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.
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 is probably the best known of the bundles, but there are other bundle services out there like Indie Royale or Indiegala or Coinplay.io 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.
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
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.