How to Save Tons of Money on Video Games

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If you are running on a tight budget and don’t have enough money to buy games you are interested in, then this is for you.

Good games come at good prices. It’s actually crazy to think that video games haven’t gone up in price considering the insane development costs of new titles. For context, Skyrim today is $40 on Steam even though it came out over 10 years ago. That doesn’t mean you need to pay the full price for every game. You can literally save 75% on Steam and get it right now for $17. I’ll show you how to save money as a passionate gamer!

The #1 best tactic to save money is by being patient. But this doesn’t actually work out very well for most of us. Us gamers are anything but patient! So I have put together this article on how to save money on video games that are actually practical and can be helpful at this very moment.

Here are my few favorite ways that I have learned over two decades of gaming:

Game Sharing with Friends

Yo, if you’re already paying for Xbox Game Pass, might as well share it with a close friend or family member! Not only can you share the ability to play online simultaneously, but you can also go halfsies on Xbox games you want to play together! This can sound kind of sketch since you’re giving your account to somebody else (remember to update your password frequently), but this was a great solution from Microsoft to encourage people to buy games from them (versus Gamestop for example).

If you set up the game sharing function through your Xbox (you just need to share the login, it’s pretty easy to set up), you will be able to share your entire library of digital games associated with your account. And vice versa!

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Shout out to the great Mike Sundvik for letting me know I missed this! How dare you Pablo!

Use Game Streaming Subscriptions to Save Money

The key to saving money on video games is patience. Wait for at least a month until you know the biggest bugs have been fixed. Trust me, it will save you lots of headaches (and money). Then, you can use game streaming subscriptions to access the games you want to play. Some platforms that you can try are EA Origins and Ubisoft Connect. They cost between $5 to $15 per month. This subscription system allows you to play various games instead of spending a significant amount of money on a singular game. If you miss Dragon Age, you can get EA Origins for a month, and play the last Sims while you’re at it. One good thing that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic and streaming revolution is how accessible video games have become. Sometimes they have Xbox Game Pass for $1 a month for 3 months!

My girlfriend and I played Assassins Creed: Valhalla (+100 hours of beautiful and gory gameplay) using the Ubisoft subscription. It was available since release day for $15/mo. I will probably do the same when Far Cry 6 comes out! As mentioned, this is enjoyed best to try games you wouldn’t normally pay full price for.

See the last tip for even more savings on video games!

Enjoy “Free” Games From Memberships

Both Xbox and PlayStation offer subscription options that allow you to play selected games every day, some new, some old, some remastered, lots of classics. Ever since Xbox came out with their Game Pass I’ve been trying many different games that I wouldn’t normally pay for, all for $10 a month. Xbox has the Ultimate Game Pass where you can also play on PC for $15 a month.

Become a member of Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus to enjoy free games every month. If you already have a subscription to these services because you’re a passionate gamer, this is one of the additional perks that you can enjoy. They give you access to some of the latest multiplayer games that you can add to your library every month. This means you have a new game to play whenever Xbox or PlayStation releases similar games. Since these are free games, you don’t need to spend even a penny on them.

Just last night I went back to play The Maw on Halo 1 Remastered. Such an epic ending to an epic game. The Halo Master Chief Collection is available on Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox and PC. I’ve also been loving playing Sea of Thieves with my brother & friends.

How to Save Money on Video Games - Sea of Thieves

NGL these gaming subscriptions are like Spotify for video games. You will find all kinds of games you’ve never heard of to help retain your sanity during the pandemic. I trained my whole life to be locked-down playing video games! Aye!

Buy from G2A, Tons of Savings on Popular Video Games is a hub for video games sold at massive discounts. I’m serious. From retro games to the latest releases, it contains various games at affordable prices. There is hardly any online platform that can provide such huge discounts, they have weekly sales, and you often get a free random game through their loyalty awards (although I haven’t gotten one that I would actually play).

It bothers me that I only recently discovered this site when my friend Thomas wanted to play Stellaris. It was going for ~$40 in Steam last year but I was able to buy a Steam key for less than $10. They have tons of video games for all consoles. If you don’t have any specific game in mind, you can sort the games according to gamer reviews or get bundles. Alternatively, you can filter your search according to the discounts available. You can compare the prices with other gaming platforms to check why is such a great choice to buy games when money is tight.

