Video Games

Frugal Gamer: How to Save Money on Video Games

How To Save Money on Video Games |

We all know that video games aren’t always the cheapest hobby, with AAA games now going for up to $80 a pop. Sure, if you average out the cost of the game over the full playing time, the dollar to entertainment ratio is often pretty good, especially when compared to something like going to a film at the cinema, and there is an argument that accounting for inflation and all that games should actually be more expensive. But if video games are your main source of entertainment and you like playing all sorts of different games, things can start to add up very quickly.

To that end, I’ve assembled some tricks for how to save money on video games.

Steam Sales

Steam | How To Save On Video Games | If you play games on your computer, you’ve probably heard of Steam and their legendary seasonal sales. I’ve written before about how to prepare for a Steam sale, so in this post I’ll just focus on my best practices for getting the most bang for your Steam buck. First off, Steam has sales all the time, on new, old, indie and AAA titles. To make sure you get notified when something you want is on sale without having to open Steam every single day, put those games in your wishlist. This way Steam will email you as soon as something in your list goes on sale, regardless of whether there’s a massive sale on or not.

Steam also added a feature so that you can share your games library with your friends and family on Steam. They do need to be in the same room with you the first time you set it up, but once their library is shared you will have access to all of their games on Steam forever. There is a limit to how many people you can do this with (5), but its great being able to play Rick’s games on my own machine on my own time and has definitely saved us a ton of money.


Humble Bundle | How To Save Money on Video Games | Humble is probably the best known of the bundles, but there are other bundle services out there like Indie Royale or Indiegala or for indie games, as well as Bundle Stars and Groupees. For those not familiar, bundles are groups of games, often with a common theme, sold together at a massive discount. Depending on the company you are buying from, you may be able to pay what you want and many of them also benefit charity.

Humble Bundle has also offered a monthly service which seems to work like your typical subscription box, where you pay $12 a month to automatically get a bunch of games delivered right to your inbox. | How To Save Money On Video Games | GOG, or Good Old Games as it used to be known, features everything from AAA to indie to all sorts of classic games. They offer sales on everything, but their classic games are where its really at with most of them available for less than $10. GOG is also notable for offering DRM-free games so you can play them wherever you like once you download them.

Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards | How To Save Money On Video Games | This tip is pretty different since it’s not actually a place to buy games, but instead a good way of paying for them. If you like playing mobile games and have an android phone/tablet, get your hands on the Google Opinion Rewards app. This app will periodically send you super simple questionnaires, most of which take only seconds to complete, and then you get paid REAL MONEY for each questionnaire you complete. Then, you can spend that money in the Google Play store… to buy video games, obviously. Rick hasn’t paid for a game on his phone since he started with Opinion Rewards.

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  • Reply
    Stephanie Medeiros
    January 18, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Love, love, LOVE, especially for my beloved city building games that Steam actually doesn’t have available (besides Age of Empires). I also really like that you don’t have to open up GOG in order to play any of the games you get because my internet connection can be super spotty and Steam won’t open…But those Steam sales still keep me around and spending money, haha.

    • Reply
      January 18, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Yes, that’s a very good point about GOG, although apparently they have an optional launcher application now too.

  • Reply
    Kelsey (@craftylilgeek)
    January 21, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Always spend money during steam sales. I can’t help it! I’ll have to check out GOG because that sounds pretty awesome.

    • Reply
      January 21, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Yeah, there’s so many classics on GOG, it’s easy to go a little nuts.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Steam Steam Steam… How I love those sales… XD

    • Reply
      January 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      So exciting. So dangerous.

  • Reply
    Dina Farmer
    January 25, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Is it awful? I won’t pay full price for a game until I’ve tried it out first. I’ll rent a game and decide if I like it but I’d rather wait for a game to go on sale before I’m willing to pay full price. I rented Dragon Age: Origins until it came out with the Ultimate addition.

    Those are all really great tips Mariko! Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Oh, how did I forget renting!? And on that note, I also forgot to mention the library, which is where we usually turn to try out games we don’t wanna buy on launch day. I guess that one depends on your local library, but more and more have started to carry games as well as movies and books.

  • Reply
    Joie Fatale
    February 1, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I love Google Opinion Rewards! I bought a the season of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and a ebook with it already! I’d like to add that for console games, GameStop Rewards/Power Up card! You accrue points and can get enough in coupons to pay for entire games, or, get buy one get one free coupons!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Oh, that’s a good point. I’m so bad at remembering my points cards, but they definitely add up.

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