Gaming is a popular hobby. Around a third of the world regularly plays video games, while this fraction rises to a half in developed nations like the United States. With so many people taking part, it can often be difficult to beat more experienced players, especially when you’re starting out.
Today, gaming isn’t just a hobby either. For some people, it is a viable career path. However, professional gaming is like professional sports in that only the best of the best rise to the top, leaving many more talented people struggling to get a big break.
Regardless of whether you want a career as a professional gamer or you’d just like to perform better when you’re playing with your pals, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your skills.
Read Up on Strategy
No matter whether you’re playing a traditional game like chess or a modern video game like Fortnite, you’ll perform better if you can think and play strategically. This usually means thinking ahead, rather than just reacting to the events unfolding before you.
In the past, this would have meant heading to your local library or bookstore to find texts to study up on. Companies like BradyGames became well known for their official strategy guides to all the biggest video game releases, including Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Fallout, and more. Today, these types of publications have fallen out of fashion as most of the information can be found online, often even before the games are released.
The same is true for card games like blackjack. In the past, players that wanted to learn about the game would have to buy a book like The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble However, the internet has made it possible to access much of this information for free.
Online casino websites like PokerStars Casino provide guides on how to play Blackjack that cover everything from the basics like poins, to advanced strategies like trying to calculate which cards your opponents are holding or different offshoots of online Blackjack.
Another way to improve your gaming skills is to watch others playing.
Drivers in motorsport competitions will often stand at the side of a track or watch videos of their opponents so that they can see the points at which they brake before a turn, the lines that they take through the corners, and how aggressive they are on the throttle on the exit of a bend.
Gamers can do the same in order to learn what their opponents and other talented players do. Streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube have made this incredibly easy. There are thousands of hours of video footage about almost every game ever created, from board games like chess to video games like Grand Theft Auto.
As you watch, you may also be able to spot these players implementing the strategies that you have learned about in the previous step. Additionally, if you’re watching live, you could ask the streamer questions about why they are taking a particular approach.
Take Care of Yourself
Playing games of almost any kind is a sedentary affair. Whether you’re playing cards, chess, or a video game, you’re going to be sitting down for quite some time. This can put pressure on your body and lead to aches and pains caused by repetitive strain.
Taking care of yourself can help to build up muscles that can reduce the risk of bad backs, stiff necks, and joint pain. If you’ve ever spent a long time on a train or an aeroplane, you’ll know how uncomfortable this can become and how it can distract you from focusing on anything else.
That’s why most leading esports athletes include regular exercise into their training regime. Jake Middleton, who works with many professional gamers, espouses the merits of doing this to all of his clients.
He explains to them that as well as the physical benefits that come from working out, exercise can help to improve your ability to handle stress and even boost your cognitive function.
Eating a sensible and balanced diet, as well as ensuring you’re well-hydrated, will ensure you can perform at your peak performance. In fact, elite esports athletes are beginning to also focus on nutrition in the same way that top-level competitors from physical sports do.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect doing pull-ups on their own to drastically improve your kill ratio on Call of Duty. Instead, you should see taking care of yourself as part of a wider approach to improving your gaming abilities.
Of course, if you want to become proficient at something, you need to practice. This most certainly applies to playing games, even if you are naturally gifted. Thankfully, since most of us choose to play a particular game because we enjoy it, we shouldn’t have too much trouble trying to find time to get some practice in.
It’s not just about the quantity of practising that you do either. How you use your time is also vital if you want to progress quickly. Therefore, you should look to do things that push you out of your comfort zone, such as playing games on a higher difficulty setting, competing against other players that are more experienced and skilled than you, and experimenting with different maps, weapons, and characters.
By mixing up your play like this, you will expose yourself to a much wider selection of scenarios that will require a different approach from you.
Some players also find that switching to different titles for short periods can help them to pick up new approaches that they can then apply to their main game. It doesn’t always work, but it may be something that is worth trying if you want to gain an edge over your rivals.
Over time, as you practice more, you will notice that you find it easier to beat opponents, set higher scores, and build your XP at a much faster rate. All of which are the signs of a good gamer.