The state of Online Games in 2018
Online gaming is more prominent than ever in 2018. While single player campaigns are still going strong, game producers put a big emphasis on the online gaming experience that comes along with the purchase of the game. A few years back when the internet had not become a necessity in our everyday lives, what you would expect from a game is a great single player campaign. Fast forward a few years and most AAA titles have incorporated online activities such as multiplayer gameplay into their games. This adds to the longevity of the gaming experience and the replayability of that particular game.
Take a look at favorite titles among gamers like the Battlefield franchise or Call Of Duty. Those franchises would definitely not be the same without the online experience they provide to their fanbase. Online games have become so popular in 2018 that many big game publishers like EA, for example, have totally shifted their attention towards the online aspect of their games and do not focus at all on single player campaigns. Fortunately, game producing companies like Bethesda still provide us with amazing single player games like DOOM and Dishonored. CD Projekt with their masterpiece, Witcher 3, are another great paradigm that single player games are not only demanded by gamers but they are also a viable marketing solution as they sell extremely well, if they are done correctly. Witcher 3, for example, sold over 33 million copies in 2017 across all gaming platforms.
Before we actually dive into how to play games online and how you can vastly improve your online gaming experience, let us first take a look at some pros and cons of online gaming.
Pros and Cons of Online Gaming
When it comes to online gaming, some gamers love it and some hate it. It all comes down to preference and the way you want to experience games as well your age and your gaming starting point. If you started getting into games after 2010, for example, you are definitely more keen on online gaming since it was a part of your initial gaming experience. If, however, you are much older and started playing games in the early 2000’s or earlier you probably miss the originality and immersive experience offered by games like Half-Life 2 or Need For Speed Underground 2 or even the Prince Of Persia trilogy (at least I do).
Let us go through some advantages and disadvantages of online gaming:
1. You engage and meet new people.
Online gaming is a great way to make new friends and engage with new people. In case you are tired of grinding through games alone, maybe you should start getting into online gaming.
2. Game producers have the ability to enrich the game with additional content.
Many times, single-player campaigns can be way too short and games are in desperate need of additional content. Adding online features to the game may be time-consuming for game producers but, when done correctly, will ensure that their game will be played even after the main campaign is finished.
3. Online gaming can improve your reflexes, decision-making ability, and visual attention.
Playing “war games” was often the reason why your parents kept telling you to stop the game because it is not good for you, right? Well, it turns out that First Person Shooter (FPS) games that require quick reflexes and precision, not only do not have a negative impact on you but they actually improve your cognitive ability to make decisions, improve your reflexes and strengthen your visual attention. That is, of course, if you play in moderation and do not overdo it.
4. You get to know the game and its mechanics better when playing online.
Let us admit it. Some games are better off without an online version while others need the online experience or the game feels incomplete. When I played Battlefield 1 for the first time starting with the campaign, I thought that I was good at it until I started diving into multiplayer. That is when the real fun and frustration started and the realization that I knew nothing about the game. After having spent more than 300 hours on the game (which is not a lot compared to others), I decided to come back to the single player again and go through the campaign on “Hard” difficulty. It really felt like a piece of cake. Multiplayer had elevated my performance by a huge margin.
1. Games require you to be constantly connected to the internet.
It is considered normal nowadays to be constantly connected to the internet in order to play your online game and that is why they are called “online games” in the first place. But older gamers who have been used to insert their CD with their favorite game and play immediately, are rather frustrated with the fact that they need to download a client like Steam or Origin and be connected to the internet all the time in order to enjoy their favorite game.
It can be aggravating, although, when single player games require an internet connection, too. Sometimes you just want to play your favorite single player game but have no access to the internet. Unfortunately, you will not be able to play at all as all games nowadays ask you to log into your account before you can access them.
2. Online games can turn you into an addict.
Addiction to video games does not differ that much from alcohol or drug addiction except for the consequences. Addiction to video games has the same symptoms as other forms of addiction and can make you miserable, unhealthy, depressed and angry. If you are constantly thinking about video games and cannot wait to come back in order to play, you should consider refraining from it for a while or, at least, gradually reduce the hours you spent playing on a daily basis. Gaming is great but only if it does not consume the biggest part of your day and life.
Check out why video games can be bad for your health at this link.
3. Online games can be expensive.
AAA titles are supposed to deliver an immersive and worthwhile experience to gamers by including both a single player campaign and multiplayer. Due to the big expectations from gamers for their favorite titles, game producers and publishers create huge games with tons of content, which may be good at first sight but significantly increase the price of the game. You are supposed to pay a $60 price tag for the base game and then reach for your wallet again for the DLC or premium pass. If you sum up what you have spent in the end, it definitely surpasses the price of the base game.
