Are you planning to head into the online world of gaming? Player One, Ready? While you can jump right in and enjoy your game, know that the online gaming world is the Wild West; territory where anything goes – it’s dangerous to go alone – take this guide to ensuring that your online multiplayer experience isn’t tainted and to manage your expectations. Here are a few things that you should never do when playing online:
1. Do not expect a chill online experience
While some games are peaceful to a certain extent, such as online multiplayer creative-mode Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and co-operative player vs environment (not that GTFO or Warhammer: Vermintide 2 are peaceful!) not many games share this trait. In fact, a lot online games are just pure, utter chaos.
While that chaos can be extremely gratifying, there are many out there that will take this environment as an excuse to just let everything loose. This can include a hoard of racist remarks, homophobia, sexism, transphobia and more. As such, don’t be surprised when you come across players like these. You can always mute these players, but it’s also best to report them as well, so you can do your part in creating a slightly less offensive community.
Mute, block, report, don’t engage.
Or take a recording/screenshot and send it to their mum…
2. Do not use use mono audio
Are you playing a shooting game? Using a single source of audio is a rookie mistake. For example, with one speaker (or speakers and even headset set to mono audio), how in the world will you be able to tell where your enemies are? Their footsteps are just going to sound like they’re all around you rather than on the left or right.
As such, we always recommend using two sources of sound, a speaker on the left and right, or a headset. That way, you can quickly tell where the source of the sound is, and increase the quality of your playtime.
Also it just sounds better. Music, sound effects, the whole lot is designed for stereo.
3. Do not hop into the big leagues on the get-go
Unless you love getting beaten every single round, we highly suggest that you do not hop into higher tier matches when you first start a game. While you might think that those tiers are just filled with kids who do nothing but rage, know that most of the time, they’re actually really good at the game.
So, unless you’re a pro player coming in from another game, start small. In many games that include a competitive scene, this will be a given, where you will start from a lower rank and slowly rise up depending on how well you play. This will allow you to enjoy the game before going all out on another match later on.
You’ll learn as you go, develop your skills, and get good (scrub).
This is especially true of MOBA games like League of Legends. Seriously that stuff is crazy complex and you’ll not only get annihilated, your team will get annihilated and you’ll be on the receiving end of some choice salty words.
4. Do not go into your game without a plan
Have you ever heard of the famous “Leeroy Jenkins?”
Leeroy became infamous for jumping into the thick of things without a plan. If you want to know how it ended, let’s just say that no one made it. DAMNIT LEEROY!
If you want to ensure your entire team reaches the end and shares in the victory, go in with a plan. Also, what’s more, it’s crucially important to have everyone on the same page, so if you wanted to do something crazy or strategic, it’s more likely to be a success if you have your whole team behind you.
Take stock of the situation, come up with a plan, agree on it – and execute that plan.
Always wise to have a fallback plan – especially when the shit hits the fan in something like Left 4 Dead or GTFO, where things can shift in a heartbeat.
Those are all the “never dos” that you should keep in mind when you head online. That said, your online experience will vary from one game to another, and even one match to the other, meaning that some of these rules may not apply. However, if there is one “do not” you should always keep at heart in any online game you play, it’s to never become a source of bad emotions. You’re out there to have fun, and have fun with other people. No one likes a toxic player—so don’t be that guy.
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