May 30th, 2022 | Updated on June 2nd, 2022
More and more of us are playing games as they become more accessible and more popular among older generations. However, if you’re new to gaming in general or you’ve just started a new title, you may find it frustrating when you’re beaten by more experienced players.
The best multiplayer games try to avoid this by using a matching algorithm that assesses the skills of each user and puts them into lobbies with other people of a similar ranking. Single-player games achieve this by altering the difficulty level of the non-playable characters or giving you more time, lives, or tools.
However, no matter how much help the game gives you, you are still going to need some talent to progress through the levels. Therefore, you’re going to need to improve your skills. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources and tools you can use to help and, with a little bit of work, you’ll be leveling up left right and center.
Find Strategies Online
Assuming you’re au fait with the basic controls, rules, and/or mechanics of the game you’re playing, the first thing you’ll want to do is learn some playing strategies that you can try to implement.
The internet is awash with different strategies that you can use for almost every game and most of it is available for free. These strategies can help you make better decisions while you play and are usually designed to exploit the underlying mechanics, probabilities, and/or programming that make the game work.
For example, poker lovers who want to play online poker will look for the best strategies and hand combinations to win the game. The same goes for chess players, who must be aware of all the possible moves on the board in order to beat their opponent.
Read Strategy Books
Online guides are usually great for picking up the basics, but they’re written to be short, sharp, and snappy. If you want to explore a particular area of your strategy, then a book will help to put some meat onto the bones you found online.
Books are best for card games and board games because they have been studied for much longer than video games. Chess, poker, and blackjack have been studied by players, pundits, and even academics, examining statistics, probabilities, psychology, body language of players, and many other elements.
Unfortunately, copyright restrictions prevent many authors from writing and publishing books about recent releases, as images would need to be licensed. Additionally, since most video games played today have only been around for a few years, there simply hasn’t been enough time for the same in-depth analysis to have been conducted.
You can find strategy books in bookstores and online. You may find that some of the most popular books are no longer published, so you’ll have to find a secondhand copy.
Watch Others Playing
Once you’ve learned some of the theory around how to play your chosen game better, it can also help to watch other people. Even if you’re a pretty good player, you’ll still find plenty of people who are better than you.
You’ll be able to pick up even more tips and tricks from these players, as you’ll see how they navigate through a map or how they make certain decisions in real-time. This can be more helpful than reading about techniques, as you can easily see how they can be implemented without having to imagine it. For example, players of Forza can watch others driving around a circuit and watch the lines they are taking and listen to their use of the throttle and brake pedals.
If you head to sites like Twitch and YouTube, you will find pages and pages of streamers who play these games professionally and have joined the sites to engage with their community of fans. As they are professional gamers, you’ll likely be able to learn a lot from them.
Once you’ve learned lots of tricks and techniques, the next step is to put everything you’ve learned into practice. There is no substitute for this. If you don’t train yourself, you won’t get better.
Professional esports players have grueling schedules that can see them playing video games for eight or more hours a day with their teammates, followed by hours of reviewing the “game tapes” to find opportunities to improve.
Of course, you don’t need to go to that extreme, but spending some time practicing regularly will help to make you a better player. In games like Call of Duty, where you are constantly competing against new players on the same maps, you will learn quickly what techniques and strategies work for you and understand when to vary your approach to combat the playing styles of other players.
For example, if you find yourself coming up against an opponent that jumps around a lot to make it harder for you to aim at them, you may want to be more liberal with your trigger finger.
Find Players Better Than You
It feels great to win, there’s no denying that. However, if you find yourself winning every game you take part in, it’s probably time to find new opponents. If you’ve ever played a video game that automatically matches people based on XP rating, you’ll notice that it becomes progressively harder to beat players with higher scores than your own as you rise through the ranks.
Sure, more experienced players usually get to unlock extra weapons and tools, but they’re pretty useless in talentless hands.
Even though there may not be any extra features you can unlock, the same is also true for games like chess. If you continually beat your current level of opponent, you need to find more experienced players to test your skills against.
It won’t feel as good when you find yourself losing more frequently, but the old adage “no pain, no gain” definitely applies here. Competing against more experienced players will force you to drop amateur strategies and refine your approach to one that is capable of taking down more sophisticated rivals.