There are many basic skills and abilities that you will need for a career as a video game tester, but probably the most important attribute is a foundational experience with video games. You need to understand the top genres of games, know what makes for a good video game, and grasp the essentials of game play. Knowing video games, however, is just a start.
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.
Hi Robert, you’re right that there’s a lot to learn to be in the video game industry – but that’s the same with any industry. The sooner you start learning, the sooner you’ll get good at it. 🙂 A college degree isn’t required, but a degree or at least a certificate would help a lot when you’re applying for jobs. If you don’t know where to start, then I’d suggest maybe taking a game-related certificate from a local college if possible – it will teach you the basics, and help you start making a portfolio. Best of luck!
Hi Chris, being a game tester sounds fun, but it’s a hard job and doesn’t pay as well as the other jobs in the game industry. If you’re 13 and want to work in games, then I’d recommend working toward being a game designer, programmer, or artist. Depending on which one attracts you the most. Check out my article on the different jobs in the game industry, and see whether one of those sounds interesting, then work in that direction.
Hi jason, my name is james, i’m 15 and i’ve been working with a company for about a month now, i love programming and we’re working on a hands free social media app called fallound. I really don’t know what i’m gonna do in college but i want to be part of a major position in a gaming company like ubisoft or rockstars for example, can you tell me what major should i do in college, thanks!
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.

- Hello, my name is Christian Bradley. I'll be your guide for this course on careers in the game industry. The video game industry has expanded to include AAA development studios, independent development teams, mobile app developers, and one man any studios. From the outside, each of these environments looks very different. This course is designed to help you understand the key skills that are common to all game development and how you can gain the experience you need to take your first steps in the industry. We'll talk about how game studios are structured, how games are financed and distributed, how programmers, artists, designers, and other professionals contribute to a game's design and development, and lastly, the specific skills that each of these professions require. So, if you're ready, let's take a look at careers in the game industry.
Thank you so much for all of your answers to those questions, it has really helped me. I want to eventually work my way up to either being a programmer at valve or ubisoft. But I want to start off my video game career as a game tester. But just a quick question, what would it take to be a game tester for a company like ubisoft or valve because it would make it much easier working my way up on the job ladder for a company that I want to work for. And if they are only looking for experienced testers to work for them what do you recommend as a good company to test games for that would accept new testers?
As you can see at the top left hand corner that my name is Eric. Im 13 years old and have a deep desire to get a job and make good money fast. I play video games on a regular basis and have a tendency to get stuff done cleanly and quickly. I had my eye on video game testing for quite a while now and also thinking about going further than that in the gaming industry such as coming up with ideas and things they need to fix or put in. As if they can use my imagination to use. For now video game testing. Im hoping to get some information on where I can start and not whether im too young or not.
- Hello, my name is Christian Bradley. I'll be your guide for this course on careers in the game industry. The video game industry has expanded to include AAA development studios, independent development teams, mobile app developers, and one man any studios. From the outside, each of these environments looks very different. This course is designed to help you understand the key skills that are common to all game development and how you can gain the experience you need to take your first steps in the industry. We'll talk about how game studios are structured, how games are financed and distributed, how programmers, artists, designers, and other professionals contribute to a game's design and development, and lastly, the specific skills that each of these professions require. So, if you're ready, let's take a look at careers in the game industry.

Hello, sir. I am a young student going into his first year of college next fall. Although I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering (its a well paying job source), I have alot of interest in video game design. I am a bit inexperienced with terms, but I would eventually like to pursue a field of design in which I could help create worlds and sandboxes for games. Whether it be the single player cinematics of worlds like Skyrim or the Multiplayer arenas of Halo. In high school I took many classes in AutoCAD, Architecture and Technical. Using programs to 3D model objects and areas was a thrill! Game tools like Halo’s “Forge”mode really have me Iinterested In map designing for video games one day. Your article addresses becoming a videogame tester as an entry level position. What advice could you lend to me for a goal that I cannot even properly name yet? Also, most of those big cities are not in the Michigan area, so I worry for my chances of getting a job anytime soon…. anyways, thank you for your article. It was a good read and very imformational.


