There are a lot of reasons why you’re “bad” at video games. Stress and frame of mind can greatly impact your gaming performance. Your concentration suffers and you end up making mistakes. Using the same strategy over and over again without adapting to the situation can make you frustrated or angry.

Take a few days off from gaming, then try again.

Remember that you don’t have to be good at video games to enjoy playing them.

Since this topic is usually connected to competetive games, I will be focusing on multiplayer shooters (FPS, TPS, etc.). If you’re unsure of some of the gamer slang, make sure to check out my Gamer Slang post which explains the most commonly used phrases in gaming.

Why am I bad at video games?

Are Some People Naturally Bad At Video Games?

Some people can be and it comes down to spatial awareness and hand-to-eye coordination when it comes to FPS games. Shooting games, especially multiplayer, also need quicker reaction time and if you’re lacking in some of those, you’re going to probably lose fights more than win.

Not all FPS games are the same though; sure, they have the same concept but they all utilize various techniques and styles differently.

So if you’re bad at FPS games, that doesn’t mean you’re bad at other games too! Some people do better with more relaxed games, casual games, puzzle games, etc. where speed is not a large factor whether you lose or not. Different video game genres require different skills. FPS games (or at least online multiplayer ones) may not be for you.

Video games are meant to be challenging, so there’s a learning curve for all of us. At the same time, video games should be also entertaining. If you feel more frustrated than entertained, maybe it’s better to switch the game or take a break.

Are Women Bad At Video Games?

No, not necessarily. According to the Entertainment Software Association, women represent about 41% of all gamers. That’s not a shabby number at all, since video games used to be marketed exclusively to boys and men since the 80s.

Women can be as good, or even better, at video games as men. It all comes down to practice.

I think another good point in this argument is that women have less need to play competetive games like shooters. They can still enjoy them but don’t mind being average.

If I speak for myself, I think I’m a very average gamer in some aspects. I can be really good at one game to a point where I’m accused of cheating and I can be average with a bad aim in another game. I enjoy both equally and it doesn’t matter if the game was lost or won.

I Used To Be Good At Video Games But Suddenly I’m Not. Why?

Every gamer has good and bad days – humans have good and bad days regardless of what they’re doing.

Ask yourself what changed in your life recently – you could be more stressed with work, school, family, friends. Maybe you didn’t get enough of sleep the night prior, maybe you’re just tired from a long day of work. Maybe you have some health problems, or it can be a mix of all the above.

If you have dry eyes, you’re likely to have slower reaction and processing time. Maybe you’re just burned out on the game from the repetition.

All of these can negatively influence your concentration and you may end up making more mistakes. Take a break for a few days and then try again.

Maybe the game updated and the strategy you used to play with no longer works. Maybe the weapons got nerfed. Maybe your settings (like Field of View, Mouse Sensitivity, etc.) have reset when the game updated.

If that’s the case, you will need to learn to adapt to the new way of things (and change back your settings).

While Albert Einstein didn’t say the famous quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”, the meaning behind it still stands. If how you used to play isn’t working anymore, try something different, if only for a while. Try a different weapon/class/tool/map. Maybe you’ll find out that you enjoy the change better.

Alternatively, you can switch games to something more relaxing which doesn’t require much skill. Then take a break for an hour or two and go back to the previous game, see if it helped.

Also bear in mind that our hand-eye coordination gets worse as we age, so that may be also a factor why your gaming skill isn’t what it used to be.

Why Am I Bad At Video Games Even After I Practice?

Are you playing the same way as you did before? Maybe that’s the problem! If you’re playing FPS games online, the skill and tactics of your opponents change constantly. You will need to adapt your playstyle to your enemy’s playstyle.

If the game allows you to play against bots, take advantage of that. Try out all the weapons you can, learn how to use them. Learn to use gadgets (grenades, etc.) effectively. If you can play co-op with your friends, do it!

Why Is My Aim Inconsistent?

Inconsistent aim is the worst and I’m the prime example. I can be really good one match (not e-sports level good but “good” for me) and the next match I hit everything but the person, with the same gun, same character, same loadout (aka potato aim).