Some companies promise to exclude the premium pass but implement loot boxes into their games in order to compensate for the exclusion of the premium pass. It is a new way to make money off of gamers.
Read more about loot boxes, HERE.
#5 Tips and Tricks To Improve Your Online Gaming Experience
Online gaming is a great experience and you should definitely try it out. Whether it is with friends or random guys on the internet, it is a great alternative to enjoying a game on your own. While it depends on you whether you are the single player or multiplayer type, there are certain things you can do to improve your online gaming experience and get the best out of your online gaming time.
1. Always connect to the web via an Ethernet cable and avoid Wi-Fi
I cannot explain the importance of playing online games on ethernet. Online gaming requires a stable internet connection with low ping times. If your ping is too high, the worst case scenario is that you will not be able to play online games at all while the best scenario is that you will have trouble getting through the match. An Ethernet cable ensures that you have a steady connection and gives you the lowest ping at all times.
Wi-Fi should be avoided whenever possible because Wi-Fi is a network anyone can enter once they know the password. Once someone connects to the same Wi-Fi and starts streaming a Netflix series or watching a Youtube video, your online game will suffer from huge ping spikes. Only play on a Wi-Fi connection if you are the only one using the connection and when you are unable to connect your PC and router with an Ethernet cable. For example, if your router is downstairs and your PC is on the same floor but you do not have a large enough cable to connect via ethernet, then it is ok to use Wi-Fi.
If you have a huge house and your PC and router are situated on different floors, you might want to consider using a Powerline Adapter. A powerline adapter consists of two devices, one gets connected to your router via an ethernet cable and the other gets connected to your PC. What it does is using the existing electrical wiring of your house and connects your router with your PC just like it would via an ethernet connection. While your connection speed will get a hit when compared to an Ethernet connection, it is way better than Wi-Fi.
2. Upgrade your existing internet package
In case your internet connection is causing you troubles, it may be time to contact your internet provider and ask for an upgrade. If you have been living under a rock for the last few years and are on an ADSL connection, that should be the root of your internet speed problem. ADSL and online gaming should not be mentioned in the same sentence. Bad ping and latency are a constant phenomenon when your internet connection is bad and if you have gone through all the troubleshooting steps, it all comes down to the connection itself. Upgrading to a VDSL connection will impact your online gaming experience dramatically.
3. Get a mechanical keyboard
Mechanical keyboards are a huge improvement over traditional, membrane keyboards. Besides the visual effects and RGB lighting, mechanical keyboards are way more responsive, last longer as they keys can endure millions of strokes and can be cleaned more easily. The better response time has to do with the fact that you do not to push the key all the way down in order for it to function. Mechanical switches are specially designed for better durability and keystrokes can be easily removed by simply pulling them, which makes the cleaning process much easier. The best mechanical keyboards can be quite expensive, although there are cheap alternatives which still offer great quality for their price.
Check out one of the best mechanical keyboards HERE.
Check out the best value for money mechanical keyboard HERE.
4. Get a quality gaming mouse
While you could easily get away with a cheap $5 membrane keyboard, you will not be so lucky with a sub-quality mouse. Depending on what types of games you play, there is a huge variety of gaming mice on the market. Whether it is FPS or MMO, there is a mouse for your specific needs. A good gaming mouse will not only make your online gaming sessions much more worthwhile but also make your time on your computer much more enjoyable outside of gaming.
There is no need to spend too much on a good mouse, but you will want one that lasts, looks good and costs no more than what you can afford. I will come up with a top ten gaming mice list but for now, I recommend you take a look at four brands: Logitech, Corsair, Razer, and SteelSeries. Stay tuned for the upcoming top ten gaming mice list.
5. Get a quality headphone or headset
The significance of having a good headset is immense. A good headphone or headset will allow you to communicate better and more efficiently with your gaming partners, be more aware of your surroundings as well as prevent you from getting distracted from outside noises, through noise-cancellation technology. A good all-around gaming headset will also let you enjoy your favorite music and movies besides your gaming activities.
Check out a great, all-around headset at this link.
If you want to dive deeper into the differences between headphones and headsets and what is the best buy for you, click here.
Online gaming has changed a lot over the last years. Fast-forward to 2018 and online games are considered the norm with many game producers jumping on the online game wagon. Games, especially AAA titles, become more and more content-rich since they focus both on single player and multiplayer experiences. Online gaming comes with both advantages and disadvantages but if you do not overdo it as with any activity in your life, it will benefit you more than do you harm.
I would like to hear your opinions on online gaming. What games do you mostly play? Is online gaming something you enjoy or do you prefer single player games? Do you play with your friend or alone? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
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