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How to Make Money Playing Video Games in 2024: 17 Smart Ways

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Video games are a huge market in Canada that is continuously growing, especially in Toronto and the gaming capital of Montreal. But can you really make good money playing video games?

Yes! You can take many career paths, including becoming an eSports player, live streamer, or game designer, with records of earning good money. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to make money playing video games at home or even without streaming and how much you can earn!

Key Takeaways

  • Some best ways to make money playing video games at home include becoming a Twitch live streamer, YouTuber, eSports player, and gaming podcast host.
  • Playing play-to-earn video games, reviewing video games, testing and selling video games, and becoming a coach are lucrative ways to make money playing video games without streaming.
  • You can earn money playing video games for as little as $12,000 and as high as $187,200 annually or even more.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games at Home 

1. Livestream on Twitch

If you love playing mobile or computer games like Roblox, Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Minecraft, level up your gaming experience by live streaming on Twitch and earn money at the same time. 

Twitch is a live-streaming online platform specialized for sports, music, and gaming, and it is one of the best ways to make money playing video games at home. There are plenty of opportunities on this live-streaming app, like having the ability to connect to a global audience and community building, and the most exciting part is it has monetization opportunities. 

You can earn from subscriptions, donations, merchandise sales, brand deals, twitch bits, and ad revenues. Successful Twitch streamers like XQC, a Canadian top earner, can earn as much as $121,711.

Pros

  • Interactive experience 
  • Potential monetization 

Cons

  • Moderation Problem 
  • Mentally draining 

2. Start a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel is one of the readily-available ways to make money playing video games at home. Being a YouTuber opens many opportunities, like audience engagement, sponsorships, collaborations, affiliate marketing, and ad revenue. It can also improve your communication skills and confidence. 

It is impressive that you can earn money by doing what you usually do, sharing your expertise in specific fields in tutorials, or even playing your favourite video games. The average income of a YouTuber in Canada is approximately $57,279 per year on youtube views alone, without the brand deals or even the paid promotions. 

Pros

  • Promotes social engagements 
  • It can be a source of learning 

Cons

  • Privacy concerns 
  • Requires high workloads

3. Create Video Game Tutorials

Many famous content creators focus their content on making game tutorials, like Brackeys, Sam Hogan, and the most famous Pewdiepie, with 111 million subscribers. If they can do it, you can do it too! Imagine sharing your knowledge and creating walkthrough tutorials that will help you gain subscribers. 

You have to be confident and creative about making your tutorials engaging for your subscribers. Your revenue varies from the different platforms you will upload your video. Also, income may come from various affiliates and sponsorships. 

Pros

  • Chance to share knowledge and help new players 
  • Good monetization options

Cons

  • Competition is high
  • Time-consuming
  • Requires keeping up with new releases
  • It may require technical skills and knowledge

4. Become a Professional eSports Player

Honing your skills on your favourite computer or mobile games may lead you to become an expert pro player. There are a lot of pro players who drastically change their life because of eSport gaming. 

Aside from recognition titles, eSport pro-seen is known to have many money-making sources for the competing teams aside from their monthly salary, which includes sponsorships and brand deals. The average pay for professional eSports players in Canada is $64,727 yearly.

Pros

  • Promote sportsmanship
  • Fame and stardom
  • Huge prize money at stake
  • Development of social and emotional skills 

Cons

  • Time Consuming
  • Toxicity
  • Risk of burnouts
  • May receive negative feedback from fans 

5. Host a Gaming Podcast

Telling your stories, sharing expertise, or even giving your opinion on specific video game topics is the new form of earning money through podcasts. To become a successful gaming podcast, line up interesting topics and guests, include attractive segments in your podcast, release consistently and promote them on various platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. 

It is also a great avenue to promote other platforms where you play video games and earn more money. A podcaster in Canada can earn from $60,000 up to $100,000 per year. 

