Esports and online gaming are bigger than ever, with gaming gyms popping up across the globe designed to cater to gamers looking to perfect their technique. While there are many elements that go into developing a broader and more competitive skill-set, there are some core practices that can be applied to all forms of gameplay. Here we take a look at three solid strategies that any gamer should seek to apply to their training if they want to bring it to the next level.
Know the Score
It’s hard to win a game when you don’t know the rules of how to play. Understanding the underlying mechanics of any game, whether you’re thinking about table games or the latest first person shooter, is an essential component in refining your gameplay and increasing your chances of success. For example, if you were interested in improving your skills when it comes to slots games, understanding what an RTP (Return to Player) rate is, and how you can make it work to your advantage, is one of the most effective methods for upping your skill level. Developing a clear understanding of the rules of a game will also help you ensure you’re able to get the most out of your experience.
In racing games, such as those in the Forza Motorsport series, time penalties are generally awarded to players who hit the guardrails or cut across some track. While an inexperienced player may well utilize these shortcuts in order to get ahead in a race, one aware of this penalty will avoid it at all costs, knowing that the time penalty added at the end of the race could lead to failure.
Online competitive games have complex dynamics as a result of the fact players naturally look to eke out any advantage available to them, including utilizing glitches and unexpected game-play mechanics in order to get the upper hand. While such practices are not intrinsically against the rules, developers work hard to identify and remove such unexpected imbalances wherever they can be found. To stay competitive in a game, one must understand what techniques, weapons, moves or strategies are popular in the community at any one time. It's also important to understand the likelihood and time-frame of such advantages being minimized or “NERFed” as a regular part of the update cycle.
Games with seasonal updates often deliberately implement bonuses on certain play-styles or pieces of equipment in order to keep the field dynamic and prevent players gravitating towards homogeneous set-ups. Those looking to stay at the top of their game should aim to be well rounded enough with different play-styles and load-outs that they can adapt to the changes without absorbing a significant loss in performance.
Practice Does Make Perfect
Unfortunately there really is no substitute to practice. While many of the world’s best players have more than their fair share of natural talent, it means nothing if they can’t refine it to work for them when they need it most. With gaming there are many elements that go into practice and skill-development. With respect to games that priorities reaction times, such as First Person Shooters, running drills of common rapid movements you perform in-game can have a big impact as it encourages your muscles and nervous system to entrain itself to these movements. This lets you perform the action faster and with less conscious effort.
Reaction times can always be impacted by hydration and sleep quality - at the top tier of these games ensuring you’re well rested can be a life saver. Another important part of practicing gameplay is in studying and understanding the maps and levels you’re playing on. An experienced player will know every square inch of a map, and will also have a well developed understanding of the parts of the level that players most frequently congregate. But having a good understanding of where to go and what to do in response to the current state of play, you can ensure you’re bringing this tactical advantage into your encounters with your opponents.