A video game tester is a dream job for many people.
In the end, you get paid for playing video games all day long ... Is that so? No, not at all.
The truth is that testing video games is a rather complicated job that requires much more than just a leisurely walkthrough of video games. You can be a first-class player in Halo, but that does not mean that you can do an excellent video game test.
Although this job is not particularly demanding on having an education, most people actually go through this stage in their careers to get into the video game industry. This is actually an opportunity, not a video game, for which money is paid.
So, are you ready to learn a little more about the career of a game tester?
What kind of work is this - testing games?
The computer games industry is developing prohibitively fast and is one of the few industries that is hardly affected by economic crises. Demand for computer video games continues to skyrocket.
Testing is done by people called testers. Such employees identify flaws in the developers of computer games.
You can find many offers on the Internet, offering money for testing games: "Earn from $ 600 to $ 8000 by playing computer games", "Earn by playing!". At first glance, they all look very seductive and attractive, but only for users who are not dedicated to this craft. Not knowing the intricacies of this specialization, many beginners in this field are faced with a large number of pitfalls and receive deep disappointment from such work.
The situation is quite predictable, as many forget that the tester should not play, but really work.
What you need to become a tester?
Deep knowledge in programming is unlikely to be required, but the tester still needs to have an understanding of the software.
In testing, as in other professions, a professional approach is required. To a beginner, in order to secure his money in testing games without investments, you will first need to lay the foundation of the knowledge that is necessary when mastering the work of testing games. It will require the study of specialized literature and the development of skills. And of course, in order to earn money on testing games, you need to gradually accumulate invaluable practical experience.
For a start, it will not be superfluous to read books and articles on testing, learn, so to speak, the basics of theory and inculcate the following habits:
- immediately deal with unfamiliar words ("google"),
- briefly state information.
There are also practical testing courses for beginners who are preparing to work with a real project.
As for perseverance, attentiveness and knowledge of the subject, all this is required by the employee. Important in this profession will be self-confidence, personal interest and the ability to ask questions. In addition, without knowledge of the English language at a sufficient level, decent earnings on testing computer games cannot be obtained.
What is required of an employee testing games?
The tester will have to search for versions of games in the gameplay:
He also has to report them to the developers. Besides. the employee will have to share his impressions of the computer game and make suggestions for improvement.
As a rule, testing games comes down to the following:
- find everything that gets out of the algorithm specified by the game,
- check if the game server can handle the load,
- Test for OS and hardware compatibility
- check localization (quality of translation into other languages).
You can advise a novice tester: prioritize, choose the right tools and fill out the documentation.
How to make money on testing games and applications for smartphones?
Fans of computer games daily download many applications to PCs and smartphones. Every game, even simple in action, goes through a testing period. The tester's task is to detect game errors, they work closely with the developers of the project.
The head of the new project highly appreciates the opinion of users, for this reason you can earn money without investing in testing games, if you have the necessary skills. Large companies producing computer games for the period of testing online games hire testers.
Each work requires skills, for this reason the tester should be able to:
- navigate in the chosen direction, understand the possible types of errors, know the names, be trained,
- always replenish vocabulary, there are training materials,
- In contact with the developers, you need to correctly state your own thoughts and point out the mistakes of the game
- many applications for smartphones are tested on a PC, you need perseverance and knowledge of English.
The responsibilities of the tester include:
- Identification of bugs (errors) in the game process.
- Finding inconsistencies in the game algorithm of actions.
- Check the stability of the game server, what load it can withstand.
- Identification of game defects (sound, image).
- Other problems during the passage of the game.
You can start a tester's career by checking mobile applications for smartphones. There are projects that pay for a simple set of actions:
- Apptools - a resource offering to download your application, register and complete tasks, leave feedback, get money,
- Apprating - offers the installation of games for testing on a smartphone, leaving feedback and receiving money for it.
Where to look for available tester vacancies?
Freelance exchanges offer additional earnings for a game tester - an interesting lesson that requires a job, how to get around fraudulent schemes? Very often, a novice user is faced with such questions:
- modern testing is automated, little demand for manual testing of the game,
- There are many professional testers on the gaming market,
- Each project requires special knowledge and skills.
Important! Before looking for a job as a tester, you must meet the basic requirements:
- have a certificate of training (courses of game testers),
- knowledge of English is not lower than intermediate level,
- Be careful,
- have analytical thinking
- Be trained and strive for development.
