Gaming on a Budget

One of the biggest inhibitor to my gaming hobby has always been money. For a while, that didn’t matter. Being a brand ambassador for a gaming company had amazing perks. But unfortunately, since I’m not a big YouTuber, I’m not getting much but behind the scenes sort of newsletters from them any more. Factor in my student budget, and, well, new games are few and far between.

However, I have found a few tricks tips that have helped make it affordable and feel like I’m not missing out.

Steam Lunar New Year Sale

1. Steam Sales. While I was always a console gamer up until last fall, I now know the errors of my ways. Steam has a massive library of games in its store. Even Mac friendly games so non-PC people like me can keep up. Right now until February 12th, Steam is having it’s Lunar New Year sale. They tend to have a few big sales throughout the year, so if you miss this one, just wait a few months. My favorite game, Don’t Starve, is currently 75% off, only $3.75 .. and frankly, the bundles — which you should always buy the bundles, at least definitely for this game — are at perfect prices. It’s only $16.19 for the Mega Pack where you get Don’t Starve, both DLC (Reign of Giants and Shipwrecked) and also the multiplayer version, Don’t Starve Together. Very much worth it. I have 100 hours logged into this game (just the original, 14 hours in the multiplayer). Now, the downside to Steam Sales? It’s really hard not to buy everything on your wishlist all at once. I just went with the Portal Bundle. Two games for barely over $5 with tax.

1.5 Humble Bundles. I’ve never used them, but my gaming friends swear by them. One has over 700 titles in his library, mostly due to Humble Bundle sales.

Headset Turtle Beach Gaming Headset Selfie

2. Refurbished goods. I get that some people are very skeptical of refurbished goods. However, if the vendor is trusted, it’s an amazing way to save money on like-new products. I’d been considering a gaming headset for a while. But I wasn’t impressed by the budget-friendly options on Amazon. Given that I’m not currently streaming my games, and I only join friends once a week for some Don’t Starve Together, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on this. Thankfully, Turtle Beach has refurbished headsets offered on their website. And you can get Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping on them. So now I have quality audio without breaking the bank.

2.5 Used games & Warehouse deals. You can generally save anywhere from 20-50% going this route. I got Super Mario Maker for $20 off because the box was damaged. And by damaged, I mean the corner was just a tiny bit smushed. Nothing that really affected anything. The eShop and other online routes can generally get you good deals too. Trick is just being patient and doing a lot of searching to find the deals sometimes (especially if you want Amazon Warehouse deals).

Headset Display

3. DYI. Now, this is less about gaming itself but more about dealing with all of your peripherals. I keep all of my Wii U controllers in a cute basket. It also houses all my 3DS things, as well as just random small techie sort of things that I don’t want to lose. For my headset, well, I didn’t want to just tuck in on the shelf on my coffee table, or just having it sitting around. I may not have spent a fortune on that headset, but I didn’t want it to break right away either. I looked at headphone stands, and most were either cheaply made or too expensive for what they are. So I went to the hardware store, bought this tool hook in the garage storage section for under $2, and got a small pack of 3M hooks, and with less than 5 minutes of effort had a nice setup completed. It’s not fancy or anything, but I think it look nice and now I always know where my headset is when I need it.

If you’re a gamer, or have another potentially expensive hobby, how do you save money?