10 Tips to Become a Better Gamer
We're here to talk about video games and how you can get better at them. Video games are competitive by their nature, so gamers must have many tricks up their sleeve that give them a competitive edge.
The video game industry continues to evolve as new games and systems make their way onto the market. As the gaming industry expands and introduces new experiences, gamers are refining their practices to achieve the highest rankings, scores, and general statuses.
Let's uncover some tips and tricks you can implement into your life to elevate your gaming abilities.
Tip #1: Choose Your Competition Wisely
Sports legends like Michael Jordan weren’t measured by their ability to rack up easy wins against inferior teams. Instead, Jordan is most remembered by fans for his ability to overcome the NBA’s top teams during competitive playoff games. As Jordan fell short of his championship goals in the early days of his career against superior teams, his skill increased through facing and learning his opponents' ways, which eventually led to six NBA championships.
The same idea can apply to gamers, as playing against skilled opponents will elevate your overall gaming practices. Facing off against skilled opponents is not only productive; it's more engaging as your abilities are tested more rigorously.
Competition defines video games' history and the current state of gaming as video game tournaments offering cash prizes and other perks are becoming increasingly popular.
While there’s nothing wrong with playing a casual game with a less-skilled friend or occasionally lowering the difficulty of computer-programmed opponents, facing off against skillful gamers will help you grow at a faster rate. If you're stressed by the challenges that tough competition presents, it can help to think of these experiences as a form of mentorship that will influence and improve how you play in the future.
Tip #2: Select the Right Gear
The gear you choose goes a long way in fostering your success as a gamer. As a gamer, you’re most likely going to be in a seated position, so selecting a chair that’s both comfortable and supports healthy habits like good posture will help you go the distance during long gaming sessions.
A stable internet connection is an essential component of modern gaming. Connecting to the internet allows you to play alongside and communicate with gamers all over the world. Making the most of modern gaming requires an exceptional internet setup, so you don't lag out of fun and competitive moments in your favorite games.
Controllers, keyboards, monitors, and TV units will be a defining factor of how enjoyable your gaming experience is. Wireless controllers, keyboards, and mouses offer more flexibility, but they can occasionally result in a delay as the wireless technology attempts to communicate with the devices it's linked to. Choosing wired accessories is a reliable way to solidify your connection and reduce the chance any latency or buffering (because no one wants that when you’re about to beat the Final Boss).[i]
Tip #3: Focus on Games You’re Passionate About
It's much easier to put in the hours it takes to become a skilled player in a particular game if you actively enjoy playing it. You might be tempted to embark on a journey to become good at certain games because they're regularly linked to cash prizes in tournaments or popular among your friends, but if your heart and soul is not fully invested in what the game offers, it'll be more difficult to improve.[i]
Three questions you can ask yourself when choosing a game to get better at include:[i]
- Will I be playing for fun or professionally?
- Am I going to stream my gameplay?
- What would I rate this game on a scale of 1/10?
Tip #4: Create a Gaming Schedule
Everyone has lots of moving parts in their lives that influence how they can craft the ideal schedule for themselves. If you want to become a top-tier gamer, designing a schedule that fosters your gaming skills, can help to get regular practice and rack up those skills.
A helpful first step to take when creating a gaming schedule for yourself is to estimate the amount of time it'll take you to get to the performance level you wish to achieve.[ii]
When designing, keep in mind other responsibilities in your life, like work or school, so you can find equal balance between these.
Tip #5: Establish Goals
Establishing goals is a helpful way to monitor your progress as you set out to become a better gamer. It might be easy to only focus on those lofty, long-term goals, but listing out achievable short-term goals is a great way to measure your progress actively. Think of your short-term goals as stepping stones to that larger goal.
A great first step is to realistically evaluate your current status as a gamer is a great place to start as it'll help you see how far you need to travel to reach your end goal. Leaderboards and rankings are excellent resources that help you discover where you stack up with your competition.[ii]
Tip #6: Balance Your Gaming with Sunlight and Nature
It can be easy to lose track of the clock when enjoying your favorite game. While the idea of the more you game, the better you become is mostly valid, not exposing yourself to nature or sunlight can negatively affect your sleep, which will subsequently reduce cognitive abilities needed for gaming.[ii]
You don't have to go on a three-hour hike every morning, but scheduling time to be outside or opening up a window to expose yourself to sunlight is a great way to stay healthy while gaming. The importance is finding balance between taking a break from gaming to rest your mind, and connecting with the natural world.
