Gaming Advice: The Good Gaming Habits You Should Have

Gaming is like any activity. If you get into good habits, your enjoyment increases. Bringing bad habits to the table, though, is just going to create agro and bad feelings. That’s not ideal as we all play to have fun!

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)
By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Gaming is awesome. You get to get together with your friends, chew the cud, roll some dice and kill the bad guys. That said, with a little thought, the whole experience can be much more fun for everyone involved. If you get into the following habits, your game will be more awesome.

  • Be Punctual: In today’s hectic world actually getting together to play can be very difficult. We all have other commitments so it is polite to turn up on time. If you cannot make the game – or if you will be late – you need to let the rest of the group know as quickly as possible.
  • Be Ready To Play: When you turn up, be ready to play. That means bringing everything you need to play. Before you leave for the game, it is worth checking you’ve got your character sheet, dice and other essential gaming supplies. Turning up without your character sheet makes you look like a colossal idiot.
  • Pay Attention: During the game, pay attention. It can be incredibly frustrating if you keep having to ask how high the ceiling is, what spells are active, what the previous player did and so on. This kind of behaviour is even more annoying if you are surfing the net, texting friends and so on (as you are deliberately ignoring your friends).
  • Turn Off Devices (As Much As Possible): In this hyper-connected world we are only a notification away from an exciting email, text message, tweet, video or picture. It might not be possible to turn off your phone – you might be a small business owner, the father of an ill child or whatever – but limit as much as possible the distractions your devices cause during the game.
  • Respect: This shouldn’t need to be said but you not only need to respect the other players at the table, you also need to respect the place in which you play. You are likely playing at a friend’s house or at a local gaming store and if you want to avoid arguments and get invited back it’s a good idea to try not to decorate the ceiling with your fizzy drink, break a chair, insult your host’s children, wife or taste in décor. I know this isn’t rocket science, but I’ve had players break a table, chairs, damage walls and reduce my children to tears. Can you guess how many of those players are still welcome at my game?
  • Know The Rules: Assuming you are not a first time player, it is good to know the rules of the game you are playing. Not only will you be able to effectively contribute to the game you’ll speed up play and cram more fun into the session. No one has an encyclopaedic grasp of the rules, but watching someone looking through a book to find out how one of their PC’s abilities works is less than thrilling.
  • Cooperate: Most roleplaying games are cooperative in that when the group wins you win. When you play, remember this. Sure everyone likes to be in the spotlight and everyone wants to save the day now and then, but don’t do it at the expense of your friends’ enjoyment.

At the end of the day, we all game to have fun. The advice above is basic common sense, but sadly it has been my experience that common sense isn’t all that common!

Help Fellow Gamers!

Do you have any other good gaming habits you’d like to share? Tell us what they are in the comments below and help your fellow gamers have more fun!

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

7 thoughts on “Gaming Advice: The Good Gaming Habits You Should Have”

  1. I’ll share this with my gaming group on Facebook, with one caveat: Know the rules isn’t necessary in my games. I want my players to tell me what their characters attempt to do… I’ll let them know if it works or not!

  2. The last point is a major problem for me. I have long since lost count of the number of times that some player has show up who simply does not get the cooperative nature of the process. I really hate to disinvite people, but I’m learning to do just that. A few tries at talking it over, but if someone proves they just can’t or won’t do it, I am done gaming with them.

    1. I think I agree. As I get older – and the pressures around making time to game get greater – I’m becoming pickier about the games I play and the groups I join. Time is precious and I want to play the games I want to play with the people I want to play with.

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