How To Become Better At Video Games
So, you want to become a better gamer? Whether your motivation is to brush up on your skills before starting a Youtube gaming channel, you want to go pro and compete in eSports, or you simply want to impress your friends with your gaming abilities, I put together this guide to help anyone interested in taking their gaming to the next level.
Here are 12 useful tips that can help anyone become a better gamer:
- Use the Right Gaming Gear and Settings
- Choose a Game You’re Interested In
- Dedicate Time to Playing Games
- Improve Your Mental Dexterity to Get Better at Gaming
- Improve Your Reflexes to Get Better at Gaming
- Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills to Get Better at Gaming
- Get Better At Gaming By Surrounding Yourself With Pros
- Study Strategies to Become a Better Gamer
- Become Better at Gaming by Watching Your Replays
- Master Your Emotions to Become a Better Gamer
- Learn How to Communicate to Improve Your Gaming Skills
- Get Better At Gaming By Keeping Your Body Healthy
Let’s take a look at the details of each of these tips so that you’ll know how you can apply them to your situation.
Get Better At Gaming By Using the Right Gear and Settings
I, like many, have been tempted to blame a lost match on a loose joystick. However, if you want to become a better gamer, you should make sure that you can’t blame your losses on faulty gear and the wrong settings.
Choosing the Right Settings
Before you pour hours into practice with the game of your choice, the first thing you should do is ensure that the game’s settings are optimized so that you won’t have to re-learn anything down the road.
Website’s like this one will tell you what settings professional gamers use on a number of popular games. The main setting to be concerned with is how sensitive your mouse or joysticks are. Depending on your game and your role within the game, it may make sense for you to veer on the higher or lower end of the spectrum.
The general consensus is that if you’re playing a game that requires incredibly accurate aim, then a lower sensitivity is better suited because it will allow you to make very small adjustments whereas a higher sensitivity would make this difficult.
If your game requires a lot of traversal and surprise close counters, a higher sensitivity will be to your advantage because it will allow you to face your opponents faster.
Choosing the Right Gaming Gear
When selecting your gear, the most important thing to think about is latency. Latency is the delay between when actions take place in a game and when you actually see them take place.
High latency means that your opponent could defeat you before you even see them, or you could react as fast as necessary to win, but the game server doesn’t receive the information fast enough so you still end up losing.
Here are the main causes of latency and few tips for minimizing its negative effects:
Poor Internet Connections
When playing online games, a bad internet connection can have a significant impact on your gaming experience.
While a wireless internet connection will do just fine for non-professional gamers, if your goal is to stack all of the odds in your favor, I recommend using a wired internet connection. This can greatly reduce any noticeable lag and latency.
Wireless Controllers, Mouses, and Keyboards
Another contributor to latency is the type of controller, mouse, or keyboard you use. Again, while the convenience of wireless is nice, you can potentially reduce latency by opting for a wired controller, mouse, or keyboard.
The last factor I’ll mention is the type of monitor you use. While the size of televisions can be nice, they are notorious for their lag when it comes to gaming. It’s far better to use a computer monitor that’s optimized for gaming rather than an old flat-screen TV.
Use Gaming Headphones
Another piece of gear that can have a big impact on your gaming is headphones. Being able to hear the audio clearly in some games can give you a significant advantage by alerting you when and where opponents might be.
Headphones also help you by allowing you to hear positionally where sounds are coming from in a game. I don’t know about you, but being able to hear footsteps creeping up behind me in a game seems pretty helpful.
Get Better At Gaming By Choosing A Game You’re Interested In
This might go without saying, but if you want to become a great gamer, it’s in your best interest to play a game that you thoroughly enjoy.
Becoming great at any particular video game is a rather large investment of both your time and energy. Choosing one that you enjoy will help you keep playing even if you don’t always feel up to it.
However, in addition to the pure enjoyment factor, another key thing to consider when choosing a game is your longterm goal for playing.
What Are Your Longterm Gaming Goals?
Are you interested in going pro? Then you should research to find games with large tournaments and prizes readily available that you can eventually compete in.
