Gaming is an activity enjoyed around the world by throngs of people. A recent ESA study found that there are around 3 billion gamers, while in some countries like the USA, around 60% of the population engages in this form of video entertainment.
Many people enjoy playing games for fun, to relieve stress, or to bond with friends that share the same interests. However, many also play competitively, either at an amateur level by joining a clan or professionally by taking part in high-profile esports events.
No matter what level you play at, you need to work on your gaming skills to help you win more, beat your friends, or just so you have something to work towards. Whatever your reasons for improving, here are some ways you can level up your gaming.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It may seem obvious, but the only way you will get better at gaming is by practicing. Depending on what you’re looking to do, you may want to focus on a single game to become highly proficient at it or play different titles across multiple genres and platforms to become a well-rounded gamer.
Often, the skills you develop to succeed at one game can be transferred over to other titles. Some games will require faster reflexes, which could boost your chances when playing against gamers used to slower titles.
Research Different Strategies
There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, so the approach you’re using may not necessarily be the best one. In decades gone by, you’d need to get commercially produced “strategy guide” books available in video game stores to get secret strategies on how to beat a particular level. Today, that information and much more is available on the internet for free.
These days you’ll find hints and tips on how to get better at just about every game. For example, if you’re playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, you’ll find maps of all the gang tags and photo opportunities that you need to collect to reach 100% completion.
Similarly, if you enjoy playing cards, you’ll find many sites that discuss poker strategy. These guides cover everything from the basic rules and hand rankings up to how to conduct yourself at the table.
Learn From Others
Today, it’s easier than ever to learn from other talented gamers. Many upload content to video streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Twitch has a directory that contains categories dedicated to popular titles like Among Us, Fortnite, and FIFA. The Fortnite category has over 65 million followers and thousands of channels broadcasting live streams of their gameplay.
Famous streamers have become celebrities in the gaming community. Players like Tfue, Nickmercs, and Tyler1 have millions of followers and hundreds of millions of views thanks to their exceptional talents.
Watching esports events can also be a good way to see how the most successful players approach their games.
Ask for Feedback
Social media sites can be a great place to upload footage of your gameplay for others to watch and give you feedback. You should be ready for some harsh criticism, as gamers are not known for their sensitivity, but if you can handle that, you may pick up some good tips.
Turn Off Your Music and Use a Headset
Many casual gamers play their games while listening to music, often because it helps them to focus. The problem with this is that you can miss many audio cues as to where your enemies are.
In first-person shooters like Call of Duty, you can often hear your enemy approach you if you’re listening closely enough. However, blasting out your favorite tunes over the top will mean you’ll miss these.
Using a headset can also help with this, it will help to drown out any external distractions and help you get a better understanding of where the noise is coming from (behind you, to your left, or your right). If you can turn the game’s music down and the sound effects up, this will also help.
If you’re gaming on your PC, you will want to take advantage of gaming keyboards and mice that contain extra buttons which will save you valuable seconds.
For example, gaming mice often have buttons under where your thumb sits. Programming this button for quick draw items like a knife will allow you to react when the difference between (in-game) life or death can ride on milliseconds.
You can also create macros that contain multiple key presses at once, allowing you to perform repetitive tasks at the push of a single button.
Good gaming mice will also allow you to adjust the DPI which can be useful when switching between sniper rifles and machine guns.
Play With People Better Than You
Playing against people you can easily beat can make you feel better, but you won’t learn much. Instead, put your ego aside and compete against people who are better than you.
This will force you to learn new techniques and strategies and get you away from the beginner tactics.
Your gaming setup also needs to be comfortable. You won’t be able to perform well if your keyboard and mouse or chair are causing you pain after playing for a while. Make sure that your peripherals are ergonomic and that they feel comfortable when you use them.
Also remember to take regular breaks to stretch, get your blood pumping, and to give your eyes a break from the screen for a while.