Do you become a better gamer if you play many games over a span of time?

Naer

Diamond Member
Nov 28, 2013
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I'm wondering if being a jack of all trades kind of gamer pays off. A musician gets better when he or she plays different songs rather than playing the same song over and over again. on the contrast, how can one possibly master 1 game outa the pool of games he plays. I guess one has to choose being mediocre at many games or being a grandmaster wizard at one game. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe one can master many games in a short period of time. I'd like to think this kind of gamer is a myth
 

renz20003

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2011
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I'm not a good gamer by any means but I don't like playing 2-3 same type games in a row.
 

Yakk

Golden Member
May 28, 2016
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Yup you can specialize in a game, or type of game, and get better at it gradually.

FPS players, RTS players, and MOBA players are quite different for instance.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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I guess one has to choose being mediocre at many games or being a grandmaster wizard at one game. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe one can master many games in a short period of time. I'd like to think this kind of gamer is a myth
There are some who play only one game over and over for competitive purposes. Eg, mastering RTS's is often all about developing muscle memory for keyboard shortcuts, memorizing counters, etc. However, not going to that extreme of spending 40hrs per week of doing that hardly means the opposite of being "mediocre". If you've been playing a variety of games for years then you will inevitably build-up a kind of "muscle memory" skill-set for several genres and simply won't be "mediocre" at anything. Eg, growing up with the early Thief games means you'll probably be "pretty damn good" picking up Dishonored / Styx: Master of Shadows stealth / assassin style gameplay even during the first playthrough. Likewise, it's not like you'll be "totally mediocre" at ARPG's if you replayed Diablo 2 & Torchlight a dozen times, or "utterly clueless" at The Talos Principle if you can't get enough of Portal, Quantum Conundrum, QUBE, Magrunner, etc.

As far as MP shooters are concerned, I grew up with the faster-paced arena shooters of the 90's (Doom, Quake, Unreal, Serious Sam, ROTT, etc). Since most FPS controls are fairly similar to each other, even today I find that "honed twitch response" means being pretty good at FPS's in general despite being 20 years older. Having said that, I also find the "being the best in the world" rat-race of modern MP FPS's tedious due to formerly player-centric mechanical skill development (ie, developing near pixel-precise mouse placement accuracy which transfers across FPS games) being replaced with game-specific-grind centric mechanics that starts from scratch for each game involving "levelup boosts" via rankings / unlocks / pre-order "bonuses" / permitted cheat-mode enlarged hitboxes or auto-aiming for players using controllers instead of K&M, and "see through wall HUD's and overlay maps" not to mention the Godawful rise of pay2cheat / pay2levelup cr*p or pervasive chronic cheating. In that respect, modern games will need a lot more "grinding" simply because they're specifically designed to be a grind-fest to subtly 'encourage' more P2W micro-transactions vs "strictly equal footing" of "rank-less old school" arena / twitch shooters.

I really wouldn't worry about not having the time / interest to master every single game or becoming #1 on the planet for any given game (which often involves that person having no life whatsoever outside of +50hrs per week of that game). The bottom line of gaming is to have fun and overdoing the grind-grind-grind can often end up anything but that. If anything I would say playing a variety of games reduces the likelihood of getting "burned out" on a genre / style of play, and ending up not playing them at all for a while.
 

renz20003

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2011
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being replaced with game-specific-grind centric mechanics that starts from scratch for each game involving "levelup boosts" via rankings / unlocks / pre-order "bonuses"
I hate this in modern shooters, it's an artificial way of prolonging the longevity of a game.

Back in the day you kept playing the game because it was fun, not to unlock the next crate, case or treasure chest.

Also I find the CS:GO skins dumb, why some people go crazy for that stuff is beyond me.
 

bystander36

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2013
5,154
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I'm wondering if being a jack of all trades kind of gamer pays off. A musician gets better when he or she plays different songs rather than playing the same song over and over again. on the contrast, how can one possibly master 1 game outa the pool of games he plays. I guess one has to choose being mediocre at many games or being a grandmaster wizard at one game. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe one can master many games in a short period of time. I'd like to think this kind of gamer is a myth
As a former musician, I can say that you need both practice mastering a piece, as well as learning new things. You'll never be great without being able to master something, but you can learn a lot from learning new pieces/songs. I used to spend months on a solo, but worked on other pieces on the side, as well as exercises and scales.

As far as how that translates to games; every game I play and master, teaches me new things that often help me in future games, but if you want to be good at a particular game, practicing that game is the best method of advancement.
 

guachi

Senior member
Nov 16, 2010
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Yes. There are certain things that get reused over and over in games. Maybe it's controls, or a story element, or game mechanics.

