Every day new people join the awesome world of video games. People who realized that gaming is fun and it is something they want to do more often or on a regular basis. These people are often welcomed by the more grumpy gamers with sour looks and sighs of annoyance, but I would like to welcome them with this article. An article that is all about helpful tips for all the newcomers in hopes that settling in will be made easier and more comfortable. There are a lot of things to consider, a lot of choices to make and of course a lot of games to play. Below are four tips that I find to be most helpful, tips that I wish someone told me when I first started. I have gathered these through years of experience with all kinds of games, I hope they benefit you or people you may know in some way.

#1: Play What You Like

Don’t listen to random people you don’t even know on some crazy internet message board or forum when they try to dissuade you from playing a game. If you think a game looks fun, play it. Since you are new you have to figure out what you like on your own without letting others tell you what is good or bad. Gaming is very subjective, someone may love a game with another person hates it. It’s all based on individual likes and dislikes; unless the game is just all around trash, of course, but that is rare. Take reviews with a grain of salt if you must refer to them as they are merely opinions from either professional or independent writers. Even professional reviews can be wrong from your individual standpoint. It happens all the time. So keep that in mind.

It’s important to try things out during this introductory period. Some games are good, some are bad. It all comes down to you and your preferences. So try some stealth games, some platformers, some shooters (both first and third person), some action-adventure and some role-playing games. You have to find what you like and play it until the cows come home!

#2: Beware of Multiplayer (Mainly Competitive Multiplayer)

I only say this because it’s a tough world out there when it comes to gaming online in competitive multiplayer settings. People are mean. You aren’t getting enough kills? They will say you suck and will make you feel bad about it. New to the game and haven’t quite mastered the level design/controller scheme? Too bad, you will be harassed for being a “noob”. Just looking to have fun and not get over-the-top competitive? Nice try, one way or another your fun will be ruined by some nasty comments or a foul match. If you have friends that plan on teaming up with you, go for it. That’s the best way to a have a good time in multiplayer modes.

Experiences differ for everyone. Some people never have issues and wonder why everyone complains about competitive multiplayer so much. Others, like myself, have either seen it happen to others or had it happen to them personally. Most likely both. Sometimes it depends on the game or the platform. Call of Duty on the Xbox 360 is going to be harsh, but Left 4 Dead (Versus) on the PC? Not so much. Again, that’s just an example and it isn’t even a completely accurate example. My point is that until you are fairly comfortable with a game be sure to avoid the multiplayer when playing solo, especially when it’s competitive. It can really put you off of that game and earn you some nasty hate mail that no new gamer wants.

#3: Choosing a Platform

I am often asked: “So, I’m new to all of this and I want to know which platform or console you would recommend that I buy?”

It’s really hard to answer unless I know your tastes, so I’m just going to be super-duper general and break it down in an easy way:

  1. Looking for some fun party games and maybe a single player game here and there? Do you want generally “fun”, easy-going, casual games to relax and play? Get a Wii or Wii U.
  2. Want to get into mostly shooters while still having access to pretty much any other genre or game you want to play? Would you prefer a really talkative and outgoing online community? Get an Xbox 360 or Xbox One.
  3. Are you in the market for mostly single player games with generally rich narratives? Also want to play most anything else you may ever want to play? In the mood for a more quiet community as far as online gaming goes? Get a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4.

Whichever of those generalized summaries of the consoles and their exclusive line-ups appeals to you is probably what you should go for. Money may very well be an issue and to that I would say stick with last gen (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii/Wii U) to save until you are ready to go current gen.

If you are looking into PC gaming, it’s a whole other ballpark. I’d really only recommend that route to the people who already know they will prefer the PC and maybe even already own a good PC that just needs a little sprucing up. For most beginners though, I personally recommend a console.

#4: Do Not Get Discouraged!

There are folks out there who will give you a hard time because they think you aren’t a “true gamer” if you haven’t been playing for years. We all know that’s a load of bull, you can be a gamer at any point in your life no matter how long you have been playing. Just ignore those naysayers because there are tons of awesome people in the gaming community that would rather help or support you than talk down to you through elitist attitudes.

You may also experience some discouragement when it comes to actually playing games. There are so many games out there that I would imagine it is hard to choose where to start. Just pick what you want, whatever you feel comfortable with, and just go with the flow. As is the case with everything you will find your stride. Note that everyone starts somewhere and you don’t have to be the best or most talented right away. You will get there in time with patience and perseverance.

Above all remember this: Gaming is supposed to be fun. If anyone tells you differently or tries to make your gaming experience not so fun, brush them aside. They don’t deserve your precious free time. Be yourself and enjoy the time you spend with gaming, after all that is what it’s all about!

It Is In Your Hands Now.

These are just some of my personal tips. I always recommend that you talk to any friends or colleagues that you know who are gamers and discuss this stuff with them. They know you better than I do and may or may not have more experience than me, which would be more helpful to you. Plus it’s always great to hear what your friends are into since it’s likely that you will be into the same stuff, for the most part.

I want you all to be happy, healthy gamers like myself because it is a great pastime and an even better hobby! I have met a lot of my friends through gaming and really couldn’t imagine my life without it. I’m hoping the same can be said for you folks in the future.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please let your voice be heard! Post them in the comment section below or contact me directly.