Making money playing games is easier than you think. In fact, there are so many different opportunities to earn money while playing games online that you can even decide if you want this to be a side hustle or your full-time job.
Of course, different opportunities will earn you different amounts of money, and this is something that is important to keep in mind as we explore the available options.
All available opportunities fall into one of the four categories, Casual gaming, Entertainment gaming, Professional gaming, and Career gaming.
6 Ways To Make Money Playing Games Now
Casual gaming is a way to make some extra cash on the side while you play video games on your iPhone or Android.
With many platforms and different games to choose from, this is one of the most exciting ways to make real money right off your smartphone.
Most apps are available for both Google Android as well as Apple iOS. If you have an Android device, you can check the Play Store while iOS users will need to search in the App Store. Apps are usually free, so do be careful when they ask you for money, as this is usually the sign of a scam.
Here are the top casual gaming apps that pay you real cash rewards and gift cards:
Mistplay labels itself as the loyalty program for gamers, and this is for a good reason.
While they’ve only been in business since 2016, their app has already been downloaded more than 10 million times. The total reward value since first opening is north of $5 million.
They have a large variety of games available. The more games you play, the more you get rewarded. Rewards come in the form of units that you can exchange from retailers like Amazon and Google Play.
You can also opt for Visa gift cards that are pretty much the equivalent of real cash.
Lucktastic offers a wide range of cash prizes, with the biggest of them all clocking in at $1,000,0000. To win this prize, you need to be one of three finalists to crack the code. All three finalists also get a guaranteed $5,000.
Lucktastic has many other competitions, including the Livin Life contest, with a chance to win $25,000. Other available games include Lucky Trivia Live, Win Across America, and the MacBook Pro Contest.
When you play games on this app, you earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards. In all, there are more than 30 retailers to choose from, including DDomino’s Walmart, JCPenny, and others.
InboxDollars offers more than a few ways to earn money, including playing games for real cash rewards.
They offer a wide and varied selection of games, including a number of in-house titles. They also partner with GSN games with 18% cashback up for grabs when playing any of their titles.
Playing games is not the only way to earn money with this app. Filling in surveys, reading emails, and getting paid to watch videos are some of the other ways that can also earn you some free cash.
There is no point system when playing games with this app. Instead, you’ll earn cash straight away. At the moment, they’re also running a promotion offering a free $5.00 welcome bonus just for signing up.
Check out our full Inbox Dollars review to learn more.
Earning points is easy, with many rewarding activities, including playing games. There are different ways to earn points when playing games, including playing their own titles or making in-game purchases
Swagbucks will also pay you to take surveys, watching online videos, and searching the web, among other things. Signing up is easy, and you can even use your Facebook logins to avoid having to create a separate account.
Swagbucks claims that they give out some 7,000 gift cards each day – so all you need it an Amazon or PayPal account. They have a 4.3 score on Trustpilot, making them a trusted company among their users.
Check out our full Swagbucks review to learn more.
Repeat.gg offers tournaments with real cash prizes for a number of games, including Fortnite, Call of Duty, and many other titles. To participate in one of their tournaments, you need to link your game then join one of their tournaments.
As you play, you collect points. These are rewarded based on your performance. They work with different brands and influencers to offer free tournaments with big prize pools.
It is important to note that they have a zero-tolerance policy for smurfs and cheaters, so be careful as one strike, and you’re out.
There is no software to download and install, and registration is easy and free. To create an account, visit their website where you will also be able to find open tournaments and any other information you might need.
If you want to make money while play games that you know and love, then WorldWinner has all that and more.
Former GSN games, the site has free games you can play – but you can also enter tournaments to play against others.
The site claims to have 4 million players and run more than 2 million tournaments a month! They also claim to award more than $100,000 each day in cash prizes, which is pretty awesome.
What sorts of games can you expect to see on Worldwinner? WWe’retalking games like Solitaire, Plinko, and Wheel of Fortune.
When playing against other players, you’re matched with someone who has similar ratings as you to make it fair.
