How to become an expert gamer

On March 27

How to become an expert gamer

There’s so many more potential ways today to get started and to find the game that is exactly what you want, compared to before where you were looking for different flavors of graphics-heavy action games, said researcher Nick Yee, founder of consulting firm Quantic Foundry.


Yee has consulted with many developers on tailoring their games to specific audiences, creating a chart of “gamer motivations” to help. It’s not enough that someone might want a strategy or a farming game, Yee says. What matters is how that gamer feels, and whether their experience is enough to keep them going. Quantic Foundry offers a free 5-minute survey for anyone who wants to find out their motivation for gaming (or life in general). Are you competitive? Do you feel rewarded through achievement? Do you want to be immersed and get lost in a story and fantasy world? Or do you just want to meet new people? Yee likens shopping for video games to finding the right perfume scent.


“You can say, ‘I like the smell of this perfume,’ but unless you understand perfume notes and the way they interact, it’s hard to describe what you want to a sales person,” Yee said. “That’s the same situation with games. Showing the table to people is helpful because it grounds them in the framework of games, and the vocabulary."


If you’re interested in exploring the gaming world, one of the best places to start is by taking the survey for gamer motivations. Armed with that vocabulary, you’ll be about as ready as you’ll ever be to dive in. To get you closer to that starting line, here are our intro-level recommendations on where to begin.



Nintendo Switch



If you’re new to gaming, there are three great options for beginners, and chances are you already own one or two of them: a smartphone or PC. To expand your options, we recommend getting a Nintendo Switch.


Games made in house by Nintendo (called “first-party” games, as opposed to other “third-party” studios) are very deliberately and laboriously designed to appease players of all levels. It’s been Nintendo’s mission since the 1980s to design games and hardware that expands the gaming audience.

If you’re someone who hasn’t touched a video game since the Mario or Tetris days, you’ll be pleased to know that the newer versions of those games are even more inviting than ever before, and most, if not all of them are on the Switch. And for a $20 Nintendo Online subscription, you can play old Nintendo and Super Nintendo games via a free app on the Switch. Check here to see if your favorites are already available.



TV mode

Dock your Nintendo Switch to enjoy HD gaming on your TV.

Tabletop mode

Flip the stand to share the screen, then share the fun with a multiplayer game.

Handheld mode

Pick it up and play with the Joy‑Con™ controllers attached.



The PlayStation 4 or Xbox One are the two to consider. They’re a bit more intimidating than a Switch, but they boast a bigger game library, particularly for people looking for a graphically beautiful game with a rich story or competitive multiplayer game.

To that end, we recommend the PlayStation 4, which boasts a better library of exclusives, including God of War and the Uncharted series. Those games aren’t the most friendly for beginners, but they set the bar for quality.


Browse PlayStation Store for the latest and greatest digital game content, exclusive pre-order deals, value bundles and sales. Get access to the entire catalog of PlayStation 4 content including full game releases, indie content, free to play games, free game demos, VR games, and more. Digital games are available day and date at launch, and pre-ordered games can be pre-loaded to your console several days in advance so you can start playing right at launch. PlayStation Store also features frequent game sales and discounts, as well as movies and TV content for rent or purchase, add-on DLC for your favorite games, avatars and background themes to customize your PS4, and more.

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