A video game tester’s main objective is to uncover every bug in a new game before it is unveiled to the public. Professional testers spend hours on each level of a game discovering the different pathways through the level. Testers must be able to put themselves in the minds of other players in order to figure out which moves they might make while playing. Each possible combination of moves must be tested for glitches and bugs in the system.
Video game testers must be excellent game players, as well as efficient problem solvers. Oftentimes, a video game tester will be required to complete the same level, using different move combinations, for hours at a time. While video game testing sounds easy, it can be harder to test a game than it is to play it.
Once a video game tester completes their assignment, they will be expected to write a detailed report explaining their findings. This means that testers must be strong communicators, skilled writers, and possess a basic understanding of programming and/or game design. Video game testers are usually gamers that live and breathe video games. These professionals are the players that can pick up a new game and master it before all of their friends.
Because there are so many avid gamers, video game testing jobs are competitive. However, half of the battle of getting a job is just knowing where to find openings. Video game testers are usually employed by video game developers and independent testing labs. There are a few different ways that qualified gamers can find job openings. They can contact developers in their area or go through a special recruiting agency.
A job as a video game tester is extremely rewarding, both intrinsically and monetarily. Not only do testers get to play video games all day and get paid for it, but they get to play the latest games before they go public. Most gamers only dream of playing the newest games before all of their friends–testers actually get to do it.
Video game testing is also seen as the best way into the industry, especially for those that do not have a degree in programming or game design. Talented gamers are often given the chance to advance after building a reputation as a skilled video game tester. While some see video games as just a hobby, video game testers know that this hobby can lead to a great career in a growing industry.