Some of the most popular games are free-to-play and can be run on a potato PC or even an old mobile phone. Here are some budget gaming tips.
You don’t need a lot of money to be a gamer; in fact, some of the most popular games are completely free to play and can be played on a potato PC or even an old mobile phone with no problems. Here are some helpful hints for those who are gaming on a tight budget.
Gaming is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. In Australia, 67% of the population play video games, including 62% of adults of “working age”. As most of these players will attest, it is a hobby that can easily cost a lot of money.
Sure, playing video games is much cheaper than being a member of an expensive golf club or paragliding, but it can easily cost you several hundred or even thousands of dollars each year if you buy even just a couple of titles.
However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy gaming on a budget. Here’s how.
Make the Most of the Games You Already Own
Most gamers already have a library of titles that they’ve built up over the years. Sure, they might not be as shiny and new as they once were, but most games will be just as fun and enjoyable to play again.
You can save a lot by playing some of the titles you already own since it means you’re not buying any more.
Find Free Games
If you really can’t bear playing your old games any longer, then try and find some free ones. There are around 1 million games in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, most of which are free to play.
It’s not just casual mobile games that can be enjoyed for free either. You’ll find fully-fledged console and PC games that can be downloaded and played for free, including big-name titles like Counter-Strike, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Forza.
Online casino games can also be played for free using a few different techniques. The most well-known method is to find the bonus offers and promotions that many companies offer, including the free spins that are available for meeting certain criteria.
Trade in Some Old Games
If you aren’t going to play some of the old games that you already own, then why not trade in or sell them to get a bit of money back?
Most game retailers allow you to trade in old titles in exchange for credit against a new one. The process works similarly to how you part-exchange your old car, but with a lot less paperwork.
Alternatively, you can sell them online through sites like eBay and Amazon. This usually requires a little bit more work, but it does usually yield a slightly higher return.
Games are usually expensive when they’re first released and then get cheaper over time. For example, when Call of Duty Black Ops 4 – Specialist Edition was released in March 2020, it cost as much as $89.99 on Amazon. By September, the game had nearly halved in price and could be picked up for just under $50. 12 months after it originally went on sale, Amazon customers could pick it up for as little as $35.
Even waiting just a couple of weeks can save you a sizable chunk of money.
If you don’t want to manually keep checking the prices on offer, you can use services like CamelCamelCamel to set up price alerts. As soon as the Amazon price dips below your target, you’ll receive an email letting you know it’s time to buy.
Don’t Buy a Console
The single biggest cost in gaming is the hardware you use to play your titles on. Whether it’s a PC or a console like the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5, you will be spending anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars in one go. That’s if you can even get hold of one, as there have been severe shortages of consoles in Australia and around the world for months.
Until recently, there was no alternative if you wanted to play leading AAA titles. However, that is no longer the case thanks to game streaming services like Google Stadia.
Stadia does all of the number-crunching on Google’s servers and then streams the video output to your smartphone, computer, or TV. Provided you have a compatible device and a stable internet connection, you can play games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 without having to buy any expensive hardware.