To some people, exceling in online gaming is considered a true talent. Rarely does one begin playing online games and automatically win or beat them all. Just like most things in life, online gaming takes experience to be uber competitive. Of course there are many different types of online games – from single to multi-player—and it might be impossible to excel at them all. Whether you’re playing just to have fun, pass the time or you’re really getting serious about winning, there are few ways you can improve your skills across the board. Check out the list below for five actionable tips:

1. Prepare In Advance

Think of online gaming as a project you’re assigned to complete. Typically, before you begin something new, you’ll do your research to prepare you. The same can be applied to playing a new online game. Take the time to read up on as much as you can about the game. Instead of immediately diving in, prepare up-front by learning the lingo, studying the rules and assessing how to play as a whole. There’s even YouTube channels available where you can watch other people play and excel at online games. Or you can check out the best online gaming forums that might give you clues or insight on new trends– including updates, new releases, new tools or weapons, tricks etc.

2. Find a Mentor

Finding a gaming mentor can make all the difference in how rapidly your own game advances. Just like in a career setting–sometimes it’s all about who you know. If you’re playing a multi-player game, it’s typically obvious who the best player is. Pull them to the side or ask them to chat offline after you’re done playing. While they probably won’t tell you all of their secrets, most people who are good at something are willing to offer advice to others just starting out. You can really learn a lot from someone who knows the ins and the outs of the game and can simply explain their methodology for winning. Even if they don’t agree to chat—you loose nothing by at least asking. Also ask around your friend group, you’ll likely find one friend that has your new favorite game in common.

3. Practice Makes You Better

Try not to get frustrated if you have a few set backs. Sometimes practice literally does make you better. Getting used to how you play a certain game and the rules– and then putting those skills to use over and over, eventually will make you a better player. If you find yourself in a slump, it’s best to take a few days off and come back to the game with a fresh mindset. You’d be surprised at how impactful a few days of rest can be.

4. Learn to Trust Your Instincts

In the gaming world, visual attention span is everything. If you know you aren’t usually attentive to detail, try practicing how to be. First, get a birds eye view of how the game is played and figure out the objective. Keep that objective top of mind, always. Take in all of your surroundings and assess each situation without emotion. In some instances, it’s best to be one step ahead of who you’re playing with. For example, experts at Global Poker’s school of poker explain, “When playing the game of poker, strive to be the player that not only knows what their hand is – but can also think beyond to the possibility of the hand of the other players.” Paying close attention to detail will help you become a better gamer. You’ll be able to react to something and trust your instincts – because you’ve seen it before!

5. Play the Good Players

If you’re new to a game, try to play the best players of that specific game. Don’t be shy and only agree to play those on your level. Amp it up and learn something from the pros! Even if you feel like you’re continuing to loose to them, it will make you a better player. One day you’ll wake up and notice that you are able to keep up with them. And when that day comes your hard work and frustration—maybe even embarrassment– will have paid off.

There’s many ways to improve your online gaming skills. At the end of the day just remember it’s about having fun, challenging yourself and learning something new along the way. You never know, you could one day turn online gaming into your career!

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.