5 ways to play for less this year

Playing video games has become an increasingly pricey hobby, so how can we do it while staying within our financial means?

Kefan Chen
22nd February 2022
Image: Pexels
With £70 becoming the standard price for new games, the expense of the hobby has me worried. Fortunately, I can still buy the games I want, but I'll have to watch my spending. Here are some suggestions and reasons why I think budget players may still enjoy next-generation gaming. 
Image: generationxbox

Organize ahead of time

Be prepared for a boring start. If you're deciding between buying a game and waiting for another to come out, don't spend money you can't afford. If you're unsure which game is superior, wait until you've read reviews or the price has dropped. Determine your annual or monthly budget and must-have games before you go buying. It's even worth looking ahead to next year to choose between buying them now and waiting for a price drop. 

Consider subscription services

My PS5 purchase in November came with a year of PS Plus. Online multiplayer is something I seldom do, if ever. But I've used the free games provided. I've lately played Bugsnax and Hollow Knight. Control: Ultimate Edition for PS4/5 makes this month's offer particularly spectacular. Considering that I would have paid £35 at full price for this well respected AAA game, my PS Plus subscription has paid for itself this month.

It's also worth buying PS Plus subscription cards from third party sites, such as CDKeys or ShopTo. Both sites have more competitive offers than PlayStation's own RRP.

Do you want a new phone or a new gaming console? 

I got a Nintendo Switch when it came out in 2017. A year later, no prospective titles aroused my interest. I swapped it in for a PS4 to play God of War. Unfortunately, Super Mario Party, Luigi's Mansion 3, and Zelda: Link's Awakening came out not too long after. 

I couldn't afford and didn't want to replace my PS4 for a Nintendo Switch. Luckily, I got a Switch for free when I renewed my mobile phone contract. It's just me with a £25 monthly Switch on EE with enough minutes and data. If you want the latest phone, this isn't the best choice, but if it's something to consider if you're content with less expensive models.

Trade-in is your bestie

Buying and selling games is a great way to experience new games without breaking the bank. This is a wonderful approach for gamers that prefer to move quickly. If you buy a game and trade it in for store credit inside the first 30 days, you can usually get a nice refund. 

Is extra storage required? 

Many gamers have complained about the lack of storage on the next generation of consoles, especially the PlayStation 5. I agree, and more storage would have been great. But it's not the end of the world. My hard disc has plenty of capacity even with multiple games installed. Adding SSD storage capacity is unknown to me, but I expect it to be costly. 

So, ask yourself: do you truly need it? There are many games to play, and reinstalling them may be a hassle. Is a quicker internet connection the key? Thanks to my fast connection, most games are available to play within an hour. 

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