men playing video games on sofa

Can you really earn money from playing video games?

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Some dedicated gamers earn a lot of money every month through their hobby, but it can take a lot to get to that stage. If you’re just looking to turn a hobby into cash, how realistic is it?


How can you make money playing video games? 

It’s definitely possible to make money playing video games but it’s not an easy arena to get into. Competing in games tournaments once or twice year could see you win money - if you’re good enough. Or you could look at streaming your gameplay through Twitch or YouTube and earn money that way. You could create a blog or vlog about your favourite games, with walkthroughs and advice for new gamers. If your blog or vlog became popular enough you could monetise it through sponsorship and advertisements. 

How much money could you make? 

If you had a good blog or vlog going you could certainly make enough to cover your costs each month, and maybe earn a couple of hundred pounds a month through advertising. For successful Twitchers and YouTubers, the sky’s the limit if you can get big-name sponsors on board. Or you could compete in annual game tournaments that take place around the world, including the UK, and where the prizes range from vouchers up to hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash. 

How long does it take to make money? 

It takes a long time to get to the stage where you could earn money from gaming. A lot of the successful gamers started playing when games they were playing were relatively new to the market, and the concept of making money through video games was just beginning.  

If you want to run a popular blogyou’d have to spend some time every day to update it and connect with your readers. It could take months for it to become an established site and competition is fierce so it may never take off.  

Likewise, with YouTube or Twitch, you’d have to establish yourself as an expert in the game of your choice and build a following of devoted fans. This can take months to several years. 

It’s quicker to earn money with tournaments, but you’ll need to be at a high level to compete with the other players and have a chance of winning. 

What games or platforms could you earn money on? 

Twitch is a live streaming platform for gamers aged 13 and over. Gamers stream their gameplay live through the platform, and their gaming action can be watched by people all over the world. It’s based on channels much like YouTube and gamers have to build up a loyal audience of fans. You can make money on Twitch by receiving donations, gaining subscribers, sponsors, or from advertising. Joining Twitch starts at $4.99 if you want to stream, but it’s free if you just want to watch streams to see what it’s all about. 

Belong runs tournaments and competitions where you can win merchandise and cash prizes. They have arenas around the UK but are currently running some online events. Games include FIFA and Fornite and youth tournaments are run for children aged 13 to 16. 

Play games to save money 

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to some of the more serious gaming activities, then why not just sign up for free to play games such as Pokemon Go. If you’re new to Pokemon, you could start playing it for free. The time you spend playing Pokemon or similar games is time you’re not going out and spending your money on drinks or food.  

If you have an old Pokemon account you no longer use, you might be able to sell it on eBay depending on the level of the account (check if this is allowed with the game manufacturer first). Or if you have Pokemon cards lying around you may be able to trade them for some cash. 

Read here for more ways to make money online. 

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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