Budgeting your gaming spend

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Gaming has experienced a boom in popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Better technology has led to more immersive games, a wider variety of titles and multiple platform options on which to play, all of which have helped broaden its appeal.

However, there’s no denying that it can be an expensive past time, with PCs and gaming consoles costing serious money. Add to that the cost of gaming peripherals such as joysticks, headphones, powerful graphics cards or Virtual Reality goggles and gamers are looking at a serious outlay.

Then of course there are the games themselves, which for top end titles on the PlayStation and Xbox can cost over £50 a time. Luckily, there are ways for gamers to get their gaming fix on a budget and help save money.

Look out for deals

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo frequently offer sales and discounts on their titles, so it is well worth keeping a look out for deals. There are often substantial reductions on offer, especially on games that are expecting updates or a new release.

Other platforms such as Steam, have regular deals available so make sure you check back frequently so as not to miss out. Alternatively, add titles to your wish list and receive notifications when they’re on sale.

Casino games are another type of game who offer a variety of deals to their players. Players are encouraged to shop around and find the best deals and take advantage of the discounts and bonuses on offer as well as any free games!

As the competition of online casinos grows fierce, there has never been more promotions on offer to players, especially new players. For example, Virgin Games currently have a promotion of 30 free spins on a slot game when depositing and playing with £10. Every casino operator has different promotions, so it is advised to research first.

Free games

Believe it or not, there are plenty of free games out there, and while some may lack in quality, there are plenty of excellent titles available. Fortnite, Call of Duty, Rocket league, Apex Legends, Spellbreak and League of Legends are just some of titles that are well worth checking out and are completely free to play.

PC gamers are more likely to find free games than their console counterparts, with the Epic Games store giving away free games every week. Mobile gamers will find plenty to keep them occupied on their relevant App store with lots of free to play games available but beware in game purchases.

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Second hand discs

We all fall in love with a title and play it till we never want to play it again, or until we’ve completed every level. Which is why gamers will often sell titles on once they’ve finished playing them, meaning you can pick up a second-hand title for next to nothing.

It’s also worth checking out your own game collection and selling or swapping titles that you no longer play.

Second hand equipment

Buying and selling second hand games is a great way of saving money and the same applies to gaming peripherals. Whether it’s a headphone upgrade, updated joystick or even a new console, it’s worth checking out the used market.

It’s possible to make big savings if you’re willing to spend the time searching for what you want. just remember to use reputable sites and make sure you’re happy before handing over any money.

Streaming service

If you want to play lots of different games and have access to some of the latest titles but don’t want the huge up-front outlay, then streaming may be for you.

Think of it as Netflix for gamers. Simply by paying a monthly subscription, you get access to a wide variety of constantly updated titles.

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Microsoft Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft’s excellent Xbox game pass is available for Xbox and PC. With over 100 titles available, new games added all the time and exclusive discounts, all at a reasonable price, it’s highly recommended.

Sony PlayStation

Sony recently announced the launch of their new cloud subscription offering, replacing their old PlayStation Plus and Now service. The all-new PlayStation Plus subscription provides more choice to customers across three membership tiers: PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra and Premium.

With monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, online multiplayer access and an updated catalogue of hundreds of games, it promises to shake up the streaming world.


Nintendo Switch offers an online subscription allowing cheap access to exclusive titles as well as 100 classic games from the NES and Super Nintendo.

Amazon, Google, Nvidia and more also offer subscription services for gamers, allowing access to exclusive games so it’s well worth doing your homework to see what’s out there. And make sure you shop around as there are always bargains to be had on subscriptions, with substantial discounts frequently on offer.

Gaming on a budget

The good news is, no matter what your budget, there are lots of ways for players to get their hands on some fantastic games at reasonable prices. And If money is tight, there are plenty of promotions and free games available to keep even the most experienced gamer happy.

Dylan Roberge

Dylan Roberge is a San Francisco-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering money saving and deal hunting. Before going freelance, he got his start as an editor at Yahoo Finance. These days he writes about mobile, tech gadgets, and lifestyle subjects for a variety of publications.