The first experience of the tester can be obtained on gaming applications for mobile devices. The Apptools and Apprating sites will help. The uTest project offers testing of software products, the experience gained will be needed to create a resume.
Beginning testers will be able to get knowledge from books:
- Glenford Myers "The Art of Software Testing,"
- Sam Kaner, Jack Folk "Software Testing",
- Roman Savin "Testing dot com."
When a user wants to learn the profession of a game tester, to get additional income you need to use resources and sites:
- Yandex.Work project,
- upwork.com resource,
- fl.ru website (for freelancers),
- profile project fixber.com.
Who can become a tester's employer?
To ensure a decent income on the Internet for testing games, you need to be in constant search. Orders can be filled both for large companies (software developers) and for small employers, who find it easier to pay for a one-time order than to keep a tester on staff.
It is better to seek your first earnings on testing from a private customer or at a freelance exchange.
Among the popular companies that release releases, you can list:
- EA Games,
- Nintendo and others.
Experts suggest a short look at the sensational project for testing games: game-jobs.biz. This must be done so that the user understands how scam schemes can work. The course for the game tester from this project offers high earnings, up to $ 8,000 conventional units, playing the game. Young people are often tempted by such an offer.
After a thorough study of the resource:
- the specific work of the tester is not proposed by the project,
- there is no connection between the project and well-known game developers,
- the possible income of the user specified in the advertising materials after studying the course is a trick from scammers, such a labor remuneration is received by a specialist who is in the company’s staff, who knows IT technologies in the USA,
- reviews of the project are written to order by a copywriter, photos of reviewers from the Internet.
It should be noted the excellent performance of the site under the news portal, which is misleading to many users.
Pros and cons of working as a game tester
Of course, the advantages of this type of earnings include:
- the pleasure received from the process,
- access to the latest games that have just been developed.
- saving on game acquisition costs by storing tested products,
- gaining real experience for building a career in the gaming industry,
- Free work schedule on the principle: the more you work, the more you earn.
The disadvantages are primarily:
- search for an honest employer (there are a lot of unfair resources that don’t pay testers),
- the inability to complete the game from start to finish,
- earnings on testing games are inconsistent.
Real gamers will enjoy the work of testing computer games, so good luck to everyone who decides to embark on making money by testing games!
What do video game testers do?
Game testers are people who work in video game companies and are thoroughly testing games in order to know for sure that they have no "errors", "glitches" and other problems. They are also called "beta testers" or simply "game testers."
The task of the video game tester is not to play the game, but to break it. They purposefully move around the video game, play at all levels, browse all the menus and use all possible symbols and options to identify all the flaws in the system.
It is expected that the game tester will perform all possible actions in the game to identify all possible errors and failures. In fact, an error is when something is wrong with programming, and there can be a lot of such errors. An error occurs when a player gets stuck somewhere (falls into a trap), or when the character animation does not work properly. There are millions of possible errors that can occur in the game, but thanks to beta testers, most of the released games are almost flawless.
Game Tester Workplace
One of the main tasks of the tester is to use the game in as many possible ways as possible, taking actions that few users will ever perform. This may seem like a time-consuming and monotonous task, but it is a very important duty.
Game testers also conduct matrix tests. Matrix tests are commonly used in combat games such as Mortal kombat, Tekken or Soul calibur. Let's say a fighting game has 20 different characters and 20 different levels. During matrix testing, the tester must play for each character against each of the characters (including the character himself against himself) at all 20 levels of the game. This is 8,000 different matches. This is just one example of the highly detailed, often monotonous work that a tester should do.
Testing Video Games from Home
If you are looking for a job that will allow you to work without leaving your home, then look towards the video game industry. For large companies, this practice, when the tester works from home, is considered the norm. This means that many testers do not have a daily schedule and there is no boss who is behind them. However, when you are tasked, you must meet the deadline. It all depends on you. Often, developers divide the testing into stages, breaking the work into smaller segments.
Key attributes of a video game tester
The workplace of the tester is in front of the TV or computer monitor. Like most professionals working at home, the need for silence is important, because you need to focus all your attention on the gameplay.
Almost all home-based video game testers will have to provide their own equipment, that is, you will have to buy a console, computer, controllers and other devices to do your job and earn income for it.
Benefits of being a game tester
There are three main advantages to being a video game tester. Firstly, it is the opportunity to work from home, which provides a flexible schedule and personal freedom. Many people consider this to be one of the main reasons for choosing a video game tester's career.