Are you playing just to impress your friends? Then find a game that they’re all playing so that you can meet them on their own turf.
Are you playing because you want to start streaming? Then you might consider choosing a highly-popular and newer title that people are currently interested in.
At the end of the day, you’re the one that’s going to be putting in a ton of work to become great at the game, so it’s worth your time trying out a few different games to find the one that feels right for your situation.
Get Better At Gaming By Putting In The Time
The main thing that keeps people from achieving their goals is poor time management. There are countless things that any person could become great at, simply by dedicating time to it each and every day.
If you want to become a great gamer, you have to spend time playing games. And not just playing them, but playing them intentionally.
Serious gamers pay attention to every decision that they make while gaming. Competitive gaming requires that you think several steps ahead of your opponent and quickly weigh the consequences of the options at your disposal.
If you spend all day playing a game, but you always run into encounters without premeditating your decisions, you won’t learn very much. Even when you experience success in these instances, you likely won’t even know what factors contributed to your success so that you can repeat them.
Finding Time for Focused Gaming
If you’re a parent, student, or spend a lot of time working, then finding time to work on your gaming skills can be a major hurdle.
My recommendation is to evaluate the hours in your day to find any time that you’re wasting. Could you get up earlier or stay up later without damaging your sleep schedule? Could you spend less time watching TV? Are there any unnecessary activities that you can cut out to open up more of your time?
They say that you can always find time for what’s important to you. So if you’re serious about gaming then you should be able to find ways to squeeze more focused gaming time into your day.
Get Better At Gaming By Improving Your Mental Dexterity
A sharp mind is a key component in becoming better at video games. Being able to think quickly and creatively will allow you to take your opponents by surprise before they even realize what’s happening.
Here are a few useful ways to improve your mental dexterity for gaming.
Reduce Mindless Activities
I know from experience, after a long day of work, sometimes all you want to do is relax and do something mindless.
While it’s certainly okay to take mental breaks in moderation, taking too many of them can make it more difficult for you to kick your brain back into gear when there’s a difficult problem that needs to be solved.
The most common mindless activities include watching TV or Youtube, looking at your phone, staring into space (or the fridge,) binge eating, and surfing the internet.
Solve Puzzles and Riddles
Your brain is like your muscles. When you exercise it, it gets stronger. One of the easiest ways to give your brain a good workout is by solving puzzles and riddles. There are plenty of apps out that now that can give you short mental exercises to perform.
Why not try solving puzzles for a few weeks instead of scrolling through your social media feeds?
Learn How to Play An Instrument
Learning to play an instrument is a great exercise for gamers because it engages both your mind and your body. If you’re interested in taking this route, I would suggest choosing an instrument that requires finger strength and dexterity like the piano or guitar.
Turn Off Your GPS
It’s really easy to depend on your GPS to get everywhere, but this reduces the amount you have to think while driving. Why not invest in a map and try getting from point A to point B the good old fashioned way?
Get Better At Gaming By Improving Your Reflexes
It’s been proven that action video games improve your reaction speed due to their fast pace and the quick responses they require from players. So it makes sense that improving your reaction speed will make you better at video games.
If you’re not already a lightning-fast ninja, here are a few tips that will help you develop faster reflexes.
Get Involved In Sports
Training for and participating in a sport can be a great way to improve your reflexes. Some of the sports that require incredibly fast reflexes are table tennis or any other racket type sport, sprinting, basketball, and soccer. (source)
Master A Musical Instrument
Mastering a musical instrument not only improves your mental dexterity but it also improves your physical reflexes. Becoming great at an instrument that requires fast and meticulous movements is bound to help you the next time you’re in a tight spot while gaming.
Play TONS of Video Games
One of the best ways to improve your reflexes for video games is simply to play a ton of them. Not only will your reflexes improve the more that you play, but you’ll also develop muscle memory. This will allow you to forget about the controller or keyboard and mouse while you’re playing so that you can devote more focus and energy to the task at hand.
