Online gaming is a lot more complicated than it used to be decades ago, or even five years ago. In general, all types of gaming have moved online: mobile, console, and computer gaming. Instead of buying physical video games, many gamers are opting to pay for subscription services so they have access to a wider selection of games. Additionally, since most games are stored in the cloud now, many games can be accessed from anywhere that you are, making them more portable than ever before.
But if you’re new to online computer gaming, it can be intimidating at first. There’s a lot more to it than console or mobile gaming, where you typically just need to download a game. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Getting Started: Equipment
The equipment you need all depends on what type of online gaming you want to do. For casino gaming like poker, bingo, and slots, you should be able to use either a laptop or desktop computer. Most sites list the computer specs/requirements you’ll need to play, so if you want to get a computer specifically for gaming, check the requirements before making a purchase.
For more heavy-duty gaming — or even if you just want to ensure that you’ll have the best experience possible — you’ll want to invest in a desktop computer designed specifically for gaming. Gaming laptops are a lot better now too, but if you don’t want to deal with any lag or other potential issues, stick with a desktop. Regardless, when choosing a computer the most important specs are the processor and RAM. You’ll definitely want to make sure you have as much RAM as possible, so if you can, opt for 16GB or more.
Additionally, if you plan to play for hours at a time, you might want to invest in a gaming keyboard and mouse and an ergonomic chair so that you’ll be much more comfortable. Serious gaming can take a huge toll on your neck and back so it’s best to take care of yourself!
Gaming Sites: What to Know
There are all types of online gaming sites. Some are free (but might require creating an account to access the games) and some are subscription services. For example, sites like Addicting Games have a huge selection of free sports, puzzle, and action games, among others. So it’s a good place to start if you’re a complete beginner to online gaming.
Other sites like Steam offer an incredible selection of video games, including VR games. There you’ll find a lot of action, adventure, multiplayer, racing, shooter, and strategy games. They also have a big selection of popular free-to-play games like Dota 2. Games are typically available for individual purchase, and they frequently have sales on titles.
If you’re more interested in casino gaming than multiplayer or shooter games, casino sites offer a wide variety of options, including new, exclusive, and themed games. There are even casino sites dedicated to variations of specific games, such as poker. For example, PokerStars has a huge selection of poker variants, including free poker for beginners who want to practice before playing for higher stakes. The same goes for sites with slots, roulette, blackjack, and many other popular casino games.
Do You Need a Subscription?
Many subscription services that were once only available for consoles are now available for PC. One option is PlayStation Now, which allows you access to more than 800 PlayStation games for a monthly fee. Game progress is stored in the cloud, so you can play on any compatible device.
Another subscription service is the Xbox Game Pass, which can be used on PC and Xbox. Unlike PlayStation Now, it only offers around 100 games. But look at the titles for both services and see which one interests you more.
There’s not much else to it. Once you’ve got the basics covered, you’re good to go. It’ll just take some time to get used to how all of the different games work. Start slow. Play free poker games until you get the hang of them. You can then work your way up to tournaments if desired. For multiplayer fighting games like Fortnite or League of Legends, read up on strategy before playing or take your time learning about the different worlds. In no time you’ll be comfortable and having fun!