Gaming is a great hobby. It can reduce stress, bring us closer to friends and family, transport us to other worlds, and spark our imaginations.
Unfortunately, gaming can also get pricey. Some AAA titles cost upwards of 60 dollars. And that’s not even considering the money that goes into controllers, DLC, accessories, and subscription fees. If gamers aren’t careful, we can spend a lot more money than we’d like.
The good news is there are also plenty of ways to save money on video games if you pay attention. Here are a few ideas:
1. Play games a year or two late
It can be hard to pass up shiny new graphics and titles. Sometimes you see the latest trailer from a major franchise, and you decide to splurge. There is nothing wrong with doing this once in a while, but a good game doesn’t get any less fun just because it is a year or two old. If you put off playing some of the biggest titles for a while, you can end up paying less than half price.
One habit that works is picking a handful of favorite franchises that you will always get new, but then agreeing to put off buying new games from other series until they are more affordable. An added benefit of this habit is that the developers will often release updates and bug fixes over time. This means that when you play late, you may actually be playing a better version of the game.
2. Stop buying semi-disposable accessories
I wasted hundreds of dollars on cheap headphones through my teens and early 20s. Why? I refused to buy a decent headset. The cheap earbuds I bought kept breaking, and I kept replacing them. Be honest with yourself. It might cost a little more money upfront, but if you invest in decent gaming accessories, you won’t have to replace them so frequently.
3. Explore the classics
Have you ever gone back and actually played those games your parents or older siblings keep recommending? Retro games might not have the best graphics, but they have a cult following for a reason. They provide an awesome chance to play some of the best games ever made without spending nearly as much money.
4. A fancy gaming PC with cheap internet is a bad investment
We all have that friend who is constantly upgrading a gaming PC and never stops bragging about it. They spend a huge amount of money making sure they have the best video card, RAM, etc. It’s a lot of fun, actually, and there is nothing wrong with it. Here’s the thing, though. If you are a competitive gamer, you are probably playing online, and the real bottleneck on your performance might not be your PC at all. It is likely your internet connection. It doesn’t do you any good to have the world’s most powerful gaming computer if your connection is constantly lagging. That’s why it’s worth investing in a good internet for gaming instead.
5. Coordinate purchases with friends
Another way to save money and still play many of the most recent titles is to coordinate with your friend group. If you are the biggest fan of a particular franchise, maybe you can buy that game new. But once you are done playing it, you can pass your copy on to a friend. Likewise, your friend can play games in her favorite series before passing them off to you. For single player games, there is rarely a need for all of you to buy your own copies.
Going through these tips, you’ve probably realized that you don’t have to sacrifice much fun to save money on video games. All it really takes is planning and patience.
This article was written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.