So you want to be a gamer. Here’s how you can start

So you want to be a gamer

Despite the fact that over 67 percent of Americans play video games, becoming a gamer can appear to be a challenging task. The sheer number of systems, accessories, and games available might make deciding where to start to seem impossible.

However, despite how steep the learning curve appears to be (and how many buttons the newer controllers have), gaming is now easier to get into than it has ever been. Developers are eager to grow their audience, and many of them purposefully build games to be more approachable to new players. Furthermore, the diverse selection of titles ensures that there is a fun game for everyone. As multimillion-dollar “AAA” studios focus on keeping the large audience of experienced gamers, small developers (indie) have come up to fill the holes.

“There are so many more potential ways to get started and find the game that is precisely what you want today than there were before when you were hunting for different varieties of graphics-heavy action games,” said Quantic Foundry founder Nick Yee.

Yee has worked with a number of game developers to help them tailor their games to specific audiences and has created a chart of “gamer motivations” to aid them. It’s not enough for someone to want a strategy or agricultural game, according to Yee. What counts is how that player feels and whether their experience is sufficient to sustain them. Quantic Foundry offers a free 5-minute survey to anyone interested in determining their gaming motivation (or life in general). Are you a competitive person? Do you feel rewarded for your accomplishments? Do you wish to be involved in a story and a fantastic world and lose yourself in it? Or are you simply looking to meet new people? Yee compares video game shopping to choosing the appropriate perfume aroma.

Consider buying a Nintendo Switch (or another console)

If you’re new to gaming, there are three excellent options for you to consider, two of which you probably already own: a smartphone and a computer. We propose acquiring a Nintendo Switch to broaden your gaming options.

Nintendo’s in-house games (dubbed “first-party” games in contrast to those created by other “third-party” studios) are meticulously developed to please gamers of all skill levels. Nintendo’s objective has been to create games and hardware to broaden the gaming audience since the 1980s.

If you haven’t played a video game since the days of Mario or Tetris, you’ll be happy to know that the newer versions of those games are even more appealing than before, and most, if not all, of them, are available on the Nintendo Switch. You can even play vintage Nintendo and Super Nintendo games on the Switch for free with a $20 Nintendo Online subscription. To discover if your favorites are already available, go here.

When it comes to picking between the normal Switch and the Switch Lite, we strongly suggest the original Switch. If you plan on playing alone, the Lite is ideal, but it offers few choices for playing with family or friends.

The case for the PS4

The PlayStation 4 or Xbox One are the two consoles to consider if you want a higher-powerful console. They’re a little more frightening than a Switch, but they have a larger game catalog, which is especially useful for those searching for a graphically stunning game with a compelling plot or a competitive multiplayer game.

To that end, we propose the PlayStation 4, which has a larger catalog of unique games, such as God of War and the Uncharted franchise. Those aren’t the most beginner-friendly games, but they set the standard for quality.

The one snag with both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is that Sony and Microsoft (the respective manufacturers of both platforms) insist on releasing their next-generation consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X) later this year. But, as you are all aware, it has been a long year.

Here’s what we recommend: Simply purchase the console you desire right now. Nintendo isn’t planning any updates this year, and the PlayStation 4 catalog is so large that you’ll have enough pleasure for years. New gamers won’t require a PlayStation 5, and even if they do, Sony claims that most (but not all) of the PS4 games will work on the PS5.

Making the most of mobile gaming

You already have the most popular gaming platform if you have an iOS or Android mobile. Even if you have an older iPad or an iPhone 6, you have a good gaming device.

The only thing you should think about purchasing is a controller. You can play games with the touch screen controls, but for more difficult and engrossing games, such as the ones we’ll recommend, you’ll want to use the Xbox One controller or the less expensive PlayStation DualShock 4. Both pair with any smartphone system via Bluetooth, and it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy a console-like experience. If you go with an Xbox One controller, make sure it’s a recent one that supports Bluetooth.

It’s probably best to avoid PCs for now

Check your system specifications and then the PC requirements for your chosen game if you have a Windows PC. However, with all of the variables and hassles that come with PC installations (constantly changing hardware requirements for new games, driver upgrades, and so on), we can’t suggest PC gaming unless you’ve tried it. Consoles are (generally) less expensive than most gaming computers, and they are much easier to operate and maintain.

Now we’ll suggest a few games depending on Yee’s motivations in different categories. These aren’t all the newest games, but they’re all well-known and well-received titles with short learning curves.

Games to consider


Video games provide an opportunity to meet new people. Contrary to popular belief, many gamer communities are friendly and willing to assist you in learning the ins and outs of a game’s systems and rules. Find a forum or discussion board (like Resetera), a Facebook group, or a Reddit subreddit dedicated solely to your game of interest. (By the way, this suggestion applies to all categories.)

