Online gaming has expanded and now includes most of the leading types of video games. Console companies have realized that the future lies in cloud gaming systems, so they have moved away from physical games and into online or digital versions of games. Playing online games on PC continues to be a major sector, and now, mobile games have entered the arena.
What this all means is that most of us spend at least part of our personal time playing online games. As much as we’d like to be, most of us have to admit that we’re not star gamers. Even elite tier gamers are always looking for ways to improve their gameplay, so why should it be any different for the rest of us?
We’ve put together a list of the top seven tips to improve your online gaming experience.
Invest in your internet
One of the great things about early console systems was that they didn’t require an internet connection, just a power supply. We’ve come a long way from those days, and now online gaming is the norm. Most of the leading console games now have a multiplayer option or at least provide a way for players to communicate with each other. It makes gaming a much more social activity.
It does mean, however, that a lot depends on your internet connection. A weak connection or one that drops occasionally is going to hurt your gaming experience. Lag is a guarantee of a bad time. Investing in the best internet available in your area is an expense that pays off for your gameplay.
Invest in your setup
Once you’ve got your high-speed internet taken care of, it’s time to start investing in the rest of your gaming setup. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to buy the latest gear or build a top-of-the-line PC, that’s just not financially possible for most people. What it does mean is figuring out what parts of your setup matter the most to you and investing in those.
For some people, it’s going to be all about having the most responsive control or mouse. For others, an ergonomic gaming chair or racing chair setup will be a priority. If you want to turn your gaming hobby into a Twitch or YouTube channel, investing in a good headset, microphone and camera would be a smart choice.
Try different types of games
Every type of video game that you play helps to develop a certain skill or style of playing. We all have our favorite games and types of games but dipping into other types of games is a really good idea. Different game genres can help us hone gaming skills that we might not even realize we need until we see how much they can help.
Playing online casino games is a great example that many people don’t even think about. Poker teaches strategy and cunning. Blackjack can help you improve your focus and memory. Slot machine games are simplistic, but they encourage patience and resilience and teach you to understand probability.
The more styles of games you play, the better all-round gamer you can become.
Build a community
Even with MMO games, it can still feel a little lonely playing games. A lot of the conversations that happen in game lobbies online can be fairly toxic and it can be hard to feel comfortable trying to actually talk to people or make friends. With some games having such a competitive environment, this can be even harder.
Building a community of gaming friends is a great way to improve the whole gaming experience. These can be people you’ve met online or IRL friends that also game. You can vent about frustrations, give each other tips for how to pass difficult levels and provide support for things happening in the game or even in real life.
Taking breaks from a game is a key part of improving your online gaming experience. It’s true that practice makes perfect. It’s also true that throwing yourself at the same boss level and dying over and over and over again is only going to make you frustrated which makes it harder to concentrate.
If you step back from the game for a while and do something else, it gives your brain time to process whatever it is that you’re stuck on. The time away lets you come back to the game with fresher eyes and a calmer approach.
The jokes about gamers having Dorito fingers and subsisting almost entirely on pizza rolls and Mountain Dew aren’t exactly fair, but most of us can admit that when we’re gaming online we’re not usually making smart snacking decisions. Caffeine, fat and sugar can keep us awake and playing all night, but they don’t actually improve the gaming experience.
Oily snacks can make your mouse, keyboard and controllers less responsive and pretty gross. Foods high in Vitamin K have been shown to improve reaction time, so maybe swap out the pizza rolls and Cheetos for some avocado toast and kale chips and see how your gaming improves. Similarly, all the sugar and caffeine in sodas can make you jittery and less focused. Swap them out for water. Sorry, we know it’s boring but it really is the best way to stay hydrated, or an electrolyte-rich drink like Lucozade Sport.
Playing games online should be fun! It’s a hobby, not a chore or a job. Sometimes, however, it feels more like work than it should. Grinding through kills waiting for an item to drop or slowly working through every level and every task to platinum a game can get really, really boring.
Keep it fun by deciding if you really need to platinum a game or if that rare item is really worth it. If it isn’t, just let that goal go and move on to a game you enjoy. If it does feel necessary — we get it, the rush of chasing platinum on a game is hard to beat — you can still find ways to make it fun. You can make up your own extra lore or backstory for your character and expand the world that way, chat with your friends while you play or maybe just turn on a movie in the background for some added entertainment.