Game On: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Video Games

Looking to save money on video games? Look no further than our comprehensive guide! Level up your gaming without breaking the bank!

A retro game controller on an orange background
(Image credit: getty images)

 

With both the popularity of gaming continuing to rise and pricing increases year by year, so does the cost of buying new games. However, there are several ways to save on video games that can keep costs down and still allow you to enjoy the latest titles. We’ll be covering everything from buying used games to taking advantage of sales and discounts. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or just starting, this post will provide you with some useful tips for saving money while still enjoying your favourite video games. So let's dive in!

Buying Pre-owned Games

 

Buying pre-owned is honestly one of the best ways to save on video games, especially if you haven't made the switch to a digital library just yet. Pre-owned games are often sold at a much lower price compared to brand-new games, sometimes at a reduction of 75%. 

While you may be worrying that because a game is pre-owned and massively discounted that the price may reflect the condition. Worry not! Because most retailers inspect and test the games to make sure they’re in working condition. Additionally, some retailers offer a guarantee or return policy on their pre-owned games, meaning you can return the game with peace of mind if it isn't up to scratch. 

Another way buying pre-owned video games can save you money is by allowing you to try out games you may have missed when they were first released. Many of us fall victim to the hype trains that surround the release of a new game, but after a few months or weeks, the hype dies down and many gamers seek to recover some of the financial cost by selling their games back to retailers. 

This is where pre-owned games come in. You can often find pre-owned copies of popular games that have been out for a while at a much lower price, especially single-player games as their longevity is much shorter, allowing you to try the game without paying full price. If you end up loving the game, great! If not you, you didn't spend as much money on it as you would have if you had bought it new.

GAME also offers 3 for 2 on pre-owned games which can be a great way to save if you missed multiple games or are looking to hop into a lengthy franchise. 

Coins being poured into a mans hand with a synth-wave background

(Image credit: getty images)

Selling your games

 

As we briefly mentioned above, when a game's hype dies down a lot of gamers seek to regain some of the hard-earned cash they spent on it, in the first place. Selling your old or used games can be a great way to save money on your next game purchase. Not only that, it can help declutter your library or serve as a great way to quickly raise some capital to spend on digital games if you’re thinking of making the switch. 

You can also take advantage of trade-in deals at retailers like GAME and CeX. Most of these retailers also offer a bonus on trade-ins when you have a loyalty card or exchange for store credit. Right now GAME is offering a 10% bonus on trade-ins when you use a GAME reward card. GAME also has a ‘Most Wanted’ list on their website where they offer more cash or credit for specific trade-ins so it's always worth checking to see if you have something they’re after. 

Podium with technology. A game controller and headphones. In yellow and purple tones and a pastel blue background. 3D rendering illustration - stock photo

(Image credit: getty images)

Video Game Sales

 

Sales are an easy way to save money when buying video games. However knowing which sale is going to net you the most savings from each retailer is a skill in itself, luckily we’ve already covered that here.

There are also some little tricks to maximise your savings during sales, especially ones like Black Friday. For Black Friday we recommend purchasing Xbox, PlayStation or Steam gift cards from Amazon as they are usually discounted by a couple of quid. You can then use said discounted gift card on any game you want during any video game sale, saving you just a little more on your next purchase. 

Cardyard

 

You can also check out sites like Cardyard which allow you to buy gift cards for a number of different retailers and may have better deals than Amazon at times. 

Steam collector cards

 

This one only works for Steam users unfortunately, but it's one some of you might not be aware of. Chances are if you’ve been gaming via Steam you’ve received a notification saying you’ve earnt a collector's card for a specific title by playing the game or unlocking an achievement and thought nothing more of it. 

What if we told you those cards are actually with money? Granted most of them aren't worth that much, but I just checked my own Steam inventory and noticed I had about 86 sellable ones all sitting at a value of around £0.05 each meaning I could boost my steam wallet balance by £4 if I was to sell them all. 

It's not just cards either; some games have items that you can sell from your steam inventory like CSGO cases and Rust items which can sell for quite a bit more. You never know, you might be sitting on a small fortune.

