Tips for gaming on a budget

Tyler Newhouse, Staff Member

Gaming can be an expensive hobby, especially while trying to pay for college, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some tips for gaming on a budget that will help you save money year-round.

Themed sales.

Perhaps the biggest money saver comes in the form of themed sales. PC gaming giant Steam, has three major sales every year in addition to sporadic flash sales.

Ranging from 10-95% off, these sales are sure to be the biggest money saving event in the gaming community. Keep in mind, however, that Steam sales are limited to PC/MAC/Linux.

If you’re a console gamer, keep an eye out for seasonal sales from big companies like Nintendo, PlayStation, and Microsoft. Be aware however, that most discounted games are digital only, not-returnable and take up precious space on your hard drive.

Major retailers like Amazon and Newegg also hold sales that often include video games or video gaming accessories, so keep an eye out for that.

Subscription Services

If you’re a console gamer, chances are that you already pay for PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. If you don’t pay for either, now might be a time to consider.

Although required for online multiplayer, these services also offer exclusive discounts on games every month. Best of all, every month they include full games to play if you’re a subscriber.

The games change month to month, but Microsoft lets you keep the game, even if you stop subscribing.  While PlayStation doesn’t do this, they offer a minimum of two full games for each of their platforms, including the Vita.

GameFly offers a Neflix-like service for game discs. The catch, though not necessarily a bad thing, is that the monthly cost is dependent on how many games you plan to rent per month.

The pool of games to choose from include new games as well as older games. You might be able to try out that new game you had your eye on, at a fraction of the cost.

GameFly also offers some used games at lower prices than competitors like GameStop. These games can be bought without a membership, but if you have one, you can get free shipping on your order.

Third-party services

Sites like Cheap Ass Gamer consolidate deals and discounts from around the internet in one easy to find place. They tweet out new deals daily, so following them would be a good idea.

Humble Bundle offers a different spin on discounted games. The website offers bundles of games where you pay what you want, can donate to charity and choose where you want your money to go.

The website also offers weekly bundles, bundles with different media, as well as a general store where you can buy discounted games.

The best way to be notified of these sales is to follow companies that interest you on social media. They will often tweet out or send emails letting customers know when a sale is, and what’s on offer.