How to Become a Video Game Tester
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Video game development studios hire game testers, also known as quality control testers, to find inaccuracies in the programming of games. Testers spend most of their time with a controller in their hands, working to identify glitches, frozen effects and any other issues while playing the game. Requirements for these positions vary from one company to the next, though all testers should be highly skilled in video games.
Development companies look for gamers who have no trouble advancing through different game levels, which leaves them plenty of time to notice each flaw. Testers should be passionate about video games, but they're more focused on analyzing and improving the content rather than actually beating the game. Blizzard Entertainment notes that its testers must also have excellent written and verbal communication skills to describe to programmers exactly what and where the flaws are.
As entry-level employees, video game testers usually have no formal education requirements. Some employers, such as Sony Computer Entertainment America, may prefer candidates with at least an associate's degree in art and animation, graphic design, computer science or a related field. Testers need an understanding of information technology, design, computers, electronics and mathematics. In addition, they must be comfortable working with spreadsheets and different database systems.
Companies may seek candidates with related experience, even though testing is usually entry-level. To improve your chances of becoming a video game tester, take any job you can find in an associated field such as television, film, comics or graphic design. Collaborate with co-workers on projects and use these as teamwork examples when you apply for testing jobs. "Get In Media" reported that ideal game testers are also experienced with different gaming consoles, platforms and formats, from first-person shooter to sandbox.
Although many applicants see testing as the ultimate job, it's usually only the first step for people entering the game development industry. Many testers gain experience and advance to quality assurance supervisors, programmers or artists. Others may further their education before applying for testing positions with larger corporations. The more successful companies often prefer candidates with some formal education and a minimum of one year of experience in game testing, particularly through online networking and modern gaming consoles.
Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.