Budgeting Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Budgeting RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network How Can You Afford Your Gaming Lifestyle? https://www.gameskinny.com/12snz/how-can-you-afford-your-gaming-lifestyle https://www.gameskinny.com/12snz/how-can-you-afford-your-gaming-lifestyle Fri, 28 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 chrisgrasso88

From the graphics to the cinematics to the action, we love everything about gaming. Well, almost everything. If there is one thing that really grinds gamers gears, it’s the price. There is no doubt about it, keeping up to date with the latest and greatest can be expensive. There used to be a time where you’d simply purchase a game and that was it. But today, all the DLC and in game purchases have driven up the cost for gamers by a significant margin.

Many gamers are turning to streaming services like Twitch to make money gaming competitively. Others place bets on these live streamed games, hoping their knowledge could give them an edge. But it’s important to realize that, in order for this to be successful, you’ve got to be a bit of an odds junkie. You have to know every detail of every player, and understand how to use this information to your advantage. Although this might seem like the most obvious way to finance your gaming hobby, we’ve collected five easier ways you can cut costs.

1. Buy Hard Copies

Being able to download the latest games the minute they’re released is great. But there is one good reason why you might want to wait until your local video game store gets a copy – resale value. When you buy digital, there is no way for you to resell the game. It’s tied to your account, and in many circumstances transferring ownership can actually be a violation of the terms of service. But when you have the hard copy, you can buy trade or sell with other gamers to save a bit of coin.

2. Wait a While

When games first hit the market, the price can be astronomical. Depending on how the game performs, prices will often drop within a couple weeks of release. Many gamers find that buying used games that have been out for a while allow them to play some of the best titles for half the price. As an added bonus, you’ll have a chance to wait for reviews to roll in so you don’t get stuck paying top dollar for a dud.

3. Keep The Flops

Did you purchase a game, only to find out it wasn't that great? To make matters worse, everyone else felt the same way so the resale value had dropped to almost nothing. There may be a good reason to hang on to it. Many games that perform poorly in sales go on to be worth piles of money. A Nintendo game called Stadium Events was released in 1987 to a very poor response. Today, that same game is worth over $40,000. Not every game is going to be a goldmine, but you never know what can happen a few years down the line.

4. Game with Friends

Unless you’re playing MMORPGs, most games have limited playability. At some point, you’ll be finished with the game and won’t have much to do with it. Consider meeting up with some buddies and taking turns buying the latest titles. You’ll all get a chance to play, but you’ll be able to share the costs amongst yourselves.

5. Play The Classics

Whether it’s N64, Super Nintendo, or the Sony Playstation, there are plenty of great hits from yesteryear that demand another play through. Sometimes the dated graphics can be a little off putting, but once you get into the games you’ll realize that there is plenty of classic charm that’s just waiting to be revisited. Plus, once you’ve clocked some hours on a classic system, you’ll once again be blown away by the next gen graphics offered by the PS4 and Xbox One.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to live the gamer lifestyle without living paycheck to paycheck. Be aware of how much you are spending, and evaluate how important a certain game is to have when you are purchasing games.

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Tips and tricks for gaming on a budget https://www.gameskinny.com/6abzn/tips-and-tricks-for-gaming-on-a-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/6abzn/tips-and-tricks-for-gaming-on-a-budget Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:25:47 -0400 SwordandSorcery

We have all had that moment when we wished we had that unlimited money cheat in real life.

But then, as a result, our currency would become useless, and we would not be able to buy games at all. So we are all left to manage our money the best we can, despite many games that may catch our attention.

If you are struggling to keep up a budget on your gaming, or even are just looking for a new way to save money, here are some tips.

Look at reviews, lots of them.

Is that game really all the hype has made it out to be? Check out some reviews, and definitely more than one. If you can, be sure to find something critical of the game in some way, shape or form, so you have a better idea of its flaws (because every game has them).

Even if judging by the reviews, the game seems worth it, it may still be overly expensive, so do not jump to buying it just yet.

