Play Video Games For Money
I’d be very surprised if you’re reading this and have never played video games, either on a PC or console at home or out in an arcade. You may even have played in video games competitions like Madden or FIFA for money already, or perhaps even in a live Esports tournament.
Of all the different ways to win extra cash covered on RealMoney.Games, these are the types of games that are going to have the broadest appeal. Sure there are some great ways to win money that offer a lot of fun if you’re careful, but none of them are likely to line up in the same position as console video gaming where you can pick up a cash prize for overcoming your opponents.
These types of contests have given rise to some high performing websites which concentrate solely on offering different video games where can make money playing against online opponents for the chance to win cash prizes. They’ve also given rise to one of the fastest growing competitive sports known as Esports.
Personally I don’t know one end of a game controller from the other, let alone be able to have any chance to win money with something akin to betting in a video game tournament.
But the opportunities for someone to make some cash playing games who does know what they’re doing are strong….and that might just be you!
This is a true ‘you need skill’ money winning opportunity – if you’re an experienced video gamer there’s little to stop you taking advantage of some great opportunities and having a go at beating opponents in online tournaments and collecting some cash prizes. Basically you have an opportunity to take your hobby and make money by playing video games.
If you’re really, really good you could even end up in an Esports team battling it out against competitors in a stadium type environment.
What Are The Types Of Real Money Video Games?
Of course, the term video games covers a wide range of gaming options. Almost any games you can play online for cash prizes are driven by video technology. That includes all the casino games, slots, and puzzle games like Bejeweled.
But of course right here we’re talking about the console type video games – where you can use your skill and experience built up over years of console gaming to take your share of the money pot.
This type of gaming for cash comes in two main forms:
- Online tournaments – normally one on one contests where the victor takes the pot
- Esports – big business, normally team-based events that are often video-streamed or televised to spectators
On this page we’ll take a look – starting with a high level overview of Esports, and moving on to how and where the ‘ordinary’ gamer can play cash prize tournament-style video games.
Professional Cash Video Gaming – The E-sports Industry
August 12, 2013. Members of Sweden’s Alliance pro gaming team win a staggering $1.4 million at the Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) World Championships in Seattle, Washington while simultaneously shattering any preconceived notion that gaming is a complete waste of time.
Over the last few years, competitive video gaming for money has evolved into a lucrative and sexy enterprise and now is even considered to be a professional sport, no different than the National Basketball Association or the National Football League. In fact, Riot Games Vice President Dustin Beck, recently argued that the eSports League, as it is called, meets the standards to be considered a major sports league which includes a minimum of six teams and at least $10 million in revenue.
E-sports draws a number of parallels with real world sports. Scratch the surface and you’ll find professional coaches running paid training sessions, commentators reporting on the contests, and big name players who reach their peak in between the age of 20 and 30. Like the world of sports we all know, it’s based on money.
And lots of it!
Prize pools in cash contests of more than $1 million are seen regularly, and the best players can rack up much more than that in pay and sponsor programmes.
Of course, breaking into the professional gaming field is far from easy and you really will need to be at the top of the gaming tree to even get close. But once you’re in, there are plenty of opportunities.
In the Esports game there are actually two ways of getting involved and winning money – either as a player, or as a watcher who bets on the outcomes of video game contests. For an advanced guide and a series of informative articles on pro gaming visit 1stopEsports.com.
Esports are even making a big splash in the world of casino gaming, with the big name land-based casinos spotting a way to bring in more players and now building whole areas of the casinos into dedicated gaming arenas. Caesars Casino in Atlantic City NJ was one of the first to go down this route and reportedly are seeing a lot of interest.
All great stuff, right? It’s a huge subject and one that demands an intensive dedicated section. We have one! Read more about Esports.
But playing video games for cash is not restricted just to the big, professional eSports environment. There are opportunities open for game fans just like you and I too. The trick is to start off at a lower level, practice and build up your experience over time in some head to head tournaments, and hopefully end up in the big leagues playing for the really big money.
Online Tournaments – How To Play Video Games For Money
Playing video games is one of the 21st century’s most popular activities, appealing to people of all ages the world over. Many gamers among us would fancy themselves to be good enough to win cash contests against opponents.
