The following is a basic, 7 step process to landing your first video game tester job, and subsequent game tester jobs as well. You will find each step expanded upon in the articles section in the right sidebar, but below is a summary of the most bullet-proof process of landing the best video game tester jobs, as well as preparing for a career as a video game tester.

First and foremost, you have to really enjoy playing and testing video games. This should go without saying, but I have seen many people think being a video game tester would just be a fun, easy job, and they didn’t really care about gaming. That simply doesn’t work, folks. If you don’t love playing video games, then when crunch time hits and you are working 12 hour days to get the bugs out of the video game before shipping the product, you won’t be enjoying yourself – and that is really what video game tester jobs are all about – having fun!

Second, learn that video games are software first, games second. You aren’t simply testing the video game; you are testing the software on which the game play is built. Picture the software as the foundation, the game play as the house. When you find a bug, it isn’t necessarily a problem with the game play; it is more likely a problem with the software. As video game testers, we aren’t simply looking at the house; we are looking at the foundation.

To that end, you will gain a huge leg up as a video game tester if you understand the basic principles of software testing. You don’t need to be a programmer, but if you gain knowledge of the fundamentals of software testing, you will find a LOT more bugs – in fact, you will rapidly become the star bug finder on your team. Don’t just play the game – learn how to test the software. This will make you a rockstar video game tester, and you will never lack for work.

Third, don’t limit yourself to testing only one video game platform or company. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and EA are of course the big four, but if you limit yourself to one of those, you limit the video game tester jobs and opportunities that are available to you. If you don’t use a PC as a gaming platform, then you are limiting your opportunities. There are perhaps 50+ major gaming companies, and scores if not hundreds of minor ones, and almost all design video games for the PC, in addition to whatever gaming specific hardware platforms they may such as the Xbox, Playstation, Wii and so on.

Fourth, gain some actual video game tester practice and knowledge before writing your resume and applying for video game tester jobs – there are numerous beta tester opportunities that anyone can sign up for, and although they don’t pay, they do give you experience. Sit down to a video game session with software testing in mind – grab a book on the fundamentals of software testing, and leaf through it while playing the game.

Fifth, learn something about the video game industry. Having a basic understanding of what it takes to design, market and ship a video game will impress potential employers to no end, and put you way ahead of the pack of ordinary video game testers.

Sixth, make a list of all the companies you would like to work for. Many jobs are on-site, meaning you will have to live or work where the actual company is, but many companies will hire people to test their video games at home, on their own systems, so your geographic location doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Utilizing the services of a reputable video game tester jobs membership site such as Only4Gamers can greatly help in this regards, and the small investment pay off in spades.

Seventh, after having spent some time learning the basics of software testing, doing some beta testing, and learning something of the video game industry and testing video games, then sit down and work up a great resume and cover letter, showcasing your passion for video games, as well as some authentic video game testing knowledge. This will give you a huge leg up against other entry-level video game testers, and I guarantee that you will be hired for your first video game tester job – and have no problem finding new video game tester jobs after you have completed your first gig!

Also, don’t forget to leverage any foreign language skills you may have! All major and most minor video game designers will publish their games in multiple languages. Video game testers are needed for jobs testing games in German, Japanese, Spanish, you name it. If you have any reading or speaking ability in a foreign language, or if English is not your native language, then you already have the most important skill for foreign language testing, also known as localization testing. Foreign language video game testers are always in demand!

By Jonathon Halston
Video Game Tester Jobs Advisor

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