Look out for deals, yearly sales, or bundles

Though some companies bump up their prices before yearly sales like the Steam Summer Sale (or Steam Winter Sale), you can use tools like the Steam Database to keep track of price changes before you buy. When used correctly, the Steam Sale can get you some great discounts.

Don't be afraid to also look for non-Steam digital retailers, but be sure they are reputable before making purchases. Many smaller digital retailers often have massive sales to compete with Steam's convenience.

You can also refer to resources like Reddit's /r/gamedeals for information on current game discounts, or buy from Humble Bundle, which is a "pay what you want" (to an extent, if you pay more than the average, you may unlock other games in the bundle) for Indie games. Humble Bundle updates on a weekly basis. You can also try IndieGala, or Indie Royale, which are similar services.

Wait for the price to go down

Usually, the price of a title will go down over time by itself, though if you do not keep an eye on it as physical versions become more scarce the price may spike back up again. As such, the key is to keep an eye on the price, either manually or using a tool. If you like Amazon you can use Camelcamelcamel, for example, which makes a graph of price changes since the item first went on sale.

Another option, especially for Nintendo games, is to buy them digitally, as they are often cheaper that way even after physical retail prices have spiked, and you can always download them again for free.

Trade your old video games in 

Some of us are reluctant to let go of our old video games, but there are some we may not need, or enjoy, any more. That being said, there are stores and services out there that are willing to take old games and pay you for your trouble. GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, and a number of websites have game and console trade-ins; be sure to shop around to see who has the best trade in price.

Or, you can try a site like 99gamers, which allows users to sell video games directly to eachother for virtual currency, which you can then, in turn, use to buy other games on within the service.

Rent or borrow games

Sometimes you are on the fence about buying a game, or you just do not have the money to invest in it. Instead, you can try renting or borrowing a game from a service like GameFly, or Redbox. Generally, renting is cheaper than buying a game outright, and gives you some time to test-run a new game without worrying about regretting buying it.

Buy used games

Sometimes it is hard to imagine yourself touching a game someone else's grimy hands have "spoiled," but there really is no difference between a previously owned game and a new game. If new games are not in your current price range (or new games are not being manufactured), consider used ones instead. There are a ton of places to buy games used, including Amazon, GameStop, Craigslist, and even Glyde.

Worst case scenario, check your backlog

In the case that the previous options cannot help you, and you are still craving that feeling you get when exploring a new game, make sure you do not have a backlog of games to play. Dust those things off and give them a whirl. After all, by the time you have finished with those, you will probably have saved up a little more and purchasing new games might be an option again. Also, don't be afraid of replaying an old classic; plenty of games are worth a re-play, especially if it's been a few years.

Staying on budget while gaming may take some planning, but there are tools out there to help you along and lots of options as far as where you get your games from. Make sure to shop around before you settle on something, and you can even try to use price matching between stores if you find a better deal elsewhere but cannot get to that store.

And remember to have fun playing your games! Finding games for a discounted price is no good if you are not going to enjoy them.

Image Sources:

Burn [Online image]. (2013). Retrieved June 29, 2015.

Game Review [Online image]. (2013). Retrieved June 29, 2015.

Gaming on a Budget [Online image]. (2014). Retrieved June 29, 2015.

Preowned [Online image]. (2013). Retrieved June 29, 2015.

Untitled image of Majora’s Mask 3D price over time. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015.

Wagamon, M. (2014, July 18). 5 Ways to Game a Bunch without Spending a Bunch. Retrieved June 29, 2015.

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How to Console Game on a Budget https://www.gameskinny.com/asmo6/how-to-console-game-on-a-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/asmo6/how-to-console-game-on-a-budget Sun, 10 May 2015 08:47:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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There you have it! While some of the tips might seem surprisingly simple, I promise they can work for you too. The trick is to apply all of these and to be tenacious. Don’t be discouraged and press on for the deals! We fellow frugal gamers can reap the benefits of being thrifty.

