While there might be some truth to the fact that certain people have faster reactions or better vision, almost every gaming skill is acquired and cultivated. If you’re someone who is looking to improve, this revelation is good news.
5 Ways to Become a Better Gamer
While there are plenty of technical ways to improve at a specific game, sometimes it’s the seemingly unrelated habits and tactics that produce the best results. Here are some holistic tips designed to make you a better gamer across the board:
- Play a Wide Variety of Games
We all have our favorite games, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to become a better “gamer” – not just a better Fortnite or FIFA player – you need to play a wider variety of games. (This even means playing games that you don’t think are particularly fun or exciting.)
By playing a wider variety of games, you pick up skills that you otherwise wouldn’t gain. And the funny thing about gaming skills is that most of them are transferable. The precision you pick up in a first-person shooter game can help you when you’re trying to throw touchdown passes in Madden (and vice versa).
- Watch Skilled Gamers Perform
While your friends are spending 100 percent of their gaming time with a controller in their hands, you can actually improve without even powering up your gaming console. The key is to spend regular time watching professional gamers perform.
To your parents, watching people play video games sounds ridiculous. But it’s actually one of the best ways to improve. (Amateur athletes watch professional athletes to pick up on their techniques, so why shouldn’t you observe the world’s best gamers?)
- Join a Club or Team
As your skills improve, join a club or team. It doesn’t have to be a super serious team – just a group of people you can spend time with and learn from. There’s something about being surrounded by likeminded people that naturally makes you better at the skill you’re seeking to improve.
- Use Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The vagus nerve is the longest autonomic nerve you have. It starts at the stem of your brain and traces all the way down to your colon. Along the way, it directly influences nearly every major organ in your body.
Why are we telling you this? Well, you can actually tap into the vagus nerve and use it to your advantage. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which can be done using nothing more than a special pair of headphones, is known to improve focus and reduce stress. By utilizing VNS during video game sessions, you can enhance your gaming performance.
- Take a Break From Screens
Too much screen time is bad for your health – including your eyes and heart. Likewise, playing video games for too long at a time can actually have a diminishing effect on your skills. Taking regular breaks can prevent this from happening.
For every hour of gaming, you should take a minimum of five minutes away from the screen. At least two of these minutes should be used to increase your heart rate. This promotes both physical and mental rejuvenation.
The One Percent Rule
Author James Clear is one of the leading voices behind habit formation, productivity, and self-discipline. And out of all the ideas and theories he has, it’s his “One Percent Rule” that’s arguably the most powerful.
The basic premise of the rule is that you try to get one percent better at a specific task or skill – like gaming – every single day. And as a result of these small, incremental gains, you’ll eventually see major improvement.
“In the beginning, there is basically no difference between making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. (In other words, it won’t impact you very much today.),” Clear explains. “But as time goes on, these small improvements or declines compound and you suddenly find a very big gap between people who make slightly better decisions on a daily basis and those who don’t.”
The math shows that a daily one percent improvement leads you to become 37-times better at the end of a year.
What would life be like if you were 37-times better at Zelda? What about 37-times better at sniping noobs on COD? You’d be pretty unbeatable (and cool).
The problem is that most people are impatient. Your friends are trying to become 37-times better overnight, so they look for cheats and hacks. And though they might be better than you today, tomorrow, or even next month, your patient commitment to incremental improvement will beat them over the long haul.
Are you disciplined enough to put in steady work over the next year? We’ve outlined some of the keys in this article. Now it’s time to put them into action!