- Play computer games to check they work, and find and record problems or ‘bugs’
- Requires excellent gaming and analytical skills, and excellent attention to detail
- With experience, become a quality assurance manager or move into games marketing
Games testers don’t get paid just to play games all day! They look for program bugs, spelling mistakes, graphical or audio glitches and even copyright issues, writing detailed reports of each bug they find and re-testing when the development team has fixed it.
As a computer games tester you may work for a games publisher, a games developer, or a testing company.
- Test different levels and versions of a game
- Find the cause of faults and record them
- Enter each 'bug report' into a quality management system
- Compare the game against other games on the market
- Check a game's accessibility options
- Check for spelling mistakes and copyright issues like logos
- Check the text on packaging and in instruction manuals
- Recommend improvements
You may work long hours including evenings, weekends and public holidays. You'll work in a studio or in an office and spend most of your time sitting at a computer. You will need to be comfortable working to deadlines.
This role is ideal for game lovers with excellent gaming and analytical skills, and excellent attention to detail.
There are no set entry requirements for this role and your playing skills and knowledge of consoles and games are more important than qualifications.
You could contact games companies directly about part-time or short-term work experience opportunities.
You'll need good technical skills and an in-depth understanding of different game platforms and quality assurance processes.
Some games companies release test versions of games for the public to try which will give you some experience. Going to games events and joining industry forums are good ways to hear about these and other opportunities. They're also useful for making contacts with people working in the industry, who may help you to find work.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree course in computing, games design or programming to gain more experience however this isn't essential.
Alternatively you could take A levels in computing or a Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media at college, which may help you to get a junior tester job or you could complete a software tester higher apprenticeship. These qualifications may also help you to move onwards in the games industry as your career progresses.
With experience, you could become a quality assurance manager or move into games marketing, or with further training you could become a games designer, animator or developer. You could also work as a localisation tester to check different language versions of the game if you're fluent in another language.