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Use these tips and let me know of the deals you manage to find! Can you think of tips I misses? Sound off below. Happy hunting!

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Combine These Tips

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While each tip works individually, combining them all can lead to great success. Being patient while prowling Ebay or bargaining with a friend can lead to massive dividends for you, dear reader. By combining the tips presented here, you will be well on your way to finding plenty of budget-priced games.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/b/e/dbe64e055b5b671b2c50a16580ecc356.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/b/e/tiny_dbe64e055b5b671b2c50a16580ecc356.jpg","type":"slide","id":"65617","description":"

Know Your Budget and Stick to It

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When game-hunting, make sure you know your limits and stick to them. While it may be tempting to grab that copy now for $50 despite your $40 budget, being patient and looking elsewhere can lead to a better price and money left over for you to do with as you please. Instant gas money!

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Your Friends Can Hide Deals

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We all have that friend who seems to buy every major release. They always have the newest games and usually within a week of release or sooner. Why not use those friends to maybe land some deals? Now this tip is not guaranteed to work as much as the others. This one relies heavily on your relationship with these people and your communication skills.

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I had a friend who purchased Mass Effect 2 on day one. Having the beat the game within two weeks, he was bored of it and was seeking to trade it. He offered to sell it to me for $20. I accepted. He was perhaps more desperate for money and willing to deal, but the principle still applies.

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Gamestop gives cash, but at a reduced price, and credit can only be used to buy things in Gamestop. So by making an offer or being approached by a friend like this, you can offer cold, hard cash or maybe even trade titles. Never underestimate a gamer who has grown bored of their purchase. 

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Ebay!

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Once upon a time, Ebay was a questionable place to search for games for a number of reasons. I am happy to report this is no longer the case. Gamers have taken to Ebay to find all sorts of great games for less. Ebay is where I found a pristine copy of Silent Hill 2 for only $5 on top of other bargains. Ebay is also a great place to get those Collector’s Editions you may have missed. I managed to find a Limited Edition of Mass Effect for $20 thanks to Ebay.

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The trick to successful Ebaying is to know exactly what you are looking for and to keep tabs on multiple auctions at once. Did that copy of Metroid Prime Collection get too high for your tastes? I guarantee you there are other auctions where the price has not hit that point yet. Keep a close eye on several auctions and their end times to ensure you are the highest bidder.

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Watch for Missing Price Tags

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In keeping with the retail theme, always check for price tags. Sometimes a store may not have a game labeled, due to it being so low or someone simply overlooking the title. Back when Circuit City had stores, I picked up a copy of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction with a price of $20 and a copy of Beyond Good & Evil which was missing a price tag. I had money to spare, so I went to the checkout. My total?

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$23! BG&E was only $2!!!

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If a game piques your interest, but has no price tag, do not be deterred. You may just be onto a monster deal!

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Be Patient

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Wolfenstein: The New Order was released on May 20, 2014. In March of this year, I saw a copy in Target with a price tag of $15. While I would prefer the PC version, such a low price was too tempting to resist. So I asked the clerk to confirm the price for me. To my surprise, the clerk informed me the game was actually only $8! Needless to say, I walked out of the store as a very happy gamer that was eager to slay some Nazis!

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While gamers are no strangers to waiting for Game of the Year or Complete Editions, it is easy to forget just how quickly and drastically game prices can reduce. Restrain yourself from buying that game you so desperately want. Your wallet will thank you later.

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Look Often

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As I mentioned, I nabbed a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 from a local Walmart. However, I didn’t buy it the first time I found it. My initial discovery revealed an asking price of $55 - more than I was willing to pay. Over the next month, I checked on the game every time I was in the area. When the price was in my limits, I snatched it faster than a child nabs a cookie.

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When you find a game you want, check on it often. You may not always be the person who gets the deal, but looking often and waiting will do you more good than harm. Speaking of patience…

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Leave No Stone Unturned

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When I say look everywhere, I mean it. Don’t neglect your neighborhood chain retailers in favor of smaller shops - although those deserve your attention too. You never know what you'll find at the large stores.

