Playing video games is a great source of entertainment, but it can also be a source of income. Although not many people are able to live off playing games exclusively, it’s entirely possible to get some additional money on the side and through time and dedication, the amount of earned cash can grow to quite substantial values. Check out the list below to find out some money-making ideas and the video games that you can make real money on.

Playing games is fun, but the possibility of earning some money while doing so can make it even more fun. There are multiple ways to earn money on games, from skin trading to account boosting, coaching services, and doing some creative job – the sky is the limit, and we will list only some of the possible options.


Skin Trading in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


cs go skins m16

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a simple but addictive game focused on multiplayer mode where two teams are fighting each other on small enclosed maps. There are terrorists and counter-terrorists – during each round of the match, the former have to plant the bomb in the designated area and successfully detonate it, while counter-terrorists have to stop terrorists from succeeding and defuse the bomb once it’s planted. Additionally, one of the teams can win if it manages to kill all enemies. The team that wins the most rounds wins the entire match.

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As you can see, there’s nothing groundbreaking in terms of gameplay. What’s important for us, however, is the fact that you can use weapon skins to change the appearance of any weapon you use in the game. Skins can be purchased directly from other players through the Steam marketplace or by opening crates you get randomly while playing. Opening crates is more like gambling, as to open the crate you need to purchase a specific key for real money, and you are not guaranteed to get anything of significant value. If you are lucky, however, you can get some fat loot, including Dragon Lore skin for AWP sniper rifle that costs approximately 1200 EUR for its worst, battle-scarred version, at the time of writing this article.

For a more stable source of income, you’d rather want to learn the market and trade the highly-demanded skins, following the good old rule of buy low, sell high.


Rank/ELO Boosting Service in Competitive Games (e.g. LoL, CS: GO, DotA 2)


Dota 2 gameplay

With a rise in competitive play and the constant growth of e-sports, a new market was born. Some people will pay a good amount of money if you can boost their ranking and make them advance in the competitive ladder in games like League of Legends, CS: GO, or DotA 2, to name a few. For obvious reasons, this method of money-making requires spending hundreds or even thousands of hours to become proficient enough in a certain game. You need to learn the title’s mechanics and have a thorough understanding of the most efficient meta strategies and builds, but once you’re there, it’s also probably one of the most lucrative methods of making money on games.

The are various reasons why people pay for rank boosting, but it seems like most often it’s the matter of getting out of the so-called ELO hell. It’s believed that getting out of the lower rankings is paradoxically harder than playing in the higher ones because people often don’t know how to play properly and are still learning in the low ELO, resulting in often playing not only against the enemy team but also your own team that may be holding you back. Some people want to skip that annoying part of the ranked play and get straight into the real play, thus paying good money for rank boosting resulting in saving their time and avoiding unnecessary stress.


Account Boosting in Online Games (e.g. World of Warcraft, LoL)


World of Warcraft pet

A similar option to rank boosting is account boosting, but instead of working on going up the competitive ladder and playing ranked matches, you can work on upgrading the account itself.

World of Warcraft Time Cards

For example, in League of Legends to be allowed to participate in ranked games you need an account of level 30. Some people don’t like to go up the ladder, because this forces them to play with people of better and better skill, making the game harder and possibly more stressful for them. For this reason, they sometimes choose to buy an entirely new – so-called smurf – account they use to play against lower-skilled players so they can keep playing ranked matches but in a more relaxed way, where they can dominate the match.

Taking a LoL account to level 30 takes quite some time, and some people are willing to pay good money for the one that’s already boosted to 30 – and this is your opportunity to make some money.


Coaching and Teaching


Another way of making money on games is coaching. You can teach others how to play the game. Tell them the secrets, share the best strategies and character builds, show them the best ways of surprising the opponents. Obviously, similarly to rank boosting, this method requires a good knowledge of the game, so don’t expect to jump into an entirely new game and become a mentor right away.

