|Study level:||High school diploma + 2 years of higher education|
|Recommended high school diploma:||General or Technological specialities|
|Beginner salary:||€ 1,800|
|Confirmed salary:||€ 3,000|
« The primary goal of the tester is to assist developers (from near or far) by testing any new functionality or production systems. We must ensure that the game is stable and usable for both the player and the developers at all times. When there are « bugs », we have to flag them and classify them in order of priority in software by being very precise in their description », describes Marianne Morin, a tester within the Wild Sheep Studio.
The responsibilities of the video game tester
"This job is quite difficult. When you test a video game, most of the time it's to identify bugs or problems. You have to disregard the "fun" aspect in order to observe everything that happens meticulously", warns Lucas Odion, project manager within Revolt Games, studio publisher of the video game Neopolis Game and who, along with other members of the team, is responsible for testing the games.
A tester must therefore respond to a set of tasks such as:
- Verification of the game against the specifications
- Perform handling, readability and ergonomics tests
- Identifying bugs
- Assessment of difficulties
- Experience the game mechanics
- Make suggestions for corrections and verifications
Marianne Morin recounts her daily life at Wild Sheep Studio:
The skills of the video game tester
A tester may repeat the same action several times in order to find errors. That’s why they try to put themselves in the place of the gamer and anticipate their reactions. There are long and tedious checks, but they are necessary to make the game a quality product. They must master:
- The basics of game design
- Product strategy
- The rules of the game
- The production line
- Technical English
- Reporting and database techniques and tools
- Diversity of player behaviour
« A good tester is a tester who finds bugs that the developers had not seen or could not have imagined, so it is useful to have a slightly ‘twisted’ and imaginative mind to test the behaviours of counter-intuitive players, » says Lucas Odion.
The qualities of the video game tester
The qualities of a video game tester are as follows:
Julien Millet adds that this profession requires « the tester to be very methodical. It is easy to get carried away by the game when you have specific tasks to perform and not carry out the tests under the required conditions. You have to have a good analytical and synthetical mind to be able to explain the stages and reproduction of the detected problems. Indeed, just knowing that there is a bug is not of great interest to a
developer. What is important is knowing what the conditions that resulted in this bug were so that we can fix it. »
The advantages and disadvantages of being a video game tester
Derrière l’idée que le testeur de jeux vidéo passe son temps à jouer, ce dernier réalise un travail précis et pointilleux pour faire en sorte que la qualité du jeu soit au rendez-vous. Dès lors, si toutefois il y a un certain nombre d’avantages, ce métier est aussi fait d’inconvénients.
- Good employability
- Freelance possible
- Passion within the profession
- Flexible hours
- No diploma is required
- Repeating tasks (repetitively pressing buttons)
- It’s not just playing video games, it takes a lot of work
Studies to become a video game tester
Choosing a degree specialising in video games and accessible after a high school diploma is recommended. A video game tester is one of the careers you can start without a diploma, however, prerequisites in terms of knowledge in the field will be required.
Sonia Berladyn, who works for Behavior Interactive, a studio that has developed Rebelle, L’Age de glace, etc. came to this profession out of passion, but it wasn’t only that:
Testing a video game isn’t just about playing car games. It’s mostly about finding and fixing bugs.
Having an academic background that holds up to scrutiny will make the difference with a recruiter when looking for jobs in video game testing. Therefore, there are two options: G. Business school, which allows students to follow the bachelor’s in Video Games and Esport Management. Throughout the three years, they taught marketing, management, management and business development with additional internships.
You can also choose a more technical route through the bachelor’s degree in IT Development specialising in video games from G. Tech. This entails three years of computer development related to video games with internships that complement your education.
After both degrees, it is possible to continue for two years in MBA. This more specialised training can lead to taking positions of responsibility.
We offer each student the opportunity to do internships in video game companies. This time allows you to put your knowledge into practice, check if you are well suited for this job, and see in which sector you will evolve later.
Several internships are compulsory: during the first two years of the bachelor’s degree, you must complete two months in internships, then three months in the 3rd year. In the 4th year of the MBA, the internship period is six months, and in the last year, you will carry out a work-study placement.
Regularly, internship offers are distributed by the school. In addition, it is possible to find a company by searching on specific specialised sites (Jooble, Welcome to the Jungle, Indeed, etc.)
Video game tester salary
After some experience, a video game tester is around 30,000 euros gross annually. However, at the start of their career, it will be around the minimum wage. Across the Atlantic Ocean, salaries are more or less the same.
Opportunities for the profession of video game tester
By dissecting a video game in-depth, a video game tester acquires solid experience and skills that can lead them to work in other positions, such as a game designer or level designer. They will still need an excellent technical background. They may also become responsible for testing and quality.
Which companies could you work in?
Each studio has a team dedicated to video game testing. Whether the person works as an employee or is hired as a freelancer, no company overlooks the need for testers. The stakes are so high that few people ignore them. Ubisoft, Bigben Interactive, MWM, Quantic Dream look for expert eyes.
Is it possible to go freelance?
Many video game testers work in this way. It is a profession full of passion that allows you to work from home. However, a freelance video game tester requires an excellent work ethic. Indeed, it is not only about playing video games; you need to detect flaws, errors and bugs. Concentration, attention, organisation are key.
How can you become a video game tester?
Like being a community manager, video game testing is not for everyone. It is not enough to know how to play well to occupy this position, but you also need to have the expertise to meet a set of criteria guaranteeing the quality of the game. From a game’s first version to its final version, the tester gives feedback to developers and rates the gameplay. Becoming a video game tester does not require specific training, though it is recommended that you complete one of our schools, in order to learn the basics of the world of video games and its culture.