Tip #7: Maintain Focus
When you’re pursuing a long-term goal, most people have more motivation toward the start of their journey, then when they start to encounter challenges or the goal seems far off, their motivation begins to diminish.
During times when challenges arise, and you lack the motivation to go the extra mile in gaming, do your best to remember why you started your journey in the first place.[ii] An essential part of being focused is having an awareness of your goals and taking action that supports those goals.
Distractions are a challenge for people pursuing any goal. Do your best to recognize distractions and unproductive traps when they arise so you can take steps that move you toward your vision.
Tip #8: Remember to Stay Hydrated
Whether you're exerting yourself physically or sitting in a chair enjoying your favorite video game, dehydration can produce several adverse effects which can include:
Once you build your video game skills, it's important to maintain them. If you're dehydrated, the disorienting effects of dehydration can get in the way of playing. Water is always a great choice to rehydrate, and we’re not here to tell you to stop drinking water. If you need to get more from your water or are looking for an extra boost, check out our different drink mixes!
Our hydration mixes contain a balanced electrolyte boost to hydrate you fast—all day long. Lightly flavored with real fruit juice powder, our products don’t have any artificial sweeteners, stevia, or synthetic colors. They’re light, refreshing, and easy to drink so you can keep doing what you love. If you want hydration plus a boost, check out our ENERGY line with 100mg of caffeine and 200mg of L-theanine for sustained energy & focus.
If you combine proper hydration with a balanced diet, your body will reward you for taking care of it by supplying you with sufficient amounts of energy.
Tip #9: Play to Improve
So, what is "playing to improve?" mindset?
You may be shocked to hear the top gamers don't consider winning or losing to the main component of improving.[ii] How is this possible? The key is in the takeaway lessons from losing a level or developing skills. If you focus on the process rather than each individual outcome, you can employ this “play to improve” mindset.
Tip #10: Have Patience
People who commit themselves to become better at something understand that their mission won't be accomplished overnight.
An essential component of becoming a better gamer is falling in love with the process, from the highs down to the lows. As we previously mentioned, if you employ a "play to improve" mindset, your biggest losses will be victories as you can learn and improve upon your play in the future.
Having patience will allow you to put in the time it takes to get better and evaluate your progress along the way.
Benefits of Video Games
Problem-solving is a fundamental skill in any person's life. A study conducted in 2013 reflected that kids who played strategy-based video games demonstrated an elevated ability to problem solve and scored better grades.[v] It makes sense that video games can strengthen problem-solving abilities as a conflict is a catalyst for action and storyline within gaming.
Popular modern video games like Minecraft offer unbound creativity levels as players are on a mission to build and navigate their civilization.
Video Games May Increase Gray Matter
Chances are you’ve heard of gray matter, but you might be wondering what specific role it plays in the brain.
Gray matter is linked to:
- Muscle control
- Spatial navigation
When gamers use a controller or keyboard to dive into the world of their favorite games, they’re exercising their brain and boosting gray matter through the stimulation that these games provide.[v] In some studies this has been shown to positively impact a person’s mood and relieve stress.[vi] As with all studies, more research is needed to understand the correlation between the two. Balance between playing games and having limited or no-screen time is also key.
Video Games Can Help with Coordination
This is probably the most evident benefit that playing video games provide. A basic example that displays the coordination benefits that video games provide is a gamer and their ability to focus on a screen and operate their controller or keyboard without looking at their hands.
One element that makes video games so engaging is their ability to test reaction time. If you regularly have to react quickly to obstacles and other challenges in a video game, your coordination will be challenged and could improve over time.
Whether you’re a long-time gamer, or just starting out, remember to have patience with yourself, take care of your needs, find balance between screen and non-screen time, and stay hydrated!