Gamer's Guide to Buying Books and Manuals for Video Games

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The Gamer's Guide to Buying Books and Manuals for Other Video Games and Consoles

A game or console can only be fun if gamers know how to use them. So, many games and consoles come as standard with books and manuals, designed to offer instructions and information that help to get players started and teach them how to play. These books and manuals guide gamers through the set-up process of the console and familiarise them with the game controls, and the functions of each button.

Although books and manuals are usually included with the purchase of a new game or console, buyers that are purchasing a used version may find that this vital documentation is absent. Fortunately, books and manuals are widely available on eBay and are sold as separate items. They range in type and format; some are aimed at several games or console models, whereas others are game or console specific. When purchasing books and manuals for other video games and consoles at retailers such as eBay, buyers should familiarise themselves with the decline of these hard copies, consider the various types, and recognise what should be included within the documentation.

The Decline of Books and Manuals for Video Games and Consoles

As technology continues to advance, the number of books and manuals that relate to video games and consoles has begun to decrease. This is due to many reasons. As the environmentally friendly idea has become widely accepted, manufacturers have begun to cut back on the amount of resources that they use in the creation of their games. The first aspect to go is paper and ink. Not only does this reduce production costs, but it is seen as a more modern approach.

In addition, many gaming systems now have in-game tutorials. These pop up on the display screen as the game is played, offering hints and helpful information on how to accomplish tasks. Many books and manuals also can be downloaded for little or no cost from the manufacturer's website. However, there are still some instances, especially when playing older games and using older consoles, when hard copy books and manuals are required.

Types of Books for Video Games and Consoles

There are various types of books aimed at video games and consoles. These may come in the form of instruction pamphlets or strategy guides. Choosing the best type is often based on what the player is trying to accomplish. Some books cover a wide array of areas, while others focus solely on game basics or cheat codes. When buying books for video games and consoles, buyers should look for those that provide them with colour pictures as these create a useful visual reference.

Walkthrough Books

Walkthrough books are designed to take players step-by-step through the game, from start to finish, ultimately helping them to reach the end of the game successfully. If the game has multiple possible endings, the book walks players through each of them. These books are often lengthy due to their specific, in-depth explanations. So, they are typically divided into sections according to the game level or chapter. Buyers should search for walkthrough books that offer picture tutorials as these are often considered to be the most helpful; they allow users to see exactly what in-game action is required.

Tips and Tricks Books

Tips and tricks books, also known as strategy guides, are designed to provide players with the information that they need to uncover additional features, weapons, and levels in a game. For example, the book may help a character to find a secret weapon that ultimately leads them to victory; without the weapon, the victory may have been more difficult to accomplish. Without these tips and tricks, most gamers are unaware that these special features exist. Well written tips and tricks books should aim to improve player strategy and provide assistance in all areas of the game, from defeating enemies to uncovering new levels.

Cheat Code Books

Books may be aimed exclusively at cheat codes. These codes provide players with special actions or information hidden in the game. They are best used by experienced players that need a little bit of extra help getting past a specific tricky point in the game. Some cheat codes provide gamers with amnesty or give them unlimited lives, currency, or energy. This eliminates the need to start the entire game from scratch should they lose all of their lives. Using cheat codes is considered a last resort among serious gamers as it diminishes the sense of accomplishment. However, they are sometimes used for fun once the end of a game has already been reached successfully, so that the gamer can see if he or she worked out the best strategy.

Types of Manuals for Video Games and Consoles

Compared to game and console books, user manuals are not as detailed. For games, these manuals usually include a brief overall history of the title, information regarding the characters, and details that relate to the different actions in the game. This includes levels, worlds, goals, and playing rules. Tips, tricks, and cheats may also be included. However, they may not be presented in great detail. For consoles, the manuals provide instructions on how to set up the system in order to be ready for gameplay. The common sections of manuals and a description of each of them are given in the table below.

Section of Manual



Describes any backstory associated with the game or the general tasks for the player


Provides in-depth detail regarding the use of every button associated with the controller or keyboard used for play

For example, if the game is played on a Playstation 3, it includes the four face buttons (triangle, square, circle, and X), the four shoulder buttons (L1, L2, R1, and R2), and the two control sticks and directional pad

Some buttons may have multiple uses


Information on how to begin a game or set up a console

Includes how to select a game mode from the main menu, and choose between single and multiplayer games


Should depict what the player sees during typical gameplay

Includes labels for health bars, score, enemies, and weapons


Helps new players to progress through the first section of the game

Sports games should include useful plays

Fighting games should include tactics for defending and attacking

In general, manuals should help the player to compete in gameplay. When searching for manuals, buyers should ensure that they are purchasing those aimed specifically at the game that they are playing.

If the manual provides information regarding a console, it should contain information about how to set up the system, as well as describing what each button is for. Buying a used console is a great way to cut costs. However, many used systems do not have a manual as it has been misplaced or discarded by the original owner. Setting up a console incorrectly can cause problems with gameplay, so it is important to purchase a console manual if the gaming system does not come with one included.

How to Buy Books and Manuals for Other Video Games and Consoles on eBay

Shopping for books and manuals for video games and consoles on eBay can save buyers time and effort because they get a full set of useful information that helps with set-up and gameplay. eBay offers a selection of books and manuals for a variety of games and consoles. To navigate to the assortment of products, buyers should use the search bar located on the eBay home page. Once you have been redirected to the results, narrow down the options based on category features.

Buying with Confidence

When searching for books and manuals for video games and consoles, buyers should consider limiting their search to items sold by Top-rated sellers. The sellers have received consistent levels of positive feedback from past buyers and are recognised by the eBay community for being reliable in their listings. This can provide sellers with the confidence that they need to complete a successful purchase. Many of these sellers are also known for dispatching items in a timely manner.


Books and manuals for video games and consoles are becoming less popular as technology has continued to advance. However, these components still prove to be useful in various situations, especially with older gaming systems. When searching for books and manuals, buyers should first consider the type of game or console they need the instructions for; books and manuals are usually written for a specific video game or system.

Buyers should also consider the differences between books and manuals. Books are designed to provide a more in-depth analysis, not only helping players to compete, but leading them to a successful finish. Popular books for video games and consoles include walkthroughs, tips and tricks, and cheat codes. The information these books offer is invaluable to video gamers who are having difficulty completing a level or defeating an enemy. Manuals are often referred to as information booklets, as they provide players with the basic knowledge needed to compete in the game.

For the most diverse variety of books and manuals for video games and consoles, buyers should visit eBay's online marketplace. eBay offers a wide selection of products designed to get every player ready for gameplay.

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