How does one “git gud?”

You see this statement a lot in MMO’s and I have always wondered what actually makes an average player like me different to a very capable hard-core player that belong to elite guilds such as: DnT, KING, qT?

I used to think I had an idea of what the differences were, but I decided to make a Reddit post, the post ended up on the front page for a short time and lots of people from all walks of life contributed. I will link it and highlight bits further on in this blog, but before I do this is what I used to think.

  • Age would probably play an important role. I am 37 years old and my son is 18. Our reaction times must be polar opposite. It’s a known fact that reaction times slow down as you get older so are most of these hard-core players below a certain age?
  • Invested time would most likely make a big difference as well. I have a full time job and when I get home I cook dinner for the family and I would imagine a lot of other casuals share this. So although I am very much addicted to the game, I only play for a few hours in the evening and most of the day at weekends. I am guessing, but I would imagine most of the hard-core players to be playing throughout the whole day and evening. Compared to someone who plays less they have more time to focus as they can get the daily routine stuff out of the way and have time to learn, whereas a casual may need half of the evening just to get some routine stuff ticked off.
  • Attitude could play a part too, most are content at the level they currently play, some people don’t care and just run in and bash keys without a care in the world. Where others may want to perform to a standard and have analyse a fight before engaging. Either way is a perfectly fine method as long as you do not cause a problem in a team environment.


I consider myself to be a casual player that enjoys nice laid back content with people, but on top of this have the ability and exposure to do the challenging content. I follow meta builds for the challenging stuff and I try my hardest to remember the rotations. (there is a reason I don’t play engineer) I learn mechanics and enter fights with caution and try to be a valuable team member. I know my limitations, I know what classes I can and can’t play well and I know what role I best suit. I do self-criticise and take on board feedback where it is relevant. I learn by doing – compared to reading.

So what does the rest of the community think makes you “Git Gud”?

My Reddit post is here, but I have summarised some that stuck out for me, I have left any Grammar/spelling mistakes in the posts to keep authenticity. I would like to point out that a DnT member emailed me directly as they didn’t want to post in the fear they would be down voted. I really urge you to read what was said, you can do so by clicking this link

A week or so later Nike also released a video about how to get good and I do really hope my thread prompted him to make it, it’s at the bottom of this post. 

Reddit comments

[deleted] 7 points 2 months ago

I for example don’t care to be good. I want to play the game and complete the content I am interested in. I don’t care about skill rotations. I know how to dodge and use meta builds but I don’t pretend this is serious bussiness. I suck at PvP. Big time. But I don’t care to get better also.

So what makes people from top guild “better”? They care. I don’t.

EchoFalls27[S] 3 points 2 months ago

Interesting, thank you. So I suppose drive to be the best is also a trigger. 🙂


[deleted] 3 points 2 months ago

I think it’s the main factor. If you want to get better, you will. Personal skill matters but many things, like timing dodges or spotting certain attacks can be trained mechanically. I know it

Tman5691 3 points 2 months ago

For some players, the process of getting better is the fun part.

[–]ArcadessNecrocopter -2 points 2 months ago*

Obligatory meme

Serious answer, from most important to least important (IMHO):

being aware of your level and striving to improve it

Knowledge of professions and mechanics

Knowledge of the encounters

reflexes, awareness

P3RrYCHSnow Crows [SC] 23 points 2 months ago

Having a really good understanding of the different mechanics of the game and how to use them coupled with a lot of experience on different roles/classes, also being able to perform optimal rotations effectively while being able to adapt to unexpected situations on the fly.

PoorYargaToadheart 69 points 2 months ago

On a knowledge level, gitting gud on a class encompasses far more than knowing the meta build. You’ll have to know about every trait and skill, ideally know their roundabout cooldowns, quirks, even bugs. A very gud player will know what the meta build is before the meta build is published anywhere, and know when and what to switch out, which things are the highest damage, which can be swapped for a small loss, and have enough experience to know when a big loss is justifiable in favor of utility.
On a mechanical level, there’s many parts of a rotation that averagely gud players often overlook, like procing certain traits at the right time, always finishing auto-attack chains and never interrupting their AA for another skill. Being able to dodge with weapon skills reliably (it’s harder on some classes than others) is also something that marks gudness.
Generally also, adaptability and flexibility are important, as well as the ability to criticise your own performance and improve it.

frostychanel 17 points 2 months ago

Think the biggest thing people are overlooking, is adapting to the situation you’re actually in.
It’s really nice you know your mad optimal rotation on a stationary non moving target… but the moment something goes wrong many people panic and just derp about and spend way too much time not getting their damage in.

So the first step I would say: don’t worry too much about rotational stuff. Playing long enough should make that come easy to you.
Focus more on the basic stuff. Using your F1-5 properly, skills off cooldown nicely, dodge important stuff, position nicely.

You don’t have to become sindrenerr on a thief overnight. Baby steps!

