Big Buck Hunter Review [2023]: Hunt Virtually, Win Real Money

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman brings the popular arcade series to the small screen and offers cash prizes to the best virtual hunters.
Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By Ben Walker, CEPF | Edited By Melinda Sineriz
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Have you ever spent pocket change playing Big Buck Hunter at your local arcade? If so, now’s your chance to put some money back into your wallet with Big Buck Hunter: Marksman. This gaming app offers opportunities to earn real cash for hunting virtual deer, but only if you’re a better shot than your opponent.

In this Big Buck Hunter: Marksman review, you’ll learn how the game works and what money-earning opportunities you can aim for.

In this Big Buck Hunter: Marksman review

What is Big Buck Hunter: Marksman?

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is an app available on iOS devices through the App Store or Samsung Galaxy devices through the Galaxy Store. It continues the Big Buck Hunter series that was popularized in arcade venues but allows you to play directly from your eligible mobile device.

The app was created by Play Mechanix, a game developing company founded by George Petro and based out of Illinois. Play Mechanix is owned by Raw Thrills, a company that has released arcade games such as Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, Big Buck Hunter Reloaded, and Jurassic Park Arcade.

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is a skill-based video game that’s available on the Skillz games platform. Skillz works with developers to offer ways for worldwide users to play in tournaments and win cash prizes. Overall, Skillz.com has hosted billions of tournaments for its millions of mobile gamers, including popular mobile games such as Dominoes Gold, Blackout Bingo, and 21 Blitz.

With more than 9,700 ratings and an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5, Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is among the top 100 Sports apps on the App Store.

How does Big Buck Hunter: Marksman work?

If you’re familiar with the gameplay from any Big Buck Hunter hunting game, this mobile version will likely appear similar. Once you’ve downloaded the Big Buck Hunter: Marksman app and created an account, you can start playing different game modes.

Each game mode is similar in that you’re competing against other players to see who can achieve a higher combined score from virtually shooting bucks in different hunting locations. You earn bonus points based on multiple factors, including the accuracy of your shots, how many bucks you bag, the distance of your shots, and how many bucks you bag in a row (marksman award). Heart shots and head shots are particularly effective and offer extra points, whereas non-head and non-heart shots might offer no points unless you get enough to take the buck down. Shooting a doe takes away from your score.

The game mechanics are relatively straightforward and simple. To aim down your sights, you press and hold on the screen, which slows time for you. Then you can drag your finger across the screen to aim and line up your shot. When you’re ready to take a shot, release your finger to fire. If you want to cancel your shot, swipe down on the screen. You only have a few seconds to take a shot before your scope timer runs out and your aim is reset.

When you first start playing, you’ll have access to a few different game modes. Each game mode has an entry fee to play, whether you’re using Z coins (the in-game virtual currency) or your cash balance. Playing games using Z coins is essentially the free version of the game, though it’s possible to add to your cash balance if you win enough games. If you want to play cash games for the chance to win real money, you’ll have to deposit your own money or refer friends to play.

Here are some of the game modes available in Big Buck Hunter: Marksman:

  • Practice: Play against another player using Z coins. Prizes include Z coins, tickets, and Leagues medals.
  • Head-to-head: Play against another player using your cash balance. Prizes often include cash, tickets, and Leagues medals.
  • Brackets: Play against multiple other players using your cash balance. Prizes include cash, tickets, and Leagues medals.
  • Events: Participate in timed events against other players, typically using your cash balance. Prizes often include cash and tickets.

If you play enough games, which is usually around three, you’ll automatically be entered into Leagues. This is an ongoing competition against all other users that have also played a sufficient number of games. All Leagues players are competing for a pool of prizes over a certain period of time.

Winning different game modes typically provides you with medals. As you win medals, you move up in the Leagues rankings. Leagues is separated into Pro and Practice categories depending on the type of game modes you’re playing. The Leagues Pro rankings are for the cash modes and offer cash prizes. The Leagues Practice rankings are for the non-cash modes and offer Z coins as prizes.

Who can use Big Buck Hunter: Marksman?

Because you can deposit and win (or lose) real money, Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is technically a type of gambling game. As such, it’s rated for individuals 17 and older on the App Store, but the Skillz platform requires individuals to be 18 or older to compete in Skillz games.