A video game job goes far beyond just creating or testing games for a Wii, Xbox or Playstation, to name a few. Professionals are needed to create games for computers, hand-held devices, mobile devices, and through social media networks, as well as the traditional gaming systems. But the industry needs workers who do more than just create the games. There are numerous job opportunities and positions in the gaming industry, including these positions, according to Mencher:
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.
Im a 13 year old lad who loves to play on xbox mainly but i also like to play on playstations and other game consoles. I have nearly every game that is an 18 or a 15 including call of duty:modern warfare,call of duty:world at war, call of duty:modern warfare 2, call of duty:black ops, call of duty:modern warfare 3 and battlefield 3 and others. Wel really i know im a bit young probably to work but i used to work for game as a game tester and they had to fire me cos they got sumone older to test the games. but just lookin for a new job so if u want to message me my email address is alexcrawf10@hotmail.co.uk

I recently got to “play test” a game for the first time. It was at an anime convention and they had a demo for it up and running. I found the game itself kind of slow and a little boring but when I clicked on the trees they would either disappear or, if they were dead, flicker back to life. I thought it was so cool that I immediately started looking for more bugs that the creator had missed, he was right at the table so it was easy to show it to him. I’m trying to choose a career with something I love and wanted to know more about this as an option. I’m interested in play testing but also in translation and programming. Those are all very different fields and I’m wondering what to expect from each one when it comes to jobs and requirements. If you could give me any insight it would be helpful.
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.
Not necessarily, because testing games can be quite different from testing business software. Doing ad-hoc testing of game clients doesn’t well prepare you for a different job writing test automation for Java servers, for example. But it will familiarize you with the software development process, and you’ll get practice reproducing, reporting and regressing bugs.
Hi Nafis, if you already know how to program, then you should practice programming video games and start building a portfolio of small game demos. You can apply for game jobs just the same way you apply for any job: Search the Internet or game studio websites to find the job openings, read the requirements to see if you fit 80% of the requirements listed, and then follow the instructions to apply.
The overall job outlook for Video Game Designer careers has been negative since 2004. Vacancies for this career have decreased by 32.33 percent nationwide in that time, with an average decline of 5.39 percent per year. Demand for Video Game Designers is expected to go up, with an expected 7,940 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 11.59 percent over the next few years.

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.

Don’t wait. It’s important to start on your ISTQB software testing certification now to get your job testing games. Begin by reviewing the free software testing glossary, exam syllabus (what you need to know to pass the exam) and sample exams below, as well as the steps to certification / FAQ. Then register to take the ISTQB exam from ASTQB. We hope to see you soon on ASTQB’s official American list of ISTQB certified testers!
very helpful article. i personally love breaking games and finding bugs. i just love to find those bugs that the developers/programmers didnt think of being possible or consider happening. just to find one and say “this is a game breaking bug, here is a way you could fix it” makes me happy because it might help keep another player from experiencing that bug and ruining there experience of the game. the mere fact that i sit playing games the first time through enjoying them and then going back and trying to break them for fun kind of qualifies me or places me in the area for QA game tester already but that doesnt mean much as i cant find anywhere to apply for such a job. i know minor programming and can give details on how to fix bugs in a way a programmer might understand better than the regular person testing the game without the knowledge. it’s just saddening for me that i have been searching for about 3 years now for somewhere to apply for this type of job. i truly have a passion for it, even though it’s considered a tedious job at times, i still love it.
QA testers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with their employers and can be fired or even sued for divulging information. All the testers we contacted spoke to us on condition of anonymity. We have given them pseudonyms to protect their identities. We have checked each of their credentials. We asked for comments from a variety of games publishers, but have received zero responses.
Hi my name is Brant and like anyone else here im looking for a game testing job to make big bucks. I'm 11 but before you stop reading this I want to tell you that I would make a great emplouye. A job like this is my dream and I'm not gonna sit around and wait for it to happen. I'm gonna make it happen. I just really hope that you can find the right sight for me to go on to and find a job like this.
Most game testing jobs are near the larger game studios, which happen to be in the larger cities around the world. You may be able to find testing jobs in smaller towns and cities, but if you’re positive that you want to break into the game industry then you’ll have the best chances of finding work if you can move to one of the major cities for game development.
Most game testing jobs are near the larger game studios, which happen to be in the larger cities around the world. You may be able to find testing jobs in smaller towns and cities, but if you’re positive that you want to break into the game industry then you’ll have the best chances of finding work if you can move to one of the major cities for game development.
After finishing my college degree, I decided to rest for awhile, during this time I was able to have time again playing games, when I saw your site I gave it a try and thank goodness I tried, coz right now I no longer need to look for a job, as I already have the perfect job! Thanks to you I earn more being a part time game tester compared to a full time and boring 8-5 day job.