Pros

  • Global Reach
  • Creative Expression
  • Setting your own schedule
  • Good monetization sources 

Cons

  • Consistency and pressure 
  • Time commitment
  • The fluctuating volume of listeners
  • Critical feedback 

6. Join Tournaments for All Skill Levels

With the massive success of esports in Canada, one of the best ways to earn money playing games online is to join tournaments for all skill levels. You can look up some university esports clubs for student esports tournaments; there are also local gaming lounges that host weekly tournaments of various games, and once you gain enough experience, try playing in amateur leagues. 

Glassdoor revealed that esports players in Canada earn an average salary of $64,727 annually. But it could go higher if you join major world tournaments of your choice of esports, win the game, and earn millions of dollars. 

Pros

  • Travel opportunities around the world
  • A great way to shift your gaming hobbies into a lucrative career
  • Prize money from major world tournaments
  • Gain followers in the gaming community

Cons

  • Long hours of practice or training
  • No guaranteed income depending on how great you are
  • Possible wrist or back pain
  • Lots of toxic players around

How to Make Money Playing Video Games Without Streaming

7. Write Video Game Reviews

Are you a shy person who doesn’t want to stream but wants to earn? Then I suggest that you do game reviews. Doing game reviews is one of the best options for making money playing video games without streaming because you don’t need to show your face on the internet. 

You can publish your reviews on personal blogs, gaming websites, and freelancing sites without rushing by sharing your insightful game analysis. The estimated earnings continuously vary from your advertisement, affiliate marketing, and number of readers. 

Pros

  • Sharing your insights 
  • Game reviews can be edited

Cons

  • Needs an accurate content 
  • It may lead to negative reviews 

8. Play Play-To-Earn Video Games

Earning money from video games these days can be done in different avenues, and one of the most well-known is Play-To-Earn (P2E) Video Games. This game allows you to earn their in-game currency, sometimes in cryptocurrency, which is convertible to cash. Still, the catch of this type of game is that you have to invest an initial amount of money, or in layman’s terms, you are purchasing an in-game asset or cryptocurrency. 

Several games are widely known for their play-to-earn video games, like Swagbucks, Mistplay, Axie Infinity, Splinterlands, and The Sand Box. You can expect to earn at least $20/hour up to $200/hour with P2E video games. 

Pros

  • Alternative source of income 
  • Real-world value or currency

Cons

  • High cost of entry 
  • Fluctuating currency value 

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9. Test Video Games

Testing video games is one of the best courses of action for making money playing video games at home, as many companies offer remote or freelance video game testing jobs

If you’re considering becoming a video game tester in Canada, consider taking relevant education in computer programming or software testing and mastering various gaming platforms like Playstation, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox. 

You must also learn to use a few bug-tracking software like Quality Center, Jira, and TestRail. According to Talent.com, an entry-level position for testing video games earns about $31,200 yearly. Once you become experienced with testing video games, expect to earn as much as $97,500 annually. 

Pros

  • Fun experience to play games before release
  • Stepping stone to levelling up to higher roles like QA role
  • Flexitime applicable
  • Develops skills like testing game processes, utilizing bug-tracking tools, and making reports

Cons

  • Work repetition and crunch hours
  • Pay is not that high compared to other game development roles
  • Most of the time, works are not accredited and recognized

10. Make and Sell Video Games

To make and create your own video game, you must be familiar with game development, concept, software, and marketing. Shortly, it will take a lot of time and money. But is it worth trying? The answer is yes, as long as you know your goals and are willing to take risks. 

Pricing your developed game can often be challenging as it requires thorough research and full consideration of your efforts and expenses. If you can make one, you can sell them in Barrie, GameCycle, and GameStop between the range of $50 up to $80. 

Pros

  • High revenue 
  • Promotes Creativity 

Cons

  • High competition
  • Time-consuming 

11. Sell Gaming Services and Items

One of the most popular ways to earn money playing video games without streaming is by selling gaming services and items. There are several ways to sell your items. Still, the most common is through Gameflip, a one-stop buy-and-sell digital marketplace because it allows you to sell gaming and gaming-related items. 

The next is through PlayerAuctions, another platform enabling you to sell in-game items for real money; it is known for its secure and fast transactions, widely used by a large community of buyers. 

