How To Become A Video Game Tester – How I Made It From Walmart To Pro Games Tester

Welcome To My Blog

OK so in this post I thought I would tell you a bit more about me and my journey to become a video game tester. I left school at 18 with no qualifications, and spent the next 6 years of my life working in all sorts of bum jobs, from pizza delivery guy to Walmart. I always really hated my job, but I didn’t know what else to do, and needed to pay the bills. My lack of qualifications was really holding me back.

I have been a gamer all my life, and spent way too many hours playing video games, especially when I should have been studying! I would have loved to play games for a living, but had no idea how to become a video game tester. However one day I was on facebook, and a friend from high school got in touch with me. After chatting for a bit the subject of work came up, I felt really ashamed telling him that all I had amounted to since leaving school was working at Walmart.. but that was soon replaced with interest when he told me that he was a full time video game tester.

I had loads of questions for him, and after chatting for hours, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, It was a great feeling! I wanted to become a video game tester! I was also lucky enough to have some insider knowledge. I scoured the net for more information, and job vacancies, but couldn’t find any. My friend had told me that games publishers rarely advertise online, and usually go through specialised recruitment agencies only.

I was so dedicated to finding a job as a games tester – I had decided it was the perfect career for me, and I would stop at nothing to make it. After getting some advice from my friend on the quickest and easiest way to get a job as a games tester, I sent my details over to a recommended games jobs agency, and prayed for the best. He had suggested using this particular agency instead of trying to get lucky finding a job online, as there are very few.

To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting them to be able to help me, especially after experiencing so many setbacks searching for me dream job, but I trusted my friends as advice, as he said he had used them and that they were responsible for getting him his current game testing role.

I was surprised when only a few hours later I received details on preparing for interviews, building a resume aimed at getting the job, and most importantly details of actual vacancies! Click here to visit their site

Unfortunately, none of those video game tester vacancies were anywhere near me, however my friend told me to be patient, as new jobs are added all the time.  I carried on with my life, and only 3 weeks after that, I received details of a vacancy in my area. With the help of the agency, I had everything I needed to prepare my application, and get ready for the interview.

After sending my resume, I was invited in for an interview, which I was really nervous about, but luckily I knew exactly what questions they were going to ask me, so I had answers already prepared, sneaky huh? ;)

After only 2 months, I received my job offer, and began my career as a full time video games tester. I often look back at the facebook conversation with my friend, and wonder what I would be doing with my life now had it not happened. I guess I would still be working at walmart… Since then my life has changed a lot, I moved to California, I am earning a decent income (although I am far from rich) and I am doing a job I absolutely love. I even met my wife out here, so I guess I owe that to my friend too! lol

So my advice to you on how to become a video game tester is this: Prepare your resume, scour the net for jobs, never give up, and keep chasing the dream until you achieve it. The most important thing is to take action, if you don’t take action, then you will never get the job you want. Believe in yourself, if you chase your dreams, then they will come true.

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Video Game Tester Career

In this post I will summarise the main questions that wannabe games testers usually have, and the main things I have posted so far in this blog (if you are too lazy to read it all hehe)

1. How do I become a video game tester?

Read all the information on this site. Be proactive – search the internet for genuine job listings. Check all of the games publisher’s websites, check online games industry jobs agencies, join recruitment agencies that deal with games testing job vacancies, and send off speculative CV’s. Don’t give up. It’s a popular job, and the competition will be high, so you need to keep trying until you succeed.

2. How much does a video game tester get paid?

Starting salaries are in the $10 – $15 region, although this can rise with experience. (im getting $30 per hour after 2 years on the job)

3. Should I Join An Agency?

Yeah, you have nothing to lose. Join every agency, contact every games publisher, do everything in your power to get the job if you really want it. If you work hard at it, the success will come.

4. Is being a video game tester an easy job?

I don’t believe so. There is a lot more to the job than just having fun playing games. You will need to be observant, play the game repetitively, and compile reports on bugs you have discovered.

5. I can’t find a job, what am I doing wrong?

Have you checked your resume? It’s important to spend the time building a really good professional looking resume that demonstrates you have the necessary skills to be a video game tester. Also remember that you can’t expect to find a job straight away, keep searching and keep applying, and something will come through eventually. There are no magic quick fixes. However, the main thing companies will be looking for is a passion for gaming.

