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Here it is. You found it. The holy grail of blog articles for gamers. We spoke to teenage Call of Duty veterans, Lee Jae-dong the Tyrant, even the Old Man from Zelda, to bring you the definitive guide on how to get better at any video game. Be careful with whom you share this link. Three people went missing during the writing of it. Many Bothans died to bring us this information. Keep it secret, keep it safe: for now you have the knowledge it takes to become a grand video game master. Use your power wisely.
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Thumb Exercises

There’s not a lot of difference between nerd things and sports things. Both groups of people stand in line for hours while dressed up in the event’s theme, just to witness something they think they’re involved in but honestly doesn’t notice their existence. And now, with competitive gaming, nerdery has its own stadium competitions too! And whether you’re an athlete or a mathlete, the first thing you should do is warm up!

Thumb stretching can help keep your hands going stronger longer, and has been scientifically proven to help increase your lifespan to help get you to the singularity. This author’s little brother used to be a total spaz, but then he started his thumb stretches. Now he … works at a restaurant, but he’s young give him time. The point is he’s better at video games now.

Shamelessly Cheat

In olden times, all you had was your console and maybe a magazine you borrowed from your friend across the street. Otherwise, it was all up to you. You had to figure out all the little secrets, the little quirks, all the hidden warp zones and random glitches. Rumors of these tricks spread like wildfire, but even hearing about them the onus was on you to make them work yourself.

No longer. The Internet, the great spoiler of all things, now provides you access to more information than US Presidents back when they were white. And one of those fonts of information is trade secrets. All the spoilers, all the techniques, they are at your fingertips (so stretch your fingers, too, your thumb is important but it’s not everything – safety first kids). Stuck on level 6? There’s a website. Can’t figure out how to beat that boss? Here’s a YouTube video. Want to win perfectly? Here are the ways how.

Us old timers would call this cheating. Walkthroughs? Are you kidding me? In my day we walked uphill in ten feet of snow both ways to save the princess. You kids today. But you have the access, so use it! Knowledge is power! It’s okay to say you’re not good enough and be a little baby and get some help. As long as you’re having fun! At this point even your faithful author has done it to get out of a few jams. And, because game developers know about all this, they’ve compensated their gamemaking accordingly, so at this point it’s not even cheating. So be extra shameless!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? I don’t know which game is it in?

Any sensei you find is just going to make you practice a bunch, so honestly don’t worry about getting a master, just do it yourself. Never stop going back to earlier levels if you’re having trouble, because a good game teaches you everything you need to know as you progress, so re-learning the fundamentals will help propel you forward during more difficult encounters.

And, with practice, remember basic guide to most video games:

Video Games 101

Nearly all video games are about patterns and either completing them, syncing with them or breaking them. If you’re playing a game that is based on a property you love it’s easy to lose sight of this, but if you can see past the sprites and images and figure out the musicality of what’s going on, see the patterns for what they are, you can start beating the game. Also, game designers make things for worst case scenarios, so they telegraph everything you need to know; pay attention to the patterns and look for signposts that’ll tell you what to do different or when a changeup is coming. Don’t focus on your character, see the whole board at once, because spatial awareness is essential, more important that being fast or accurate. Knowing where everything is allows you to manage what you’re going to interact with next, at whatever speed is comfortable for you.

Say no to Caffeine

Stay Clean

Just like with any sport, you don’t want to crud up your body with bad stuff. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol and drugs will make your gameplay worse. We don’t really have an equivalent of juicing to win the Tour-de-France, so you’ll just have to maintain your own natural state. Alcohol is obvious, that makes you do everything worse while thinking you’re doing it better, but sugar and caffeine make you jittery and liable to overreact to circumstances in your game.
Take a Break at the First Sign of Frustration

I broke a game once. This was like the late 90s. I threw it against the wall because I kept playing to the point where I got that mad. Then I grew up, so I never broke a game again (poor Perfect Dark, I’m sorry sweetie), but I’ve also learned that when I feel myself getting more frustrated than challenged I take a break as soon as I can. If you want to get better at a game, don’t bring your emotion into it. Stay frosty. Like with almost anything, you’ll figure out a way to solve your problems with even a slightly cooler head.

Memory, Memory, Memory!


Sometimes what a game calls for is just hitting the same spot over and over until you memorize what’s going on. A lot of people seem to think there’s something wrong with this, but some games are designed that way – get comfortable with the thought of playing the same level thirty times and you won’t get frustrated when it actually happens to you. And, as above, take a break if you’re getting mad. Because games are mostly our phones now, and we need those to ignore phone calls from our family, so don’t break them!


Play Tetris

Yes seriously. It’s the best game for training because it makes you think very fact and react just as quickly. Playing Tetris is the equivalent of when your sensei makes you punch that brick from super close over and over again until you finally get it right. When in doubt, go back to basics.
Watch Your Older Brother

This is scientifically proven by Ben Franklin and Einstein in their only joint venture: not playing and instead letting your brother have another turn will increase your skill in any game by 8000%. Because see the bond that you share lets you acquire skill by osmosis and your older brother is more talented at this game anyway and there’s no way you can make it past this boss just let me do it and then you can play the easy part, Conrad. God.

Don’t have an older brother? That’s the actual reason why they made the Big Brother foster program. Don’t get me wrong, they have an amazing community minded service, and help out a lot of children in need. But the secret truth is that if you tell them you need to get better at video games they will instantly assign you a temporary big brother. He’ll take you out for ice cream and punch you in the arm a few times to get the connection flowing, and then you can watch him play and fetch him sodas while you let him improve for you.

Don’t tell them I sent you. Tell them somebody else sent you. Like an Alex or something. But trust me it’ll work.

If all else fails

Break into the game’s headquarters and hack your way to #1 on the leaderboards, so at least your friends will think you’ve improved.