11 Ways You Can Be Poor And Still Play Video Games

As a student I know how hard it is to balance gaming around a limited budget, so here are a few reasons why you don’t need to give up your hobby.


People these days have a tighter and tighter budget to work around when it comes to affording games. Budgeting is becoming a necessity but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice gaming. Why? Here are just a few reasons why you don’t have to give up your favourite hobby.

Replay old favourites.

Alice Madness Returns
There are some games you never get tired of and when it comes to those you can generally count them as a ‘new’ release if you haven’t played it in quite some time. It saves money, and the nostalgia alone is a plus.

Borrow games you haven’t played from friends.

Borderlands 2 Maya
As long as they’re willing and you take good care of the discs, there’s no reason why your friend couldn’t lend you a game you’ve had your eye on or that they recommend. It saves you money as well as you can give your friends games THEY have their eye on too.

Rent games instead of buying them.

This is something I did for a long time as it saved money (so long as I didn’t rent it for weeks on end) and also let me experience games that I didn’t have the opportunity to buy. True enough, it doesn’t give you opportunities ¬†for DLC and the like, but the whole theme is such and such the same.

Buy pre-owned games.

There’s nothing wrong with buying pre-owned games; they’re cheaper, DLC can sometimes come with it if they have been nice enough to not use the code and they’re often in pretty much pristine condition. The only downside would be if they DO somehow damage the disc, but in that case most places can buff them off.

Buy ‘new’ releases at a later date when they’re cheaper.

master chief
Waiting is not a bad thing. Provided you can avoid spoilers and don’t give in to peer pressure you’ll experience the same thing as everyone else, it might just be a couple of months later. Most of the time the price drops by about half, so for those on a budget it’s certainly helps.

Split the cost of a game with a friend if you both want it.

You might end up disagreeing over who gets it when, but splitting the cost 50/50 is an extremely financially sensible decision. Considering a lot of gamer friends have similar tastes, this is also a very practical option. Once you sort out the sharing schedule, it’s usually plain sailing.

Steam Sales.

The Witcher
This is the same reason why a lot of people also end up completely broke, but if you time it right Steam sales can save you a lot of money since there’s weekly deals. Summer sales are probably a bad idea until you can afford them, though.

Try for cheaper games, perhaps Indie games.

Indie games are often hidden gems that can be very underrated. They’re also usually an awful lot cheaper than chart games so that can definitely assist you financially. They’re also a lot of fun; people sometimes underestimate how talented new developers can be when given the right encouragement.

Ask for gaming vouchers for a birthday/Christmas.

This is one of the things I’m most guilty for; it saves people buying you games when they don’t know what you like and running the risk of getting it wrong. Getting vouchers also allows for you to spread it across whatever platform you play as since Steam do vouchers now too. Win win, in my opinion.

Sign up for plenty of betas; you might get lucky and get full access.

This one is a slightly slimmer chance but people can get incredibly lucky when becoming a beta-tester. If you get full access to the new game not only have you already had a certain degree of experience, but you can now also experience the whole game in its finished glory. Somewhat shaky considering a lot of online games are free, but something to consider.

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  • #12 Browse the Free to Play section in the Steam Category

    and to address the elephant in the room
    #13 Become morally ambiguous (drink up me hearties yo ho)

  • Sell your old games! Sometimes you can even profit off them.

  • Alex Avard

    #14 Sell your old games for in store credit!

  • I use credit cards to buy things I can’t afford.

  • Don’t forget keeping an eye out for PNS and XBL sales. I got Persona 3 off PSN for $5 and at 20 or so hours in it looks like I’m not even a quarter done! Got Tales of Vesperia on XBL for the same price and I hear that one’s a triple digit hour investment too. Plus I just got CivRev for free. It pays to pay attention to the online marketplaces.

    And yeah, with some patience it’s possible to work Gamestop magic. I just sold Red Dead Redemption: GOTY for $15 (and I only paid $20 for it!) and they took UFC 3 for another $17. I put them towards my FFX/X-2 preorder and then only owed $5. That’s how we do it in brokesville, yo!