Whether you play Battlefield or Call of Duty, you might be thinking that first person shooter games are essentially just all about getting lucky. Now, it’s very easy to believe this. It’s definitely a very tempting conclusion because hey, let’s face it, how many times have you found yourself in a team where it seems like nobody knows what the hell they’re doing?

You are not alone. It’s like being the manager of the New York Mets in the 1960’s wondering out loud in front of an audience if anybody in your team knows how to play baseball. That’s how frustrating it could be if you feel like you are stuck with people who just simply have no clue how to play a first person shooter game, much less win one. After all, it’s hard to soar like an eagle if you are surrounded by turkeys.

But the problem with this type of thinking is that you immediately assume that your skills are superior to your team members. In fact, it turns that in most cases, the people who complain the most about their teams are the ones that weigh down or hold back their teams.

These are the guys that get killed over and over again, and what’s worse, they open up their team members to getting killed because they get exposed. They try to help you, you get shot up, and they get shot up.

It can be a very frustrating experience, and it’s easy to think that it’s just the luck of the draw. When you form teams and you pair up with somebody who actually knows that he’s doing, you’re good to go.

But the good news here is that you can learn to be an expert FPS gamer. To navigate the challenges of FPS gaming, you really have to only do two things. First, you need to constantly learn, and second, you need to practice what you have learned.

Now, this may seem pretty straightforward. It may seem like the very basic, black and white piece of advice that’s bordering on common sense, but let’s get real here. When you are caught in the middle of a firefight in a typical FPS game, a lot of the things that you think you should be doing go out the window. Instead, you rely on your instincts, and that’s where you fail again and again. That’s where you get shot up, blown up, or otherwise taken out.

So how do we navigate the challenges of FPS gaming? First of all, make it a habit to learn. How I got to my current high skill level is fairly straightforward. I just watched one YouTube video after another of people playing Call of Duty. I would pay attention to patterns. I would pay attention to what they are looking for as well as how they react when certain situations arise.

Now, instead of just keeping this information in my head, I take mental notes and then I immediately play a game. So I play while the information is still fresh in my mind.

Now, this is where the second part comes in. When you constantly practice, you have to practice with an open mind. In other words, you don’t practice with the expectation that you’re going to win time and time again. You’re only sabotaging yourself if you do that. You set up impossible expectations, and when you get a result that you did not expect, you’re not happy, and this prevents you from learning.

So do yourself a big favor and be a blank slate. Have an open mind. Be curious about the game and absorb as much information from YouTube as possible, and then immediately test it out.

Conduct experiments. Mix it up a little bit. Spice it up and you will start developing an FPS game tactical routine that fits your particular set of circumstances. That’s how you win.

I’m not talking about winning here and there. You’re probably doing that already. I’m talking about winning all the time.