Many people are spending money and time on their favorite sports. Smartphones and online gaming have skyrocketed in the last ten years, and approximately 73% of people aged 4 to 20 own at least one video game console.
In 2023, the video game industry will grow exponentially, with revenues of $180 billion. With this explosion of people playing games comes new opportunities to earn money through games.
From video game YouTube channels to tech support and gaming blogs, you can take your passion for video games and turn them into lucrative money-makers.
Ways to get paid to play games
Unsurprisingly, no one will pay you a meaningful amount of cold hard cash to hang out and play video games all day. There must be something in it for them too. Generally, gamers can make money in several ways:
- Consume advertisements or sign-up offers. Advertisers will pay to be exposed to relevant buyers wherever they are. Your Facebook news feed, your TV, and yes, sponsored ads in the games you play. Some apps will pay you a portion of the fee from these advertisers, which can add up to a few extra monthly bucks. Other times they’ll pay you a small cash bonus, anywhere from $0.50 to $10, to install an app (hopefully, you’ll become an active user).
- Earn Milestone Rewards. Some games will reward users with cash or cash equivalents – such as gift cards – for reaching certain levels or unlocking certain features. The more complex the game, the higher level you achieve, or the longer you play, the bigger the reward.
- Win competitions. Trivia, sweepstakes, free drawings, you get the idea—tournament or giveaway entry for your shot at the grand prize or a portion of the prize pool.
- Play a game of chance. In many regions, casino-like games that pay users real money are legal. From lotteries and raffles to digital slots and games like blackjack, there are dozens of opportunities to try your luck – and win cash prizes.
- Play games of skill. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Fortnite. These are just a few franchises where millions of cumulative tournament prize pools create each year.
- Gaming as a business. Streaming, Blogging, Vlogging, Sponsorship. More complex and more time-consuming, but the pay and earning range is much higher. Highly successful people make over $500,000 per month.
- Gaming as a career. Game Tester, Game Developer, and Gaming Journalist. All titles describe some employment in the gaming genre.
You can still make money if you need more than full-time gaming. Many people earn enough to buy a new game (or two) every month – or upgrade their equipment – simply by playing real money-earning games in their spare time.
Also read: 41 Easy Ways to Make Money Online
Apps that offer real money-making games
While you can only earn virtual money or credits with many online games, there are plenty of real money-making games you can play for cash – by passively watching ads between levels or completing micro-tasks. By doing this Consider these sites if you are not interested in becoming a professional gamer but want to earn some easy money every month playing games.
More than just a gaming app, InboxDollars is a market research company that rewards users for sharing information about their shopping, online, and gaming behavior. Big brands pay them to ask their users how they feel about the games they are playing. InboxDollars then gives a portion of its earnings to its members when they provide feedback on how to improve the game or when they reach a particular milestone, such as reaching certain levels.
InboxDollars has dozens of arcade games, including card games, strategy games, word games, action games, and more. You can enter cash tournaments, earn cash back or win cash prizes through a wide selection of GSN games, including Poker, Casino, Wheel of Fortune, and more. For creating an account, you’ll get an instant $5 free with InboxDollars.
Also read: 17 Top best Instant Paytm Cash Earning Game App
Most play is a loyalty platform for gamers available for Android devices through the Google Play Store (there is a waiting list for iOS users). This particular app is neat because it is completely passive income. You play the games you usually play on your phone, but this time you earn points that you can redeem for gift cards from Amazon or iTunes or video game outlets like Nintendo and Xbox.
The list of Mistplay games includes Super Mario Run, Pokemon Go, Fruit Ninja, Chess, Solitaire, Candy Crush Saga, Wordscapes, and dozens more. You can read more about the app in our Mistplay review.
Swagbucks offers casual gamers the opportunity to earn real money playing games. These games are simple to play and usually fun, and it’s easy to sign up. New Swagbucks users also get a free $10 sign-up bonus. Once you’ve downloaded the app and verified your email address, you can start earning SB for gift cards in one of three ways:
- Install a game. Earn anywhere from 500 to 5000+ SB ($0.50 to $50.00) and reach a certain level.
- Play a game. Play for free and collect SB for gift cards. Get cash back.
- Cashback will come from in-game purchases if you choose to make them.
Installing a game and unlocking some levels is the most tempting option, but be sure to pay close attention to all offer details before you start. There is usually a precise level and a specific time frame that you have to reach that level to earn the prize.
KashKick offers games such as Scrabble Go, Stars Slots, and King of Avalon. Each offer and reward varies. Right now, Kashkik tells me I can earn $2.50 to complete level 16 in Scrabble Go within seven days. Since I’m already a Scrabble lover, it’s worth it to make some cash playing a game I enjoy. However, some games offer higher stakes.
For example, you can earn $20 for reaching level 17 in King of Avalon within 20 days of signing up for the offer. Once you get $10 in your account, you can request a cash withdrawal via PayPal. Payments are processed and sent to users every two weeks.
