Make Money Playing Games: 13 Legit Ways To Get Paid To Play

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Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

It’s every gamers dream to make money playing games.

As first reported in The Washington Post, “the amount of time Americans spend playing video games and board games has risen by 50 percent since 2003”, that from 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Making an income from playing video games online has never been easier. And, in this guide, we’ll cover the very best ways to make money gaming. Want to play bingo for money? Or rather go for Twitch superstardom instead? We’ll show you how to do that, too.

Ready to transform your gaming hobby into a lucrative professional pursuit? Let’s do it!

Get Gaming On Swagbucks

Sign up for Swagbucks right now to get $10 free.

Swagbucks truly has it all. Want quick cash via surveys for money? They’ve got you covered.

Or, if online surveys aren’t you thing, you can get paid to watch videos. But, what many veteran Swagbucks members fail to notice is, the platform also provides opportunities to make money playing games.

Becoming a Swagbucks member is 100% free.

It’s a favorite for those looking to see how to make extra money on the side. Swagbucks claims to give out 7,000 free gift cards per day, and it has paid out over $250 million since its founding, which makes it one of the most reputable platforms of its kind on the internet.

To make money playing games on Swagbucks, you’ll need to choose your game type–free or paid. The more you play, the more credits you earn. For some games, you pay credits to play, but you get even more credits back when you achieve in-game goals.

Other Swagbucks games don’t cost a thing to play, but they usually offer inferior rewards.

Once you’ve earned a certain number of points on Swagbucks, you can redeem your credits for Amazon gift cards or whichever method of payment you prefer.

The best part of Swagbucks is the sheer number of opportunities it offers. All of which you can use to make money. And if you don’t like the games, you can switch to surveys or videos.

It’s that easy.

Join InboxDollars

Sign up for InboxDollars right now to get $5 free.

InboxDollars is one of the apps that gives Swagbucks a serious run for its money. However, signing up for InboxDollars won’t make or break your relationship with its most prominent competitor; while these two platforms are similar, they offer slightly different options for making money playing games.

Get $5 for joining InboxDollars.

Setting up an InboxDollars account is free. Once you’re in, you’ll have your choice of playing either free or paid games. To receive money for playing games, you must complete the games you play and receive a score. That, or, another form of in-game accomplishment that has inherent value. Once you’ve fulfilled the requirements, you’ll be able to exchange the fruits of your in-game successes for points (then cash).

Just like Swagbucks, InboxDollars offers tons of ways to make small amounts of cash other than gaming. When you get tired of game show games or any of the other gaming options that this platform offers, you can move on to taking surveys or watching videos to keep things fresh.

Become A Twitch Personality

Create your Twitch account today.

twi

This approach to making money playing games requires a lot of effort. (If you want easy money, try bingo for money). More than any other option in this list. But it’s also one of the only money-making video game ideas that could turn into a lucrative career. Twitch is a streaming platform used mainly by gamers to live stream their games.

While other types of professionals, such as illustrators and graphic designers, also use Twitch to share their streams with their fans, this platform is almost entirely dominated by gamer culture.

The beauty of streaming on Twitch is that you’ll be doing something you already do for free but get paid for it. If you’re already an avid gamer, there’s no reason you shouldn’t stream your games. Because once you get a following, you’ll start earning passive income whenever you game. It’s a thing of beauty, I know.

But how, exactly, do you make money on Twitch?

It’s easy. Whenever you live stream, your followers will have the option to provide you with tips. Maybe you just reflexed an epic headshot or you beat your high score. However you impress your fans, they’ll be happy to give you some of their hard-earned cash. If your gaming skills are up to snuff, of course.

While some of the tips you receive might only be for $5 or less, it’s also common for Twitch streamers to receive tips of $100, $200, or even $500 at a time. The more followers you have on Twitch, the more people you’ll have watching your streams, and the more watchers you have, the more tips you’ll get.

To get followers, you’ll need to stand out from the pack. There’s no magic trick to getting famous on Twitch. Many of the most prominent Twitch personalities didn’t do a thing aside from stream their games. All without any fanfare or attention-grabbing tricks. In fact, the more desperate you seem for followers, the less likely it is that you’ll get popular. This makes starting out on Twitch a gamble of sorts. But, if you’re going to be gaming anyway, what do you have to lose?

Go for it!

Game On YouTube Live

Go live on YouTube today.

For gamers, YouTube serves as a Twitch alternative with benefits that its gamer-dominated competitor might not offer. For starters, this video platform is the second-biggest search engine in the world, which means that you gain access to a much larger potential viewer pool when you use YouTube instead of Twitch.

youtube gamer streamSetup your YouTube live stream here.

Plus, you can monetize your YouTube stream by playing ads, which is a feature that Twitch doesn’t offer. The more new users join your stream, the more opportunities you’ll have to monetize your content.

Of course, YouTube also has an alternative to Twitch‘s tip system. Called Super Chat, this YouTube live stream feature allows your viewers to provide you with monetary tips. When a viewer tips you, his/her name comes up prominently in the chat. This is a nice, additional incentive to tip handsomely.

