Many testing jobs are temporary, working only for the duration of a particular game. However, testing can lead to jobs in other areas of quality assurances. Many people start working as testers in hopes that testing will lead to a job in design or development – this does happen, but it's rare. Only the best and the luckiest make the leap from the testing trenches to other departments.
If being laid off isn't bad enough, finding continued employment is also difficult. "Everyone tries to advance to positions that aren't available and won't get," says Phil. While this may also be true for other careers within the games industry, he believes this problem is compounded because testers are often hired through a staffing company and not internally. Many publishers won't offer a reference because of contractor policies. Most testers are not, technically, employees.
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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.
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Testers can be paid hourly or they can be on an annual salary. Either way, the pay rate can vary a lot — it’s based on factors such as which game company you’re working for, what geographical location the studio is located within, and how many years of experience you have as a game tester or a game testing lead. Read more about the specific salary numbers per job and years of experience in my article about video game tester salary. I update it with the latest pay figures every year.
Hi Ruben, it sounds like you’ve already started developing some of the skills you need to get a job testing – namely, learning about games, and learning how to find and report bugs. You do NOT have to pay anybody to get a job testing games – game testing is like any other job, you just need to find the jobs (start your search here), apply, and interview. If anybody tries to make you pay to find testing jobs, it’s probably a scam and should be avoided.
If you are searching for a career that lets you work from your own home, then look to the video game industry. While some game testers will work in-house for major companies, work from home is a very common practice. This means that many testers have no daily schedule and no boss hovering over their work. However, once an assignment is given, you are expected to meet specific deadlines. How you meet those deadlines is entirely up to you. Often the game developer will set individual milestones, breaking down the work into smaller segments.
I am a gaming fanatic and a big gaming freak too. I am now 17 in India doing my 12th. I want to start my career in gaming industry by game testing. I have already started writing stories and idea for my games. I currently have 12 game Ideas out of which 9 don’t exist in gaming. So will I be a success in the industry. BTW I am also writing a book, I don’t know If it will help.
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Hi Akshat, congratulations on landing a job testing games! That’s very exciting. Now that you work at a game studio, you should try to learn as much as you can from the designers. Make friends with them, show an interest in their work, and maybe offer to help outside of work if any of them are making indie game projects on the side. You could also consider taking a game design course either online or at a local college. Also, work to become the best game tester you can, because if you do good work for the company then they’re more likely to keep you around and trust you to try you in other job roles. Again, congratulations, and good luck!
I’m 14 and I’m really involved in gaming. Not just gaming but also I have taught myself to do things like mod android apps (apk files) and recently became a Playstation mobile “developer”. To play around with Unity and make little parts of a crappy game. While playing for instance skyrim I look for glitches and bugs I can profit from. I know I’m probably too young and all, but where can I get educated, like are there any programming clubs for teens? And even more I am interested in game testing. Why wouldn’t I? Are there any major or minor gaming companies who provide this for people in my age? For like summer Jobs?
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I live in the UK and am currently trying to decide what career I want to do in the future. I’ve been playing vdeo games for as long as I can remeber so I feel like a job in this sector would be great. Unfortunately to get a degree that would mean I could become a game developer I would need to study IT at A-Level and to study it at A-Level I would have to study it at GCSE and unfortunately that was not possible. I feel that becoming a games tester would be satisfying but I would really like to move up in that line of work to become a developer so I was wondering if there was anything that I could do?
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, 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.
Hey! My name is Gloria and I'm 16. I am not exactly interested in video game beta testing. I'm more interested in like IMVU or Second life; Virtual worlds and such. I'm also interested in different types of software like music production, videography, photography and graphic design as well as art studio software and ect. I was wondering if you guys could help. I have been looking everywhere!
This can vary widely depending on the specific team/project you are working on. I've placed some testers into roles where they literally are pushing buttons for an entire day waiting for an error to occur, and other roles where a tester is sitting right beside the game developers testing a game in real time as game code is being written. There are some companies that work extreme hours in order to finish projects on time but from what I've seen over the years this is not as common as it used to be. There always will be crunch time where you can expect to work some OT, but extended periods of OT for months on end are not that common anymore.
i am eleven years old and i have been playing video games for about 4 years now i love playing video games its my true passion i think i would be great for a job of this and i have been looking around for a while but i cant find any good ways/website that i can apply on please reply back with a couple of website i could use or email adresses to send email to thanks
I’ve been playing games for the majority of my life. Even so much that it interfered with my classes to the point of me just getting a G.E.D. Needless to say I dont have much schooling but I tend to look for bugs in games almost everyday. Recently I began editing and modding games using C+ programming and have a bit of experience with it. Would it still be possible for me to be a tester or would I need to go back to school.
HI, I noticed that most of you guys, if not all of you are adults. Well I am in 8th grade. I play video games whenever I can. Some days not at all, other up to 6 hrs. My dad doesn’t support my love for games at all. My mom isn’t as bad but still she wont be pleased, because I haven’t told them that I want to be a video game tester. I would like you guys to give me some about were I should go or what I should do to accomplish this. By the way I live in California by UC Irvine collage.
I did a quick search on some game boards (the GICG job search, and Gamasutra jobs) and didn’t find any game testing jobs open in Michigan. However – according to gamedevmap.com, there are a few game studios in Michigan. So you might have some luck by reaching out to those studios via phone or email to find out whether they have in-house testing teams, or ask if they outsource to a local testing company you could get in touch with.
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!
I am from India. I am 16 years old and am doing a Diploma in Computer Science and Technology. After completing my diploma, I would be doing B.Tech and then M.Tech in computer science. I am interested in gaming practically since I first started playing games. Game testing is not only a hobby for me but I am really passionate about this profession. Will my M.Tech degree be sufficient enough to get me a game testing job in a major game developing company like rockstar or ubisoft? If yes, then what would I exactly do after completing my M.Tech? I mean to say that where and how do I apply for this job?
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I’d really like to get paid for testing games. I’ve been playing video games since I was just a lad. I’d like to work from the home, because I have some mental illness issue that hold me back from having a job in regular society. I’d really like a reply back, so please get back to me and tell me how to get started with beta testing from the comfort of my own abode.
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.
1. Usually there’s a team of testers assigned to a game. They work together, but each one might be assigned a certain part of the game such as combat or AI, or it might be divided up by area such as level or character. Each tester submits their own bug reports, and then re-tests the bug once the development team has marked the bug as “fixed” in the next build.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org