Gaming is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. According to data published by Exploding Topics, there are almost 3.1 billion active video gamers in the world, accounting for nearly 40% of the global population.
No matter which way you look at it, that’s a lot of people. But, unfortunately, for many of these gamers, enjoying their favourite pastime is becoming more and more expensive. Many of the most popular AAA releases now cost close to or even more than $100. This can make them inaccessible to anyone wanting to play on a budget.
And that’s before you factor in other costs like consoles, computers, subscriptions, in-game purchases, and merchandise that can go along with being a gamer. All-in, it could quickly cost you several thousand dollars.
Yet, when you consider that the global gaming market is worth $385 billion, that makes the mean average spend just $124 per player per year, meaning many players have gaming budgets smaller than the cost of a single. Therefore, there are many people who find ways to enjoy their gaming hobby frugally. If you’d like to also give this approach a try, here are some of the best ways to do it.
Hold Out for AAA Games
Video games, like many other products, usually cost the most when they’re first released before quickly dropping in price. This is because publishers understand that the early adopters will pay, within reason, anything to get their hands on the latest and greatest gaming content.
However, once these players have all forked out the full amount, publishers know that they need to adjust the price a little to attract the next wave of customers. Waiting just a few weeks can be enough, though this may only be a temporary sale, rather than a permanent reduction.
Using tools like CamelCamelCamel for Amazon can help you be alerted to games when the price drops. Just sign up, enter the URL of the game you want to buy, and set the desired price. As soon as the product drops to the price, you’ll receive an email with a link to go and buy it.
Look for Cheaper Alternatives
There are also many games that are just as fun as the headline-grabbing AAAs but at a fraction of the cost. They come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s bound to be some that you’ll enjoy.
Humble Bundle is a great place to look. It offers bundles of titles, usually a combination of famous names and indie releases packaged together into one exciting listing at a fraction of the normal cost. This is a great way to find new games without having to break the bank.
The same is true for online casinos too. Many offer a selection of penny slots which offer the typical slot game excitement but with the option to wager just a penny at a time. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy popular titles like Starburst or Gonzo’s Quest as these also allow the smallest possible denomination to be bet across their lines.
Try Free-to-Play Games
Free games used to be free for a reason. They were often poor quality, lacking in features, or felt very amateur. Today, however, things are very different as there are free versions of many of the most popular video game franchises, including Mario, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Counterstrike.
Unlike some other big-name free releases of yesterday, like Doom, these are not limited demo games. They are complete packages, fully available to anyone who wants to download and play them.
They’re also made to the same quality standards as paid-for versions. For example, Call of Duty: Warzone, which is a free-to-play multiplayer game available for most platforms, uses the same game engine, many of the same graphics, and much of the same code as the most recent AAA releases.
Therefore, you can get much of the same experience without having to pay a penny. There is a small catch though, as players will receive ads and messages within the game inviting them to buy additional in-game items.
Some enjoy the additional customisations that they offer, so choose to do so. However, most free-to-play games are still completely playable without a need to punch in your credit card details, making them a great way to enjoy quality content on a budget.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Your Gaming Hobby on a Budget