Gaming is probably bigger now than it has ever been before. There has always been a hardcore customer base for video games, but in recent years that has broadened out to include many more types of people. Whereas the image that most people had of the typical gamer in the past was that of a spotty teenage boy, games are now enjoyed by people of different ages. There are also a lot more girls and women playing them than there were in the past.
Even games that involve sending and receiving money online are popular now. That is because the internet makes it easy to identify sites such as online casinos that are reputable and secure. In fact, the only thing now standing in the way of enjoying gaming for some people is the cost.
Gaming Not Always Cheap
The costs of gaming vary quite a lot depending on the types of games you want to play. Online gaming via a mobile phone or PC is usually a bit cheaper, assuming you actually have one of those devices in the first place. If you do, it may cost money to download games, as not every title available at places like the App Store is free. Equally, although places like online sports betting and casino sites often provide free promotional offers when you first sign up, eventually you will have to start depositing money if you want to go on playing.
On the other hand, if you want to get into console video gaming, the expense can really start to mount up. From the price of the games console itself to the various subscriptions needed to be able to access games and then the cost of those games, it is a pastime that can quickly drain your bank account.
The average cost per month for a console video games fan has been worked out at $112 US dollars. That is a lot of cash for anyone to find over the course of a year, especially with the economic situation being the way it is these days.
Don’t be discouraged if it seems like too much to spend though! It is possible to pick up gaming as a hobby even if you are on a fairly tight budget or want to save money.
Here are some things that you can do to save on gaming costs.
Use Bonuses and Promotions
As mentioned above, places like online casinos always have free bet offers available. These can reduce the amount that you have to pay to play – indeed, in many cases they will let you play a game for nothing it all. It starts with the welcome bonus that is usually offered to entice you to sign up in the first place, but it certainly doesn’t stop there.
Casino sites are always running promotions and loyalty schemes to help them hold on to their regular customers and they can really help keep your expenses down. This is also true for console gaming. All the big ones – Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox – feature rewards programmes that let you build up points to earn discounts.
Buy Second Hand
Given that games and the equipment needed to play them are pretty expensive, opting to buy second hand rather than new makes sense if your budget is restricted. When it comes to the games, Craigslist, Amazon or eBay will be better choices than a specialist second hand site like GameStop.
That is because the used games sold there are usually only marginally cheaper than buying them new. By contrast, the other sites frequently have them on offer at significantly lower prices.
Subscribe to a Games Site
Another great way to cut back on what you are paying out to game is to subscribe to a games service such as Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. Both of those services have games on offer at no cost every month to those who are members of them – usually pretty cool indie developer titles.
Furthermore, if you choose to download games digitally to play online rather than buying physical copies, you can take advantage of higher discounts and member-exclusive offers on the games.
Try Mobile Gaming
Almost everyone these days has a mobile phone, so that puts you at an immediate cost advantage if you switch to mobile gaming. You already have the main piece of equipment needed, so the only cost will be the actual games apps.
Quite a lot of the games that can be found at the Google Play Store and the App Store are free to download and that is no reflection on their quality. One reason why mobile gaming is so popular with people who are not hardcore gamers – for example women – is because it is easy and low-cost to enjoy.
Buy Gift Cards Online
The stores for PlayStation, Nintendo, Steam and other games platforms always have gift cards on offer that act as discounts when buying games. That is good, but you can reduce gaming costs even further if you buy these cards over the internet.
Places such as ShopTo have gift cards available on special offer, which will add up to an even greater discount for you than if you got one of them directly from the original site. Gaming is not one of the cheapest hobbies to choose but it also does not have to be one of the most expensive.