Literally just last month I saved more than $100 getting Fallout 4 and Skyrim for VR. They were going for full price on Steam (these games are SO OLD NOW, wth). But when I checked them out on G2A I was able to grab a Steam key for both for ~$26.

How to Save Money on Video Games - G2A Marketplace

Make the Most of Video Game Bundles to Save Money

Bundles are usually for PC gamers. However, another excellent way to save money on video games is buying used consoles and getting a few games as a part of the bundle (like at G2A).

Popular options include Craigslist or Offerup. Kind of funny but also kind of sad, but the reality is there are lots of parents out there selling their kid’s video games for getting in trouble lol.

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Sorry kid, you should’ve thought about your games before getting grounded!

Use Steam for Seasonal Sales

The obvious one for PC gamers. If you are not part of Steam but want to try PC gaming, register immediately. You don’t even need a state-of-the-art machine. Steam sells popular games at full price, but with seasonal discounts. They very often have some great sales that are tough to resist. There are lots of video games from all kinds of developers. Steam is the Library of Alexandria of video games. Apart from unknown names, you can also find familiar games available at lower prices. This system allows you to play various games without spending a fortune.

If only you are patient enough to wait for the seasonal/Holiday sales.

Renting instead of Buying Games

The trailer of a new Xbox game interests you so much that you plan to buy it immediately after its release. What if the game doesn’t meet your expectations? It would mean you spent heavily on a game that you didn’t enjoy playing after a couple of days. And that’s why you should rent the game first instead of buying it straight away. Sure, you can buy it later if you want to add it to your collection. But don’t buy it immediately. It’s best to spend $3 renting it rather than spending $60.

Not gonna live, I haven’t done this since Red Box, but always an option to consider if you’re tight on money.

Trade or Sell Your Old Games

Retailers like Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon allow you to sell your old games for cash or store credit. However, they don’t have selling or trading options for digital downloads. Although you won’t get a price close to the game’s original price, you can still accumulate the money you get and buy your favorite game the next year. Amazon keeps a tab of the games you purchased in the past and allows you to send them back for store credit. Suppose you get approximately $200 for six games; that’s still a good amount to buy a brand-new game.

I personally don’t trade or sell video games mostly because if I really like a game and somehow ended up with a physical copy, I would rather keep it for the sentimental value! This doesn’t mean other’s are like me though, there are tons of people looking to trade or sell games, especially the ones that are hard to find.

The Mamajam of Saving Money on Video Games

This is one that I tend to forget because sometimes I see really good deals that I don’t want to miss out on and I hit “Purchase” before I can control my emotions.

If you haven’t purchased gift cards from resellers, you should probably do it now. These sites get flooded with gift cards after the holidays when people get gift cards for stores they don’t shop at or simply would prefer to have cash instead. We all know everyone is strapped for cash right now!

The beauty of this is you can buy gift cards at a discount in combination with other sales or discounted options I previously mentioned. For example, if you made up your mind on paying full price for a game through the Microsoft Store, you can buy a $50 Xbox gift card for $44 (12% off). Or you can buy a Steam gift card at a discount, then buy a game in Steam during a seasonal sale. Discounts on discounts!

Use my Raise discount code & get an extra $5 off on your first gift card:

Raise Discount Code: pvillalpa1

If you don’t want to commit to a whole month of Xbox game pass, or you want to spend less, you can also buy a 7-day Xbox Game Pass for $1. That’s hard to beat! But you can actually beat this too, by game sharing with someone else!

Now that you know the best ways to save money on video games, start trying these tricks right away. Remember that renting, subscriptions, and trading on one side and the joy of getting your hands on your favorite game is on the other side. If you can’t help but buy a game, don’t hesitate to use and together. There’s a reason why I think is the absolute best way to save money on video games. The incredible discounts may tempt you into buying more than one game. Therefore, hold your horses and keep your emotions under control. Or don’t.

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Unlimited savings! 😍

What about you? Do you have any tips on how to save money on video games?