Potential Ways to Make Extra Money Gaming

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Competitive gaming events can reach prize pools into the millions of dollars.

Photo by Clement Grandjean, CC BY-SA 4.0

If you put your mind to it, there are many ways out there to make extra money. As a self-employed person or someone who is thinking about becoming self-employed, you are probably interested in how you can turn your hobby into income streams. If one of your interests is gaming, you may be able to use it to spin a profit.

Gaming would have once been considered a ridiculous profession, but now, people can make money from it. It’s a valid path to self-employment. Some people even make millions. If you enjoy gaming anyway, here are a few considerations of how you can turn your hours at the screen into hard-played cash.


People like to play games. That’s not surprising. But what might be surprising is that lots of people also like to watch other people play games. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at “PewDiePie,” the famous YouTube streamer whose net worth is around $20 million.

To make any serious money from streaming, you need a large or dedicated audience. A large audience can be monetized using ads while a dedicated audience can be monetized using subscriptions and even donations.

You need thousands if not hundreds of thousands of viewers to make serious money. To maximize your chances, your content should be valuable and useful to the gaming community, but also, your personality needs to stand out. In such a heavily saturated world, you will have to set yourself apart in some way.

Competitive Gaming

Indeed, there are a lot of games out there that can be played competitively. Tournaments for player-versus-player games like Dota 2 and League of Legends can have massive buy-ins. The Dota 2 prize pool in 2014 reached an insane $6 million!

You will have to put forward your buy-in to play in these events, so there is a risk, and you should be top of the heap in the game that you are playing if you want to win. Esports is a highly competitive environment where only the best can profit. If you are good at a game, you may also be able to join an esports organization where you can earn a salary.


Before esports, there was online poker, another viable way to earn a profit. The poker boom of the 2000s saw many more players take to their computers to grind it out for massive prizes, and today is no different. Online poker tournaments regularly reach prize pools into the hundreds of thousands, with special events topping the $1 million mark.

A recent innovation in this world is the revolutionary cryptocurrency poker room. CoinPoker site offers an opportunity to play poker using cryptocurrency tokens on the blockchain. Meaning, the play is fair and transparent, but also that the tokens you play with have the potential to go up in value over time.

Selling Gold and Items

Many games reward players for quests and accomplishments with in-game gold and items, which can be used to boost the character’s abilities or as tokens of prestige. These in-game commodities can be bought and sold for real money. However, it is quite a grind. Currently, World of Warcraft gold is selling for pennies per 1,000.

Counter-Strike: Global Offense encourages this real-world trading of game items. Rare items can go for $5-$20 and are easy to sell over the Steam marketplace. Rare items are, however, quite difficult and time-consuming to get. It takes many hours of play. Similarly, Diablo III has a built-in auction system.

Writing Guides and Journals

If you like playing games, and you also like writing, then why not write about them? Game guides are a popular choice. You may want to write full game guides, character guides, weapon or armor guides or guides to completing 100 percent of the side-quests.

Other options include creating a blog site or writing for your favorite publication online. You need to have in-depth knowledge of the game for which you are writing as well as writing skills to make the guide readable and enjoyable.

Making money with gaming isn’t easy. It is often time-consuming, and you have to build up an audience or learn and practice a game as if it were a job. If you are serious about making a living from gaming, make sure you are willing to put in the effort. If you enjoy gaming as a hobby, you may be able to make a little extra income on the side by monetizing your playtime.