Some fundamental characteristics exhibited by my most successful testers help them do well in this job market. If you are looking for video game tester jobs it certainly helps to enjoy playing these kinds of games, and in most cases, the time spent in gaming activities has improved your eye-hand coordination to the point that you have good gaming skills and an understanding of gameplay beyond the average person.
Unfortunately, most “want-to-be” game testers fool themselves into believing that a love of video gaming and some talent is all that is required to be successful at game tester jobs and get paid to play games all day long. Should you be fortunate enough to be hired under this false sense of understanding, you will be in for a rude awakening, and in many cases not last long in any game testers’ jobs.
It is vital that we make an important distinction between being paid to test video games and video game beta testing. Game beta testing is done by volunteers, who usually test the full version of the game just before the release date looking for any last-minute problems to report. No payment is generally involved for game beta testing other than getting to play a new game before the general public sees it. This article focuses on the actual job where people get paid to play video-type games in the role of testers.
Welcome to the “real world” of being a paid video games tester. Your job is very important despite the fact that you are often making only minimum wages as an entry-level games tester. The fate of the gaming development company is on your shoulders since you are the ones who must find any problems or “bugs” within the game so they can be fixed or eliminated before the game can be sold to the buying public. No game development company can afford to have a “lemon” or seriously flawed game released to the public. It could cost them millions of dollars in research and development and destroy their reputation in the competitive game marketplace for a long time.
Game tester’s jobs may require you to work on many repetitive tasks such as playing the same level of the game numerous times, switching the gaming device on and off over and over, checking and rechecking in-game messaging capabilities, and the list goes on. Close to the release date of the game, you may be requested to work extended hours to ensure any and all potential problems with the video game have been identified by your team of video game testers and still be fixed in time.
So what kind of job qualities do you need to be a successful paid video games tester? Given the kinds of work that you will be required to do, especially as an entry-level tester, the following qualities will serve you well.
- willing to do the same task over and over again looking for potential problems?
- a patient person who understands that some testing tasks may take a great deal of time and cannot be rushed through to get done as quickly as possible?
- very deliberate and meticulous in your approach to finding problems and solving problems?
- not easily bored as you may require to do video game testing tasks that are very dull and repetitive?
- a team player, as most often you will be part of a group of video game testers working on different parts of the same game, so you need to relate and get along well with others.
- capable of following explicit directions about a task and not prone to trying to “do your own thing”?
- tenacious in your approach to successfully accomplishing your game testing tasks and not one who gives up easily if things are not going well?
- able to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing very detailed information concerning any “bugs” in the video game you discover so that they can be fixed?
- flexible with respect to being “on-call” for possible shift work or having to put in extra hours if required by your development team leader?
- able to deal with job pressure and stress effectively, especially when given job deadlines to meet?
- capable of “keeping job secrets”, since as a paid video game tester you will be required to never discuss your testing work outside the testing site or face instant job termination and possible criminal charges if you do.
These job qualities are certainly not “written in stone” as the only ones that matter to be a successful games tester, however, they do provide a good starting point for your own self-analysis as to whether or not you could be successful in-game tester jobs. Do you have what it takes to be a video games tester?