If you’re completely new to gaming, it can be a bit of a daunting world to enter. When I first started getting into gaming outside of the games I played when I was much younger, I had a close friend with many years of gaming experience who helped me through those first awkward moments of getting used to both the physical act of gaming and gaming culture. If you’ve got a friend like that, amazing, you’ll be off to a great start, but if not, let me be that friend through this article, where I will walk you through some of the beginning bits of gaming you might find yourself hung upon. Read on for tips and tricks to get you through the beginning stages of your gaming adventure.
A good starting place for gaming is to become acquainted with the controls of whatever system you’re playing on. If you’re using a handheld controller, take advantage of any freeplay time in the game to get your hands used to pressing the right buttons at the right time so that you’re always prepared when it comes to fighting bosses. (For reference, I spent my first half hour of Skyrim bouncing off the walls as I learned how to navigate with the controller.) If you’re playing on your computer, the idea is the same: just take some time in the beginning to get used to the most common keystrokes, and if it’s a game where you can set up specific keys for different functions (also known as keybinding), test out which keys are the easiest and most accessible for you to use while playing.
As you begin to master the physical gameplay techniques on the keyboard or controller, you will be able to focus more on the style of the game and start to understand more about what you really like. A good way to pick out some games you will enjoy is by watching streamers on Youtube and Twitch to get a feel for the games before you play them, but it can also be really fun trying out a game you know nothing about. It’s best to try out cheaper games in a series you are interested in or play a trial of a game before you purchase it so that you’re not spending huge amounts of money on a game that you might not like. If you’re gaming through Steam, check out the cheaper and free-to-play games; there are some real gems in there.
As you get more into gaming, you may end up gravitating towards online games, like World of Warcraft (my all-time favorite game.) Online gaming is amazing because you can end up playing alongside so many different people and it can make the game less predictable, since it’s not just you and NPCs. However, it’s important to remember safety first when you are playing online, because unless you are intentionally playing with people you know outside of the game, you never know with whom you are talking. Most people whom you play with will be totally fine, but no matter what, it’s important to keep your conversations devoid of personal information because you really never know. Don’t let that caution be a damper on your fun in the game, but always, always be safe. If something seems sketchy, follow your instincts, and don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Your gaming adventures will take you many places, and as you begin playing new games and learning what you enjoy the most, you will start to get comfortable and find what really works for you. You may find that one console type or game genre is your favorite, and as you find those favorites, you’ll get even more into different aspects of gameplay and gaming culture. If you already have friends to play with, you’ll be off to a good start, and if not, as you get more into gaming, you will end up finding people with similar interests as you. As I have gotten more involved in gaming, I have found that I often actually seek out friendships with people who have similar gaming interests to me, and I am finding that I have much more in common with those people than just our gaming connections (I don’t believe this is just a coincidence.) You will certainly find your own groove in the gaming community, and if you have any tips that have worked especially well for you, please leave them in the comments to help out your fellow gamers!