Secondly, you get the opportunity to play fresh video games before other users. Although it’s difficult to call it a “game” in video games, you still have a chance to see the game long before it goes into circulation (and sometimes it takes years). If you are a gamer, then for you this will be one of the greatest privileges.
Thirdly, many become game testers to enter the industry. The experience gained can help to move up the career ladder and occupy a well-paid position.
Who is a game tester
The concept of "game tester" speaks for itself. Testing involves checking the game, finding and fixing errors before it reaches users. This is a standard, but extremely important stage in the development of the game. Commercial success also depends on how carefully the application has been checked for defects. If a player in the first hours of acquaintance with the game encounters errors, this greatly reduces the likelihood of success.
It is important to understand that a gamer and a game tester are not the same thing. The goal of the tester is to find errors in the system that can negatively affect the gameplay. Not all gamers go through the same level of the game using a variety of combinations of actions. But the tester has such a job. He checks that everything that the user can do and see in the game works correctly.
What does a game tester need to know?
As a rule, to start a career as a game tester, you do not need any special knowledge. But you can highlight the skills that will give you an additional advantage. First of all, English.
Knowledge of foreign language come in handy when performing tasks. Many games are translated into at least English. It will be much easier for you to test the English version if you know the language at least at the reading level.
Foreign may also be needed for communication on the project. Increasingly, the game is created by international teams, which include representatives from different countries. In this case, English acts as a communication language and internal documentation for the game.
Game experience. If you have previously been interested in games, understand their mechanics, then it will be easier for you to master the profession. The gaming experience provides insights into what bothers the user. You can also more likely to predict which elements of the game can cause a negative reaction or be impassable.
Your advantage will also be experience playing on various devices. Games for personal computers, mobile phones and game consoles are distinguished by their implementation, ways of interacting with the game world and trends.
For example, the market for testing mobile games is now actively developing and looking for new talents. If you feel like a fish in the water, playing on your phone or tablet, or maybe already informed the application developers about errors in their applications, then you should definitely pay attention to testing mobile games.
Any skills related to programming, testing, game design and even game translation will be a plus. Understanding the basics of testing will also not be superfluous. All these skills will come in handy for various types of testing: UX testing (interface testing), localization testing (checking how correctly the game text has been translated into a foreign language), load testing (what kind of load the game can withstand).
What should be a game tester?
It is also important for a candidate for a position as a game tester to possess certain personal qualities.
Game tester must be attentive to all the little things and assiduous. Defects are insidious and can make themselves felt at any time. Game tester can keep his attention on the task for a long time. You will need to go through one episode of the game over and over again in search of defects, simulating various user actions. An error can appear only during the 20th passage of this stage. It is important that you can notice it.
Ability to look at the system from different angles. The task of the tester is to check all possible ways of interacting with the game. Even those that the developer could not expect and foresee. Try to imagine yourself in the place of the most curious user and explore all the most hidden corners of the game world.
Sociability. В ходе тестирования игры вам не раз понадобится задать вопрос руководителям, заказчику, разработчикам, бизнес-аналитикам, коллегам по тестированию.The ability to establish contact with different people will help you effectively organize your work and improve its quality. Each member of the team has important knowledge that a tester needs to understand if he really found a defect, and how it really should be.
A good tester can also feel the audience. This will allow you to understand what actions can be expected from a real player, and quickly find defects that will occur and annoy users most often.
How much do game testers earn?
Profiting from games as a tester is an activity that many young network users are looking for. Game applications for Android can be tested by performing special tasks from developers on the website apprating.ru.
What conditions determines the earnings of the tester:
- which project offers a vacancy,
- tester’s abilities.
It is also important to understand that the reward for editing game scenarios will be less for the manual tester than for the game production automation tool.
Up to $ 5 per hour
Up to $ 7 per hour
Up to $ 1 2 per hour
The table shows the average remuneration for labor, it depends on factors: the abilities and talent of the user, the knowledge and skills of each tester.
Making money on testing game processes is real. When searching for a job, pay attention to the points that scammers often use in their schemes:
- an offer of a purchase or a paid training course before receiving a vacancy,
- confirm registration send a minimum payment, usually up to 200 rubles,
- affiliate program at work (work on admin),
- when you receive the money, your account is blocked on the project.
How to learn?
The profession of a game tester is not taught at the university. In testing games come in completely different ways. Someone would like to build a career in the field of creating games, but he does not have the experience and knowledge for the position of developer or designer. It happens that people who were engaged in another type of testing are retrained as game testers.
