We’ve all been there. Perhaps it was the train mission in San Andreas? Or maybe it was the wretched water temple in Ocarina of Time?
Video games are designed to challenge us. But there are some levels and missions that can torture us for weeks and even months as we try and fail repeatedly at them. So, what is the secret to beating these impossible parts in games? Here are just a few different strategies to consider.
Take a break
Sometimes you need to take a break from a game to get some perspective. Not just a couple minutes, but possibly a couple days or even a few weeks. This is a strategy that works for many people – and there’s a science behind it. When we take a break from a problem-solving exercise, the brain will often continue to work on it subconsciously. A hard mission can then suddenly become easy when you return to it. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the willpower to take a break.
Double back and level up
There are other times when your character may simply not be ready. This is more of a sole case with action adventure games in which your character’s stats, abilities and equipment can play a big part in the difficulty of a game. By doubling back and focusing on improving your character first, you can return to that difficult part more equipped. In some games, this may only be possible if you have a save to go back on.
Go 2 player
In FPS games, there’s often the option to go two player. This can make some sections of these games a lot easier (although often the difficulty does adjust to the extra player). Ideally you want someone of a similar skill level who’s not going to be useless but equally not going to beat the level for you (otherwise you may feel you haven’t really beaten it).
Look up walkthroughs and tutorials online
Walkthroughs and tutorials can be a valuable resource when you’re well and truly stuck (although some ‘hardcore’ gamers may see them as cheating). In days gone by, you had to buy a book, but nowadays you can simply go to YouTube and find the walkthrough you’re after. You can loop the video as you’re playing (read this guide on how to loop a YouTube video) and then try to match every instruction. Walkthroughs will only teach you strategy, and there may still be times when skill plays a part such as having accuracy in an FPS or being a fast button masher.
Resist the rage
Video games are supposed to be fun – if you start getting angry at the game, you’ve lost sight of its purpose. Besides, anger usually just makes people more reckless, resulting in worse problem-solving skills. Give yourself a break (but don’t rage quit) in order to calm down, or learn to laugh off the frustration.