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How to get into gaming: Games to try, electronics to buy, and more

There has never been a better time to jump into the world of video games. Not only are thousands of games at your disposal, but they span dozens of electronic devices, meaning you can probably start your gaming career today. Whether you’re looking to play a relaxing title such as Animal Crossing or dive into the trenches as a marine, getting into video games doesn’t have to be difficult.

There are two different questions you’ll want to ask yourself before starting on this journey, but neither of them is hard to answer. In fact, you could be playing your first game later today! Here’s what you need to know before diving headfirst into your next obsession.

Further Reading

Determine what kind of games you want to play

Before you go any further, you’ll want to ask yourself, “What kind of games do I want to play?” This should be the driving force behind all your decisions. Some games are better suited for consoles and PC, while others are only playable on mobile devices. It would be a shame to buy a new computer, gaming system, or high-end phone, only to find out it doesn’t support the games you want to play.

Thankfully, beginner-friendly games exist on all platforms. If you already have a phone or computer, then you’re ready to start playing games. However, if you’d like to play the latest hit titles — such as Final Fantasy VII Remake or Animal Crossing: New Horizons — you’ll have to purchase a new console. That said, we recommend making use of the electronics you currently own, if at all possible.

Best titles for new gamers

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If you aren’t sure what you’re interested in, these games are excellent for newcomers and span a variety of systems. If none of these are what you’re looking for, we’d recommend running a quick Google search — there are thousands of games out there, and we guarantee there is something you’d enjoy.

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Available on the Nintendo Switch, New Horizons is a laidback game with low stakes. Players are tasked with turning a deserted island into a bustling oasis, and there is no wrong way to play the game. During your time on the island, you’ll meet hilarious characters, upgrade your home, and compete in seasonal events.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, Modern Warfare is one of the best first-person shooters on the market. Although its online play might be difficult for newcomers, it features an impressive campaign mode where you can learn the ropes of combat.

  • Minecraft: Available on just about every electronic device on the planet, Minecraft lets players channel their inner creativity while exploring a randomly-generated open world. It’s another game where there is no wrong way to play, and it offers such a wide variety of content that it’s hard not to fall in love with the low-quality graphics. Better yet, Minecraft isn’t resource-intensive, meaning you can probably start playing today on your PC or phone.

  • Mario Kart 8: Available on the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 is one of the most accessible racing games around. Featuring iconic characters from past Super Mario games, new players can compete against computer opponents offline before heading online for intense multiplayer matches.

Purchase the necessary electronics

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Once you’ve decided on the types of game you want to play, it’s time to ask yourself, “What system do I need to play these games?” You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper accessories (such as a controller, keyboard and mouse, or gaming desk), but these usually come bundled with the hardware, and you can always upgrade to better gear if you stick with the hobby. Here are your current options when purchasing a gaming rig:

  • PC: This platform offers all the biggest titles as well as hundreds of smaller indie games. It’s possible to build your own PC, but newcomers should stick to purchasing a prebuilt setup.

  • PlayStation 4: One of the most powerful consoles on the market that is home to exclusive titles such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, God of War, and Persona 5.

  • Xbox One: Another powerful console with several exclusive titles, such as Gears 5, Halo 5, and Forza 7.

  • Nintendo Switch: Although it’s not as powerful as the systems above, the Switch can also be used as a portable console. Its catalog includes titles such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Super Mario Odyssey.

  • iOS and Android: In today’s market, mobile games are becoming a viable alternative to some console and PC games. They certainly don’t look as good, but you can still play great titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Black Desert Online, and Super Mario Run.

  • Last Generation Consoles: If you don’t want to break the bank, you can purchase either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. These systems — and their respective games — will be much cheaper than the current generation of consoles, but they no longer have any new games being released for them.

All of the above are excellent choices — just take a look at the top games on each system and see if anything aligns with the types of games you are hoping to play.

Our recommendation

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If you’re still having trouble figuring out what types of games you’d like to play, don’t worry! There are a lot of great titles out there, but it can become overwhelming trying to find something that fits your needs. If you want some help, we’d recommend starting off with casual games on your phone — titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Mario Kart Tour, Black Desert Mobile, and Cut the Rope are all free-to-play and represent many different genres. Plus, most of them cater to both casual and competitive players, meaning you’ll have the chance to take your game to the next level — if you so desire.

There are dozens of other great free-to play-games you can test out on your PC, too — so long as you have a powerful computer. These include the ever-popular Fortnite, the sci-fi shooter Warframe, and Apex Legends. If shooters aren’t your style, then you can always check out the free card game Gwent or the 2D brawling game Brawlhalla. These all offer hours of gameplay without requiring you to break open your wallet. Check out our complete list of free to play games for more options.

Or, head over to YouTube and check out a few videos of titles you might be interested in. There are hours of gameplay footage available for online viewing, making it easier than ever to see a game in action before you buy it. At the end of the day, there’s no wrong way to become a gamer. Simply find something you like, get a system that can play it, and start having fun.

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