Information & Communication Technology
Games testers play computer, video or mobile games many times to spot any issues that need to be fixed before the game goes on sale.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Games Tester do?
Games testers play computer, video or mobile games many times to spot any bugs and mistakes that need to be fixed before the game goes on sale.
Testing is a vital part of producing a computer game. As well as finding and recording programming faults (bugs), you would also play the role of the game’s first public user. You would report on its playability and recommend improvements.
As a games tester, you would:
- play games in detail and in as many ways as possible
- test different levels and versions of a game
- check that the game performs as the designer intended
- compare the game with other similar games
- note problems and suggest improvements
- try to work out what is causing a problem
- try to recreate the problem, recording the steps you took
- report bugs using quality management software
- check for issues such as grammar or spelling mistakes.
Key skills and interests
To become a games tester, you would need:
- excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- a passion for playing computer games
- an ability to play consistently at advanced levels
- good written and spoken communication skills
- an understanding of quality assurance processes
- the ability to work well as part of a team
- the ability to work to strict deadlines.
Working hours and conditions
You would often work long and unsocial hours (such as evenings, weekends and public holidays) in order to meet deadlines, particularly when getting near to a game’s release.
The work is office-based and you would spend most of your time at a computer.
Games testers may work remotely, often from their own homes, and often part-time alongside other jobs. Contract or project work is common.
How to become an Games Tester?
Entry Level Education
Game playing skills and knowledge of the games market will be more important to employers than formal qualifications for this role. However, some knowledge and skills in programming may give you an advantage when looking for work, as will experience of using databases, which are used for bug reports.
Attending games events, trade shows and expos, and keeping yourself up to date with industry news through gaming magazines and websites can help you keep your knowledge up-to-date.
Another source of employment opportunities may be dedicated forums on social media sites, particularly ones linked to professional bodies, games development companies and games publishers, where you can make contact with people working in the industry, seek advice and hear about jobs before they are advertised.
Experience in games retail is another way of developing useful background knowledge and an understanding of game players' needs.
Having a degree in games design, games development or computing can be helpful, especially if you want to progress into programming, games design or games producing.
Employment of workers involved in the design, development and testing of computer games generally is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
The rapid growth of online and mobile technology, and the strong appetite for entertainment in these areas, requires new applications continually. These games or apps need to be tested before public release.