This story was originally published in the Los Angeles Times brand publishing special section The Gig Life.
Looking to improve your gaming?
No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s always a new level to aspire to. Here are seven tips to help you become an expert video gamer.
1. Upgrade your internet speed
“In gaming, speed and response time are everything when you can lose or die if you’re lagging by even microseconds,” says Ryland Madison, director of product marketing at Cox Communications. Cox now offers lightning-fast G1GABLAST speed, which is 100 times faster than average DSL and ideal for gaming. Cox also offers three other high-speed internet options, including 50, 100 and 300 megabits per second.
2. Make sure your mouse or controller is up-to-date
These items wear out and they may be slowing you down without you realizing it. Check cables and batteries, too, if applicable. Some controllers may be better for some games and not for others.
3. Find your tribe
“Surround yourself with good, positive players who will share tips and tricks. Ask them to critique you and spot your weaknesses,” says Genese Davis, a gaming author, expert and award-winner in “World of Warcraft.” Davis attributes her success to a supportive community that helped her as a beginner.
4. Go beyond your comfort zone
“Don’t be afraid to try different games or modes. You can get stuck in one preferred play style, but you need to be more flexible to be a great gamer,” Davis says. “If you play different roles within a game, it will make you a better player and a better teammate.”
5. Watch how the experts do it
There are plenty of videos posted online where you can watch others playing the game you love. Players also post cheats or tips they have discovered, which can give you an edge. Try streaming your own games and request feedback from others.
6. Stay current with your game’s developers
Many developers post tweaks and changes to the game online. Find out where they post to get the latest game news and check it often. Read everything you can about your game.
7. Practice, practice, practice
“Treat gaming like a sport and practice a lot,” Davis says. She adds you must be prepared to log the hours to become a great gamer, as some challenges can take an entire evening.“You can look at it like a language or a craft, where you must learn by doing,” Davis says.