First of all, there are different types of beta testers. A video game today comprises numerous sections, and although there is obviously a form of general testing tasks, most of the work is related with the specifics of the game.
For example, content testers are responsible for reviewing texts, dialogues and even signs that may appear in the game. The role performed is similar to what a spell checker does and of course it requires language proficiency.
There are other types of beta testers also known as “fans”, who work from home and communicate via internet. Basically they receive the game and then they send a report of all errors they encounter as they play.
The third type of beta testers is the professional ones, whose full time role is to test video games. Their job does not differ much from a normal software tester and is mainly focused on running tests related to performance, usability and reliability.
They usually focus on a specific part of the video game and try to force situations that lead to possible programming errors. Some of them are obvious such as graphical errors or AI glitches but there are others that require more attention and time such as running all possible actions in each place. This translates to move the character glued to the walls or solid objects, jumping everywhere, shoot anything that might break, etc.
Asking to work as a video game beta tester today may sound like a joke and traditional job boards may not shed any light to a candidate. There are options such as specialised online forums but then there is a possibility of being scammed. The whole idea of working from house without strains sounds too good to be truth and attracts all kind of lurers with no so-good intentions.
Gaming companies usually pay depending on the engaged activities. For example if an online survey is taken a payment between $5 and $75 may be received. Other tasks that could represent a return for the tester are:
- Participating in focus groups.
- Previewing game trailers.
- Reviewing games.
One of the pioneers in the video game testing industry is Gamingjobsonline.com, a video game tester website that offers fresh opportunities to individuals that are willing to make their living as a video game tester. They have partnered with recognised game studios to bring opinions in online focus groups.