How to Smash Through Gaming Skill Plateaus

There’s a common myth that skill progression is a linear process. By this we mean that people tend to think that the amount of time and effort you put into getting better at something directly correlates with how fast you will progress. 

In reality however, skill acquisition looks a lot more like leaping from one level to another as your understanding and abilities reach discrete culminating points. Often we can get stuck at a particular level, or skill plateau, and it can be very difficult to move beyond it. 

Fortunately there are some great methods you can try in order to break out of your rut and continue to grow as a player – below are just two such handy pointers.

Experiment With Different Playstyles

One of the most common reasons people get stuck at a certain skill level is that they become overly habitual in their preferences and way of playing. While everyone has a certain style and set of techniques that they favour, those at the top flight of a particular game are not only excellent at playing to their strengths, but know how to adapt to changing circumstances. 

For example, if the game you’re attempting to develop in is blackjack, you may eventually find your progress slowing if you don’t mix it up and try new styles of playing every once in a while. 

There are a huge number of ways you can play blackjack, from experimenting with novel variants, to exploring any number of related banking games such as pontoon. Each will teach you something new about “standard” blackjack by virtue of placing emphasis on different elements of gameplay. 

Likewise, if you’re a Titan main in Destiny 2 with a Stasis build, you may find some benefit in exploring the other elemental skill-trees for that class – or even re-rolling as a Hunter or Warlock for a time. 

All of these components gradually come together to make you a more rounded and adaptable player. The key take-away is that while you don’t need to abandon your favorite methods to progress, holding them more lightly and being willing to experiment will make you a better player overall.

Seek Out a Teacher

One of the most efficient ways to progress in any skill, including gaming, is to recruit expert help. A skilled player will be able to quickly identify what you need to do in order to progress from your current level to the next. 

What’s more, the way the upper-levels of a game looks from the outside is often very different from within. This can cause you to waste time and energy concentrating on the wrong things. 

For example, you may have noticed that high-level Halo: Infinite players have great mobility around multiplayer maps and conclude that this is the reason they tend to come out on top in deathmatches. 

While there is an element of truth in this, the real reason a more proficient player seems to be everywhere-at-once on a small map is that they have in-depth knowledge of the relevant choke-points and power-ups across a level and thus are able to position themselves much more efficiently when compared with a novice player. 

A skilled guide will be able to prioritize this kind of information, thus facilitating your progress towards a higher skill level much more readily. 

There are a number of ways you can seek out an expert player. The most common and simple way is to join a group or clan that has players willing to invest in your development for the betterment of the team. 

You can also explore private tuition with a high-level Sherpa who will aim to drill you in the esports fundamentals of your chosen game. If you happen to live in a large urban area, you can even explore whether there is an esports gym available in your area. 

While these are more popular in east Asia, they are opening in major cities across the world. In much the same way that you can hire a personal trainer at a regular gym to coach you in building fitness, many esports gyms offer the services of gaming coaches you can hire to help you develop.

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Last Updated: Sep 15, 2022