You’ve always been curious about how video games manage to be so attractive, so engaging, and sometimes even addictive. That’s simply because professionals put them through rigorous testing for you.
Before they are released, they are tested over and over again by video game testers.
The responsibilities of a video game tester
The purpose of these professionals is to detect if the game has bugs or other anomalies during its use and report them to the programmers for fixing whenever possible before the game is released to the users. This process takes place throughout the entire production of the game.
It is not uncommon for a tester to spend several minutes trying out a sequence of instructions or even pressing the same button just to see what that action triggers in the game. They need to explore all the possibilities of an option or character to be sure it works. All of these tasks require a certain level of responsibility to successfully complete.
Thus, a game tester must be rigorous and have a certain understanding of the culture and mechanisms of the game.
The different categories of video game testers
Depending on their work environment, video game testers can be classified into different kinds:
- Depending on whether they work directly with computer developers. Most of the time, in this kind of case, the developers work in harmony with the designers in a so-called development company;
- Those who work for websites or magazines that specialize in video games. Here, the most appreciated testers are those who are able to quickly run through all types of games, who know how to express themselves well in French and of course who have a passion for games;
- Another type can be taken into account according to their work routine. We will talk about permanent or seasonal testers. There are also volunteer testers or “Beta testers” who report bugs and give their opinion on the game.
Necessary education and training
Being a video game tester is one of the jobs for which passion takes precedence over a degree. But, to be sure you have a good background to practice it, you will first need to have a Bachelor’s degree. Then, you will be able to do various additional trainings such as: computer science and digital imaging, or a technical diploma in graphic industry (graphic communication option).
Skills required to become a video game tester
A tester must have a certain number of aptitudes:
- The ability to repeat the same sequence or the same action several times in order to find the flaw or the bug;
- Mastery of the basics of game design;
- Mastery of all the rules and operating conditions of the game;
- Knowledge of databases, techniques and reporting tools;
- Knowledge of the game’s production chain;
- Have a good technical English and product strategy;
- Bug identification and problem assessment;
- Be able to troubleshoot the game mechanics and then make proposals for improvement.
In Europe, video game testers have a salary around 1,200 euros per month (1400 USD).
The pros and cons of becoming a video game tester
Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons of becoming a video game tester:
- It is a profession that is quite popular in the market and therefore has a good employability;
- Whatever your work style, it is possible to practice this profession as a freelancer;
- Its basis is the love of the game, so it is an exciting job;
- The working hours are quite flexible;
- Generally speaking, no diploma is required to do the job.
- The salary of video game testers is not always satisfactory;
- The tasks are repetitive and require a lot of patience;
- The mechanical routine of the reports can kill the passion of the game.
The job of video game tester is in high demand, as it is often the dream of all video game fanatics, you will need to accumulate several trainings to be competitive in this field.