Also read: 11 Best Ways To Make Money Online With Zero Investment
5. Second Life
Second Life is a popular online virtual world simulator that allows users to create avatars that interact with other people, places, and things as they would in real Life. It offers its currency called the Linden Dollar, converted into real money.
Users can earn money on Second Life by conducting “hunts” or contests, selling items or materials to other users, or finding employment. You will get paid via PayPal or Skrill.
Apps That Offer Casino-Like Games
If familiar casino games are your thrill, you’ll be pleased to know that several apps offer cash prizes if you can get the best of your house or a human opponent. State legal regulations will apply, so some apps or real-cash play may not be available in your area; You may still be able to participate in the free-play options on your device.
6. 21 Blitz
Break out your card-counting skills to make money with this new digital blackjack available on almost every mobile device. The solitaire-blackjack hybrid offers a familiar casino-like experience with a contemporary twist.
Practice and play for free to kill time, or when you’re ready to level up, compete in one-on-one or multiplayer tournaments to earn cash and other prizes. If you play 25 practice games, you’ll make $2 to invest in real-money matches – a great gig if you’re tight on cash and want a chance to freeroll a big prize.
7. Pool Payday
Compete for 1-on-1 in real-time games against other people – for free – or for cash prizes. Cash rewards redeem via Paypal, Apple Pay, and more. calling pockets, Mastering the basics of ball positioning, and trick shots before turning to real-money play. Once ready, you can compete in head-to-head competitions, leagues, and tournaments.
8. Solitaire Cube
In one-on-one action, players get equal turns, and whoever scores the most points wins. Big games work similarly, except you move on after a player elimination. Even if you don’t live in a real-prizes-enabled area, you can still play for their free virtual currency, which redeems for fun virtual and physical prizes.
Places That Offer Cash Prizes For Games Of Skill
From popular app-based games like Spades and Angry Birds to Big Boy console games [COD, Fortnite, CS: GO, etc.], here you can play games of skill for cash prizes.
With Gamer Salon as an app or website, you can find various online gaming tournaments, including everything from Halo and Call of Duty to NBA2K20 and Madden NFL 20. You play individually or in teams and can join existing games or create your own. You must create a user account and make an initial deposit to get started.
It is the money you will use for the tournament’s entry fee. Then you can find people to join. On each tournament listing, you’ll find the entry fee, what gaming system you need, and the start date. All tournaments have a cash prize, and you can collect your winnings via PayPal or physical check.
10. World Winner
Through World Winner, a web and app-rested gaming platform, you can enter various gaming contests and win cash. To withdraw your earnings, you must make a deposit, choose a match, play, and stay for the results. Available gaming contests include Angry Birds, Spades, and Super Plinko.
The minimal entry fee is$0.25 and the point lets you exercise for free before committing to a contest. You can only use PayPal or a credit or debit card to pay your fees. When you cash out your winnings, they deposit into the same card.
Apps That Offer Free Cash Contests
these apps offer giveaways, trivia contests, and other fun ways to win real cash prizes, and it’s Completely free to join and use. You won’t see payouts often, but they often have large prize pools associated with them.
11. HQ Trivia
Although it had some difficulty over the years, in March 2020, HQ Trivia relaunched for iOS users who enjoy playing trivia games to earn real money. To use it, you need to download the app on your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device and create an account.
Every day, you can log in at a specific time, usually around 9:00 PM. EST, to participate in live multiplayer trivia and word game tournaments. The winner of each night receives a cash prize. There is no entry fee to participate, but how much you can win varies with each tournament. You will need to connect to a PayPal account to deposit your winnings.
Also read: How to Make Money While Studying (29 Easy Ways)
More ways to earn money playing games
If you are interested in making money through gaming, there are many ways beyond the games listed above to accomplish this.
12. Compete in e-sports
If you’re into consistently beating your friends in Call of Duty or being competitive in online tournaments, consider e-sports. E-sports is a multimillion-dollar industry where players compete as professionals or amateurs in organized competitions. Those competitions are watched and streamed live by millions of fans. Fighting games, first-person shooters, and card games are popular among e-sports gamers.
The average e-sports gamer’s salary is $60,000, and the highest-earning gamer has career earnings of over $6,000,000 as of 2020. In the US, some top prize money in e-sports tournaments is up to $200,000 per tournament. Multiplayer competitions may offer higher prizes to be split between five or six players. Only some people who compete will win big money, but there is the potential for big cash prizes.
13. Start a Gaming YouTube Channel or Podcast
Starting a gaming YouTube channel is simple and relatively cheap. It would help if you had compelling content and good tools. Shooting videos on your smartphone and editing them together can be an easy way to build an audience. Content is essential when building your YouTube channel.
