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Are you usually better or worse at a game after not playing for a while?

How do you play when you return to a game you left off for a while?

  • Better

    Votes: 7 13.5%
  • About the same

    Votes: 7 13.5%
  • Worse

    Votes: 21 40.4%
  • Depends on the game/genre

    Votes: 15 28.8%
  • Depends on the amount of time away

    Votes: 7 13.5%

  • Total voters
    52
When you go back to a game you've played in-depth previously, are you generally better or worse at it?

I decided to check out an old arpg (action, as in diablo, path of exile, torchlight) I had previously gotten really deep into and, surprisingly, I'm playing much better than I was when I stopped years ago.

I don't think I played a lot of similar stuff during the years I left, and this genre usually depends on clicks-per-minute and min-maxing so this felt really unusual.
 
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Humdinger

Member
If I'm stuck on a particular boss fight, I can often put it down, sleep on it, and return to it much more effectively the next day.

However, if I put a game down for months or years, there is always an initial period where I have to relearn the controls. The muscle memory takes a little while to re-establish.
 

Agent X

Member
Usually worse but depends on the game.

Same with me. I'm almost always "rusty" if I try to return to a game that I haven't played in many months or years. The only exceptions might be games where I've played a similar game (sequel, or the same/similar game on another platform), and accumulate some new skills that I can apply to the other game.

If I'm stuck on a particular boss fight, I can often put it down, sleep on it, and return to it much more effectively the next day.

This has happened to me, also. Sometimes a brief rest gives you time to refresh yourself, and try a different strategic approach.
 

ShadowLag

Member
Depends on the genre for me. In FPS games, I usually bumble around like a deer in the headlights my first few matches back. In fighting games, I'm actually BETTER after having not played for a long time. Must be some kind of mental cleansing kinda thing.
 
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DaGwaphics

Gold Member
Definitely worse if we are talking about a month or two. Especially if I'm fairly deep into a game. It generally doesn't take that long to pickup the mechanics again though.

I feel you @ Guilty_AI Guilty_AI , but there are still levels for us: bad > really bad > extremely bad :messenger_winking_tongue:
 
It might be part of age or some sort of obsessive disorder I've developed, but when I was a little kid I felt I like I could play any game at any time. I could be halfway through something and then just ditch it play something else for months and come back to it, everything I played was kind of on whim and I couldn't even explain why I wanted to start a new game or stick with a game. I just did whatever random thing I felt like. Now I don't dare stop because I feel committed and want the satisfaction of finishing everything (unless I decide it's bad) and I know that if I go away from it and come back I won't even know what in the hell is going on in the game.

Having said that I have come back to a few games I left and wrapped them up in recent years, but it felt like relearning everything all over again, I definitely wasn't better.
 
When you go back to a game you've played in-depth previously, are you generally better or worse at it?

I decided to check out an old arpg (action, as in diablo, path of exile, torchlight) I had previously gotten really deep into and, surprisingly, I'm playing much better than I was when I stopped years ago.

I don't think I played a lot of similar stuff during the years I left, and this genre usually depends on clicks-per-minute and min-maxing so this felt really unusual.
Usually worse for a couple of hours, unless is a reflexes based game, especially fps: every time I play again an fps after a long time, I find I turned god mode with lightspeed reaction times
 

Mopey bloke

Member
I usually play a little better with a break of a few days. Initially slightly worse, then improve past what I could do before. Since 2017 I've been playing some old FPS games. Learning to play Shadow Warrior competently was hitting my head into a wall till the wall started giving in. I would rage quit then come back later the day.
 
For whatever reason if I take a week or two off of Rocket League I tend to play much better. I think much longer than that and rust will overcome freshness.
 

Soodanim

Member
Depends how long the rest is, and why.

If it’s a difficult part, then it’s a U shaped graph.

Overnight: Better. The boss usually goes down first try.
Months: Worse. The rust has set in.
Years: Better. You’ve either dropped your old habits or changed the way you play, but either way you’re playing with a fresh perspective.

If it’s a game you’re already good at, then the only way you can go is down.
 
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intbal

Member
Always worse with one exception.

PUBG.

When I stop playing for a couple of weeks, I can come back and get a handful of chicken dinners in the first day or two.
 
I want to say better. Yes sometimes if I don't play a game for a long long time it takes a minute to get re-acquainted with the controls. But once I do, all the previous knowledge comes back and I'm growing my skills again.

What happens a lot is, I will get stuck on a difficult part, a hard boss or something, and say up fighting them late into the night. I get some sleep, and then next day, usually after a fresh night's rest, I take down the challenge in just an attempt or two. It's like my skill level was buffering. If you play too long in one setting you can wear yourself out, you need a break. In that way it's just like any other game or sport, really.
 

Jeeves

Member
I dunno about coming back years later, I'm certainly not going to be better right off the bat in that case. The complexity of the game plays a part in that too.

I and many others have absolutely had experiences like finding the boss or fighting game combo or whatever that you were struggling with yesterday to be ten times easier after a good night's sleep. That's because what you learned yesterday moves from your short-term memory to your more stable long-term memory while you sleep.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
Depends on how long does the break take and to what type of game you're coming back, with short brakes ones you're coming back with fresh energy hence performing better, whether a boss fight, hard puzzle/platforming level, online skirmishes etc., but getting back after months/years of absence to a competitive online game, especially shooters, will be a painful comeback.
 

jroc74

Phone reception is more important to me than human rights
I'm worse the very first time I replay. But...if it was like a boss battle or a tough section I usually come back and get past it. Its like the break gave me some clarity, a different strategy to try.
 

Loope

Member
It depends, sometimes in games like Dark Souls is better to take a break,even if long, and come back later. It usually works for me. I was stuck at Velstadt which it isn't a difficult boss, but i was dying over and over. I took a month break to finish another game, when i came back i defeated it at 1st try.

Now, at games like Crusader Kings, EU etc. it can be a pain in the ass, because each dlc provokes huge changes in mechanics that you end up lost for some hours.
 

22•22

Doesnt need recognition
I dunno about coming back years later, I'm certainly not going to be better right off the bat in that case. The complexity of the game plays a part in that too.

I and many others have absolutely had experiences like finding the boss or fighting game combo or whatever that you were struggling with yesterday to be ten times easier after a good night's sleep. That's because what you learned yesterday moves from your short-term memory to your more stable long-term memory while you sleep.

Came to say this, very true.

With that said, it's a very complex and nuanced question.

Cool.
 
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itsArtie

Member
Worse/the same, just like everyone else. You will only be better if you played something as a kid and now came back to it with better reflexes and a more developed brain. Or if you stopped playing CSGO for example but played other FPS games during your break.
 

cireza

Member
Better. I play mainly RPGs and Action RPGs, and for these types of games, you actually benefit a lot from having to relearn things. You tend to lose bad habits, and whenever I go back to a game after a while, I question every single of my build choices and sets up everything again, which most of the time leads to a better situation.

For Fighting games, Action games and Shmups of course, it is the opposite and I am worse. But I don't play these as much.
 
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