The video game industry is understandably huge. With over 225 million gamers in the US alone, competition is fierce on popular games from COD to Fortnite and well beyond. Whatever your platform – and whatever your game of choice – it is only natural to want to improve.
Whether you’re hoping to earn a spot in a tournament winning e-sports team or just lord it over your little brother, what can you do to improve your gaming skills?
The Little Things Can Make the Biggest Difference
Now, it’s well known that a poor workman blames their tools – but there are definitely instances in which true talent is bottlenecked by shoddy equipment. Gaming is maybe the perfect example of this, where sometimes it’s the smallest things that can have the most profound difference to your performance.
Firstly, for competitive play you need to have the most stable possible internet connection. Lag and drops can cost you dearly in a high-pressure situation, so it’s important to ensure your connection is strong and uninterrupted to prevent them from happening. Checking and replacing your broadband’s fiber-optic cable can ensure your connection is smooth, while a direct ethernet connection from router to PC can be more reliable than wi-fi.
Next up, you should give some love to your peripherals. There’s a reason that pro gamers swear by monitors with a high frame-rate. The lower the frame-rate, the lower your reaction time – so buy that 144hz monitor and rejoice in your new-found speed! Likewise, a good mouse set up to your spec can mean the difference between death and victory royale; invest wisely in a mouse you can customize both physically and digitally.
Training Your Brain
Of course, equipment is only one part of a much larger equation when it comes to gaming. Football players have their throwing arms and propulsive legs; gamers have their brains. Training your brain – in multiple ways – is the key to unlocking new skills and abilities.
Reaction time is big for competitive shooters like CS:GO and Valorant. There are programs you can download that enable you to train your aiming and reaction skills, giving you the chance to improve without harming your ranked score in the process.
There’s also the strategic side of gaming. Whether you’re playing League or Apex, there is a cerebral element to every match. The smarter you are, the better you’ll play. Why not try Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to get in the headspace?
Learning With Your Peers
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly: don’t try to improve yourself in a vacuum. You could be spending all day working on your reaction times and strategizing, only to find that your work hasn’t translated to practical improvement. The missing link is people!
Quite simply, you should marry any active attempts at training with studious examination of how the pros do it. Match your experience with that of those at the top of their game – and even consider reaching out to high-ranked players in servers for mentorship. By learning from others, you can incorporate their techniques with yours and find your groove.