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Tips on How to Game Competitively on a Budget

Tips on How to Game Competitively on a Budget
Tips on How to Game Competitively on a Budget

The gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in entertainment. Over the last two decades, gaming has evolved exponentially. PCs and consoles remain favorites, but other additions like handheld consoles, mobile titles, and even VR have opened up brand new avenues for growth and innovation. 

For the most part, gaming is more reachable than ever before. Mobile gaming has taken the world by storm, built on the roll-out of more extensive mobile networks (including 5G) and more affordable smartphones, especially Android devices. In other words, the meteoric and global growth of gaming has been built on accessibility and affordability. 

Still, no ardent gamer would say gaming is cheap. Microtransactions have wheedled their way into many virtual gaming worlds, especially free-to-play titles. These require players to spend some money to advance in the game after they’ve already paid for it—and the hardware required to play the game. 

When added up, even the most casual mobile gamers might be spending more than they think to game. And for more hardcore gamers who prefer to customize their PCs or purchase the latest wireless controller for their Xbox, games and gear can cost even more money. VR headsets and setups take this even further, as very few gamers can afford this type of gear.

Still, that doesn’t mean that the average gamer can’t meaningfully participate in their favorite gaming communities. Regardless of price or hardware, there are a few tricks that anyone can use to game competitively while respecting their budget. Let’s dive in.

The Basics: Know Your Priorities

The idea of managing a budget isn’t anything new in gaming. Let’s take a look at a prime example in the casino gaming industry. For centuries, casino gamers have balanced their bankrolls with their gaming goals. Back in the day, they did this at brick-and-mortar casinos and clubs. Today, like other gamers, the average casino fan is more likely to favor a virtual platform versus heading to a physical one. 

Still, they’ll need to create a plan in order to mindfully manage their money and get the most out of each gaming session. Whether playing blackjack or slots, these players have thought about how to wager their money and when to walk away. In other words, they’ve set their priorities. The same should be true for video gamers.

Before you start spending, think about your gaming priorities. Do you want to improve your gaming setup? Or are you focused on finding a good peripheral? What about in-game spending? There’s no right answer—so long as you’ve thought carefully about where to spend your money and when.

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Image Source :Pexels

Tip #1: Focus on Indie & AAA Subscriptions

Most gamers are aware that subscriptions are the most affordable way to access a wide range of games. However, console subscriptions can be pricey, including Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. On top of that, these subscriptions don’t always include cross-platform games. Switch Online, for example, focuses solely on Nintendo titles (though it does include NES games). 

If you want to get more bang for your buck, then consider subscribing to more affordable Indie and AAA subscriptions. The Humble Bundle is the most well-known, and even diverts some of your funds for seasonal charity picks—though it offers only indie games. AAA selections from EA Play and Ubisoft might also be your thing, though they focus mostly on sports simulations and RPGs, respectively.

Tip #2: Buy Secondhand—for Brand Names, Too

When it comes to creating a great gaming setup, you’ll notice an emphasis on pricy brand-name items. We agree that it’s best to use your money on a more established brand, as you’ll be able to use that hardware for longer. Still, forking over hundreds for a mouse or a trackpad isn’t always feasible. 

In these cases, look for used and second-hand peripherals. They aren’t nearly as difficult to find as you might think. However, it’s always a good idea to look for refurbished items, as these have usually been given some extra care and even minor repairs.

Tip #3: Buy in Bundles

When it comes to saving money, buying in bulk is a trick as old as time. Some subscription packages also let you do this. For example, the Humble Bundle also works as a bundle subscription—and gamers get to pick which titles they want. That being said, there are plenty of other highly affordable bundle sites

Another great option for those who want to explore indie and AAA games is Itch.io, which offers weekly bundles. You can also look into IndieGala, Indie Royale, Groupees, and The Free Bundle. As you might guess, the latter offers curated selections of free games.

Tip #4: Find Deal Sites

Deal sites are yet another financial tactic that works in gaming and in industries beyond. Given the popularity of gaming, some long-time gamers have started to make their living by combing the internet in search of the best deal sites—or even creating their own. While you can find bonuses from legacy developers and bundle sites, we’re talking about aggregates that identify the cheapest listings at a given time. 

For example, IsThereAnyDeal is a website that points users to the cheapest way to find games, while Reddit’s r/GameDeals does the same but from a user-driven perspective. If you use X, then you can follow @videogamedeals for similar updates.

Tip #5: Take Breaks with Mobile Gaming

As we mentioned up top, mobile gaming has been the breakthrough star of the industry—and that breakthrough has been predicated on accessibility and affordability. Given most gamers have a smartphone in their pocket, one great way to save is to dive into the world of free-to-play mobile games. 

Once again, you’ll need to navigate the complexities of in-game microtransactions, as these can add up quickly and be on par with traditional gaming expenses. However, many players quickly soured to the manipulative nature of microtransactions, which means you’ll see less of them in many competitive titles. One easy way to see whether a game relies too strongly on these is by reading reviews—it’s likely the first thing players will comment on.

What do you think?

Written by Joshua White

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