6. Is it possible to make a career of video game testing?

Yes! There are many opportunities for development and progression open to you. Most people move on to games design and senior testing roles.

7. What countries are video game tester jobs available in?

Mainly in USA, UK, Canada and Australia. But there are many jobs available throughout Europe and some in the rest of the world. Iwas actually suprised at how many jobs there where all over the world, although there are more in the USA.

If you have any more questions, leave me a comment, and I can update the post.

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Example Of A Video Game Testers Wanted Advert

Lets face it – game tester jobs are rare, very rare. Not a day goes buy when I am not thankful I got a head start in the industry. Finding a job can be really hard, and in many ways is the hardest part about getting a game testing job. Check out below for an example of what a game tester advert looks like – although it is rare for games publishers to advertise online as they will usually go via agencies they trust. This is why it is so important to try and make contacts in the industry and get in touch with recruitment agencies who deal with games related vacancies – you want to find out as early as possible when a new vacancy is advertised.

Anyway – here is the ad:

Job Description
- Game testing and proof-reading
- Identifying and reporting linguistic errors and game defects
- General tasks related to the quality assurance (QA) process

Skills Required
- Excellent native-level English with a keen eye for mistakes
- Good communication skills

Pluses
- Knowledge of MMORPG (world of warcraft in particular)
- Knowledge of role-playing and console games

Rate of Pay: $12 per hour + overtime

Contract type: Project-based (flexible duration, full- or part-time)

Starting Date: Beginning of June

Position based in: Los Angeles, USA

Hope you found that of some use guys, good luck hunting for a video games tester jobs vacancy!

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Some Myths About Games Testers

There is a lot of mis-information out there on the web about the job role of a games tester, and how to become a games tester. After doing the job for 2 years, I have learnt a lot, so thought I would write a post about some of the major myths that I have heard and experienced along the way.

Myth: “Playing video games for leisure, and playing video games as a tester are the same thing”

Fact: Many people think that the life of a game tester is just about chilling out in front of the TV playing your favourite game. You will not be playing the game in the same way when testing it, as you would when playing for leisure at home. Instead of going through the game naturally, you will have to repetitively play certain areas of the game for many hours. You will also have to be taking notes, and regularly filling out reports.

Myth: “Publishers will send me the latest games before they are released, so I can play them at home”

Fact: Piracy is a growing problem in the video games industry. You will rarely be allowed valuable copies of games in case you leaked them. Only QA testing supervisors can sign out games. In many cases, to be a video game tester, you will still have to go into the office to carry out your work. It’s unusual to work from home – although you can pick up gigs where this happens. If you are serious about entering the industry, then be prepared to work in the office.

Myth: “Anyone can be a video game tester, it doesn’t require any skill”

Fact: To become a video game tester you will need to have a particular set of skills, including good levels of concentration, an analytical mind, a good eye for details, and good report writing skills. You will need to be able to communicate with others, and conduct yourself professionally. You do not need any formal qualifications, but you do need to have a passion for games and the ability to motivate yourself and apply yourself.

Myth: “You can earn thousands of dollars per week as a video game tester”

Fact: Unfortunately, as a lowly QA tester, you will be on a relatively mediocre wage, perhaps in the $15 per hour region depending on experience and the employer. To earn more, you will have to work your way up. When you get to my level (2 years experience) you can comman around $30 per hour.

Myth: “Being a video game tester is boring”

Fact: I have tried to give a clear and unbiased guide on the job, but I still have to say that it’s the most enjoyable job I have ever had. If you really do have a passion for gaming, then you will not regret pursuing a career as a video game tester.

Myth: “Being a video game tester is a dead end job”

Fact: Couldn’t be further from the truth the games industry is growing each year, meaning that opportunities are growing with it. Becoming a video games tester is a great way to get a foot in the door. You could move on to more senior QA testing roles, or move to a completely different department such as games design, or marketing.

Hope you found that helpful guys, comment if you can think of any others!

