Rising inflation combined with post-holiday financial stress means that most of us need to focus on saving money. Hyped games may tempt us, but buying every new release is not feasible in the long term. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy video games without overspending.
1. Force yourself to revisit your games library.
Most gamers have unplayed titles sitting in their libraries, and I'm willing to bet that you do, too. When you want to buy more games, remind yourself of the ones you already own. Challenge yourself to play one of the games in your library before allowing yourself to buy a new one.
2. Seek out bundle deals.
Bundles are only a method for cost savings if you genuinely want several of the included games. Alternatively, if the bundle cost is below the cost of the singular game you are planning to buy, it may be worth the purchase. Services like Humble Bundle or personalized Steam bundles may help you save money on games that you were already planning to buy.
3. Wait for big discounts.
This one may seem obvious, but waiting for major discounts is a great way to save money. It's an especially useful tactic if you've been eyeing some older games, since they go on steeper markdowns after being released for a few years. Instead of buying a game right away, add it to your wishlist and revisit it when discounts are widespread. Some online wishlists (or wishlist apps) will send you notifications when your listed items become discounted.
4. Replay old favorites.
Replaying a game you already own is the cheapest (and sometimes most satisfying) option on this list. Whenever you find yourself tempted to buy a new game, return to your library and ask yourself if there are any beloved titles worth replaying. You already know that you'll love the game, and you don't have to spend anything beyond what you've already spent.
5. Game vicariously through streamers.
Instead of buying every new release, select the ones about which you are most excited and reserve your budget for them. You can watch streamers play the games you can't afford, allowing you to participate in the hype without spending money. As an added bonus, you can support your favorite creators by watching them play, even if you don't contribute any money during the streams.
We can continue to enjoy new and old games while maintaining financial stability, even if temptation makes regular appearances in our minds. These strategies have helped me make smarter purchases as I navigate the temptation that plagues my own brain. I hope that the tips above are helpful to you, regardless of your current financial status and goals.