The Quest for Your Career series can help. Each week, we’ll focus on one of nearly 30 jobs in the video game industry across several job families including art, design, programming, testing, production, and more. Each interview features an experienced industry veteran who tells all about what the job is, what it takes, and how you can start preparing right now.

This is one reason why it’s best to try and get a full-time employment (“FTE”) testing job at an established game company. Most regions require that employers provide medical benefits to their full-time employees, so it’s often a safer way to go. If you can’t find and FTE job initially, you may want to consider working as a temp at first, just to learn the job and get some experience on your resume.
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I started this website because there’s very little information out there about how video game companies work on the inside, or how to get started in the industry. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours, of my own personal time, to write dozens of articles to give you insight into making games as a career. And here they all are, all of them, for free. FOR FREE!
Game testing can most definitely lead to other roles in the game industry.  A common complaint that I hear from candidates is that "I can't apply for this job because I haven't worked in the industry for x years" or "I can't get the experience because I can't get the job to start with".  Game testing is one of the few roles in the entire tech industry where you can get a chance without the years of experience behind you.  That being said, just because you are working as a game tester doesn't mean you're going to be a game designing in 5 years.  You need to continue learning new things and focus on skills and technologies that are relevant to the specific area in the industry you'd like to advance into.  Work on side projects with friends or co-workers that will allow you to continue learning new things, continue taking classes to keep your knowledge current.
Technically, you need to be at least the minimum working age in your country, state, or province. But practically, most game companies won’t hire people as testers until they turn 18 years old. If you’re not old enough yet, you can start preparing for your future job by following some of the advice listed elsewhere in this article, and listen to my podcast about getting a job in games.
Getting a job as a game developer is like the Hail Mary of the industry. This is probably the first to pop up in Google when searching for video gaming jobs, but your opportunities might be limited. Jobs site Indeed indicated that the amount of game developer openings have dropped 65% since 2014 while searches for “game developer” have increased by 50%. That’s why getting your foot in the door with one of the jobs above is a great way to grow your network and learn the trade from the inside.
Besides a typical “game tester” job, there’s also a job that you may not have heard of yet called an “SDET” (pronounced “ESS-det”). That stands for “software design/development engineer in test.” It’s a cool job that’s basically a tester that writes computer code – code that tests the game in an automated way. So it’s like a testing job, but the salary is much higher since it requires programming skills. A programming degree or some programming classes would be really helpful for landing a job as an SDET.

Game testing does not typically require specialized education, so you could start applying for jobs now. Search online for game studios or testing companies that have open positions for “game tester” or “QA tester”, and apply online. There are numerous articles on this site on how to write your resume and apply for jobs, look under the “Blog” menu for more information. I wish you luck!


