With hundreds of AAA and indie games releasing each year, the pile of “must play” games is always increasing. For gaming enthusiasts, this is both good news and bad news. The good news is that talented developers are continuing to innovate, creating more and more meaningful, fun and worthwhile experiences for us to enjoy. But the bad news is that with each new release comes a new price tag.
From 100-game long steam wish lists to the latest releases, it’s obvious that games don’t come cheap. That’s why in this article we’re going to take a look at 5 ways to score bargains when adding games to your collection; allowing you to continue to explore the vibrant world of gaming without breaking the bank.
Wait for Sales and Discounts
This is one of the most tried and tested ways of getting games on the cheap. PC gamers will be familiar with Steam’s frequent, and colossal, sales. But while Steam was a key innovator in the modern idea of game sales, other platforms have taken note—meaning that today you can find frequent sales across all official stores and consoles.
While most of the games on offer during these sales will be a few months or years old, developers have begun introducing sales for newer titles—often taking place soon after release. Some developers, particularly of indie games, provide pre-order and release-day sales, rewarding day-one fans.
Beyond sales, there are always plenty of other discounts and deals when buying games, particularly buying game keys off reseller sites. Although, these often do not have the reputation nor official support of more reputed stores.
Explore Bundle Offers
Bundles give a double-whammy of bonuses—not only do they reduce the cost of titles, but they also multiply the amount of titles you get. Sites like Humble and Fanatical were pioneers of this type of gaming bundle, bundling together anywhere between 5-100 games in a single purchase.
These bundles are often created around a specific genre, theme or developer. For example, there could be bundles on everything from “the best of Bethesda” and “Halloween Scares” to “Indie Games Made by European Developers” and “games you can play in one sitting”.
Beyond sheer value, bundles also provide the opportunity to discover games you wouldn’t usually buy or play. Who knows, maybe the best game in the next bundle you buy will be that one that you’ve never heard of.
Opt for Older Titles and Indie Games
This one may seem either like a no-brainer or plain out of touch, but hear me out. At this point, in the 2020s, the gaming industry has been thriving for decades. No longer are the best games restricted to handful of latest releases. Instead, many of the best games ever made are actually a few, if not many, years old. Take Minecraft for example, which is still one of the most popular games out there! Speaking of which, if you’re a Minecraft player you can buy Hypixel coins here!
If you’re looking to save some bucks while trying out some games you’ve never played before, you may be better off looking back at the greatest titles of the last 20 years. Everything from Shadow of the Colossus to Journey to Civilisation V are all still as good as they were the day they were released.
While these games are still worth playing, they have the added bonus of being more likely to be included in sales and bundles—meaning that if you pair this tip with the previous two you’ll start saving big bucks.
Consider Subscription Services
If you’re looking to play through games in a relatively short period of time, and aren’t interested in returning to them years down the line, you should bring subscription services onto your radar. Just like their film, television and music counterparts, gaming subscription services give you access to a vast library of games for only a fraction of a single new game’s cost, each month.
As long as you have the time and passion to play for a good number of hours each month, these subscription services can actually help you save a lot of money in the long run. Seriously; imagine that you play through 2-3 indie games and 1 AAA game in a month. To purchase those games new would be something like $100+, but a gaming subscription will be $20 or less. Now that’s a saving.
Buy and Sell Second-hand
Physical games are a great way to retain value when buying. Just like any physical good, one of the best features of physical game disks is the fact that you can sell them on once you’re done with them. This means that even if you purchase a game totally new, if you finish it within a couple of months you’ll probably be able to sell it on for around 2/3 of the original price.
If you pair this with buying the game second hand in the first place, you can save on the purchase and rake back losses on the sale—meaning that you may be paying around $10-20 per game, provided you buy and sell the game in a relatively short period of time.
Of course, doing this can take a little bit more effort, but if you get used to it, it can really help you save money when purchasing games.
Modern games are expensive, and, if you’re anything like me, you want to be playing a variety of games every month. While that can cost a lot if you’re not careful, with these five methods in mind, hopefully you can continue to enjoy your passion for gaming without breaking the bank.