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I managed to find a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 at a local Walmart and a Limited Edition of Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway at a Best Buy for $25 apiece. Many larger places order special editions of games, yet don’t always manage to sell them. Those stores are usually stuck with the ones which they don’t initially sell, which can lead to some great price reductions.

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If you ever go out of town or on a vacation, make sure to check the stores in the area there as well, both large and small. You never know you'll find. Also, never neglect your local thrift stores or salvage stores (such as Hudson's). While more of a shot in the dark, deals can occasionally be found. Just keep your expectations tempered.   

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Looking at the picture above, how much do you think I paid for everything in it?

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$300? $250? $200?

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Actually, everything shown cost me $135 total. Yep - these tips actually work. Before you know it, you’ll be finding great deals yourself! (Yes, that Bioshock 2 is still unopened!)

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Who doesn't like to get great things for less money? We all know the digital realm leads to some dirt cheap prices on games (here’s a guide from Elijah to tell you just that). However, I've noticed that most of these guides to cheap games focus almost exclusively on digital content.

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So today, I want to share my tips with you on how to get console and handheld games at rock-bottom prices! These tips are general and apply to all systems, for all time. So please make use of them.

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Now grasshopper, shall we begin? 

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Gaming on a Budget -- How to Start Saving on PC (Part 1) https://www.gameskinny.com/yin88/gaming-on-a-budget-how-to-start-saving-on-pc-part-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/yin88/gaming-on-a-budget-how-to-start-saving-on-pc-part-1 Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:58:59 -0400 Elijah Beahm

It's hard to believe just how much money we, as gamers, spend on our hobby. Every console generation, new hardware rolls in at high price points. Four hundred to five hundred dollars, on top of all the games being available at full price. For the average gamer, it's quite daunting.

I am right there with you. When I was younger, I usually had to make a hundred or so dollars stretch across an entire year. So I'm gonna tell you how I've managed to keep pace with the gaming world on a shoe string budget. Today, as G.B. Burford so aptly pointed out in my interview with him, a good place for budget gaming is on PC. Let's talk about how you can use this fact to your advantage:

A Steam-Powered Revolution

When it comes to PC, there are a number of ways to game on the cheap, and no Ubisoft, none of them require Pirate Bay.

  1. Steam, Amazon, Humble Bundle, and the sales that will make you love them.
  2. Origin, Desura, and the alternatives that offer something different.
  3. Steam-share, GOG.com, and modern PC sharing.
  4. Emulators.
Today, we're going to start by figuring out what you're working with, and where you should be focusing on sales with clever planning.

Sales are a normal thing to look to when on a budget, but in the PC market in particular, it's almost like learning a new dance. Knowing when to check Humble Bundle, Steam, and Amazon is key to maximizing the games you can get for the lowest price point. You're going to need to prioritize, plan, and keep a watchful eye out.

First thing's first though -- how powerful is your PC? If you're tight for cash, chances are you are not packing an Nvidia Titan, seven core CPU, and 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM. You need to know what you're working with so you don't end up buying something you can't run. Here's how to get an idea of what your specs are. Open the Windows key, and click the "Run..." button.

Then a little box will appear.

You're going to want to copy and paste into this box the following: DXDIAG

Within a few minutes, a new box should have opened called DirectX Diagnostic Tool. It will display all of your system's information. The most important parts to you are your:

  • Operating System -- So you know whether or not you're running a 32 Bit or 64 Bit system. We're not getting too technical here, but 64 Bit operating systems are often able to handle more intensive games. 32 Bit is still a mostly supported option at the time of this writing, but you'll often see a decrease in performance.

  • Processor -- Otherwise known as your CPU. This the heart of your machine. Every core your CPU has is one more task it can do at a given moment. So if it only has two cores, it can only do two tasks at once. This doesn't mean you need as many cores as possible to get the best performance. I can play Dying Light at a consistent frame rate with just four cores. You'll just have to accept your graphics settings won't be at Ultra.