So how did we get from casual gaming from the comfort of the basement or bedroom to a lucrative multi-million dollar enterprise that has competitors battling one another from all parts of the world?
The answer lies in the evolution of gaming consoles and the internet. As consoles have become more and more technologically advanced, so have the their multi-player capabilities. In fact, with the integration of online play, gamers can now challenge one another to competitions and actually communicate in real time.
Companies began to see the lucrative possibilities in this and began to hold tournaments that offered prizes ranging from smaller values up to and including large amounts of cash. These tournaments became so popular that they garnered the interests of large corporations who started offering sponsorships to these events, giving birth to what is now known as eSports.
In tandem, operators like Virgin Gaming began setting up sites where individual gamers could play tournaments against each other for cash prizes.
Virgin Gaming no longer exist, but there are a handful of others that now offer these cash contests.
But is it actually easy to do? After all, think about how many people enjoy playing video games in general and then guess how many of those actually enjoy winning cash in the process?
But there are reasons for that, one of which may not be obvious – it may not be general knowledge that there are even these opportunities to try and win money playing video games.
Which Video Games Can You Play For Cash Prizes?
Nearly all of the gaming related ways to win money online involve technology based on video. This stretches right from casino based games like 3 card poker, through the hundreds of slots games variants, and on to skill or puzzle games you’ll find on various skillgames websites.
Tournaments though – the type that involve playing opponents in popular console video games for cash – are often limited to being played out on the console games we all know and love. They can be played on Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, or PC.
Video gaming can involve so many genres too, such as action packed and “shoot ’em up” games, adventure games, games of strategy, role playing or second life style games and of course sports games like FIFA, Madden, World Championships, Golf, and Formula One track action.
Since the introduction of the Wii console Wii Sports has sold more than 80 million copies of this multi-sporting event gaming experience. Although other classics like the Super Mario Brothers game and the block-dropping Tetris are popular, these are not really the types of games for trying to win money.
For that you need to be looking at games like Grand Theft Auto 5 with its jaw dropping graphics and realistic backdrops of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. If you are good at GTA 5 then why wouldn’t you look at trying some contests to see if you can play against others to win money?
Game choices extend well past just GTA, though. You could participate in a Halo, Grand Theft Auto or Defense of the Ancients tournament, or play fighting games like Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Starcraft, and Counterstrike.
These are only a few of the thousands of games offered in video gaming tournaments.
Is It Legal?
The beauty is that that competitive video gaming for money is considered legal since the games entail the use of skill and not of chance like in gambling. This is great news for countries with stringent gambling laws – competitive internet gaming offers a way to wager and win money without having to deal with the anti-gambling initiative.
Still, it is important to check your local government laws since there are a few places that consider this form of gaming illegal. In the United States there are currently 6 states that prohibit gaming for money.
Where To Play
We all know there are a multitude of platforms today that will allow you to join in the gaming fun. They include console devices like the PS2 or Xbox, online desktop PC games, arcade games, and games downloaded as apps on your mobile smartphone or tablet.
So with plenty of opportunities to build up skill levels in different games, the questions naturally become, “How do I get in on the action?” and ”Where do I go to play in these contests?”
The beauty with the emergence of competitive gaming is that there are several opportunities to “get in on the action.” In fact, dozens of websites have popped up offering gaming tournaments with handsome cash prizes for the winner(s).
The possibilities are endless. You could enter single-player tournaments where you go head to head with competitors, or enter multi-player games where you compete as a team against other teams.
You can either play by depositing some cash and using it to cover the stake in individual contests, or another option is to join a subscription-based site. Often you will get the first month free as a means to entice you in. Clearly if you get some good results you’re going to be tempted to keep the subscription going.
If you would like to put your gaming skills to the test, the following websites offer fantastic game play and tournaments, while giving lucrative cash prizes. They’re all recommended………
Demonstrating the popularity of Esports cash gaming, this video has racked up over 2 million views on Youtube.
WorldGaming Gaming is one company that has really got on board with the whole concept of winning money by playing in video games. They’ve become known as the world leader for offering competitive cash prize console gaming based on the Playstation and Xbox consoles.
