PS4 Slim Unboxing - Let's Play Video Games
How to Play Video Games
Choosing a video game or learning to play it can overwhelm someone unfamiliar with them. Fortunately, the vast number of options also means that there is almost certainly a game you love. With a little direction and advice, you can start exploring a virtual world in no time.
Choose a platform.Playing video games no longer requires a dedicated console or a souped-up gaming computer. There are an increasing number of quality games available for your laptop, old computer, smartphone, or tablet. Get a taste for these first before you shell out hundreds of dollars for a console or computer upgrades. Once you've decided to explore new territory, keep the following in mind:
- For the largest number of available games, get a desktop computer running the latest operating system, and install a good video card.
- For a cheap, easy to set up option, purchase a console. Choose a latest-generation console (PS4, Switch, or Xbox One) to play new games, or an old one (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 or even earlier) for a large selection of cheap, used classics.
- Choose a handheld gaming system for a specific game you can't get on your phone.
Check the game rating.Game rating systems vary between each country, but an explanation should be available on the packaging or online description. Games rated M for mature or for an age range 17 or higher typically contain extreme violence or disturbing scenes.
Read the system requirements.If you are using a console, you should be able to play any game for that console. Computer gamers need to find out their computer specifications and check them against the requirements on the game packaging or website. There are typically two sets of requirements listed:
- "Required" lists the bare minimum. If you fall short of any of these requirements, don't purchase the game. If you barely meet these requirements, the game will probably be slow and/or look much worse than trailers and screenshots show.
- "Recommended" requirements should let you play the game with shorter loading times, no lag or visual glitches, and better graphics settings.
Watch video reviews.Games are a huge business, and the actual gameplay sometimes fails to live up to marketing hype. Find at least one review before you purchase an expensive game, preferably a video one so you can watch the gameplay first hand.
Hear about new games and old classics.If you have gamer friends, you'll probably hear about new games whether you like it or not. Other sources of information include gaming blogs and magazines, which you can find with a quick online search, or browsing the vast collection of computer games on Steam, the free game store.
Feel free to jump into sequels.Don't feel obligated to play the first game in a series. The sequels often have improved gameplay and graphics, and often don't even follow the previous story directly.
Be cautious with competitive games.If you don't consider yourself a gamer, there are certain genres that you may not enjoy. First-person shooters, fighting games, "battle arenas" like League of Legends, and to a lesser extent sports games tend to be fiercely competitive. These are often extremely difficult for a new player to learn.
- If you have your heart set on learning one of these genres, pick one with a single-player mode that lets you learn on your own, such as Halo.
- Some specific games in different genres fall into this category as well. The Starcraft and Dark Souls series are not recommended for inexperienced gamers.
Try before you buy.If you're uncertain about a game, look for a free demo version. If this isn't available, consider renting the game from the Gamefly website, or from a brick-and-mortar store.
Getting Specific Recommendations
Play free introductory games.If you've never got into a video game before, you might want to try a few free ones first to see what you enjoy. A quick search online or in an app store for "free games" will give you thousands of results, but here are a few suggestions you should be able to find in an online search:
- Puzzle games are easy to find in mobile app stores or online flash game sites. If you've had your fill of classics like Tetris and Minesweeper, try Loops of Zen, 3D Logic, Lightbot, and many more.
- Most free action games on mobile or online aren't great introductions to their more "gamer"-oriented counterparts. If you have a decent computer, Path of Exile is a more expansive introduction.
- If you like strategy, try Hearthstone (collectible card game), Plants vs Zombies (tower defense), or Battle for Wesnoth (turn-based strategy). All three are available for both computer and mobile platforms, and most versions are free.
Find more puzzle games.Some of the biggest casual "coffee break" puzzle games include Candy Crush and 2048. Take it to three dimensions and add a quirky story to discover the acclaimed Portal and Portal 2. If nothing but the most cerebral and fiendishly difficult will do, play Braid.
Search for action games.This is a broad and popular genre. If you like fighting and platforming (leaping and climbing around), look no further. The atmosphere and setting of these games ranges from horror (The Last of Us) to family-friendly (Legend of Zelda) to historical (Assassin's Creed). If you like testing your reflexes but don't really care about story or immersive experiences, try a competitive first-person shooter (such as Call of Duty) or a family-friendly platformer (such as Super Mario Galaxy).
- If you'd rather mess around or have fun with friends than explore and follow a story, try Super Smash Brothers (family friendly) or Grand Theft Auto (the opposite of family friendly).
Play story-based games.Enjoy sprawling fantasy settings? Play Dragon Age or Skyrim for a pseudo-medieval experience, or one of the more recent Final Fantasy games for the Japanese take. Bioshock 2 or Bioshock: Infinite are more unsettling examples set in utopias gone wrong.
Pick up a few strategy games.Build an empire with turn-based strategy in Civilization V or Civilization: Beyond Earth. Test your reflexes with fast-paced "real-time strategy" games such as the challenging multi-player game Starcraft II. Try any Total War game to test your single-player tactical skills or play the role of famous historical figures.
