Game testers: Key Technical Skills

Soledad Martínez Navarro | May 23, 2022


Game testers have become an essential part of app development teams. To ensure its success, a videogame must be high quality, intuitive and attractive to users. In this article, we will discuss all the technical skills that are essential for game testers that need to be applied to ensure a bug-free game, or at least a game with as few bugs as possible.

Game testers must own their work. This not only implies doing their job, but also being responsible for the quality and timely delivery of the results. Attention to detail is another important skill. A game can fail if an evaluator does not take responsibility for a task and pay close attention to detail. A tester must ensure that all aspects of the job are performed correctly by testing the game's images, text, controls, sounds, scenes, requirements, and features.

The willingness to understand games in terms of design is another necessary skill for testers. They should know the answers to questions like what graphics were used in the development of the game? What programming language was used? What tools were implemented? This helps when writing bug reports, improves readability, and makes it easier for the developer to understand the problem and find it in the code. This way, a tester contributes to the creation of various scenarios in terms of design that broaden the scope of testing options for the game. As a complement to this skill, evaluators must have a keen sense of logic and reasoning. This is very important as they need to understand how the game works, its logic, and the goal it is supposed to accomplish. These aspects, as mentioned above, will be used to estimate possible scenarios and guarantee a game with the least number of errors.

Another ability to consider is an evaluator's problem-solving ability. A good game tester uses an approach that pays close attention to problem-solving, applying algorithmic thinking to create usability tests, as well as analytical and critical thinking; this helps to evaluate the problem and make decisions in a logical and methodical way. Using a logical approach, testers come up with practical solutions to problems they may encounter in the game development phase.

In addition, knowledge of the computer and video game industry is also essential for an evaluator to be successful. A tester must understand the importance of QA testing, as a game generates more revenue when an app meets user expectations. Conversely, the losses from a low-quality game with lots of bugs can be exorbitant.

Understanding software QA processes is at the heart of video game testing. An evaluator must have a good understanding of what is involved in the quality control process, how game review and auditing work, and how to check all previously established procedures and standards. Most importantly, the evaluator must ensure that problems are identified and resolved. In the same way, a tester must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines. All game requirements set out in the planning phase must be met and the game must meet the highest possible quality standards in the allotted time. This means that an evaluator's ability to work alone or as a member of a team, under pressure and within deadlines, is of paramount importance.

Patience in performing repetitive tasks is a must-have skill for every game tester as, whatever the game, they will have to try the same screen many times. This involves strong knowledge and communication skills, excellent observation skills, and requires calmness and perseverance.

A crucial skill when it comes to performing highly technical tasks is flexibility and the ability to adapt to different processes. A tester must be able to work productively and flexibly, adapting to changes that arise during a project. In addition, they must adapt to possible new work scenarios and multiple challenges, as well as responsibilities and work schedules to meet the requirements that guarantee a high-quality game.

Also, knowledge of technology is vital. While it is true that video games and their technology are constantly evolving, it is essential that a tester has a basic understanding of current technology. They must keep up to date on new technologies and become familiar with the technology used to create the game, as well as with devices that are used as game accessories. Additionally, a tester must be familiar with the games and the gameplay, this requires a deep understanding of how video game design works, since each brand operates under its own characteristics. Operational characteristics must be taken into account to ensure that the game is compatible with the console for which it is intended.

Having knowledge of programming and coding is also important, as this can be useful when making changes, for example, to the user interface of a web application, using development tools. A game tester can provide additional information about an issue by creating a bug report, which means learning the basics of programming will help set them apart from other testers and broaden their reach.

Last but not least, an evaluator must have a good understanding of hardware components. It is key for them to know the details of a gaming device, as well as the embedded software that handles the installation of the game.

Working as a game tester is an interesting job not only because of the opportunity offered by the growing market and the interesting challenges of testing a video game, but also because of the attractive learning opportunities. It is a role that requires a commitment of time and effort. A tester must have several essential skills and must be in constant communication with other testers and other members of a work team.

In general, testers should be able to understand the functionality of a game and should be familiar with existing game technology on mobile, desktop, console, and other controllers. They need to be patient and understand that they will have to deal with all sorts of complexities in the testing process. They need to identify problems, assess unknown application behavior, create new scenarios, and test existing scenarios.

Technical skills are essential to enhance the testing process and evolve as a professional, providing greater added value to game development teams. But above all, evaluators must be prepared to apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills to problem-solving.

About Encora

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