Computer games tester

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Games tester, quality assurance tester, video games tester

Computer games testers play computer games to check they work, and find and record problems or ‘bugs’.

Salary Range: £15,000 to £40,000

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How to become a computer games tester

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree course in:

  • computing
  • games design
  • programming

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could take a college course, which may help you to get a job as a junior tester. Courses include:

  • A level in Computing
  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media
  • T level in Digital Production, Design and Development

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and a creative subject
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

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Apprenticeship

You could complete a software tester higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Direct application

You could contact games companies about part-time or short-term work experience opportunities.

You’ll need good technical skills and an in-depth understanding of different game platforms and quality assurance processes.

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Career tips

Some games companies release test versions of games for the public to try. Going to games events and joining industry forums are good ways to hear about these and other opportunities. They’re also useful for making contacts with people working in the industry, who may help you to find work.

Further information

You’ll find more advice about working in gaming from ScreenSkills.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge for understanding programming
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail for finding faults and ‘bugs’
  • analytical thinking skills for software testing
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • a good memory
  • complex problem-solving skills for fixing ‘bugs’
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • testing different levels and versions of a game
  • finding the cause of faults and recommending improvements
  • entering each ‘bug report’ on a quality management system
  • comparing the game against other games on the market
  • checking for spelling mistakes in the game and in instruction manuals and packaging
  • reporting copyright issues like the use of logos
  • checking a game’s accessibility options
  • working under pressure and to deadlines

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio or in an office.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a quality assurance manager or move into games marketing.

With further training, you could become a games designer, animator or developer.