All this new free time has presented many of us with ample space in our day to try out different hobbies. One such hobby that may have caught your attention is gaming. Not only do video games open up entire worlds of action, mystery, and whimsy, but they also present tremendous financial benefits should you dive into the billion-dollar competitive gaming industry.
No matter what your interests in the industry maybe, you’ll have to take a few steps to break into this exciting world and start gaming. With this helpful guide, you’ll have everything it takes—and more—to turn yourself from amateur gamer to pro-in-training.
Step 1: Find the Right Games for You
Not all games come in the same form. Some are console games, while others can be found on online gaming sites. No matter what, you’ll want to narrow down the types of games you’re interested in because that will determine what technology you buy. That’s because not every game is available on every console, and some are only available online.
Not to mention, your personality, interests, and imagination have a huge effect on which games you can spend hours on, and which you don’t even want to take out of the box. To avoid wasting time and money, choose games based on what genre and gameplay you like.
Here are some recommendations to get you started:
- For Explorers-at-Heart – Open world games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are perfect for gamers that love exploration that’s both action-packed and story-driven.
- For Social Butterflies – If you like to see new worlds, make your town better, and chat with a ton of adorable and hilarious characters, then look no further than Animal Crossing: New Horizons for countless hours of fun.
- For Action Junkies – For people that just want to shoot, punch, and blast their way through engaging sci-fi or horror landscapes, then Fortnite, The Last of Us, and Halo are perfect for you. These games offer interactive gameplay, thrilling combat, and exciting twists throughout.
- For Fantasy Lovers – If you care about stories, magic, and discovering new creatures and spells, then fantasy games like Skyrim, World of Warcraft, or The Witcher are ideal starting points for your gaming journey.
Choosing the right games for you will help you narrow down your path in the gaming world—whether you’re a hobbyist, streamer, or competitor—and spend only what you need on new tech. Pumped already? Hold on—there are a few more steps before you can press start.
Step 2: Gather Your Gadgets
Gaming isn’t a cheap hobby, so you want to pick and choose your tech wisely so you’re not needlessly spending money on an expensive gaming computer if you’re just going to be playing games on an Xbox.
For console games, here are the most common worlds you can enter—and which machines hold the portal:
- Xbox One – Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 7, Halo Wars 2, Sea of Thieves
- Nintendo Switch – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- PlayStation 4 – The Last of Us (I and II), Frantics, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Bloodborne
If you’re going for online gaming mastery, you’ll want to gear up with a reliable monitor, a powerful computer, and a performance gaming mouse for high-speed feedback and smooth-as-silk gameplay.
Step 3: Get Motivated
Maybe having fun isn’t motivating enough to make you sit in front of a screen for hours—maybe the thought of making money through eSports or forming new friendships is what fuels you. To encourage yourself to practice and improve your gaming skills, you may want to make a list of all the reasons why gaming is beneficial to you.
That list might include the following plus sides to gaming:
- Improves finger dexterity
- Refines reflexes
- Strengthens cognitive function
Every hobby or job, no matter how fun, requires some motivation to keep you working hard and boosting your skills. Don’t let boredom or a plateau stop you—think of all the reasons why you want to get good and stick to it.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Don’t forget the most important step: honing your skills. Whether you’re kicking butt in eSports or simply playing video games for fun, no hobby is enjoyable when you’re stuck on a level or constantly losing. That’s why it’s crucial that you put in the hours of practice you need to take on any game, any competitor, and any challenge.
That way, you’ll have way more fun—and possibly even make some nice cash along the way.
The First Step: Press Start
What are you waiting for? Grab your gadgets, stretch out your arms, and put on your blue-light glasses for hours of thrilling gameplay, exploration, and some good old competitive fun.
Just don’t forget to save your progress when you’re done. Happy gaming!