Gaming is the running of specialized applications known as electronic games or video games on game consoles, personal computers, mobile phones or another medium altogether
Nowadays, schools are using games as a teaching medium, esports events are seeing higher prize pools than traditional sports, and professional gamers and streamers are even considered celebrities.
With the industry booming to over $100 billion in value (that’s more than the film industry), gaming has become more mainstream than ever before, and there’s been no better time to get in than now. Here are some tips for those looking to dive in to the wonderful world of gaming.
3 Essential Things you Should Know Before You Start Gaming
1. Establishing your Budget
Before you can begin, you’re going to want to know how much you can spend- like most good things in life, playing games costs money. It doesn’t have to cost a lot though, depending on where you want to begin.
This should’nt stop you from starting out small and spending more money in the future on upgrading your setup. However, knowing your budget is important because it will influence the kind of games you can play as well as what you can play them on.
I remembered when I started gaming, I used to play PUBG Mobile on a Spark 3 Pro and I can say that the lag was frustrating. In other words, before you decide that you want to play the new Call of Duty on a PC that can support it, figure out if you can afford to.
2. Knowing What Kind of Games you Want to Play
There is a plethora of games out there, ranging from sports to shooters to platformers- the genres are endless. If you know the exact titles you want to play, you’re off to a good start, but even if you don’t it’s not a train smash.
A good idea would be to check out some lists of popular games online and watching a few videos or Twitch streams to see if they pique your interest. You could even do an online search of any genres you like and see what games pop up.
For example, a quick search for open-world fantasy games would point you in the direction of things like The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher series. Knowing what games you like will set the foundation for getting your gaming setup rolling.
3. Choosing your Platform
This decision leans heavily on both your budget and your preferred game titles, since costs vary greatly between platforms as well as the fact that certain games are only available on certain platforms.
As a general rule, costs would go as follows:- mobile gaming is the easiest and cheapest, PC gaming tends to be more expensive, and console gaming sits somewhere in the middle. Let’s look at each of these in closer detail:
Mobile gaming is great due to its accessibility. Most people tend to have a mobile device of some type, thus negating the cost of initial setup. There also tends to be an abundance of cheap or free-to-play games on mobile devices, ranging from simple puzzle games like Candy Crush to more advanced titles such as Fortnite.
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Depending on your phone or tablet, some games will run better than others. It’s also worth checking out whether your game of choice is available on your device, as some are Android or Apple-only. A big plus for gaming this way is the mobility factor, as you can pretty much take your device with you anywhere you go. If the main appeal of gaming to you is having something to do on-the-go or having a low-fuss way of playing games, then this might be the choice for you.
PC gaming is probably the broadest of all the ways to play. Costs can also range from minimal to astronomical, depending on your needs. Newer PC games, especially big studio releases, tend to be highly resource intensive- this is where the costs come in.
A gaming PC will have a higher price tag than other platforms by a large margin, but typically perform and look better. The popular PC games store Steam also has very well-priced sales, and you can pick up tonnes of games at low prices with the widest variety of choice of all the platforms.
Multiplayer is also the biggest on PC, and there is no fee for playing online. In the same sense as mobile gaming, however, many people tend to have a desktop or laptop for uses outside of gaming. This is a great way to try out some games without having to shell out on an expensive setup and could very well be all you need if you play less demanding or older games.
Console gaming is the most ‘gamer-centric’ choice of all the platforms since, if you’re purchasing a console, you’re doing it for the sole reason of playing games. The primary choices here would be the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch (or their older iterations).
They’re all very similar in terms of price, and each have their own benefits- the choice would come down to personal preference and the kind of games you like. Consoles tend to be far cheaper than gaming-grade PCs and will typically see you through 5-8 years of gaming without needing to upgrade, but usually require payment for online gaming services and tend to have more expensive games overall.
Research is key here, especially since this can be a big financial commitment and will influence your game choice and expenditure in the future.
There are of course some additional steps to take into account. Internet connection, for example, is crucial for playing online games. You’re going to need a stable connection first, and it’s also important to consider that many games are digital-only and require big downloads that can take time and money depending on your internet.
Peripherals too are important, such as a headset if you wish to chat to teammates online (and therefore chat applications such as Discord may be useful to become acquainted with). There are also many groups and communities of gamers on social media platforms such as Facebook, which can be really helpful in terms of getting advice and finding like-minded people to game with.
At the end of the day, gaming is meant to be an enjoyable hobby, but it can also be so much more than that. Gaming is a passion fuelled by endless fun and unforgettable memories that is shared by so many around the globe. So you can rest assured that no matter how you choose to game, you’re going to have fun regardless just enjoy the ride.