Get Better At Gaming By Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking, as it applies to playing video games, is the art of quickly absorbing and analyzing information so that you can make an informed judgment concerning the predicament you’re in.
While there are certainly times while you’re playing games that you’ll need to rely upon instinct and experience, there are other times where being able to think critically in order to determine the best solution to a problem will be invaluable.
In order to think critically, you should avoid making assumptions. Decisions based upon assumptions are the mental equivalent of taking the path of least resistance.
In order to think critically, you must examine decisions from different perspectives and understand that the obvious choice isn’t always the best choice.
Get Better At Gaming By Surrounding Yourself With Pros
One of the fastest ways to become a great gamer is to surround yourself with other great gamers and examine what they do.
Whatever game you’re interested in, there are likely thousands of hours of gameplay recorded online that you can watch. This is perfect for when you’re traveling and you might not be able to bring your gaming system with you.
Seek out the players who have made names for themselves in the gaming industry, and make yourself a student of what they do. Even if you never get to actually meet them in person, there is still plenty that you can learn from them.
However, there’s a time to watch the pros, and time to get in the arena yourself. Find other competitive gamers who are slightly above your level, and start playing private matches with them online. As you get better, you can continue seeking out worthy opponents to face.
You also might consider entering gaming tournaments. Knowing that you have a tournament coming up is a great way to stay motivated and push your skills to the limit.
Get Better At Gaming By Studying Strategies
A good strategy allows you to work smarter, not harder. If you want to improve your gaming abilities, begin studying strategies for the game you’re playing. Learn the nuances of the tools and abilities that you’ve been given so that you can use them in creative ways.
As mentioned in the previous point, you can learn a lot by what other gamers do because they might be using strategies and systems that you’ve never even considered. Find their content and start watching it in some of your free time to give you ideas for your own tactics.
Many games have guides that might contain beneficial information. Reading them, even if they don’t contain useful strategies, can still help you by giving you a better understanding of a game.
Get Better At Gaming By Watching Your Replays
Once you feel like your skills are improving, you can begin reviewing your own matches to see if there are things you can work on, (which there always are.)
After you’ve determined the areas where you need to brush up your skills, you can begin dedicating special attention to improving those areas. Repeat this process until no one can beat you!
Get Better At Gaming By Mastering Your Emotions
I’ve sweated my way through enough Super Smash Brothers tournaments to know that video games can be really intense.
When you’re putting your all into a match, it’s almost impossible not to become emotionally invested in them at some level. However, whether you win or lose, every professional gamer must learn how to control how they respond to the results of a match (or run the risk of ending up on Youtube.)
If you find that you’re easily worked up by losing matches, begin experimenting with ways to stay calm. Whether that’s through taking more breaks, going outside for some fresh air, spending an hour focusing on another hobby, or simply playing a different game.
When you come back, you’ll be refreshed, emotionally stable, and ready to bring your best.
Get Better At Gaming By Learning How to Communicate
Communication is a vital component for a large number of online games. Making the shift from playing games on your own to being a part of a team is a significant mental adjustment for some.
It requires that you elevate the needs of your team members to be equal with your own and that you make decisions that benefit everyone. Successful gaming teams have learned to set aside their egos and realize that they fail or succeed together.
Get Better At Gaming By Keeping Your Body Healthy
Last but not least, professional gamers break all of the stereotypes and tend to be healthy and athletic people.
Keeping your body healthy by getting plenty of sleep, exercise, and maintaining a well-balanced diet will allow you to perform at your highest level.
When you do these things, you’ll have more energy, your mind will work better, and you’re less likely to suffer physical illnesses that might keep you from gaming.
A couple of practical health concerns to keep in mind while you’re playing your games is to position your monitor or television the right distance from your eyes so as to avoid injuring them. You should also invest in a chair that encourages proper posture while gaming and doesn’t leave you with pains and aches after several hours of playing.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed these tips and that you’ve learned a thing or two to improve your gaming. If you’re interested in seeing more of my latest articles, you can check them out by heading here.