7 Tips to Transform You From an Amateur Gamer to a Professional

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Do you want to become a better gamer? There are several reasons you might wish to improve your computer game skills. Perhaps you want to pursue a career as a games writer or a professional gamer. Or maybe you want the sense of satisfaction that comes with being a master of your craft.

Whether you want to complete your games on Hard mode every time or win first place in a Fortnite tournament, there is always an opportunity to work on your talents and better yourself. Even professional gamers have to start somewhere. Whatever your reasons, anyone can improve their gaming ability at any time. And you don’t need the most expensive kit and a start-of-the-art gaming system to do so. Nor do you need to know the difference between a database migration service and a graphic processing unit: no in-depth technical expertise required. All it requires is dedication and hard work.

If you are looking to take your gaming to the next level, here are seven tips to transform you from an amateur gamer into a professional.

1. Practice

Acclaimed writer Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to make you an expert in your chosen field. This is true whether you’re a golfer, a novelist, or a gamer. Simply putting in the hours and working hard at improving your gaming abilities will make you better at it. It seems obvious, but many aspiring gamers neglect to make time for practice, and their performance suffers as a result. Ignore the people who tell you gaming is a waste of time and that you need to be focusing your efforts on more productive endeavors. If being a professional gamer is your career path, you need to put the hours in. Make an effort to dedicate a portion of each day to playing games and improving your skills.

2. Take breaks

Although you want to get in as much practice as possible, you mustn’t overdo it. Playing too much can lead to burnout and prevent you from maximizing your potential. Try to break up your gaming sessions into chunks and schedule regular intervals to take a walk, rest your eyes, and fuel your body. Being in the heat of the moment when playing uses huge amounts of energy and cognitive activity, and you need to make sure your brain gets a chance to recharge itself. A marathon runner will rest in the weeks before and after a big race to avoid injury, and the same concept applies to gaming. 

3. Analyze your performance

You won’t get better just by playing for fun. You need to be actively seeking to improve your performance and learn from your mistakes. Most consoles offer playback functionality, making it easier than ever to rewatch your gameplay. It can be difficult to assess your decisions and behavior when you’re in the heat of the moment, so post-game reflection allows you to review how you did from an objective standpoint. Try to do this immediately after a session while it is still fresh in your mind. By watching your games, you may identify patterns where you keep falling into similar traps or areas for improvement in your reaction time and communication with team members. Look at what you did well and make a plan for avoiding mistakes in future.

4. Learn from an expert

One of the most effective ways to become a better gamer is to watch and learn from an expert. Watch one of the many live streaming gaming channels on YouTube, or if you know someone who is much more talented than you, sit down with them and watch how they play. You might get a new perspective on different gaming styles and techniques for reacting to in-game scenarios. They may be generous enough to coach you and give you advice. Surrounding yourself with pros is an excellent way to improve your skills.

5. Mentor a novice

If you want to get better at anything, try teaching it to someone less able than you. Mentoring a novice is an incredibly effective way to hone your abilities while also helping someone better themselves. Tutoring a protege will help you recall information better and force you to reflect on your performance and behaviors. Teaching a newbie some basic gaming knowledge will help you keep the important information fresh in your mind while requiring you to ignore your personal biases and take a more objective approach to gaming. Adding an extra pair of eyes will also help you get a fresh perspective on your performance. They may be able to introduce you to new ways of looking at things and point out flaws in your decisions you hadn’t been aware of.

6. Look after your health

Gamers often get a bad reputation from people who don’t understand it. They are often stereotyped as unhealthy, unfit introverts who spend all their time sitting in the dark in their mother’s basements. Obviously, this is an over-the-top assessment, but nevertheless, devoting your time to gaming can indeed lead to unhealthy habits. It is a notoriously sedentary pastime, which over time, can lead to obesity, back problems, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few of the countless health risks. Not only will these health concerns shorten your lifespan, but they will also damage your gaming performance. As with any cognitive skill, you will benefit from being fit and healthy. Make sure you take regular breaks, consume a nutritious diet, and take regular exercise. By becoming stronger and fitter, you will notice an improvement in your cognition, decision-making, and reflexes.

7. Optimize your gaming space

Sitting slumped in a busted desk chair for hours on end can seriously inhibit your gaming abilities. Any gamer must be able to operate in an environment that caters to the best performance possible. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands on the best equipment, but your gaming space does need to be both comfortable and distraction-free. It is worth investing in an ergonomic chair that looks after your back and promotes good posture. This will protect your long term health while also enabling you to keep going for longer. The room of your house in which you play is also a crucial decision. You don’t want to be distracted by family members interrupting or noise from outside.

There are so many ways to improve your gaming performance, and these are just a few. The best way to improve is to keep working hard and track your progress as you go. You’ll be a professional gamer in no time.

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