Is Game Testing a good career? Pros vs Cons

Game tester Pros vs Cons

Hey there, fellow gaming enthusiast! If you’ve ever dreamed of turning your passion for video games into a career, then you’ve probably considered becoming a game tester.

It’s a pretty cool job, where you play through various stages of a game, identifying issues and reporting them back to the development team. But, is it all fun and games?

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of becoming a game tester so you can decide if this career path is the right fit for you.

The Pros of Becoming a Game Tester

Getting paid to play games

Let’s start with the most enticing aspect: you actually get paid to play games! Who wouldn’t love that? According to, the average salary for a game tester ranges from $18,000 to $55,000 per year, depending on factors such as experience, location, and the company you’re working for. While you may not become a millionaire, it’s still a fantastic opportunity to earn a living doing something you love.

In addition to the base salary, some companies also offer bonuses and other perks, like free games, access to gaming events, or even discounts on gaming gear. The game testing field comprises various roles, including quality assurance (QA) testers, localization testers, performance testers, and compliance testers. Each role comes with its own set of responsibilities and requirements, allowing you to find one that best aligns with your interests and skills.

If this soundly like something you’d like to do – and who wouldn’t want to do it? – you can sign up for my free course, Get into the Game Industry. It’s a roadmap that’ll help transition you from the career you currently have and probably hate to a career that you’ll love. Take a look here.

Exposure to the latest games and technologies

As a game tester, you’ll often get your hands on games before they’re released to the public. Imagine playing the next big title before any of your friends have even seen a trailer! That’s some serious bragging rights. Moreover, you’ll gain hands-on experience with new gaming platforms, cutting-edge technologies, and innovative gameplay mechanics. This exposure can help you stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly evolving gaming industry and potentially give you a competitive edge in your career.

By working on a variety of games and platforms, you’ll also gain valuable insights into the development process, learning how different studios and teams tackle challenges and solve problems. This knowledge can be instrumental in your professional growth, whether you decide to continue in game testing or transition to other roles within the gaming industry.

Networking opportunities

A career as a game tester offers numerous networking opportunities within the gaming industry. You’ll have the chance to build connections with developers, designers, producers, and other professionals in the field. These connections can lead to new job offers, collaboration on future projects, or even long-term professional relationships that can benefit your career.

To make the most of these networking opportunities, consider attending industry events and conferences, like E3 or the Game Developers Conference. These events offer a fantastic platform to meet like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, and learn about the latest trends and advancements in the gaming world.

Developing valuable skills

Game testing is about more than just playing games all day; it’s an opportunity to develop and refine some pretty valuable skills that can be applied in various professional settings. For instance, as a game tester, you’ll need strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify issues and suggest potential solutions. These skills can be invaluable in any job that requires critical thinking and attention to detail.

Additionally, effective communication and teamwork are crucial, as you’ll often collaborate with developers and other testers to ensure the game’s quality. This collaboration helps you develop interpersonal skills and teaches you how to work effectively in a team setting. Finally, you’ll need to be organized and manage your time effectively to meet deadlines and juggle multiple tasks, making you an expert in time management and prioritization.

Contributing to the improvement of games

As a game tester, you play an essential role in ensuring a better gaming experience for players worldwide. Your keen eye and attention to detail help developers identify and fix issues before a game hits the market. So, in a way, you’re like a gaming superhero, making the world a better place – one bug at a time!

By identifying and reporting issues, you directly contribute to the overall quality of the game, ensuring that players have a smooth, enjoyable experience. This not only helps developers maintain a positive reputation but also leads to higher customer satisfaction and, ultimately, better sales for the game. Your work as a game tester can have a significant impact on the success of a game, making you an integral part of the development process.

Moreover, as a game tester, you can help shape the gaming landscape by providing feedback on gameplay mechanics, storylines, and other aspects of the game. While your primary focus is on identifying technical issues, your unique perspective as a player can also offer valuable insights into the overall player experience. By sharing your thoughts with the development team, you can play a role in creating more immersive, engaging, and enjoyable games for players around the world.

In conclusion, a career as a game tester has numerous benefits, from getting paid to play games and gaining exposure to the latest games and technologies, to networking opportunities and skill development. However, it’s essential to be aware of the challenges that come with the job, such as repetitive tasks, long hours, and limited creative input. By carefully considering the pros and cons, you can decide if a career as a game tester is the right path for you. Happy gaming!

