How to Become a Beta Game Tester
Many people who love to play computer games dream of a career as a video game tester. This highly sought after position allows an individual to work with programmers and developers before the launch and release of new games. Their primary job is to play the game and discover any bugs or kinks that need to be worked out by the programmers and developers. Their true job description should be something more akin to Quality Assurance Provider, as they are making certain that the game works as it should, flows smoothly, and is fun and engaging. While many people dream of this type of career, the jobs are few and far between. There are some tips and techniques that can be learned and developed to help individuals land a job in this exciting career field.
Make no mistake, being a game tester entails far more than just sitting around and playing games all day. You will have to play the same game over and over again. You will have to provide detailed reports to the developers as to your findings. Developers and companies may demand some real commitment and long hours, especially as the release date for the game approaches. This is a job for those who are committed to providing fun and enjoyable games for the public. If you feel that you have what it takes to become a game tester, then read on to discover some of the techniques that you can use to land one of these unique and challenging positions.
How to Become a Beta Game Tester?
The first step to becoming a tester of games is to develop a deep passion and love for playing games. You must be able to play for hours and still pay close attention to what is happening in the game. You must have a great attention to detail and must be able to relate your experience in both written and oral forms after the game playing experience has ended. Video game developers will want to know where the problems are and they will want to know the parts of the game that you feel are not working. They will also be interested in the parts that you like, but their primary concern will be addressing the parts of the game that are not working or performing satisfactorily to provide great play.
Once you have developed this love of playing and endurance to be able to play for hours, you must be able to prove that you have these skills. You may want to write up some performance reports about games that you have already played. These detailed reports should provide a description of the game and should also mention any improvements that could be made to the game. These types of performance reports can go a long way in helping your application to stand out from the rest of the pack. After all, thousands of people want to be testers, but there are only so many positions available. By providing reports, you will be demonstrating that you have the goods that it takes to become a valuable tester. You will be proving that you have the right stuff, and that you are willing to share your information with those that are creating these games.
Where Can I Find Video Game Tester Job Openings?
You can find game tester job openings in much the same way that you would find any other job. A quick online search will reveal certain companies that are hiring for these positions. You may also want to check in your favorite video game magazines. Many companies will run classified ads for these positions as it becomes time to test out their latest software. Online discussion groups and forums are more great places to find these types of job openings. Speak with others in the online communities to find out who is hiring and who is paying a fair wage for this important work.
Publications that deal with software and computer applications are more great sources to find game tester job openings. These publications will often list the jobs that are available from the different companies that use them to advertise. Companies like to hire through these sources because they are marketing themselves to people that they know are already interested in their products. This way, they can cut out applications from those who are seeking employment but are not truly committed to creating great games. You can also check the classified ads in the technical and computer sections to see if their are jobs available. Most companies will advertise in these public forums before they release a new game. Many companies will also advertise online, so it helps to check these listings during your search. You can also contact the companies directly to see if they are hiring. The addresses of these companies can be found online and a quick search will reveal who you should forward your application to, in order to ensure that it reaches the right department. Avoid calling companies to inquire about employment. Most companies prefer that resumes are sent electronically or through the mail.
What Are Beta Game Tester Requirements?
As we said earlier, you must absolutely love to play video games in order to excel in this position. You must have excellent hand-eye coordination and you must be able to demonstrate that you have endurance. Many companies will expect that you will be playing for hours and hours each day you are employed. Unlike normal life, you will not be playing different games all the time. Companies will often want you to play the same game over and over again. This can be very time consuming and tedious, so it is only for the truly committed. You must be willing to put in long hours playing games, so that you will understand every aspect of the game before it is released to the general public.
You must also be an above average player of games in order to thrive in this position. Average players will not be able to reach all the levels that are involved. Above average players are sought by companies, because they can reach the required levels to finish the games. Game tester requirements can also include signing an agreement that you will not release information about the game. This means that you must be able to keep a secret and not reveal the nature of the game to anyone, including your family and close friends. This is a very serious aspect of this business, as companies do not want the details of the game being leaked to the general public before the game is released.
