Gaming can be one of the most fun ways to spend your time, from playing big missions with your mates to taking on final bosses solo. But sometimes a game can be a bit too tricky and you feel like you can’t get past that super hard level. To help you out, we’ve come up with 5 top tips to up your gaming mindset. 

Be prepared and plan ahead

There are many times you just want to casually play a game for a few hours just to relax and find some escapism from life. But there are other times when you crave a serious challenge for yourself. If you want to grind away at a game or achievement alone or with friends, you need to be a bit more prepared than just jumping straight into it.

Maybe you’ve not played in a while, or it’s a brand new game that you need to learn about. First things first, you need to start spending time learning about it or what has changed since you last saw it. 

The game could have changed drastically and suddenly jumping in and seeing instant failure will only lead to you feeling disappointed. So spend some time watching some YouTubers, read some blog posts, scroll through TikTok clips and catch up on what you need to know.

Be critical of yourself

One of the best ways to learn and improve is to spend time critically reviewing how you performed. Elite athletes and players in all sports do this – so why not do the same and review your matches?

You can record your screen on any PC, and most consoles nowadays let you playback footage, so it’s relatively easy to do. 

Find patterns in your mistakes and trends in the best moments, you’ll learn how to  get better but also become better at spotting what makes a professional player better

keyboard, multi coloured, hands, mouse

Take care of yourself

In order to be at your best when playing a game, you need to look after yourself.Make sure both your physical and mental health are as good as they can be, because a healthy person is a healthy gamer, and a healthy gamer is a better gamer.

This includes meditation and breathing exercises in order to keep your brain as clear as possible.

Make sure you get outside and see the sunlight too, without any light, you’ll struggle to sleep at night and that in turn will slow down your reflexes and decision making skills.

Dehydration also plays a part in your hand-eye coordination and decision making speed, so make sure you are drinking enough water every day!

If you find yourself struggling, join our community below.

Positive mindset

Positivity comes with it’s own health benefits, but did you know that it can also increase your ability to cope with stress? If you’re stuck on a particular stage or tackling that hard to beat boss – odds are changing your mindset can help you get through it.

According to this research article having a positive mindset can make you 50% more motivated and productive. Imagine, just by changing your mindset you can level up your skills to progress through the game! Not only this, but positive thinkers have a better resilience when things get tough – meaning you’re more likely to stick to those hard to beat challenges. 

A positive mindset can help you see the bigger picture in stressful situations, and not sweat the small stuff. This is so important for enjoying your game and it’s proven that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options. 

So take a breath, think happy thoughts and tackle that final boss!

sunset, group, young, red, orange, beach

Remember to have fun

In the end, our interests and hobbies are about enjoying our time, challenging ourselves and being social. If you are finding playing a game is negatively impacting you, then stop for a moment, take a step back and have a break. You can always come back to it later and we promise you’ll enjoy it much more.

Want to learn more?

This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.

We all enjoy a good gaming session late into the night, trying to complete a level, raid a dungeon or rank up in a MOBA. But spending your time gaming instead of other aspects of life could make you struggle to spend time on the more ‘boring’ things like chores and tidying, Whilst also overlooking friendships and ignoring your body and mental health.

There is no reason that you can’t combine gaming with healthier habits. So let’s take a look at seven of the best ways you can find a good balance between gaming and a healthy life.

1) Set time limits

You can completely lose yourself in a game, don’t worry…we’ve been there too (The Sims is just too addicting sometimes!)

In order to develop better boundaries with the time you spend on a game, you should try to become more aware of how long some games can last by researching or making a quick post-it note of it on your desk or laptop. Use your phone to set a timer if you are struggling with playing past the time limit you (or your parents) have set.

Or when you need to focus on other things (like homework, exam revision or chores), choose to play games that can be easily paused. While we know that some games can’t be paused (games like Apex Legends, Valorant and Rocket League), there are others that you can easily pick up, play and put down whenever suits you (games like Stardew Valley, The Sims, Pokemon and Planet Coaster come to mind).

2) Schedule your time

When things are getting busy or you are in the middle of exam season, you may want to start planning your time with a schedule. This could be using the good ol’ fashioned pen and paper, or using an app on your phone.

By being aware of when new games are releasing, you could schedule time in advance of the release date and make sure no plans crossover with you playing the new video game.

In the short term, there is a time management technique called the Pomodoro Technique. This was developed in the 1980s as a way to schedule your time. It consists of breaking your time into 25 minutes in length, separated by 5 minute short breaks. Hey, you could use that for studying too!

