After being a student for the past 6 years of my life I’ve had to work out clever ways of getting both the most out of my money and the most out of my gaming. Well, I worked out a few useful tips which I will now pass on to anyone else who wants to see their gaming budget go further.
So, in no particular order here are my five top tips for gaming on a budget:
#1: Buy games with High Replayability
One of the most obvious ways to save money on games is to buy less games and one of the best ways to be able to buy less games is to buy games which you can play for longer without getting bored.
Games with a strong multiplayer and a strong community to match are always good choices. A game like Halo 3 has had a strong multiplayer following ever since 2007, other good multiplayer games to try would be cheap but well-loved multiplayer shooters like Counter Strike Source or Team Fortress 2 – both games rife with players and custom Mods. One of the deepest multiplayer experiences recently released on the market right now would be Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. Call of Duty might be a series to avoid what with all the rich people migrating over to the new yearly instalments.
You don’t necessarily have to buy games with a multiplayer component to keep playing them for a long time. Certain genres can generally be played for longer than others just by default. A game like Fallout 3, Oblivion, Mass Effect or Final Fantasy XIII will keep you busy for a lot longer than a game like Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days just because an open world RPG will have more for you to do than a linear third person shooter. However you don’t have to be an RPG nut to get a rich single player experience. Many games can last you plenty long if you’re enough of a completionist. One game worthy of mention would be Bayonetta, a game that can last you anything up to 60 hours and demands multiple play-throughs if you want to see everything the game has to offer. Luckily, because the game is so good that doesn’t even feel like a chore.
#2: Be Patient
Patience is a virtue – and being virtuous could save you money. New games are expensive luxuries but if you’re willing to be patient and wait a few weeks after release to get a game then you could get yourself some sweet deals. This is because retailers need to clear shelf room for more games coming in so they’ll often reduce prices on older games to make room – this is something which you should definitely take advantage of so long as you can resist the urge and the hype and wait.
#3: Buy Pre-owned/Trade Old Games in
First things first – no you’re not murdering the videogame industry by looking for a good pre-owned deal now and again. Sure whiny multi-million dollar corporations might want to make you think you are but I and many other people have been buying pre-owned games since the 90s and the industry hasn’t croaked it just yet. Developers are still getting paid and you’re still able to enjoy the game. I’m not talking about getting brand new releases pre-owned and only saving a tiny bit of money (not because of any moral reason, just because it’s often a rip off) but you’d be surprised just how much a few weeks and a previous owner can reduce the price of a good game.
Trade-ins are a good way to save money also. Sure, it’s nice to have a nice shelf full of games but if the game isn’t being played then all it’s doing on that shelf is gathering dust and slowly losing value and I personally think that if an old games helps you to buy a newer and better game – then it’s a win.
#4 – Shop Around
This is one of the best ways to save just that little bit extra on a game you want. Rather than going into your local games store and impulse buying decide which game you want before you go out and then see how much you can get it for in every nearby retailer – you’d be surprised how often you get lucky and find the game on special offer somewhere. Better yet if you shop on the internet a lot then checking multiple websites for the same game can also sometimes save you money.
For PC gamers out there try looking for the boxed versions of a game instead of always relying on services like Steam. The sales of retail PC games are dropping faster than a hippo with an anvil tied to it that’s just been thrown out of an aeroplane. This means retailers will often sell boxed games for very cheap after a while to either tempt you off of Steam and D2D and to clear shelf space for other games coming out that month. Some boxed PC games also go for extremely cheap pre-owned. Just make sure you don’t buy pre-owned PC games with crazy DRM on them.
#5 – Steam Sales
Okay, I know not everybody reading this games on a PC or uses Steam but when it comes down to getting your money’s worth you really can’t beat sales on Steam. There are always a few big Steam sales in the year such as near Christmas, black friday and in July where not many new games are released. Sometimes Steam sales can just come out of the Blue which means there’s often a good game to be bought for next to no money. Just to give you an idea of how much money you can save in a big Steam sale this is what one of their game packs included:
The THQ Game Pack included (deep breath): Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Company of heroes: Tales of Valour, Frontlines: Fuel of War, Full Spectrum Warrior, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, Metro 2033, Red Faction, Red Faction 2, Red Faction Guerrilla, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Saints Row 2, Titan Quest, Titan Quest: Immortal Thrown, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War Gold Edition, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War – Soulstorm, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War – Dark Crusade, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2 – Chaos Rising and World of Zoo. That load of games bought separately would normally cost you £257.99. During the Steam Summer Sale that pack was selling for £52.99 – that’s a saving of nearly £205. I don’t know how much that is in US Dollars but I’m sure you all get the idea – and the games in that collection are good (mostly).
Hopefully these 5 tips will help gamers out there on a budget enjoy their games more and ultimately enjoy more games.