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How to Play Games on a Budget

Whether you have just started or been gaming for years, one aspect of gaming reigns true: it is an expensive hobby. Let us help you save money on your games. Here is our ultimate guide on how to play games on a budget!!!

Read Reviews

Ok, this is simple, but not enough people read reviews before buying. The fear of missing out is intense, and many gamers want to be the first to log into that multiplayer lobby. We get it. But is playing in that multiplayer lobby even worth your time? Think about all the games you bought only later to regret that decision.

Remember, many reviews are written with a focus on the writer’s preferences. Finding the right review is critical in helping you make a good buying decision. Because of this, it’s always best to read multiple reviews from different outlets.

If you want to save money on gaming, follow step one and understand what you are buying before you swipe your card.

Reward Programs

There are many great reward programs out, and taking advantage of these can save you a lot of money. It’s not feasible to cover all of these programs in this article. But some of my favorites are the Gamestop power up rewards and Microsoft Rewards.

How to Play Games on a Budget

Gamestop PowerUp Rewards

Alright, I know Gamestop has burned themselves with many gamers here in America. But their rewards program is still something that you should take advantage of, especially if you live near a store.

How it works

The best way to take advantage of this program is to sign up for this reward program’s paid version. This will cost $14.99; in return, you will get 2X points for purchases as well as a $5 monthly credit.

With this $5 credit, you will have to spend it every month or lose it. What I do is buy $5 of Xbox currency each month. Doing this will earn you $45 that you can do whatever you wish within a year.

As for the 2X points on purchases, anything you purchase in the store will earn you 20 points per dollar spent. You can even earn points for buying digital currency. So if you are like many gamers who have transitioned to buying games digitally, buy your digital currency here and make some easy points.

Below is a chart of how many reward points you will earn from different purchases.

Purchased ItemPoints Gained
$20 T-Shirt400
$40 Statue800
$60 Game1,200
$60 Digital Currency1,200
$300 Console6,000
$500 Console10,000

*Ever 1000 points earns is a dollar in-store. Learn more by clicking here.

How to Play Games on a Budget

Microsoft Rewards

Many people know about this program already, but it’s still worth mentioning for those who don’t. The only cost is your time, and users can earn quite a bit fast.

How it works

First and foremost, it is entirely free to use and has multiple ways to earn reward points. Here is a quick list of how to earn points:

  • Bing Searches
  • Quizzes
  • Surveys
  • Daily Activities
  • Quests on Xbox
  • Buying Select Products

I casually use this program, spending very little time, and earn around $40 worth in reward points a year. However, if you are active and do more activities, you can reach $120 plus in rewards per year, which is enough money to get a year of Xbox Game Pass or two $60 games!

Want to learn more about the Microsoft rewards program Click here!

Other Reward Programs

As mentioned above, talking about every reward program would be impossible. Multiple stores have reward programs of their own as well as Sony Rewards is available for PlayStation users. Keep your eye out for these programs and try them out to see if they are worth your time.

Affordable Services

How to Play Games on a Budget

Fortunately, the days of having to buy every game at 60 bucks a pop are phasing out with Netflix-like services for gaming. The quality of these services range from platform to platform, but some solid ones to check out are Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now, EA Play, and UPlay Plus.

Currently, the service that seems to be the greatest value for your buck is Xbox Game Pass. This service gives you access to 200 plus games, including first-party Xbox games on releases, for 10-15 dollars a month. Additionally, this service is also currently available on more platforms than any other.

Wait for a Sale

How to Play Games on a Budget

I know this is super simple, and we all know this. But it never hurts to reinforce and remind people that waiting for a sale is an option. Sometimes, it is just more practical to wait for deals, especially for some smaller games that release during the holiday season. We gamers have limited time and backlogs that are overflowing. Rather than buying a game for $60 and playing it three months later, wait for those sales!

Properly doing this can save you a lot of money easily. Not to mention stop you from buying a bad game. Similar to reading reviews waiting is usually the best policy.

Buying Second Hand

How to Play Games on a Budget

Ok, so this use to mean buying games used. But buying physical games is quickly being replaced by digital purchases. This doesn’t mean that you cant still get a good deal online. Several sites out there offer games cheaper than your typical stores. Two sites that are pretty well known for this are Humble Bundle and CD Keys.

Humble Bundle receives its codes directly from developers and publishers. Then it sells those products, and a portion of the money goes to charities. Unfortunately, Humble Bundle does not sell games for consoles.

CD Keys is a platform that allows users to sell digital codes for games on its site. You can often find some pretty great deals. For instance, Assassins, Creed Unity is less than $2 on this platform.

Of course, when buying anything second hand always be careful and use common sense. Look at reviews for the site or the user you are interacting with.

Did We Miss Anything?

All great things must end, and so must this article. Hopefully, we were able to give you some great ideas on how to game on a budget. Let us know what you think about this guide in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!

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  • Reply
    Chrispy Rambo
    Mar 01, 2021 8:59 am

    Great write up! I’ve used MS rewards for a long time & am still surprised at how many people don’t know about them or what they can be used for.

  • Reply
    Trevor Burrows
    Sep 06, 2021 8:56 pm

    Thanks, Glad you enjoyed it!!!

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