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Video Game Tester Job Requirements And Role

The video games industry is a multi billion dollar per year industry. If a game is released with bugs, glitches, and errors, it will cost the game publisher money. Bad reviews in gaming magazines and negative comments on internet gaming websites and forums will result in a huge loss of sales for a games publisher. The Video game tester, more commonly known as the QA tester (QA = quality assurance) is employed to find these bugs, glitches and problems before the game is released so that they can be fixed by the programmers. This ensures that the final game released to the public is polished, playable, and gets good reviews and feedback. Good reviews and feedback = more profit for the games publisher. Video game testers are the last line of defence against bugs and glitches.

Unfortunately, games publishers are not going to pay you money to just play the games the way you play them during your leisure time. You will be working on a particular project with set parameters, where you will be testing very specific areas of a particular game. This is where the video game tester, or QA tester, earns his money. You will be in essence, attempting to “break” the game.

For example, I once worked on a first person shooting game, testing one particular level. I was testing the boundaries, which involved running into walls, objects, and other supposedly impassable barriers at different speeds and different angles to see if I could get through. I would also shoot at the walls and objects with different weapons, and try to climb the terrain to get over the boundary. This particular project was designed to ensure that the boundaries where solid, and walls and objects reacted the way they were supposed to when under fire.

Other examples of projects are testing a track in a racing game, driving round it in different directions, at different speeds, crashing into the boundaries, and generally trying to wreak havoc and find something that wasn’t supposed to be there.
Other things you will be looking out for when testing a game are that all the levels load correctly, in game items weapons and objects work as they should, and weather effects and game graphics are displayed correctly. You will have to keep your eyes open to spot anything out of the ordinary or problematic that may negatively affect the customers gaming experience.

Essentially, you will not be playing the game for personal fun or enjoyment. You will be conducting yourself in a thorough professional manner, following your project guidelines, and thoroughly testing every aspect of the game as stated in the project. As you may have realised, this can become very repetitive. You may have to play the same part of the game over and over again spending hours upon hours testing every minute detail laid out in the initial project. You may find that by the time you have finished working on a particular game, you never want to play it again! It’s not uncommon for a video game tester to rack up hundreds of hours of testing on one game alone. Only passionate gamers need apply!

Once a bug has been found, the video game tester will have to complete a short report on the bug, including details of how it was located, and how often it occurs. Each bug is classified according to its seriousness – how negatively it affects the gaming experience. Games crashing and freezing is the most serious category of bug. On the other end of the scale are bugs that may be down to personal opinion, for example a video game tester thinking that a particular graphic “doesn’t look right” or an animation that seems odd or out of the ordinary. These more minor bug reports may have no action taken against them, but the more serious bugs will get near immediate attention from the programmers.

The database of reports is consulted by the programmers again, bugs are fixed, and the game is then retested. The process continues to repeat until no more major bugs are found and the game is deemed worthy for release.

And that is the main bulk of a video game tester’s work – receiving a project, playing the game repeatedly, and compiling reports on any bugs discovered.

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Introduction On How To Become A Video Game Tester

Millions of people all over the world enjoy spending hours of their time playing video games. For many gamers, getting paid to play their favourite games sounds like a dream come true. But it is possible to turn your hobby into a career. I always get people asking me how to become a video game tester, so I decided to write about it.

Game testers play a vital role in the production of games, and it’s a great way to get a foot in the door to the games industry.
I will give you as much information as I can to help you learn how to become a video game tester. I really hope I can help other people get a job in the games industry too.

If you are willing to work hard and put in the hours, there is no reason why you too cannot become a video game tester!
My site provides first hand information and advice on how I became a video game tester, so hopefully you can learn from my experiences. This site is produced by a professional video game tester, yup – I play games for a living :) My aim is to provide clear and practical information and advice on how you can join me and get paid to play video games!

I also aim to debunk some common myths about the job by providing clear details on the job role, how you actually get a job in the first place, and what career options are open to you once you have found a video game tester job. Read and absorb the information I provide to you, do some preparation, and put in some hard work, and there is no reason why you too can not become a professional video game tester and get paid to work in an industry you feel passionate about. Why not make a career out of your hobby and learn how to be a games tester?

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