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How to be good at video games
Be a Glorious Geek of Grandeur... +10
If there is one thing I know well, it's video games. Yes, I am a total geek. So if you're interested in being good at any video game, I've got some general tips for you that if implemented correctly will surprise you.
- Notice patterns. This is the biggest one and can mean a lot, but video games are built off patterns and the sooner you can realize this the better you will be. It really does not matter what game. If you're against other humans or computers, they always have patterns in behavior. Learn to predict and expect them. One brief example, in counter strike 1.6 snipers ALWAYS checked the same spots at the beginning of every round. Another obvious one is the number 3 in Mario games. Almost every boss takes 3 hits. Of course in order to be really good you have to notice more complex patterns and be able to predict human behavior.
- Know what you're doing and why. I know it can be a daunting task, but understand everything there is to know in the game. Understand what attributes do, what spells do what, what buffs do what, the characteristics of different weapons, what equipment synergizes with your playstyle. More or less, do not do anything unless you have a reason to do it. Find out what is best and most efficient. It takes minimal effort to read and learn a small bit but it can make you much better. Be thorough. (Hint, most games have wiki pages or helpful videos on youtube)
- Pay attention to better players. This will help you drastically speed up the amount of time it takes to reach a comfortable level with the 2 previous tips. Asking and watching better players is basically a shortcut.
- Genre assumptions. Every genre has some default features/aspects; after you play a few games in the genre you will pick up on this. FPS, RPG, RTS, doesn't matter, they all have them. This will improve your learning curve with new games. Pay attention to similarities between games you play as you can bet you will see them again.
- Learn your own strengths and weaknesses. If you haven't read the Art of War then take this tidbit. You must understand yourself. Every player has strong points and weak points, learn how and when to use your strong points effectively. Admitting and acknowledging your weak points allows you to practice and improve. For instance, I could land a stream of notes on Guitar Hero without a problem, but if you start throwing double or triple notes in I fell apart. This highlighted what songs I could play to show off to my friends, as well as what songs I needed to practice to be able to continue this showing off when they picked a song I would normally not be good at.
- Maximize your play environment. This is most relevant to PC gamers but make sure your equipment is as best as it can be and you have no distractions. Pull the shades; glare is terrible. Make sure your computer runs games smoothly as a low frame rate can drastically hurt your performance in game. If you are surrounded by noise, use headphones. If you get angry or upset, take a break. Anything that can interrupt your focus can be harmful. Sticky buttons, low DPI mouse, particles blocking the mouse sensor, uneven mouse pad, not enough space for your mouse, bad reception on wireless controller, anything you can think of. Create a good environment.
Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to great gaming in no time. And while I'm at it, let me give a shout out to 2 games I think are particularly special, Rakion and Planet Calypso. Check 'em out. Also want to mention Wartune, if you try it for a while you'll know why :)
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