What you should know before jumping into online gaming

By William Davis


Nov 7, 2023

Reading time: 7 min

Gaming isn’t exactly new, but the industry’s explosive growth over the last two decades is something to behold. Both casual and competitive gamers have tons of options for how to spend their time, and the massive development industry and rising esports scene both reward them for it. While the best time to start gaming online was probably a few years ago, the second-best time is now.

However, if you’ve never experienced online games, the idea of getting started can feel a little overwhelming. Gaming refers to the act of playing video games either by yourself or with other players. Multiplayer games are the most popular in 2023, thanks to constant updates from big developers and constantly evolving gameplay. These games are also social pursuits, with people worldwide connecting through their favorite games.

If you’re looking to get started, here’s everything you need to know about the different genres of video games available to play. In addition, we break down some tips and tricks to help you feel comfortable in the brave new world of online gaming.

First-person shooters

A first-person shooter, often shortened to FPS, is a game where players battle each other in gunfights from the points of view of their player characters. FPS is arguably the most popular genre, and it has spawned many subcategories, including the ever-popular battle royale. The premise is simple. Players directly control a single character and must use a wide range of weapons to kill players on the opposing team. There are third-person shooters too, where players view their character’s from behind to get a better view of their surroundings. Fortnite is the most popular option in that category.

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The action is fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled, and players often wage war across different maps. The sheer variety of the genre cannot be matched, with FPSes ranging from fantasy landscapes with magical characters to realistic military simulators. Popular online shooters include Valorant, Call of Duty Warzone, Fortnite, Counter-Strike, and Apex Legends.


The MMORPG genre appeals to those who love immersing themselves in epic storylines, grinding out loot to gradually improve their stats and massive social experiences where teamwork is key. Usually, players create a character and enter it into a persistent open world with multiple locations to explore.

As you play, your character levels up, gains new abilities, and upgrades their equipment and weapons. This provides a sense of progression. As you advance in the game, players must team up in massive groups to take on harder and harder bosses. World of Warcraft is perhaps the best example in this genre, and it remains one of the most popular MMORPGs of all time.

Realtime strategy

The RTS genre is perfect for online gaming, and the genre usually involves building a base with various buildings and using those structures to create an army to defeat both AI and human enemies. You typically start with basic units and structures, and you upgrade them to increase your resources, technology, and unit variety.

RTS games appeal to those who love strategy, controlling multiple units, and being the overarching commander instead of a single combatant, like in FPS games. Some of the most legendary RTS games include the old Command and Conquer series and the StarCraft series.

Sport games

Sports are huge and have been for decades, so it’s no surprise that their video game equivalents are popular with both casual and competitive gamers. Series like Madden and FIFA have become household staples, and such titles have spawned massive communities for both levels of dedication. Their close proximity to real sports leagues makes them a great family-friendly way to experience online gaming.

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The premise of sports games is simple, as players essentially recreate the sport and take part in matches. The most popular online example is the NBA2K franchise. In this game, players control an NBA basketball team and take part in matches against people from around the world, complete with three-pointers, dunks, and flagrant fouls.

Online casinos

The online gambling industry is huge, and there are thousands of online casinos around the world servicing countries like Norway, the UK, and Canada. One can argue that the Scandinavian casino scene is the most vivid of them all. The Norwegian online casinos featured at https://www.johnslots.com/no/norske-casinoer/ includes hundreds of different games including classic slot machines, live dealer games, and classic table games like blackjack and baccarat.

Realtime strategy

The RTS genre is arguably the genre that started everything for online gaming. Most titles involve building a base with various structures and using those structures to create an army. Then, players strive to defeat both AI and human enemies. Players typically start with basic units and structures, and you upgrade them to increase your resources, technology, and unit options.

RTS games appeal to those who love strategy, but they can also be surprisingly physical. RTS gamers often take pride in how many actions they can complete in a short amount of time, and quick hands are a valuable tool in competitive play. Some of the most legendary RTS games include the Age of Empires and StarCraft series.

4X strategy games

The 4X genre has some incredible titles, but it’s a little more difficult to describe than other types of games. It’s essentially like the RTS genre but with a greater focus on economic and city management as opposed to just building armies. Examples include Civilization, Crusader Kings, and Age of Wonders.

Age of Wonders, in particular, has a fantasy setting that gives players the chance to control a race of beings, such as orcs, humans, or elves. Each race has different traits and abilities, and would-be world conquerors must build cities and expand their empires across a map against other people and AI. City management includes things like maintaining infrastructure, designing buildings, and locating resources. 4X games often use resources such as happiness, gold, and food that must be sustained.

4X games are famous for having tons of optional content added through expansion packs. These often add new units, races, and game mechanics that keep the game fresh after hundreds of hours of play. For example, the Dragon Dawn expansion for AoW 4 introduced dragon lords and a new race of lizards to give players new options years after release.

Tips and tricks to improve your online gaming experience

Knowing the most popular genres is a good start, but it’s only half the battle. The sheer popularity of multiplayer gaming has generated a lot of social customs that new players can have a hard time adapting to. Once you’ve picked out your game of choice, here are a few things you should know before diving into matchmaking.

Get familiar with gaming etiquette

One important thing to remember about online gaming is that you are interacting with real humans, and their behavior can often be unpredictable. Most online games facilitate communication between players and teammates in some way, whether it be a text-based system or voice chat. 

Always try and behave appropriately, but also be prepared for others to not adhere to those rules. Online gaming can bring out the worst in people, and voice chats can be full of petty name-calling and sometimes abuse. Luckily, most games have a mute function, so you can quickly shut down the worst offenders.

The importance of server location

In most online games, players can pick different servers or game lobbies to play in. It’s important to pick servers or lobbies that are close to your physical proximity. For example, many FPS games split their online games into broad geographical regions, such as Europe, Asia, and North America.


By picking a server location close to their physical location, players can enjoy a lower ping or a better internet connection. High ping or a poor connection can result in lag, which is when the game physically stutters due to lapses in internet connectivity.

Use the friends lists to your advantage

On most PC games and console players, players have access to a friends list where you can add other people. It’s a great idea to make use of this so that you always have people to play with. The friends list typically shows when people are online and what games they are playing, so you can easily join them and have a teammate or opponent to play with.

Check for game popularity beforehand

Online multiplayer games are usually better the more people play them, so you should check the popularity of a game before committing to playing it. Over time, games fall out of popularity, and their online community dwindles. Often, game servers are simply shut down as companies move on to new projects. If you try and play an online game on an older, unpopular game, you may struggle to get a match or end up waiting a long time to find an opponent.


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