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Gold farming is an important part of the virtual economy. This term was first used to describe economies inside online games, because, just like the real world, fantasy worlds can contain finite resources that are subject to the laws of supply and demand.

Gold farming expands this definition into the real economy, however, as it involves the exchange of virtual goods and currency for actual money. But some individuals are still of the opinion that gold farming might be illegal in some parts of the world. Some even wonder if there is money to be made in gold farming.

This article will aim to answer some of these questions. But first, how does gold farming work?

  • How Much do Gold Farmers Make?
  • Is Runescape Gold Farming Illegal?
  • How Much do Chinese Gold Farmers Make?
  • How Can I Sell my WoW Gold for Real Money?
  • Why do People Farm Gold in WoW?
  • How can you Farm Gold?
  • How do you Farm Gold in Minecraft?

How Does Gold Farming Work?

First, gold farmers obtain virtual goods and currency by playing an online game and collecting them. They may be amateurs, meaning they do it as a hobby or as a way to make a little extra money, or they could be professionals, who do it for a living. There are some professionals who work alone, but the trend since the early 2000s has been toward businesses that employ multiple gold farmers, also known as gaming workshops.

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These operations are found in countries across the globe, including Mexico, Romania, Russia and Indonesia — though most are located in China. That country boasted an estimated 2,000 gaming workshops that employed some 500,000 gold farmers in 2007.

Next, gold farmers have to let players know about their services, and just like any business, they do this through advertising. To get the word out, gold farmers will advertise on fan sites or search engines and will even create characters that will go around and engage other players through the in-game chat feature. In one gruesome but creative example, “World of Warcraft” gold farmers spelled out their website’s name using dead bodies.

Interested buyers then contact the gold farmer and pay real money for the virtual currency or goods that they need. This used to be done over sites like eBay, but the e-commerce company banned the practice in January 2007. Now, most gold farmers have websites where buyers can make payments through PayPal. Delivery then happens in a couple of ways. Either the buyer can meet the gold farmer in the game and exchange the virtual goods, or, in some cases, the trade can be made using an in-game mail function.

How many players actually use these services? Surveys indicate between 22 and 25 percent, depending on the region of the world. That’s surprising, especially because gold farming doesn’t have the best reputation.

How Much do Gold Farmers Make?

In most cases, it depends on what method you choose to use when farming. Someone who runs dungeons all day is going to be sadly disappointed. But someone who runs dungeons all day and then looks to see what items from said dungeons he can put up for sale will likely make a fortune.

So in response to the question we would say yes all methods are profitable, it just depends on how much time you are willing to dedicate, as some methods require a lot more time than others.

A person with a lot of free time who can devote multiple computers to farming and manage them all. There is no real market for employment under them because they would never be able to afford the wages and the simple fact is you would make more money doing it yourself than working for them.

In China this is a little different, with minimum wages being so low that gold farming operations can pay children less than $1 a day to simply babysit farming bot computers, thus building a large operation for extremely low costs.

Work environments in the US are typically home office type settings with many computers stacked around all running at the same time.

Work environments in China are more akin to a factory but without the pollution of machinery. Rows upon rows of tables with racks of computers stacked up behind them running dozens of computers at a time. It’s quite impressive to see, but quite depressing to think about actually working there.

You aren’t playing the games, you are just watching a bot (a computer program) automate a character in a game and make sure none of the systems bug out and stop. So it really only takes one person to operate many.

One person can probably bring in $200 to $500 a week but that’s devoting 40 to 60 hours to it and I mean nothing but mind-numbing restarting dozens and dozens of computers running bots and handling the customer service requirements of answering dozens of customer requests. It’s the equivalent of any other dead-end full-time customer service job.

In the US you typically have better income options from real jobs (though it makes an OK side job for someone who is already running a home business or who only does it part-time while already playing a particular game. Is $8,000 a good income? Not as a job, but it was a nice bonus for a hobby he was already going to do.

Is Runescape Gold Farming Illegal?

