Make Money Playing Mobile Games: 11 Apps That Pay You To Play


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Did you know that you can actually make money playing mobile games?

There are now over 700,000 mobile games available for iPhone and Android users to enjoy! These games are a fun way to relax and often give us something to do on our phones while we’re waiting for an appointment or sitting on a plane.

But if you aren’t getting paid to play, you’re missing out.

It’s true! In this list, you’ll find the highest-rated and most popular game apps that let you earn money simply by playing on your phone.

For each game, I’ve included:

  • the relevant app store rating
  • comments from real reviewers
  • a brief description of how to the app works

Ready? Let’s do it!

Most Ways to Earn
A Strong Newcomer
An Android Fave
4.4
4.1
4.3

Swagbucks has paid out over $550 million to users over the last 10+ years.

Get paid to test new games, complete offers, and answer short surveys.

Discover games, earn "gems", and cash out for gift cards.

Most Ways to Earn
4.4

Swagbucks has paid out over $550 million to users over the last 10+ years.

A Strong Newcomer
4.1

Get paid to test new games, complete offers, and answer short surveys.

An Android Fave
4.3

Discover games, earn "gems", and cash out for gift cards.

make money playing mobile games

Can You Really Make Money Playing Games On Your Phone?

Yes, you can—this list of legit game apps with top-notch reviews more than proves that.

But how does it work?

There are two main categories of play-to-earn mobile games:

  1. Get paid to download and try new games
  2. “Real money” gaming

Getting Paid to Try New Games

For the apps that reward you for downloading and trying out new games, you’ll usually be required to play the new game long enough to reach certain milestones within a specified period of time.

Where does the money come from? These apps get paid by game developers who want to get new users to play their games. The apps then share their a portion of that money with you, the user.

“Real Money” Gaming

With real money gaming, you compete against other players to win real cash prizes.

While legal in most states, some of these games aren’t permitted on the basis that they could be considered a form of gambling.

The app developers argue that these games are skill-based instead of chance-based and, therefore, shouldn’t be thought of as gambling. Either way, one key difference with real money gaming is that you’ll likely have to put your own money at risk in order to win.

In this article, I’ll take you through several apps in each category to help you determine the best option for your side hustle.

Apps That Pay You To Try Out New Games

App Name App Rating Estimated Annual Earnings*
Swagbucks 4.4 ⭐ out of 113K Ratings (Apple) $730 to $1,825
KashKick 4.1 ⭐ out of 1.8K Ratings (Apple) $200 to $600
Cash Giraffe 4.3 ⭐ out of 248K Ratings (Android) $300 to $500
Mistplay 4.1 ⭐ out of 431K Ratings (Android) $200 to $500
Freecash 4.0 ⭐ out of 52K Ratings (Android) $150 to $500
TesterUp 4.3 ⭐ out of 58K Ratings (Android) $100 to $200

*Note: Few of these apps publish the actual, average earnings of their users. I came up with these general estimates based on research into Reddit, review sites, and claims made by the apps themselves. How much you’ll actually earn from each app depends on a number of factors, including the amount of time you dedicate to playing and the offers that happen to be available at any given time.

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an online survey app that enables you to take surveys and play new games to earn cash.

Most Ways to Earn
Swagbucks
4.4

Swagbucks has paid out over $550 million to users over the last 10+ years.

Pros:
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Lots of ways to earn
  • $10 sign-up bonus
Cons:
  • Surveys don't pay much

At press time, the app has a 4.4-star rating with over 113,000 reviews on the Apple App Store.

Reviewers appreciate the variety of ways to make money with Swagbucks, including:

However, there are complaints that some of the tasks can be difficult or time-consuming to complete compared to the expected rewards.

swagbucks app pays you to play mobile games

Swagbucks awards you “SB” points for completing different tasks. SB can be converted into gift cards, starting at 300 points for a $3 gift card.

Some tasks are as simple as clicking through a few screens and signing up for a game. Other offers will require you to reach a certain level within 7-30 days.

More difficult tasks can take longer but pay better.

For example, if you reach level 18 in Rise of Kingdoms within 21 days, you can earn $100!

As part of her $100/day challenge, Jackie Mitchell mentioned earning as much as $218 playing games through Swagbucks.

2. KashKick

KashKick is another great resource to get paid to play mobile games.

A Strong Newcomer
KashKick

Get paid to test new games, complete offers, and answer short surveys.

