The game industry involves developing, producing, marketing, and monetizing video games. It is extensive and bigger than the music and movie industries.
This industry has created many career opportunities for game professionals, such as writers, video game artists, developers, game testers, and more.
The game tester job is one of the most exciting in this industry. Many people want to become game testers but don’t know what this profession entails and how to do it. So we will discuss every aspect in this article.
Game tester professionals test games during production. Before releasing them to the market, they check the video games for glitches, bugs, and other flaws.
They analyze how enjoyable a video game is. After reviewing the game, they will write detailed reports and recommend what should be removed or added.
Duties and Responsibilities
What does a game tester do? Game testers, or quality assurance testers, play video games under development to find errors (known as bugs or glitches).
These professionals typically work for game companies, often in close connection with other technical members of a development team.
They typically test frequently, often repeating game levels many times to ensure they have checked every possible permutation of play.
As well as playing games, these experts also take note of any gameplay errors they have found, along with steps to recreate these errors.
They communicate those issues to the development team to correct them. Here are the main responsibilities of a game tester:
- Complete play-throughs.
- Test graphics.
- Provide feedback.
- Replay the game.
- Research gaming trends.
Where do game testers work?
The work environment for these professionals may depend on their preferences.
This career can offer the ability to work from home or remotely, though most game testers work in offices.
Although many game testers have no daily work routine, they may follow a specific schedule after getting a project to test because of deadlines.
For instance, they may have several business days to finish a game play-through.
Those professionals typically complete their work using televisions, game consoles, and computers. For this reason, they must give their eyes special care to protect them from long-term exposure to blue light emitted from screens.
The education requirements to become a game tester depend on the employer and their vacancy. Here are some requirements for this profession.
This career requires at least a secondary school diploma. Although having any advanced education to become a game tester is unnecessary, getting a bachelor’s degree in game design, software development, or computer science will help you find more job opportunities.
Those programs will allow you to learn more about the game design process and deliver more helpful and specific feedback on the video games you test.
Many positions are open for testers of experience levels. The sole experience that gaming companies typically require is a history of playing video games.
That means game testers usually already have experience using game controls and can complete game play-throughs under deadlines.
Experience in game design or software development is also an advantage in the job application process, although rarely required.
Having experience playing various video games is helpful as it allows you to test different genres of games, such as role-playing, fighting simulations, and racing.
Game testers are inquisitive and creative individuals. Those traits let them play through the video games to enhance the user’s experience.
These experts often have the patience to play a game repetitively and continue on a higher difficulty level. This profession is also a good fit for people who prefer working independently and motivating themselves to fulfill deadlines.
Many game testers rely on their skills to find career opportunities. They may use many skills to complete their job responsibilities, such as:
- Time-management: Game testers often work under deadlines, so they must manage their time and complete their tasks before the deadline.
- Writing: Those professionals usually write reports containing their feedback and also include specific instructions on how to identify any glitches in the game.
- Communication: This skill can help these experts collaborate with developers to share ideas and explain any malfunction they encounter within the game.
- Problem-solving: Game testerS may use problem-solving skills to complete play-throughs of a video game.
These professionals often complete a game under each difficulty level, so they utilize problem-solving skills to solve game problems and finish the game under the expert level of gameplay difficulty.
- Dexterity: Many games require a tester to use great hand-eye coordination to operate the game controls and react to in-game stimuli.
- Creativity: To deliver helpful and insightful feedback, game testers use their creativity and make suggestions on improving the game
- Attention to detail: Game testers use robust observation skills to notice issues or small glitches with a game’s design.
Here are some game-testing tools to remember right now:
- TestArchitect Mobile Plus.
The BLS expects job opportunities for software developers, including game testers, to grow about 22%, faster than the average for all professions in 2029.
The average annual salary for a game tester in the US is $60,370, or $29.02 per hour, $1,160 per week, and $5,030 per month. Game tester salaries range from $31,000 to $98,000, top earners making $104,000 annually.
