Gaming is now the main focus when it comes to entertainment. Though gaming was considered a niche and specialized genre even into the early 2000s, casual titles have helped change the tide. Over the last five years alone, millions of people worldwide have started to play casual titles to pass the time.
Thanks to boosted connectivity around the world and a roll-out of financially accessible smartphones, just about everyone can download a game and start playing immediately. But that doesn’t mean it’s not overwhelming to get started—whether talking about finding the right game, figuring out which hardware you need for it, and even how to improve your skills. Let’s dive in and demystify the experience.
Here’s how to get started gaming in four simple steps.
Step One: Follow Your Interests
First, you need to figure out which type of games you’re interested in. Given how popular gaming is worldwide, you literally have millions of options at your fingertips. Let’s start with a few examples that highlight just how diverse this sector is.
For example, some gamers focus on traditional titles like poker. This card game has been hugely popular online since the early 2000s, with millions of players building their skills and going pro using digital apps. In fact, it’s common today for poker pros to cut their teeth playing online poker tournaments before advancing to live competitions.
If poker is a bit too heady for you, consider a genre like visual novels. These hypercasual games let players step into the shoes of a character thrown into a dramatic situation. There are subgenres like romance, horror, and plenty more. Rather than competing with others, the goal is simply to explore and enjoy an entirely new world.
These are two just brief examples that highlight how diverse gaming categories are. But before you go all-in (pun intended) on a game, you first need to…
Step Two: Know Your Hardware
Most games can only be played on a select few platforms. This means that to get started, you need to have the right equipment. Because this guide focuses mostly on casual games, a mobile device or tablet is all you’ll need to get started. For example, most visual novels and online poker apps can be downloaded straight to your smartphone.
Still, it’s important to know the basics. Mobile and tablet-ready games are the most accessible. If you have fast internet, you can also stream a game from a service like Amazon or Nvidia—but that takes a bit of know-how. We suggest sticking with mobile titles and, if you have access to one, a handheld console like the Nintendo Switch.
Keep in mind that if you have gamer friends, they’ll be more than happy to show you the ropes of a console like an Xbox/PlayStation or their PC setup.
Step Three: Dive In & Explore
Once you’ve found the right game and the right hardware, gaming really gets fun. Now is the time for you to dive in and explore the game. If you’re a cautious type, then don’t be afraid to look for guides online. The more popular the game, the more coverage you’ll find in forums, blogs, and publications.
If your goal is to improve quickly, then you may want to be mindful and focused on each gaming session. Sticking with our poker example, it’s not uncommon for players to jot down notes as they play. This helps them improve their strategy and pin down any issues they’re having. This is a common practice for more competitive gamers (those who compete in FPS and MOBA titles, too), but it can still be helpful for newcomers to know that a learning curve is normal.
Step Four: Join the Community
You’ve got the basics down with your favorite new game—so now what? Gamers who particularly enjoy their title can join a community of like-minded players. These fan communities run the gambit. One of the most popular ways to socialize and interact with other fans is Twitch. This platform allows gamers to build a following by streaming their favorite games. Unsurprisingly, Twitch streams are where many fans meet.
But you can also explore other territory. TikTok, for example, has a massive number of gamers, along with Facebook and Reddit.