Just because games come with all of their own pre-programmed rules and parameters, doesn’t mean you have to strictly adhere to them at all times. In fact, many games are entirely too forgiving and provide the player with all sorts of objective-seeking maps and god-like abilities to help them make it to the end no matter how inept their gaming skills might be. So if you wish that newly released title you just picked up was slightly more challenging, or you’re just looking to get a little more mileage out of some of the games you already own, try kicking the difficulty up a notch with some of the approaches on this list.
5. Don’t Use the Map
If you’ve got an open-world game that you’ve already beat a few times, try doing a run through without using the map or heads up display. By removing the map in this type of game, you force yourself to rely on visual cues and landmarks to orient yourself. Playing like this can even help make you a better navigator in real life since you’re making better use of your sight and memory to get around in the environment.
4. No Healing
Many survival-type games feature a health bar that doesn’t regenerate. This usually means the only way to heal is by eating food or using special items like med kits. However, if you don’t allow yourself to heal at every opportunity, chances are the game will become much more difficult and you’ll probably find yourself approaching situations much differently than you would if you could just heal up anytime your character gets close to death.
3. Pretend You Only Have One Life
Taking the no healing rule one step further, you could try playing through games using only a single life. This is much like the “hardcore” mode featured in some online role-playing games that prevents players from activating any character that has previously died. If the game you’re playing doesn’t have this mode built in to it, you can always self-impose the rule by restarting your game from the beginning in the event that you die. With only one life to live you’ll find yourself playing extremely cautiously at all times, as each new dungeon you explore or enemy you encounter becomes a terrifying experience.
2. Limited Weapons and Abilities
Ever since Doom bestowed the BFG-9000 on us way back in the pioneering days of the first person shooter, there always seems to be at least one overpowered weapon or ability in an action game that tends to make beating it a lot easier if you can manage to get your hands on it. But if you take some of those beefed up blasters and amped attributes out of the equation, you’ll likely find yourself engaged in a whole new play experience that has you coming up with clever ways to dispatch enemies or sneak past guards. And your mom will surely appreciate your less violent approach to gaming.
1. Always Overwrite Your Last Save
Pretty much every large-scale role-playing games these days will allow you to save your game at any time and also retain multiple save files. This system works great for allowing you to constantly continue progressing through the game, but it also removes any sort of consequence from your decision-making process because, in the event that you make a choice that you’re not completely happy with, you know you can always revert to one of your previous save files and try it again until you get the outcome you want. If you limit yourself to only one save file and continually overwrite it as you progress, you automatically prohibit yourself from undoing any of your previous mistakes. Sure, every decision you make will be way more stressful, but it will also be that much more exciting and rewarding when you succeed.