How to Become a Video Game Tester

So you’ve decided you’d like to become a video game tester, and you’re unsure of where to start. The article below will detail the three categories of video game testing, and how you can get your foot in the door of each.

Be warned: video game testing is a desirable and competitive field. It requires patience, perseverance, and above all a love for video games that goes beyond mere enjoyment. If you possess these qualities, then this is how to make them your living.

The Video Game Testing Blog

In this scenario, the games you test are purchased by you after they’ve been released by their developing companies. After playing the game several times through and making notes on your experience, you would write an in-depth article expounding on your opinions as they pertain to controls, graphics, sound, voice acting, and the overall quality of the game.

This article is then posted on your personal website, and virally marketed. This means getting as many people as possible to read your reviews by utilizing topic-forums like Reddit, Digg, etc.

Once enough people read your reviews regularly, advertisers will start approaching you asking to buy ad space on your website, knowing your readers will see it. Make the best decisions on advertising (to keep your readers happy), and you could make a substantial sum of money this way.

The Freelance Tester Method

As a freelance video game tester, you would be hired by the game developers themselves on a project-by-project basis to test games that have not been released yet. Depending on the company and your location, you would either be testing games in the company’s facilities or in your own home. If they like your work, you can be hired regularly as well as get recommendations for other developers.

The best way to become a freelance tester is to contact any local developers and ask for an application. Be stubborn and persistent; fortune rewards those who persevere, and video game developers are looking for people who want this job more than anyone else.

If you don’t have any local developers, try all the others. Just know that your chances of being selected fall substantially if you’re not in the same general area.

Full-time Video Game Tester

The pinnacle of the video game testing field, the full-time tester is employed by a developer to test games out daily. Remember, this job takes lots of perseverance, because you’ll most likely be playing the same game for hours on end, day after day, making extensive notes about every little detail.

However, if you don’t mind the repetition and enjoy the detailed analysis, then moving to a city that houses a developer or two might be your next career move. First, contact the company and find out if they’re hiring. If so, locate an application and fill it out, making sure to include what gaming experience you have, especially technical education that pertains to the field (a degree in game programming or art design, etc).

Basic Advice

The best way to make yourself a strong candidate for these jobs is to be as universally grounded in every aspect of video games as possible.

Make sure you’ve played at least a few games on every major console, noting the artistic, sound, and technical differences between them. Read up on major industry news, keep up-to-date on new game releases, and generally just be well-informed in every way.

Good luck, gamers!