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Gaming can be an expensive hobby — with consoles around the $400 mark, gaming computers even higher Can You Really Get A Good Performing Gaming PC For Under $1000? Can You Really Get A Good Performing Gaming PC For Under $1000? For many the $1000 mark is an important cut-off. Computers under this are generally considered affordable, even “mainstream,” while those exceeding it are looked at as luxurious items. The average selling price for a PC... Read More , and new games costing $60 or more, it’s not hard to drop over $1,000 in a year on gaming. But gaming doesn’t have to be a bank-breaker. Using a few strategies will help you save hundreds on games, letting you spend your money in other important places — or for more games.

These five ways to save money on gaming will help keep you fed, clothed, and able to hang out with your friends in real life 5 Life Skills That Video Games Can Help You Develop 5 Life Skills That Video Games Can Help You Develop Video games can help you succeed at life. It's an uncommon opinion, especially in mainstream media, but it's true. Read More on occasion. Be sure to share your best gaming-related money-saving tips in the comments below, too!

Buy (and Sell) Used

This is an obvious one, but it can make a huge difference — if you’re buying a recently released game, you could save $10 or $20. If it’s been out for a while, you could save even more. It’s certainly possible to get PS4 and Xbox One titles for $15 or $20 if you look in the right places. eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist are all good places to start.

Taking this route requires some patience, as recently released games don’t tend to hit the used market very quickly, and it takes even longer for their prices to go down to a reasonable level. But this patience can be rewarded with significant savings. It’s tough, but it’s worth it!

used-games-console

After you’ve bought and played a used game, it’s a good idea to sell it to someone else — not only does it help to put money back in your pocket, but it helps other people save money on gaming, too. The same places that you would buy games are also great places to sell games 4 Ways To Sell Your Used Video Games With Ease 4 Ways To Sell Your Used Video Games With Ease Currently, with the newly announced Xbox One, there is a lot of talk about used games. Microsoft is talking about charging fees when a game is installed on more than one console, and obviously, this... Read More . You probably won’t make back all of that money, but even if you end up paying $20, that’s a great deal on a game.

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You can also buy that use gaming consoles. Used-game retailers often have good deals on consoles that come bundled with games, and you can also find great deals on owner-to-owner sites like Craigslist. If you buy from another owner, be sure to test the console before you take it.

Buy Bundles

This is mainly for the PC market, but game bundles Looking for Great Games at Pauper Prices? Score Some Game Bundles Looking for Great Games at Pauper Prices? Score Some Game Bundles Read More will also occasionally be available for consoles. Humble Bundles are a great example: they’re offered on a “pay-what-you-want” model, and you can support a charity with part of your purchase. What more could you ask for? At the time of this writing, the Humble Bundle includes Resident Evil 5, Ultra Street Fighter IVDmC: Devil May CryResident Evil 4, and several Resident Evil expansions. To get all of them, you have to pay $15 or more. That’s an amazing deal.

humble-bundle

You can use the /r/GameBundles subreddit to get tips on the best bundle deals, and Indie Kings updates their list of game bundles on a regular basis, too. If you’re looking to buy a new console, you can also find some great bundles from retailers, though you’re probably better off buying a used console from another owner.

Watch for Game Deals

If you know where to look, you can find some really great offers on games. There are a few sites that keep track of video game sales, like CheapAssGamer, DailyGameDeals, and /r/GameDeals. Kotaku’s deals tag is a good thing to keep an eye on, too — it includes sales on other tech items, but games and consoles do show up regularly.

daily-game-deals

If you’re a Steam user (why are you still using Steam Why I’m No Longer Buying Games On Steam [Opinion] Why I’m No Longer Buying Games On Steam [Opinion] Steam is now approaching 10 years old. Its impact has been undeniable. Millions of gamers enjoy the service’s seamless community services, low prices and excellent selection. I have been one of them – until now.... Read More ?), you can also find really good deals on Steam games, including sales and bundles. Good Old Games also has occasional sales that you can check out via their website or their client, Galaxy. And don’t forget to check IsThereAnyDeal.com, where you can search for deals on any game or console you’re looking for.

If you desperately want a new game, buying it around the holidays can be a good way to save; big stores like Best Buy and Target often offer good sales around the holidays. Even if the prices of new games don’t drop very much, you might be able to nab a gift card along with your purchase, making it a better deal.

Get Free Games from Memberships

Both Playstation Plus and Xbox Live Gold Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Let’s see which provides the best bang for your buck. Read More offer free games each month with the subscription service, which you’ve probably subscribed to anyway because you need it to play multiplayer games. Don’t miss out on the free games — check each month to see what’s on offer. There are rarely big, major games, but you can pick up a few here and there and you’ll get a lot of money’s worth of free games.

xbox-live-gold

ResogunInfamous: First LightInjustice: Gods Among UsTransistorMetal Gear Solid V: Ground ZeroesRocket League, and Super Meat Boy have all been available on PlayStation Plus over the past couple years, and Xbox Live Gold has offered similarly popular (and cult-popular) games.

