Laura May is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine. We write about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, relationships, travel, trends and anything
The time has come to say goodbye to another generation of consoles and welcome the PS5 and Xbox Series X into our homes. Or if you have a PC, maybe invest in a new graphics card.
Regardless of our platform allegiances, we can all get excited about a fresh batch of games and new tech to try out. If you're new to the scene, pro gamers have sharp skills and a tonne of knowledge to absorb.
Read this preparation guide to discover how you can improve your gaming experience in the next console generation.
Curate a varied gaming library in 2021
Restricting yourself to a single genre is a cardinal gaming sin. True gamers love to play anything they can get their hands on.
From beloved first-person shooters and indie darlings to the wonderfully weird world of JRPGs, why box yourself into a corner when there’s so much more on offer?
Stemming from the early days of Space Invaders and Pacman, how and what we play has grown like a giant sequoia tree. As games branch off and stretch with each generation, we should follow suit and open ourselves up to new experiences.
Like a good book, every gaming experience is different — and we should celebrate how diverse this industry has become by sampling it all.
Thankfully, with the reveal of PS5 and Xbox Series X, we can get an idea of what the 2021 release calendar offers. Here are our top picks for gamers looking forward to a varied gaming catalogue next year:
Felines in a steampunk dystopia? Sign me up!
At the time of writing, we don’t have a whole lot of information about Stray, other than the fact we play as a cat lost alone in decaying cybercity. Yet, that alone is enough to send us into a pre-order frenzy.
Stay’s trailer at the PS5 reveal stream was a highlight amongst a string of exclusive announcements. The sheer weirdness alone captivated our attention over Aloy and her long-awaited sequel Horizon Forbidden West.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Possibly a strange choice for many, but we have a good reason.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a cross-generational masterpiece which rivals the longevity of even GTA V. Since its original publication in 2015, Geralt of Rivia’s storied legacy lives on well past the finality of the game's credit sequence.
Geralt and the gang are making a return with a free upgrade to welcome in a new generation of consoles. Expect faster loading times, ray tracing, and crisp 4K graphics for the base game and it’s following two expansions (Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine).
Only Witcher and Grand Theft Auto have the lasting appeal to excite new audiences with a 5-year-old game! But, this will remain our favourite RPG until something dares to knock this monster slayer from his mantle.
Take online security seriously
Before we overload on games coming our way in 2021, let’s look back at this year and come back down to earth.
Online security has taken precedence over all walks of life in 2020, with scams and data breaches being commonplace across the web.
Gamers need only look back to the great PSN hack of 2011 and realise the potential risks of online gaming. All it takes is a series of DDOS attacks to crack the frailty of our personal information behind traditional security checks.
Nowadays there are steps we can take as a community to fortify our online presence and game without worry. Here are our top security tips for players looking for extra reassurance:
Be coy in live chats
Whether you’re talking tactics to a teammate or listening to an opponent rage down the mic, communication plays an important role in online games. But, don’t mistake live chats for a place to run your mouth and discuss private information.
In the heat of the moment, you may pose a security risk to yourself by disclosing your age, contact information or street address.
Think before you speak and double-check your Gamertag: does it reveal anything about you? Avoid putting birth years in your public persona, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Use a VPN (virtual private network)
VPNs have exploded onto the scene in recent years and not many of us know what they do. In short, a VPN aims to boost your anonymity by establishing a secure network around your internet connection.
Finding a suitable VPN can be tricky, especially if you’re gaming on a budget after pre-ordering a PS4/Xbox Series X. But, using a free VPN covers the same basic function as the big-name VPN brands that sponsor content creators on YouTube and Twitch. So don’t worry about committing to a rolling fee unless you’re desperate to have all the bells and whistles.
Virtual private networks are great for online games which require you to host other connections or join a server with many different people on a PC. This way your connection is shielded from any potential threats.
Get comfortable in your dream gaming setup
Now you have the games and security measures checked off, it’s time you start looking like a professional gamer. A top setup needs to be built with pride and comfort in mind, 2 elements that start with a great chair.
Consider whether you want to stretch out on a sofa or stand to attention with a rigid gaming chair. Picking up a solid gaming chair is worthwhile and can make a big impact on your gaming experience.
For those engrossed in story and action, hours can go by in a flash. But you’ll feel the pain later on if you’ve been curled up awkwardly on the sofa.
Deciding where you will be most comfortable is a vital part of the process — and if you decide to buy a chair then make sure it is worth the money. Find a comfortable seat which provides lumbar support and promotes good posture during marathon gaming sessions. Take it from an experienced pro, you won’t regret it!
Are you excited about the brand new console generation? Prepare now by curating a list of varied games, triple check your online security measures, and wait out the remaining weeks in your comfy gaming chair.
© 2020 Laura May