If you’re a gamer, you probably set a New Year’s resolution to play more games in 2020. But here’s another common New Year’s resolution: you want to stick to your budget and save more money this year. Unfortunately, these two resolutions don’t quite work with one another. The average PC game is priced higher than a book or film ticket, so it can be tough to be a hardcore gamer who’s frugal.
But not to worry! There are plenty of strategies you can employ to save money in 2020 while also enjoying the year’s exciting slate of releases.
Stick to One or Two Multiplayer-Based Games
Most games have some sort of multiplayer mode, even the ones that are built primarily around a single-player campaign. If eSports has taught us anything, it’s that multiplayer game modes are more popular than ever before. But you should think twice before buying a PC game only for its multiplayer mode. Game journalist Adam Sessler once argued that a multiplayer game mode is either a relationship or a fling. Some multiplayer games, like Battlefield, Call of Duty, or PUBG, require long-term dedication and get more fun the longer that you play them because you’ll get used to the gameplay and you’ll level up your avatar, amongst other things. Other multiplayer game modes are fun for a short time, but you’ll get bored of them quickly.
The point is, you should only buy a multiplayer game if you’re going to put long hours into it. Don’t buy too many multiplayer games because then you won’t be able to put a whole lot of hours into any of them, which makes them all less fun. Use a game rentals service and try out a multiplayer game before you buy so you’ll know whether or not it’s really for you. In fact, renting games before you buy them is one of the best ways to save money as a gamer in 2020.
There are also a few sites where you can download free PC games.
Build Your Own Gaming Rig
In the market for a new gaming PC? If you’re trying to save money, consider building your own custom gaming rig. It can be a lot more affordable to build a gaming PC than to buy a pre-assembled one from a major manufacturer, although you’ll have to do a little research if you’re not quite familiar with how PCs work. Here are the major components you’ll have to assemble:
- Tower shell
- Memory sticks
- Hard drive
- Operating System
What’s great about building your own rig is that you’re able to optimize it for playing your favorite games. A custom rig is also more budget-friendly because you can mix and match different hardware components based on their price.
Look for Post-Holiday Deals
Now that the holiday season is over, you may be able to find great gaming computer deals online or in retail. The early part of the year is one of the best times to buy PC games, so be sure to keep an eye out for deals that can save your budget.
Don’t Miss Sales on Steam
Can you really call yourself a PC gamer if you haven’t downloaded Steam? Steam is one of the coolest platforms for playing modern and retro PC games. But one of the best things about the platform is that it offers periodic sales throughout the year when you can reap massive discounts on old and new titles. Steam sales are famous in the gaming community and generate quite the online buzz when they hit. Keep an eye out for them and don’t miss an opportunity to bring home a must-have game for a cheaper price.
Wait for the Dust to Settle
Most PC games launch at either $50 or $60. But in the ensuing months, the price may drop as much as $10. If you’re intent on saving money in 2020, you might not want to buy a game immediately after it’s released. It might be better to wait a few months so a hot title can cool in price. Another benefit to waiting is that a new game always has bugs and glitches—there should be patches and updates that resolve them by the time you buy.
Budget Your Microtransactions
Lots of games these days, especially mobile games like Fallout Shelter, enable the user to make microtransactions to purchase in-game perks or items. If you really want to save money in 2020, limit your microtransactions to a predetermined amount each month. Or better yet, stop doing microtransactions altogether. Microtransactions ruin the gameplay experience and they’re a lazy way for game developers to make money.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll have a great gaming year and your finances will be in better shape, too.