Found yourself with a little more time on your hands, and you always wanted to play games? We don’t judge! Our goal is to be as supportive as possible because we feel the same. Even though people had a lot of preconceived notions, video games don’t condone violence or cause rapid behavior changes. They do the opposite – let you blow off some steam in a safe, controlled environment, engage you, make you laugh or scream in terror, and just overall make your life better. So, if you always wanted to learn how to be good at games, you’re in the right place.
Do you know how they say practice makes perfect? This is actually the most important tip we can give you. An author named Malcolm Gladwell once set a rule that if you want to master a skill, you’ll have to spend 10,000 hours doing it. This translates to about 90 minutes per day for a period of 20 years.
That number will be different for everyone. One thing is for sure, you must start practicing as soon as possible regardless. If the game can be played repeatedly from beginning to end, do so. Consider taking a break, and play a different game in-between. If it’s a multiplayer game, you can switch servers, accounts, and maps.
2. Have a schedule
We understand you don’t want this to feel like a job or an obligation. But if you truly want to become a better gamer, consistency, dedication, and patience is essential. Balance is key. Pick a daily minimum time period for gaming, and stick to it even if you don’t feel like it. 30 minutes per day quickly adds up to hours, then days when counted at a yearly level. Don’t go overboard, either. If you want to game for 6 hours, space it out in 3 to 4 chunks of time throughout the day.
3. Stay hydrated, eat well, and workout
If you look at any professional gamer, they still cook or eat healthy in-between, and during their matches and practice sessions. They also keep a shaker bottle nearby at all times and sip on it while playing. Additionally, they either run, do yoga or bodyweight workouts at home, calisthenics in the park, or go to the gym. Staying in good physical shape affects your mood and gaming performance positively.
4. Introduce natural light
We’re aware that sunlight hitting your monitor or TV isn’t ideal, and you feel like shutting off the blinds. But don’t! Position the TV or monitor away from the window(s). Keeping the daylight inside the room keeps your body producing Vitamin D, and doesn’t mess with your Circadian rhythm of night and day. That way, you’ll go to sleep at a natural time and avoid becoming nocturnal. If needed, you can add artificial light to the room.
5. Keep distractions away
It’s tempting to browse YouTube, chat with friends, or look at memes. But if you want to become a great gamer, you need to keep your focus on the game and game only. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to music at a low volume, stop talking to anyone in the house, or answer an urgent call. We’re saying, try to pick a time where you won’t be disturbed by others or your own lack of focus.
6. Invest in gaming equipment
All gamers start somewhere. If you are strapped for cash, you don’t have to shoot for games with the best graphics. Stick to old games, browser games, or low-spec games to get your practice in. Then, as you go, slowly invest it in better equipment. This includes buying a PC with better specifications or a newer console such as Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch.
Your goal is to have enough FPS (frames per second) to match the screen refresh rate, which can range between 60 Hz and 240 Hz. Reduce the graphical settings if needed. Additionally, look into a high-quality TV/monitor, headset/speakers, controller/keyboard & mouse, etc. We can’t give you specifics, because features that are important to us might not be important to you at all.
7. Optimize your gaming space
If you are sitting in front of a computer monitor, invest in a proper gaming chair and a desk of fitting height and width. There’s nothing worse than aching neck, leg, or back pain while you’re trying to practice. The same applies if you’re playing games on a massive TV. Look up recommended distances between your eyes and the screen, and move the couch forward or push it back. In both cases, sit upright, and retain a good body posture.
8. Research and record yourself playing
You can use built-in Game Mode on windows or screen-recording tools on consoles. Those can reduce in-game performance severely. Our recommendation is purchasing a game capture card, an external device, connected via HDMI, USB-C, or DisplayPort. It can record and store your gaming endeavors without taking a toll on your CPU/GPU/RAM.
In your free time, go back and re-watch yourself playing. Don’t be overly critical of yourself, but notice of your weak points, make notes and work on improving. You can also use online resources such as guides, walkthroughs, tutorials, wiki pages, gaming forums, social media, etc.
9. Play low-stress, “insignificant” matches
Becoming great at games doesn’t mean you should always play important matches to push you. In fact, that gets exhausting physically and mentally very quickly. Play casual matches and try different roles and game modes to switch things up. You’ll meet new people (in multiplayer), and become better in your main role or playstyle if you understand how the entire game works.
10. Follow a master and get a protégé
Through the power of the Internet that connects the world, this doesn’t have to be someone you know in real life. Start following a professional gamer, streamer, or YouTuber that has similar taste in games, playstyle, and roles. Or, find someone in-game that seems to be doing much better, and ask for tips and tricks. You can do the opposite too. While introducing someone to the game, you have to find ways to teach them how to play it. In the process, you’re becoming better at it yourself.
11. Don’t cheat
Whatever you do – don’t cheat. It’s a shortcut that’s in no way beneficial to you becoming better at games. That doesn’t mean you can’t use GTA cheats or enable cheats in Minecraft for a little bit of fun, but never give up on playing the game as it was meant to be played.
12. Don’t lose your cool
Raging and taking out your frustrations can damage your reputation, friendships, and even your gaming equipment. Stay calm and collected, and don’t let the game get to you. Take a break, walk, party, or sleep it off, and come back to it when you’re feeling better.
13. Keep your hands warm
When gamers’ response time was tested, those who had warm hands responded quicker to stimuli. Keep your elbows level or above your palms, and the blood will circulate properly. Additionally, you can use warming pads, wear gloves with fingers cut off, and keep the room at an optimal temperature.
14. Reduce your area of expertise
Stick to one genre such as third-person shooter/FPS, RPG, MMORPG, quest, crafting, building, etc. Inside the game, pick a class or role, and try to master it before moving to others. But in all honesty, no one is forcing you to transition. You can keep playing for as long as you enjoy it.