Make Money Gaming: 5 Games You Can Get Paid to Play

Joel Lee Updated 12-11-2018

If you could get paid to play video games, would you do it? It’s definitely possible—thousands of people do it every year—but your options are pretty limited and it may not be as fun as you think. Still interested? Keep reading.


Before we begin, let’s make a distinction between indirect and direct sources of income from video games. Indirect income doesn’t come from a particular game but outside activities that can be applied to any game, such as streaming or video game testing. Direct income comes directly from a particular game.

This article is about direct income. Here are some games that have elements of real money transaction built right into the game’s core design, allowing you to walk away from a gaming session with a few more dollars in your pocket.

CS:GO, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2

Make Money Gaming: 5 Games You Can Get Paid to Play dota2 cosmetic items lich mantle

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) was Valve’s chosen franchise to spearhead their “cosmetic item market” approach to revenue, who then took it to new levels in Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). One could say that Valve’s execution of the cosmetic item market idea really drove the success of these games.

In short: cosmetic items (called “skins”) make you look different in-game. Some items look cooler than others, and some items are so cool that players are willing to pay money to acquire them. By engaging in item trading (also known as “skin trading”), you can exchange the items you have (earned by playing the game itself) with another player for real dollars. This is all permitted—even encouraged—by Valve.


Make Money Gaming: 5 Games You Can Get Paid to Play csgo steam community market item trading

This is done through the Steam Community Market, which is an official marketplace run by Valve where you can put cosmetic items up for sale and earn Steam Wallet funds.

CS:GO, Dota 2, and Team Fortress 2 are the most popular Valve games, but the Market supports dozens of other games: PUBG, Rust, Black Squad, Unturned, and more.

Note: Steam Wallet funds cannot be withdrawn, so whatever money you earn can only be spent on Steam games or other items for sale on the Steam Community Market.


Make Money Gaming: 5 Games You Can Get Paid to Play csgo bitskins item trading

If you do want to trade skins for real-life cash, you can use a third-party site like BitSkins (withdrawal by PayPal, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bank Wires) or StoneFire (withdrawal by PayPal and Bank Wires). These sites take a percentage cut of every transaction. Third-party sites can be risky, so exercise caution when trading!

Skin markets like these are one of the easiest ways to earn money by playing games.

Second Life

Second Life is a uniquely social MMORPG that debuted way back in 2003. Does anyone even talk about it anymore? Hasn’t it fallen off the radar? To my surprise, not only is Second Life still going strong, but it has a strong player-centric economy from which you can make real money.


It all revolves around the in-game currency, Linden Dollars (L$). Players can earn L$ by engaging in various activities in the game. Some activities are passive, such as sitting on camping chairs, while others are active and require certain skills, such as creating virtual content and trading virtual real estate.

Some players would rather save time and spend cash for L$, so you can sell your surplus L$ to other players on the LindeX Currency Exchange for real money. The exchange rate changes based on supply and demand, but tends to hover around L$ 250 for every $1 USD. With time and perseverance, it’s possible to make a profit on the Exchange.

Entropia Universe

Make Money Gaming: 5 Games You Can Get Paid to Play entropia universe

There’s another MMORPG in the same vein as Second Life that’s built on a real cash economy: Entropia Universe, formerly known as Project Entropia. Also launched back in 2003, this game isn’t a pure social world like Second Life—there are actual gameplay elements (e.g. hunting, missions, crafting, etc.) so it does feel more like a traditional MMORPG than Second Life.


The in-game currency is called Project Entropia Dollars (PED) and exists at a fixed exchange rate of 10 PED per $1 USD. What’s unique about Entropia Universe is that PED can be directly withdrawn into a bank account, no middleman services necessary.

In a very real way, Entropia Universe is the closest thing you’ll find to a game whose economy is inherently connected to the value of real-world money. But whether the game is fun enough to warrant the effort? Only you can decide.

Other Ways to Get Paid to Play Games

It must be said: regardless of which of these games you decide to play, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually make a profit on your time—and an even smaller chance that you’ll earn more than minimum wage.

Want to make money playing games? You’ll have to sink a lot of hours in, which can easily turn fun gameplay into hard work. You might hear the occasional story of a player who earns thousands of dollars per month, but they are the exception.