Described as ‘built for gamers’ and ‘hosting free-to-enter and pay-to-play tournaments and head-to-head challenges for all competitive gamers of all skills’, it’s not surprising that the Worldgaming site is a popular one with competitive cash prize video gamers.
At Worldgaming you’ll enjoy daily head to head tournaments and challenges on games run on Playstation, Xbox and PC, in an environment that promises a mix of experienced professional and new players.
There’s also the potential to qualify for multiplayer online tournaments and live events.
With new streaming services such as Twitch, people who wish to earn a living from playing games can now achieve that. Top streamers can earn thousands, depending on their subscription base. They also get paid from ads, which run during downtime.
As long a streamer is garnering enough views per ad, they will earn money.
Bottom line, playing games can actually be good for your wallet.
With a focus on Counter Strike : Global Offensive, Challengeme is the site to visit to work your way up the ranks in one against one duels or multiplayer contests.
Fast servers lead to high quality gameplay plus there are daily and weekly raffles and giveaways.
Major League Gaming
Huge website which looks to be one of the leaders in coverage of Esports, MLG delivers news and general info on all forms of tournaments both in live environments and online.
The online tournaments section lists a number of events that can be played with cash prizes going to the winners. Games include such titles as Doom, Call Of Duty, FIFA, and there are of course Madden tournaments along with the widest range of others you’re likely to find – 90 in total at the last count.
Focusing purely on the FIFA football video game, this is the place to go if you fancy yourself as a FIFA master.
Designed by FIFA players. Gamerpro is an app offering the chance to play 6 minute matches and earn money by playing up through the leagues.
Join 30,000+ registered players, get identified as a skilled player, and receive support, training, and promotions.
PlayVig.com offers a great way of playing your favourite games to win such prizes as Paypal cash or gift cards, among others.
It’s easy to play, just choose the game you want to play from the list of popular games that have partnered with PlayVig, and earn PlayVig coins by completing quests or by playing in weekly tournaments.
You’ll find popular games like Fortnite, Overwatch, or Hearthstone in the list.
You’ll not get rich, with the potential to make tens of cents per hour the most likely outcome unless you’re very, very good, but for some of us money is money right!?…and winning it is always nice!
Simraceway is one of the better known car racing games, delivering games in the same vein as Need For Speed and Gran Turismo. The makers – Ignite Technologies – can see a bright future for racing games where players can race each other for cash prizes.
If the idea of racing other video game fans for cash gets you going, you can visit the Simraceway competition pages. Choose from a wide range of racing events and use your driving skills to win big prizes, including racing hardware and cash. Ignite have developed a proprietary technology called Skillquant that works to make sure that races are fair and decided by skill – player performance gets measured so they receive a ‘capability’ score, and the software then makes sure they get entered into races with other players of similar ability. This avoids the problem where you’d lose every race against highly skilled players.
The software is clever enough to spot if players are deliberately driving poorly to get lower ability scores – it watches for any player who makes more than a 25% performance improvement from one race to the next, and questions get asked if that happens.
The good news for US players is that the skill basis of the game means they may not fall foul of US regulatory issues surrounding different forms of playing for money online. Residents in most US states should be legally OK to play, but check your own state’s regulatory position to make sure.
Ignite hold an Indy 500 license that allows them to run virtual versions of the famous race. They’ve already held one online with hundreds of players. They’re sure to run another one at some point, and it’s likely to see a significantly higher number of entrants. The prize pot should be a good one, so keep a lookout for it.
Billed on the Kickback website as ‘ the biggest, fastest and easiest way to play video games for money online’.
Here you can play competitive 1 against 1 contests for cash and skins.
50000+ Kickback members have played for over 8 million matches for payouts of over $100,000 a week.
PlayersLounge.co are one of the newer competitive video gaming websites offering online head to head matches or free tournaments for money. Members can play a wide range of well known titles including FIFA, Madden, NBA2K, MLB The Show, NHL, Call of Duty, UFC, PES, & more.
Tournaments can be played on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, and PS3. Find out more on the FAQ page or watch the video below.
At XYGaming you can make private or public challenges then compete against opponents in ither 1-on-1 or team battles. You’ll find free daily tournaments alongside free coins and daily giveaways.