At press time, KashKick holds a 4.1-star rating on the Google Play store from more than 1,800 reviews.

KashKick gives you cash for playing certain games. Basically, you pick a game you like, and then you play that game until you reach the level you need to earn the reward.

One reviewer described how they earned around $200 “playing the easier games with smaller rewards.” Another reviewer described how they earned $600 over the course of a year.

kashkick review

In terms of cons, some reviewers complain that it can be hard to find good offers on the platform. Another downside is that the tasks sometimes require you to pay money in order to complete them.

Once you’ve earned $10, you can cash out via PayPal. Check out my full KashKick review to learn more.

3. TesterUp

TesterUp is available on both Google Play and the App Store and boasts an above 4-star rating on both platforms.

Testerup
4.0
Free

If you enjoy playing mobile games, Testerup is a legit way to monetize your hobby.

Pros:
  • Lots of games and varieties to choose from.
  • Competitive payouts.
  • Available on iOS and Android.
Cons:
  • Clunky interface.
  • High minimum before you can cash out.

Described by several users as “a pleasure to use” and “the best,” TesterUp has earned a good reputation by providing legitimate rewards for people who already enjoy playing mobile games.

One of the biggest attractions of TesterUp, when compared to other apps that pay you to test games, is the amount of money you can earn per task.

For example, I found an opportunity to make $227 playing Raid: Shadow Legends!

Of course, you’ll need to play several hours in order to earn the full amount. Still, if that’s what you were going to do anyway, why not monetize your hobby?

testerup screenshots

One drawback? You’ll need to earn at least $70 before you can actually cash out. This is higher than most of the apps on this list.

The app also loses points for a somewhat clunky and confusing interface.

To learn more, check out my full TesterUp review.

Sign Up To Start Earning!

4. Freecash

Out of over 52,000 users, Freecash has garnered an impressive 4-star rating on the Google Play Store.

As with the other apps in this list, the app is designed to pay you real money to try out new casual games. You can cash out through Bitcoin, Amazon gift cards, and more.

One user described the offers available on the platform as “better than any of the other similar apps I use.” Another reviewer called Freecash “an absolute game-changer.”

According to the app, a typical user can expect to earn around $17.53 per day just playing games. Freecash has game offers for iOS, Android, and PC, with some paying out hundreds of dollars. (But the app itself is only available on Android and web.)

freecash payout examples

At press, the app had over 2,700 different games to choose from, offering plenty of variety for players.

As is common, you’ll earn more the more you play in each game, and reaching the highest tier may require some in-game purchases.

(But even if you don’t reach the highest level, you should still earn milestone payouts for however far you do get.)

5. Cash Giraffe

Cash Giraffe is an Android-only mobile app that allows users to earn money playing some of their favorite mobile games.

An Android Fave
Cash Giraffe
4.3

Discover games, earn "gems", and cash out for gift cards.

Cashouts are provided in a number of ways, including:

  • coupons from top brands
  • gift cards
  • PayPal

The app has a 4.3-star rating from a whopping 248K reviews! One user said that the app is in their “top 3 for earning money for playing games.”

Users appreciate the ease of the offers and that there aren’t too many ads. One user was able to earn $75 in two months, casually playing games.

cash giraffe

On the downside, it can also be difficult to get the payout process to work properly. Based on reviews, you may need to back out of the app and restart it occasionally to get your cash rewards.

Also, cash payouts are made in Euros, so you’ll have to convert the currency inside your PayPal account if you want to transfer dollars to your bank.

6. Mistplay

Mistplay is another popular app — over 10 million downloads — that provides cash rewards to mobile gamers.

Like Cash Giraffe, this app is currently Android-only and has a 4.1-star rating from over 430K reviews. 

Mistplay has paid out over $60 million in rewards since 2016.

mistplay for mobile gaming

Reviews of the app describe it as “straightforward,” “awesome,” and “so helpful.” Payouts are offered in a wide range of options, including many different gift cards and direct cash deposits to PayPal.

Many people also appreciate the wide range of different games available.

How much can you realistically earn?

One reviewer said they had earned at least $80 in gift cards after playing for over a year. Another user described how they earned almost $200 in Starbucks gift cards after playing for around a year.

As with most of these apps, the more you play, the more you can expect to earn.

