Let’s make no bones about; gaming is an expensive hobby, even for the lowly 30fps console crowd. The PC player base faces even steeper price tags to keep their equipment top of the line, having to periodically upgrade their gear or basically acquire a self-taught diploma in computer repair and maintenance.
In this article, we’ll go over ways that you can save your precious bottlecaps in your Pipboy for as many purchases as possible.
Note: This is not a sponsored or paid post from any of the following companies or businesses mentioned below.
Price Match and Shop Around
This may seem like a dumb and obvious suggestion, but it’s crazy how many people don’t apply this strategy and just buy a game the first place they see it. There’s a reason stores/companies like Game in the UK and Gamestop in the US are struggling in the current economy, and it’s because their prices just simply aren’t competitive.
I believe that you can tell the companies have come up against hard times because they’re doing lots of other tertiary stuff to gain your favor because they don’t want to move on price. Walk into any of the aforementioned stores and you’ll find all kinds of surrounding merchandise, drinks, clothing, all sorts of things to consume the contents of your wallet through any means necessary. However, that’s a topic for another day.
Anyway, the real reason to do this (and with any purchase you make I might add) is to see where your best deal is. Context is also a huge factor here as well. Looking for a new game that came out last week? Amazon will probably offer you a slightly better rate than Gamestop, Target, or BestBuy.
On the contrary, a while back I was trying to get hold of a copy of Superman Returns on the Xbox 360, and Amazon wants almost £50 for it. I don’t think so. Complete Entertainment Exchange (CEX) on the other hand, sells it for about £8. The choice is blatantly obvious.
By the same token, you could find a random offer in your local Tesco or Walmart. Check as many sources as possible. Even Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist can offer really cheap solutions within your local area.
All in all, it pays to do your homework. At the end of the day, you’re the consumer who has to put down the money to acquire that product or service, having research and knowledge on your side allows you to make a much more informed and financially savvy decision.
Get Those Deals
Websites and stores have some sort of deal active 99% of the time, it’s just a case of finding them. As much as I don’t like to push other companies, IGN is pretty good with dishing out information on where to find deals you wouldn’t conventionally stumble across. All you have to do is make an IGN account and subscribe to their Deals and Games Newsletters.
If you’ve ever watched a YouTube video from any number of popular creators (especially in the commentary community), you may have heard them have their videos sponsored by the brand, Honey. Not the sticky paste that tastes amazing on toast, but the free browser extension.
Adding this little icon to your web browser will automatically apply coupon and voucher codes from across the web on hundreds of sites to save you money on everything, not just your gaming needs. And yes, it does work with Amazon. Considering this is a free resource that does all the work for you, you’d be silly not to invest in it.
I can’t vouch for Sony as much as I’ve only put a fraction of the time into my PS4 compared to my Xbox One, but Microsoft has deals on most of the time, usually categorized by Publisher unless it’s a seasonal thing. Keep an eye on your homepage/dashboard if there’s a game you’ve been after that has a healthy 40% off.
If you ever pay full price, you’re almost always missing out on some kind of saving, you just have to look in the right places.
This may seem like blasphemy to some, but I personally do this pretty much every time I purchase a new game that comes anywhere near the standard £50 retail mark in the UK.
For me, it’s just the circle of life. I get my use from a game, I accept the fact I’ll never play it again and I allow it to fulfil one final use by getting me money off of a new horizon.
Much like the first point, you shouldn’t just go handing over your wears to any old establishment (especially if it’s the Merchant from Resident Evil 4 or the Happy Mask Salesman).
For UK residents, CEX has very good rates for most games if you’re looking for the store credit option (cash, not so much). By visiting their site or using their app, you can check the value of everything before you go in to make sure you’re not just gonna get 3 pence for Earth Defense Force 2025. The game also has an app with a barcode scanner that provides the same purpose.
Also, an odd point but one worth noting, have a look through your old collection of games from older consoles and have a flick through CEX (or similar companies in your part of the world) and see what they are worth. You can be pleasantly surprised at certain games that have a randomly high value.
Combine this with stores that have loyalty points (one of the few things I commend Game for) and you can make fresh new purchases on brand new games for next to nothing.
If you’re looking for unconventional ways to sell your old games, Facebook Marketplace is a great way to pass on old items for a decent profit, especially in bulk. Include as much information about the products as possible, be honest in your descriptions and conditions, and if you want that extra selling power, offer to include delivery, whether by hand (if possible) or cover the postage. Additionally, if you’re looking to sell goods within games and not games themselves, like Tibia Coins, you can do that easily on a specialized marketplace for them – Eldorado GG.
Rental Services or Subscriptions
There are some lesser-known video game rental services that provide the same function. I was a big proponent of Lovefilm before they canceled their video game service but those days are long gone (thanks Amazon). Boomerang and Gamefly are good sites for renting games in the UK with reasonable price plans.
Not wanting to sound like a Microsoft/Xbox fanboy, but Game Pass is one of the best ideas MS has had in a long time. It gives you a huge selection of games to choose from all the while being ridiculously cheap and including Xbox Live Gold on their Ultimate package.
All the Fable and Gears of War titles, Halo MCC (now with Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach), Sunset Overdrive, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, GTA V, and a number of lesser-known but fantastic indie titles are what await you in their subscription.
Like most subscription services, however, titles drop in and out owing to licensing expiration issues and such, so certain games may not always be available forever. It’s a great resource though for achievement hunters like myself or gamers who like to have a wide selection of titles to play.
They may lack a library of blockbuster exclusives, but the Netflix of video games is likely to be the business model of the future.
Online Subscription Present
This is a minor one that I like to adhere to, but it may not be to everybody’s flavor. Now that Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass has jumped in price, I’ve put my 12-month gold subscription down as a standing order birthday present. It’s always taken care of, renewed at the same time and I don’t have to pay for it. Tactical.
Learn How to Maintain Controllers
This may seem a bit involved, but if you’re an avid player, eventually controllers are going to fail out in some way. A common problem I have is that the joysticks lose their center and/or dead zone. I also seem to have an issue with either one or both of the bumper buttons (R1/L1 for Playstation).
Controllers (even standard ones) will often set you back just as much as a new release, so having some hardware knowledge can go a long way in saving you some coin. Check here for a great guide on taking apart an Xbox One controller and here for a Playstation 4 controller.