So many people in Venezuela have turned to gold farming in old-school Runescape that a newspaper there published an article on how to do it about three weeks ago.

Yes, farming gold is obnoxious, against the game’s rules, and will get someone banned. But the wave of anger cresting in the Runescape community this week isn’t at the gold farmers, it’s at the people killing them (in the game).

“It’s not this post that disappoints me, it the blatant racist and ‘edgy’ comments left by people that have no idea what it must be like to live in a situation were your economy is collapsing,” wrote a moderator, who locked the thread five days ago. The “guide” appears to have pointed out where the prime farming locations were, and so anyone in that area, particularly killing green dragons, was a candidate for getting attacked.

Venezuelan gold farmers are in the wilderness PvP area harvesting green dragons, and selling the hides and bones they drop in Runescape’s Grand Exchange. That currency computes to about 50 cents per hour, with more advanced players getting around $2 or $3. Believe it or not, Runescape 2007 gold is traded on sites along with Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

How Much do Chinese Gold Farmers Make?

In the business hub of gold farming, China, there is an estimated 100,000 “professional” gold farmers who rake in $200 million USD each year. It’s not surprising given the formidable success of games like World of Warcraft and how loosely the Chinese government has handled this situation.

This massive problem made headlines in May when Chinese prisoners claimed they were used as gold-farming slaves instead of doing hard labor. If they didn’t meet their designated quota, they were severely beaten.

Brutality in prisons is one thing, but this is just downright cruel. The gold farming done would make the guards an estimated $767 to $930 USD per day. Technically, the practice is legal in China because the supposed ban implemented in 2009 doesn’t apply to in-game items — that includes virtual currency. Gold farming is recognized as a legitimate business in the country and in South Korea, where it is taxed. 

Thought to have started in 2001, Korean Internet cafes became a hotbed for illicit activity. When World of Warcraft launched in 2004, the business slowly seeped into China and quickly grew in popularity and profitability. Now the industry is worth $200 million USD annually and increasing each year. China harbors the largest online population globally at 485 million Internet users, so I’d say the profits rise quickly. 

An MMORPG is highly reflective of how society operates, and prices will fluctuate by how much gold is being traded between players. A high influx of currency disrupts this flow and causes prices to drop drastically, thus eradicating potential profits. (For a fun fact: MMOs are often studied by sociologists to see how society will react in different situations; it’s fascinating stuff, check it out!) And China’s refusal to dignify gold farming as a problem (and recognize the business legitimately) is to blame. Blizzard can only close accounts being reported by players, and a subscription base of 11.4 million is a lot to manage.

How Can I Sell my WoW Gold for Real Money?

Every experienced World of Warcraft player knows that gold in the game becomes less mandatory during the endgame. Players are using their currency to buy consumables for the raid, repair gear now and then, and occasionally purchase various vanity items on the Auction House.

It is common knowledge that some of the most hardcore and dedicated adventurers have tons of unused gold in their backpacks. Of course, it can be spent on Game Time Tokens but only to a certain limit. What can they do with the rest of the gold? The answer is simple – sell it for real currency.

With World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion, the hype for the game exploded. More and more players are coming back to the Azeroth in search of new adventures. It created a demand for WoW gold. With an incredibly high number of players who want to purchase it, prices elevated even multiple times at some of the worlds.

It gave the opportunity for the best gold farmers to become rich. Whether you are farming for transmogs, herbs, ores, or anything else, you could and often would easily sell your items for gold and your gold for real currency.

Getting rich in games has never been easier. With MMOAuctions, you can post what you have to sell free of charge. When your auction is up, everyone visiting our website will be able to see it. You will naturally gain interest in your trade and sell resources as time goes by.

Since all users at our site are trustworthy, you don’t have to worry about getting scammed. They will monitor all transactions made between their customers and provide them with the tools necessary to avoid scammers. Start farming, set up your shop, and become a seller!

Why do People Farm Gold in WoW?

In World of Warcraft, the definition of gold might vary. Sometimes you can get by even if you’re poor, and other times you really need it.

