What’s something that new players might overlook in a game you know really well?
A simple but thought-provoking Twitter prompt has gotten gamers to share their best nuggets of advice for video games — any of them! — and I’m so here for it.
The conversation kicked off with Fable lead writer Anna Megill asking people to think of a game they know really well and then share some insight that would be helpful for new players who haven’t sunk in a ton of time and energy yet. It’s a wonderfully open-ended prompt, which has led to all sorts of interesting tips, tricks, and time-savers.
What's a game you've played enough to be skilled at, and what's your best piece of advice for new players?
— Anna Megill (@cynixy) December 30, 2021
Megill’s own tip: “never get rid of anything” in Stardew Valley before knowing what it does.
Experienced players’ advice for newbies ranges from super concise (“Zelda 2. Jump-Stab“), to counter-intuitive (“The Long Dark — you actually WANT to starve yourself routinely at harder levels“), to ego-checking (“Apex Legends is not about YOU“). Then there’s this suggestion for Street Fighter and also, well, life: “Don’t stress out too much with learning everything at once. The journey is where you should find your enjoyment. It’s much like real martial arts in that regard. Also, don’t jump. Learn your ranges and punish.”
I didn’t notice anyone else say this about my favorite game of all time, Donkey Kong Country 2, so here’s my advice: when you’re tracking down hard-to-find collectibles, hug every last surface, don’t be afraid of going backwards or even “out of bounds,” and try to consider the overall space the designers had to work with when they tucked this stuff out of sight.
Part of the fun of gaming is making discoveries for yourself, but on the other hand, sometimes I want to be reassured that I’m not overlooking anything obvious or playing too inefficiently — I want to know that I’m making the most of the experience, essentially.
Some of the pointers sound interesting enough to me that I actually want to learn more about the game in question. I know some readers use guides as another way to get a feel for a game before mentally committing to buying it, and I’ve definitely been there too.
I’m curious what advice comes to mind for y’all. Obscure games are very welcome.