Since the complexity and popularity of digital games keep growing in America, there’s an increasing need for detail-oriented, dedicated game testers.
These professionals follow similar rules to other QA (quality assurance) software developers, ensuring the games satisfy the standards and requirements that the designers and company designed when visualizing the games.
Working as a game tester is not only about enjoying the playtime. We’ll provide you with a clear picture of how to become a game tester and what skills you need to acquire.
A game tester is a quality control professional who primarily works on drafted games to inspect if there’s an issue in programming, like malfunctioning visual effects, broken applications, or program glitches.
Here’s how a typical testing process occurs:
First, these workers have to draw up a plan, including what features to examine during the gameplay.
They will check for the product’s error codes, grammatical or spelling mistakes, difficulty level, bugs or glitches, and whether the product is monotonous or fun.
After planning out what features they must inspect in the product, they will dive into the testing process by playing it as a trial run.
They will have to stick to it from the beginning to the end to identify errors and what has not met the expectation.
Typically, this process is divided into two phases. The first phase focuses on detecting and correcting major defects and bugs.
The second phase focuses on hardcore testing, meaning the gamers have to test every corner of the product to identify minor errors.
The last step is to mark all the defects and bugs and report the problems to the development and design team. It’s necessary to ensure the report is in a specified format of the company.
This report often includes an introduction summarizing the issues, test results, severity level, steps to fix the problems, and expected results.
How to become a videogame tester with no experience? You need to learn the requirements for education and the qualities that this career looks for.
Usually, companies prefer candidates with these conditions:
Though high-level education is not mandatory for this job, there will be more chances to land a job if you equip yourself with an adequate education.
You should build an educational background focused on game design by earning degrees in computer science, video graphics, or programming- or software-related fields.
These degrees teach you how coding and programs support each other in implementing online apps, websites, and video games.
Curriculums often concentrate on how particular programs should behave and how people design applications from scratch.
Though it’s highly technical knowledge, sometimes, you’ll have to work with artistic and theoretical concepts, like user behavior, texture, image balance, or color composition.
Commons degrees that most game testers go for are
- Graphic Communication
- Computer Science
- Computer Programming
- Software Engineering
- Software Design
- Software Development
- Software Testing
- Software QA
- Game Design
Notably, most computer science degrees will offer appropriate training to students to be sufficient enough to get a game testing position.
Next, we’ll see what skills you’ll expect to possess as a professional tester.
This career requires workers to acquire many basic abilities and skills. The most paramount attribute has to be previous experience in the gaming industry.
Wide knowledge of the top gaming genres and a comprehensive understanding of gameplay’s essentials and what contributes to a great plaything will put you at a huge advantage.
Besides, strong communication and writing skills are crucial for being successful testers. Knowing how to write in an effective, brief, and clear manner is helpful when you need to report defects and how you find them.
Also, critical, innovative thinking skills will make you stand out from other candidates applying for this job.
The most important personal skill in a GT is having a strong sense of detail. Besides standard gaming proficiency, testers are responsible for spotting tiny glitches that an average player may never identify.
They have to make the product flawless by looking for the wrong details and showing them to the developers.
Plus, these workers should be patient enough to tolerate repetition.
They may need to play one round or level many times, interacting with every animated character, performing every task, and taking all the designed actions to ensure they run correctly.
Moreover, an excellent worker can work with any team smoothly and show a solid work ethic. When working independently, they should remain sufficient enough to meet tight deadlines.
Like other jobs in the gaming industry, this one is a fiercely competitive field, making seizing a suitable position challenging.
If testing games is your dream job, the following locations are where your career-building journey has to walkthrough:
- Build technical knowledge & training
- Develop your skills
- Engage in public beta testing
- Create a good resume
Earning a certification provided by the ASTQB will help you gain ground over other prospective applicants.
While most enterprises accept candidates with a high-school background, you can step up your career prospect by earning a certificate or degree in game development, graphic design, or computer programming.
Many certificates will benefit you and enrich your resources. These programs provide direct training and education in a particular field, offering a faster entry into this career path.
The most common certificates in this field are:
- Game design
- Web programming
- Graphic design
- Quality control
Most tech companies expect candidates to be passionate about enjoying games and adept at professional work simultaneously.
It’s a riveting idea to study all the terminologies of gaming by reading informative blogs or even writing your gaming blogs.
