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!
Every single video game is tested. Quality assurance is part of creating great games. Without testing, video games will have annoying flaws and bugs that will create unhappy customers. Testers focus on categories like compliance, functionality, compatibility, localization, soak, beta, regression load, or multiplayer to find flaws that crash gaming consoles, loop dialogue, freeze games, erase progress, or skew visuals. It is the video game testers job to play the game and find these loopholes, flaws, glitches, bugs, secrets, and problems.
Hi,I am only 17year old but I’ve played so many games.Actually I’ve been playing since I was 5,and got my first gaming computer.I would love to play video games and be paid for it.I know that it’s not like that,but it’s harder than it sounds,but I searched it and I know what I have to deal with.I am spending arround 17-20hours per day just playing games,every type,I never get bored of it.The bad thing is that no one supports me and I live in a country that can’t provide games….So that’s how I ll never be a game tester.
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hey, im 14 on the verge of being 15 and i extremly want a game testing job. ive been sending emails out to gaming sites and all i get back are links that give me no info or answers and no contact numbers. id realy appreciate it if i could get some help out with trying to get a job or contact anything realy that would help would be most appreciated thanks (email is jourdan.turner@gmail.com)
When companies post their jobs, the requirements are usually flexible – what they list is actually what they want “in a perfect world.” So if you find jobs that only require 1 or 2 years of experience, you should apply for the job and you might get an interview. But you should learn as much as you can about game testing before the interview, so that you don’t sound like a complete n00b – learn as much about testing as you can so you can speak about it intelligently during the interview.
A video game company doesn't function like your typical workplace. Rather than working regular office hours throughout the year, the company goes into "crunch mode" as a game's release date approaches. Because release dates are inflexible – the company has to get the game out by Christmas, the television ad time has been purchased months in advance, and so on – if there's more work that needs to be done, everyone just has to work harder. Any video game tester can tell you that crunch time means long, long days, running on an intoxicating blend of caffeine, junk food and sleep deprivation.
Hi Sam, getting a job as a game tester may not be as far away as you think. Most testing jobs don’t require a college degree, you just need to know some of the basics of testing and you can apply for testing jobs. If you haven’t checked out my book on becoming a game tester, then I think that’s a great place to start because I wrote that book specifically for people like you. 🙂
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.
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Testers don’t normally need to travel very often, but it depends on what kind of company you’re working for. If you end up being a tester on a project that’s developed in a different town than where you’re testing it – for example if you’re working for a publisher in San Francisco but the developer is in Seattle – then you might need to travel occasionally. If you can’t travel for some reason, it’s probably not a deal-breaker for most testing companies.
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 Arun, most QA jobs are full-time jobs. But you could possibly learn programming and get a degree in the evening and weekends from schools that offer continuing education or adult-learning certificates. For example I learned programming and made my first game demo while I was a tester, and then I completed a 1-year game development certificate course while I was working full time as a game designer.
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.
Hi Mario, there actually are several game companies in Italy – check out this helpful list of Italian game studios at gamedevmap.com. If you eventually want to live abroad, you could start out at an Italian studio and then apply for jobs in a different country with more game dev opportunities (such as England or France) later on, after you get some professional experience.
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