Here’s How You Can Make Money Playing Online Games (Seriously)

People playing video games
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

We love to play games online.

They’re super addictive. They’re great time-killers.

But we found ways you can actually make money playing games online.

Play Games, Make Money

We’re probably not talking about a ton of money. But it’s possible to scratch up a little cash and/or save some money playing games online.

Especially if you’re just sitting there, waiting at the doctor’s office or the DMV trying to pass the time.

We’ve road-tested some real-deal apps (and weeded out the scams) where you can play games to make and save legit money.


1. Put Your Useless Knowledge to, Well, Use

If you’re one of those people who can pull useless pieces of knowledge from out of nowhere, you’ll want to download this app.

It’s called HQ Trivia. With at times more than a million players logging on at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern each day to play, you might’ve heard of it.

“Quiz Daddy” Scott Rogowsky is the game’s main host. He asks 12 questions. You’ve got three multiple-choice options and 10 seconds to answer each. If you get all 12 questions correct, you’ll split the grand prize (around $5,000 lately, though it’s been $25,000 or more on randomly chosen special occasions) amongst the other winners.

The HQ Trivia app is available for iPhone and Android.

Pro tip: Share your personalized referral code with friends and family to get an extra life. Trust us: You’ll want it.

2. Feed Your Love of Gaming

Women playing video games
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Serious gamers like this one because most of its rewards tend to be video-game oriented.

Bananatic is a free site that lets you play, test and review games. As you do that, you can earn the site’s virtual currency, called “Bananas.” You can also take surveys or watch ads to earn Bananas.

You can exchange your Bananas for more video games, prepaid game content, Playstation or XBox gift cards, or Steam Wallet codes — digital gift cards for the popular desktop gaming platform Steam.

You can also get Amazon gift cards, if you want to put your winnings to use on something other than games.

3. Tease Your Brain (and Show off Your Smarts)

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Feel like giving someone a piece of your mind? The free Brain Battle app serves up a bunch of rapid-fire math and brain-teaser challenges.

Brain Battles is available for Apple or Android devices.

Once you install the app, choose a game to play. Play games to earn tickets for drawings where you can win cash prizes. Winning prizes are paid out through PayPal.

4. Use Trivia to Pay off Your Student Loans

Graduating woman
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Do you have student loans? Do you have lots of useless knowledge? Congratulations! Join the club, there are millions of us.

Givling is a trivia game that hands out cash prizes to players who correctly answer true-or-false questions on a wide range of topics.

You only get 10 seconds to answer each question, so there’s no time to Google anything. Each time you play, you get assigned to a three-person team and answer questions “true” or “false” until you get three questions wrong and strike out.

If you’re on the highest-scoring team when the clock runs out, the three of you split a cash reward. The amount varies based on how much money was raised the day before.

Got student loans? Join the funding queue. Every time the funds raised (through advertising, sponsors and people who pay to play more) hit the $10 million mark, those at the top of the queue get money to pay off their student loans.

You rise in the queue by interacting with ads, buying coins, participating in sponsorship offers or meeting certain goals. (Be warned: There are a whole lot of people in this queue.)

5. Pad Your Pockets Without the Wait

Are you sick of sites that let you earn rewards but won’t let you cash out until you’ve reached some unobtainable amount? Who has that kind of time?

That’s why we like QuickRewards Network. It lets you earn money by taking surveys, watching videos or playing games.

The best part? You can get your rewards in super-handy gift cards or by PayPal payment. If you choose to get your rewards through PayPal, there’s no minimum. Have 1 cent coming to you? Go ahead — cash it out.

QuickRewards has been around since 2002, making it one of the oldest rewards-earning programs out there.

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Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has a lot of useless knowledge.