The Cons of Becoming a Game Tester

Repetitive and tedious tasks

Unfortunately, game testing isn’t always as exciting as it may sound. One of the downsides is that you’ll often have to play the same sections of a game over and over again to identify and document every possible issue. This repetition can become tedious and monotonous, especially when you’re dealing with minor bugs that don’t significantly impact gameplay. The repetitive nature of the job can also make it challenging to maintain your enthusiasm and passion for gaming over time, as it may start to feel more like a chore than a fun pastime.

Long working hours

Crunch time is a well-known reality in the gaming industry, and as a game tester, you’ll likely have to deal with tight deadlines and long hours. During the final stages of a game’s development, it’s not uncommon for testers to work overtime, sometimes even up to 60-80 hours per week, to ensure that the game is ready for release. This can take a toll on your work-life balance, personal relationships, and overall well-being, especially if you’re a contract worker without the benefits and job security that come with full-time employment.

Limited job security

Speaking of contract work, many game testing positions are temporary, freelance, or project-based, which means job security can be a concern. As projects come and go, you may find yourself constantly searching for new opportunities, and the uncertainty of not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from can be stressful. The gaming industry is highly competitive, so you’ll need to be proactive in looking for new job openings, building your network, and staying updated on the latest industry trends and developments. This can require a significant amount of time and effort, making it a challenge for some to maintain a stable career in game testing.

Limited creative input

As a game tester, your focus is primarily on the technical aspects of the game, like identifying bugs and glitches, ensuring compatibility with various hardware configurations, and verifying that the game meets the required quality standards. This means you won’t have much influence on the game’s design, story, or development. If you’re someone who’s hoping to flex your creative muscles or contribute to the artistic aspects of game creation, you might find this aspect of the job a bit frustrating and unfulfilling. It’s important to remember that game testing is a specific role within the larger game development process and that other positions, such as game designer or writer, may offer more opportunities for creative expression.

Potential for burnout

The combination of long hours, high expectations, and the repetitive nature of the job can lead to burnout among game testers. Burnout can manifest as physical and mental exhaustion, reduced productivity, and a loss of interest in gaming – something you once loved. It’s essential to take care of your mental health and well-being, so make sure to find ways to unwind, disconnect from work when you can, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This may include incorporating regular exercise, socializing with friends and family, engaging in hobbies outside of gaming, or practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or mindfulness.

In conclusion, while there are undoubtedly many perks to becoming a game tester, it’s crucial to consider the cons and challenges associated with the job. By weighing the pros and cons carefully, you can make an informed decision about whether a career in game testing is the right fit for you.


So there you have it – the pros and cons of becoming a game tester. While it’s not all fun and games (pun intended), it can be a rewarding career for the right person. If you’re passionate about video games, have a keen eye for detail, and don’t mind putting in the hours to make sure games are the best they can be, then game testing might be the perfect job for you. Just remember to weigh the pros and cons carefully, and make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue this exciting career path. Good luck, and happy gaming!

What to do Next

Here are five actionable tasks you can complete now that you’ve finished this article to help move your forward:

  1. Explore game testing job listings: After reading the article, take a few minutes to search for game testing job listings on websites like Indeed, or LinkedIn. This will give you an idea of the types of positions available and the skills and qualifications required.
  2. Join gaming industry forums and online communities: Connect with other game testers and industry professionals by joining relevant forums and online communities. These platforms can offer valuable insights, advice, and support as you pursue a career in game testing.
  3. Set aside time to practice your analytical skills: Choose a game you’re familiar with and spend some time analyzing it critically. Look for bugs, glitches, or other issues, and think about how you would report them to a development team. This exercise will help you develop the analytical mindset needed for a game testing career.
  4. Sign up to my FREE course: Learn the insider tips, strategies, and essential skills to break into the games industry. Turn your passion for gaming into a rewarding career today. Sign up now and get ready to level up your professional journey!
  5. Create a list of industry events and conferences: Based on the article’s suggestion, make a list of gaming industry events and conferences, such as E3 or the Game Developers Conference, that you would like to attend. Mark their dates on your calendar and start planning to participate in these networking opportunities.


Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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