The App Store version supports these languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

Certain states don’t allow online gambling. Skillz cash tournaments aren’t available in these locations:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee

Although this game might seem like a lot of fun, keep in mind that the gambling features might not be suitable for everyone. If you have or have had issues with gambling debt or gambling addiction, it could make sense to avoid the potentially addictive features of Big Buck Hunter: Marksman.

How much can you earn with Big Buck Hunter: Marksman?

Like many gaming apps, Big Buck Hunter: Marksman often rewards the most skilled players with the best prizes. Depending on which game mode you play, this could include winning Z coins or actual cash. But there’s also the possibility that you might not win anything. Another strategy for earning rewards, apart from playing and winning games, could be referring other users to download and play the game.

The quickest way to start winning money from this game is typically to practice and improve your skills and then deposit cash to be able to play the cash modes. If you don’t want to use your own money, you would likely have to play loads of non-cash games to earn tickets. You could then redeem your tickets in the Skillz Rewards store for bonus cash, which would allow you to enter the cash games.

But keep in mind that it takes 20,000 tickets for $1 of bonus cash. If the average hunt takes about two minutes and you get one ticket for winning a practice game, that’s at least 40,000 minutes (over 660 hours) of playing time to earn that $1 of bonus cash. For some players, that might be too much of a time commitment.

The lowest cash mode entry requirement is typically around 25 cents, with a cash prize of 42 cents for the winner. But you could also participate in more expensive modes, including modes where the entry requirement is $60 and you’re competing for $100. And in some events, you might have a $5 entry requirement, but you’re competing for a prize pool of $1,500 or more.

All Skillz games typically follow the same pattern for withdrawing money from your cash balance. You can’t withdraw any bonus cash, including cash you’ve redeemed tickets for or cash you’ve earned from referrals. But you can withdraw cash you’ve deposited yourself or earned from winning games.

To start a withdrawal, select “Withdraw” from the main menu. You will receive any deposited money back to the original payment method you used, including a credit card or PayPal. For earnings over your original deposit amount, you will receive a mailed check if based in the U.S. or a PayPal deposit if based elsewhere.

In some cases, Big Buck Hunter: Marksman might not be the best fit for making money in your free time. For other options, check out our list of the best side hustles.

Common questions about Big Buck Hunter: Marksman

Is Big Buck Hunter: Marksman legit?

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is a legit gaming app that offers users opportunities to win real money by playing a classic arcade game. This app can be downloaded and played for free, but you can typically only win cash prizes if you participate in the game’s cash modes. To participate, you need to deposit your own money or earn in-game bonus cash. You don’t need to deposit any money if you only want to play the free game mode.

Does Big Buck Hunter: Marksman have a free trial?

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman doesn’t have a free trial, but it’s free to download and play if you have an eligible device and access to the App Store or Galaxy Store. The free version of the game requires using Z coins to play, which you can earn from winning games and completing in-game tasks. If you want to play any of the cash modes, you have to deposit your own money or earn bonus cash through referrals, promo codes, or by winning enough games in the free game mode.

Is Big Buck Hunter: Marksman on Android?

Big Buck Hunter: Marksman isn’t currently available on Google Play, but Samsung Galaxy users can find it on the Galaxy Store. Big Buck Hunter: Marksman is also available on the App Store for iPhones and iPads.

How to get started with Big Buck Hunter: Marksman

Follow these steps to get started with Big Buck Hunter: Marksman:

1. Download Big Buck Hunter: Marksman from the App Store or Galaxy Store.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


2. Open the app and select “Play.”

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


3. Go through the tutorial or select “Skip Tutorial” to skip it.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


4. Choose an avatar and enter a username.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


5. Play a few practice games.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


6. When you’re able to, select “Account” from the dropdown menu.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


7. Choose “Save Account” to create your account.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


8. Enter your date of birth and other required information to finish registering your account.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


9. Select a game mode to start playing the game.

Big Buck Hunter Marksman screenshot


Other side hustles to consider

If you don't want to play Big Buck Hunter: Marksman, consider other gaming options to help learn how to make money in your spare time.

If you enjoy classic card games, check out Solitaire Cash. This app offers users the opportunity to win cash prizes by playing a modern version of Solitaire against other players. It’s also one of the top-rated card game apps on the App Store, with more than 128,000 ratings and an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. For more details, read our Solitaire Cash review.

For another modern twist on a classic game, consider Blackout Bingo. This is a skill-based version of bingo that rewards players who are both quick and accurate. If you play the cash modes, you can win real money. To learn more, check out our Blackout Bingo review.

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Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.