Play tournaments in League Of Legends, Smite, Starcraft, and Dota 2 – with Rocket League, World Of Tanks, Counter Strike, and Overwatch all coming soon.
Super League Gaming
Settled firmly in a gap between amateur real money video game contests and the big time of fully-fledged Esports, Super League Gaming runs eSports competitions in movie theaters as well as offering online options for amateur gamers to play competitively against their peers.
Their City Champ, City Rec, and League Unlocked league-type ways of playing give a different way to play in video game contests other than in head to head battles, and while you won’t get a chance to play for cash prizes, it’s a great site for getting in some practice for those real money tourmaments.
Gamersaloon.com is a gaming site which offers the chance to play well known cash skill games in competition with other players. They’ve pretty much got it all, from first person shooters like Call Of Duty or Battlefield to various sports games and others.
The free to register site has an Arcade service where members compete in flash-based video games for cash prizes directly within their browser. Games to be played include such skill based games as pool and darts, with a whole bunch more. This of course opens up cash prize video games to anyone who doesn’t want to play on a console.
You’ll need to be over 18 to get involved with Gamersaloon cash video games, but with over 450,000 members you’re unlikely to be short of opponents. GamerSaloon offer multiplayer, clan, and player v player tournaments in most titles on all the popular consoles – XBOX 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, the orginal XBOX, Wii, DS, PC, and PSP.
With the number of game titles on offer, Gamer Saloon is the place to go if you want more variation in your game play. According to a blurb on their website, “If you can play a head to head match online, then we support it (the game).”
They act as a third party that allows gamers to set up head to head tournaments, earning money by charging a 14% service fee from participating players.
Once a tournament has been accepted by both parties, money from both accounts is automatically deposited into Gamer Saloon’s neutral account. After the game has ended, the results are reported, verified, and then the wager is deposited into the winner’s account.
If you are interested in more information or want to start going head to head with someone, you can visit Gamer Saloon at gamersaloon.com.
Registration is free at the time of writing, and with a membership of over a million at the last count you can be sure of finding a competitive game.
Not a games provider in its own right, but still worth knowing about. Tournament Seeker does pretty much what it says on the tin….’bridging the gap’ between esports tournaments and the competitors that want to play in them. In other words it profers to list out available tournaments in an easily searchable way.
A search facility on the website allows you to seek events both online and in live environments.an be played
Play video game contests in head to head or tournament format for real money prizes. As with most games operators you can identify opponents at a similar skill level to your own and challenge them in a wide range of titles across virtually all the major gaming platforms and consoles.
At Gaming Cellar you can earn points in worldwide gaming leagues to be the best and win more prizes.
An online magazine dedicated to Esports which seems to have the widest coverage of live tournaments. ESL also run online tournaments in a range of titles where you can play in cup matches.
Eligibility is clearly shown against the match requirements on an easily navigated initerface, and of course you can choose from a list of popular consoles.
Here’s an example page for upcoming Playstation Madden cup tournaments.
Billed as ”India’s leading Esports platform”, Ewar Games offers mobile gaming contests where players can compete against each other ‘’at the same levels at which big sports are played’’.
If you can overcome your opponents in either multi-player or one vs one challenge Esports contests, there are real cash and other prizes to be won. Build up your battle points total to take down some of the prizes.
How Contests Work
Once you’ve decided on one of the games providers it’s fairly straightforward to get to the stage of actually arranging and participating in contests.
There’s normally a simple registration process. Usual type stuff. You may need to sign up using your gaming account ID such as one you might have on PSN or Xbox. You’ll probably only hit problems with this if you’re not of legal age to play or live somewhere where gaming for money is banned.
When registered there are always instructions on how to enter one on one or head to head battles or see whether there are multiplayer tournaments lined up. Most sites show player profiles which you can use to get a reasonable idea of the ability level of your opponents.
Head 2 Head or One on One
The number of rounds in these type matches can vary between games. Both you and your opponent will compete against each other for the same amount of money (ie the amount staked by both of you combined). The winner gets the full pot of money excluding the commission which goes to the game operator. This is known as the rake – a very well known term if you’re a poker player.
These involve multiple players who play in a game with the same amount of money. The eventual profit for the highest performers in any one contest is normally displayed in advance in a percentage format. The overall value of that percentage will of course depend on the number of paying participants, though in some cases it may be increased by the operator also putting up a proportion of the prize money.