These subscriptions also often have discounts on full-price games, so keep an eye out for games that are on your to-play list. They won’t usually be cheaper than buying a used copy, but you never know!

Trade Your Old Games

When you’re done with a game, you could sell it and hope to get a good price, or you could trade it for another game with no cash involved. That’s what sites like Play ‘N’ Swap, /r/Gameswap, and Title Trader are for. Go out onto the forums, find someone who’s looking for what you have, and set up a trade. 99Gamers also has a similar system that uses points for currency.

99gamers-battlefield

People offer trades on Craigslist all the time, so that’s another good place to look. And if you aren’t having any luck online, try setting up a trading system with your friends — if you both buy one game and then trade when you’re done, you’ll both get two games for the price of one. Getting a lot of people involved will make it an even better deal.

I’d recommend against trading in your games to stores Trading In Your Video Games – Is It Really Worth It? Trading In Your Video Games – Is It Really Worth It? Does trading in a game really make sense for you and your wallet? Or are you leaving money on the table by handing your used games over to a retailer? Read More like GameStop. While it does save money, the prices you get are rarely even close to what you might be able to get selling your game online or taking advantage of a game-swap website. If you absolutely can’t wait to get a new game, you could trade in some old ones to bring the cost down, but it’s probably a better idea to sell them and put the cash toward the new game.

More Savings = More Money for Games!

So what are you going to do with the hundreds of dollars that you save on video games over the next year with these tips? Buy more games, of course! Or you could do something responsible like start investing How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner How to Start Investing in Stocks Even if You're a Total Beginner Entering the world of investing isn't easy, but thanks to new algorithm-based online tools you can get involved even if you're a beginner. Here are six of the best. Read More . No matter what you’re going to do, enjoy your savings — and your gaming!

How do you save money on games? Which websites have you found to be the best for buying and selling used games? Have you ever traded games before? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

  1. Ron Ablang
    November 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I like Justin Pot's idea. I basically do the same thing. I'm a little behind right now. I still have the first Xbox and still no HDTV.

    • Dann Albright
      November 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Yeah, if you have the ability to resist the brand-new games, I think that's a fantastic way to go. It just takes some patience and self-control. Especially TWO generations behind! That's awesome.

      • Ron Ablang
        November 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        Well, to be honest. I haven't played w/ it in years but if I were to jump in again, I would probably do the Xbox 360 next.

  2. Justin Pot
    November 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Personally, I try to stay at least one generation behind, games are basically free at that point. Some people may find this extreme, but there's one other benefit: I've got five years of critical context to work out which titles are worth my time.

    • Dann Albright
      November 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Yeah, I can definitely see how that would save a huge amount of money. I get a little too excited about new releases to be able to do that, though. :-) But having a lot of time to figure out which games you'll enjoy is a great benefit of that. I admire your discipline!

      • Justin Pot
        November 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        It's some combination of discipline and a complete lack of awareness as to which games are coming out soon. Seriously, I've no idea.

        • frankmcfuzz
          November 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm

          I envy that lack of awareness. I can't go five minutes without getting my face blasted full of "WOAH FALLOUT 4, IT'S GOING TO BE THE BEST GAME EVER DON'T YOU KNOW, HEY WHAT ABOUT ASSASSIN'S CREED, IT'S LIKE LAST YEAR BUT IT'S GOT A DIFFERENT SUBTITLE!!!!"

          The loudest games are unfortunately the most played; though not always the best. This list could consist of 1 "genius tip" which reads "Don't buy Triple A games because they're never any good".

        • Justin Pot
          November 9, 2015 at 3:27 am

          Yeah I don't really read gaming news or anything, other than watching Zero Punctuation, but all he ever says is that games suck so it doesn't make me want to buy things.

        • Dann Albright
          November 10, 2015 at 4:24 am

          Yeah, I can see how that would make it easier to resist temptation!

        • Dann Albright
          November 10, 2015 at 4:25 am

          Frank, I wrote an article a while ago about the problems with AAA gaming, and for the most part, I agree with you. There are some great AAA games, but the best titles right now are smaller indie games. And that makes it easier to save some money.

        • frankmcfuzz
          November 11, 2015 at 12:45 am

          I might go read that article; sometimes I feel like the only person who realizes that every game being almost identical (sandbox, white male gruff-voiced protagonist, stuffed with meaningless collectibles and many craftable fanny packs) in order to sell well isn't the medicine that the gaming industry needs to cure its current sickness.

        • Dann Albright
          November 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm

          If you haven't found it yet, here's the link to that article: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/big-game-studios-killing-video-game-industry/

  3. m-p {3}
    November 5, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I usually have a good backlog of games to play so I rarely purchase a game on release day. I focus on games I already started, and will buy the game later on for cheap with all the DLCs bundled with it.

    • Dann Albright
      November 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Yeah, buying DLC individually as they come out can be a pain, and it's much easier to get a special edition when it releases later. It's usually a lot cheaper, and the bugs are worked out. That's a big advantage to keeping a backlog—I hadn't really thought of it that way before. Thanks for your comment!

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