In that way, you get better because there is a lowered learning curve.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
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A few things are consistent across games. Hand/Eye coordination, reflexes, precision (this could be clicking on a unit quickly and accurately in an RTS to sniping in a FPS game), and muscle memory. Coordination is obvious, allowing you to visually see what to do and react to it in good timing, reflexes is another obvious one where you can react to a threat or situation in a game quickly before you take damage, precision is one that people forget sometimes and being fast isn't enough, you have to be able to aim or click the correct targets etc. Muscle memory is kind of an oddball thing for gamers as a concept but I find it integral to all gaming. I'm sure the WASD control scheme wasn't something you picked up and immediately were perfect with? Same for controllers like an Xbox or Playstation controller. The more you use the same control setup the more you remember where each function is located and the quicker you can press the correct key. That's muscle memory, you don't have to think about "ok how do I jump?" you just do it. Pressing the correct key or button without hesitation.

All of these things are used across genres and will help you become a better gamer in general. The nuances of each game and meta game are something that require you to play a particular game over and over to progress. Playing a variety of games will help you in general but you will plateau until you invest real time into mastering a single title if you are trying to be competitive. I find that expanding your horizons helps prevent boredom with gaming in general though so I always recommend taking a break from that one game and playing something else to relax.
 

mistercrabby

Senior member
Mar 9, 2013
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the above response rings true to me. I have a friend named Tim who is really good at shooters. 'we'd play multi-player shooters and he was always an 'a' player. At a LAN party i saw him destroy most of the others, using his box and on mine, on games we'd played before and new ones. I realized at that point he was just better than me, better than most. PC, network, time on game were secondary factors. I think you can get better with practice on anything, to an extent. For me its about having fun.
 

Sheep221

Golden Member
Oct 28, 2012
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I would move from musician analogy to sporty one in this sense. If you want at particular game to be highly competitive at events like LANs and so on, you should focus on game you want to compete at. Playing something else in spare time is good but mostly neutral to what you want to achieve in the other game. Same as with sports, if teams train for hockey competition, they don't get better at it by playing soccer half the time. It's your sport you want to compete on.
 
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bystander36

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2013
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I would move from musician analogy to sporty one in this sense. If you want at particular game to be highly competitive at events like LANs and so on, you should focus on game you want to compete at. Playing something else in spare time is good but mostly neutral to what you want to achieve in the other game. Same as with sports, if teams train for hockey competition, they don't get better at it by playing soccer half the time. It's your sport you want to compete on.
Even in sports, you use the gym, and train in a lot of different ways that aren't directly related to playing your sport, along with training for your sport, which is much like how a musician works on exercises, scales and so forth. I'd say the idea of playing hockey or soccer, is more like playing another instrument.
 

Sheep221

Golden Member
Oct 28, 2012
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Even in sports, you use the gym, and train in a lot of different ways that aren't directly related to playing your sport, along with training for your sport, which is much like how a musician works on exercises, scales and so forth. I'd say the idea of playing hockey or soccer, is more like playing another instrument.
That's also true although I don't really know of anything game related(gaming actually takes place in mind, unlike sports which are predominantly physical) to improve the skills, I mean maybe some cognitive exercises would be good but not sure how much.
I think it's quite enough to play one game, since games are usually more rigid than reality, and once you bind with the game engine it's matter of time you spent training, so you figure out all the tricks and getting better feel how does game behave when you interact with it, this is I think which does make better players. But others might have different opinions. I mean nothing like this was really studied much so I guess it depends, if you like variety, alternating several games might improve your performance in general and be better for you. If you are hardcore for one game then I guess playing other games won't have impact on your performance in the game you want to compete in.
 

bystander36

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2013
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That's also true although I don't really know of anything game related(gaming actually takes place in mind, unlike sports which are predominantly physical) to improve the skills, I mean maybe some cognitive exercises would be good but not sure how much.
I think it's quite enough to play one game, since games are usually more rigid than reality, and once you bind with the game engine it's matter of time you spent training, so you figure out all the tricks and getting better feel how does game behave when you interact with it, this is I think which does make better players. But others might have different opinions. I mean nothing like this was really studied much so I guess it depends, if you like variety, alternating several games might improve your performance in general and be better for you. If you are hardcore for one game then I guess playing other games won't have impact on your performance in the game you want to compete in.
I don't really know the value of playing other games either. I can say that I do end up learning new strategies or techniques from other games that help me in future games. Before Google, and being able to research techniques, I used to find massive advantages in many games, due to either being creative and finding new strategies, or from learning something from another game. I don't feel like I get a lot out of that any more, as the best methods to play any game is usually posted all over the place, so no one has to figure anything out on their own.
 

Jeshu4ever

Junior Member
Sep 21, 2013
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Every speedrunner will confirm this to you yes you can.
Speedrunning acn also help you be buff
 

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