    If your CPU needs upgraded, you'll be looking primarily at older titles and indie games until you can get it up to speed. We'll have some more in-depth PC improvements and need-to-know information later on for if you want to upgrade, but we aren't covering that today.

  • Memory -- Otherwise known as your RAM. Memory is quite literally juggling all the data and information your PC's processor needs to work through. The more RAM, the more things it can juggle and jump between as need be. That's why you can do a Skype video call on your Xbox One (which has plenty of RAM), but can't on your Xbox 360 (which has less RAM than some phones).

    It's generally advised you have at least 4 gigabytes worth of memory if you are playing anything released after 2009, and a number of upcoming next-gen titles are requiring a minimum of 6 gigabytes. Thankfully, Memory is one of the cheapest parts to upgrade, normally not exiting the $100 range for decent sets.

Then you will want to click the Display tab and check the Name category. For example, for me, it is the AMD Radeon HD 5800 Series. This is my graphics card. If you're planning to game on your laptop, you may be using an integrated chip set instead of a regular graphics card. This means it is built-in, and most likely not meant for gaming, at least not at the highest settings.

Desktop PCs will often come with baseline graphics cards, but nothing too fancy. Most current gen games only require games from around the 5800 to 6500 series AMD and their Nvidia equivalents to run stably on a PC. Indies will require even less, for the most part. Lastly, we need to know your Harddrive (HDD).

Now there are various drives available now. There are the faster moving, higher quality Solid State Drives (SSDs), but those also cost a pretty penny despite having a fraction of what a HDD can give you. Consider wisely, as that 256 gigabyte SSD might load games faster, it can only hold about a forth of the data a fairly cheap 1 terabyte HDD can. Most budget PCs come with HDDs, so you're probably starting off with something in the 500 to 750 gigabyte range. That's a perfectly fine place to start for right now.

So you know all this technical stuff about your PC's current capabilities... now what on earth are you supposed to do with this gibberish?

While each PC will vary, there are roughly three categories you will fall into:

  • Low End/Indie Class -- At best, you might be able to run Half-Life 2 on a machine this low-grade. The advantage is, there are tons of indie games exclusive to PC that could run on a toaster. This just means that you are not gonna be playing Arkham Knight on your PC any time soon, short of performing a major upgrade. GOG.com is also totally gonna be your new best friend. (I.E. Duo-Core CPU, 2 or less gigs of RAM, 32-Bit OS, AMD 4000 or younger gen GPU or Nvidia equivalent)

    Sites to watch: Desura, GOG.com, Humble Bundle, itch.io

  • Medium/Economy Class -- Welcome to my boat! You can things like Deus Ex: Human Revolution with DX11 features but also have Dying Light running at around 30-40 FPS with most of the settings on low. You'll probably fight and struggle to get everything working in tip-top shape, but you are also the most flexible. You can play indies and recent last-gen games great, and new-gen games on at least acceptable settings. (I.E. Quad-Core CPU, 4 to 6 gigs of RAM, 32 to 64-Bit OS, AMD 5000 or newer gen GPU or Nvidia equivalent)

    Sites to watch: Steam, Origin, Amazon, Desura, GOG.com, Humble Bundle, itch.io

  • High End/IT'S SO SHINEY Class -- Well aren't you just the luckiest little bugger. You're basically touting a next-gen console that can also do your taxes, stream and capture video, and emulate most old consoles like it was built to play them. You have little to be concerned about when it comes to compability with pretty much any game. (I.E. Six-Core CPU, 6 to 8 gigs of RAM, 64-Bit OS, AMD 7000 or newer gen GPU or Nvidia equivalent)

    Sites to watch: Steam, Origin, Amazon, Desura, GOG.com, Humble Bundle, itch.io

Depending on where you sit, you'll end up looking at very different places to keep an eye on and aim for. The key thing is to recognize what your PC is capable of, and milking that for all its worth. Having access to just one of these services can provide you with hundreds of games, even if you're on the Low End.