There are a lot of factors why your aim is inconsistent, here are a few:

  • mood – are you stressed, sad, angry, hungry, hopped up on caffeine, tired, in pain, etc.?
  • inconsistent setup – you sit differently, your arm is in a different angle, etc.
  • inconsistent positioning of your crosshair
  • you keep changing your game settings
  • you don’t warm up

How Can I Get Better At Video Games?

If you’re practicing a lot but you haven’t seen any progress, maybe you’re not practicing the correct way. Just playing the game more doesn’t make you better at it.

Here’s a few tips to improve your gaming skills and aim:

  • Try not to play FPS games when you’re too stressed, angry, hungry, etc. Pick a different game or take a few days off.
  • Take a critical look at your setup and the way you sit while playing. If you sit differently, that can cause inconsistency.
  • Practice with purpose, record your gameplay, analyze your strengths and weaknesses and only then try to improve what you suck at.
  • Know the maps by heart.
  • Stick to one mouse sensitivity and use it. This will create a muscle memory you can rely on in the future. Constantly changing the mouse sensitivity to match your gameplay doesn’t train that muscle memory.
  • Learn the guns and gadgets you use. Choose the one that feels best.
  • Improve decision making. Don’t shoot just for the sake of it, hoping it will hit your enemy. If you’re not a sniper, a lot of the time the position of your character helps you much more than a super precise aim. Think about whether or not you can actually kill them from your spot. If not, don’t shoot so you don’t reveal your location to the enemy team. (I need to get better at this myself :D)
  • Warm up by a few games of Team Deathmach, shooting range or bot match if it’s available.
  • Try to avoid caffeine as it can make your aim jittery.
  • For best results use low latency monitor, a large mouse pad and decent wired internet connection. Disable mouse acceleration in settings.
  • If you’re using a controller, make sure all the buttons and joysticks are working properly. Over time the moving parts can become stuck and not register in game.
  • If you feel you’re getting angry or frustrated, pause and/or exit the game. Take a break, an hour or two, or a few days.
  • Turn off game chat, whether it’s voice or text. If you need to communicate with friends, either create a private party or talk via Discord/Guilded and similar.

Should I Stop Playing Games If I’m Bad At Them?

Definitely not. Unless you find yourself frustrated and angry when you play any game, you shouldn’t give up on video games just because you’re “bad”. With practice, you can learn to be good, or simply average.

As long as your enjoyment of the game is greater than the occasional frustration, keep playing them!

Gaming Community Toxicity

Unfortunately, I need to touch on the well-known gaming community toxicity. I wish things were different but some gamers like to create toxic environment for new players.

I was on a forum where a person asked if they should stop playing a video game when they’re bad at it. 99.99% of the replies were overwhelmingly encouraging, telling the OP to try and practice more.

One person, however, said in all seriousness that they should stop playing. That they only breed toxicity with their “inferior play” and make others “stressed” by their inability to play well. They told the OP to go do something else that they excel at.

This kind of gatekeeping is unacceptable. We were all bad at games when we first tried them, no one ever took a controller or mouse and keyboard in hand, started a brand new game and excelled at it. Same goes with everything else in life that you need to learn to be good at.

Most new (or “bad”) gamers just want to have fun and learn how to be better at a game. Instead of belittling them, telling them to Alt+F4 and even worse things, the “good” players should appreciate their willingness to try.

Instead they could show them the ropes, give them tips how to play, what the best strategy is, help them be better at the game. Everyone wins that way.

What Does Being Good At Video Games Really Mean?

It means different things to different people. Some people focus solely on performance – their K/D ratio. If it’s not a certain amount, they’re “bad” gamers.

In general, being good at video games is being good at hand to eye coordination, spatial awareness, quick reflexes and decision making (especially in FPS games). Being good at video games is also being good at adapting strategies to reflect your enemies’ tactics.

Conclusion

Being good or bad at video games doesn’t really matter. What matters is whether you’re enjoying the game or not. If you lose a match don’t despair – you might have lost the match, but you also (hopefully) learned from your mistakes.

Whether you’re good or bad at video games, there’s no denying that video games can actually be good for you.



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