You can stream on Twitch and YouTube simultaneously.

Best of all, you don’t have to pick between YouTube and Twitch. When you stream your games; you can stream on both platforms simultaneously to hike up your viewer base. Many veteran gamers start off on Twitch and add YouTube into the mix to increase the number of eyes on each of their streams, which is a smart move to make.

Play PCH Games For Money

Starting gaming on PCH today.

You might be more familiar with the real-world lottery options that Publisher’s Clearing House offers. But this well-known sweepstakes provider also has a robust online gaming platform. And you can use it to make some serious money if you’re patient and persistent.

When you play games on PCH Games, you get tokens. You can then use these tokens to enter into online sweepstakes or get cash in the form of PayPal deposits or gift cards. (Who doesn’t love apps to make money for PayPal?) Signing up for PCH Games is free, and you don’t use any real money to enroll in this gaming platform’s sweepstakes. When you play the games that PCH Games offers, you don’t stand to lose anything except your time if you don’t end up winning anything in the prize drawings you enter.

Sign Up For Second Life

They don’t call it “Second Life” for nothing…

Have you ever wanted to sell real estate without getting your realtor’s license? Then dip your toes into the world of Second Life. This game is like The Sims on steroids. It’s an incredibly deep and immersive world. One that you can spend endless hours getting sucked into.

Second Life has been called “The Sims on Steroids.”

Unlike most addicting games, however, Second Life provides you with opportunities to better yourself financially. All while you have fun with your new friends from all around the world. You’ll have to sink a significant amount of game time into Second Life to reap any monetary rewards. But, once you’re a pro at this role-playing game, you’ll be able to turn the goods and services you offer in-game into real-world cash.

In Second Life, you create an avatar that attends school, goes to work, has kids, and is involved in every other aspect of everyday life. Second Life is so real, in fact, that many players will pay for commodities and services like real estate, doctor’s visits, education, and other things you spend money on in the real world.

You can do a lot of cool stuff once you’ve gathered up a significant amount of in-game currency. Called Linden Dollars, you’ll be able to transform this in-game money into cash. And, if you get good enough at Second Life, you could even make as much money in this virtual world as you make in the real one.

Roll the Dice with Exodus 3000

Fancy getting paid to play a futuristic role-playing gameExodus 3000 is something like Dungeons and Dragons, except it’s 1,000 years in the future.

While the only thing you can win in a D&D is gamer credibility, you can get real money from playing Exodus 3000.

Exodus 3000 has payed out over $65,000 since 2006.

When you attain notable achievements in Exodus 3000, you get paid in a virtual currency called Mars Dollars, which you use for in-game purchases. However, you can also exchange your Mars Dollars for cash prizes, which can give you a little bit of extra money to throw around every month.

Before you get your hopes up and expect that you can make a living with Exodus 3000, keep in mind that the creators of this game have only given out around $65,000 since its launch date. If you want to make money online any way you can, however, Exodus 3000 is a fun and useful tool to have in your kit.

Get Started with GSN Games

gsn games

Game shows aren’t just entertaining TV programs you can play along with from the couch; plenty of online games also follow the game show model, and if you’re lucky and persistent, you can fatten up your PayPal account by playing free games online that are similar to Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune.

When you make a free account on GSN Games, which is owned by the very same Game Show Network that brings you reruns of your favorite TV game shows, you get a bonus of 12,500 tokens just for signing up. After you’re a member, GSN Games provides you with lots of different ways to get more tokens, and you always have the option of cashing out and converting your tokens into gift cards or other forms of payment. Here are just a few of the ways you can get extra tokens on GSN Games:

  • Refer your friends
  • Watch GSN advertisements
  • Visit GSN Games on multiple consecutive days
  • Complete promotional offers
  • Update your account information

Of course, the best way to get tokens on GSN Games is by playing the games that this platform offers. GSN Games offers a variety of cash tournaments and free games, and every game on this platform provides tokens as prizes. While getting involved in cash tournaments on GSN games is inherently risky, there’s no reason you shouldn’t play a free game here or there to get tokens you can use toward your next Amazon gift card.

NOTE: You can also purchase tokens outright on GSN Games, but that defeats the purpose of making money by playing games.

Get Paid as a Game Tester with Bananatic

bananatic

Game testing can be a lucrative hobby, and Bananatic is the place to go if you want to dip your toes into the world of being a paid game player. From mobile games for Android or iPhone to the latest offerings from popular game franchises, Bananatic offers a variety of games that you can play to help developers work out the kinks and optimize the user experience of the final product.

Whichever game you play on Bananatic, this platform’s model remains pretty much the same. After completing various in-game quests or objectives, you log out and write a review of your experience. Once Bananatic receives your review, you’ll receive some Bananas, which are this game testing platform’s currency.

Once you have a certain number of Bananas, you can redeem them for gift cardsPayPal payments, or rewards you can use to take your game to the next level. For instance, you can pay Bananas to get special skins. Or, you can snag CD keys for your favorite games.

