In 2020, playing games has become the most popular form of entertainment among global consumers. There are now around 3.1 billion gamers in the world. That’s 40% of the total population of the planet.
Gaming is growing by the day, resulting in many more opportunities for gamers themselves. It’s now possible to earn a substantial living from video games, whether as a tournament player, live streamer, or game developer.
Whatever your aims are, it’s highly likely that you’re keen to take your gaming to the next level. So, whether your goal is to play professionally or just play better than your peer circle, by putting in the work and following the steps outlined below, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better gamer.
The Qualities of a Successful Gamer
First up, it’s important to define the qualities of a successful gamer. The world’s leading eSports players don’t just get to the top by chance and Twitch mega-streamers keep pulling in audiences in their millions for a reason. They’re great at what they do because of their extensive gaming intelligence, a quality that they’re constantly improving and refining.
Gamers are indeed made, not born. While some people will naturally be more adept at playing video games, much like some can solve maths problems in their sleep, with regular practice everyone can develop the skills needed to be good at playing games.
Another defining characteristic of the world’s best gamers is that they are completely dedicated to personal development. To become truly good at the discipline, you must be committed. Continuous practice is needed to improve gaming performance, and you need to factor practical training sessions and time to reflect and learn about other aspects of playing games into your daily life.
Certain soft skills go hand in hand with long-term success in the gaming world too, with creativity and problem-solving at the top. Successful gamers need to be creative to try out new strategies and overcome the many challenges that they will inevitably face during their careers. This directly ties in with problem-solving.
Good gamers don’t make rash decisions or quickly jump to conclusions, instead, they’ll take their time to find the most effective solutions to the challenges they face. Sure, emotional control and logic are totally necessary for building a successful gaming career, but a dash of creativity is of the utmost importance too.
Take the Smart Approach to Goal Setting
No matter what genre you prefer to play in or what your ultimate aspirations are, you need to set goals for yourself. As a gamer, you could focus on short-term goals like how to win at roulette or longer-term aim like becoming a professional gamer, but if you aren’t disciplined when it comes to reaching those goals the results won’t be as lasting.
The primary objective here is to improve and the best way to achieve that is by setting several goals that represent one task at a time, such as not dying for the first 30 minutes of a game for one week or any other KPI. The most effective method of setting and achieving goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T approach.
Simple – each goal you set needs to be simple and easy to understand. Break down your game into different chunks and focus on one section at a time.
Measurable – you need to know how well you are doing in reaching your goals too, so set specific parameters that you know you can track and measure.
Achievable – every goal you set needs to be possible within your limits as a player and the limits of the game itself.
Realistic – save those grandiose plans for your dreams and ground yourself with realistic goals only. Ambitions will fuel you on your journey as a gamer, but remember that every journey begins with small steps.
Time-Bound – lastly, each of your goals needs to fit within a specific timeframe (that you can set yourself). Depending on how much you play, you may want to set yourself 1-2 weeks for each specific goal. Breaking down your approach in this way will keep you motivated and make it easy for you to track your progress.
Practical Steps to Becoming a Better Gamer
Now it’s time to work on some practical steps that will propel you on your path to success in gaming.
The most beneficial thing you can do right now is to work on your patience. As eager as you are to develop your game and progress in your ideal career, improvements will not happen overnight.
Even if you could download everything there is to know about a specific game, you’d still need time to put it into practice and refine your playing strategies. Even the most skilled players know there are learning processes involved at every stage of their career, so they take the time that they need to absorb new information and perfect its execution.
This is also the stage where you need to get serious about time management. If you’re finding that you don’t have enough time to play during an average day, you’ll need to make some tweaks to your schedule to factor in regular practice sessions. It’s also a good idea to think sensibly about the length of your gaming sessions.
As tempting as it can be to play for hours at a time, splitting up your sessions into chunks of 1.5 – 2 hours will keep you fresh and in the zone, while ensuring that you can remain 100% focused on developing and improving. Chances are you’re not just going to be playing a single game either, so taking this approach will mean you can play 2-3 different games a day.
Our last real-life practice is to focus on your health. You’re doing everything you can to work on in-game improvements, you’re refining your mindset and you’re taking a positive and proactive approach to time management, next up will be to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Staying healthy will keep you playing at your best, reducing the number of bad days and weeks, and help you achieve peak performance in a shorter time. Now, what’s healthy for you as an individual may not work for the next person and vice versa, but there are a few golden rules that you can easily follow without feeling like taking care of your health is a burden.
First and foremost, you need to eat well and stay hydrated. Unhealthy snacks are the go-to food source of gamers, and while they may taste good, they’re not doing anything to improve your game. Make healthier choices when it comes to snack foods and always make sure you drink the recommended amount of water per day – never mind fear, it’s dehydration that’s the mind-killer.
Next up, make sure you get enough sleep. Even if you’re on a roll gaming-wise, there’s no sense in staying up all night as it will leave you drained and unfocused the following day.
You also need to take regular breaks away from the game station, preferably working on a few creative hobbies so you can keep your mind engaged and active, and make sure that you get plenty of daily exercises outdoors. Yes, even gamers need their daily allowance of Vitamin D.
The last takeaway we’ll leave you with has to do with switching your perspective on playing games. Instead of focusing on playing to win or playing to be the best in the world, focus on playing to improve.
Winning or losing isn’t and never will be everything, but actively learning from the challenges that you will inevitably encounter will keep you playing at your best.