Video games might get a bad rap, but studies have consistently proven that they can improve coordination, memory, problem-solving skills and the brain’s ability to multitask. They’re also a ridiculous amount of fun. For many, there are few things more enjoyable than wandering around a lush fantasy world or fighting an epic battle, but when the opposing players are significantly better you, how are you supposed to have fun?
Luckily, there are several different ways to gain a competitive edge over your opponents, including:
- Find a training buddy
- Study up
- Create a guide
- Learn the map
- Improve finger speed
- Don’t feel discouraged
If you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll improve quickly.
Find a Training Buddy
You don’t have to go it alone. While it may seem that the best way to improve is to sequester yourself in a dark room and train until your fingers are sore, the better alternative is almost always to find a training buddy. Video games are more enjoyable when you have someone to play with, anyhow.
If possible, find someone who is better than you. This will push you to improve at a faster rate and they’ll be able to teach you tricks you wouldn’t otherwise have exposure to.
Most modern games have countless guides written for players just like you, who have the talent but don’t fully understand the game’s mechanics or functionality. The internet is chock full of helpful resources, and a search for something as simple as “fortnite facts” will yield pages worth of game-changing information.
Create a Guide
Pouring over guides is a great way to improve your skill and know-how, but an even better way to improve your understanding is to create your own. The process of fleshing out a guide forces you to consider how the game works, what tricks and tips can make gameplay easier, and what lies within the various terrains.
Creating a guide doesn’t necessarily need to happen exclusively on your computer. Many people enjoy the process of dedicating a section of their room, like a white board, to mapping out guides and visualizing the overall project.
Learn the Map
While quick fingers often separate great players from decent players, a solid understanding of the various terrains can give even the slowest button-presser a distinct advantage.
If you’ve ever played a player-versus-player game and found that you’re consistently getting sniped or killed by opposing players without warning, nine times out of ten they simply have a better understanding of the map and are using that knowledge to their advantage. They know where to hide, where to camp out, and they know where unexperienced players are likely to be standing around.
Improve Finger Speed
By and large, video games are a mental exercise. They don’t ask for much physical exertion, and only require you to outsmart and outmaneuver your opponents, or the game itself. However, quick fingers are important.
You know the sound. If you’ve watched really talented player-versus-player gamers competing, the room will sound like an echo chamber filled with rapid-fire clicking. Not everyone is born with the ability to quickly execute complicated button combinations, but everyone can improve.
Most video games are designed with a training mode. Think of this as the video game’s “dojo.” Put yourself against the computer and practice combinations repeatedly. Do this until you feel confident that you can pull them off against live opponents.
Don’t Feel Discouraged
When the competition is fierce, and it feels like you’re not improving as quickly as you want to, it’s easy to feel discouraged. However, it’s important to remember that even the best players have felt the same emotion. What separates the greats from the average players is the ability to fight through and continue improving. Truth be told, there’s always going to be someone better than you. Use that to fuel your competitive spirit.
A Last Word
You don’t need to fork over your credit card to a training service to gain an advantage. Most of these tips are free and involve little else than your determination. Keep your chin up, your fingers moving, and soon enough you can join the elite ranks of your preferred game.