Video Game Bundles: Humble Bundle

 

For the uninitiated, Humble Bundle is a video game retailer that specialises, as the name suggests, in selling video game bundles. They’re typically centred around a franchise, genre or theme which makes them perfect if you want to jump into a franchise, or you’re a die-hard fan of a specific genre.

A screen shot of a Humble Bundle offer

(Image credit: Humble Bundle)

 

For example, they currently have a bundle called ‘Scary Games To Play In The Dark’ with an overall value of £137.40. However, a neat feature of Humble Bundle is you can often pay as much or little as you want for a bundle, although this sometimes reduces the amount of games you’ll receive from the bundle. For the aforementioned bundle, you can pay a minimum of £14.67 to receive all seven games, a total saving of £122.73. 

Another great feature of Humble Bundle is that a portion of each purchase's proceeds are donated to various charities. This means that gamers are able to save money and support a good cause. The charities supported by Humble Bundle are varied and include organisations that focus on environmental conservation, mental health, education, and more. By purchasing games through Humble Bundle, gamers can feel like they are making a difference in the world while still enjoying their favourite hobby.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Key Shops

Key Shops have been around for a while, these sites work by buying keys in bulk from developers and selling them at a much lower price. The main issue is that there are so many key sites out there that it can be difficult to find the best bargains. Luckily sites like AllKeyShop exist which compare prices from a number of key sites to find you the best price.

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(Image credit: getty images)

Subscription services

 

Subscription-based service models have taken the video game industry by storm over the past two years. Major players in the space like Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo all have their own subscription offerings. 

For consumers, they offer one of the best ways to save on video games. Most models are priced around the £10.99 mark meaning you’d have to be subscribed for about five months before you’ve equalled the cost of buying a brand-new title. During this time subscription models will give you access to new releases, for example, all Xbox first-party titles get released straight to Game Pass and hundreds of other games making them well worth the cost.  

There are some downsides. You don't actually own the game when you play via a subscription model which means if you end your subscription you’ll no longer have access to that game, the same is also true if the game gets removed from the subscription library.

However, both Xbox’s game pass and PlayStation Now come with the added perk of giving you exclusive discounts on games, meaning if you really liked a game you played via the subscription service, you can outright buy it for a cheaper price. Also, worth noting that both subscription models give away a free game each month to keep in your library forever. 

Subscriptions offer so much bang for your buck making them one of the best ways to save on video games, we've even broken down which ones offer the most bang for your buck. 

For a detailed list on what each subscription service offers, read below:

Xbox Logo

(Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox

 

Game Pass Ultimate - £10.99

  • Play hundreds of high-quality games on console, PC and Cloud
  • New games added all the time
  • Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release
  • Exclusive member discounts and deals
  • Free Perks including in-game content and partner offers
  • Unlock Riot Games benefits
  • Includes Xbox live GOLD
  • Includes EA Play

PlayStation Logo

(Image credit: PlayStation)

PlayStation

 

PlayStation Plus - £13.99

  • Monthly games
  • Online multiplayer
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Exclusive content
  • Cloud storage
  • Share Play
  • Game Help
  • Game Catalogue
  • Ubisoft+ Classics
  • Classics Catalogue
  • Game trials
  • Cloud streaming

Nintendo Logo

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo

 

Nintendo Switch Online - £3.49

  • Online play
  • Play classic NES, Super NES & Game Boy games
  • Cloud data saves
  • Online voice chat via the Nintendo Online mobile app
  • Exclusive offers

FREE announcement neon signboard vector - stock photo

(Image credit: getty images)

Free Games

EPIC Games Logo

(Image credit: EPIC Games)

EPIC

 

This one is short and sweet but unfortunately only available for PC users. Epic games give away two free games every week, while these are often small indie titles they do offer some genuine gems at times - I’ve acquired the entire Borderlands franchise from them for the low cost of nothing. 