Recruiters will pay more attention to well-rounded applicants who show diverse, relevant abilities. Thus, try to obtain as much info and skills as possible.
Because this job doesn’t often require specific education, some hiring managers focus on finding those with excellent soft skills found in the most successful testers in this industry.
Particular traits that testing companies and studios may seek from a candidate include:
It’s important to show a great concentrating duration and not easily get sick and tired of the games even after testing them many times.
Remember that some products can take 4-5 years of testing and development before showing up in front of gamers.
Your responsibility is to spot defects and glitches, determine how they happen, and explain the most effective solutions to find and troubleshoot them to the development and design team.
You can’t miss out on or overlook the cracks since every glitch shipping will negatively affect the gamers.
You’ll communicate with other testers and the development team through notes and marks in the glitch-tracking software or emails.
Thus, cultured writing skills are critical, expressing your thoughts and acting as a communication means.
You’ll usually have to write reports, and report writing is a technical skill requiring more practice than posting on social media or writing blogs.
You can register for online references that explain how to write reports accurately, understandably, and effectively.
Some openings for these workers are part-time jobs based on a legal contract, while some require distance work.
Yet, most full-time positions require candidates to have robust experience in the gaming field.
If you intend to apply for a job that earns you a generous monthly income or a reputable company offering a full-time position, you need to gain on-the-job experience first.
It’s possible to start from entry-level or part-time positions where you can pick up experience from your seniors.
Beta testing competitions are another approach to sharpen your skills and enrich your experience. You can look for and join relevant communities to stay up-to-date on the newest beta testing chances.
Indeed, it’s not too difficult for prospective testers to find a beta testing opportunity. Some development companies will notify you when they’re about to hold a beta event.
They will give potential competitors time to glance at the product and perform specialized skills to improve the development cycle.
Many may overlook this step, but compiling an impressive resume plays a vital role in expressing yourself in front of the recruiters.
First, you need to emphasize the skills and experience that fit the requirements of the position you’re applying for.
Whenever you encounter a recruitment post online, check the skills required category, particularly the ‘core skills’ section, to determine if you meet the requirements.
Remember to proofread and double-check your CV before posting. Spelling or grammar mistakes might lead to negative impressions and recruiters turning down your application.
Again, close attention to detail is a mandatory quality. And your resume strongly reflects this factor, so be extra careful with this last step.
If you look to pursue this career your whole life and aim at a full-time position, you’ll need at least one year of QA testing experience.
Yet, some reputable businesses expect their workers to join with previous two or more years of experience in game testing.
If you intend to get a part-time position or only participate in short-term projects, three to six months of experience and a passion for games are enough.
So, it depends on the position you will apply for and your willingness to devote your time to studying and training.
A professional’s income will vary depending on their skills, experience level, and education. Yet, the average game tester’s salary is around $55,030 per year.
Entry-level workers with 0-1 year of experience can earn about $42,000 a year, whereas those with 1-3 years can earn around $47,150 annually.
Meanwhile, experienced workers with 4-6 years specializing in this field will receive an offer of $53,850 on average, whereas those with even more time and effort devoted to the industry can earn up to $67,500 a year.
Almost any studio or technical company will need testers. Some giant organizations in this arena, like Microsoft, EA, or Nintendo, even recruit hundreds of employees in various ways, through temporary agencies or directly.
Like any position, you can begin by seeking job postings around your neighborhood, city, or country using specific search tools.
We recommend searching on job aggregator websites, like Indeed, or popular technology-related job websites, like Monster.
Concerning all the online information and pieces of news you’ve gathered so far, you may find it confusing to determine if this path is worth your time, effort, and money.
Here’s the answer: It might seem to be a challenging career, yet it is lucrative, fun-filled, and will help you improve many soft skills.
Joining a development team also helps bridge social gaps and promote manual dexterity. This way, you can further develop your network and employment opportunities.
Isn’t it exciting to have a chance to access pre-released products and platforms that the public has not been aware of?
If you’re a passionate gamer yet have a burning desire to bring designers’ flaws to the table and fix them, this path is never a wrong decision.
Working as a videogame tester is one of the best approaches to building your career within the gaming realm. If you’re keen on working on computers and playing games, you may have found the right hallway to a bright future.
We’ve been so excited to share our thoughts and information about how to become a game tester. See you in the next article!