Testing games for up to 12 hours a day is hard work.
A career as a video game tester may seem like a glamorous job in which you primarily enjoy playing countless video games. However, once you enter the field you will quickly realize that spending long hours in front of a television screen testing games is hard work that can be difficult and exhausting. Training to be a good tester will not only prepare you for the trials that lie ahead, it will also improve your chances of finding steady testing work.
1. Play video games. Playing video games is the most obvious way to train to become a video game tester, but you must play a wide variety of video games. You need to obtain the feel of a finished game that can succeed in the marketplace.
2. Learn the different types of game testing so you can find your niche. Game testing is more than writing down the bugs you find while playing and there are different types of game testing. Localization testing includes reviewing game scripts and requires excellent writing and editing skills, for example. Functionality testing includes an analysis of the game and its user interface, while regression testing checks previously-reported bugs to ensure they’ve been fixed and that the fix hasn’t affected the game in a harmful way.
3. Take part in public testing. An easy way to obtain testing experience and build a resume is to take part in public tests, or betas. Conducting these unpaid public tests of prototype software is common practice for MMORPG titles, but companies such as Sony and Microsoft also have public betas on their games. Take part in these betas and treat them as work rather than “free play” sessions.
4. Study and practice writing. When filing a bug with a video game company, you will have to explain clearly and quickly what and where the bug is in a particular game. Having excellent writing skills will help you in this aspect of the job.
5. Try to break games as you play. Have your avatars jump on fences, shoot at walls, run into building corners and do everything else you can imagine to break an existing game. Considering the size of in-game environments, this will teach you to be thorough in your work.