Do not post queries in the comments section of YouTube videos or any other public venue, such as Twitter. It is a complete waste of time. It’s critical that you locate communities that are dedicated to your preferred game. That’s where you’ll find the most useful information, such as this 2014 message board post aimed at new Sims 4 players.

It’s also worth noting that the majority of gaming platforms provide a voice chat mute feature. Each game and console has its unique set of regulations, therefore Google is your best ally in locating them. However, muting everyone is your best bet if you want to keep things quiet and eliminate trolling.

Minecraft (iOS/Android, all consoles, Windows):

There isn’t a finer “contemporary game as training wheels” than this. For various reasons, it is the most popular game in history. It’s really simple to install on any device, including nearly any PC. It’s the 21st century’s version of the Oregon Trail. Most importantly, it provides beginning players with a low-stakes, low-stress setting in which to practice movement in three dimensions. After you’ve become used to Minecraft, you can move on to other games. Alternatively, you might join millions of others on pre-made servers to continue playing and find your tribe.

Sky (iOS):

thatgamecompany, an award-winning indie studio, is known for creating popular, simple-to-play games that elicit universal feelings such as curiosity and amazement. The sky is an online multiplayer game that only allows you to do things that are encouraging or helpful – activities that you might choose to ignore. Cooperative play makes an easygoing game even simpler, which is a reward in and of itself, if only because it allows you to take in the beautiful sights and sounds. This is a fun game for people of all ages to play together. It’s also a good way to practice 3-D movement because there are no enemies, no time limit, and no pressure.


If you’re a long-term thinker, these games are worth considering. This type of player may maintain a level head in order to think logically and plan ahead, finding satisfaction not only in making decisions but also in witnessing the outcomes.

  • Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch): 

It’s mostly the game you’re familiar with, and it’s completely free. For the most part, you play alone, but there is a competitive element. In addition, you’re up against 98 other players to see how long you can keep your screen clear of blocks. It adds to the strain, but Tetris has never been a simple game. It provides you a taste of online competitiveness in a game with simple rules that virtually anyone can pick up quickly.

  • Untitled Goose Game (all consoles, Windows/macOS):

The 2019 indie darling is a two-button game about guiding a goose through a town and causing mayhem. You accomplish this through interacting with your surroundings. For example, the first task is as basic as opening a farm gate. Your next objective can range from simple moving stuff about to more sophisticated tasks like distracting the farmer so you can run by him. Untitled Goose Game is a great example of how to recognize and interact with essential visual clues in games.

  • Portal 2 (Windows/macOS):

This game may appear to be the most complicated so far, but it’s actually rather basic mechanically, and, like Minecraft, it’s a terrific way to get used to 3-D, first-person movement. The goal of Portal is to get from one side of the room to the other using a special gun that fires two portals for you to pass through. Portal 2 also features award-winning dialogue and a humorous story. But, most significantly, it’s a fun introduction to how video game physics operates, and how things interact with and bounce off each other and the surroundings.

Achievement/Power Growth

You aren’t only interested in collecting and competing; you want it all and to be the best. Perfectionists and overachievers will love this category.

  • Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee (Nintendo Switch)

Pokémon games are essential “rock, paper, scissors” with a few extra rules. Fire Pokémon defeats water Pokémon, grass Pokémon defeats fire Pokémon, and so on. There are more varieties, but they are rarely more sophisticated. Plus, since the games are primarily about “capturing them all” and progressing as a Pokémon trainer, the Pokémon plot may pique your competitive spirit. While Pokémon Sword and Shield is a recent game, 2018 Let’s Go titles are remakes of the originals from the 1990s, which introduced a generation to the role-playing game genre. There is no better place to begin than here.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

Even if you have a driver’s license, staying on the road in racing games might be difficult. This is addressed in the latest Mario Kart for the Switch, which has “Smart Steering,” which ensures that you never fall or strike the side of the road. This function serves as an excellent set of training wheels for competitive racing games. Start with Mario Kart and work your way up to more complex driving games like the Gran Turismo or Forza Horizon series, which have an infinite number of cars and upgrades.

  • Diablo 3 (all consoles, Windows): 

While Pokémon is a simple RPG, the Diablo series is a little more involved and action-packed. However, the third installment, released in 2012, is still quite affordable, and its movement isn’t all that different from the original Zelda games. Sure, the “leveling up” mechanism is a little more involved than Pokémon’s, but it’s a terrific introduction to the desire for more powerful, more attractive “treasure” in video games.

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