Are there any other games out there that allow players to make money from gameplay? Note that there are several other ways to make money playing games, including streaming, Let’s Plays, podcasts, esports, and more.

Interested in other ways to make extra cash? Check out how you can make more money with Google Rewards How to Make More Money With Google Opinion Rewards Google Opinion Rewards lets you earn money to spend in the Google Play Store. Use these tips to get the most out of it! Read More and legit survey websites that offer incentives 10 Legit Survey Websites Where You Can Earn Extra Cash You can earn extra cash by participating in online surveys. Here are several legitimate online survey sites that actually pay out. Read More .

Related topics: Make Money Online, Strategy Games.

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    June 6, 2019 at 3:26 am

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  2. Nathen
    November 13, 2018 at 8:30 am

    No mention of any blockchain games where you can earn tokens and crypto for playing?
    I play Steem Monsters on the Steem blockchain and its awesome fun with battles, buying and selling cards and collecting, and all the while making rewards. Very addictive. I'd certainly advise people to look beyond the obvious candidates in this article ifnthey are serious about being rewarded for their gaming.
    Steem blockchain is where its happening!

  3. An Ex SL Player
    September 8, 2017 at 4:30 am

    I had a whole rant about this stupid game, and yes people, it's a game with a human behind the screen just like WOW, Destiny, GTA 5... geez

    Rather than visually shove my opinion down your throat and burnt through you eyes, spend your money on taking care of you, not a computer generated avatar. It's fake like the Kardasian family and no amount of time, money, reasoning or excuses is going to change that.

  4. Corporation Master
    June 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm is a social, political, economic simulation game where you can convert your Virtual Currency into Real Money. Each player has an opportunity to work, train, trade goods, set up companies, build corporations, gain military ranks, think about unique strategies and much more. You can also enter the arena to show your power, fight with your opponents and receive bonuses. Payout is through Paypal.

  5. veronica
    March 10, 2017 at 5:31 pm

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    January 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    dime mas jugando games dime deniro

  7. EdwardoPef
    January 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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    October 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Whoever is reading this, EVE online is not a game where you can get money out of. If you are looking for games where you can get paid in REAL CASH, then the other ones are for you; although it will be very difficult and long until you get a return. However, EVE online's cash revolves only in game, you CANNOT convert it into real money. All the news or articles you see about people losing $300 or more is nothing more than in game items that they use their TIME to grind for them. They did not lose any REAL CASH only their TIME to get them; and the only way they know how to convert them into $$$$ is because of how much the PLEX are. Or they actually did spend real $$$$ for PLEX like idiots when they SHOULD know they can just receive the item in game. DO NOT BE FOOL by EVE online as a game where you can make REAL CASH. As an avid gamer and grinder EVE online PLEX is no different than Runescape membership bonds. You buy the bonds to become a member in Runescape and PLEX in EVE online to be able to access all the ships/markets, aka you became a member. I am getting sick and tired of seeing EVE in the articles where you can make real money. I am a grinder and I know how much time I put into all my games and EVE = Runescape. Just the same as trying to convert the game's currency in real $$$$, you will get ban. AND like each other, you can always make a free account. Just please stop putting EVE online as a real cash economy game because it is not. You will never receive money, ever, playing EVE; perhaps in a couple of years when you become a head of some massive corporation(s), but other than that you will never receive any income. I am only here to help inform others who are looking for RCE games, not trying to flame on anyone, just getting the message out there. Have a great day!

  9. Nathan Andre
    August 11, 2016 at 3:10 am

    how can i start playing these games i want to play it and earn cash while playing

  10. MiaJones
    June 28, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Interesting post . I personally use Earn Honey . You can also try it ..

  11. Hannah
    May 23, 2016 at 4:31 am

    you can also make money on imvu lots of money

  12. Hasan
    March 30, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Virtual game currency trading is actually becoming a big business.

    I am a student at university and I spend 2 hour/day to make 700-800$ every month.

    All i'm doing is playing one of my favourite MMORPG game(which used to be my fav actually)
    and spending 2 hour a day trading, selling/buying stuff. And which is very fun for me.

    Of course I used to make a lot less than that. And now you can earn even more than $1k a month if you good at virtual currency making.

