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Online video game programmer

An online programmer’s objectives are to develop and integrate the multiplayer mechanics associated with gameplay and the design of the network engine’s low-level upgrades. It is a role that allows players to have a unique experience during an online game.

Online Programmer Job Description
Last update
Level of studies: master’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Scientific
Employability: Very good
Beginner’s salary: € 3,400
Salary after experience: € 6,800
Mobility: Very good
ROME code: M1805
FAP code: M2790
"The work of an online programmer focuses on the parts connected to the network, and these will have implications for all the elements of the game: gameplay, interface, system programming ...", specifies Julien Millet, president of the studio Realityz.
Realityz logo julien millet
Julien Millet
President of the video game studio Realityz

The responsibilities of an online programmer

« They take care of all the network management parts, both at a high level and in connection management, as well as the data structures that must be exchanged. They also work with all the other developers to ensure that their work is compatible with network operation, » explains Julien Millet.

An online programmer is, therefore, able to:

  • Create and develop the network engine
  • Design and develop the game server
  • Perform maintenance
  • Design and develop multiplayer gameplay mechanics

In addition, « their responsibilities will be to create documentation and organise meetings with their teammates so that they can use network features successfully. »

The skills of an online programmer

They must be proficient in computer technologies, programming and engines for online use:

  • Programming – C, C ++, C #, Python
  • Multiplayer ranking and matchmaking algorithms
  • TCP and UDP protocols, HTTP
  • Web programming – HTML, Javascript, PHP, databases

Also, they understand:

  • Operating rules for network and multiplayer games (MMORPG)
  • Public behaviour when it comes to gambling
  • The constraints and techniques of 3D calculations

Below is an example of an engine interface that you will need to know if you become an online programmer.

Interface Unity
Unity engine interface

In addition, an online programmer must be able to know programming languages ​​such as C #:

Interface C# Windows
C # programming interface on Windows

The qualities of an online programmer

Though this job mainly consists of working on a computer, you must know how to work within a team. An online programmer therefore has certain qualities such as:

  • Work ethic
  • A good relationship
  • A sense of communication
  • Autonomy
  • A spirit of initiative
  • Passion for technology

Studies needed to become an online programmer

Online programming requires you to be comfortable with mathematics, therefore numbers and programming. This is why you will need to choose between a scientific or mathematical high school diploma, a computer science high school diploma or digital systems (networks) high school diploma. Then you can move on to a specialised course in video games.

After a high school diploma, it is also possible to continue to a higher technical certificate or a university technical degree, or even do a professional degree in computer science and then consider a course in a video games school.

Online programmer training

It is possible to train on the job; many professionals take this route. Nevertheless, with increasingly sophisticated and evolving technology, choosing a specialised education while acquiring the necessary skills in terms of video game culture will prove to be wise. Our G. Tech school offers a bachelor’s degree in computer development specialising in video games.

Accessible after a high school diploma, it allows you to acquire all the fundamentals of computer languages, web and mobile programming and databases. It is a three-year course, reinforced by work placements.

The school also allows students to obtain a specialised technical level with the MSc in Video Game Programming. It is a course that provides education focused on computer language tools specifically related to video games such as Unity 3D, Unreal Engine 4, CryEngine, etc. The MSc trains people to take responsibility with management modules, among others.

"Technical mastery is generally accompanied by an engineering degree or programming. A network speciality is a plus, but experience will take precedence over initial training," emphasises Julien Millet.
Realityz logo julien millet
Julien Millet
President of the video game studio Realityz


What could be better than putting into practice what you have learnt in school in a company through internships? G. Tech proposes to carry out several of them throughout the bachelor’s degree and MSc years. This translates into two months at the end of the 1st and 2nd year and three months in the last year of the bachelor’s degree. Finally, during the first year of the MSc, you will carry out six months of internship and then do a fifth year both in internships and in fixed-term contracts.

To find employers, we offer internship offers and advise looking at publications on specialised sites such as Gaming Jobs or the AFJV.

World of Warcraft
The World of Warcraft network game is one of the most played online games (30 million players per month)

The salary of an online programmer

30,000 euros per year is on average the salary of a beginner online programmer (who will leave school with a bachelor’s degree in Video Game Developer, for example). Their salary can reach more than 40,000 euros after a few years of experience. Some even earn up to 50,000 euros per year.

In terms of international cities, salaries in Montreal and San Francisco are attractive. You can earn around $ 64,000 on average.

Opportunities for an online programmer

After working in this position and training as a video game programmer, an online programmer has all the technical skills required by a studio. They, therefore, have the know-how that they can use elsewhere, for other jobs in IT development. Also, they can add a touch of management by becoming a lead programmer, for example.

Which companies can you work in?

In recent years, online games have experienced strong growth, so studios have understood the importance of having titles that can be played on a network. At studios like EA Games, Epic Games or Ankama, each has teams of online programmers.

Why become a freelancer?

Like a video game programmer, an online programmer can be a freelancer. Moreover, many learned the basics of programming on the job and gradually specialised in online games while working as a freelancer. It is possible to work in this way on behalf of various small or large studios. You will choose your clients and projects and work from home or in a company. This freedom should not obscure the fact that it requires greater involvement to find projects (especially at the beginning) and that you need to be even more rigorous and organised. But faced with the continuous development of projects, there is no shortage of work.

The advantages and disadvantages of the profession

The advantages of being an online programmer:

  • They possess many skills
  • There is the possibility of freelance work
  • Attractive compensation
  • Being able to work in other sectors

The disadvantages:

  • Infallible work ethic
  • Need to update themselves regularly on new technologies and tools
  • Have to overcome pressure
  • Coping with a voluminous workload

In summary

summary programmer online

How can you become an online video game programmer?

They are an essential building block in the design of an online video game and an online video game programmer has the responsibility of working on the parts connected to the network and will therefore have an implication on all the elements of the game with, at the end, an influence on the player’s experience. To become an online video game programmer, the recommended path is to obtain a scientific or professional high school diploma in computer science and then join the G. Tech school to follow a bachelor’s degree in computer development specialising in video games, which is a course that teaches, among other things, knowledge of computer languages ​​for the web. Finally, it is possible to continue studying with an MSc in Programming.



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