Valve and Ubisoft may have internal testing teams, but most game studios do not keep a large number of testers on the payroll – instead, they hire outside game testing companies. I don’t know which contract firms they use, but Babble used to be a big one, and UTest/Applause is popular right now. You could start by looking at one of those companies.
Well April, like I said in the article – nobody will pay you for just playing games. Testing games is a skill set that goes beyond “playing” the game, you need to understand how to find bugs and report them, and how to communicate with the dev team. But every great game developer starts out as a great game player – so start thinking about a plan for turning all that enthusiasm into a career in design, programming, art or another game job!
If the idea of moving to a different city (or even a different country) freaks you out, I urge you to keep an open mind. Many people move to a new town to start their first video game job, so there’s already a support network in place to help you out. The company that’s hiring you might even offer financial assistance to help you with your moving costs.
Game testers may also have to run through matrix testings. Matrix testing is often used in fighting games like Mortal Combat, Tekken, or Soul Calibur. Say a fighting game has 20 different characters and 20 different levels. When doing matrix testing, the video game tester would need to play as each character vs each character (including Character 1 vs Character 1) on all 20 levels. That’s 8,000 different matchups! That’s just one example of the highly-detailed, often monotonous work that video game testers have to do.
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!
Jeez, some of the kids commenting here really can't type well. Either that or they're not good at English. You know it isn't all just fun and games you have to have some English skills because you have to write well detailed reports. You aren't just playing the game you have to analyze it and see where the bugs are or where are the rough patches and then report them to the company. I don't think that this kind of job is for 11 or 13 year olds. I think maybe you should explain that in your article above. This is coming from a 17 year old who has tested and now I make small games with a group of friends. (we're just learning the programs right now). Learning to program is a pain in the butt, but I think rather than small kids looking for jobs in video game testing, I think they should be encouraged to learn more about the games they love. You guys are to young. It bothers me just how many of you believe it is just getting paid to play when it isn't. Well those are just my two cents.
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.
I have been playing games on the pc all the way back to the commodore 360. and have been playing all of my life. I am now 44 years old I have 6 classes before I graduate with my BS/IT/WD, The whole reason I went back to school was because I like to game and I wanted to get a job as a gamer (tester) I don’t want to get into the development side or the design side I just want to play games and do bug reports. Every site I have looked at all they want to do is sell me a book on how to be a tester. I don’t have the $$ to buy a book or a “plan” any tips on where I might go from here?
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.
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.
Are you passionate about gaming? Do you have excellent programming skills? Do you like being creative and working with the best developers, artists, and game designers from the industry? Do you enjoy solving technical challenges in mobile gaming and bringing mobile games to the next level? Then read on because you might just be the developer we're looking for.
According to the Gamasutra Salary Survey of 2014, the online publication for Game Developer Magazine, the average salary for testers is about $54,833 annually. The same study found that testers with over three years of experience average roughly $48,426 a year. If you work for over six years, you can expect to reach an average of $62,885 a year, and those with a master’s degree earned on average $65,000.
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.
If you don't have much work experience or previous testing experience, add a section to your resume towards the top that lists out your gaming experience at home. Things to list include gamer scores, favorite game(s), platforms you own or play on, PC hardware knowledge, networking experience and any other technical skills that would be relevant to the game industry. There are a lot of particular skills we look for, but enthusiasm still matters.
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