Whether you’re creating play-through gaming videos, discussing the merits of one gaming system over another, or giving tips and pointers to other gamers, each strategy will require engaging content. Otherwise, your fans will go to other channels. As your channel grows, so does the expectation of better content with a more professional presentation. The more people view your channel, the more income you can earn.
14. Start a Twitch gaming channel
Twitch Interactive is a live-streaming video game service that lets gamers worldwide watch e-sports competitions, music videos, and other types of content. The platform integrates with consoles such as the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 3 and 4, and devices such as the Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.
The process of making money broadcasting with Twitch is quite simple: more views mean more earning potential. Once you get at least 500 regular views per video, you can apply to become a Twitch Partner, a free opportunity through the site. the witch also allows you to solicit donations from your channel, allowing your fans to support you directly.
15. Find sponsors
Professional gamers can make money from sponsorships, similar to how professional athletes make money from partnerships with brands and companies. Depending on your popularity, you can bag a pretty lucrative deal.
All you have to do is wear sponsored gear during tournaments or promote brand products to your social media followers. Even if you don’t land high-dollar deals, you may be able to negotiate with smaller or up-and-coming brands for reduced fees or free items.
16. Take part in online card tournaments
If you can’t go to a casino or other in-person building, you can enter online poker and other gambling tournaments online to win real money. A quick Google search for online poker tournaments, online blackjack tournaments, or a visit to a website like Casino.org will give you a list of active or future games or online casinos where you can play virtual slot machines.
Before opting for this way of earning money by playing online games, make sure that you have checked each site or tournament to make sure that it is legit and legal in your state.
17. Create your Merchandise
Like people make money selling fan art and fan-fiction books, you can sell merchandise based on your favorite games or gamers. It could be a T-shirt, mug, cell phone case, notebook, or even printable tournament brackets for your famous e-sports competition. You can use a site like Teespring or CafePress to design and sell your wearables or Canva for printables or notebooks you want to sell on your website or Etsy.
How much you charge depends on what you are selling and on which platform. If you choose this, ensure you comply with all permissions, trademarks, and copyrights. You want to continue selling your merchandise or be subject to a lawsuit.
18. Sell retro games and gaming equipment
Depending on how long you’ve been into video games, you may have a lot of old games or consoles lying around your house or taking up space in a closet. If so, selling your retro games and equipment is a great way to get rid of some of your stuff and make some extra cash.
Decluttr is an excellent place to sell your used games, and eBay is good for selling not only matches but also consoles and other gaming equipment. You can also contact local stores, list your items for sale on Facebook Marketplace, or hold a yard sale. How much you’ll earn for games depends on their age and condition and how popular or rare they are.
If you prefer to work behind the scenes in the gaming industry, there are many opportunities to choose from it.
19. Start a gaming blog
There are dozens of successful gaming vloggers, but only a few gamers are writing about gaming online. Starting a blog can help you build an audience and generate extra income. Generate revenue with blog traffic and write compelling content that attracts visitors, sponsors, and gaming companies to your site.
Create another revenue stream with affiliate marketing products in gaming gear and game recommendations, or write your blog with your YouTube or Twitch channel. You can create a course or a short e-book with your best gaming tips.
20. Game Tester
Game testing positions pay you to play games and provide feedback about certain aspects of the game. While some companies require software and data knowledge, many want gamers to test beta versions of their new products.
Beta testers provide feedback about their experience, including any bugs they find or features to add or remove so that game developers can adjust the game before it hits the market.
21. Video game developer
Video game developers are the people who design games, from the graphics you see to the functionality of the features. If you are an excellent graphic designer and coding skills and love video games, this is a possible career path for you.
A college degree is not necessary for this career. You can learn online programs from video game design and coding.
22. Technical Support
If you’re good at helping people solve problems related to their video games, such as troubleshooting a problem with a gaming system, working in tech support can be a valid option.
These communication and problem-solving skills can also lead to a full-time career in the gaming industry. Technical support professionals make around $44,000 annually, and you can do it from home.
23. Video Game Journalist
If you are an avid gamer or fan of video games or e-sports and enjoy writing, consider finding a job as a video game journalist. In this job, you’ll report on video game trends and new products or games, interview famous gamers, and provide breaking news on the video game industry. You can also cover events or tournaments or participate in product launches.
You can start as a video game journalist by looking for jobs at industry-specific blogs, websites, or magazines. If you prefer, you can work as a freelancer or start your video game blog and build up your writing portfolio before looking for full-time work.
Although helpful, you don’t need a degree in journalism to work as a video game journalist.
If you are an avid gamer, earning money from online games is worth a try. Money-making games prefer to be in front of an audience or play tournament style, having options to work behind the scenes. Make sure you are realistic about your expectations.
Unless you work a traditional full-time online gaming job, chances are slim that you will earn a six-figure income. But if you put in the time, effort, and commitment to developing your platform and skills and connecting with your audience, your gaming habit can become a great way to make money online.