The gold you earn in World of Warcraft may be used to pay for subscriptions, in-game purchases, and even other Blizzard games, but there is a clear cost associated with devoting so much time and effort to gaming rather than to your day job.

Gold makes it possible to do everything mentioned above, including buying consumables to improve your character, hiring support to get you through challenging material, and just upgrading your gear directly from the auction house.

How can you Farm Gold?

Below are three ways from PlayerAuctions for players to farm gold.

1. Become a skinner

The current leather is in high demand since it is used to make legendary gear for rogues, demon hunters, monks, and druids. After all, it takes a lot of them to make legendary goods, which is the ideal way for a skinner to gain a lot of gold quickly.

Korthia has three locations that are particularly ideal. There are many wild animals in this area, and they frequently drop leather, sometimes even the rare green or blue leather. Simply work tirelessly in the areas shown on the map; they are overflowing with unwilling leather donors.

You should also look into the Korthia daily missions if you want to be extra crafty. For instance, you should wait there if a daily task calls for you to clear the area with the splinter hides.

All day long, many gamers will kill the creatures there, which you may then skin! Then you may simply swing the knife continuously to obtain the desired leather without even bothering to slaughter the animals yourself. To make skinning go much more quickly, make sure you have the Gathering of the Shadowlands enchantment on your hands.

2. Complete daily and world quests

World of Warcraft Shadowlands world quests

Although some may disagree, this strategy should not be overlooked because it is straightforward: daily quests in Korthia and world quests in the Shadowlands. Therefore, you can gather gold without using the Auction House.

Although this income has a clear benefit over other sources in that it is guaranteed, the yield of pure gold is not as high. You are not required to hold out hope that someone will purchase your goods from the auction house. You don’t have to battle with trading with other players because the gold is right there on the claw.

To fulfil your commitment, make sure you accept the calling quests. They typically ask you to gather loot or finish three to four world quests in a certain location. Gold is frequently one of the prizes for completing world quests. A staggering additional 1,600 to 2,600 gold in the form of grey items that you can sell to the merchant directly is also awarded for completing each calling mission.

This approach also has a few minor benefits. When you do world and daily quests, you earn anima, which you can use how you like. If you want to make even more gold, you can trade surplus anima for valuable crafting supplies like leather, silk, or corthite crystals in Oribos at Tu’kol close to the Great Chamber, which you can then sell in the auction house.

If you’ve previously attained fame level 80 on your contract, the first 1,000 anima each week also give an incredible additional 2,000 gold pieces. Not to mention, the increase in reputation makes it possible for you to pick up a bonus box from the appropriate faction every few days that contains an additional 3,000 to 4,000 gold.

3. Farm materials

Farm materials

The act of simply farming raw materials is another incredibly easy way to get gold. You must have a level 50 or above character with both mining and herbalism to complete this. Additionally, you should have Flying for Shadowlands unlocked because it greatly improves the appeal and effectiveness of farming.

The pricing in your auction house should determine which of the four places you farm. Simply consider which minerals and plants are currently selling for the most money before deciding where you wish to gather.

The four areas include:

  • Bastion: Selenium Ore and Stair of Glory
  • Maldraxxus: Oxxein Ore and Marrowroot
  • Ardenweald: Phaedrum Ore and Watch Torch
  • Revendreth: Sinvyrerz and Widow’s Blossom

Additionally, Laestritz Ore, Elethium Ore, Deathbloom, and Nightshade are present in every region. You may easily make between 30,000 and 60,000 gold each hour, depending on the realm. To mine plants and ores more quickly, make sure you have the Gathering of the Shadowlands enchantment on your hands.

As a level-alternative approach, this technique is also profitable. Because you can skill mining and herbalism, reach level 60 rapidly, and even enter the endgame with a small amount of flower inventory.

You can process herbs and ores and sell the finished product, such as potions or bottles, if you wish to put a bit more effort and time into your study and include other craftspeople as characters. However, you should determine whether the work is worthwhile in advance and don’t discount the time aspect.

