#GITGUD at Gaming
The internet is filled with videos and articles on how to get good at gaming. But what I found when researching for this article, is that most of them are far from useful. Most of them have tips such as: be single, be unemployed, and stop socializing on their list. These claims are obviously more of a joke than anything and are supposed to be taken with a huge grain of salt, but not very helpful nonetheless. So that is why I decided to put together a list of tips, to ACTUALLY become a better gamer. My second motivation for making this list was that in recent times, competitive gaming is taking off. And a lot of people are not just playing casually anymore, but are looking to improve their gaming skills constantly. This list is chronological, but keep in mind that each point on the list is more or less important depending on the reader. But with no further adieu, let’s get on the list.
7. Gaming Gear
On the bottom of my list, I have put gaming equipment, even though a lot of people may disagree. Some people will claim that it is an absolute necessity, while others will say it is 100% about the skills. I believe it is somewhere in between. You can get good without excellent gaming gear. There are even rare examples with professional CS-GO players, gaming on old school equipment, and still performing at the top. But this is the exception, not the rule, and most people will benefit from updated equipment. With that said, it is not all expensive gaming gear that will enhance your performance. Whereas a flashy mouse with a higher DPI most likely won’t change your performance, a monitor with faster response time or a mouse with those extra key bindings can do wonders for you.
This obviously sounds like a bit of a cliché, but playing more generally improve your capabilities. But I am not just talking about playing the game since at some point you will not gain much from simply playing. I am talking about playing the game, intending to improve, and notice your mistakes. The most significant and most crucial part of this is: be critical of your own playstyle! Most people tend to blame everything on everyone else, and that is a significant hindrance if you want to improve. Next time you play your game of choice, analyze what went wrong every chance you get. Once we begin to look inward and realize our own mistakes, there is usually so much room for improvement.
You will never be great, if you don’t first admit you’re flawed.
5. Watch/analyze Replays
This is obviously a bit of a continuation of the point above, but it deserves its own section. I would argue that this is one of the absolute most essential factors when you seek to improve your skills. Most people keep playing hours on end and do not realize what they do wrong. Watching replays of your games will give you a massive advantage over your opponents, and if you ask any professional gamer, it is a part of their process. Most gaming developers know this, and most current day competitive games do have spectator/replay mode. Alternatively, you can choose to record your gaming sessions using fraps, Action, etc. and sometimes this is preferable over just watching replays. In conclusion, even though it is probably more boring watching a replay than playing, you will usually gain so much more from it.
Dota, LoL, CS-GO, Fortnite, WoW, and the list goes on. These are all highly competitive games that rely highly on communication and teamwork. There are times where you can carry your team, especially in casual matches and solo queues. But as you begin to rank up and meet more skilled opponents, proper executed team play and communication are the keys to success. In many cases, you can actually have a team existing of fully capable individuals, but if they all have different plans or ideas, it can quickly go wrong. I realize that not all people are interested in playing in premade teams and use vocal communication, although that is the best way to go.
Even if you don’t use voice chat, good communication through chat will go a long way. And you will surely have a much harder time climbing the ladder if you stay silent. Final note: Being toxic in chat, does NOT count as good communication.
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3. Watch Professional Streams
Almost all competitive games have an active ESport scene of some sort. And whether we like to admit it or not, there is a good chance the pro players a just a tiny bit better than us. Watching competitive tournaments or a professional players stream does wonder. Not only are they most likely fantastic players, but it is also an excellent way to learn about the newest builds/meta/tricks, etc. And this is also something that will give you a significant advantage when playing competitively. And With the popularity of Twitch, there is a good chance that a lot of you already do this. Most games are ever-changing, with new hotfixes and balance patches coming in each other week. So watching pro streams keeps you informed and up to date, and probably improve you along the way.
Knowledge is power
2. Private Matches
If you and your friends have already done everything on this list, you probably won’t gain much from random quick matches and such. A team of well communicating and highly coordinated players will usually destroy any random team. Not only is it horrible to be demolished by a much better, premade team, but you will also get bored with tilting bad teams. This is the perfect time to reach out to other teams that are around and about your lvl. I highly recommend going the subreddit for your game on Reddit and search for groups. I have had a lot of great experience with this. Not only will you find great challenge in this, but it is also so much fun! As rivalries are bound to happen and you will probably find your love for the game renewed.
1. Enjoy it!
This is number 1 on my list only because it affects all the above points. If you are toxic and angry, you will not have good communication, and will, therefore, have a hard time. You will also have a tough time finding both teammates and private opponents. But when all is said and done, this is gaming, and it is supposed to be fun. That is why we all became gamers because we enjoy playing very much. And we should all try to be a little more positive when gaming, and remember why we fell in love with it in the first place. If you do this, all the other steps on this list will not be hard work, but the time of your life.
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Honorable Mention: Get Healthy!
Gaming has long been associated with health issues like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and overall bad physical condition.
Obviously, there is some truth to this as a lot of people tend to neglect both diet and physical activities when sitting in front of a computer for hours on end. However, in competitive gaming, your most important weapon is your brain, and countless studies show how vital dietary and physical health is to your brain function. Cognitive health, in particular, is known to take a hit when you neglect your health, and it also happens to be incredibly crucial for your in-game performance.
In most situations, you will benefit more from cutting the practice session short and hit the gym or prepare a healthy meal. Competitive gaming requires immense focus for extended periods, and having a healthy brain is the secret key to success.