What's Your Favorite Game to Teach Someone Else How to Play?

And not only so that you can have a friend to steamroll in Street Fighter.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/43avk3/whats-your-favorite-game-to-teach-someone-else-how-to-play

Windjammers for me. It’s such an easy game to get into, it takes maybe 5 minutes for a player that’s never heard of it to grasp 100% of the concepts in the game, and then they can compete and possibly beat me, a person that’s played a BUNCH of it. Some days, probably most days, I would argue that it’s one of the best multiplayer games there’s ever been for this reason.


I love teaching friends how to play Monster Hunter so I can have a reliable hunting partner for the more difficult hunts.


I think it’s really fun to explain speedrunning to folks, whether they’re familiar with the specific game or not. if they’re not, you get to set up rules/a system for someone and then either explain how it’s been perfectly conquered over time or absolutely shattered via exploits.

also, it’s not video games (mostly), but I love teaching people about sports. I helped a friend of mine from India get into baseball by talking about all the different rules & strategies & situations; he helped me get into cricket later on by doing the same thing. and then at some point down the line I got to teach some drinking friends about cricket while we were out at a bar (bottles make good wickets). it’s such a cool feeling to find common ground with people this way.

XCOM, I like the series a bunch so I always enjoy getting my friends into the game.

I don’t think its a hard game to learn, but there are a lot of systems an it can be difficult to keep track of it all as a beginner

DESTINY! There are so many things in Destiny (1 and 2) that aren’t surfaced well at ALL. I love teaching the minutiae of mechanics in Destiny, especially since once someone has learned and then enjoyed those mechanics you have a new person to play with, and Destiny has always been best in groups. The best moments for me are always taking a new player through their first raid. The raids are on such a different level design wise and some of the Best PvE cooperative encounters I’ve personally played in the last 5 years, if not the last decade. Everyone should try a raid at least once! (Check out this thread if you’re interested :stuck_out_tongue: https://forum.waypoint.vice.com/t/lets-do-some-destiny-raids/ )

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I love introducing people to tabletop RPGs.

New players don’t know the unwritten rules and behave in unpredictable ways. They don’t have an archetype they lean on unconsciously.

The chaos they bring to a table is the very best kind of magic.


For me, it’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I think it’s a nice fighting game with a variety of characters to choose from and a smooth learning curve, in my opinion, for new gamers. Plus, I really love the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

I have fond memories of playing games of DotA with friends who don’t understand anything that’s happening in the slightest. The gulf between players with even the miniumum level of understanding to compete and new players is a sight to behold when side by side.

A good thing is when you give them someone like Lina, Lion or Zeus. Especially Zeus. Then they can get their ult and contribute somewhat without even really understanding.

Hmmmm…it’s hard for me to pick just one…so I’ll cheat :stuck_out_tongue:

Nidhogg (or Nidhogg 2) - A very quick game to teach (the tutorial literally takes like a minute), it’s easy to grasp the basics, and it has some depth and strategy for those who want it.

Superhot VR - I’ve only shown this off to a couple people so far, but everyone I did loved it. Another example of a game with easy to learn mechanics, but it’s also 1) a great showcase of VR and 2) makes whoever playing feel like a total badass lol.

Warframe - Definitely a game with a vast number of mechanics and systems to learn and wrap your head around, but teaching it to and watching people grasp those concepts and get better feels sooo rewarding to me.

Pokemon with my nephews. It a great way for them not to just learn to RPG but to also read.

Me (at a house party): Hey you ever heard about Niddhog?
Them: No whats that?
Me: It’s a fencing game.
Them: Oh I’m bad at video games.
Me: It doesn’t matter there are plenty of people here already setting up tournament
Them: How do I play?
Me: Move with this. Attack with this. Jump & control height with this. Here we will play first so you can get an idea.
several minutes later they win the tournament after a 10 minutes long back & forth between them & their fiance
Them: Honey…do you want to buy PS4 so we can play at home?


Civ V, hands down.