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Once you master a certain title to the point you feel like there is nothing left to learn, you can start teaching the others and make them progress faster. There are people that will pay some good money to know things no one else knows so they can exploit this knowledge to gain an edge during a match. Also, there are certain tips and tricks every player wish they knew when they were starting out – for a price you can share these with those who just begun their adventure.


Item Farming in Online Games (e.g. Path of Exile, Guild Wars 2, WoW, ESO)


The Elder Scrolls Online - gameplay

One way of earning money on games can be spending hours upon hours on gathering certain items that can be later sold to other players. This method does not require being good at the game, but it does take a lot of time. Some games, especially MMORPGs, can feature item crafting, and crafting powerful equipment pieces usually takes a lot of other materials. People who have responsibilities usually don’t have enough time to play their favorite games as much as they’d want, so they will happily pay anyone who can save them some time on gathering certain items.

In Path of Exile, for example, you can alter equipment stats with in-game consumable items called orbs. There are various types of orbs available, and each will have a different effect on the item it’s used on. Some of the more expensive orbs can reroll values of existing properties of an item, or add some entirely new properties to it. There is also a Mirror of Kalandra which creates an exact copy of any rare item that exists in the game – for obvious reasons this is a really expensive item that can be sold for as much as 400-500 USD each. Don’t expect to drop one, though, as the chances are abysmal. You will, however, drop tons of other useful items you can sell on third-party platforms.

Also, keep in mind that item trading for real money is prohibited in most online games – in most countries you are not breaking the law, but you are breaking the game’s terms of use, which may lead to a permanent ban of your game account.


Making Games in Roblox


Roblox - main heroes

Roblox is a game about making games where you can use simple scripting to create your own custom adventures and let other people enjoy them. The best part about this it’s the fact that you can actually make money on your creations. You can charge people the virtual Robux currency that can be later exchanged for real money through the official Roblox platform.

You can publish your games and charge people money for accessing it. It’s not the wisest approach, however, as most of the available Roblox games are free to play – your creation will have a lower chance of succeeding if you hide it behind a paywall.

A much more reliable approach to earning Robux is creating paid Game Passes – people will not pay for the game itself, but they will be able to get additional downloadable content for the game you made.

There are certain conditions that need to be met before cashing Robux. One needs to be at least 13 years old, own Roblox Premium Membership, and have accumulated at least 100.000 Robux which translates to about 350 USD. The company also has monthly cash out limit, but you should probably not be worried about it as you won’t hit it anytime soon – it’s a generous amount of 140.000 USD.


Streaming Games on Twitch and YouTube


There is also an obvious way to make money on playing games that is streaming them online, so the audience may enjoy watching the latest AAA games if they can’t run them on their old PC, check out certain title before buying it, or spend some time with their favorite streamer – in this case, with you.

This method requires a lot of patience and stubbornness and you are not guaranteed that you will succeed anytime soon, if ever. There are a lot of streamers already, so you’d need to do some research and find out what games are not streamed by too many people but are in high demand to watch. In other words – you need to find your niche. Going for the most popular games is a risky move – although games like Minecraft and Fortnite have the highest crowd, there is also the highest streaming competition, so you are less likely to succeed.

Being fun and original will also help tremendously. If you want to start streaming, make sure you have something other people don’t have or don’t do in their playthroughs. Set yourself some crazy goals in the game you play – an additional challenge can help in boosting your viewer count. Make some ridiculous things and entertain your audience. Think about things you can do to prevent other people from considering your streams as a waste of their time.

Once you have some fans they will occasionally donate some money for your efforts, and once you are popular enough, you may strike some brand advertising deals or make sponsored game videos.


Summary


There are multiple ways to make money while playing, and the ones listed on the list above are only a few of the possible options – your creativity is the limit. The best part about making money this way is the fact that you don’t necessarily need to be a pro player – there are various activities that don’t require a good skill but they are too tedious for other players to do, so they’ll happily pay you if you’re willing to do some repetitive tasks for them. If you know the game thoroughly, however, you can get much more, as you can turn your knowledge into money by boosting competitive rankings of other people’s accounts or teach other players the best ways of playing a certain game.