5 Steps to becoming a better gamer

Updated: Nov 25, 2021

Want to be better at video games? Here's how

Photo Credit: Harsh :) | Unsplash

So you want to excel at your favourite video games? Well you've came to the right place. Today I want to share with you my top 5 tips on how to become a better gamer so you get more out of your gaming sessions. Now before I start I just want to say I'm by no means a "pro gamer" but out of my group of friends I'm one of, if not the, most talented between us (but that isn't saying much). However I do have roughly 17 years experience with video games and they have been the most consistent hobby in my life. Well you didn't come here to hear my life story so lets get into the list. 1. PLAY VIDEO GAMES I know what you're thinking, well obviously I need to play games to get good at them, but what I mean here is really play them, most people play for fun which is perfectly fine but if you want to be a cut above the rest you need to invest time and energy into practicing, whether you're on console or PC, getting a sense of muscle memory down to the point where you almost act before thinking about it is vital. This will take time, Rome wasn't built in a day, but I have reached a point where i can play a game of Call of Duty or Battlefield with my hands and the controller literally behind my back and still come out on top of the leader board all thanks to muscle memory. Again this doesn't happen overnight it takes months or even years of practice but it is possible. 2. PICK A CATEGORY There are lots of different types of video games out there, there's first person shooters, platformers, RPGs, and many more and if you're wanting to be the best you need to pick a lane. There's no chance that you will be able to be the best in every category so pick one that you enjoy and works for you. Personally I enjoy stealth games such as Dishonored or Thief (if you play them the way I do), so I choose games that incorporate those types of mechanics and can go through whole levels without leaving so much as a hint that I was there. This doesn't mean you have to stick to one niche you can pick multiple genres but whilst you're trying to improve things like muscle memory and overall skill it's helpful playing a bunch of games that follow similar rules. 3. FIND SOME FRIENDS TO PLAY WITH Playing alone can be fun in its own way but nothing beats defeating a really hard boss with some close friends so my next suggestion is find a group of people who like the same genre of games as you and link up to play together. This is sometimes easier said than done, I know personally I struggle talking to strangers so if my current gaming team don't want to play a certain game I usually go it alone but I wish I put myself out there more because you'll find that, although some parts of the community are toxic, a lot of people you can meet are great fun and have very similar interests to you. Playing with friends also helps in another way, sound. You don't realize how important sounds can be in games like COD or Fortnite until you're on mic with your friends and can't hear enemy players over the sounds of the one guy guaranteed to be eating. This gives you a whole new appreciation of how using sounds in games is so important so when you are playing alone you become a lot more focused on utilizing everything you hear. There are plenty of forums out there to meet people interested in the same games as you, most notably Reddit, but be wary of strangers and don't meet people off the internet if you don't know them, this doesn't stop you from joining a game with them but always be safe online. 4. IMPROVE YOUR REFLEXES So this one sort of comes hand in hand with playing video games as your reflexes will naturally quicken when put under test however quick reflexes could be the difference between beating that really hard boss or dying for the 37th time in a row. A lot of games use quick time events (QTE) for certain cut scenes or gameplay in general and messing these up can have dire consequences, like for instance having to restart the 5 minute long unskippable cutscene just to get to the one QTE at the end of it so having the quick reflexes is a necessity. You can research online loads of different ways to heighten your reflexes, for example basic things like getting enough sleep and staying hydrated both help, but also you should do cognitive training exercises, this can be things such as doing a puzzle like a rubiks cube or even getting up and having a dance. These will all help to improve your reflexes. 5. MASTERING YOUR EMOTIONS Does this sound familiar, you've had a busy day and you just want to play some video games to relax for a while but you keep dying and this just winds you up and makes your day worse? If so then congratulations, you're human. All of us have emotions and they're not easy to control, this often leads to our brains not processing things how we would normally process them, for example if you're mad then little things will probably make you more irritated whereas if you're happy then they might bring you more joy or laughter. So how does all this fit in with being a better gamer? Well when we aren't thinking straight or we become distracted then our abilities in game tend to slip and then it all goes downhill and our mood goes with it. Now I'm by no means telling you to suppress your emotions but rather control them, don't let them influence your decision making, I know it's not easy and we all fall prey but the top gamers all find ways to stay in the moment and focus purely on the game at hand. SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED There are many different ways to improve your overall gaming skills and not all of them are listed here but these are, in my opinion, some of the best ways to improve. These might not work for everyone but there's no harm in trying. At the end of the day if you struggle to get better then the simplest of all the solutions is find someone worse than you that makes you look good by comparison then you can feel like a winner.

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