There’s so much beautiful stuff going on behind the scenes that the game doesn’t really teach you about. Or the game teaches you about it underneath three menus. It also has a terrible habit of hiding a unit/building/tech’s most useful upgrade in its very last line of text description. There’s so much there and I never really get tired of talking about it.


Kerbal Space Program is the game I lpve to teach, and I’ve had two positive experiences so far with my close friends. A rewarding challenge in teaching KSP is giving enough information for them to get up and running, but still keep the tendency of the game to create moments of failure that a new player will learn from. Discovering that returning back to Kerbin is fatal if you lower your periapsis to make the trajectory collide to the surface, and that the atmosphere will create enough friction to degrade your orbit to a safe descent trajectory I feel is a part of the KSP experience that new players should have by themselves. Just look at Austin, Vinny and Alex’s own heartbreaking moment in Episode 8 of Project B.E.A.S.T. to understand how memorable such failures can be. So balancing that exploratory aspect in the mechanics of KSP with enough information so that playing the game isn’t completely overwhelming or frustrating is part of the joy I derive in teaching others how to play.

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Board games have been something I’ve taken the time to come up with the right way to teach new players. Netrunner was something I felt like I had down.

Don’t know if this count but one of my most fond gaming memories was showing my little brother how to play Portal 2 so that we could play co-op together. One of the most frustrating and funniest experiences I ever had with him.

I tried to teach one of my friends how to play Portal once and he just ended up wanting to watch me play through the whole game instead. Which I did. It was fun but yeah that wasn’t what I expected to do.

My little sister is almost 20 years younger than me (she’s 10, I’m 29), so I show her how to play a lot of stuff. Pokémon was one game she latched onto for sure, but in general teaching her how to play platformers is really fun. 2D side-scrolling stuff exists outside of her natural gaming wheelhouse, since she basically started with Minecraft and Roblox. She’s used to 3D worlds and the rules those have. Big, open spaces you can explore. The tightly-controlled experience of something like Shovel Knight or Super Mario is still weird to her- it’s this total inversion of how I learned video games as a kid, and it’s really interesting.

She’s had a lot of fun playing Shovel Knight and Sonic Mania on my Switch recently, but she got to be the one to teach me how to play Splatoon when I got Splatoon 2, so we’re pretty much even. She likes teaching me how to play stuff too!

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Spelunky and Rocket League. I’m not even super great at either one, but they’re fun games to help someone learn lessons in, and especially in the case of Spelunky, fumble through it with them. I’ve been enjoying Polygon’s occasional stream with Russ and Simone playing, it very much reflects the feel of trying to walk people through the game that I enjoy.

I also have fond memories of teaching my sister to play Borderlands, her first FPS ever. She wound up playing more Borderlands 2 than I did.

Civ V is the ultimate “wow thanks, you could have told me that before, asshole!” Teaching experience. There’s so much to cover you’re bound to miss important stuff. Forgot to mention that tiny detail about barbarians capturing civilians…

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At this point I might have taught PUBG to a half-dozen or more people, and hearing about them getting their first chicken dinners in my absence makes me really happy. Just this weekend, I died very early in a duo with someone who’d only had a week or so with the game, and was good, certainly, but by their own admission had a lot to learn. When I died, there was just a moment of dissatisfaction at my own performance until my partner avenged me, falling from a roof to pop my murderer in the back of the head. I was grinning ear to ear, advising throughout the match on where and how to make the best use of cover, how to get the most information alt-looking through a window, not just explaining but having them SEE how my tactics were useful and benefited them. The highlight of that game was the advice “Wait. Let that guy bleed out a bit, he has no idea where you are, he’ll tell his buddy he’s found a safe angle - because he must have, since you stopped shooting him - and then you’ll get a clear shot on his buddy to get them both.” Sure enough, the poor shootyperson was wriggling their way along the dirt towards the rock their buddy was by, in clear sight of the window from the wizard-tower. The satisfaction my student had at the tips and advice I’d given them was an entire chicken dinner in its own right.

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