Online survey panels are one of the most popular ways to earn some money on the side. Then, there are get-paid-to websites and many more different ways to earn online. Most of these activities will allow you to earn only a couple of bucks a day. So, why are they so popular? The answer is simple. Surveys and other similar activities are very easy to do. They don’t require a lot of time and the effort is next to nothing. We don’t have enough time or energy to find an extra job or even a part-time job to increase our earnings. On the other hand, you can take surveys while relaxing, so even if you won’t improve your finances immensely, it’s easy and sweet money.

Some websites like CashCrate are going even further offering rewards for searching the web, listening to music or playing video games. Playing video games and getting a reward in return? It sounds like double fun. Almost everyone plays video games these days. And the idea of getting paid for it sounds almost crazy. But, in this very competitive world, companies need feedback from consumers to improve their products. Microsoft Playtest is a program that offers you to participate in testing video games and they will show their gratitude for your effort by rewarding you. So, let’s dig to find out if it’s worth your time.

Microsoft Playtest homepage preview

What Is Microsoft Playtest? 

Usually, my first step is to find out if the platform is legit or not. Obviously, there’s no need for that, here. We are talking about Microsoft. Among other ventures, Microsoft is one of the leaders in the video game industry. The video game industry has a ‘game’ in the title, but it’s much more than a game. The industry generates sales of more than $140 billion a year with constant growth. The competition is fierce and it propels improvements as well as some new opportunities. 

There are people who are professional gamers, while ordinary people, including older adults, play games more and more, every year. In an everlasting race to publish new and better video games companies need people to test games. Yes, they have professionals to do it, but they also need feedback from ordinary people. After all, they don’t sell their products to professionals, they rather try to target a wide population.

This brings us to Microsoft Playtest research. They conduct most of their research on their campus in Redmond, Washington. For participants, it is a unique opportunity to see some confidential and fancy technology. Testing video games with Microsoft Playtest, before they hit the market, in Microsoft’s headquarters, must be a dream of every ardent video game player. So, let’s see how it works and is it a nice opportunity for everyone.

How Microsoft Playtest Works

The registration to Microsoft Playtest is simple, however, it is unavailable at the moment. They say that they are currently working on a new participant portal. Before this, it was very easy to register. Almost everyone from everywhere is allowed to join in. Children and teenagers are also welcomed, there’s just an additional parent consent form for those under 17. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can join this platform as soon as you create an account and answer a couple of profiling questions.

However, not everyone would have equal opportunities. As I have mentioned before, most studies take place in Redmond, WA, so people living in Seattle or nearby, obviously have much more chances to participate. Having said that, playing video games is not the only option. Other activities include surveys, focus groups, lab studies, and site visits. Nevertheless, these tasks often require the presence of a researcher or facilitator, so, once again, geography is an important factor. Also, these tasks are rarer than playing games tests, so geographical limitations are quite significant.

As for playing video games, usually, you can hope to be invited once every two months. If you live near Redmond, WA, that is. Typically, you will be asked to play games for an hour or two, and that’s it.


If you’re into this for money, it’s difficult to know how much you can earn. You will not get cash or gift cards, but a piece of Microsoft software. In my extensive research, I couldn’t figure out the value of these gifts. Anyway, all members seem to appreciate the rewards, so if you are a gamer, you’ll probably be happy about it.

Pros of Microsoft Playtest

  • Getting a reward for playing video games. How cool is that? Instead of paying for playing extraordinary games, you will receive great software, probably game-related as well.
  • Visiting the main Microsoft campus. If you’re into technology, this is exciting enough. Having to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement will make you feel you’re a privileged insider.
  • Testing new video games before they hit the market.  There’s a thrill or excitement about testing a new product before it becomes available. Furthermore, you will contribute to shaping and improving new Microsoft products.
  • Different opportunities. Besides testing video games you will occasionally get an opportunity to do some other assignments such as surveys or focus groups.

 Cons of This Panel

  • Geography limitations. Unless you live in Seattle or its vicinity, your options are severely limited.
  • No cash, no gift cards. While there’s nothing wrong with cool software, most panelists prefer cash rewards. Or popular retailer’s gift cards. However, the software is the only option in this program.
  • Rare opportunities. Even if you fit the most desired profile and live in a nearby location, you can’t expect a whole lot of opportunities. Typically, it’s about once every two months.


Microsoft Playtest is a specific program so it’s kind of difficult to assess it. It is legit, of course, but the earning potential is pretty limited. So, for the average survey taker, this program isn’t very alluring. There’s no cash, no frequent opportunities, and that’s what most survey takers are after. If you fit into this description you might want to check some other GPT platforms such as Inbox Dollars or Prize Rebel.

On the other hand, if you’re a passionate gamer, this is a dream offer. You won’t earn money here, but you may get a delightful and unique experience. Being a part of Microsoft’s research and testing their new products at their facilities is a rewarding experience already. So, there’s no middle ground here – this is either a great opportunity or one to skip, depending on your preferences.