Gaming is serious business. Globally, it’s a more than $100 billion industry.
One estimate puts combined gaming revenue between software and hardware at $149 billion, on par with that of the sports industry.
That’s unsurprising with the number of ways there are to enjoy video games in the present day, from consoles by Nintendo, PlayStation and Microsoft to gaming PCs and mobile devices to simply watching others stream on a platform like Twitch or YouTube.
According to a 2017 Pew research poll, 60 percent of Americans aged 18-29 play video games “often” or “sometimes,” as do 53 percent of Americans ages 30 to 49.
And pro gaming, or “esports,” is growing into a viable career choice for those with the best mechanical skills. For example, the Overwatch League, run by Blizzard Entertainment, carries a $1 million prize pool and a minimum $50,000 salary for each player.
Some cities cater to gamers by hosting the biggest events in the industry. That includes e-sports stadiums or conventions like PAX and the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Others offer the opportunity to get a career through college programs and company locations.
But some places are better than others for the gamer lifestyle, so WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 20 key indicators of gamer-friendliness.
Our dataset ranges from average internet speed to video-game stores per capita to number of esports tournaments. Read on for the winners, gamer advice and industry insight from a panel of experts, and our full methodology.