Dave’s 4 Steps To Becoming A Better Gamer [MUO Gaming]

Dave LeClair 14-08-2012

becoming a better gamerI have made no secret in my time at MakeUseOf that I am a huge video game fan. In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do in both the virtual and the real world. However, things are not always great in the video game world. There are plenty of problems, and most of them come in the form of what I like to call “bad gamers”.


Most of this has nothing to do with their skill at actually playing games. I do not care if you play Call of Duty every day and never once have a positive kill death ratio. Yeah, that means you are not a skilled gamer, but it does not necessarily mean you are a bad gamer.

Being a bad gamer comes from something deeper. It comes from the way you treat video games. It comes from the ways in which you interact with your fellow gamer. If you are a bad gamer, fear not, because I am here to help. Follow this guide, and you will become a better gamer and maybe a better person.

Don’t Be a Jerk All The Time

It is so common when playing an online game to meet trolls and generally mean people, that most gamers are numb to it. When I play Call of Duty I find myself constantly having to mute players who are being giant jerks. The communication features on consoles and PCs were implemented for players to chat and strategize about the upcoming game.

becoming a better gamer

It is a sad fact that no one seems to get on the microphone unless he or she has some choice words to say about a member of your family. Of course, you cannot forget all the racism and nationalism that pops up everywhere as well. Treat people in video games the same way you would treat them in real life. Even better, pretend it is real life, and they have 20 friends, all of whom are UFC fighters, standing with them.


Don’t Be Sexist

It saddened me to learn that there is a website out there dedicated to female gamers sharing their stories about the terrible people they encounter while playing video games. Why does it matter to male gamers whether or not the person on the other side of the Internet is a female? If you are one of those people who cannot take losing a game because the person beating you is female, you need to take a long look in the mirror.

tips to becoming a better gamer

Some of the messages you can see on fatuglyorslutty that these poor gamers receive are just terrible. Female gamers are just trying to enjoy their favorite hobby, and nothing gives a bad gamer the right to interfere in that. If you want to be a better gamer, please, treat female gamers the same way you would treat male gamers (see step one for not being an overall jerk).

Get Better At Playing Games

I know I said that you do not necessarily need to be a skilled gamer to avoid being a bad gamer. Still, it certainly does not hurt. You don’t need to play in MLG, but you should at least try to get better. After all, you should try to improve at anything you enjoy. While being a good person while gaming is the most important thing, being a halfway skilled gamer does not hurt either.


Learn a Little About Video Game History

I will not fault anyone for being young and missing out on the “good old days” of video games, but it is a good idea to at least have a decent understanding of where video games came from. Halo was not the first shooter made by Bungee. Call of Duty was not always a modern shooter. Steam used to suck. Start with this awesome article The Origins & History Of Mario [Geek History Lessons] An Italian plumber created by a Japanese artist somehow became one of the most recognizable characters on earth. Featured in over 100 games, it's hard to imagine Nintendo or even video games without this mustachioed... Read More by my colleague Justin and learn all about the history of Mario.

becoming a better gamer

By learning about the history of games, it will help you appreciate where games are now and where they are going. I am not saying you need to be a video game historian by any means, but knowing some of the important parts of its history will make you a better gamer today.


Following these steps will make you a better gamer, both for yourself and for the other people who are forced to play with you. As gamers, we share a common interest, and there is no reason we have to treat each other like crap all the time. Video games are one of the most fun hobbies out there, so please, act as if you are having fun while playing games.


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  1. Trevor Lenten
    August 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The only MP game I really play anymore is battlefield due to the crowd it seems to draw. COD used to be fun and the game itself IS still fun although recycled a bit too much. What made me stop playing is all the 12 to 16 year old ass hats playing. No respect whatsoever.

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:13 am

      COD does seem to draw the lowest of the low, but it's still fun!

  2. Aatif Khan
    August 15, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I think not only is it easier to be a jerk on the internet, hidden behind a keyboard and strom of words, but also easier for people to vent out all the negativity from their real lives on a complete stranger. Not saying that this behavior is appreciable or acceptable, but the fact is that if helpful mentoring is scarce in real life, it's an even rarer commoditiy in online gaming communities.

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:13 am

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

  3. Mihai Triboi
    August 15, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Yeah, video gaming is my favorite part of the time spent in front of my PC. Don't want to brag, but I think I'm a good gamer, although not very skilled in other than my favorite games. :D I use to praise gamers that are really good. I may say that sometimes there's needed just one good gamer in a lobby to make everyone's day.

    (BTW, if in your death match team comes a newbie that drags the score down, it's a better idea to cover him/her, rather than insult him/her.)

    No, really, haven't you ever been impressed by some gamers skills, enough to tell him/her how cool he/she is?!

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:13 am

      I've played World of Warcraft with people who I have to compliment, but that is more a coop experience.

  4. TornZero
    August 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I checked out fatuglyorslutty, and while I /have/ encountered a few braggart-brand jerks on the PlayStation Network (which end up being young boys in shooters, obviously), I don't think I've ever seen anyone (male or female) have to deal with the amount and level of jerkitude that's apparently made its home on Xbox Live.

    Is there really such a huge difference between the kindness of users on different networks, or am I just a sheltered gamer? (That said, I do play Battlefield and Uncharted, amongst other games; and during a short excursion on Black Ops, the players were more talkative about miscellaneous real life issues and in-game cooperation instead of waxing nostalgic about my mother's performance the night before.)

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:12 am

      As an Xbox fan, it pains me to admit that more jerks seem to be on Xbox Live for some reason. It's too bad really.

  5. Vipul Jain
    August 15, 2012 at 5:57 am

    "Can i butter your muffin"
    EPIC! XD

    Though on a serious note, people should start playing at at least medium difficulties. Till the time they push their abilities they will just be stuck at easy level win happiness.
    I started at medium & by now (4-5 years), for me medium is easy. so now i challenge myself with Hard difficulties.
    Maybe one day i'll get into expert range :D

  6. Bj Reilly
    August 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I dont know why people think they should be able to get away with being any less of a normal acting human being during game play. It should be standard practice to act just as you would in real life....I never understood why others would want to act a certain way just because they dont know people irl. You act like an idiot or and ass, you going to be treated that way.

    What ever happened to treating others as you would like to be treated....makes perfect sense to me.

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:11 am

      I agree, anonymity makes people do some bad things.

  7. Ales Mole
    August 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    One thing I hate the most with "so called" GREAT gamers is their attitude toward new players...instead of helping them in multiplayer games, you get phrases like this:

    1. Go away NOOB

    2. You suck NOOB

    3. NOOB LOL


    Those aren't GAMERS worth of mentioning them...

    • Dave LeClair
      August 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Couldn't agree more. These will be same people who complain when their multiplayer game of choice dies off and becomes inactive. New players are an important part of any game. If games are to grow as a whole, we need to welcome new players with open arms so they can become skilled players and then repeat the cycle.

      • GodSponge
        August 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        There is only one slight exception to this rule. When a game goes free to play, many people surge into the game and and up acting stupid. That's no excuse for all the NOOB talk, but sometimes it is deserved.

  8. Joel Lee
    August 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    The first point is a good one. It's a shame that gamers (myself included) only speak out when we have something negative to say. I'm going to try to make a conscious effort to compliment other players when they deserve it. Thanks Dave!

    • Dave LeClair
      August 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Just think of me with an angry look on my face whenever you want to be a jerk! It will work, you have my unconditional guarantee. (This guarantee is only valid on the moon and may not be combined with any other offers.)