Gaming on a Budget

The gaming industry is massive, encompassing everything from mobile games and consoles to online casinos and cloud gaming services. Gaming is one of the world’s most popular hobbies, reaching players across all age ranges, financial brackets and lifestyles.

Mobile gaming has recently eclipsed both PC and console gaming to become the main platform for which players use for their games. This is because of the proliferation of smartphones and their multifunctionality and has given birth to a new breed of gamers – the casual gamer. No longer needing to invest in specific hardware, plus the multitude of cheap and free games available, has opened up gaming to a new demographic.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, gaming can be very expensive. The latest consoles cost hundreds of dollars and new releases of the most popular games start at more than $40. Then there’s a whole range of add-ons, new content, accessories and merchandise available. If you’re not careful with your money, gaming can be a very easy way to spend too much. Here are some of our top tips on how to get your gaming fix for less.

Embrace The Old

If you’re not bothered about being the first person to own the newest games and consoles, then there are some serious savings to be had by looking for older versions. If you want to recapture some of the nostalgia of your youth, then it’s worth looking at online resale sites to see if anyone is selling consoles that you would have played decades ago. An original PlayStation, Sega Mega Drive or Atari isn’t going to showcase the best graphics, but there are still some absolute classic games which are well worth playing.

If you don’t want to go back that far, then pick a console from the previous generation or two. Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii all have extensive libraries of titles to keep you entertained for hours.

Reuse and Recycle

If you’ve finished playing a game, there’s no point letting it sit on your shelf and gather dust. Trade in played titles for store credit, discounts off new purchases, or just plain old cash. The second-hand shelves are also great places to find games at a discount. Often you can save a few dollars on new titles that have been played through quickly or scoop up older, well-known games for a fraction of the price.

Use Helpful Tools

If online casino games are your thing, then you’re in luck, because the best online casinos actually come equipped with options to help you spend less. For example, if you play online slots at 888 casino, you can set deposit limits that means you cannot spend over the capped amount each week/month/year. They also offer a number of slots with low stakes so you can get more spins for your money.

Get Free Games

Mobile games are most likely to be free, and if you can survive with advertising banners and time delays on actions, then they’re a great source of entertainment on a budget. But there are other ways of getting free games too.

Some subscription accounts offer free games as part of the package. Amazon Prime members can access half a dozen free games every month, as well as a raft of in-game bonuses for top games like Angry Birds 2, Dauntless and GTA V. Although you have to pay for the membership, it’s useful for a lot of other things like streaming movies and music, as well as fast delivery. Xbox Gold membership offers a similar service but with better quality games and famous titles like Gears of War and Assassin’s Creed.

Another way of getting free games is through game publisher Epic. You don’t need to pay for an account, and you can download two free games every week. There have been some big names offered up including Borderlands 2 and Civilization VI.

Hit The Sales

Most distributers and publishers have decent sales a couple of times a year. It’s worth keeping an eye out for discounts across the big digital shops like Steam and the PlayStation Store, but you can also use independent websites to search for deals on a specific game you’re looking for. Time it right, and you can frequently save more than 50% on your games.

Sign up to developer and publisher mailing lists and follow your favorite stores on social media. They’ll post alerts to any deals on offer, so you’ll be one of the first to know. Pay particular attention when a new title is released, you’ll often find deals on others in the same series.

In Summary

While it’s easy to spend a ridiculous amount of money on games and gaming equipment, it’s not too difficult to be savvy with your money. The newer something is, the more it’s going to cost, so shopping from older versions, refurbished consoles and classic games will stretch your budget further. If you’ve simply got to have the latest releases, then a game subscription service which lets you play games without purchasing them is the most cost-effective way to go about it.

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