Hi Daniel, a job testing games is like any other job: the company will post a job opening online, and then you can apply for it. You’ll want to do some research to learn as much as you can about game/software testing to help you get jobs easier, you can find lots of information here on this website or you can get a copy of my book on game testing if you’re interested.
The overall job outlook for Video Game Designer careers has been negative since 2004. Vacancies for this career have decreased by 32.33 percent nationwide in that time, with an average decline of 5.39 percent per year. Demand for Video Game Designers is expected to go up, with an expected 7,940 new jobs filled by 2018. This represents an annual increase of 11.59 percent over the next few years.
Hi Kyler, most game testing jobs don’t require a degree unless they also require some computer programming skills. In high school, I’d recommend taking some computer classes, maybe a programming class, and technical writing. (Or whichever equivalents your school might offer.) Many people move away from their home town to get a job after school, it’s normal to move to a new city where there are more jobs in your field.
It might surprise you to learn that strong writing and communication skills are essential for a good video game tester. The ability to write in a clear, brief, and effective manner will help you describe the glitches you find and how you found them. Your clear writing will give developers a clear path to addressing the issue and creating a fix. You don’t have to be a poetic, colorful author; you need to be a clear, concise, and detailed communicator.
Hi. I am a 17 year old student from new zealand in my final year of high school. I have been playing video games since Crash Bandicoot came out on the Playstation 1 system, and back then I could find many bugs and errors with the game. I am looking for a job as a Video Game Tester, and I enjoy challenging environments, as well as repeating things in games over and over again, this coming from my Prince of Persia puzzle history with the original game. Is there any branches for large companies such as Bioware, Bethesda Game Studios or EA in new zealand? or will I have to search outside of the country?
Hi Evan, thanks for the questions. First of all, playtesting isn’t a full-time job, you might be thinking about the QA Tester job that’s described in this article. That is a full-time job, and most companies do not require a degree to do that job. Also, there are dozens (hundreds?) of game studios in the US, so I recommend you don’t limit yourself as to which one you’d work for when you first start out — you’ll have a lot to learn, and you can learn at most any game company.
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Thank you for this informative site, i am a frustrated mother of an 8 year old. My son is only allowed to play video games during the weekend and on a non busy day he can play for 3-5 hours. In two 3 hour sessions he can clear a game. Is this Normal? I know every parent thinks their child is special, I am a realistic person, although he is adorable, I just don't know enough about games. We have x-box, PS3, WIi, DSI and PS2. I am sure I make most parents cringe but we let him play Call of Duty, Red Dead redemption, Modern Warfare, James Bond eagle eye, halo, Simpsons and ect. No matter the level he's done it just 2 days! He's been doing it since he was 4, so we have became pros a game renting since the challenge is a breeze. I don't think a game tester is place for an 8 year old, I just don't know if we should be trying improve a skill I find a tad annoying but something he is good at and enjoys doing. I am not game savvy, so clearly he doesn't get it from me, I just don't know how to challenge him or direct him for a possible gaming future!
Looking for a PC gamer to help me set up the ultimate gaming PC for my son. I own a medical software company but none of my developers are into gaming. I I want to customize the PC in a number of ways to make it fun and easy to use for my son. He is only 7 and this is his first gaming PC so I need some help installing games, creating shortcuts, installing the GTAV patch that removes violence, etc. I also want recommendation on good games for a kid his age. I also want assistance control some of the content on the computer to limit access to some content on Youtube and the web in general. I will provide you access to the PC via TeamViewer and you will be able to customize remotely.
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