Entertainment gaming combines playing games with content creation, be it reviews, videos, and everything in between. To some extent, it’s a bit like running your own business and can be a great way to make money online.
We will now look at some of the available options when it comes to entertainment gaming.
Making Money as a Streamer
Services like Twitch and Youtube allow you to live stream or record yourself playing games.
Game streaming has grown a lot over the past few years, with the top streamers and Youtubers making millions of dollars per year.
As a streamer, you’ll have your own Twitch or Youtube channel and make money from donations or adverts that appear throughout your videos.
While streaming favorite games is important, you also need to let your personality shine through and provide entertainment value to those watching your streams and videos.
Doing this will help you get the views numbers up. The more views and subscribers you have, the more money you will make.
Professional gaming, also known as esports, is like the major league of gaming.
Here, you’ll find people (and their teams) playing video games for money. In some cases, their take-home pay nears that of professional sports players.
Making Money as a Professional Gamer
One way to get paid to play games is to play them professionally. Professional players join tournaments with prizes running into the thousands of dollars.
Many professional video game players have coaches and train for many many hours. As you can imagine, the competition is stiff, and to make money, you need to win against your competition.
Numerous competitions are held throughout the year, and you can even compete with your own team in some events.
Being a professional player also opens other doors and revenue streams. This is due to the fame many professional gamers enjoy that tends to be on par with that of sports stars.
These can include anything from endorsements and advertising to having your own merchandise.
Professional gamers also need to have their own staff – from coaches to managers. This means that you can get yourself involved in the industry without the pressure of being in the spotlight all the time.
The gaming industry is on course to be worth some $257 by the end of 2025. With more than 2.5 billion people playing games on a regular basis, there is an entire market behind the games we play.
From the developers who make the games to the testers who test them and the marketers who market them, getting a job in the gaming industry is one of the ways you can get paid for playing games.
Making Money as a Game Tester
As a game tester, you get access to the newest titles before they even make it out to the market. You get to play the games and test them – noting any bugs or glitches so that they can be fixed before the game is released into the market.
There are no specific qualifications you need to become a tester, but a background in IT and development can be very helpful.
If you have a college degree or equivalent in video game design and/or experience in quality assurance, you might be able to command higher pay rates. As a game tester, you can expect to earn anything from $7 per hour to $44 per hour.
Making Money as a Game Developer
As a game developer, you’ll at the forefront of the gaming industry, writing the very games that people will play. YYou’llneed to be able to program with the actual language used varying from one company to another.
Depending on the company you work for, you could be developing games for consoles such as Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo. Other platforms, including PC and mobile, also need developers, so being familiar with the different technologies is definitely going to be a huge plus.
Game developers who don’t want to work for game companies can also release their own indie titles independently. While this might be more work, it can also be more rewarding.
Typically, video game developers earn anywhere between $44,000 and $120,000 per year, depending on the company you work for and the position you hold.
Other Careers in the Gaming Industry
The gaming industry is an entire industry – this means that are all sorts of jobs available, including accountants, marketers, customer support, and everything in between.
While not all jobs in the gaming industry will require you to play games, finding ones that do is not as hard as you might think.
This makes it easy to use your existing skills to land a job in the gaming sector and get as close to the action as possible.
Should You Get Paid to Play Games?
If you’re looking to get paid to play games, there are more than a few options available to you.
If your goal is to make as much money as possible, playing professionally or streaming content is going to be your best bet.
You can also join the gaming industry as a developer or a tester. Having said that, the gaming industry employs people in all sorts of positions so you can choose a role that works the best for you.
If you’re looking to earn money on the side, casual gaming is the one for you. While you won’t making millions or thousands of dollars, it’s still a nice way to supplement your income with many different apps and options available.
Do remember that some tournaments have big jackpots, but the odds of winning these are going to be low. Either way, it’s worth a try if you enjoy playing games.
From the latest mobile games to sweepstakes and everything in between, these apps offer many different ways to earn extra money. The good news is that there is no application process like when applying for a gaming job.
All you need to do is download the app and start playing games today.