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.