In December Epic also give away 15 free games every day during the run-up to Christmas and these can be fairly decent, last year’s giveaways were:

  • From December 15 to 16, 2022 -- Bloons TD 6
  • From December 16 to 17, 2022 -- Horizon Chase Turbo
  • From December 17 to 18, 2022 -- Costume Quest 2
  • From December 18 to 19, 2022 -- Sable
  • From December 19 to 20, 2022 -- Them's Fightin' Herds
  • From December 20 to 21, 2022 -- Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • From December 21 to 22, 2022 -- LEGO Builder's Journey
  • From December 22 to 23, 2022 -- Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
  • From December 23 to 24, 2022 -- Encased
  • From December 24 to 25, 2022 -- Metro: Last Light Redux
  • From December 25 to 26, 2022 -- Death Stranding
  • From December 26 to 27, 2022 -- F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch
  • From December 27 to 28, 2022 -- Severed Steel
  • From December 28 to 29, 2022 -- Mortal Shell
  • From December 29, 2022, to January 5, 2023 -- Dishonored

Xbox Games with GOLD

 

Xbox fans can receive one free game a month with Xbox games with GOLD. Last years free games were: 

  • From 01/11/2022 -- Praetorians - HD Remaster, Dead End Job
  • From 01/10/2022 -- Windbound, Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition
  • From 01/09/2022 -- Gods Will Fall, Double Kick Heroes, Thrillville, Portal 2
  • From 01/08/2022 -- Calico, ScourgeBringer, Saints Row 2, Monaco: What's Yours is Mine
  • From 01/07/2022 -- Beasts of Maravilla Island, Relicta, Thrillville: Off the Rails, Torchlight
  • From 01/06/2022 -- Aven Colony, Project Highrise: Architects Edition, Super Meat Boy, Raskulls
  • From 01/05/2022 -- Yoku's Island Express, The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Viva Piñata Party Animals
  • From 01/04/2022 -- Another Sight, Hue, Outpost Kaloki X, MX vs ATV Alive
  • From 01/03/2022 -- Aground, NeuroVoider, Space Invaders: IG, Radiant Silvergun
  • From 01/02/2022 -- Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse, Aerial_Knight's Never Yield, Hydrophobia, Band of Bugs
  • From 01/01/2022 -- Aground, NeuroVoider, Space Invaders: IG, Radiant Silvergun  

PlayStation Plus

 

PlayStation fans can receive one free game a month with PlayStation Plus. Last years free games were:

  • From 01/01/2022 -- Persona 5 Strikers, Dirt 5, Deep Rock Galactic
  • From 01/02/2022 -- UFC 4, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, Planet Coaster: Console Edition
  • From 01/03/2022 -- Ark: Survival Evolved, Team Sonic Racing, Ghostrunner, Ghost of Tsushima: Legends
  • From 01/04/2022 -- Hood: Outlaw & Legends, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated, Slay the Spire
  • From 01/05/2022 -- FIFA 22, Tribes of Midgard, Curse of the Dead Gods
  • From 01/06/2022 -- God of War, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Strike, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
  • From 01/07/2022 -- Aracegeddon, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
  • From 01/08/2022 -- Little Nightmares, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Cross-Gen Deluxe Bundle, Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • From 01/09/2022 -- Granblue Fantasy Versus, Need for Speed Heat, Toem
  • From 01/10/2022 -- Hot Wheels Unleashed, Injustice 2, Superhot
  • Frome 01/11/2022 -- Heavenly Bodies, Lego Harry Potter Collection, Nioh 2
  • From 01/12/2022 -- Biomutant, Divine Knockout, Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Joshua Ludewig
Copywriter

Hey! I'm Josh and I started working at MyVoucherCodes in March 2023. Prior to this, I studied at Cardiff Metropolitan University where I completed a Master's degree in Specialist Journalism, I also completed a Bachelor's degree in History at Liverpool John Moores University. My interest in history ultimately rekindled my love of writing, which largely stems from the aspect of deducing motive and subtext from both historical sources and contexts. However, this fascination with critical thinking has now expanded beyond that of the historical, it now pervades many aspects of my interests from the film, video games, and technical fashion to larger societal issues and the efforts being made to combat them through technological advancements. It is my desire to produce media discussing these topics at length and apply critical analysis to them.


When I'm not working, I enjoy reading, listening to music, watching films, and playing games. I'm particularly interested in Welsh history and sci-fi and fantasy genres. I also love attending Europe's biggest gaming convention in Cologne every year and e-skating during the warmer months.