Pros

  • An alternative way to earn money playing games online
  • Promotes cheaper deals

Cons

  • Prices are lower than usual 
  • Prone to frauds and scams 

12. Coach People on How to Play

Coaching people is one way to earn money playing video games without streaming. To become a gaming coach, you need to have a high-paying level of expertise in a video game, have studied the game deeply for the meta, have excellent leadership and communication skills, and level up by getting certified in esports coaching. 

You can start your coaching career by hosting education camps for video games, coaching casually online, or offering one-on-one coaching lessons with a team. Once you build your presence, you can apply coaching for pro teams and amateur leagues to earn a stable income. Glassdoor says that a video game coach in Canada is making an average of $55,449 annually. 

Pros

  • High flexible part-time income that could turn into a really stable job 
  • Satisfaction in helping players improve their skills
  • Gain mentorship and coaching experiences

Cons

  • Time-intensive working with so many clients
  • Dealing and working with cramped and toxic players

13. Become a QA Tester

Becoming a QA tester for video games is one of the best stepping stones for you to advance your career in the game development or game design industry. Although you don’t need a degree to do it, you need to have a great passion for gaming to identify all bugs, glitches, and other issues to give the game development team feedback.

Becoming a QA Tester is one of the best side jobs for making money playing video games at home as you can do this job part-time. Some of Canada’s best websites to find QA tester jobs are EA Careers, Ubisoft Careers, Activision Careers, Bethesda Softworks Careers, and WB Games Careers. 

An entry-level video game QA tester in Canada, according to Talent.com, earns around $31,200 yearly and goes up to an average of $58,500 annually. 

Pros

  • Opportunity to enjoy and play video games while earning side money
  • Don’t require extensive training or gained higher education
  • Flexible working hours

Cons

  • Gameplay testing over and over again 
  • Lower payouts, unlike if you’re the one developing the game
  • Need great attention to details

14. Become a Video Game Journalist

Video game journalists’ duties involve writing about any video game through news, features, books, guides, interviews, or reviews. 

The foundation of becoming a successful video game journalist is identifying your niche or the area you’re focused on, producing your own genuine content based on experiences, and building networks and relationships to gain more knowledge from other successful video game journalists. 

Glassdoor presents that a video game journalist in Canada has the potential to earn an average salary of $53,692 yearly. If you have practiced the profession and achieved the senior role, expect to earn as much as $83,161 yearly. 

Pros

  • Significant opportunity to build your name and a brand
  • Get paid to play video games and write about these games before the date of release

Cons

  • Tight deadlines
  • Starting out with lower pay

15. Sell Video Game Merchandise

If you’re a die-hard fan of a specific video game or multiple video games, try to make some side income out of this obsession of yours–putting up your own store and selling video game merchandise is a great option! 

You can make your video game merchandise shop profitable. Target those established video games like Pokemon, Call of Duty, Valorant, Fortnite, etc., with devoted nostalgic fanbases, sell licensed and custom items like toys and t-shirts, and set up merchandise booths at various expos and conventions.

Pros

  • Collecting video game merchandise could turn into a hobby
  • Capitalize on die-hard fans’ ex-love for classic games, which can drive prices of video game merchandises higher

Cons

  • Game publishers might ask for licensing fees, royalties, or other monetary requirements to become official merchandise.
  • Counterfeit products can hurt sales.

16. Become a Video Game Developer

Being a video game developer is one of the most lucrative ways to earn cash playing video games without streaming. To become a successful video game developer, obtain a relevant computer science, IT, software engineering, or game design degree, master programming like GDevelop, Unity, and game engines, and build your portfolio.

With polished programming skills, game engine experience, and excellent story-telling abilities, you can be a top video game developer and earn above average salary. According to talent.com, the average salary for game designers in Canada is approximately $119,501 annually. 

Pros

  • Builds opportunities to expand knowledge in the interactive world of gameplay
  • Satisfaction of seeing your game ideas come to life
  • Chance to work and collaborate with other professional game designers or developers
  • Competitive salary, especially if you’re in the senior role

Cons

  • Pressure is ultimately high with long hours of work and cramming
  • Non-stable work
  • Industry is competitive
  • Work-life balance may be lacking

17. Teach Game Design

If you have theoretical knowledge and practical experience with game designing, turn that into a teaching career that can provide you extra income and a rewarding feeling. 

