How to Save Money on Video Games (in Singapore)

Want to play video games for free? Just go to the store and ask to “sample” it. For 11 hours. But because I’m no moocher, and not at all because I’ve been ejected from every game store in the country, I’ve had to devise new methods. Free is out of the question, but cheap isn’t. In this article, I look at how gamers can sustain their hobby. Without preposterous advice like “work harder”:

 

Guy playing video games

That's right. Download more content and SPEND your opponent to death.

 

1. Download Steam

Yes, I know the downloading sucks. Yes, I know Steam is harder to navigate than the Pac-Man maze after vodka shots. But if you want cheap…tolerate the inconvenience.

Steam, in case your concept of video games is still two lines and a ball, is an app that allows you to buy games (and downloadable content) online. It has a scoreboard, community, all the bells and whistles. But I just want to point out the discount: Every weekend, Steam has a special deal on a particular game line. And when it does, it slashes prices by up to 75%.

That means games can go as low as $5. This beats even your game store’s discount bin, where they’d be going at $20 minimum. And Steam has been known to slash prices on games that are still retailing at $50. Also, Steam lowers the price of games based on age. Which leads me to to saying…

 

Steampunk PC

No, I don't have trouble with STEAM powered games at all.

 

2. Patience Means Cheaper Games

On average, game prices drop three months after release. After six months, they’re in the discount bin next to Ninja Breadman (wash your hands if you touch that filth).

If a game isn’t on your “I must have this or die” list, then be patient. Unlike sports equipment or clothes, the game store can’t leave it on the shelf for years. In a few months, it’s going to join a huge clearance sale, and you can pick it up for dirt cheap.

This is especially true with “series” games (e.g. Assassin’s Creed). If you’re on a budget, you can “fall behind” by one instalment. So you’re playing part II while others are on part III, and so forth. That means the games are constantly in the budget ($30+) categories as you buy them.

 

Old games bin

Have you got Microsoft Word '98? I hear it's the most challenging word game ever.

 

3. Be Loyal (Except in Sim Lim)

Have you noticed there’s no way for game retailers to differentiate themselves? They carry pretty much the same titles. And that’s why in Singapore, these stores bank on loyalty.

Except for Sim Lim. Opening a game store in Sim Lim should legally count as informing others of your ex-convict status. So don’t go there.

Anyway, you want to dodge the big retailers and stay loyal to the small stores. Keep buying from them for two or three months, then see if they have loyalty programs or just give freebies. If they don’t, move on to another. Usually, local stores go out of their way for repeat business.

Apart from giving small discounts, store owners give tip-offs. They would rather warn you against a crap title than sell it to you. Of course, if they don’t recognize you, then you’re fair game.

 

Roscharch Watchmen outfit

What makes you think they sell pirated stuff here?

 

4. Find An Equivalent

Sometimes, you don’t want a specific game. You just want a specific genre.

For example, you might feel like playing a RPG, or aiming a sniper at someone. You may not be thinking of a specific title (e.g. Neverwinter Nights or Call of Duty). You just want “that general kind of game”. In which case, try shopping for equivalents.

Half the games since 2008 involve looking down a gun barrel, so there are dozens of cheap substitutes for Call of Duty. Likewise, there are plenty of horror survival games without a Resident Evil license, or RPGs that aren’t Dungeons & Dragons based.

And let’s face it; when you’re in this mood, you’re just waiting for the next big thing. This is just to tide you over. So don’t blow too much cash on a passing fancy.

 

WoW

Also works as a substitute for cocaine.

 

5. Share Accounts If Possible

On some games, you absolutely can’t share accounts. But if it’s not Diablo or something, go ahead and swap accounts / CDs with friends.

Share your games; there’s no need for you to buy every single title you want. See what your friends are buying, and swap with them when they’re done. With single player games, this will save you about two or three additional purchases each month.

Do the same with under-used games or game equipment. If you don’t play a particular title much, or your XBox is a glorified paperweight, swap it with a friend. Don’t cash it in at a second hand store. You will never get as much value out of your swap as you would with a friend.

 

Silent Hill vs. Katamari

You know what? I don't think we're going to be very good swap buddies.

 

Image Credits:
Rad JoseSteamPunk Frankenstein, meddygarnet, goodrob13, juanpol, videocrab

How do you save money on video games? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options