3) Play with other people

Sometimes, playing with friends will help you develop better time management as one or more of them will stop playing at an appropriate time. But, this does depend on relying on friends who are good with this sort of thing, as it could be harder to switch off the game if everyone is staying up and still playing!

If your parents are telling you that you are spending too much time playing video games, you could invite them to play with you? Not only would this be a nice experience for you both – but it may help them understand how these games work better, and the best time to step away from them.

4) Set boundaries

If you are finding yourself always playing games and ignoring other important things in your life, maybe you should start setting boundaries, or ask a parent, guardian or close friend to help you do this.

Some people you ask may reply with advice that feels drastic, but you know yourself better than anyone, so do what works best for you.

The key word here throughout this whole article is finding the right balance for you. Balance time with your family and loved ones, time you need for work/school and time you need for yourself. 

And very importantly….

5) Don’t forget to sleep!

One of the most important things in keeping yourself happy, healthy and enjoying yourself is to get a good night’s sleep. While we’ve written about this before, maintaining a good sleep schedule is one of the best ways to look after yourself.

It’s also good to remember that looking at a screen right before bed can affect your brain cycle, keeping you awake for longer and ruining the quality of your sleep. It is recommended that you turn off any screens 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. Although using apps like F.lux or the features on your mobile phones that dim or adjust the screen light after sunset can help this.

But why is sleep so important? The NHS says that one in three suffers from poor sleep. That may not seem like too much of a big deal, but not sleeping enough can lead to:

  • Poor memory
  • Lack of concentration
  • Ongoing anxiety

Let’s be honest, you need your body and mind to be at their best in order to enjoy and succeed at the games you want to play.

6) Do things other than gaming

It sounds obvious and cliche, but too much of one thing is never good. You can easily get bored of something you enjoy when you do it all the time because it starts to feel repetitive.

Gaming burnout is a real thing. Gaming should be fun, not a chore you feel like you have to do because it’s made you happy in the past. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break. So, take a break, chase other hobbies and play games again when you feel inspired to.

Make sure you plan to spend time socialising with your friends and family away from a screen. We promise it’ll be good for you and you’ll enjoy your time gaming just as much when you go back to it.

Looking for ways to chill out away from your keyboard or controller? Here are 101 different ways to relax.

7) Play for fun

Some of you may want to become professional esport players in the future, or you just want to be better than your mates at Call of Duty, gaming can become a serious business. While watching the best tips and tricks and the current meta is time well spent because it is something you are interested in, sometimes it’s nice to play games just for fun rather than needing to always get better!

It’s all about finding a good balance between taking it seriously and try-hard, while also enjoying yourself. Most importantly, if it stops being fun, then stop playing it for a bit. You’ll re-find the love of the game after a break.

These are just some of the ways to balance your time better between gaming and ‘real-life’. Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know on our anonymous community’s gaming section here.

Want to learn more?

This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.

Have you ever been playing an online game and had no idea what everyone was talking about? If yes, this may be of use to you. If not… hopefully, this helps anyway. Here is some common gaming terminology to help you understand what everyone is saying.

Common terms

So to get you started on this, here are a few common phrases that will help you understand what everyone is trying to say:

Achievement – when a player completes specific tasks the game will reward them with an achievement trophy

Easter egg – A secret hidden within a game by developers.

Triple-A or AAA – When a game is described as “AAA” it means it has a high budget and created by a major studio

Noob – To be called a noob means that you have the gaming skill of a new player (it’s an insult)

Clan – A clan is a group of gamers together in a game. Just think of it as an online gang

Spawn – The starting point for a character

Nerf The deliberate weakening of a character, weapon or tool so it is balanced with other characters, weapons and tools

Hacker – A player that has broken into the game and changed or manipulated it

Griefer – somebody that deliberately trolls or harasses other players

Skin – It can be a different character design, or a different colour item or piece of clothing (typically these are earned by playing the game a lot or paying with a micro-transaction)

Open Beta – A pre-release version of a game that is opened to users to play before it is released to test features and functionality

Open-world – When a game has a huge map to explore and storylines’ narratives are designed to be non-linear

Bug A broken part of a game

RP – Role-playing inside a game. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be a role-playing game, but people will play it as one nonetheless

Killstreak when multiple kills are made during one life in the game

Sweaty – trying really hard at the game

Camper – a player hiding in the same location to try and sneak up or surprise people

Microtransaction/s – downloadable content that people pay for using a small amount of money

Ragequit – somebody who quits the game mid-way through due to frustration or anger

Mod – a modification to the original game, sometimes can be a fully-fledged version of the game. Some mods have become full-games in themselves.

