Some new games for the latest consoles, such as PlayStation 5, are retailing at the $70 mark on Amazon. Ten $70 game titles will amount to $700. So, some players might splash out many hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on the latest games throughout the years.
Yet, there are various ways you can cut your gaming costs. You can even play a plethora of great games without spending a dime. Here are a few budget gaming tips for more economical gaming.
1. Play retro games on Windows PCs
Windows PC players can play a multitude of retro console games for nothing thanks to freely available game emulation software. There are a plethora of game emulator software packages that enable players to play thousands of games from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s. All you have to do is install an emulator and download some game ROMs for it. These are some of the more notable emulators:
- RetroArch (wide variety of consoles)
- Dolphin (Wii and GameCube)
- DOSBox (DOS PC games)
- PCSX2 (PlayStation 2)
- Project (Nintendo 64)
- MAME (retro arcade games)
You don’t even need to install emulator software to play retro games from the eight and 16-bit eras. There are numerous websites that include web-based emulators for retro games. So, you can play a plethora of classic titles from the 1980s and ‘90s in your browser! Nintendo Emulator and SSEGA.com are two retro emulator sites that include a comprehensive collection of Nintendo and SEGA games from the 20th century.
2. Play mobile games
Some console players might forget that their mobile phones or tablets are great portable gaming platforms. Mobile gaming has been booming for quite a few years, and it’s now the biggest segment of the games industry in terms of global revenue. So, it’s not surprising that more and more games from big-name publishers are flooding into Google Play and the Apple App Store. These are some of the best mobile games:
- Call of Duty: Mobile
- PUBG Mobile
- Asphalt 9: Legends
- Rome: Total War
- Genshin Impact
- World of Tanks
The best thing about mobile gaming is that most Android and iOS games are freely available. Those that aren’t are generally much cheaper than the latest console or Windows games. So, playing more games on mobile devices instead of consoles or Windows PCs is much more economical.
3. Install an Android Emulator
If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, you can still play all the best mobile games with Android emulators on Windows PCs. Android emulators simulate Android devices so that can play almost all Google Play game apps. BlueStacks and KO-Player are two of the best game-oriented Android emulators, which are freeware software, that have some nifty game optimization features. With keyboard and mouse controls, mobile games can even be better to play with Android emulation software.
4. Trade-in games
If you really must play the latest console games soon after their release dates, you can save money by trading in those games when you’ve completed them. Some big game retailers, such as GAME, have trade-in schemes for players to sell pre-owned games. Retailers with trade-schemes will buy the game from you with cash, credit, or gift cards. Any credit or gift cards you receive for games traded amount to discounts for new games.
There are also numerous apps you can trade-in games with, such as We Buy Games. Those are apps that enable you to scan games’ barcodes to see how much you can trade them in for. Then you can either post them off or arrange for somebody to collect them to receive money for them.
5. Play freemium multiplayer games
Freemium (free-to-play) games have become increasingly prevalent over the last three to four years. However, a lot of them are multiplayer titles. Many of the best multiplayer games for Windows and consoles are freely available. These are some of the great freely available multiplayer games you can play:
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Lite
- Genshin Impact
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Apex Legends
- PlanetSide 2
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Dota 2
Those are 10 of the most widely played multiplayer games that are freely available, and there are many more. Thus, there are plenty of freemium multiplayer games available for Windows and, to a lesser extent, consoles. You can save quite a bit by playing free-to-play multiplayer titles instead of non-freemium games for consoles and Windows.
6. Check out Epic Game’s free game promotions
The Epic Games Store offers free game promotions every week! Yes, you heard right, you can grab a game that’s usually retailing on Epic for free each week. Check out Epic’s latest promotions on its Discover: Free Games webpage. You can download and play freely available Windows games there with the Epic Games launcher software.
Many of Epic’s free game promotions might be for lesser-known indie game titles. However, Epic does occasionally offer some generous limited-time promotions for AAA titles from big-name publishers. For example, Epic offered free downloads for Civilization VI and Elite Dangerous: Horizons during 2020. So, you can also save some wonga by checking out Epic’s offers.
Some decent freemium games are always freely available at Epic Games. Fortnite is the main reason many players download and install the Epic Games launcher. Dauntless and Magic the Gathering: Arena are also among EG’s free-to-play titles.
7. Snap up Games During the Black Friday Period
Black Friday is the Friday that follows the Thursday Thanksgiving Day in the USA during November. That U.S. holiday period is a time retailers in North America and Europe offer a plethora of Black Friday promotions (or deals). Thus, Black Friday deals aren’t just limited to the USA.
Therefore, November is one of the best months of the year to snap up some gaming bargains. Make the most of the Black Friday discounts for games and other gaming accessories during November. That’s an especially good time to snap up a new console or gaming PC on discount.
Those are several budget gaming tips for cutting gaming costs. You can play plenty of great games with a minimal budget by playing more freely available titles, checking out the Black Friday and Epic promotions, and trading games you’ve finished with.