Teach game design programs at reputable Canadian universities like Vancouver Film School and Center for Digital Media, or create online video game design courses, workshops, or lesson plans to help aspiring game designers. 

If you’re looking to teach students in game design, ZipRecruiter says to expect to earn $17 to $71 hourly, which is approximately $32,000 to $136,000 annually. 

Pros

  • Lets you share your love for games and game design with students
  • Steady full-time or part-time teaching job with colleges and universities
  • Helps keep you updated with the latest game design techniques, tools, and trends.

Cons

  • Tedious work due to creating lesson plans, grading, and answering students’ queries
  • It can become repetitive and cage your creativity.
  • Possible to attend faculty meetings

How Much Money You Can Make Playing Video Games 

The amount of money you can make playing video games in Canada is variable. It depends on your performance, experience, and the platform you’re using to earn money and popularity. 

If you’re a video game streamer in Canada, you can be like the Twitch streamer xQC, who earns up to $133,161 monthly. If you’re into game designing, you can make six figures yearly. Finally, you can earn $12,000 to $187,200 annually as a professional esports player. 

Canadian gamers actively join world tournaments for esports or video games. According to Esports Earnings, Canada ranked #10 among the countries with the most gaming revenue, with the total combined prize money earned at $42+ million from 8,000+ esports tournaments worldwide. 

The highest Canadian earners came from Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Fortnite, and League of Legends. Some of the highest earners in Canada are Dota 2 players Artour Babaev with a total of $2,645,717.71 and Kurtis Ling with $2,074.582.54, and Fortnite player Williams Aubin with $1,329,631.42.

Top Money-Making Video Games in 2024 

Esports Earnings reports that the top money-making video games in Canada in 2024 are the following:

  • Dota 2. One of the most followed and major esports played passionately in Canada is Dota 2. The total game revenue received for professional Dota 2 players from tournaments now amounts to $7.8M+, where Artour Babaev earned the highest at $2.0M+. It is also one of the top video games Canadian players stream on Twitch. 
  • Fortnite. Among Canadian teenagers and young video gamers, Fortnite is the most popular. No wonder Canadian players almost earned $6.2M+ from the top Fortnite world tournaments. Some of the most popular Canadian Fortnite players are Zayt, Arkham, Slacked, and KeysFN. At the same time, those well-known content creators are NickEh30, BuckeFPS, and KarlJacobs. 
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Speaking of pillars of first-person shooting (FPS) esports, CS: GO has dominated the Canadian game scene for a long time. Some of the most popular streamers on Twitch are Shroud and Summit1G, earning around $30,000 from subscriptions and $4,000 from advertisements monthly. Canada has also made $5.6M+ across many CS: GO tournaments.
  • League of Legends. LoL, esports is one of Canada’s most watched and played video games, having earned an estimated $1.8M+ from tournaments worldwide. Some of the most famous Twitch streamers for LoL are Yassuo, Shiphtur, and Pokimane, who are paid an estimated $35,000 monthly from subscriptions alone.

FAQs 

What game makes the most money? 

The most money generated last 2022 was the Honor of Kings MOBA game, which generated $1.6 Billion in revenue. It is a game inspired by League of Legends. 

How can I become a game tester? 

There are several ways you want to be a game tester. The first is to master the game, be flexible, and know the trends in the gaming community; next, be educated to get a degree or certification in game design, video graphics, or other software-related programs—lastly, Gain experience by participating in public beta tests of games. Then from that point, you can now apply for gaming companies through their website applications. 

What is the biggest-selling video game of all time?

The biggest-selling game of all time is Minecraft, with over 238 million copies sold across platforms. Other games that sold over 100 million copies are GTA V and Tetris. 

Is a game tester a stressful job? 

Just like any job being a game tester can be stressful sometimes. But it opens many opportunities, like allowing you to play the games before the release. 

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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