Are you a gamer dreaming of turning it into a career? You can learn how to become a professional gamer and make a living. There are many different ways to become a professional gamer. However, all the different avenues require the same basic steps.
Maybe you want to become a gamer to avoid the nine-to-five grind. Getting paid to play your favorite game seems like a dream. If you’re ready to turn your dream into a reality, use the steps below to learn how to become a professional gamer.
Become a Professional Gamer in 10 Steps
Step #1 – Figure Out What Motivates You
Before you can become a professional gamer, you have to figure out what you’re motivated by. Do you want to become a gamer for the competition? Are you trying to make money playing games? Maybe you want to contribute to a team.
When it comes to your motivation, this should be well-defined. Many professional gamers are motivated by fame, the cash, and being a part of a team. If you love the game you play, it will make things much easier.
Step #2 – Choose Your Game
You can choose an up-and-coming game you hope will become popular or a well-established game. Either way, you want to choose a game you will love. Some of the top games for professional gamers include:
- Dota 2
- League of Legends
- StarCraft II
- StarCraft: Brood War
- Call of Duty
- The Halo Series
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Warcraft III
- World of Warcraft
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
- World of Tanks
- Madden NFL
- Heroes of Newerth
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Street Fighter IV
- Team Fortress 2
There are many other games you can choose and you can even choose multiple games if you prefer.
With an established game, you will already have the support in place you need. However, it’s tougher for newcomers to break through.
Choosing an up-and-coming game means you can help with the game excavation and advancing the meta. However, it also comes with some risk as it may not make it on the competitive scene.
Step #3 – Become a Part of a Community
While professional gaming is very much about individual talent, it’s also very much a community. It’s important to become a part of a community to learn about the game. You want to immerse yourself in the game and the community. Enjoying the company of other players is a big part of gaming.
The community can keep you invested in the game long-term and help you become a better player. Joining forums, message boards, and YouTube channels can help you interact with the gaming community.
Step #4 – Get the Right Equipment
Any old commuter won’t cut it in the gaming industry. You want to get professional gaming equipment so you’ll be set up for success. If your computer is too slow or you have cheap equipment, it could make it harder to play your chosen game at the highest level.
You want to set up your home gaming area with the same mouse, computer, and other equipment you might use on-stage in competitions. Consistently in hardware matters. Pro gaming event organizers will choose components that won’t cause lag or any kind of erratic frame rates. You should do the same. Learn what other professionals use and invest in excellent equipment for your home.
Step #5 – Practice
The most important thing any professional gamer needs to do is practice. You want to learn your game so well that you become a complete expert.
Start by mastering the mechanics. Look at the game-specific skills you need to develop and practice them quite a bit. Whether you’re trying to learn how to be super accurate or deliver a final blow, make sure you practice the mechanics like crazy.
It’s also important to research the game thoroughly. The better you know the layers and the strategies, the better you can play. Make sure you understand your role in many different situations.
Watch top players in your game. This will help you pick up tricks and develop better skills. Live streams are a great way to learn your game and develop good habits.
Step #6 – Advance in Your Game
Becoming a professional gamer means you need to advance in your game. You need to really want to win in every aspect of the competition. Getting to the top of the leaderboards is important. You need to compete well in all situations and learn how to win as much as possible.
Learn the different levels of competition in your game. You might start by succeeding in public games before going into matchmaking, leagues, and tournaments. Advancing through the ranks can help you become a much better player and more successful.
Step #7 – Join a Team
After developing a good reputation, you will need to find a team. Many teams welcome serious competitors and help you advance to the next level of gameplay.
If you become very good, you might have a team find you. If not, you might have to try out for a team. There are forums and websites that can help you find the right team for you.
Step #8 – Compete
Once you’ve become really good at your game, it’s time to compete and win some cash. You want to compete in tournaments and start finding more competitive lobbies. The better your opponents, the better player you will become.
Step #9 – Get Sponsored
The final level of becoming a professional gamer is getting sponsored. If you win at live events, you will get a nice big check. However, this is not a guarantee of steady income.
Professional gamers can earn good money from sponsorship deals. Bigger banks will likely pay you to use their gear, wear their merchandise, and even mention them on your live stream.
Step #10 – Start Streaming
Another way professional gamers make a steady income is through streaming. It’s a big-time source of income for most gamers today. Whether you’re watched by five people or 5,000, screaming can help you grow your audience and your income.
You can work on creating a Twitch or YouTube following. Either way, you can earn money streaming as you play games. This can help you land good sponsorships, too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Professional Gamer
How much can I earn as a professional gamer?
Since this is not a common job, it’s hard to really pinpoint your salary. It will depend on the type of game you play and how you play it. The average professional gamer will earn around $4,000 per month, however. This doesn’t include tournament prize money. Instead, it’s sponsorships and streaming.
If you win a tournament or place high, you could take home a big check. Some gamers make more than others, but you can continually grow your following to earn more money as a professional gamer.
The top 100 professional gamers will likely make more than $1 million per year before taxes. They will make quite a bit from ad revenue and from a few other income avenues.
If you can become a top 200 to 500 gamer, you can earn about $300K per year before taxes. Those in the top 2,000 professional gamers can still earn around $80K per year before taxes.
How do professional gamers make money?
If you become a streamer, you will provide your audience with content. They will donate to you and you will make money from ad revenue and affiliate programs.
Twitch and YouTube provide the best chance to make money in this scenario. Most gamers will earn 50% of the subscription fee paid by subscribers. You can get higher splits if you get a larger following. With YouTube, you will earn ad revenue if you have a big enough following.
Viewers can also donate to you on both platforms in different ways. With YouTube, they can donate in the chat and you can make a pretty nice living off just donations. However, most streamers will make money for ad revenue, too.
A gamer’s biggest source of income is their ad revenue at about 55% of total earnings. Sponsorships and Twitch subscriptions both account for about 13% of professional gamer’s income. Prize money accounts for another 11% and an actual salary accounts for about 8%. This doesn’t factor in donations, which can really add up if you have a sizable following.
How many hours a day will a professional gamer play?
For newcomers, it might be necessary to spend up to 12 hours a day playing your game. Many gamers give up their social life to become professional gamers. However, other games, after they become more established, might only play for three to five hours per day.
If you want to become a professional gamer, expect to dedicate quite a bit of time to your game. Use the steps above and work on building your following on social media and streaming platforms. This can be a lucrative career if you become a top gamer.