Lag – a slow internet moment that can ruin the game

Buff – a positive change to a weapon, character or tool

Salty Being upset or bitter

Grind – To constantly put in effort at getting better at a game, to unlock an achievement or item

Sus – short for “suspicious”

Dub or ‘w’ – A win

Jebaited – to be exposed

Pog – used as a variation on ‘wow’

Bot – an AI-controlled character in a game

Smurf – An experienced player creates a new account to play against lower skilled players

Rez – to resurrect a fallen or dead player in a game

Kappa – a word indicating sacarsm

Aggro – A player or character in game is getting aggressive at you

Drops – a unlockable item which contains rare items or achievements

Cheese – A way for players to win a game that developers did not foresee

Alpha, Bravo or Charlie – Flags A, B or C

Feeder – somebody who is dying repeatedly (either intentionally or not)

Rekt – Usually used when someone has out-played another player

I know, I know, this is basically like learning a new language. We’ll do one more. Sound good? Here are a few common words you can use to communicate with your gaming friends.


These are quite popular in games as it makes ordinarily long sentences easier to type.cou

AFK – Away From Keyboard

NPC – Non-Playable Character

IRL – In Real Life

GG – Good Game

FPS – First Person Shooter

MOBA – Multiplayer online battle arena

MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online

RPG – Role-playing game

BR – Battle Royale

F2P – Free to play

PTW – Play to win

OP – Over-Powered

WP – Well played

XP – Experience Points

GLHF – Good luck, have fun

DLC – Downloadable Content

PVP – Player vs player

PVE – Player vs environment

NP – No problem

AD – Attack damage

HP – health points

FTW – “for the win”

PK – Player killer

EZ – ‘easy’

KD – Kill death ratio

DC – Disconnected from the game

OTW – On the way

Lb+Y – Used in FIFA to Lb+y or LbY is to play a through ball over the top of the defence.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from this and can now understand what everyone’s talking about or at least have a better understanding of some of this language.

Like it? Feel free to tell us in our community. For more gaming related articles written, check out our gaming hub here:

We know from our research that up to 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18. Cyberbullying comes in many different forms and is something that is totally subjective to the recipient.

A common form of cyberbullying is in-game abuse (harassment from other gamers whilst in online mode). Dealing with bullying in a game and in-game abuse can be extremely upsetting, distressing and draining – and it also spoils what is a very enjoyable hobby!

It is often hard to identify the appropriate course of action to take to address and improve the situation. With this in mind, we have compiled a short list of things you should and shouldn’t do if you are at the receiving end of in-game abuse. Happy gaming and GG!

1. Don’t respond with aggression.

Often reacting in an aggressive manner can make the situation worse and can put you at risk of further abuse. If you feel it is a safe and appropriate action to take, maybe try calmly communicating with the person who is doing the cyberbullying.

Remember to challenge the behaviour, not the person – so instead of accusing the person of being a ‘bully’, explain why their actions or words are causing you distress. For example, instead of saying “you’re upsetting me”, you could say “what you said/did has upset me”.  If the bullying still persists after taking this action, see point 2.

2. Do block/report the person that is cyberbullying you.

You can block and report the users who are bullying you at any time – remember that these options are in place to support and protect gamers from abuse. The type of gaming environment you are in will determine which course of action is best to take.

Speak with other gamers and check your headset to see if you can activate options to mute/disable audio chat and turn off the screen text. You could also contact the game administrators or moderators and report the user.

3. Don’t have your personal information available.

We recommend that you keep your privacy settings high and do not connect with anybody who you do not know offline. People may not always be who they say they are and you could be putting yourself and those that you care about at risk.

Never give away personal details like your full name, telephone, address etc to someone you have not met offline either. If somebody is exhibiting threatening behaviour, or has your personal information and is giving you the impression that your safety might be at risk, contact the police or a trusted adult immediately.

4. Don’t take it personally.

Remember that the person who is abusing you in-game is the one with the issue, not you. More importantly, remember that it is very likely they don’t even know you! What you are experiencing is in no way your fault; people experience bullying not because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, appearance, disability or any other unique factor; it is because of the attitude towards the factor. The only thing possible to change is attitudes – you are perfect the way you are.