- The salary is rather good.
- You can work from home.
- You can work independently.
- Part-time work is available.
- You can follow your passion.
- Your work generates tangible results.
- A great entry point into the gaming industry.
- You may work long hours.
- It is highly competitive.
If you want to become a game tester, several ways allow you to enter this field.
Follow the steps below to discover your options, gain professional experience and skills, and explore career or side hustle opportunities.
Step 1: Upgrade your gaming practice.
One of the essential parts of becoming a game tester is to become a conscientious and intentional gamer. Your purposes should include:
- Get varied experiences by playing various genres of games, such as multiplayer online battle areas, sports, and real-time strategy.
- Familiarity with playing games on various game consoles, laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and more.
- Identify features that will improve games.
- Describe your gaming experiences in detail.
Step 2. Build technical skills and knowledge in game testing.
The step deals with supplementing your gaming practice with strong technical skills.
- Learn the basic responsibilities of game testers, including playing all video game stages, detecting glitches and bugs, recommending improvements to developers, and more.
- Learn QA terminologies, such as code release, playtesting, minimum viable product, and performance testing.
- Become familiar with top gaming companies and studios, such as Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft.
- Enhance your strategic thinking, reporting, analysis, and technical writing skills.
- Learn technical writing and reporting.
To build those skills, you should consider taking courses, getting certified in specific skills, and gaining a degree in computer programming, game design, or related fields.
Step 3: Participate in public beta testing.
Public beta testing may be an excellent way to learn about upcoming video games, practice essential skills, and earn in-game rewards.
To identify opportunities to participate in open tests, you can explore beta testing sites for gamers, such as Alpha Beta Gamer, Game Tester, and BetaBound. We recommend documenting your process with each test and keeping a running account of everything you learn.
Step 4: Develop your game tester resume.
As you have knowledge, experience, and skills in game testing, it is time to build a resume that can showcase your capabilities. Ensure you list your game tester training, education and certifications you have gained.
If you have participated in any public beta tests, you should list the games themselves, the glitches and bugs you have found, the gameplay features you have evaluated, when the game will be released to the public, and more.
Step 5: Apply for a game tester job.
You can conduct job searches on various job sites, including common job sites like Glassdoor and Indeed or sites specific to the gaming industry like Hitmarker and Gaming Jobs Online.
When checking each job listing, you pay attention to the skills, qualifications, salary information required, and the roles-related tasks and projects.
Apart from earning lots of money, becoming a game tester will be a rewarding experience. These professionals have access to the latest games, meaning you will have an insider’s view of the gaming industry.
If you like playing video games, testing them will appeal to your interests and abilities, particularly exploring new worlds, thinking strategically, and paying attention to detail.
If you want to be a part of the gaming industry in the long run, becoming a game tester may open some career opportunities, including game development, graphic design, project management, or quality assurance engineering.
In most cases, gaming companies require their game testers to work in-house. It enables them to meet the developers face-to-face to determine problems.
But more and more companies allow remote game testing. Testers will play games at home before sharing notes with the developers via video conferencing.
You aren’t allowed to talk to others about a game you are testing. Gaming companies typically force their game testers to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the game development team.
So violating any terms of the contract will inevitably lead to a lawsuit or a fine.
Experience in game testing may open the doors to other lucrative careers like graphic designers and video game developers.
Becoming a game tester is not always easy, but big companies need passionate gamers to test their products. Game testers are vital to the game development process since they are responsible for identifying and reporting glitches or bugs before a game is released to the general public.
- Artist or animator.
- Game developer.
- Professional gamer.
- Video game writer.
- Video game producer.
- Video game marketer.
Working as a game tester can be fun. Although you do not need more than a highschool diploma to become a game tester, having a degree in a related field will be helpful. Just follow the steps listed above, and you are on your way to earning lots of money by testing and playing games.
Thank you for your interest in the article!