Virtually every Singaporean male (and a good number of females) is a gamer. Whether you’re one of the many legions of DOTA diehards or LoL lovers or are more of a console gamer, one thing’s for sure—gaming is not as cheap a hobby as it sounds, especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to try new games often or spends lots of time in LAN shops.
Unfortunately, my own video gaming experience is largely limited to the DOS era, so I enlisted the help of a person in my very own household who is responsible for the fact that I hear frenzied clicking at all hours of the day and night. Here are some tips for keeping your gaming addiction cheap.
Wait to buy your games during Steam promos at the end of the year
Steam promos that are pretty much unbeatable occur each year during the Christmas season. For example, they offer bundles that let you buy multiple games from one company at up to 70% off. A whole bundle often costs less than a single game.
There are actually sales all year round, but the discounts and bundles tend to be less generous than the Christmas ones, maybe 20% to 30%. It’s good idea to wait till the end of the year and then buy a whole bunch of games at a deeper discount.
Another nice thing is that Steam always tries to attract new customers by putting very hot or popular new games on sale during Christmas, unlike the clothing shops on Orchard Road that seem to put only the most hideous items on sale.
Buy and sell used console games
Console games are some of the best things to buy used. You may not want to wear someone’s moldy old clothes, but when you buy a second hand video game, your gameplay doesn’t change a tall.
The only thing that shows signs of age is the packaging, but even so, gamers tend to take pretty good care of their disc cases and boxes, and you often end up buying something looks close to brand new.
Other than looking on the usual channels like Carousell and eBay, check out GameTrader, where loads of Singaporeans sell their old games. There are also Facebook groups and other forums like Hardwarezone where sales take place.
Now, it should be noted that buying used games usually works only for console games and not PC games, as the latter often come with activation keys that can only be used once.
In the same vein, you should sell the console games you no longer play through the same channels. There’s really no reason for you to continue hanging on to Assassin’s Creed.
Don’t abandon games halfway
Many people buy tons of games but then don’t have the perseverance to finish them. It’s just so easy to buy them on Steam that people get into the habit of purchasing them in bulk but then not really getting a lot of play out of them.
In order to get the biggest bang for your buck, it’s a good idea to play every game to completion. You end up buying fewer games that way unless you’re playing 24 hours a day.
Buy early-access games on Steam
If you’re the sort of person who likes to try out lots of new games and are interested in indie games, buying early-access releases on Steam can help you shave a considerable sum off the sticker price of the game when it’s finally completed. You can often get these games at half the cost of the final price.
Basically, game makers make the beta versions of their games available on preview on Steam before they’re completed, and you get to purchase them at a lower price. As the games continue to be developed, your version gets automatically updated.
Know where the cheap LAN shops are
If you like the thrill of playing in a dark, dank LAN shop that smells of 3-day-old McDonald’s meals, you and your posse probably already have a favourite LAN shop.
The most obvious way to keep your LAN sessions cheap is to avoid the more expensive ones. If it’s located in a bright, shiny mall on Orchard Road you can expect to pay more. For example, E2Max charges $3.50 per hour, while on the other end of the Orchard strip, the LAN shops on Prinsep Street and Parklane are much cheaper, some charging as little as $2 an hour.
Do you have other tips for gamers on a budget? Tell us in the comments!