances, but most people today would agree that there are some real routes to earn money with the boom of the internet.
I’m sure nearly everyone reading this is familiar with the mainstay of streaming online games to start making some money. With the pandemic still hitting hard, streaming is bigger than ever since a good chunk of people are working at home on their computers all day.
Though it is definitely possible to break into this line of work, it is far from the only way that you’d be able to start making money online by playing games. From reward game apps to building your own career on YouTube/other streaming platforms, you’ll be able to earn cash in no time by using one or several of these tactics.
6 Ways To Get Paid To Play Games
I’ll go over this one first since its likely the reason you’re here in the first place. Streaming your games/gameplay to wide audiences is one of the newest trends to pop up over the last decade.
Being a streamer, or rather a good streamer boils down to how much of an entertainer you are OR how good you are at gaming. The largest audiences are often drawn to those that can combine both of these aspects, but that’s not always the case.
There are plenty of streamers that lean on being a bit entertaining, but run each stream as more of a hangout. A lot even just begin watching videos with their chat for fun.
From watching a few streamers talk about their success, it seems the best route is to have a passion to share with viewers. It’ll come down to you to find your own niche in time.
Streaming elsewhere currently is a bit of a gamble (note the sequence of events for Mixer), but YouTube and Twitch are heavily saturated with streamers.
Regardless, once you start gaining a following, you’ll begin to see a bit of a cash flow. It won’t be immediate, but persistence is key when it comes to streaming.
I actually just stumbled upon this as I was doing some research for this article. Essentially, BUFF is a loyalty program for gamers that sort of lets you earn real money (as gift cards).
It’s not exactly like getting to win cash prizes, but it takes very little extra input from you as a player.
Once you download the app, you simply have it run in the background while you game and earn BUFF coins. These are a form of blockchain cryptocurrency that can be redeemed for in-game items and real-world rewards alike.
Before getting into this, I would highly suggest doing a bit of extra research for yourself – especially considering it’s directly linked to cryptos. It just might not be for everyone.
3. Reward Apps
There are plenty of these websites out there to find. Most of them do not reward you with actual money, but rather points you can redeem for anything from games/books to gift cards.
So, it really is pretty similar to getting paid.
Reward apps are websites like Swagbucks or Mistplay that operate on slightly different earning systems but have similar offerings.
Swagbucks will get you to start earning points by filling out a lot of surveys, watching videos, or rarely having you play games.
Mistplay, on the other hand, exclusively has you downloading different games and playing them for certain periods of time to earn points.
All games that you download will be free on the app store.
The catch is that you can only earn up to $50 per month, which is easier said because it will take a significant amount of playtime to earn so much.
I’m sure playtime is no issue for those of you reading, but for only $50 extra a month, it could wear on you easily.
4. Speed Running and Pro Gaming
This approach is probably the most difficult on the list simply because it involves a lot of skill and patience.
As noted in the Streaming/YouTube section, you can absolutely become a speedrunning or professional gaming streamer with enough dedication.
It might take a while, and you’ll likely want to have a full or part-time job to fall back on and treat this as ‘ extra money ‘ until you’re gaining traction.
The reason I would also consider this the hardest is because it has the least viability among every option.
Most of this income will be based on winnings you’ll get at tournaments and the like, common for those going for a career playing games online. This is especially relevant if you aren’t interested in streaming – there will be no opportunity to receive donations.
There are many ways to break into the professional gaming scene, but carving a lucrative career path keeps this low on my personal list of recommendations.
5. Long Game
Long Game is an Android/iOS app that is pretty interesting because it’s core concept revolves around saving.
With Long Game, you set up an account, deposit some cash, and start playing games with coins that you’ve earned from depositing. The amount of coins you earn is directly related to how much you deposit, and you can always earn coins through depositing.
What use are the coins, then?
Since this app encourages saving, you’ll be able to use these coins to earn more money through several mini-games.
These games include: Flip It (a matching game), Mondo Spin, Spin to Win, Lucky Slots, Omega Millions (lottery drawing), and Red’s Meadows (scratch-off lotto).
You won’t always be guaranteed to win real money with these games, but the jackpot prizes for each ranges from $100 up to $1 million (supposedly).
Take this app with a grain of salt (and do some extra research here (hyperlink magnify money link).
6. Razer Cortex Mobile
This is another program that is fairly similar to BUFF but has its own perks and is run through Razer, a relatively large and notable company.
One of the first things to note for this app is that it is currently only available to Android users on the Google Play store – sorry iOS users.
Second, despite running through Razer, known for their PC parts/accessories, there is no functional part of this app that runs on PCs. It is strictly for mobile apps and games, which is a bit of a bummer to me because it seems like a lost opportunity to branch out.
Anyways, the main way to earn Razer Silver, the app’s currency, is by doing each of the following tasks.
1. Login each day – straightforward. You don’t necessarily have to login X days in a row to get milestone rewards. The total days logged in is more important, though there are bonuses to login streaks.
2. Download games supported by their Paid to Play system and play them for at least 3 minutes.
You can earn different amounts of silver for different games. That’s pretty much it; the Razer Silver can be redeemed on the Razer Store for some great prizes which, luckily enough, includes a lot of Razer merchandise (keyboards, mice) and even games or discount vouchers.
Even if you’re not big into mobile gaming, having Razer Cortex on your phone is a great way to get paid for gaming.
Get Paid To Play Games – Final Thoughts
This is hardly a full list of all the ways out there that you can get paid to play games.
Hopefully, this list can give you an idea of how to earn some cash, gift cards, or some reward just for gaming.
Be on the lookout for similar websites that offer a points system. If those aren’t what got you excited most reading this, invest in yourself.
Becoming a professional gamer or streamer takes time, effort, and persistence. Those who are successful on streaming platforms aren’t always the ones with the best setups or even the best skills. Success came to those who kept at it even when viewership was low because they loved doing it.
Whether you choose to start marketing yourself as a gamer, or you’d rather stay out of the limelight and earn without external stress is entirely up to you.
In either case, you’ve got the ability to start turning your game time from solely recreational to something that is also productive.