Remember when playing video games was considered a waste of time? Things are different today. Now you can make money when you play games online.
These days, you can put those hours to good use and actually play video games for money, and it doesn’t even matter if you’re not much of a gamer.
Learn how to make money in your spare time with the following online games.
How to Make Money Playing Games
This first section reviews sites that award you cash to play games that you might play on your tablet or smartphone for fun.
Some games are tournament-based while others allow you to play alone and earn rewards after completing specific objectives or challenges.
Swagbucks is more than a platform to play games online.
You can also get paid to surf and search the web, watch videos, and take surveys.
With each activity, you get paid rewards points called “Swagbucks.” There are a few free games that allow you to earn Swagbucks.
There are memory games and also action games where you guide a character to jump over pits and obstacles to gain points.
If you do “pay-to-play” online games on GSN, Swagbucks will pay you up to 18 bucks per $1 spent on games ranging from the various slots games, Bejeweled 2, and games based on shows like Super Plinko from The Price is Right game show.
Whether you win or lose, you can earn a little extra money by playing on GSN using Swagbucks.
You can spend the accumulated bucks on gift cards to nearly any restaurant or retail store. A second option is to exchange for PayPal cash.
Learn More: Swagbucks Review.
Mistplay is an app that pays you to play games. When you download the app, you’ll get a mixlist that has new games for you to play.
As you play the games on your app, you’ll start earning points. You can use your points to get gift cards to Visa (i.e. cash!) Amazon, Starbucks and more.
The app also has a chat feature where you can chat with other gamers. And you can earn points when you invite friends to download and play.
Looking for a little competition? You can compete with other gamers to rank in the Mistplay leader boards.
Learn More: Mistplay Review
You can also earn extra cash by playing games online with InboxDollars.
There are free games and paid games offered through GSN where you earn extra reward dollars when you play through InboxDollars.
In addition to getting paid for playing games, InboxDollars will also pay you for taking surveys, entering contests, performing web searches (they have their own search engine like Google), shopping online, or redeeming coupons.
You can get a bonus of $5 when you sign-up with InboxDollars and can cash out once you earn $40 in rewards.
Learn More: InboxDollars Review
Boodle is a totally free app that rewards you when you play games online. When you download the Boodle app for Android, you earn coins when you try out new games and apps.
And you can earn more coins for other activities such as answering questions, referring friends or completing offers.
Then you can take your coins and get free gift cards to popular retailers. Some of the retailers Boodle partners with include Nike, Amazon, Burger King and more.
Lucktastic is a scratch card app you can download on iPhone or Android in the United States. It’s free to download and play.
However, before you can play there are quite a few ads you have to watch before each scratch card.
You can early daily rewards, play scratch cards, refer friends, and enter contests to earn money tokens. There are also additional ads you can watch and surveys you can enter.
Some scratch cards will reward you with cash and others will reward you with tokens.
Cash can be withdrawn with Dwolla or a check by mail, or you can opt for a Visa, AMEX, or gift card from Amazon. Tokens can be redeemed for gift cards to lots of different places, including Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, restaurants, and more.
Learn more: Lucktastic Review
6. Long Game
Long Game makes finances fun by giving you coins to play mini-games whenever you save money in your FDIC insured savings account.
Save with Long Game and get coins that you can use to play mini-games or enter drawings for cash. Get rewarded with Coins for saving, plus earn bonus Coins when you reach financial goals.
Use your Coins to play games and win more Coins, or even win cash prizes up to $1,000,000. Earn interest, play games and win cash.
New users get 300 free bonus Coins plus a First Week Bonus for up to 3000 free bonus Coins when they deposit.
Pogo has free games and paid games for every platform (PC, mobile phone, Wii, Xbox, PS3, etc.).
Game categories range from your traditional games like Backgammon and Poker to the latest arcade games. There are two different prize payouts with Pogo.
You can enter to win a $50 daily drawing or a jackpot of up to $500 in real cash.
By joining Club Pogo for $6.99 per month, you can also participate in tournaments to earn additional points and gain exclusive access to 40 games. Plus, you won’t have to look at ads either.
You still might get a knock on the front door with an award check, but Publisher’s Clearinghouse also has PCHgames to earn real money as well.
PCHgames has instant win games and token games that allow you to win $1000 in prizes. They offer additional tokens if you are a frequent player. For example, you earn 2,500 bonus tokens by playing at least one game daily for an entire week.