You must also demonstrate the ability to play games that you do not enjoy. Keep in mind that testing is a job and that it may not always be fun. Companies are marketing games to a wide variety of people, so you may have to play games that do not interest you. You will need to offer the same level of performance and attention to detail with these games as you would with games that you love. The best testers treat each game equally, regardless of their personal feelings about the game. Of course, if a game is truly boring or too difficult to play, you will want to pass this information along to your superiors. Be certain to do so in a manner that is both courteous and professional. After all, programmers and developers have spent many hours in the creation of these games.
Can I Really have a Beta Game Tester Career?
Yes, there are many people who make a successful career out of testing video games. Most testers do not wish to stop at the testing phase and will move on to become programmers and developers themselves. This is one of the greatest aspects of becoming a game tester. It can be the first step that you take to creating and selling your own games and ideas to computer companies. Many successful game creators began as testers. After years of testing, they learned the aspects of the business and furthered their education so they could create games of their own. If this is your goal, be certain to mention this to the company that you are considering. Companies will be glad to know that you have ambition and you will be considered a more desirable employee.
Some people keep this type of job as a part-time position, or use it to supplement other income. Game testing can be a great way to generate a second income stream. You will be receiving a salary for doing something that you love. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the world of great games and quality entertainment.
Can I Become an Xbox 360 Video Game Tester?
Some testers prefer to work with a specific gaming system, such as the popular Xbox 360 or Playstation. This is a specialized form of testing and you must commit to the specific company in order to attain this type of position. Other popular gaming systems also employ testers that specialize in their products. These testers demonstrate a sense of loyalty to the brand and would not think of testing for other companies. The Xbox rose to prominence in the field of video games because of the willing and loyal testers that helped to make the great games that we have all come to know and love. As you can see, when you work as a tester, you are doing more than sitting around all day and simply playing games. You are assuring that the games are of the highest quality. Gamers around the globe have testers to thank after they have spent an afternoon enjoying a high-quality game.
How Can I Pursue Beta Game Tester Jobs?
The best way to pursue game tester jobs is to contact the companies that you like directly. As with any other job, persistence is the key. Devise a resume for yourself that details your work experience and outlines your experience with video games. This resume should do more than simply list the fact that you love to play games. You must be able to relate that you have the skills necessary to fulfill the tough job of a tester. If you have any quality control experience in another field, be certain to list this in your application. If you have any educational background in software development, be certain to list this on your resume. The best resumes will include an effective cover letter. The cover letter allows you to display a bit of your personality. The letter also provides you the opportunity to discuss your dreams and career goals. If you want to become a developer one day, the cover letter is the best place to let your future employer know that this is your goal.
Another way to pursue game tester jobs is to attend career fairs and technical fairs. Employers often recruit at these fairs and they will be looking for new testers. Pay attention to the video game market to see which companies will be releasing new games. When a new product line is in development, you can be certain that new testers will be hired. This type of information is mostly gained through social networking. Immerse yourself in the world of technical job seekers in order to find other, like-minded individuals. You may be able to pick up some tips from them and they just might lead you to your dream job. Networking is important in any career field and while the testing field is competitive, it always helps to have some friends on your side. In return, you can share any information and knowledge that you may have about the different companies and jobs available.
How Can I Avoid Being a Part of a Video Game Tester Scam?
There are game tester scam sites out there, so it is important to be aware. Any sites that ask for too much personal information without offering anything upfront are often scams. A game tester scam site will often ask for money in order to apply. Keep in mind that you should never pay any money for the right to work. Any site that asks for money upfront is likely a scam and should be avoided. Of course, there are some sites that ask for a small fee in order to provide some job leads and information. You must use your own discretion when deciding if these sites are worth the money or not. Not every site that asks for money is a scam, but be certain to keep your guard up before you pull out your credit card or wallet.
What is the Average Beta Game Tester Salary?
On average, a game tester will earn the same salary as any other entry-level position in a technical field. Most gamers work and are paid by the hour and the hourly pay will vary depending on the particular company. Of course, after proving your worth, you can make more money. Most companies are willing to spend top-dollar on gamers that can provide useful information for their company. The trick is to begin with a company and do your best from the very first day. This way, you will be demonstrating your loyalty and love for games and then the higher salary is more likely to follow. It is also important to keep in mind that developers and programmers will be offered higher salaries, so you should concentrate on moving up in your field. Being hired as a game tester can provide the perfect stepping stone to a career in game design and development. If your dream is to eventually design the games that you love, then you should consider pursuing this exciting career opportunity.