Real Money Gaming Apps (Compete With Other Players)

7. Bingo Cash

The popular Bingo Cash game app turns classic bingo from a game of luck into a game of speed and skill. Each game only takes about 2 minutes to play, and you can earn real-world rewards and cash prizes (except in AR, IA, LA, SC, and WA).

bingo cash app

At press time, the app has a 4.7-star rating on the Apple App Store from 89,000+ reviews, with players calling it “legit,” “fun,” and “addicting.”

As with all gaming apps, practice for free first. Then, never put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.

Install And Start Earning

8. Solitaire Cash

Solitaire Cash is a real-money game where you can play different Solitaire games for a chance to win real cash payouts.

This app has a 4.6-star rating on Apple from over 310K ratings. Reviewers on the app store describe Solitaire Cash as “real” and “a decent game.”

solitaire cash real money game

If you’re passionate about Solitaire and like playing on your phone, this could be a great way to monetize your hobby and earn some cash in your free time.

However, be aware that you will need to deposit money in order to earn cash rewards, and you could lose money. Depending on your skill, reward amounts vary from $5 all the way to over $100.

Cash tournaments are currently not yet available in the following states: AZ, IN, IA, LA, ME, SC, MT, and WA.

9. Bubble Cash

Do you enjoy bubble shooter games? These are games where you need to line up three or more bubbles of the same color to pop them.

The ultimate goal is to clear as many levels as possible.

bubble cash app

Bubble Cash is a bubble shooter game that allows you to play for a chance to win cash prizes. The app has great reviews — 4.6 stars from 113K ratings on the Apple App Store.

As with the other gaming apps in this list, Bubble Cash provides the option to both download the app and play games entirely for free.

To earn cash rewards, you’ll need to engage in cash tournaments where you compete against other players. How much can you earn? That depends on your skill level, but many players report earning a few dollars a day in their spare time.

Cash tournaments for Bubble Cash are currently unavailable in the following states: AZ, IA, LA, and SC.

10. Pool Payday

If you enjoy the skill and strategy of pool, the Pool Payday real money gaming app might be worth a look.

You can compete in a couple different modes: real-time or turn-based. In either mode, you’ll try and rack up the highest score by sinking your balls and earning bonuses for:

  • speed
  • pocket calling
  • trick shots
  • expert ball positioning

pool payday app

Overall, the app has a 4.6-star rating from over 85,000 reviews. One reviewer called it “the most honest” real money game, but others admitted to losing far more than they’ve won.

Cash tournaments aren’t allowed in AR, CT, DE, LA, and SD.

11. Cookie Cash

Cookie Cash is a fun new game app where you can win real money. App Store reviews call this version of the classic Match 3 game “great fun” and “legit.” It currently holds a 4.7-star rating out of almost 4,000 ratings.

As your speed and skills improve, you can compete against other players to climb the global leaderboard and win cash prizes. To keep things fair, the app matches you up against players with similar skill levels.

Of course, I recommend practicing for free first!

Cookie Cash is free to download and play, but cash tournaments aren’t yet available in AZ, IA, LA, SC, and WA.

You Can Make Money Playing Mobile Games

Each of the apps I’ve listed in this article is legit and will really pay you to play games. I’ve tested several of them myself and can vouch for their authenticity.

Although results will vary from game to game and app to app, you’re more likely to earn money using the testing apps rather than the real money games.

That’s because many of these real money games use matchmaking systems that pair you up with a player of equal skill level. This can make it quite challenging to win games consistently. Plus, if you don’t get a high enough ranking in a tournament, you’ll lose whatever money you put in.

When it comes to the apps that pay you to test out new games, in most cases, you will need to have never downloaded the game previously. Most of these apps won’t reward you for the time you may have already put into a game before using the app.

Keep in mind that many of these apps will require you to download the game and then play it through the testing app. Doing this for too many games at once can end up overloading your phone’s storage capacity.

I recommend focusing on one game that you really like at a time and progressing through to higher rewards until you complete the offer. Then, move on to the next game.

Because some offers can be time-consuming, these apps really make the most sense for people who are already enjoy mobile games and would like to earn some money on the side.

And if you prefer console or PC gaming, check out our list of ways to get paid to pay video games.

Ultimately, you won’t be able to quit your job or replace a full-time income with these apps. Still, it is possible and realistic to add a few hundred dollars a year to your bottom line.

Not a bad way to erase some expenses, just by playing games on your phone.

Serious About Making Extra Money?

*************
(Top image via Unsplash)

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

Usually Hustling, Occasionally Social

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