You can sign-up for our network, with no problems at all. With our online freelance gaming jobs, you will be able to work from home, no matter where you live. Everything you need to get started is just your console or PC. All game tester tools, guides to get started, games and much more, will be supplied from Onlinegametester and our partners (game developers).
Hi Samin, your comment made me chuckle! If you could get paid to play games, then everybody would do that for sure. The fact is that game testing is a lot of work, and sometimes it’s not even very fun. You don’t get to just play the game, you have to search for bugs and write a report for each bug you find. Sometimes you could write 20 or more reports each day. Then when the dev team fixes the bug, you have to go into the game to make sure it’s really fixed, which can take a while.
The lead programmer manages the software engineering of a game, developing the technical specification and then delegating different elements. They usually compile technical documentation and ensure the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of all the game code. They also manage the production of the different ‘builds’ of a game, ensuring that coding bugs are fixed, and making sure everything happens on schedule. The lead programmer must also provide support and guidance to the programming team, which can include specialism in games engine programming, graphics programming, gamesplay, physics, artificial intelligence (AI), tools development, networking and build engineering.
The lead programmer manages the software engineering of a game, developing the technical specification and then delegating different elements. They usually compile technical documentation and ensure the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of all the game code. They also manage the production of the different ‘builds’ of a game, ensuring that coding bugs are fixed, and making sure everything happens on schedule. The lead programmer must also provide support and guidance to the programming team, which can include specialism in games engine programming, graphics programming, gamesplay, physics, artificial intelligence (AI), tools development, networking and build engineering.
2. Most of the bug software works the same as all the others. For each bug you find, you create a new “page” (database entry) and fill out the form. The form will ask for information such as which area of the game you found the bug in, how “bad” the bug is (e.g. does it just look bad, or does it actually crash the game). Then you type up the exact steps you took to find the bug, so that a member of the development team can do the same thing to see the bug in action and fix it.
Hello, I’m 16 and I have been playing video games for as long as i can remember. I enjoy playing games for hours on end, I also enjoy finding bugs in games that are in closed Betas. I have found numerous bugs on League of legends PBE, Overwatch Open Beta, Even found a few on big name games like Halo and Call of duty. I have reported all of these bugs and have gotten them fixed because of me finding them. I do not even know how or where i would even start to pursue a career in this field.I am determined to get a job as a game tester because of my love for video games. I would highly appreciate if you could give me a rundown on where to start, What requirements i need, Where i need to go and a overall estimate on how much this would cost me. Thank you very much!
Hi, there, my name is Robert. I’m a gamer that loves JRPGs, and would love to be in this business, but I feel you need to know rocket-science do be in this industry. Am I wrong? I also have no college degree. Is a game tester the best way to start, or trying to a make phone game, if I want to be a game designer? Or should I go to a college? I’m lost.
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Hi Roman – if you’re old enough to get a job, you have a lot of experience playing games, and you have a good work ethic? Then yes, you might have a good shot at getting a job as a game tester. You may not be able to get a job at the specific company right away, any testing job will help you get started. But it doesn’t hurt to try – why not apply for the job?
Hello my name is Cyril and i am interested in testing video games. My parents say its alright if i can find a job. I am aware of the difficulties and obstacles of testing video games. But i would like to know were i can get that kind of a job. It would really mean alot to me because it would be nice to have some cash and i would love to have the chance to develop and design video games. Thanks and God Bless.
I read through many of these comments and noticed that many of the questions are from younger and eager future designers who hopefully have a fantastic career laid before them. However, I am 24 years of age and have struggled to find a way to break into the gaming industry in Arizona. I am fluent in a handful of coding languages with experience and will be concluding my Associates program for Software Development in in the next few months but none of that means much if there is no ground to find my footing on. The kicker is, I cannot leave this state without having a solid foundation laid out in another state, but I do not want that to stop me from gaining professional experience in the Game Dev industry.
Hi Jackie, it’s interesting that you mention an interest in translation. Do you mean that you’re bilingual or multilingual? If so, you should investigate jobs as at companies that do “localization testing” because they employ translators and also testers. One company I’ve worked with before is Babel Media, so that could be a good place to start your search.
The perfect job! Drink while working or work while drinking! I need you to playtest a drinking party game (dare type, barnyard themed) while checking various aspects of the game: - which cards aren't working/fun. what changes could be made to them (rewording, rating and etc) - is there a way to balance the game better - is the game even fun? - what's the weakest part of the game? - how did the theme and characters fit this type of game? Requirements: - Testing will need to be conducted 3-4 times in 1 week. - Before testing we'll come up with a simple questionnaire that you'll ask your friends (did you like the game? would you buy it? what did you like most/least about it? would you play it again?). - You will need to print out the game (we'll send you the pdfs of cards) - During the test you will need to gather other info to report on (comments on content, reactions to content, playing time and etc). Comments on content can be written in the doc I'll send you, the rest we can just discuss over skype. - You'll propose changes and correction according to that report. :) If we work well together, I'll ask you to continue playtesting the game and even get involved in other game projects later. :) I would rather pay per playtest. So if you know that you are able to test an x amount of times, send me your offer.
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