Getting a job in the games industry is a dream of so many people. Think about how many hours we play games, the thought of doing it for a living is something many have considered. Getting paid to play games.
Getting your start in the games industry can be challenging, especially if you are newer, but becoming a games tester could not only be your dream job, but also a great way to start in the industry. Testers play a crucial role in ensuring the quality of games before their market release.
Jump on board this Tech Educators ultimate guide as we walk you through the steps to become a games tester in the UK, including how much you could earn and what skills you need.
Understand the Role of a Games Tester
As you may have guessed, the role of a games tester isn't just to play the game and make sure it doesn't crash. The role of a tester is to asses the games before their release and this means reporting bugs and issues to the game developers, and ensures quality and functionality.
Reporting and replication of issues is imperative, and understanding how to spot any glitches or bugs and then report them properly, is top of the skills. It means the role is repetitive and requires immense attention to detail, resilience and patience. Although a games tester job is rewarding in many ways, it is not stress-free or straightforward by any means.
Gain Relevant Skills and Education
While formal education isn't typically required to become a game tester, employers may look for relevant qualifications or experience. You may want to consider taking relevant courses in computer science, IT, game design, or related fields. One course we highly recommend (of course) is our Unity Gaming Development Bootcamp. In our Unity course, you not only learn how to code and build games, but also the role of testing what you've built, and trial testing other students' games too. So you will have many of the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours employers will be looking for.
Soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving, time management, and teamwork, are essential as they enable you to work with other testers and crucially feed back the relevant detail and information to developers.
The UK government is currently looking into an entry level apprenticeship pathway and what the occupational pathway for a Level 3, or Level 5 accreditation would like. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can look over the Level 7 accreditation. This is a management level qualification though, so less relevant for an entry level position.
Build your Work Portfolio
Getting started as a games tester can be challenging. It is crucial to begin with a job search on the web to know what employers need and highlight your qualifications, skills and any additional experience that could be relevant.
This could include time spent playing games or software testing. You could start by playing games, identifying the issues, and reporting them to publishers or developers.
Network with Industry Professionals
Networking is important in any industry and that is the same in the games industry too. Spending time networking with professionals currently working in the industry can increase your chances of finding work and open doors to new opportunities. Get to know the industry, attend games conferences, and talk to people. Go and participate in playtesting sessions to meet the developers and other game players to gain insights and feedback.
Apply for Games Testing Jobs
Once you've acquired your skills, built up your portfolio, done your networking, the next step is to start searching and applying for game tester jobs, whether it's for in-house roles or with external companies. You can find game testing jobs through various platforms such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and specialist gaming sector job boards.
If getting a career in the games industry is your passion and you are looking for an exciting career, games testing could be an excellent fit.
Whilst it may seem simple to follow these steps; understand the role you're getting into, gain relevant skills and education, build your work portfolio, network with industry professionals, and apply for game testing jobs, there will be many ups and downs throughout your journey. Remember, it might take some time to pass through each of the stages, but with patience, persistence, and passion, you can get there.