Make Money Playing Video Games: It Is Not Just A Pipe Dream

It is the dream of everyone to turn a hobby you love in to a working career.  For a long time video games were just a distraction but with the wonders of the internet they have become something more and they have proved to be a very good way to make a living for some.  Here are some of the different ways people can make money while playing video games.

Twitch Streaming

Twitch is the market leader for streaming services many people have made entire careers off of just this platform.  So what do you need to become a Twitch star?  Well you need something that sets you apart from the throng of other hopefuls.  You need either a good personality, good game skills, or some other unique hook that other people will want to follow you for and subscribe.

Even though there is a large number of people trying to get onto this platform and make money there is still room for new people so do not let that discourage you.  You just need to be persistent, consistent and do it for the fans not financial gain.

There are many tips and tricks to grow your following these all take time and there are tons of Youtube videos on how people started recently and have grown their channel.  Some tips are acknowledge your viewers the more you reach out to them the more they will want to help you out.  Another tips is stream at a consistent time frame this way your viewers will know when to tune into you.

How It works

Twitch allows multiple streams of income.  The first is subscriptions where people who subscribe will have to pay monthly to subscribe to your channel.  Twitch gets half and you get half.  Twitch also charges money for emotes so when a person watching wants to add some flare to their comments.

Twitch also allows you space to promote affiliate programs through your channel.  They also allow watchers to donate to you and they do not take a cut from this money.  Twitch also gives you a cut of their add revenue if you have a certain number of followers.  One last way you can make money is through sponsorships from companies if you get enough followers.

The amount of money you can make is a nice living but not a 6 figure income for most but a lot of people have made twitch a full time income and have been able to use it as their only source of income.

Youtube Channel

Youtube offers multiple ways to make money online with gaming.  Most people have found a home reviewing games or doing lets plays on Youtube.

Reviewing games is just that you show some play footage and you talk about how good or bad the game is.  If you keep up with it and on top of new games this can be a very quick way to grow your Youtube channel, and start making money.

Lets plays are very much like streaming but in a more controlled environment.  Normally this is not live and you can go back and edit out certain things like long boring parts and other things.

Game guides and how to videos also are a great way to make money off of Youtube.  There are tons of people who are looking for a solution to their gaming problem and if your channel has that solution they will come and watch your video.

There are other ways to make money playing games on Youtube but these are the primary ones.  One I enjoyed immensely was one called Freeman’s mind where a guy played through Half Life and voiced over what the main character was thinking, this got very hilarious and was well worth the watch.

How It Works

Youtube runs adds before during and after your video.  If you have enough subscribers and views then you get a part of the add revenue that Youtube makes.  You get about $2 per 1000 views this is variable, but this is about what it works out to.

Another way to make money is affiliate marketing where you can recommend a product or game and you can make a percentage of the sale if a viewer watches your video then clicks on your like and then you get a portion of the sale.

Crowd funding is another way to make money off of Youtube, in the description of your video you can link to your crowd funding source be it Patreon or through Bitcoin links.  This gives your viewers a way to directly fund you rather than counting on your viewers clicking on some adds.

Become A Pro

This is very high competition and most people would be better served trying to make money with the first two suggestions.  With that said this can be very lucrative if you are good at a certain game you can make really good money going to national competitions and crushing everyone there and getting first prize.

First you have to be good at a game then be good enough to compete with the best.  Once you achieve this then you can go to events and test your skill against the best of the best.  If you win you get the prize money if you lose you may still make it out well if you get sponsorships and such along the way.  Joining teams when you are competing ensures you a better way to earn money as well.

Exploit An In Game Item System

There was a girl named Anse Chung (Ailin Graef) she exploited a virtual market in the game Second Life.  She sold custom animations in the game first then became a land developer in the game buying virtual land then developing it then either selling it or renting it for real money.  She is now worth millions.

Other people have done this with very popular games like World Of Warcraft where they build up a character get all the elite items for that character then sell the character for lots of money.  This has even gotten so bad that Blizzard tried an online auction house for these items with its game Diablo 3 where they took a cut in the online transactions.  This did not end well and was a failure that they took out of the game later on.

There are many games where people want a shortcut to the game play and are not willing to do the work if you can find a system and exploit it then you can make money using the games mechanics.

Become A Paid Game Tester

This is not as prevalent these days since it seems most game developers would rather release a broken game and have their player base fix the issues take most Bethesda releases these days that needed fan patches just to become playable.

With that said though you can sign up with game developers to play test their games or try to break them and they are willing to pay you for your services.  This can get tedious and you may not be playing a game you like but it beats working at a fast food restaurant instead.


Most of these strategies require time, patience, and perseverance.  You need to handle these strategies like a business and not just dabble around in it.  If you focus and work hard that work will pay off.  This is how all the top earners of their field have succeeded, and this is how you can too.

These strategies will take some time to see fruition, but once they do bear fruit then you can quit your job and do something you enjoy instead of some other job you may not like.

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