    As a side note: I'm neither running any bot company nor using any third-party software to cheat on games. As we all know those companies are already making millions.

    Guess what? This is all I have to say and I am not going to give you any scam link after my comment.

    • radit
      April 18, 2016 at 4:14 am

      wow dats very nice, sory for my bad english, can u tell me what game r u playing? i want to be one game with u, maybe u can guide me or something :P

      • Je
        May 20, 2016 at 9:03 am

        Hey hasan ! Can u share with me wha mmorpg that can give u alot of bucks ?

      • Kristoffer
        June 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        dude can you tell me too what game you played cuz i don't have nothing else to do with the computer only playing league T_T

    • eeeh
      June 29, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Yeah, right. You're not gonna leave any scam link, but not gonna provide the name of the game either.

    • juan p
      March 1, 2017 at 3:32 am

      What Game? Rune Scape?

  13. Aakriti Basu
    January 13, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Very informative. Nice to read it. I also recommended you Bulmen. This is a site where you have earn money with some easy ways like taking surveys or clicking links.. Have fun and enjoy earning money..

  14. mik
    December 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Entropia good game if you are rich ... u can not win money but u are very fun ^^ if u are like lose money =)

  15. Aakriti Basu
    December 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    This is just awesome! I had a dream of creating something like this myself .I use Bulmen to earn money from home by completing surveys.You can also try it. Good luck!

    • radit
      April 18, 2016 at 4:16 am

      bulmen only work in india, :( geez i want to try it too

  16. Aakriti Basu
    December 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    This is just awesome! I had a dream of creating something like this myself , but i got stuck pretty fast. It's works just great. I really hope this will break through. Good luck!

  17. Anonymous
    July 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    If your not an elite gamer or don't have nice breasts to show off on Twitch there is another way you can making money video gaming.  Check an app called "Big Time" by a company called Winr Games.  I've made a few hundred dollars playing their games for free.

    [Broken Link Removed]

  18. Anonymous
    February 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Do you really get real money?

    • Joel
      March 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Yes, it's possible to cash out in real dollars with Second Life and Entropia Universe. Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and EVE Online can also net you real cash if you go through unofficial trade channels (real money transactions).

  19. Anonymous
    February 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Sorry but those games look boring.....

  20. timiee
    December 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    you forgot marketglory, although its a whole different concept than the ones you mentioned, you can earn cash here to:

  21. weewitzki
    December 11, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Game Money, Paid to play, Play Game Earn Money ->

  22. Ricardo
    November 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Well, i'll just leave this here.
    No money invested, I already got 110€, and gold value rises everyday ;)
    Hope you like and I can guide you if you need it.

  23. msindie
    November 29, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Been playing MarketGlory for few days. Feel free to check it out

  24. James
    November 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Wurm Online is a Sandbox game where the ingame currency silver and gold are Real cash as well. You can buy 10silver from the actual website for 16euro, you can also sell anything in the game including your account on the website for real cash. There is an unlimited ftp where you can get all skills to 20, to go beyond that you need to get premium. You make bricks or mortar or other bulk crafting items and sell them in game for silver thus paying for your premium time and a land deed if you want it.. or sell the silver on the website.

  25. Daniel
    November 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You can add Dofus too :)

    • Rook
      February 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      In what way? Are you referring to the opportunity to maintain the game without paying the subscription fee?

  26. Mal
    October 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Play Strategy Game Online on MarketGlory and earn Money !

  27. chado
    October 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Try out this online economy game. $5 or $10 can get you good in game investments and you can either withdraw your profits or grow.

    • rafiq
      May 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

      chado I followed your link now im paying you taxes i hope your happy

  28. Matt S
    June 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    You can still sell accounts. Not great money in it, though. Multiple max-levels in World of Warcraft usually net just a few hundred dollars, if that.

    • Corby
      June 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      WoW accounts are legally owned by Blizzard, not the player, and they do not allow selling accounts, therefore, despite the fact that people do it, it is technically illegal.

  29. Ohwellz
    June 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I can't believe you didn't mention League of Legends or WoW.

    • Joel L
      June 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      I'm not aware of any way to make direct income from those games. That excludes tournaments, streaming, etc. Actual monetary gain from gameplay. If there's something like that in LoL or WoW, please let me know!