Twenty years ago, video games used to be very simplistic, with minimalistic graphics and simple storylines. Now, things have changed quite a lot, with video games becoming more complex and twisted than ever before, which means you need plenty of training and practice if you want to excel. 

For those of you who decided they want to turn their passion for video games into a full-time career, keep in mind that becoming a professional gamer does require a lot of dedication and hard work. Being a professional video gamer and taking home win after win means much more than just playing the game until you master it. It means staying in shape both physically and mentally, investing in good gear, and admitting you have a lot to learn from those around you.

Below are some tips to help you get into the right mindset and improve your skills, no matter the type of game you are playing and who your adversaries are. 

black Xbox One controller

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/P1CJmbRIfSk

Invest in good hardware

Just as you can’t be a good chef if your over burns the food, you can’t be a good gamer if your computer freezes every time a little action starts going on onscreen. This is why you need to invest in a good gaming computer that suits your needs. Keep in mind that, when it comes to gaming, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Luckily, nowadays PCs are extremely customizable and can be upgraded or changed as you please. 

The processor is probably the first specification you’ll look out for. Try not to go under a quad-core, if you are tight with the budget, although you should aim for at least a six-core to ensure most modern games work properly. Next, you will need a good graphics card to really enhance your gaming experience, especially if you are considering streaming your game sessions for fans.

An Alienware computer may sound like a dream come true, with 64BG of RAM to spoil yourself with. But truth be told, that’s a waste of resources. Most games nowadays only need 16GB, so there is really no point in spending all that extra cash. Plus, you can change the memory easily if game requirements ask for it.

The devil is in the details

The peripherals are just as important as the computer itself, if not more. After all, these are the things you are actually using day by day. I’m talking headphones, mouse or controllers, and screens. But it’s not enough to just buy the most expensive ones out there. No matter what you do, they won’t play the game for you.

A noise-canceling headset will help you stay focused and avoid distractions. If you truly want to stay focused, forget about playing games with music on. Instead, turn up the game’s sound effects and turn the in-game music down.

It may also help turning the brightness on your skin slightly up, to ensure you spot details better. Some games are meant to be a bit dark and they certainly look much better that way, but if you want to practice and improve your game, you need all the help you can get, and darkness is not exactly your best friend. 

Last, but not least, make sure you have a comfortable mouse or controller. It needs to become an extension of your hands, which means it needs to fit really snug. Take your time to test products and choose the one that you feel suits you best. Not the one that has the most complex setup, but the one that is the most comfortable.

Get in the right mindset

Getting in “the zone” is one of the most important aspects of being a professional player. The more relaxed you are, the better you can control the rush of adrenaline and spontaneous reactions. The best thing you can do is learn how to listen to your body signals. Learn how your body reacts when you are stressed, challenged, or tired. Train your body to follow your brain when it gets into game mode by ensuring you are well-rested and fed, and by going to the bathroom before a gaming session. It may sound gross, but when your bladder is full, half of your brain works to keep accidents from happening, so you won’t be able to fully concentrate. 

Keep away from too much alcohol and caffeine before a gaming session, to avoid challenging your nervous system. Some professional gamers stated they use CBD products to help them maintain focus.

Learn from the best

Follow gamers you like and watch their content. Oftentimes, professional players give all kids of tips and tricks that you can use to improve your game. From the way, they approach a certain level to the way they train, make use of people’s knowledge to improve yours.

Join communities on forums or Twitch and share your experience with other players. Ask for advice, but don’t forget to also give back to the community if you can. Help others and they will help you as well. 

Don’t be afraid to team up with or play against people that are better than you. There is no better way to learn than challenging yourself constantly. Yes, you will probably lose if you play against someone better than you, but you get to see how they open the game, how they respond to your moves, and how they attack.  

CBD is often used to help with stress and anxiety, two of the things you will experience a lot of while playing, so anything that can help you get back into the right mindset is more than welcomed. 

Practice makes perfect

Last, but not least, practice a lot! The only way to improve your skills is to train them constantly, just as athletes train to get in shape for a big contest. Having trouble mastering a level? Play it until you have memorized it from start to end. 

Formula 1 drivers, for example, know a track by heart. They know when to shift gears, push the brakes or how to adjust their speed before even getting on track. How? They use simulators to train and learn the track before setting foot there in real life. Playing against the computer until you master a level is your simulator, so make good use of it.