If you want to quickly learn the profession of a game tester, sign up for a special online course "Testing computer games." During classes, you will understand the nuances of game testing and get the necessary practical skills. If you successfully master the course, you will receive a personal certificate of completion and a letter of recommendation for future employers.
Testing is an important step in creating any application. Only after the approval of the testers is the game considered finished and released.
If you love games, love to delve into the details and notice the little things, if you can not imagine your life without information technology and want to make this world a little better, then pay attention to game testing. Perhaps this is what you were looking for. Good luck!
Skills and abilities
There are many skills and abilities that you might find useful to start your career as a video game tester, but the most fundamental will be the experience of playing video games. You need to know the most popular gaming genres, know what makes video games good, and understand the basics of video games. The knowledge of video games, however, is only the beginning.
This may surprise you, but you will need strong writing and communication skills. The ability to write in a clear, concise and effective manner will help you describe the glitches that you found and how you found them. Your clear letter will let developers understand a clear way to solve the problem and create fixes. You do not have to be a poetic, bright author, you need to be a clear, concise and detailed communicator.
As a video game tester, you should also understand the basic troubleshooting methods. Although you do not have to solve specific problems with the game, you will have to recreate, often dozens of times, the specific sequence of actions that led to the failure. Finding mistakes can be simple, but re-creating steps to reproduce the result can be a daunting task.
The experience of playing various video games will be one of the important advantages on the way to working as a game tester
First of all, a good tester is very attentive to details. Game skill is good, but you will need to go further to find glitches that are so small that the average player won't even notice them. A good tester should be able to identify these small details and point them out to the developer. You can be sure that at the interview for this vacancy they will check your attention to details.
In addition, you need to be very patient, because sometimes you have to go through the same level again and again, trying to perform all possible actions and interact with each computer character, going through all possible actions to make sure that they function properly.
A good beta tester should also be able to be a team player. And the ability to do everything on time will be a big advantage for you.
What kind of education do you need to become a game tester?
Although there are no requirements for an education or a specific school of video games, there are several ways you can go to increase your chances of getting a job as a video game tester. Game testers, as a rule, are educated either in game design, or in something related to video graphics, computer science or other areas related to software.
Each of these paths covers how programs and coding combine to create technology such as video games, websites and online applications. You will also learn why some programs behave the way they work, and how applications are developed from scratch. Your education may also be technical, or may include knowledge of theoretical and artistic concepts, such as color composition, image balance, texture, or user behavior.
Education in which areas will not be amiss:
- Game design
- Software development
- Software engineering
- Computer science
- Software Quality Assurance
- Software testing
There are also some certificates that will benefit video game testers. These certifications provide education in specific areas and often provide faster entry into a new career.
Certificates related to testing video games:
- Quality control
- Graphic design
- Web programming
- Game design
Since the game tester is not only responsible for finding problems in games, but also associates these problems with programmers and developers, it is also important to have a comprehensive education that improves communication skills.
- Technical letter
Game Tester Salary
The salary of the tester depends on the level of education, experience and skills.
The average salary of a game tester with experience up to 3 years varies from $300. Representatives of the profession with a long experience (over 5 years) and higher education can receive more than $ 5,000, but you will have to sweat a lot for this.
Prospects for a tester are directly related to the video game industry. While people line up to buy the latest version Fallout or Call of duty, testers are trying hard to “break” these games.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, 51% of American families own game consoles, and 4 out of 5 families (80%) have at least one device that can be used for games: a computer, mobile phone, or tablet.
And given the growth in the production of mobile games, we can say that the need for such specialists is quite expected.
Due to the relatively low educational requirements, competition for this position can be very high. Therefore, it is worth making an effort and getting a profile education that will help you stand out among the candidates for the position.
It should be noted that there are many vacancies related to testing games. In fact, the position of a game tester is usually used to get to other positions. For example, working as a game tester can be a step towards a position related to pre-production of games, design, marketing, graphic design, management, etc.
Working as a tester can lead to the following positions:
- Leading designer
- Content Designer
- Game Mechanic Designer
- Level Designer
- Lead coder
- Artificial intelligence programmer
- Graphic programmer
- Network programmer
- User interface programmer
- Concept artist
- Artistic director
- Lead artist
- Sound engineer
- Quality Assurance Director
Ready to become a video game tester?
With the right education, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills, you can become the perfect tester for future blockbuster games.
And with the search for work in the field of testing games, our site and its section "Jobs" will help.