As every avid gamer knows, while gaming is excellent for escaping reality and connecting with friends, it’s often not so kind on the wallet. If you play a lot of games, you can end up spending hundreds to thousands of euros, dollars, or pounds on your hobby. However, there are ways to play the games you love without breaking the bank; you just have to get creative. With this in mind, we’ve created this handy guide on how to save money buying video games.
Buy Steam Accounts
For PC gamers, building a Steam library of the hottest games is the done thing. Over time, gamers build up an extensive collection of lots of different games that match many moods and playstyles. Some days you might want to play a first-person action shooter like Call of Duty or a strategy game like Dota 2, and on other days you might fancy a massively multiplayer RPG like Elder Scrolls Online. Whatever mood you’re in, there’s a game to go along with it if your library is big enough.
However, if you’ve just entered the world of PC gaming, you’re at a significant disadvantage here. Building up a Steam library will eat a big chunk of your money if you buy the individual games on your Steam account. But there is another way: you can buy Steam accounts online from marketplaces like Eldorado.
With this method, you can buy Steam accounts with hundreds of dollars worth of games for typically around $15 to $30. You get full access to the account and email, and the original user can never restore the account.
Look Out For Bundles
This one mainly applies to PC gamers, although console gamers can occasionally take advantage of bundles too. Bundles often have themes like Sci-Fi Bundle or Fanatical Favorites (currently available on Steam). They allow you to buy several games at once for a heavily discounted price. The catch is, the offer is only available for a limited amount of time so you have to snatch up the bundles when you see them.
Buy Used Games
If you were wondering why the Xbox Series X and PS5 digital-only consoles are significantly cheaper than their disc-tray counterparts, It’s because you lose the ability to buy used games. The console will be cheaper, but you can never buy second-hand discs, so over the lifetime of your console you’ll likely end up paying more. Of course, Microsoft and Sony would prefer you buy games directly from their respective stores, so they can take a cut, and also so they have greater control over the price of games. In the second-hand market, the consumers control the prices, and you can get your hands on a great deal, even for relatively new games.
You can easily save $10 to $20 on a new game title by waiting a few weeks to months and buying it used.
Sell Used Games
If you’ve got a disc for a game that you no longer play, you can make back some of your money by selling it to someone who does want to play that game. By doing this, you drive down the average amount of money you spend on games over time. You also get back some money that you can put towards new games you’re interested in.
If your top priority is to play more games, and owning the games you play isn’t vital to you, then cloud gaming is a good option. Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming allows you to access over 100 games that you can play remotely, for a monthly fee.
If you’re more interested in the PC side of gaming, you can opt for Google Stadia. Stadia gives you access to a limited (and it is fairly limited right now) catalog of games you can stream across your devices. You don’t have to own these games to play them, but you can also play games you do own. There are also other big players in the cloud gaming market, like GeForce now, but this service isn’t geared towards saving money. GeForce Now allows you to play games you already own remotely, so it’s most useful if you already have a decent Steam library.
By pre-ordering games, you often get a 10% or higher discount on the game at launch. Additionally, you often get bonus items exclusive to the pre-order, making your account more valuable if you ever decide to sell it.