Have you ever, at any point in your life, dreamt of playing video games all day long? It’s safe to say that a lot of us have. From simple bubble shooters and puzzles to racing sims, every game has something unique to offer.
Games, today, however, offer more than just a fun, immersive experience. Game production offers a world of career opportunities. From game designer, game software developer, animator, writer and audio engineering, this huge and fast-growing industry (the global games market is expected to surpass 200B USD by 2023) offers a wide variety career paths.
Behind the creation of these immersive games, there are also video game testers, whose job is to ensure that the game is fun to play and ready to be released on the market to give even the most avid gamer a superlative gaming experience. Becoming a game tester is a terrific way to learn many facets of the business side of the gaming industry.
But what does it take to be a video game tester? We’ve laid out some tips for you below.
1. Know Your Game, and Your Games
Being a passionate gamer can get you far in the video game world. Of course, knowing a lot about the topic and various game genres is a huge asset if you’d like to work as a video game tester. But not everyone grew up playing video games, and it doesn’t mean you’re not welcome to the industry.
Expectations about your experience in the field are going to be different in different parts of the world. In some countries, companies will offer you training to develop gaming skills, especially if your access to gaming controls is or was limited. In large markets, most companies assume that you had access to consoles and gaming devices, and they often look for passionate video gamers with some experience.
If you don’t have much experience but are eager to learn, fear not! If you’re passionate about video games yet not an expert, it won’t be an issue. You will learn everything on the job, and with passion and willpower you can go very far!
2. Be an Excellent Communicator
Game testers spend a lot of time communicating with their teams either through email, chat and/or face-to-face. This means you must listen carefully when others speak and ask questions to clarify what others are saying when you’re having trouble understanding something. You should also, of course, be able to express your thoughts and ideas in a concise manner that others can understand.
Testing is synonymous with teamwork, and it will help you build relationship skills and transferrable technical skills.
If your grammar and spelling are strong, you’re off to a good start. Although there is a whole department dedicated to localization, it’s good to keep both eyes open when it comes to spelling. Testers can miss those, so it’s important to flag any linguistic mistakes. If your grammar and spelling aren’t too strong, you can always decide to sharpen them up in your free time.
It will be worth the effort to help you build a career with leading video game testing companies across the world, since the linguistic aspect of quality assurance is much bigger than a lot of people think. All the dialogues and content must make sense linguistically, contextually, and culturally.
3. Be Meticulous
Great attention to detail pays off if you want to succeed as a video game tester and grow within the industry. Testers spend a lot of time looking for bugs, writing bug reports, verifying bug fixes written previously and regressing bugs that they had previously written. In order to excel at these tasks, you should be observant, thorough in your work, organized, and patient.
Of course, this is something that you can learn and develop with practice, but it’s great to always double-check everything and make sure that the final result is flawless. Moreover, attention to detail is a transferable skill that will greatly impact your professional life in any industry.
4. Hard Work Brings Rewarding Results
Being a game tester doesn’t just mean sitting around and getting paid to play games all day. Always remember that you are testing the game to find any possible bugs and elevate the overall gaming experience for players.
Trust us, seeing bugs you have found getting fixed is a very rewarding feeling! Even though testing games can be hard work, the rewards are also great.
One great thing to keep in mind is to always try to approach your work with passion and determination. Providing the best gaming experience for future players is the ultimate goal.
Moreover, it’s important to note that this is a job that requires a lot of commitment and attention to detail. People who land their first testing job are often surprised by how challenging the position can be. Most of the tester’s time is spent repeatedly testing certain features, systems, and small-to-moderate chunks of actual gameplay.
5. Think Outside the Box
Remember to use your creativity and individual approach to try and identify some difficult defects and caveats in the game, those that others might not pay attention to.
Being inquisitive is a key trait as a Video Game Tester. Try to approach every game with different “what if” scenarios. This will help you think about all the possible mistakes and bugs you can find while testing.
Thinking outside the box is one of the qualities that will get you far in this industry, no doubt!
