Game Testing Firms EA Video game testing jobs wouldn't exist without video game testing firms. Sometimes, these firms are the companies that created the games. Sometimes, they're the publishers, and sometimes, they're third-party company that handles quality assurance and testing for multiple companies. No matter what, these companies hire video game testers to perform one or several different types of testing.

Localization Testing

Localization testing firms focus on making sure a foreign-made game is ready to be released in a different language. These testers check the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and language of the game. They take note of any metaphors or sayings that don't make sense and point out places where the translation isn't quite as polished as it should be. Localization testers are often required for role playing games because of the large amount of text involved in that genre, although localization testing is done for all genres.

Beta Testing

Many firms, especially those that promote online games, hire beta testers. Firms that do beta testing are looking for gamers to play a game that is complete. Note that "complete" does not mean "finished"—beta testing is all about pointing out all the bugs that are still in the game that the programmers to fix. While some firms do still pay for beta testers, those that operate online games often hold what is called public beta testing. Gamers sign up to beta test the game for free. In return, they get to see the new content before other gamers.

Most firms out there are looking to hire video game testers for the purpose of beta testing. While the company's quality assurance department may do an early round of beta testing, they generally don't have time to thoroughly test the games. That's where hired beta testers come in. They play through the entire game and submit a report listing all the bugs, oddities, and more. Note that the quality assurance team is generally made up of full-time employees of the game company while beta testers are usually game players who work from home.

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Compatibility Testing

Other video game testing firms focus on compatibility testing. This type of testing is used to determine system requirements. While console games do not generally require compatibility testing, computer video games do. Firms have testers test the game on as many different computer systems as possible to determine which operating systems the game will run on, the minimum required processor speed needed, the amount of RAM necessary, and more. Compatibility tests usually take place shortly after beta testing begins and again towards the end of beta testing.

Load Testing

Another type of testing that most video game firms do in-house (meaning they rarely hire video game testers who work from home) is called a load test. Load testing looks at how many players can be on a server at once or how many processes the game can run without causing the system to slow down. Many times, load testing firms conduct these tests during the beta phase since the many beta testers provide a nice way of seeing if the servers can handle the load.

Soak Testing

Firms that do soak testing will run a game for hours to test for memory leaks and other issues. They want to see if a game can be played for many hours at a time. While some gamers do only play a game for an hour or so, many play for five or six hours or more. By doing soak tests, firms can tell programmers whether or not a game can be played long-term without crashing. Most soak testing is done via automated software, and many bugs discovered during soak testing are actually never fixed. That's because the software tests games in unreasonable ways, such as a player playing the same level over and over for six hours.

While some firms do focus on one type of testing, many offer various testing options. Working for these firms may require you to be knowledgeable in various types of testing, although most work-from-home game testers are involved in beta testing only. Still, by knowing about the various types of testing and how to do each one, you can demonstrate your familiarity with the game testing industry, which can help you secure a game testing job.