Video Game Tester Jobs

By Eric Hammer

Teenage boys everywhere will be dancing with delight when they read that they really can land jobs as a video game tester. So will the increasingly large number of adults who are interested in playing video games and who spend significant amount of their time on the electronic pastime. So can you really make a living as a video game tester? The answer, as with many things is yes, but…

The but part comes in because getting work as a video game tester isn't easy and isn't all fun and games as you may imagine it might be. First of all, video game tester jobs are, as you may expect, in high demand. This means that competition for the jobs are fierce and getting your foot in the door is going to be very difficult to do. It's also hard to find the jobs since they aren't commonly advertised.

Second, a video game tester in essence is a beta tester for video games. The idea is that you play an unfinished version of a game with the intention of pushing it to the limits to find out where the problems are with the software. This could occasionally mean interrupted game play and or unfinished endings of games, depending on the stage of development that the game is in.

How Much Can You Make?

While independent numbers for the profession of video game tester are hard to come by, in essence, these people are software testers, a profession which typically pays in the range of around $40,000-$60,000 per year, depending on where you are in the country and what your level of experience is. However, given that video game tester jobs are more in demand than general software testing jobs, it's entirely possible you'll have to settle for significantly less than that in order to land a job.

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Keep in mind that this isn't all fun and games. As a video game tester, you'll need to be able to finish games quickly and your review of the game as far as game play is not likely to be very important to the people you are working for (they're more interested in mistakes in the graphics and in crashes when you play the game). You'll also be required to test all kinds of games, even those that don't hold much interest for you as the companies you work for will want to ensure that they don't need to constantly hunt for new people to do the job.

You'll also need a good eye for detail as you need to look for problems in the games. These may include graphics which are not quite finished and endings which crash the game. Again, in essence, your job is to try to crash the game so that when it gets to people who pay for it, they won't see crashes.

Qualifications / Requirements

The basic requirement for a video game tester is that you know how to play games and finish them quickly. If you're the sort of gamer who can take weeks or months to finish a new game, the odds are that this profession isn't for you. You need to be able to take out a new game and play it all the way through on a schedule so that you can see if any problems arise while you are playing the game.

Keep in mind as well that you'll need to be able to write up reports on the video games you play which means that if your English language skills are lacking (i.e. you can't spell or write a proper sentence to save your life), then the job of video game tester is not going to be for you.

First Steps

Start by checking out the information below about video game tester jobs. Be sure that you have already played lots of games and that you feel comfortable with the idea of handling an unfinished video game and that you are able to finish quickly. Then, look for your first gig and don't be afraid to take less than the going rate in order to get started.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how to become a video game tester:

Video Game Tester Jobs - It's a little short of detail and a little long on hype, making it seem like almost anyone can get into this, which isn't necessarily true, but this should give you a good start in the business of becoming a video game tester.

Game Testing Paradise: The Professional Video Game Testing Career - This article provides a better grounding in the real work of becoming a video game tester, though again, they are trying to sell you something, so they also engage in quite a bit of hype.

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