ImpieYayTeam Aggression [TA] – 20 points 2 months ago

I think it is mainly situational awareness and the ability to adapt on the fly (these skills are linked; without good awareness you cannot adapt fast enough).

When shit hits the fan, you might need to detach from the meta rotation and fix the leaks in the metaphorical ship. On Sabetha that could been doing a back-up for a cannon when somebody dies, on sloth that could be doing the grub when someone dies.

On the awareness part, it means seeing when to dodge, proper positioning and timely reaction to the boss mechanics (throwing green on Sabetha, dropping the poison fields on Slot/Matthias, etc)

DoomLolly 8 points 2 months ago

It’s practice. Even the least improvement-motivated player will improve if they play enough and try new things.

There was a dev quote years ago about how when creating new content, they looked at the average player ability and made the content just a little bit tougher. If you look back on content updates, you can follow this trend. When Tequatl was first updated, the general consensus was that it was too difficult for the average player. Now you can show up 2 min before and down him very easily. Even before HoT and elite specializations, a below average map still had half the timer left at the end. People practiced and got better.

Elite players practice more and harder. I don’t consider myself elite, but I have elite friends and they spend their playtime on things like solo fractals and 6-man raids. Raising the difficulty level is the only way to improve.

arieteleeLiahm | The Sickest Guild[NA] 4 points 2 months ago

Hi, NA player here. There is one thing that I would like to add to all of the other comments. If you aren’t soloing, have fun.

Having fun increases morale, which makes you better(opposite of the popular word tilt).

PunkkittenImmortal Kingdom [KING] 4 points 2 months ago

Hi, KING member here 🙂 So what makes our guild / members “gud”? Its about knowing the encounters you face. If your a dungeon person it’ll be expected that you know the optimal builds for your prof for a smooth run. Same goes for fractals or raids. It’s not bout knowing them all, but everyone has something they prefer and you get judged for your favorite PVE type. But above knowing your shizzle, there are core things important for us, like: can u take criticism? Are u a teamplayer? By that i mean not only beeing a social person but knowing how to play with certain profession in your group and such. Joking around, having fun, having the will to always improve and see/admit your own mistakes. We all happen to be human, so mistakes can be made and thats ok. As long as u continue to learn from them, you are gud 🙂

LadyElyssa 1 point 2 months ago

Game Mechanics – These can be learned by anyone over time but age and previous gaming experience are both contributing factors as these will determine just how quickly one can pick up on the game mechanics and adapt to them. This is more than just learning the controls and how dodges / blocks work. It also encompasses things like Crowd Control, Reflects, Interrupts and so on.

Reactions – While these may be a province of the younger player, old players can also improve their own reaction times with practise. Changing the pace up is a good way of helping to improve this. For example: If you only ever play PvE then when playing in something like PvP or WvW your reactions will be considerably slower and the pressure / stress is different too.

Knowing your profession – Knowing how to play your profession and to play it well comes with time, practise and experience. It’s not always about knowing the perfect rotation or even being able to pull it off under duress. It is also about knowing when to use skills to suit the environment / game mode you are playing in.

Here the Guardians GS as an example:

In general PvE you could get away with using 5,4,3,2,1 with Binding Blade tagging some nearby foes while Symbol of Wrath gives you some Retal that you can then use Leap of Faith as a leap finisher and blind your foes followed by Whirling Wrath.

In WvW / PvW this wouldn’t work as targets are more mobile, so Leap of Faith might be used first as a gap closer and to Blind the target followed by Binding Blade – Pull which can also interrupt a target followed by Whirling Winds and sticking with the target .

These are over simplified examples that don’t take in to account the use of Virtues or Utilities but hopefully give you a better idea.

Technical Knowledge – This is probably the hardest part to learn and remember and can change with any given patch. It requires taking the in-game tool-tips with a pinch of salt and manually learning and checking exactly how a given mechanic, trait, skill works and what does or doesn’t affect it or work with it.

Some people have a natural affinity for spotting these differences and stop to ask themselves why things work the way or do (or don’t in some cases) and they then go about learning why. They are also able to spot minute details like the effects a trait might have on an animation that could cause it to interrupt a skill (Engineer was one of those professions that was/is affected by this).

Testing Testing Testing – On paper (or your screen) builds and skills might seem like they are all perfectly matched (assuming they all work as intended) but testing the differences between different traits or skills in the game world and the difference between being able to play an ideal perfect rotation or simply the best rotation you can manage within any given environment or game mode is what it all comes down to.

SoulSherpa 1 point 2 months ago

git gud

It’s nothing more than an insult. It has no intrinsic value, other than for someone to assert superiority over someone else in a demeaning way.

How does one “git gud”

It’s a bit like asking “How does one eat shit and die?”

The kinds of people who will actually give you positive and meaningful advice on an encounter or your gameplay are not the same people that use this phrase.


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