Being an avid gamer isn’t cheap. The latest and greatest video games usually cost $60, and it can take quite some time for their prices to come down.
Add that to the cost of buying a console and subscribing to online services that let you play games with others around the world, and gaming can be an expensive proposition.
Given that, a variety of service providers have found ways to reduce the cost of buying games to help you get your hands on new titles sooner. From our very own Deals page to signing up for Amazon Prime, here are nine tips for getting your must-have video games on the cheap.
Bookmark Our Deals Page
Have you bookmarked the Tom’s Guide Deals Page? If not, now’s the time. We frequently post great game and console deals on that page, helping you find the best offers out there.
Join Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime members who pre-order games on the e-commerce site can get 20 percent off all new game releases. Plus, if you’re a Twitch Prime member, you get all kinds of free stuff including free PC games and in-game content. Amazon Prime will set you back $99 per year.
Sign Up for Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked
Best Buy Gamers Club Unlocked also offers a 20 percent discount on games. For $30 for a two-year membership, you can get 20 percent off new games, including pre-orders, and 10 percent off pre-owned titles.
There’s no doubt that buying used video games can save you some cash. Companies like GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon, and others all sell used games at a fraction of the cost you could get them for if you bought them new.
Follow Popular Gaming Deal Accounts
If you’re a Twitter user in the hunt for some game deals, you should follow popular deal accounts such as @Wario64 and @videogamedeals. Both accounts alert you to some of the best game deals in real time — we recommend turning on Twitter notifications if you don't want to miss a single deal.
Go to Reddit
If Twitter’s not for you, be sure to keep an eye on the Games Deals subreddit. Each day, some of the best deals on everything from hardware to games are posted to the page, with direct links to the offers.
Add Games to Your Steam Wishlist
If you're a PC gamer that uses Steam, be sure to add any games you're hoping to save on to your wishlist. Steam will track that and whenever there’s a sale on a game in your wishlist, you’ll be alerted via email. It requires some patience, but it’s a nice way to save a few bucks.
All of the big consoles — Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One, and Nintendo’s Switch — come with digital stores to buy games. And although the best deals are typically offered during the holidays, you should visit them frequently to see what’s on special. You'll see better and more frequent sales if you subscribe to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, both of which also offer monthly free games.
Use Rental Services
What if you could get games at a discounted rate without ever buying them? Join GameFly, which starts at $9.50 per month, and lets you have one or two games out a time. The games get shipped right to your home, and you simply send them back when you're ready for the next title on your list. There are no late fees, either, so you can finish the game and get another without worry of overage charges.
If you have a local Redbox kiosk in your area, you can rent some of the latest AAA games for as little as $3 per day.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.