5 Hacks to Save on Video Games

I’m always appalled by how expensive it is just to buy video games nowadays. In fact, I’ll tell you a secret of mine. My brother was really jealous that I somehow managed to come back home every summer with nearly $3000 in my first few years of university. Of course, having a steady job which let me work once or twice a week during school and go all out during the summer was a factor, but I was never broke! In three years I had managed to save enough such that my family asked me to buy a car to help with commuting!

Remember, we want to target problem spending! The less we spend, the more we can save! The more money you can dedicate to working for you!

Here’s my top 5 secret ways that let me play games and not break the bank.

Hack #5: Borrow Games

Does anyone here remember that we used to be able to rent games via Blockbuster? No? Wait, that also cost money, but it’s cheaper… Wait, you don’t even know? …. Damn, I’m old.

Anyway! Borrowing games is one of the easiest and fastest way to play games for free! Not only that, you get to socialize with your friends! Exchange your games and your time to build up a rapport with your friends and play their awesome games! Everyone wins!

However, if you’re anti-social, public libraries are starting to add video games (and consoles) to their catalog. Just simply go in person or look on their online catalog! However, note that their selection might be small and if you do find console games, be prepared that the discs are not in pristine condition due to how the previous user treated them….

Hack #4: Buy Games Used

I don’t buy games at launch anymore. They’re expensive. What I do is go look in the used-game section of a game store. They’re usually 30% off the retail price. But sometimes I find that they still charge way too much! So I opt for a better solution.

That’s right. I use garage sales and classifieds. I scour sites like Kijiji to find garage sales. If I can’t find any garage sales, I’ll go find a game I want there instead. I have been able to find good games, classic games and even rare and retro games by going to such sales! Of course, the biggest caveat: your game condition might not be in the best of shape and you can’t even return it! User beware.

Hack #3: Wait for AWESOME DEALS!

I always wait for a big sale to happen! If there’s a bundle going out, I’ll be there. If a store is throwing a nice sale (like 50% off), I’ll be there. I also watch /r/gamedeals on Reddit to see if there’s a game I like on sale there. Oh and of course, watch out for the BIG STEAM SALE.

Fanatical.com - Big savings on official Steam games

My favorite sites to use are HumbleBundle, Fanatical and Steam. There are better places than Amazon (I use them for accessories) for games, but I trust HumbleBundle and Steam for my games. *Note: These links are my affiliate links which means I might get some fancy stuff in exchange for you buying stuff there.

I also look out for free games being given out from time to time. Steam is known to post free game sales occasionally and have free weekends (just for a taste of what’s available) with a huge discount on the game. HumbleBundle also pushes out occasional free games. And also, with the release of EpicGames store, they also give out free games on their platform every two weeks.

Hack #2: Flash games!

Before Indie Games became super popular and the trend, there was the one kind of developer that was the true indie. They made flash games. Flash is still somewhat popular, but due to how the most popular browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) don’t like it (for security reasons), I won’t be surprised if developers abandon the platform because of that in the near future. A lot of these are free. Since there are so many of them, their quality does vary by a lot, depending on the artist. They also tend to be a lot smaller in scale and are usually made by a very small team (at most 4-5 people if the development team isn’t a solo developer!) and are very portable.

Still, they’re A LOT of fun and I have put so many hours into it, especially while I was in high school. My recommendations are: ArmorGames, Kongregate, Newgrounds and JayIsGames.

Hack #1: FREE GAMES

You’d be surprised to know that there are a lot of high quality (Triple-A-Like) games made available to you for free! Just like Flash Games, there are a lot of games and they vary in quality. They are also much larger in scale. In fact, there are a lot of well-known Triple-A studios that do offer free games. Examples of this are Valve (Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Riot Games (League of Legends). My personal favorite free game so far is made by DigitalExtremes (also based in Canada, woo!), called Warframe. It’s about you being a space ninja and saving the solar system from evil bad guys. *Note: Another referral link here, but we both get free stuff (and you get a leg up just for starting, especially) if you sign up. Honestly though, I’m not getting much from this; you guys have the better deal. I just like recommending my favorite games. lol

I like my Valkyr. ;)
The amount of character customization in Warframe is astounding. Guess what? It’s FREE!

Steam is one of the many ways of finding them. Word of mouth is another big one. I’ve heard of League of Legends from a friend of mine way back when it started in 2009. Trust me, if someone offers a game for free; it will be played. I also did a Google search with the following keywords:

free MMORPG

free first person shooter

free RPG

free games (very obvious)

free _______________ (game genre here)

The key here is to use keywords with the main keyword: free. You can find thousands and thousands of games to play. Especially the ones who struggle to get themselves on Steam. Doing this method can be very tedious and even borderline insane as you wade through the vast amounts of horrid games out there. There are diamonds hidden in that cesspool of search results.

Conclusion

There you have it. These are my secrets in keeping my gaming on the super cheap. Share this with your friends on Facebook and on Twitter! Games don’t really have to be stupid expensive!

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6 thoughts on “5 Hacks to Save on Video Games”

  1. Yes I play a lot of games and nowadays games are getting really expensive to be honest. Good thing I found this website, it has some good ideas to save on video games. I like the fourth hack where it says buy a used game. That is something I wasn’t aware before. it is awesome that it can be 30% off.

    Thank you so much sharing this post.

    1. Sales are always abound, but why settle for buying from a pawn shop or a game shop? Why not directly buy it from someone who doesn’t need it anymore?

      By going straight to the source you can eliminate the extra cost of going with a middleman (ie; that pawn shop or that game store). You’d be surprised what kind of gems they will part with for just $5!

  2. I’ve noticed that with games getting bigger, demos are also getting bigger…often to the point where they’re like free games. The Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo on Switch lasted me at least four hours and that was simply how long it took to go through its available story chapters. (The demo is no longer on the eShop which suggests Sega caught on to the fact that it was too fulfilling…but still, it’s something that existed.)

    There are even demos that are more fun to play than their full versions. It’s true!

    1. That’s interesting to note. I haven’t taken a look at what the Nintendo eShop has to offer me. A couple of my friends recently started streaming all of the demos they could find on there. It seemed like fun.

  3. This is a great set of ways to find cheap games. I’ve found so many awesome games for resale on Amazon it is unbelievable. You can get away with old top notch titles for only a couple of bucks, especially if you don’t mind waiting.

    Another option I’ve found that works well is getting one of the network monthly passes, like Playstation Plus, It comes with free access to a lot of different games for download which is a nice perk, especially if you like the online interactions many games focus on.

    1. Oh yeah, I remember about those. They’re not bad at all if you’re focused as a console player and if you do deem it necessary to play online. I left those out because I’m not a fan of buying a subscription just to play online, which is something that all three of the major console makers are doing right now.

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