What is exactly a video game tester?


First things first: People use the term Video Game Tester for many situations, and not always the ones you really are interested about. Let’s clarify.


A game tester is someone who gets paid to find defects in video games under development. The person can be an employee of a gaming company on a permanent or temporary basis, or be a freelancer (but Sonic and Mariothat’s more rare).

Now it’s important to understand what a professional game tester is not:

  • Not an alpha or beta tester: Alpha or Beta testing is a game development phase in which the game is made available to a group of customers. They do not get paid. They play in their spare time and report bugs found. Notice the difference: an Alpha/Beta tester plays the game for fun and reports any defect found while a professional game tester tests the game all day long to find defects and this activity incidentally involves playing the game
  • Not a game reviewer or a game designer: Game testers don’t review games or rate them. They are only expected to report defects. Sometimes game testers will have comments on the gameplay. Some companies encourage this feedback, but most of them don’t and only expect the testers to find bugs.

Hopefully, you should now have a better idea of what a professional video game tester is!


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