It’s worth keeping an eye open for free to play tournaments which some operators run occasionally, though note that when none of a competitors own money is at stake they can sometimes play recklessly. Clearly that can change the face of a game and influence outcomes somewhat.
How To Win
If all this reading about real money video gaming has got you interested, you’re probably going to want to jump in head first and chance your arm in some contests. Normally this might be a bad idea, and it certainly is if you’re not a skilled gamer. The right level of skill required to win cash contests is not a given, and you’ll need to work at it.
That said, if you are clued up on different game titles and know you are at least proficient in some of them, there’s not a lot to stop you playing some low entry fee matches to get a feeling for the sort of competition you’ll be facing.
First, you’ll need to identify which sites if any offer contests in your preferred game. Then you need to spend some time honing your skills, especially where you’re going to be risking your own money trying to win someone else’s.
Start out with small stakes to get a good feeling for how the software works and until you understand the different skill levels of your opponents.
The best part is that the likelihood of winning rests heavily on your skills at any given game (or the lack of skill in your opponents of course). It follows that the more you play the better you’ll get.
What Skills Do You Need To Be Successful?
To win money at console based video games you’ll need a cool head, be able to perform well under pressure, plus of course be highly competent at playing the popular titles.
In some games, using ingenuity and cunning will be important. In others it’ll be pure manual dexterity and application of winning techniques.
This all points to the need for specialisation in certain games and it’ll be well worth deciding on a game and focusing on honing your skills at it.
Choosing your battles will play a large part in your success, and if you find that head to head contests are not working out for you then you could also consider entering a multiplayer tournament where more players finish up in the money. That could increase your winning chances.
Are The Games Fair?
It’s an important question…..”If I’m going to be risking my own money playing video games against similarly skilled opponents, how do I now it’s going to be fair?”
The game operators have this concern covered, and they do it by ensuring that contestants are always matched on ability. That’s to say you should always be playing against an opponent with a similar general level of skill. There are algorithms built into the software platforms that make this aspect work.
As far as trusting the games operators goes, the sites I’ve listed on this page should give you no problems. They’re all big, long running firms that can’t take a risk of being labelled as untrustworthy…and remember that the games operators have no financial interest in who wins, they get their money from the rake that comes out of all the entry fees.
Whenever you want to find out the best of anything you’ll need to look at the subject from different perspectives. In the case of real money video games the best could mean either:
- The best for your skill level
- The best from a perspective of how easy they are to play
- The best from an entertainment and gameplay point of view
- The best for getting maximum chance of winning some cash
You can see from this list that it’s not easy to label any video game as being the best for playing competitively for prizes. It will really heavily depend on your own approach.
So we’ll keep the list here down to a low number for now and add more as they become obvious:
First up is going to be Kwari…..
Fans of shooter games that want to try and make money from their skills should take note of Kwari – it’s a shooter game where every time you hit an opponent you’ll win a cash award. The downside is if you get shot yourself then you’ll lose some from your balance. You can play for higher stakes and the chance to win more, or stay on the lower level stakes and win smaller amounts but at the same time face less risk of losing too much.
In each round all players carry the ‘pill’. Whoever holds on to the pill for the longest period will see an extra cash award at the end. Plus there are extra challenges to complete which can also place more cash in your account.
Pros & Cons
There are a lot of ‘fors’ and not that many ‘againsts’ when it comes to video gaming for cash.
On the negative side there’s obviously a risk of losing money, and also becoming addicted to playing in contests. Both are covered on the responsible gambling page and it’s always wise to read through that before you play any game where there’s arisk of losing cash or indeed becoming addicted to it.
Essentially as long as you’re careful and can recognise the situations that might lead to addiction for you personally then you should be able to limit losses to a minimum and still enjoy some great value entertainment.
Other positive aspects are numerous:
- If you can find freeroll tournaments you can play for no outlay, but note that when there is no risk of losing money then some gamers can play wildly and results may not be what you’d expect.
- In general the games are classified as skill based so they fall outside of gambling regulations in some parts of the world. You should check local laws and restrictions before playing, but essentially this means they’re legal for most players.
