The 10 Best Places to Make Money Playing Games Online

Need a cash infusion? Get paid to play games

Piles of cash over game controller

 Lifewire

There are two types of websites you can use to make money playing games online. First, there are websites that allow you to play smaller, more basic online games and pay when you win. Then, there are websites that pay you to create content related to games. The latter are less direct, and require you to put in some real work to grow your viewership, but the rewards can be substantial.

01
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Swagbucks: Make Extra Money Completing Simple Tasks

Swagbucks screenshot
What We Like
  • Decent selection

  • More ways to earn

What We Don't Like
  • Half the ways to earn require a different site

You may have already heard of Swagbucks, because it's one of the biggest "make money from home" websites out there. They're famous for providing a way to make extra cash by filling out surveys or watching videos. However, they also allow you to earn points towards gift cards by playing games.

Swagbucks offers two ways to get paid to play. You can earn points by making in-game purchases in games from Swagbucks' partner, GSN or by playing games directly on Swagbucks. When you have enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards.

02
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GSN Games: Play Popular Casino Games

GSN Games screenshot
What We Like
  • Good selection of games

  • Multiple ways to play

What We Don't Like
  • Very limited prize selection

GSN, the same people behind the Game Show Network on TV, have their own website loaded with games. Most of them are free to play, with some offering in-app purchases, and give you an opportunity to collect GSN's currency, oodles. You can use oodles to bid on Amazon gift cards, among other prizes.

The real opportunity from GSN comes in the form of WorldWinner. WorldWinner is a division of GSN that allows you to buy into global online tournaments for real money. Compete against other people in WorldWinner's games and receive prizes based on the size of the tournament and your place in it.

03
of 10

InboxDollars: Compete Against Other Gamers To Win

InboxDollars screenshot
What We Like
  • Decent selection of games

  • More ways to earn

What We Don't Like
  • Really centered around advertising

  • Blocked by browser ad blockers

InboxDollars is sort of like a cross between the two previous options. It's primarily an advertising website, designed to gather customer information. You have the choice of doing other activities, like filling out surveys or watching videos, to earn rewards. Of course, you also have the option of playing free games to earn them, too.

In addition, InboxDollars hosts gaming competitions pitting gamers against one another for cash prizes. You can enter these competitions and play a select set of games against other people and win real money based on how well you do.

04
of 10

Second Life: Make Money in a Virtual World

Second Life screenshot
What We Like
  • Huge living world

  • Tons of ways to play

  • Creativity is encouraged

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a major time investment

Second Life is a stand-out on this list, as it's a long-running online game that attempts to create an entire virtual world. The result is somewhere between a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, like World of Warcraft, and a social networking site. When you sign in to Second Life, you create your own avatar to play, and you can use resources in the game to create your own space around you.

That's where the money comes in. People exchange goods and services in the Second Life game for real life money. In fact, that's an actual advertised feature of the game. You can start a real business in the virtual world and use it to make money while still enjoying an interesting and dynamic gaming experience driven entirely by people.

05
of 10

Skillz: Tons of Mobile Games That Pay to Play

SKillz screenshot
What We Like
  • Variety of games

  • Good prizes

What We Don't Like
  • Mobile only

For anyone looking to play games on their mobile device, Skillz may be just what you're looking for. Skillz isn't a single website or service, and is instead it's own platform that allows mobile app developers to turn their mobile games into mobile eSports, which you can earn money by playing.

When playing the games built with Skillz, you can compete against other players for cash prizes. These aren't the massive broadcast eSports events you typically hear about, but these smaller contests do provide a real chance to win.

06
of 10

Bingo! Zone: Play Bingo for Real Money

Bingo! Zone screenshot
What We Like
  • Super simple to play

  • Straightforward ways to earn

What We Don't Like
  • Payouts can be small

The premise here is about as straightforward as possible. It's Bingo, online. Bingo! Zone is like a 24/7 online Bingo hall that offers continual lives games.

Bingo! Zone is free to play any time. You can simply register for an account, and hop into a live Bingo game. If you win, you win a prize. The prizes begin at $1, and build until someone wins, so there's a chance at a decent payout.

07
of 10

PCHgames: Win Real Prizes from Publisher's Clearing House

PCHgames screenshot
What We Like
  • Good selection of games

  • Points are simple to get

What We Don't Like
  • Prizes are raffled

Everyone's heard of Publisher's Clearing House. They're known for giving away money. Well, now you can get in on some of those cash giveaways by playing games. PCHgames lets you play a wide range of games for tokens. You can turn those tokens in for real prizes, including gift cards, cash, and a lot more. While the prizes are raffled off for tokens, your chances of getting something should still be pretty good. This one probably has the best selection of rewards.

08
of 10

Twitch: Start Your Professional Streaming Career

Twitch screenshot
What We Like
  • Play your favorite games

  • Multiple ways to monetize

  • Gigantic community

What We Don't Like
  • Big investment to start right

  • Takes real time and effort to profit

Twitch is the largest game streaming platform, and they're really the ones that popularized the live streaming of games. Twitch is a massive platform with tens of thousands of viewers. It's the primary choice for major eSports events, and its still growing.

Twitch allows anyone to create a channel and begin streaming game related content. Most streams consist of the author playing a game and discussing the process and interacting with their audience. Through Twitch's affiliate program, you can earn money through subscriptions, the purchase of "bits" in your channel, and advertising.

09
of 10

Facebook Live: Stream Games on Facebook

Facebook Live screenshot
What We Like
  • Play your favorite games

  • Straightforward system

What We Don't Like
  • Big investment to start right

  • Takes time to build

  • Platform isn't dedicated to games

Facebook was quick to jump on the live streaming bandwagon, too. Facebook Live is a way to stream content live on your Facebook page. While it's not geared specifically towards gamers, it can certainly be used to support a live game streaming channel, and plenty of people use it for just that.

Facebook Live earns you money with advertisements. They place ads in your stream and pay you based on the number of viewers you get those ads out to. While Facebook is a giant in the social media space, Facebook Live is the underdog when compared to Twitch. This one might be best as a supplement or depending on your audience.

10
of 10

YouTube: Create Engaging Gaming Content

YouTube screenshot
What We Like
  • Massive audience potential

  • Play your favorite games

  • Multiple ways to earn

  • Create different kinds of content

What We Don't Like
  • Big investment to start right

  • Takes time and effort to become profitable

  • Tons of competition

Maybe you don't want to stream live, or you only want to go live occasionally. YouTube might be a better fit for you, as it's the largest video website on the Web and there's no shortage of available viewers. YouTube is actually an excellent platform to make game-related content, and that content can earn you money.

Like Facebook and Twitch, you earn money from ads displayed on your content. You can also get formally sponsored by companies in the gaming space. Aside from that, you can use affiliate links in the descriptions of your videos to earn commissions on sales to Amazon and other major online retailers.