1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

A video game tester is a dream job for many people

After all, you get paid to play video games all day long. Is that right? No, not really. The truth is that video game testing is a demanding job requiring much more than just leisurely video game playthroughs. You can be a first-rate Halo player, but that doesn’t mean you can do a great video game tester.

While this job isn’t particularly demanding to have an education, most people go through this step in their career to get into the video game industry. It’s an opportunity, not a video game or live casino page that pays money.

So, are you ready to learn a little more about a career as a game tester?

Who is he, the tester at GameDev?

It is a person who detects bugs in games for mobile or desktop (desktop) devices. He can work for a product or outsourcing company, but his main task remains the same – finding and fixing a bug in the bug-tracking system.

A game tester “breaks” the program when he constantly goes through the same fragments at all levels and performs all possible actions (even unexpected ones). The game tester carefully looks for flaws in the system that lurks in mechanics, design, character dialogues, or story sequences.

There are thousands of variations of problems in the game, which is why the work of QA specialists is so important. It is time-consuming and sometimes monotonous, but it helps bring an almost flawless software product to market. So what happens if the testing stage is neglected?

On September 30, 2021, the eFootball game was released, which cannot be called a success. Only 8% positive reviews on Steam (an online resource for selling computer games). It is one of the worst ratings in the history of the service. The reason was the controversial facial animation that generated hundreds of memes and mockery.

Essential attributes of a video game tester

The tester’s workplace is in front of a TV or computer monitor. Like most professionals working from home, silence is essential because you must focus on the gameplay.

Almost all video game testers working from home will have to provide their equipment, meaning you will have to buy a console, computer, controllers, and other devices to do your job and earn income.

Benefits of being a game tester

There are three main advantages to being a video game tester. 

  • First, there is the ability to work from home, which allows for a flexible schedule and personal freedom. Many people consider this one of the main reasons for choosing a career as a video game tester.
  • Secondly, you get to play new video games before other users do. While it’s hard to call it “playing” video games, you still get to see a game long before it goes into circulation (sometimes, it takes years). If you’re a gamer, this will be one of your most significant privileges.
  • Third, many people become game testers to get into the industry. The experience you gain can help you move up the career ladder and get a high-paying position.

Advantages of the profession

So, let’s start diving into a career as a game tester with strengths.

The relatively low entry threshold

You won’t need a technical education or experience in an IT company at the start. It will be enough to master the basic skills of software quality assurance and get acquainted with the specifics of the GameDev industry.

The ability to move to a remote location

When you have enough computer and Internet access to perform your tasks, there is a reason to switch to working from home with a flexible schedule. This format requires self-discipline and organization but gives you mobility. For example, you can apply for jobs in companies whose offices are abroad.

Access to the latest games

As a software tester, you can try out new games before anyone else. And sometimes, it takes years to get from demo to release. This advantage is also a privilege for every gamer.

Exploratory nature of the work

You will have to test the strength of the game systems and look for non-trivial ways to detect bugs. Not only will imagination come in handy here, but also the desire to learn new information.

Professional prospects

Testing doesn’t limit your ambitions. After all, you can develop vertically (to occupy higher and higher managerial positions) and horizontally (to delve into specific technologies or related areas). It allows you to choose your route for career growth.

Disadvantages of the profession

But every job has a downside, which is also essential to keep in mind. So let’s discuss the weaknesses, which include:

  • Routine nature of some types of tasks (especially in the beginning);
  • competition in the labor market;
  • Low wages at the start.

It is worth understanding that each of these weaknesses is temporary. Monotonous work is replaced by tasks of a new type, the constant improvement of skills allows you to bypass a more significant number of candidates for the job you are interested in. And below-average salaries by IT standards are obtained by novice professionals without the necessary experience that necessarily comes with the process.

Requirements to applicants

Although the desire to learn a new profession is essential to career development, you can go faster from a newbie in QA to a seasoned game tester with some personal baggage. It may include:

  • responsibility;
  • willingness to multi-task;
  • the ability to communicate orally and in writing in English (at least at a basic level);
  • The ability to analyze large amounts of information;
  • diligence and attentiveness.

This list alone is not the only helpful experience. Indeed you also have unobvious character traits, knowledge, and skills that will help you succeed in your work.

Tasks tester

The job prospects of a tester are directly related to the video game industry. While people are lining up to buy the latest version of Fallout or Call of Duty, testers are trying hard to “break” these games.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 51% of American families own a game console, and 4 out of 5 families (80%) have at least one device that can be used for gaming: a computer, cell phone, or tablet.

And given the growth of mobile game production, we can say that the need for such specialists is reasonably expected.

Because of the relatively low educational requirements, the competition for this position can be very high. Therefore, it is worth making an effort and gets a specialized education that will help you stand out among the candidates for the position.