One more piece of advice: Using a druid here is especially wise. He can save even more seconds by naturally sitting up thanks to his flight shape, which ultimately results in gold gains. So it makes sense to use a druid if you want to make a character that works on a farm.

How do you Farm Gold in Minecraft?

Gold is a necessary resource in Minecraft, which becomes very useful in the Late game. You can use gold to craft Golden apples, weapons, armor, beacons, trade with the piglings, and many more. However, finding gold ores inside caves and even in the nether is quite Difficult, Boring, and time-consuming. You don’t get much gold that way. So, the best way to get gold fast is by building a gold farm in the game.

Gold farming means creating a farm to collect gold based upon killing zombified piglins. Since the Zombified Piglins drop gold ingots and golden nuggets, sometimes the farm works on that principle. Also, gold farming is one of the Hardest jobs because making the farm requires too many resources.

The materials required to make a gold farm are A lot of magma blocks, probably 45 stacks, 4 turtle eggs, 1 stack of trapdoors, Solid blocks like stone, 2 and a half stacks of Scaffoldings, 8 and a half stacks of glass blocks, 12 chests, 12 hoppers, 9 carpets.

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In Minecraft, zombified piglins spawn in the nether, so you will have to build the gold-producing farm in the nether. So the first thing to do is to go to the nether and after that follow the steps:

Step 1: Set up on the Nether’s roof

To find the top of the Nether, dig and/or build upwards until met with bedrock. Then by using F3 (or another key that opens coordinates), find the a block at the height (Y coordinate) of 127.

Step 2: Check Minecraft inventory

To build a farm, these items must be available:

  • Scaffolding (128)
  • Carpet (9)
  • Turtle Eggs (4)
  • Trapdoors (60)
  • Hoppers (12)
  • Chests (12)
  • Glass (541)
  • Magma Blocks (2880)
  • Blocks Used to Build – preferably a variation of stone (4)

These are all of the materials needed for the gold farm. They might take some time to collect, but the rewards are worth the effort, especially if the player has been collecting these over a long period of time while working towards other goals in Minecraft.

Step 3: Begin construction.

Build a 64 block high tower using scaffolding. At the top, connect a 4 block long, 3 block wide platform. Once this is done, place three double chests. At the sides of the double chests, place hoppers and three more double chests. This should be followed by nine more hoppers in 3×3 rows. It should look like this.

Image via Minecraft

Place the carpet on top of the hoppers in Minecraft. Build glass walls around the carpet, but not connected to the hopper.

Image via Minecraft

Build the glass walls up until they reach 23 blocks tall. Place a building block in the middle. It should look like this.

Image via Minecraft

Then, place 3 temporary blocks on top of the stone block (building block example). Then, place another stone block. Repeat this process until all the stone blocks are used.

Image via Minecraft

Place the trap doors at the sides of the temporary blocks and stone blocks. Remove all of the temporary blocks and then place the Minecraft turtle eggs on the stone blocks.

Step 4: Magma cube platforms

Build 12 blocks out of the glass from all four sides. The platform should be symmetrical and look like this once it has been filled in:

Image via Minecraft
Image via Minecraft

Repeat this process in Minecraft for all four stone blocks with the turtle eggs placed on top.

Build two blocks high from the top platform using glass from the trap doors. Then follow this pattern, using temporary blocks to assist along the way as source blocks.

Image via Minecraft

Final Step: AFK (away from keyboard) platform

This step will maximize gold production in Minecraft, as it will still generate when players are away from the game.

Build 22 blocks high using scaffolding from the middle of the glass pattern/on top of the trap doors. At the top, build a 3×3 glass platform.

To run an AFK test, leave the game and return after an hour to discover the benefits reaped from this effort. That is how an effective Minecraft gold farm is built.


Since it seems that most gold farmers are from other countries not as rich as the U.S., it will be difficult for U.S. laws to reach the foreign, supply side of gold farming. The U.S. based game companies may, in addition to making it a violation of the game, compensate for that by punishing the demand side.

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