Are you gifted or challenged at in game navigation?

I once read that gamers and non-gamers have two different methods for navigation. I, on the other hand, have no method at all. I tend to just look where I'm headed and not see any landmarks at all. I find my way back by wandering aimlessly until accidentally ending up where I need to be. I'm truly awful. My son, on the other hand, has basically perfect recall and can even backtrack through large, featureless mazes with ease.

So how about you?
My son, on the other hand, has basically perfect recall and can even backtrack through large, featureless mazes with ease
I think @Frag Maniac has that ability too, he plays with no HUD from time to time. Mazes cause me problems, even with a compass mini-map.

Out in the open world, where I spend a lot of game time, I'm fairly good I guess—landmarks, mini-map and main map keep me pretty sure of where I am. I rarely make a beeline for an objective, more of a ziggy zaggy snake line looking for interesting stuff along the way—can I get up this hill, I wonder if there's anything in that building, is yer man over there worth talking to?

But I definitely need all my nav aids, it would be way too frustrating without 'em, especially on huge maps.
If I've gone from point A to point B once using a map, I could probably do that again next time from memory. Finding the way back from B to A would be more challenging though, as things look different going the other way. And if I know a way from A to B and a way from A to C, I would have trouble finding a way from B to C, even if they're fairly close together.

Basically, I can remember routes, but I can't plot them out easily on a mental map.
back in the old days i was reasonably good at remembering pathways and locations of levels but over time as i get older its been getting worse and the most i can do is maybe remember small sections. Maybe a few key areas but games with mazey samelike rooms/walls/textures its a lot harder. Certainly don't remember all the roads in big cities like in GTA etc where nothing happens or are too samey.
My memory on many things has been going south for some time, but as far as visual memory, that's always been somewhat better for me. It CAN take a try or two to get a nav route to a mission in my head when I'm doing a video walkthrough, but overall visually my brain works much better. I also seem to have a knack even when off capture to usually pick the correct route when objective markers aren't there to help you. It doesn't mean I don't get disoriented and lost in some games at times, and I really hate when that happens, but usually it means I've been up too late with an ultra long session, and when I fire the game up the next day, I find my bearings right away. It happened just yesterday when the night before I was trying to find the last few statues in the Paint the Town side mission in Far Cry 6 after beating the game on Guerilla mode. I just wasn't using common sense, I was overlooking the sewer system basically.

Now I'm having a go one last time at Far Cry 6, again on Guerilla mode, but with all HUD elements off. I only have the map and weapon wheel. It's been pretty interesting so far.
Depends on the game or type of navigation. If it was a maze then hell no, but if it's an fps/rpg or large world game and I see something off in the distance I can find my way there. If looking on a map at a local way off, I can find my way.

Now if it's a war game, like Quake Wars, Battlefield, Battlefront, Mount and Blade, Hell Let Loose, DoD. Well then I'll find a way. Long way around, or quick and fast and through the chaos. I will find my way.

PCG Dash

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Apr 7, 2023
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I find that I learn my way around small FPS maps pretty quickly, especially in multiplayer games like MWII. RPGs, on the other hand, I'm always getting lost in - if there's not an on screen marker to guide me, chances are I will be losing track of where I am alot.

I think some of that might just be how I approach each genre though - I'm generally alert and switched on playing competitive shooters but just trying to unwind with something else on in the background while grinding through a lengthy RPG.
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For me it depends on the game itself.

Something like GTA with large landmarks in the background, I can steer myself roughly towards where I want to go. So I find that relatively straighforward.

But recently I've been playing Warhammer Boltgun and it's just a lot of similar looking corridoors and rooms. The game does well at showing you eg. a locked door first, but even after I've found the key I find it hard to get back to the door again. I think half the secrets I found so far are not because I was searching for them, but because I got lost and accidentally ran into one.

That said I feel this is more limited to Boltgun since the maps are kinda maze-y, perhaps on purpose. Another game Dead Space I felt I didn't have this issue because the corridor "scenery" was varied enough to somewhat use them as milestones. eg. Run down the corridor with the plant growing through the wall, then turn left and enter the room with the electric wires, etc..
I got lost as hell in Boltgun more than once, part of why I fell off it.

I'm OK at navigating as long as I have a map. Doesnt need to be a mini map even, just a big old fashioned one and some actual landmarks. Put me in a maze with walls that all look the same though, and I'm hopeless. Also takes me a long time to learn MP maps as mostly I'm paying attention to not dying rather than where I am, so maybe I'm bad, hard to say.

James Parker

Jun 15, 2023
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Arma Reforger has taught me more than I ever wanted to know about land navigation. Beyond that, I likely know most the Grand Theft Auto maps better than my own city.
I think it's fantastic that video games like Grand Theft Auto and Arma Reforged can teach us practical skills. It can be very beneficial in the future and is a fun method to learn.


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