The most popular entertainment medium in the world, video games, is for anyone and everyone. They can be easy-going or tough as nails, story-driven or completely open-ended. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned gamer, you’re going to need a few skills if you want to enjoy all that gaming has to offer.
These skills might be perfect for multiplayer games, but they’re just as useful if single player games are more your style. We’ve put together 5 skills that will help you to improve your gameplay. They’ll serve you well in various real-life scenarios too. They can improve casino strategy and risk evaluation, for example; or even increase your overall reaction times. Without further ado, let’s get on to the critical stuff.
Practice makes perfect, and a good gamer is normally a regular player. However, playing too much can drain your energy, and before you know you’ll stop having fun. Some pro-gamers practice for 10 hours or more per day, and while that may be an admirable feat, there’s no need to go to such lengths. Studies have shown that healthy habits occupy 2-3 hours of daily life. Feel free to up that time if you’re taking gaming seriously, but make sure that your time is rewarded in a good way.
In order to win most games, you need to be able to do multiple things at once. This means that being able to multitask will make you a better player. Many games, like DOTA 2 and League of Legends, require high actions-per-minute. Basically, the quicker you can perform in-game actions, the bigger your advantage will be.
In RTS games like Starcraft II for example, victory depends almost entirely on your ability to multitask. From constructing units and buildings, to tech research and real-time combat; all these mechanics will need your attention at the same time if you want to come out as the winner.
No one likes to hear about problems, but we all like solutions. Improving your problem-solving skills means you increase your chances of getting out of sticky situations unscathed. Critical thinking will aid you in looking at a problem from multiple angles. Due to their interactive nature, video games provide the perfect opportunity to practice lateral thinking.
You can practice pattern recognition with memory games, or use training software to improve your aim speed and reaction times. Remember that experience can’t be bought, and there are no shortcuts to wisdom. If you want to perfect your skills you’ll need a sharp mind and a good deal of ingenuity. Staying ahead in a game like Hearthstone for example, means you have to be able to read your opponent. Being able to assess their playstyle accurately gives you the chance to predict their next move.
Trying to finish off an opponent too early is a common mistake in esports. Many players have failed to assess a situation correctly, and have lost matches that could have been prevented by a bit of risk assessment. Risk vs reward is an aspect of critical thinking you’ll need to practice often, especially if you want to be a better gamer. Knowing when to attack and when to play defensively are the hallmarks of a great player.
Use every tool in your arsenal. Take knowledge from unconventional resources. Find out everything you can about your chosen game. The more knowledge you have on the subject, the greater your expertise will be. Intimate knowledge of game mechanics increases your likelihood of success dramatically.
Practice a multiplayer map until you know all the best angles, and explore every approach that the enemy can take. In a card game, you know what’s in your hand, but you need to figure out what the opponent has if you want to dominate the game. You need an element of foresight, and that only comes with the acquisition of knowledge.
Stay up-to-date on patches and meta changes. Follow game developers on social media, keep an eye on media outlets, and subscribe to Youtube or Twitch channels that focus on your favorite game. There are so many different players out there, you’re sure to find one you like that’s skilful enough to learn from. For Call of Duty Warzone, for example, there are regular tournaments on Youtube – high-stakes, player-managed events that showcase some of the best pro gameplay around.
Just because you’re in a digital world, doesn’t mean you should neglect the real one. A healthy mind deals with stress better and can respond to events better than a tired one will. You need to be able to hold an intense concentration level, sometimes for prolonged periods, which means your mind and body need to be performing at their best.
Use regular exercise to avoid the health issues of extended gaming. Stretch at frequent intervals, and make sure your posture isn’t going to cause you trouble later in life. Sports and ball games won’t just strengthen your muscles, they’ll also improve your hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
Your diet can also impact how well you play. A lot of sugar will give you an energy boost, but it will also cause terrible slumps in your energy levels. Unhealthy food and drink is always bad for your body. Make sure that whatever you’re eating isn’t impacting your gaming negatively. If you’re happy with the quality of fuel you’re giving your body, monitor your intake so you perform at your best. A Red Bull is great to zero in, but having one too many means you’ll be twitching all over the place. As with most things in life, it’s always about finding a healthy balance.
Calling out targets can save teammates. Planning flank maneuvers requires clear communication between team members. You can very easily tell if a team communicates or not, and their overall gameplay will be markedly different. A team that communicates always has the upper hand against those who prefer to stay silent. Being on the receiving end of a well-coordinated team usually results in your death.
Social skills can also create opportunities for you, such as networking and friendship. You’ll find that the closer you are with your team, the less you’ll have to talk to each other. Being an effective team or a proficient leader means being able to communicate well. Even games you play solo will benefit from solid communication skills. Whether solo or multiplayer, these skills will make you more confident in your abilities, and better able to deal with the many unique situations found in video games.
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