Video games earned an unjust rap in the past. Parents feared that their kids would go blind from staring at the bright screens, become easily distracted by the bombardment of images, or fall victim to subliminal messages supposedly embedded in the games. But in a sweet twist of irony, modern research indicates that gaming can actually improve eyesight, increase focus, and build leadership skills. Yeah, science! Now that players can actually make a living gaming, it’s grown even more popular — and competitive. If you’re a player wanting to up your game, here are three secrets the best gamers know for enhancing game play.
1) Mimic the Professionals
What some may call mimicry, others call research. One of the best ways to improve your play is to study those who play well. Choose a player from a recent tournament team or a noted YouTube gamer who rocks the game of your choice and get to researching their posts. A lot of the recorded games include tools built in to the videos analyze the gamer’s skill, but the simple “pause” and “replay” features are all you need. Decide on a specific element, like creep-scoring, then pay attention only to that aspect in the recording.
After you’ve watched a couple pros play, then comes the awkward part. You have to compare your playing to theirs. The best way to do that is to record your gaming session. This can be excruciatingly uncomfortable — no one likes watching themselves get annihilated during a build fight. But what you can learn from comparing your mistakes to a professional’s triumphs is invaluable and well worth swallowing your pride for.
2) Choose Your Internet Package Wisely
When it comes to online gaming, not all service is created equally — you need the best broadband package available. In battle royal and first-person shooter gaming, every second counts, and the slightest bit of lag could mean certain death. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are if lag causes your character to freeze up. The dreaded lag is why the quality of your internet service is important. Lag occurs when there’s high ping (also called “latency”). Ask any good gamer what he or she wants for Christmas and you’ll hear the same answer: improved latency.
Latency is the reaction time between devices, and it is determined by several factors including the bandwidth available, the strength of your network connection, the processing power of your server, and the degree of packet loss (loss of units of data). Basically, ping is the length of time it takes for one device to respond to another and is measured in milliseconds (ms). Low latency means good connection, so you need a service provider that offers improved latency. A good latency for gaming is 50 ms, but if you can get it under 20 ms, then Christmas has come early.
3) Teach Someone Else
Gamers can be notoriously selfish creatures, but something interesting occurs in the brain when you show somebody how to do something. Referred to as the “protégé effect,” it’s a phenomenon in which the tutor performs better at a task after instructing, or even just pretending to instruct, a peer on performing that same task.
What that means is that even though those Fortnite no-skins can be annoying, taking the time to show them how to build actually makes you a better builder. Playing a bot may have other benefits, too. Even the pros are not immune to forgetting the basics from time to time, so explaining the rules to a bot is good review. Plus a new set of eyes may be able to point out flaws in your strategy that you’ve overlooked.
Gaming is like any other skill in that improving requires the three P’s: patience, practice, and persistence. But that will only get you so far. To really excel and up your gaming game, employ these three secrets: learn from the pros, help out the noobs, and minimize ping with the best service you can find.