GlobalStep is hiring QA Game Testers, with or without experience in the field. Visit our Careers page to know more about our latest job openings.READ MORE
A long-standing gender stereotype has been that women don’t like video games. With a 40:60 women:men ratio at GlobalStep’s QA Lab, we beg to differ! Not only women love video games, they are brilliant at it.
Since a long time female gamers have commonly been regarded as a minority, but industry surveys in the past few years have shown that in time the gender ratio has become closer to equal. As per a recent study*, 52% of gamers worldwide are in fact, women!
Women in the games industry are both designing and testing games. And we caught up with a few women game testers from our QA Lab in a candid interview. Read on to know how they deal with gender stereotype, what’s their all-time favorite game and more…
Why did you get into game testing?
You get to play games all day long, why else? Breaking the stereotype, our women game testers share, “We grew up playing video games. It has always been our passion.” One of the youngest girls from the group told us, “I was the only girl from my college in the Counter Strike team. Not only did I play the game but I won various Counter Strike inter-college tournaments with my team which btw was all boys!” Bravo!
What are the most important skills required to become a game tester?
“Many people think that because they like to play video games; they can be game testers… Well, that’s not entirely true. Yes, you do need to have the passion for playing but you also need some core skills like analytical thinking, you should be detail oriented and must have the eye to actually catch bugs while playing the game. Once you catch a bug, you need to be able to find the steps that will replicate the glitch. You also need a lot of patience! As a game tester, your tolerance to do repetitive and tedious tasks is tested every single day and you just need to learn to be persistent. Being able to work well in a team is important too.”
How do people react when you tell them you are a game tester?
The response to this question was in unison!
“Men think of us as Gods!”
“Women are always keen to know more. ‘What do you do exactly?’, ‘So you play video games all the time?’ or sometimes ‘Is that even a job!’ are the most common questions.”
What do you do when you take a break from testing games? Once a game tester, can you still be a gamer?
So when non game-testers take a break, we may interest ourselves in some sort of mobile or PC games, right? Our game testers can’t do this anymore and here’s why, “Since I became a game tester, it’s not so much fun anymore. Every time I play any game for recreation, I start spotting bugs. It’s difficult to switch off being a professional game tester! Having said that, I still love to play games for recreation.”
Wow, that seems like a professional hazard! One of the ladies shared what happened to her favorite mobile game after she became a game tester, “I used to play this very famous and addictive puzzle game and reached a really high level when I had to stop playing it. Every time I would view the result screen on the game and clicked continue, it went into non-progression mode and had to be forced closed and restarted. My inner game tester couldn’t take it anymore. I reported that bug to the publisher and uninstalled the game. Now I play other more interesting games and try not to look for bugs!”
Is it true that women and men are better are at certain kind of games?
*Stats show men prefer action games while women prefer puzzle games. We asked the ladies if they agree, “That’s quite true actually. Women are mostly better at puzzle games as we are much better at problem-solving skills including logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion. And men are mostly better at Combat, Role Playing, Adventure and Strategy games.”
“That doesn’t mean women game testers don’t test Combat games. As a matter of fact, women can focus better in testing bugs related to navigation or sound compared to men in such games as men get influenced by storytelling in, women don’t.” How very interesting!
Which is your current favorite game?
This question had the most varied answers of all! From puzzle to role playing to strategic games, these ladies love them all. Their favorites include – Shin Megami Tensei which is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game, Clash of Clans which is a famous strategy game and 4 Pics 1 Word, a fascinating puzzle game.
Do you play the games you test in your free time?
“The developers / publishers, GlobalStep works with, make some really interesting games and it’s obvious that we would like to continue to play them instead of just testing. Once we are done with our daily tasks, we hang around in the gaming-zone where we can play any of the released titles on any platform be it mobile, console, VR, PC etc.” Perks of being a game tester, eh?
For a long time, video games have been designed keeping men in mind. Even with women making up the majority among games users, as characters / protagonists they are still mostly non-existent. From what we see with these intelligent women gamers around us, it’s time for the game designers and publishers to broaden the appeal of their games to both genders equally.