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Check out a sample of the 505 Game Programmer jobs posted on Upwork

US$2,000
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

Job Title: Mobile Game Developer for 3rd Person 5v5 Online Multiplayer PvP Game Description: We are seeking an experienced mobile game…

Game Programmer Android App Development Java Smartphone Game Development Android
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Colour Prediction Game Developer Fixed-price ‐ Posted 4 days ago

US$10
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

We are looking for a talented developer to create a colour prediction game. The game should allow users to predict the next colour in a…

Game Programmer Adobe Photoshop Game Development Game Design Python
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Game Reskinning Developers Needed Fixed-price ‐ Posted 4 days ago

US$300
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

We are looking for experienced developers who can help us reskin games. The ideal candidates should have a strong understanding of game…

Game Programmer Smartphone iOS Game Development Game Design
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Video Game Developer Fixed-price ‐ Posted 4 days ago

US$250
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

Hi ! I am looking for someone with decent Unity and C# experience. Required Skills: - Open communicator and willingness to learn new…

Game Programmer PC Game Adventure Mobile Game Puzzle C# Game Development Unity Game Design
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Game Reskinning Developers Needed Fixed-price ‐ Posted 3 days ago

US$300
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

We are looking for experienced developers who can help us reskin games. The ideal candidates should have a strong understanding of game…

Game Programmer Smartphone iOS Game Development Game Design
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US$100
Fixed-price

Expert
Experience level

5 star guaranteed and quick delivery Create 2 simple games: One game is a puzzles game that becomes more difficult as you advance thr…

Game Programmer iOS Game Design Game Development Unity In-App Purchases Android
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Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

Less than 1 month
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

I am looking for a mobile game development expert who can tell me about: 1. The process of reskinning/cloning mobile games for android…

Game Programmer Game Development iOS Android Unity
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Unreal Engine Game Animator Hourly ‐ Posted 4 days ago

Less than 30 hrs/week
Hours needed

1 to 3 months
Duration

Intermediate
Experience level

We are looking for a skilled Unreal Engine Game Animator to help us complete our FPS, single-layer, story mode game. The main focus of…

Game Programmer Animation Game Development Game Design Unreal Engine
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Unity Game Designer/Developer Fixed-price ‐ Posted 4 days ago

US$50
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

We are seeking a skilled Unity Game Designer/Developer to upgrade and modify the graphics and UI of our current game. The ideal candida…

Game Programmer Unity Game Development Game Design
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AR educational game on IOS & Android Fixed-price ‐ Posted 3 days ago

US$100
Fixed-price

Intermediate
Experience level

we need to design and develop an AR educational game of 1 level for kids' projects on both IOS and Android, 3d modeling and animation…

Game Programmer Game Development Unity iOS Android Prototyping Education Augmented Reality Mixed Reality Virtual Reality
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Game Programmers on Upwork
can earn US$15–US$35/hr.
Learn more below about how you can earn a career on the world’s work marketplace.
Game Programmer average prices bell curve

US$15 US$35

Median hourly rates (USD)

How To Become a Game Programmer

Do you have a passion for video games and the gaming community? Do you like the idea of helping bring new video games to life and solving programming challenges along the way? If so, you might have what it takes to become a game programmer on Upwork.

What does a game programmer do?

A game programmer is a software engineer who specializes in making video games. There are many tools, platforms, and roles involved in creating a video game. Game programmers tend to work on code at a low level, developing game engines and creating tools that other team members, such as graphic artists and level designers, can use as part of their role in making a game.

There is a great variety in the types of teams and projects that game programmers may work as part of. Some games are made by a tiny handful of developers and are typically released for cheaper platforms, such as Android or iOS. Other game developers may work as part of a team of hundreds on AAA games released for platforms such as the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. Within these platforms a plethora of game engines and programming languages are used, so game programmers will often choose to specialize in one or a small handful of game engines and programming languages.

What skills do I need to become a game programmer?

Video games are among some of the most challenging types of applications to create. This is because they can have very computationally heavy requirements that must be run at sub second latency. For example, many modern games are expected to run at 60 fps (frames per second). This means games programmers must be able to write code that is efficient enough for the game to draw 60 frames within a second while keeping up with all the other demands placed on it, such as physics and projectile calculations, responding to player inputs, and optionally interacting with other players in an online world.

Game programmers must have a solid understanding of mathematics as it relates to physics. A good grasp of concepts such as trigonometry, geometry, vectors, and translations is a requirement for game programmers, who will be expected to calculate and manipulate interactions for both 2D and 3D objects. They must be able to write code for how different physical objects interact with each other within a game world while taking into account the physical properties of those objects.

Due to these common requirements, video game development blends fundamental programming principles with mathematics and physics. As such, many game programmers often have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science. However, there are many self-taught game programmers, and many clients are just as (if not more) interested in a finished interactive portfolio piece as in a computer science degree.

What tools do I need to become a game programmer?

Although game programmers are required to write a lot of code to create a video game, they rarely create everything from scratch. Instead, game programmers often use a game engine to help create the game. A game engine can be thought of as a toolkit with many features a game programmer will need—things like calculating the correct lighting, drawing shadows, responding to player input, and handling object collision. There are many game engines, but the most popular include Unreal, Unity, Amazon Lumberyard, and Godot.

Video games can be written in many programming languages, but due to the need for very fast processing power, a few languages tend to be more popular for games. C++ is the most widely used programming language for video games and is used with the Unreal engine, though C# is a popular alternative thanks to its compatibility with the Unity engine.

What are the core game programmer job responsibilities?

Due to the scale and complexity of modern video games, the core responsibilities of a game programmer will vary wildly depending on the type of game being made and the size of the team.

For very large teams, a game programmer will often work on a smal, dedicated area of the game. This may involve anything from developing the physics system or the lighting system to simply fixing known issues in other developers’ code.

For small teams, a game programmer may be expected to fulfill many other responsibilities themselves. Virtually every aspect of a game requires attention from a game programmer—not just the obvious pieces such as making a character move and interact with the world, but also making the menus work, ensuring sound effects and background music play properly, integrating third-party antipiracy tools and downloadable content from online storefronts, responding to feedback from testers and publishers, and much more.

A large part of a game programmer’s job responsibilities will be writing code and working with testers to fix code. Video games are very large and complex projects, so bugs are very common. Triggering these bugs and tracking down the root cause is often difficult in a project with as many moving parts as a video game, so often game programmers will work with testers to find the source of an issue, but it is the game programmer’s responsibility to fix it.

Jump-start your freelance game programmer career on Upwork and start looking for your first job. Eager to learn more about game programmer jobs on Upwork? Check out these additional resources:

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyse and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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