Gaming On The Cheap: A Player’s Guide To Saving Money

Video gaming is an awesome hobby, but it can be expensive. New games cost around $60, and even then you don’t always get the full experience. Developers and publishers push microtransactions onto us, urging us to pay for extra for new game items and levels. It sucks, but many of us submit to it, and so these games companies repeat this pesky practice. They win, we lose, especially when we feel the pinch in our pockets.

Still, there are ways to play games on the cheap. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

Buy second-hand

Not an innovative idea, but it makes sense. You don’t have to buy the latest games as soon as they hit the market. Wait a couple of months, and they will start coming down in price. Gamestop, Walmart, and Amazon are just three of the places where you can grab a bargain if you’re prepared to wait. You can also part-exchange your games at high-street games stores, so while you won’t get full value for your old games, you will still have something to put towards playing something new.

Rent games

By paying a small subscription fee, you can sign up to some of the game rental sites listed on All Game Rentals. With thousands of titles to choose from, including most of the new releases, you can play as many games as you can depending on the service and membership package you go for. There are usually no late fees on rental sites either, so you can keep hold of your chosen game for as long as you want.

Play games to completion

Be honest. How many games do you have that haven’t been completed? The reason why you haven’t finished them is probably because you keep buying something new to play. Our advice is this. Make it a rule to not buy a new game unless you have finished the game you are currently playing. Admittedly, this doesn’t work with those games you can play forever, such as Fifa and Call of Duty (when you play online), but with those single player titles you own, get to the end game before you pick something else up.

Play games for free

There are loads of ways you can play games for free. On your console, smartphone and tablet, you can download free games from the app store. Admittedly, you might be pushed into paying real money to access certain benefits, but this is usually optional. There are also free games online, with sites such as Arkadium and Drifted. From simple arcade games to driving games, these titles aren’t comparable to big-name releases, but they are free to play, and often quite addictive. You can also download top MMORPGs online, such as Neverwinter and Runescape, and these free titles will probably last you a lifetime!

Go retro

Don’t forget gaming of yesteryear. There are probably loads of games titles you never played when you were younger, so why not pick up an older console? From Shenmue on the Dreamcast to Goldeneye on the N64, you are bound to find something worth playing. Some older games are now collector’s items, so you may have to pay a little more for them, but there are still thousands of titles across the entire console range that will cost you next to nothing. You might also consider buying the ‘new’ Playstation Classic; the PS1 in miniature form. Preloaded with 20 games, you can play titles such as Wild Arms and Final Fantasy VII for just under $100.

Download Steam

If you’re a PC gamer, you will already recognise the value of Steam. Download the Steam client, and you then have access to thousands of budget and mainstream titles. Newer titles are not cheap, but there are sales operating all the time, so if you wait a while, you will eventually be able to play something at a rock bottom price.

Check video game forums

You aren’t the only one on the lookout for cheap games. Video game forums, such as Cheapassgamer, are populated by other gamers looking for a bargain. With a strong community to connect with, you can benefit from the wisdom of others when looking for something cheap to play. Ensure you join in too, letting other gamers know of the cheap deals you have found.


Gaming is an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t always have to be. Let us know what you think of our ideas, and if you know of any other ways to play games on the cheap, be sure to let us know. Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!


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