5. Don’t seek revenge.

Gandhi once said, “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Think about the repercussions of your actions – what can really be gained by seeking revenge? You might even get yourself in trouble with the game’s moderators. It is far better to save yourself from the possibility of further trauma and focus on the good things in your life. Look at how you can move forward in a positive way, putting the person who is cyberbullying you firmly in the past.

6. Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family.

A common, sometimes unconscious reaction to being bullied is to shut down and withdraw from your loved ones. We begin to distance ourselves both emotionally and physically from the very people we need support from.

Depriving yourself of any sort of support or friendship certainly won’t do anything to resolve the issue. We know it might feel like the best thing to do, but it will only make things worse in the long run by silencing you and reducing your self-esteem. Try to keep up with your normal social life and activities you enjoy – the distraction if anything, will help lift your spirits and remind you of the positive things in your life.

7. Do tell someone.

Even if you don’t want to report it, it is important you share with someone what you are going through – you shouldn’t go through something like this alone as it is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining to endure bullying.

This stress can have an impact on all areas of your life, including your mental wellbeing, ability to communicate with others, performance in school, self-esteem and confidence. It is therefore incredibly important that you tell somebody you trust about what you are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label. It is vital, during this time, that you have a support system and people who you can rely on when you are feeling low, or unable to cope.

8. Do keep a record.

Keeping a record of all interactions with griefers (a player who deliberately harasses or irritates other players) is very important. Be vigilant from the beginning and screenshot anything offensive. This is your evidence when talking with game administrators. You have a responsibility to yourself and other gamers – you never know who you might inadvertently be protecting from future abuse by being proactive right now.

9. Do take some time out.

When you are very immersed in a game it can feel all-consuming – in a good way! However, when an unexpected griefer is thrown into the mix, it can quickly become a very negative and overwhelming experience.

Maybe take some time out, step away from the game and remove the cause of stress. Give yourself a chance to see things a little clearer – that way you can decide what the best plan of action is.

It is important during this time, that you remember to take good care of your health and mental wellbeing. Little things like eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, relaxing and having quality time with friends and family can really improve physical and mental health, which will, in turn, reduce stress. Reductions in stress increase your clarity of vision, allowing you to better analyse difficult situations, which will make them much easier to deal with.

If you would prefer our easier to read version, please click here

Join our support community here where we have mentors that can advise and support.

Anger can be a useful emotion because it tells us when something is unfair or unjust.

We’re often told to hide our anger or to squash it down, but no emotion is a bad one, and we can’t turn them off.

Instead, we should see anger as motivation to try and address the unfairness we’re experiencing – but we need to do it in a productive way. So how do we deal with anger?

Although we all experience anger differently, it tends to follow the same general path. We start off calm, but then something triggers a feeling of anger in us and we become bothered. If we aren’t able to deal with that, it can escalate to anger and eventually can result in a pretty dramatic eruption.

So, to avoid an eruption, here’s how you can reprogramme your anger into something positive.

angry teenager, sitting on a dock, how to deal with anger

Reprogramming Your Anger

1. Recognise your trigger and how you’re feeling

Ask yourself questions

  • Am I angry or is it a different feeling?
  • What has caused it?

Then check your body for

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweaty palms
  • Hot face
  • Clenched jaw

Check your mind for

  • Irritation
  • Erratic thoughts
  • Clouded thinking

Then check your behaviour

  • Are you acting as you would if you were calm?

2. Pause the escalation for a moment so you can reassess

  • Control your breathing 
  • Count to ten
  • Go for a walk
  • Put it in perspective: “will this matter tomorrow? next week? next year?”
angry cat, ditch the label

Want to find out more about why we get angry? Read this.

3. Change course by reacting to the problem in a different way

Slow it down

Give yourself and the other person time to explain your views. Pause the conversation if you need to.

Write it as a letter

Write a letter or email explaining how you feel

Focus on ‘I’

Change it from ‘you’ focused to ‘I’ focused. Instead of ‘You don’t care about me’, say ‘I miss spending time with you’

Let it go

Accept that sometimes things won’t change

4. Channel your excess energy into something that benefits you

  • Exercise
  • Write a journal
  • Get creative
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Draw
  • Take it out on a cushion
  • Write a letter to your MP
  • Organise an assembly at school
  • Campaign for change
  • Run a fundraiser

For help and support, talk to our online community here.