5 smarter ways to buy cheap games

(check out my complete 107 ways to save money on games for the full overview)

Adding to your basket can propagate thoughts of acute caution or it can instigate a more dangerous buzz of escapism. That’s why when I say you shouldn’t really buy more than one game at a time I sometimes feel like a punctilious school teacher.

Three games deep and you’re now being offered a proprietary discount encouraging you to go even further… A ‘customers also bought’ selection pops up, usually right before the basket, and now – they have you. Your locked in, way over your initial budget, and making a purchase four times the price you intended.

The problem is that the larger the basket the more acceptable each addition becomes. The stinger that made me write this was recently when I made a huge purchase of games that I bought last year that I still have not touched. Buyers remorse kicked in and I remember a nickel is way too much money for something I’m not going to get around to.

Even if you can afford it, there’s never a need to buy more than one game in one session. They aren’t going anywhere. And at least you know that nothing is getting purchased through impulse. 

You can rocket through a movie in around two hours, video games will typically offer 4-5 times that return for your investment. This is why it’s so salient to find games that offer big bang for your buck and also so unessesary to buy a whole bunch of them at once.

Here are some ways to either cut the price or at least stretch your purchase so you get more content and playtime – while paying less.

1. Use Top-up cards for a double discount

Most game releases under the umbrella of a company like Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft will be sold directly as a digital download from their own platform.

You can purchase credit with cash or you can find a top-up card – this is where smarts come in. Online stores like CDKeys (worldwide) or shopto.net (UK) electronic first (worldwide) will offer discounts on this credit, sometimes up to 15-20% 

Use this to purchase something that is already on sale and you should always be able to get a double discount.

The more platforms you own the more likely you are to find a new sale every week.

Steam seems to be the king when it comes to the diversity and frequency of its video game offers so if you are a PC player you will always have a wider selection. 

Is cdkeys legit

Buying codes or downloading online was something I always used to avoid, especially from places unassociated with my video game platform. But digital stores like CDkeys seemed to have earned a solid reputation over the years and true discounts can be found regularly if you know what you’re looking for. 

Steam has won the crowd for PC users but across the games medium and you can find deal focused sites that offer early access codes, free games, exclusive offers and even their own add on content.

2. Hunt down collections

I’m not knocking the huge multi-game purchase too hard. I’ve made plenty, but now I aim for getting more out of each purchase. An example of this could be searching for collections. These are special collections meticulously constructed to please a player with games in the same genre or artstyle.

There are fabulous collections and indie titles like this that are always on sale, and when bundled together you get more of a discount. These may not include a ton of content but there are some brilliant picks if you filter these against their critical reception and hone in on the really good ones.

Sometimes a developer, publisher or studio will bundle together a collection of their own titles, EA, Ubisoft, etc, so you can get a bunch of what you like for a fraction of the cost. It’s all about playing the waiting game. Keep adding things to your waiting list and keep focusing on the big single purchase.

Another cool idea is to push that single purchase even further with the less familiar bundled purchases; let me show you.

3. Find franchises in complete packs

If the franchise is popular enough, you can probably find them together in one bundle.

Resident Evil Triple pack – These have been sewn together for some time. Opinions are divided on the varying degrees of quality between games but the one unified conclusion is that if you can get them all at once they are worth having in the collection.

Assassins creed triple pack – If you’ve somehow missed these massively popular games you can catch up on all your assassin to-do list all in one purchase.

Complete or deluxe editions can also offer a major boost in value as your usually getting all of the games additional downloadable content, this could be in the form of maps, new chapters, more challenges and difficulty levels. Some of the hidden gems from recent years are below.

4. The wishlist – play the waiting game

One of the features regularly requested by consumers is to get a notification or email whenever an item goes on sale – much maligned by retailers as this reduces their intake and therefore their bottom line. 

Developers and publishers want you to buy a game at its most expensive so if you want to catch a game on sale you’re going to have to spot it yourself. 

And if that means wading through the collections, finding the games you want, and placing them all in a wishlist (Playstation network has one built-in for example) then that is what you should do.

5. Flip your purchase

A short time after launching, Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream spoke about the realities of the second-hand market and how using data collected from trophies and achievements they were able to ascertain that 1 million people had purchased their game – but 2 million people had played it. 

Although not celebrated as the best way to help developers you could always buy your game retail, then sell it on eBay or whichever platform you choose. It’s your item and if you’re on a low budget… it’s your choice.

This factor is built into your price tag, so if you don’t want your hardcopy anymore, and your happy losing some value in depreciation, packing costs, or delivery, why not sell it someone who does?

Find games your way

Any shrewd gamer can very often rely on their own judgment but even the best of us can always be swayed by impulse. “This offer ends today” – “30 sold in the last hour – hurry!” – “last one in stock” You know the routine. Stick to your guns, one game at a time is usually enough.

2 replies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s