5 Steps to Become a Game Tester – From Application, to Career!

So you want to be a video game tester, huh? Well beware, because there is a LOT that you have to do and learn before you can even begin to comprehend what a job as a video game tester involves! Luckily, though, you’ve found this article which will explain the finer points of a video game tester career and help you make it as a game tester. We’ll start at the beginning- with the video game tester application and learning what you should know before you jump at a job as a video game tester, and go all the way through till the end so you will learn what you can expect with a video game tester career. Let’s get started!1. First things first, you should know your skills. That means getting to understand what you are already good at in terms of games. Do you play a lot of RPGs, action/adventure games, or are you more of a first person shooter fanatic? Learn your skills so you can identify the best companies to apply for. Mass applying can be detrimental to your health- imagine if you hate puzzle games yet, because you mass applied to companies and only got on at a puzzler you would be forever branded as video game QA tester that specialized in puzzle games! Granted rarely will you be pigeon holed after one job, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking past experiences aren’t privy to future ones!2.Learn the lingo- If you don’t know what a video game QA tester is, then you should look it up now (hint, the QA stands for “quality assurance tester”). There are a lot of other terms you should familiarize yourself with as well, like general talk about programming and coding and the business aspect of gaming too, like what development cycles correspond to what pre release phase.3. Get extra experience. Everyone and their brother who wants a video game tester career will be ambling for it without learning anything other than how to play games. The only way to really stand out is to work hard to learn how to do something aside from play games. A lot of the times a quality assurance tester will end up being an intern on another part of the development team, especially in today’s economy, simply because if you were already on the development staff then you must know how to code at least slightly. If you learn C++ or other programming languages you’ll be in a much better shape than someone who hasn’t even begun college.4.Adjust your expectations. You may have been told that you can sit at home and test games for a living, and while it’s true you could eventually find an at home video game testing position, probably beta testing computer games, you should first realize those aren’t paid half the time (usually they are for online games that are going to be released, like Final Fantasy XIV and are open to public), and definitely as handsomely paid as the testing center positions. Also, you aren’t usually paid on a per hour basis if you have a game tester career, so all the crock about $50 per hour is inaccurate. Instead you’ll usually get a lump sum calculated based on the time spent in days or weeks (sometimes months and years) testing.5. Fill out the application with style! Don’t put cookie cutter responses you think “they want to hear” on your video game tester application. Make it nice and juicy and include a powerful background on your experiences. Be sure to be accurate and personable, but just don’t sound like you’re bragging either. You’ll be able to find the fine line if you work at it enough.