The more games you play and playing consecutive days in a row helps you to earn even more tokens.
You cannot redeem tokens for prizes directly. However, they can be used to buy entries for sweepstakes to win gift cards, merchandise, or even the $1,000 daily sweepstakes.
Bananatic is a website that lets you play, test, and review games. In exchange, you’ll earn bananas, the virtual currency awarded for in-game quests and writing game reviews.
Bananas can then be exchanged for games, prepaid game content, steam wallets, Amazon gift cards and more.
There are currently over 260,000 users who’ve redeemed rewards worth over $165,000.
If you played The Sims, then SecondLife is an interesting parallel that allows you to earn money. You get paid real cash by creating a digital business on the SecondLife platform.
Other users can pay you to buy clothing, furniture, or other material goods. It’s also possible to make money by renting or selling real estate and creating experiences such as amusement parks or nightclubs.
A third way to make money is to get a job on SecondLife by being a salesperson at a digital store or a DJ at a club for example.
Any way you can make money in real life allows you to earn Linden Dollars on SecondLife that can be exchanged for real dollars. In fact, one person became a real-life millionaire from playing and selling digital goods on SecondLife.
There are over 2 million SecondLife users. Each user creates their avatar that they control to explore the city and participate in activities. You can earn Linden Dollars by selling products, real estate, and getting a gig.
SecondLife also has different activities like searching for gold coins on the map or fishing for coins to build currency. These activities are also a great way to friend other users who eventually might buy a product from you or hire you for their business.
Gamesville is a leader in the online game arena and has been around for a long time. It was created by Lycos (if your memory goes back that far in Internet history).
With Gamesville, you can get paid in two different ways. The first way is through free tournaments for just about any game, including bingo. A second way to earn money is to play individually in games where you race against the clock. Some games even have progressive jackpots.
When you win a game, you are awarded GV Rewards. The rewards can be entered for prize drawings. They also have a cash tournament section where you do not receive GV Rewards.
Are you full of useless knowledge? Givling is a trivia game that pays you money when you win. You can play for free twice a day. After that, each round costs 50 cents. The daily payout can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000. It depends on how much money was raised the day before.
Givling also has a social mission. A portion of the trivia proceeds are used to crowdfund student loans for one lucky person. So far, Givling has helped three people repay their student loans in full and paid $376,000 in prizes.
It’s not every day that playing games can also help somebody in need, so why not test your smarts at Givling?
QuikRewards is another multi-faceted option to earn rewards from playing games or performing additional tasks such as watching videos, taking surveys, visiting websites, shopping, and completing offers.
This site is more flexible in rewards payouts than some of the others as you can get paid for cash rewards with a balance of one cent or redeem your points for gift cards starting at $5.
14. Play and Win
Another popular gaming site is Play and Win. You can play arcade games, bingo, puzzle games, matching games, card games, and multiplayer games. You can also enter tournaments and challenges to earn additional rewards points.
When it comes time to redeem your rewards points, you can receive PayPal cash or enter sweepstakes.
15. World Winner
You can win cash by playing in tournaments at World Winner. Tournaments are available for casino, arcade, game show, strategy, and word games. Whether you are a crack at Scrabble, Bejeweled, Wheel of Fortune, or Solitaire, there’s a tournament for you.
Until you feel confident enough to play in the tournaments, you can play each game for free. Once you are ready to join a tournament, World Winner will match you up with an opponent of a similar skill level with their Fair Matching System. When you win, congratulations! World Winner awards up to $500,000 daily in tournament winnings.
16. Become a Video Game Coach
A term that’s becoming more common is “esports.” Video game tournaments are a growing trend that doesn’t appear to be going away. It might only be a matter of time before we have the equivalent of a Heisman Trophy or Olympic gold medals in esports.
How can you capitalize on this growing trend? Become a video game coach.
This is one of the most exciting online side hustles for teens and avid video game players. Full-time video game coaches can make more than $50,000 a year!
That’s a full-time salary just for teaching others how to play games online and win.
Parents pay for video game tutoring sessions for their children to become expert players.
Several online places are hiring online video game coaches including GameCoach. You will need an internet connection, headset, and video capability to teach your students how to master the game.
