- Career Development
How to Become a Game Tester
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How to Become a Game Tester
By Indeed Editorial Team
June 9, 2021
This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach
If you enjoy working with electronics, becoming a video game tester may be an attractive career choice. Not only is there a demand for quality game testers due to the popularity of video game consoles, but it’s a good way to enter the video game industry. In this article, we will explore what a game tester does and how you might find a job as a game tester.
What does a game tester do?
A game tester, or quality assurance tester, plays video games that are under development to check for errors, also known as glitches or bugs. Game testers normally work for video game companies, often in close connection with programmers and other technical members of the development team. They are expected to test extensively, often repeating game levels multiple times to make sure they have tested every possible permutation of play.
As well as playing games, game testers take note of any gameplay errors they find along with steps on how to recreate those errors. They communicate these problems to the development team so they can correct them.
Average salary of game testers
The average salary for a game tester in the U.S. is $14.13 per hour as of November 2019, with a range of $7.25 to $44.10. Your salary as a game tester will depend a lot on your experience and the company you work for. Where you live can also be a factor in how much you get paid, since regional laws may determine a minimum wage. Some game testing jobs may be in an office where the company provides the materials you need. Other game testing jobs are work-from-home positions where you are expected to provide your own game consoles, television and other equipment. You should consider this when negotiating your salary.
Steps to becoming a game tester
If you’re interested in a career as a game tester, here are some steps you can take:
Earn a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.
Play video games.
Get a college degree in video game design or a related field.
Work in quality assurance.
1. Earn a high school diploma, GED or equivalent
You don’t need a high school education to be a game tester, however, most game testers are 18 or older, so you should complete high school. Also, you will need basic writing and communication skills, which you can learn in high school or as part of studying for an equivalency.
2. Play video games
Most game testers started as video game enthusiasts. They learn about game dynamics, gameplay and what makes a good game from spending hours playing games. Since the job involves playing video games for long periods of time, often replaying game levels looking for problems, it helps if you enjoy playing video games.
3. Get a college degree in video game design or a related field
While you don’t need a college degree to be a game tester, having one can help you find a job. Game testing is a competitive market, so any qualifications you have that might make you an attractive candidate are useful. The most helpful degree subjects are those that give you a better understanding of the technical aspects of game design and programming. These include computer animation, interactive game development and computer science. A degree could also help you advance in your career from testing to game design or development.
4. Work in quality assurance
Video game testing is more than simply playing the game. As part of your job, you are constantly trying to break the game, to find the game’s flaws and see how you can exploit them. If you have work experience in quality assurance, you will likely be familiar with this way of thinking.