Gaming is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Recent studies have found that more than three billion people like to play at least occasionally, equating to almost half the planet’s population.
People choose to play games for a whole host of reasons. Some enjoy Esports competitions and games like Fifa, others enjoy online poker with friends and others like to escape to a different world not related with games, while others find them relaxing.
But whatever your reason for playing games, the cost of this hobby can soon add up. A console like the PlayStation 5 will set you back around $500, while new titles can cost upwards of $70. On top of that, there’s the cost of subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass, in-game purchases, and peripherals.
For PC gamers, the costs can be even higher, since a computer with the high-end components required for running AAA titles can cost thousands.
That said, there are some things that you can do to enjoy gaming without breaking the bank.
Whether it’s video games, cars, or smartphones, buying the latest products as soon as they hit shelves is an expensive way to shop. Businesses charge the most immediately after a launch because they know that early adopters will pay whatever it takes to get their hands on the latest goods.
If you can hold off for a couple of months or even just a few weeks, you’ll find that the price for most new titles will drop drastically. Even if the standard sale price doesn’t get reduced by much, you’ll likely be able to find a retailer that runs a time-limited sale where you can pick it up at a discount.
Take Advantage of Promotions
Outside of buying new games, you can often find promotions that can help you save money on the gaming gear you’d buy anyway.
For casino gamers, promotions like free spins and deposit-match bonuses can help you enjoy your favourite slot and table games for less. Alternatively, the long list of no deposit bonuses available for all US players means it’s possible to play many of them for free by joining a few different sites.
Occasionally, you can also find discounts on digital gift cards for the Xbox and PlayStation stores on offer in supermarkets and in wholesalers like Costco. If you know you’ll be spending money on a game in the near future, buying a voucher below its face value can lead to big savings.
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Look for Free Alternatives
In the past, free games were usually free for a reason - they would be small, poor quality, and not much fun to play. Occasionally, great titles like Doom would be released as shareware, but you’d still have to pay if you wanted to unlock the whole game.
Today though, the standard of free games has risen exponentially. This has been because of the introduction of the free-to-play model that sees publishers offer up their content for free but then offer the option of buying in-game items and customizations.
Some of the most popular titles on the market today, including Fortnite, Dota 2, and League of Legends all use the free-to-play model.
Some free games are actually very similar to paid-for alternatives. For example, Call of Duty: Warzone is built on the same game engine as the latest Black Ops and Vanguard releases, meaning you get many of the same features without having to pay.