17. Razer Cortex
If you own a video game that is in the Razer Cortex library, you can get paid for every minute you play. Razer will pay you in their currency (zSilver) up to 900 zSilver per day. That’s 300 minutes a day as the current rate is three zSilver per minute.
You don’t have the option to be paid in cash, but you can redeem the points for zSilver merchandise like headsets or other accessories. Plus, it’s better than some of the other websites that are purely games of chance and payment isn’t always guaranteed.
Other Ways To Get Paid
Playing games is fun but there are more ways to make money as a gamer or someone that enjoys playing games.
18. Game Testers
You can get paid to test video games with Game Testers. There is a small amount of work involved before you can get paid to play. There is a test to pass before you can become a tester, and there are different testing position needs.
Testing a video game is more than determining if the game is fun or boring. Some testers test the game for bugs and glitches while others analyze the spelling for any errors. Others test the game for compatibility on a particular device or operating system configuration.
If you get selected to be a game tester, you can earn anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. That is not bad pay, especially since it is a part-time job.
This option allows you to earn money by creating a personal YouTube channel. Teens and adults look for video walk-throughs to get through difficult levels and boss battles that seem all but impossible.
Their primary help resource is YouTube where they can watch videos from others who have beaten the game. You can be that person who shows them how to win.
You can earn money in two different ways. Ads and affiliate links that you post in your videos. Regarding affiliate links, you might include a link to your favorite headset or controller.
If the person buys that product after clicking your link, you earn a small commission. This option can take some time to start earning money with YouTube because you need to build an audience.
Unlike other methods where you only get paid each time you play a game, you only have to play it once while recording the video and upload that video to YouTube.
You can literally earn money from ads and affiliate links three or four years after you originally posted the video if people continue to play that game and refer to your video for help.
Twitch is a YouTube alternative that is dedicated to video games. By creating your own channel, gamers can watch you play a video game live and also talk with you.
By becoming a Twitch Partner, it’s possible to earn money from advertisement based on the length of your videos and the number of views.
You can also earn money if other Twitch members choose to buy a monthly subscription to your channel because you get a portion of those proceeds.
Learn more by reading our full Twitch Review
21. Build a Blog
In addition to creating a YouTube and Twitch channel, creating a blog can also be a good way to earn money by helping others play games through your experience.
Your blog can focus on a franchise of games like Call of Duty where you provide guides, reviews, and videos of how to beat the game or show special secrets.
You can earn affiliate income from your blog by recommending various consoles, games, and accessories.
The best places to get traffic when you are starting out are from social media channels like Facebook and Youtube.
22. Player Auctions
You can also make money by selling your account info online at Player Auctions. This site has been helping gamers swap account information since 1999. After doing the hard work of beating the game or earning all the available badges or coins, you can reap your cash rewards by selling it to the highest bidder.
It’s possible to sell your accounts for a variety of games from sports games, action games, and RPG franchises like Runescape or Final Fantasy.
You can always sell your game credentials on eBay too. It can be another way to reach players that don’t necessarily know that the other P2P (Player-2-Player) video game sites exist.
When selling on eBay, you can do a “Buy It Now” sale with a fixed price or an auction where your account goes to the highest bidder. Auctions can be more exciting and generate more enthusiasm, but you are not always guaranteed the highest selling price.
PlayerUp is another P2P video game account marketplace. They pride themselves on being “the first company devoted to legally protecting Player-2-Player Account Transactions.”
If you desire to ensure you get paid for your hard work securely, this can be a good site to use because of their payment protection guarantees.
25. Own a Game Server
If you have the capital to host a Minecraft, Guild, or Clan server from Enjin, you can make money when others play online with you. Monthly hosting pricing range from $0 to $29.99 depending on your needs from Enjin.
You could charge each player who belongs to your server a fee to offset the hosting fee. It allows you to keep the difference as profit. You might even be able to find advertisers and sponsors for your server too.
Before trying to monetize your game server, be sure to read the guidelines from the game manufacturer. Generally, you cannot accept “donations” or payments that alter the gameplay and could compromise the integrity of the game.
It usually is legal to charge server access fees if they are the same amount for each player or offer add-ons that don’t affect gameplay.
It is genuinely possible for you to make money when you play games online.
Whether it is playing bingo or solitaire, downloading featured mobile apps, or joining high stakes casino games, people make money each day by playing games online, and you can make money in your spare time too.