Give Givling a Go

Givling is the world’s preeminent app for playing super-fun trivia games with your friends. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get paid when you play Givling, you stand a chance to win real cash whenever you boot up this app and form a team of trivia geniuses.

As a mobile app, you can use Givling no matter where you are in the world. Just as long as you have a strong cellular signal. Once you start the game you’ll be automatically matched with two other players. From there, you’ll compete with other teams for the highest score.

Only the top-scoring team gets any money. But, when you win, Givling splits this cash prize equally between the three members of your team. Interestingly, Givling offers greater rewards to people who are struggling with student loan or mortgage debt. This unique gaming model has garnered the attention of major platforms like Forbes.

Sell Maxed-Out Characters

Creating a good character in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG or MMO for short) is no easy feat. Veteran gamers cultivate their characters like rare, exotic plants. Just like prize winning orchids, MMO characters can fetch a high price on the market.

Getting a maxed-out character in an MMORPG might take hundreds or even thousands of gameplay hours. But, should you accomplish it, you’ll have a valuable asset once you’re done. Many veteran MMO players take to platforms like PlayerAuctions to hock their supercharged accounts. But you can also go the traditional route and sell your character on eBay.

Selling maxed-out MMORPG accounts doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you absolutely love role-playing games. If you’ll be gaming a lot anyway, however, you might as well turn your hobby into real-world cash. You can do that by selling characters–or even entire accounts–that you don’t need anymore.

Game Responsibly with Long Game Savings

Do you want investing in your future to be as fun as playing your favorite online games? Then look no further than Long Game Savings, which is a mobile app that rewards you with cryptocurrency whenever you hit your savings goals.

To understand how this app works, imagine that you’ve set a goal to save $500 this month. When you hit that goal, Long Game Savings provides you with a set amount of Coins. T is this app’s currency. You can then use these coins to play simple games, and when you win, you either get cash or cryptocurrency.

Cash prizes in Long Game Savings run as high as $1,000,000, and you’re practically guaranteed to win a Bitcoin or an Ethereum after having Long Game Savings on your phone for a few months.

Bingo For Money

bingo for money

If bingo games are your cup of tea, Bingo Zone will quickly become one of your favorite gaming sites. It’s free to sign up for Bingo Zone, and cash prizes start at $1.

Yes, you can really play bingo for money.

Bingo games on Bingo Zone operate the same way as real-world bingo games; you and a group of fellow players keep playing until there’s a winner. Keep at it with Bingo Zone, and you’re bound to win. And the cash prizes that this platform offers winners can be as large as $100. So yes, bingo for money 100% real.

Bonus: Try Cash Crate

Cash Crate claims to have over 7,000,000 members around the world, which leads us to think that this platform must be legit. Like Swagbucks and InboxDollars, Cash Crate pays you to watch videos and surveys, and it also offers free games that you can play to get points that you can apply toward cash rewards.

Cash Crate is free to join, and you can get extra points by referring your friends. Keep in mind that you’ll need to earn at least $20 to receive a payout, and the cash you make in Cash Crate doesn’t pay until the following month.

Make Money Play Games: Pro Tips

Now that you’re aware of some of the best places you can make money for playing games online, it’s time to cover the best ways to succeed in your new money-making hobby:

Beware of Gaming Addiction

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the gaming industry exists to get players addicted. While not all game developers are nefarious, there’s no denying the fact that people who make games get paid more the more that that their games are played. Therefore, game developers race to make their games more enticing and more addictive than the titles that their competitors produce.

If you aren’t careful, you could end up deep in a gaming addiction even though your primary goal in playing games online was getting extra cash and beefing up your savings account. Some of the games and game platforms we’ve mentioned could even leave you in the red if you get addicted, so if you’re serious about making money with your gaming hobby, don’t dive too far into the gaming world until you know you’re ready.

Don’t Overspend

Some online games require you to spend money to make money. While most paid game platforms don’t require much money to get started, microtransactions have a way of adding up quickly. Even if it’s part of your strategy to earn cash by spending a little bit of money up front, don’t keep throwing money down the hole if your endeavors aren’t paying off.

Keep Your Expectations Reasonable

Only the most popular Twitch personas make enough money gaming to cover the costs of their lifestyle, and very few successful YouTube gamers get paid enough to make a living. While you might get lucky and make a killing testing new games or become ultra-popular on social media, don’t quit your day job to become a professional gamer. If things work out the way you’ve planned, that’s great, but don’t put your personal finances at risk by pursuing a path that may or may not work out.

Making Real Money Playing Video Games: The Bottom Line

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with just how cool it is that you can make money playing games. While it’s certainly great that opportunities exist to make some serious cash by doing nothing but streaming your favorite first-person shooter or playing bingo, always remember that making money playing video games isn’t risk-free.

With that said, there’s no reason you shouldn’t transform your gaming hobby into a money-making opportunity. While gaming online probably won’t let you retire early or cover all your bills, getting good at professional gaming has a chance to make life a little bit easier and a lot more fun.

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.