The video game medium has reached a point where the best players in the world can actually make a living in eSports and gaming leagues. But most of us would be happy not getting annihilated in an online deathmatch. Because the truth is that not everyone can be an elite gamer. Some players really are a cut above the rest, but that doesn’t mean that ordinary gamers can’t pick up on a few hints from the best gamers.
Via Science Codex, two new scientific studies have explored how various players develop habits that let them develop higher levels of skill. The first study used Halo: Reach‘s Team Slayer mode; which kept track of players and the evolution of their TrueSkill rating. What the study found was that the gamers who played the most games weren’t the ones who displayed the greatest advancement of their skill. Instead, gamers who played only four to eight matches a week showed more improvement over the course of their first 200 matches.
“What this suggests is that if you want to improve the most efficiently, it’s not about playing the most matches per week,” explained Jeff Huang, the lead author of the study. “You actually want to space out your activity a little bit and not play so intensively.”
The second study used StarCraft II as its basis, and it noted that the best players made extensive use of hotkeys. More specifically, the elite players used the hotkeys to issue up to 200 commands per minute. Intriguingly, the same players practiced using the hotkeys early in the matches even before they had access to the full range of their options.
“They’re getting their minds and bodies into the routines that they’ll need when they’re at peak performance later in the game,” said Huang. “They’re getting themselves warmed up.” As Science Codex notes, the researchers essentially boiled the tips down to “practice consistently [and] stay warm.”
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Image Credit: Microsoft