Puny human, there is potential in you, but you are too young to realise it yet. Join me, embrace the power that lies within and in time, you and I can rule this game-verse unchallenged!
Gaming is easy, but winning, against other players, that’s a real challenge. Whether you just want to one-up your best friend in Piano Tiles or show the world your prowess in DOTA 2, here are a few tips to take you from n00b to 1337 in five easy steps. The steps may seem easy, but it’s hard work being the ultimate gamer.
Pick a genre:
Before anything else, you need to focus your energy on the type of game that you want to play. FPS, RTS, arcade, it doesn’t matter. Once you’re aware of the type of game that you’re playing, you can hone your skills in that particular direction. Why, you ask? Well, tapping tiles in piano tiles isn’t the same as shooting baddies in Call of Duty; neither is strafe-jumping in Quake III in anyway comparable to managing macro and micro in AoE II. Being a Jack-of-all-trades is nice, but you’ll rarely get really good at any of those games. Most importantly, pick a game and genre that you actually enjoy playing. There’s no point in becoming a pro at FIFA if your true heart lies in CoD. The game you choose is one you’re going to sink hundreds, if not thousands of hours into.
Play: Play those games.
Practice makes perfect and if you’re not playing that game for at least 8 hours straight, you’re wasting your time. Keep playing the game till you’re familiar with absolutely every aspect of it. Understand the nuances, stats should be in your head (armour timing in Quake, build orders in StarCraft, etc.). If you’re playing a multiplayer game, then find a real, human opponent to play with. This human is best if he’s not a random stranger because then you can practice strategies, receive feedback and learn from each other’s mistakes.
This is the most important part. Understand what you’re doing. Your primary aim in any game is to find loopholes that you can exploit and then figure out which loophole is the most efficient for your play style. For example, strafe-jumping in Quake III wasn’t something normal players figured out, it was something that a dedicated gamer found and the pros mastered. Whatever be your game of choice, it’s around this aspect that your entire training regimen has to revolve. Understanding hit boxes in Counter Strike, taking advantage of broken physics engines, all these are what you need to learn and what you need to exploit to win. Winning a game isn’t just about playing fair, it’s also about gaming the system and taking advantage of every weakness that you find. If you don’t, someone else will. Also remember that this is NOT about cheating. Your goal is to win, but within the rules set by the game, broken as they may be.
Log your gameplay stats. This is particularly useful in RTS games, where managing resources is as much a key to winning as building the perfect army. Think of these stats as telemetry to a race car driver; you don’t know what you’re doing right if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Watch replays of your game, understand what you’re doing, analyse why you’re doing it and try to figure out ways of tweaking your play style. Even at SKOAR, we realised that something as simple as watching our own Quake replays in 4x speed suddenly made us more alert and aware of our movements while playing in real-time.
Reddit, YouTube, Twitch, forums, these are all vast sources of information for your games. Look for pro-gamers in your choice of genre/game. Observe their games, understand their decisions and see if you can incorporate those decisions into your gameplay. Places like Reddit and game forums are also an excellent place to learn about new exploits and techniques, as well as great places to seek advice (provided your BS meter is working properly, if not, refer to points one and two).
And that’s it. There really isn’t anything more to winning at gaming and if you think we’re pulling your leg, think again. What you’re looking at up there is the training regimen for most pro-gaming teams and pro-gamers alike (and these are Koreans we’re talking about). Follow these steps religiously and we just might have a new winner in our midst!
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Mad "r4gs" Zombie
Deposited on this planet sometime in the late 1980s, this being was quick to discover the joys of binge-gaming and has long since mastered the art of the 16-hour game session, and evolved to survive on a minimum of food.