Try games of exploration and creativity.If you don't care about graphics, there are few games more appealing than Minecraft when it comes to building a world. Maybe controlling a house and family in The Sims 2 is more up your alley, or perhaps you'd prefer a more detailed world and atmosphere in Sunless Sea.
Play a multiplayer online role-playing game.World of Warcraft popularized this genre, in which you play online with thousands of other players. WoW is still around alongside Star Wars: The Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, and many, many others. Most of these are partially free to play, but find out what the full version's payment system is like before you get involved. These games are infamously addictive, and once you're hooked you might find yourself spending a great deal of money on monthly subscription payments or in-game purchases.
Playing the Game
Learn to play.Most games have tutorials that will walk you through the game play. If you prefer to learn on your own, read the instruction manual, or look for the "documentation" section on the main menu or website.
Dim the lights (optional).This is recommended for adventure and horror games especially.Besides a greater feeling of immersion, this will cut down on glare interfering with your ability to see the screen.
Turn down the difficulty if you like.Games don't have to be about suffering or pushing yourself to the limit. If you're playing a video game to unwind, set it to Easy difficulty. The harder difficulty levels are often intended to be difficult challenges for people who have played similar games for years.
- If the game has both single-player and multi-player options, the single-player portion is almost always easier.
Change the controls if necessary.You can ignore this step until it's an issue, but if you find yourself hitting the wrong button or straining your fingers, visit the menu options. There's almost always an option to change the controls to whichever key you find easiest.
- A laptop trackpad makes it extremely difficult to play some games. An actual mouse is a big improvement.
- If you like the feel of a console controller, these are available to plug in to your computer as well, if you have the right adapter. Not all games support this, however.
Save often.Most games have an auto-save feature that will save your progress regularly. If it also has the option to save manually, do so often.There's nothing worse than losing hours of progress because your system crashes or the power goes out.
- If you have the option to use multiple save slots, create three or four and rotate between them. This lets you load an old save to explore a different story branch, or recover your game even if a bug screws up your most recent save.
Explore and experiment.One of the most appealing features of video games compared to other art forms is the ability to insert hidden content that you have to actively search for and discover. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your games:
- In platformers, role-playing games, or even racing games, try to move through or attack walls that look out of place with their surroundings.
- In strategy games and action/adventure games, try new tactics even if they don't seem great. The later parts of the game (or harder competition) often require the ability to recognize when an unusual weapon or strategy has a chance to shine.
- In games where you can talk to "NPCs" (non-player characters), use every dialogue option and read closely for hints.
Get help when you're stuck.Unless your only goal is bragging rights, why spend hours losing to the same fight or stuck on the same puzzle? Search for the game name and the word "walkthrough" online, and you'll find strategy advice or answers for every part of the game. If you prefer to solve it mostly on your own, ask friends or gaming forums for hints and advice. Hints and advice can make the game easier!
- If it's not possible to follow the walkthrough advice (such as talking to a dead character), or if you are following the instructions but nothing is happening, it could be a bug. Search online for a description of your situation and you might find other players who can help you fix it.
QuestionWhy can't I focus on my game?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSometimes a game may have a strong aesthetic quality, but the gameplay may be less than engaging. This may be due to a number of reasons. However, if you find that playing the game is not keeping your interest, but you enjoy the other aspects of the game, you may want to step away from the game for a while and come back to it later. You may find that you are more receptive to the game play another day.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I play Halo 4 on a PC?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou simply can't. Halo 4 is a Microsoft branded game which means it is only for Xbox. Some of their games can be purchased on the Windows store and are playable on your PC, but Halo 4 is not one of those.Thanks!
How do I get comfortable while playing the game like where to sit and how to look at the TV screen?
To get started playing video games, you might want to start out with games you can play on your phone or computer before investing in an expensive console. You can search online or in your app store for "free video games" to find games that won't cost you anything. Try to play different types of games, like action games, story-based games, and puzzle games, so you can figure out what you like the best. Then, if video games seem like they're for you, consider buying a console so you have access to more options.
- Read product descriptions carefully to make sure it's the one you want. Many games have variations for different systems (for example, the five different types of Nintendo DS), or more expensive limited editions with extra bonuses.
- The older the game is, the more likely it is to have confusing instructions or frustrating gameplay. It's best to start out with games from the mid-2000s or later.
- Hand-held systems tend to be a little fragile. Consider getting a screen protector and case.
- Check your sources! You could be downloading a "free" demo or game that is application.
- Video games are supposed to be fun. If you're getting frustrated or angry at the game, stop playing and take a break. Even if you're having fun, a stretch break now and then can save you from muscle aches or eye strain.
- Video games do have the potential to cause seizures to people with epilepsy. If you have a history of seizures, you should consult a doctor before use.
Sources and Citations
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