4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort

Dave LeClair 11-07-2013

4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort gamingThe competitive gaming The 5 Best Places to Watch Competitive Gaming Online Competitive gaming seems to be hitting its stride. Finding out where to watch professionals compete can still be a problem, however. For all their effort, a lot of the sites dedicated to pro gaming are... Read More scene is always growing. Every day it seems like there is some kind of a new tournament announced that is promising to pay out huge sums of money to participants. It’s impossible to visit any gaming website without hearing something about esports. While I may not be in love with that particular word, I do like keeping my eye on the competitive scene in various games through websites like Twitch How to Live Stream Your Gaming Sessions As we enter our month of gaming giveaways, it seems only appropriate that we look at the delicate art of live streaming PC and console games. Although it's difficult to understand why anyone would want... Read More .


Learning most of these competitive games is no easy task. If the act of mastering them was easy, everyone would be playing professionally. However, even if you might never make it to that high level of play, you can become a skilled player at these games, and they seeing all your hours of practice translate into skill is so incredibly satisfying. Don’t quit, and you just might find the most enjoyable gameplay experience you’ve ever had.

Full disclosure: I play Dota 2 religiously, and it most certainly will be on this list. However, all the games here require a great deal of effort to learn, and each one is totally worth putting in the time.

Dota 2

As I said in the intro, Dota 2 is my game of choice here. Am I a pro-level player? Not even close, but I am pretty good. We’ve covered Dota 2 quite a bit, with articles about the best streamers 9 Active And Knowledgeable Dota 2 Streamers All Players Should Be Watching About a month ago I got hooked on a little game known as Dota 2 , and I’ve been playing it nonstop ever since. I tried League of Legends initially, and for some reason, it... Read More , websites on all things Dota 2 5 Websites For All The Latest Happenings In Dota 2 [MUO Gaming] Dota 2 is a huge game right now, and while it may not be as popular as League of Legends, it is hot on its heels with an ever rising player base. As a whole,... Read More , and a general breakdown on just what the game is What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care? In the world of games, Valve Corporation has recently grown into one of the largest and most consistent game publishers (with the skyrocketing success of their Steam distribution network) and game developers (with the international... Read More . I will spare you the details of explaining Dota 2, as these articles do that perfectly.

4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort dota2 screenshot new hud

What I will say about Dota 2 is that learning the game will take some serious dedication. You are going to lose a lot. You are going to die. You are going to anger your teammates many, many times. However, after enough games, something will click and you will start to get it. Your decision making will improve, and you will start winning. Knowing you put in the time to actually understand the complicated gameplay is awesome, and it’s something many games cannot match. Just don’t give up right away, because you will figure it out.


Starcraft 2

Starcraft and its sequel are the games that really helped put competitive gaming on the map. Like any hardcore competitive game, when you start playing Starcraft, things are going to go poorly. The level of micromanagement required in Starcraft might seem unfathomable to new players, but don’t worry, there are plenty of websites out there dedicated to helping new players 5 Websites All Beginner Starcraft II Players Need To Read Starcraft II is a complicated game filled with deep nuances and intense strategy that can be rather intimidating for newer players to get a hold off. Many hours of dedication are required, and if you... Read More get up to speed with the basics of the game.

4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort starcraft2mac

Starcraft is the kind of game you need to just bang your head against for a while before it all makes sense. The key is just not quitting. If you keep trying as hard as you can, you will get decent at the game. The key is getting the basics to become second nature, so your brain can focus on the more complex strategy elements. Once you start to get it, playing competitive Starcraft can be a ton of fun. Just remember that practice makes perfect!


When I started thinking about games for this article, I told myself that no shooter would be here, as they all play more or less the same. Then I remember a game called GunZ, which is the single most insane shooter I have ever played. It involves an intense mix of guns, swords, and powers. It works at a pace that is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The amount of finger and brain speed required to be good at this game is nuts.


4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort gunz

While this game is not as big in the competitive scene as Dota 2 and Starcraft, the insane amount of skill required to master the game makes it worthy. As an added bonus, the game is free, so you can get in there and get your butt kicked while players complain about spraying and not playing “K-style” without spending a dime!

EVE Online

To be honest with you, EVE Online scares me. Calling it a game almost feels like I am underselling the scope of what this “thing” is. At its core, it’s an MMORPG. However, it’s really more like a detailed universe and economy simulator filled with powerful corporations trying to take over space. To understand how the game actually works, one needs to spend hours upon hours just reading about the game and studying mechanics.

4 Games With Steep Learning Curves That Are Worth The Effort eveonline e1372728255544


Does that sound fun? To most of you reading this, probably not. But for some brave souls, learning EVE can prove to be a rich and rewarding experience that no other game can rival. While it might completely take over your life, you will have a ton of fun in the process. If grinding in games like World of Warcraft aren’t your thing, and you want some more depth to your MMO, give yourself to EVE Online, and you might just love it.


If you’re like me, and you enjoy spending the time to really learn a game inside and out, you will love these games. I don’t recommend taking them on all on at once, as these are the kinds of games that require 100 percent of your focus. Try them one and a time, and you might just find the love of your gaming life.

What games have you really dedicated yourself to? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

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  1. Adam H
    July 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Devil May Cry 1 and (especially) 3. DMC2 was a button mashfest with overpowered low-stakes ranged attacks so you could avoid ever putting yourself in harm's way, but the first and third installments got really crazy, really fast, especially on harder difficulties.

    Also, not the steepest overall, but the game that wins the award for "most deaths within the first 60 seconds of playing" for me is Resident Evil 2. For people who had played RE1, character controls with the wonky camera angles were already second nature. For people like me who were new to the franchise, sticking us on a cramped bus with a zombie and saying "you have 30 seconds to figure out the controls before you get eaten" was a poor design decision. Seriously, just give us one little area to run around in for 3 minutes before we encounter our first enemy so we can get the faintest idea how the controls are going to work. I'm glad I didn't rage-quit after getting killed five times in rapid succession, though, because that was otherwise one of the best games I've played.

  2. Lisa Santika O
    July 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Legend of Mana is a game that appears deceptively simple, but if you haven't playes it yet, google 'Legend of Mana Tempering Guide' and you'll be surprised. It's just one of the many depths hidden in the game. However, it's what makes the game interesting and the replay value so high. It falls into 'Guide Dang It', like some other games listed here.

  3. TechnoAngina
    July 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Dwarf Fortress? That should at least get an honorable mention.

    I do like GunZ but I didn't find it particularly hard to learn. It was actually kind of easy.

  4. Richard
    July 11, 2013 at 9:14 am

    What about Monster Hunter series?
    So much more effort in precision timing than anything else I have come across.

  5. Alex D
    July 11, 2013 at 3:56 am

    What the Disgaea franchise doesn't get mention?