- The gamer community is well known for its social aspects. Many sites offer chat and forum facilities where you can interact with other players.
- Games can be played for low stakes which will limit losses and give good value entertainment.
- Many of the contests are based on wildly popular games, there should be something for everyone to enjoy.
If you want more info take a look at the pages and channels on any of the major social networking or video sites. Youtube carries a series of videos related to how to play cash prize video games, while there’s a raft of info on both Twitter and Facebook too where you’ll find a number of groups dedicated to the cause.
To finish up, take a look at this video from Xfire. It’ll be useful for anyone who’s more interested in the social side of online video gaming rather than trying to win money from it.
Their website states they ”provide the ultimate social experience for gamers by allowing players to chat and talk with groups of friends directly in-game across more than 3,400 titles and on multiple chat services like Yahoo!, AIM, and Google Chat”.
The company reportedly has over 22 million users!
Skin Gaming & Loot Boxes – Ones To Avoid
There are a lot of good points to the playing of video games in one on one contests, but one area which has made big (and bad) news recently is the buying/betting of skins and lootboxes (where you’re paying for items to use in the games, and where you don’t even know what the lootboxes contain before you buy.
With targetting directly on children in some cases, the gambling authorities are naturally taking an interest and will surely be cracking down soon.
I’m advising you to steer well clear of these and stick to what gives you the most entertainment – actually playing competitive video games.
Looks bright, doesn’t it?
Clearly there are millions of untapped video gamers that have probably never heard of real money tournaments, plus many millions more coming up through the ranks and who will graduate from playing alone at home to online competitions.
It’s likely that this constant influx of new players will ensure that cash prize video gaming goes from strength to strength. We’ll most likely be seeing year on year growth from the current operators and new names entering the list.
In any industry innovation is key though. You have to keep it fresh and exciting.
So what could we be seeing in future for real money video game contests that’s different from what’s available now?
The answer is most likely to come from the growth of virtual reality – a technology that’s set to radically change the way we enjoy our entertainment along with many other aspects of our daily lives.
It’s long been recognised that VR gaming could ultimately be the biggest application of virtual reality and already there is some tremendous focus on development of dedicated VR game titles. Some of these are making big waves in the industry and it’s not hard to imagine the potential for real money gaming to be introduced into the mix.
Skill Games With Cryptocurrencies
Arguably one of the biggest future changes for any form of gambling or betting will be the mainstream take up of cryptocurrencies. Already Bitcoin in particular is widely used.
Playhall.io – a new decentralized platform for skill gaming on mobile games – is likely to start full operations in the coming year or two. It will offer gamers the opportunity to participate not only in PvP matches but also in global tournaments, and where all money deposits and winnings resulting from success in the range of skill games will be made in virtual currency.
More Ways To Make Money From Video Games
Of course our focus on RealMoney.games is on the playing of games to win money. But there are a number of other ways to make money from video gaming which we should mention…..
1. Trading in game items or selling characters
2. Streaming your gaming via Youtube or Twitch and earning money from ads (or sponsorship if you’re really good!)
3. Creating items for sale
4. Selling your gaming account
5. Testing games
6. Recording game walkthroughs or demo videos
Let’s take a couple and analyse further – streaming and game demonstrations.
For both these you’re going to need a few things in place:
1. You’ll need to already be an experienced gamer, or at least have above average skills in a title or genre of games.
2. You’ll probably need a video streaming channel (eg Youtube)
3. You’ll need some video creation skills. Ability to edit, engage with your likely audience, some marketing skills to grow that audience.
4. Technical equipment/hardware/software. This may include a good quality console or PC set up, maybe a video game capture card, editing software, a headset.
The great news with all of this is that pretty much anyone can do it. You’ll need to be committed and it’s not easy, but the ultimate rewards if you’re successful could be worthwhile.
Competitive online video gaming can be a lucrative way of making some extra money. If you want to get a piece of the action then head on over to the head to head and tournaments operators list. They all offer great options for playing video games for money.
The games you can play are well known and if you’re good at them then there are great prospects for making a little profit….and who knows, if you practice hard and work at it, you might be the next person to crack it in the eSports industry, step in to the big money leagues, and get paid millions for playing video games.