Here are the common mistakes when buying video games that people do that you should avoid doing the next time around.
They bought it when it first came out
Although this does not seem like a mistake by itself, a lot of times when a game has just been released, there are usually some if not a lot of bugs. *Cough* Cyberpunk 2077 *cough*.
So it is always better to wait a few weeks before buying a game so that the developer can address the known issues and provide a patch for its various bug fixes.
In the case of that previously mentioned game, players wanting to buy it would know to stay away while the game is not all patched up.
Luckily, some people but not a lot, who had purchased it was issued a refund by CD Projekt, but very few compared to the sale numbers, few thousand versus the millions of copies sold.
So most were not so lucky and were stuck with an “unplayable” game. It is a big mea culpa on the developer’s behalf and hopefully, they will learn from this ordeal.
They did not check the reviews
One of the more common mistakes when buying video games, is people do not read the game’s reviews. Although a game may seem great through screenshots, trailers, or demos, sometimes the final product differs from what is shown.
It is kind of like a new movie hitting theatres, where all the best parts are shown in the previews, leaving you with two hours of nothingness or just filler. Video games are no different.
You can read players’ reviews as they give their honest opinions on the game, but you may want to check the reviews on those main video game bloggers out there, such as IGN, GameSpot, Xbox Wire, and Nintendo Life, just to name drop a few.
These reviews will tell the gamer community if the game is a hit or a miss, if lives up to the expectations, or just falls short of them.
Some people will buy blindly relying simply on a particular franchise or trusting the brand, expecting greatness, but not all games will meet that criteria.
Some games may contain lots of bugs, which is a small detail as they can easily be fixed with an update, a huge plus when considering older generation consoles did not have that feature, back in the day.
They inform you how controls are if they are responsive or lacking. We are told how the visuals and sounds are if they are crisp and bright, or rather grainy and lackluster. They will tell you if the game is short or you get your money’s worth.
Overall, they are there to inform you of the highs and the lows, the pros, and the cons. They are there for you, use them.
Generally speaking, consumers will take an informed decision based on reviews online for whichever product, gamers should do the same.
They did not play the demo
If someone is unsure of how the game plays or will look like can download and try the demo on their console’s online store if available. Not all games will have a demo, but most big names will.
Now, this can be tricky. Usually, game demos only show a portion of the game, which is fine, being a demo and all, but most of the time they differ a great deal from the final product, meaning what you play now as a “preview”, might end up being something entirely different when the game hits the shelves.
Another great example, is when a game is featured at the E3 expo and gameplay is shown, you might say that the game looks awesome and a must-buy, but that is because they put all of their efforts into that demo, making it look perfect, just like making zirconia shine bright like a diamond.
Although the demo looks great, they still have a full game out of it, and putting that much effort throughout is not profitable for the game developers as they need to meet their deadlines, such as taking advantage of the holiday season for example.
Don’t get me wrong. Demos may differ, but usually remain true to the game, so they are a useful tool and should be used to give the player a good idea of what to expect.
They did not check the forums
Another great way to avoid common mistakes when buying video games is to consult forums online when inquiring about a particular video game.
There are tons of communities where gamers gather and discuss the latest and greatest, either as comments on those video game blogs or simply on other forums platforms such as Reddit and Discord, just to name a few.
You’ve got questions, someone is bound to have an answer. They can inform you on whether a game is good or not if it’s worth the buy if you should stay away.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Forums are another great way to ask for help when stuck or looking for a solution in some part of a game, such as a great leveling up spot, where to find the greatest weapon, where are the hidden collectibles, and how to unlock a certain trophy. The possibilities are endless.
All you need to use a forum is an account, which a usually free. I have never actually seen a forum where you needed to pay to have access to it that is video game-related unless the website is on a subscriber basis, where you are paying for a certain service or network of information and a forum is included within their platform. But like I said, I have never seen this for video game-related forums.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of asking and waiting for a response back, then search engines are your friends. Sometimes searching for your question online will link you to a forum where the question has been asked before, that way you get your answer, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
They did not look it up on video streaming platforms
Sometimes, when a demo is not available and you cannot get your hands on the game before buying, then you can always check those streaming platforms, the main one being YouTube.
That is something that is somewhat overlooked by a lot of people. You can search for your game there and look for a game trailer to see what a game looks like.
You can also look for video game bloggers’ reviews, as they show you the game and share their experience hands-on.
A very useful inquiry that I particularly enjoy is gameplay video, where you see game footage from a user who uploaded their gaming through video capture for either part of or the whole playthrough.
This way, you see how it plays out and it also helps you out on how to get through a tough part of a game.
So, video streaming is a gold mine for resources when wanting information on a game, especially for those who are more visual as opposed to reading about it. That way you can tell yourself, “that’s a game I’d enjoy” or just “meh, I’ll pass”. A great way to avoid common mistakes when buying video games and waste money on a game that will collect dust on your shelf or waste space on your console or PC’s disk drive.
Usually, space on a PC hard drive isn’t an issue, but we all know consoles are very limited on space. Sure, you can always delete that unwanted game, but you still paid for it, so why not avoid that and check out these videos before buying.
They bought the game full price
When a game first comes out, it is obviously at full retail price, but for some games, full price is simply too much. If a game is relatively short to complete, then it is hard to think you got your money’s worth unless you really enjoyed it. If playing a Role-Playing Game, you get roughly 40+ hours of gameplay, which is more worth it than an action-platformer game. But then again, there is the factor of quality versus quantity to take into consideration.
Sometimes, it would be a good idea to wait it out a bit, that way there is more content online, videos, reviews, patches, and updates, and eventually, the price will drop at some point in time.
Sure, when waiting, you might be missing out on playing a popular title that everybody talks about, but it is more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
The best scenario is waiting for sales, putting your wanted games on a wishlist, either on your console’s online store or a popular shopping website, getting notified when it goes on sale and checking regularly for price drops.
The best times to buy are close to holidays, such as those Black Friday deals, Cyber Mondays, Boxing Day, and the list goes on. It is all about waiting for the right time.
Although, there is a downside to this practice. If everybody was to wait for the price to drop, then it can be like a double-edged sword. What I mean is that it would hurt the gaming industry, notably the game developer and the franchise’s future.
Paying full price is how the company grows and pays for its employees and team that build your favorite games.
If a game does not sell and is forced to drop the price to increase its sales numbers, what it says to the game developer is that there is no demand and will not produce any other game for that franchise. If a product does not sell, why make another?
If money is not an issue, or you cannot wait any longer for a game you’ve been eager to play or simply contribute towards the franchise’s future, then go ahead and pay full price, if you can, but if you can wait it pays out.
Hopefully, you will put them into action with these tips, get informed, and avoid common mistakes when buying video games. Although this should not be limited only to gaming, as it should be something you do systematically before purchasing any products, whether it’s online or in stores, look it up, otherwise, you may end up regretting it.
There is nothing worse than buyer’s remorse.
With these ending words, I say: Enjoy, do your research, and game on.