Now, how do you handle keeping track of them all?

Well, conveniently most of them have e-mail alert services. On Steam, adding items to your wishlist will set Steam to e-mail you when those games are on sale or have a permanent price drop. GOG.com and Humble Bundle put out regular e-mail newsletters you can sign up for. Amazon and Origin deals almost always appear on the Kotaku's weekly discount posts. Beyond that, just check in every now and then.

That's the big problem with sales hunting after you're ready to go. It's a lot like an actual hunt. You aren't constantly on the move, jumping from deal to deal. You often have to wait it out, taking a shot when you're confident you've got the right target.

Sometimes you'll pull off getting twenty games for $100. Other times, you'll waste $37.95 on the Injustice PC port and just a few months later see it for $12.99 or less. You take the wins with the losses. My current aim is to never spend over $20 unless it is a genuine "sure thing".

Now, this isn't the end-all, be-all of budget gaming. Next time, we're going to take a deeper look at these services, and how they're useful for more than just sales. Free games, game sharing, and more! Same Skinny time, same Skinny place. Have any questions or feedback? Let me know in the comments below!

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5 Ways to Game a Bunch without Spending a Bunch https://www.gameskinny.com/ckorp/5-ways-to-game-a-bunch-without-spending-a-bunch https://www.gameskinny.com/ckorp/5-ways-to-game-a-bunch-without-spending-a-bunch Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:56:09 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

There are numerous reasons why people love video games. They provide hours of fun challenges, allow people to relax after a difficult day, and to catch up with old friends or make new ones. Every gamer has his or her own reason for loving video games, and for wanting to play new ones when they come out.

Affording the latest game , however, is not always possible for everyone. As an avid gamer, I've definitely had to pry myself away from the "New Releases" section in stores because of a lack of funds. So, I thought I would share with others a few ways that I have managed to save money while still playing games I really like. I also did some research to see what other people have advised, and combined that with my experience to make the following list of tips.

Tip #1: Investigation

So, you've heard great things about the new big title from a well-known developer. All your friends are excited for the release. But before you go immediately spending a lot of money on this game, it might be a good idea to wait and see how excited people are after actually playing it. Check online for reviews from fellow gamers, but make sure you look at a lot of them. It'll take longer to look at several reviews, but just looking at one or two might not give you the most accurate idea of the game. 

Tip #2: Playing the Waiting Game

Now that you've done plenty of research, and found out this game is as incredible as you hoped, it's time to finally purchase it, right? Not necessarily. Games, like just about every other retail item, are more expensive when they first hit the shelves. Of course, waiting until the price goes down might be a challenge, but it might also be worth it to save a few bucks. Just think of it as unlocking your own personal achievement: Waited X months for price to go down before buying game

Tip #3: Rent or Borrow

Done the research and not sure if the game will live up to your expectations? Still want to try it out? Renting or borrowing is always an option. There are a few companies that provide video game rentals, such as Redbox and Gamefly. As for borrowing, that depends on how willing your friends are to loan out their games. If they keep telling you how much they love the game and how much you need to play it, you may want to hint that they could help you out with that. 

Tip #4: Buy Used Games

Used games will always be less expensive than brand new ones. If you're unsure about buying anything new, you don't need to hesitate. I can honestly say that I mostly buy used games, and they work fine. Plus, many stores that sell used games will give you a number of days to try the game and return it if any problems come up. 

Tip #5: Sell or Trade-in Older Games

Finally, you can get money to spend on new games by giving up games you finished playing. You can sell your games online, for example, and use that money toward new games. Then you can repeat the process with those games.

Some stores, like Gamestop, will  let you trade-in your old games for store credit. There is even a helpful section on the Gamestop website that lists "Trade-in Values" for specific games and consoles. 

A plethora of new games are coming out later this year. With this list, hopefully you will feel more prepared. Now go forth, and spend wisely!

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