Tis the Season of Noobs

The Holiday season is often a gamer’s favorite. New systems, new accessories, and new games are given and received all over the world. Depending on where you live, the weather is voting against your venturing outside, and there’s a good chance that you are off work for at least one extra day.

Many an online community got an infusion of fresh players over the last few days. Are you a gracious welcoming committee, or do you rain destruction on the fields of innocents?

If you are an established player, try to keep in mind what it was like to get started. Maybe don’t go full “pro mode” in the casual queues. Or at least not in every match. Your beloved game will fade to black if new players are unable to gain a foothold and feel like they are progressing.

If you are one of the beginners, brace for repeaded loss. It is a normal part of your initiation. Veterans have memorized the maps, ranked up their weapons, and have full armor. Grinding for all those hours has honed their skills to a razor’s edge. You will be an easy target until you rank up.

You can minimize the noob phase with study. I start with the single-player campaign to learn the ropes. Some story modes reward you with XP to boost your stats online. Most will run you through the various offensive and defensive tools along with the general gameplay scenarios. Many titles have a test range, which also helps.

If your new game supports spectating, it can also be a shortcut to getting up to speed. Watching on Youtube and Twitch are good ways to get an edge. For some of the more popular games, professionally led lessons are available.

I often find that the experienced players are less aggressive in their style of play. Preferring to wait for group pushes rather than rushing in alone is a trait often observed in veteran players. Knowing when to cut and run from a one-on-one engagement rather than pursuing is another.

There are often weapon and armor sets that are advantageous for people who are just getting started. In class-based titles, playing the medic can be a fast way to gain XP and to learn the nuance of team play. Playing your role can be key to gaining rank and moving up the leaderboards. Snipers are typically backline suppression, assault players should be mixing it up in the middle ground, and shot guns are good in CQB.

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