This week I'm sharing my invaluable insight into how a professional video game preyer preys Play. Or something like that.

Longtime readers know my biggest passion here at G.I. isn't uncovering mind-blowing conspiracies, telling hilarious jokes, or speaking truth to power, even though I'm phenomenal at all of those things. My real passion is educating amateur gamers just like you. That may sound extremely generous of me, and it is, but I view it as my duty – not everyone can get paid to professionally play video games like me, or enjoy the incredible intuition and skills that result from such a venerable career. But that's precisely why it's so important for me to share my wealth of wisdom; I can't make you as good as a professional gamer, but absorbing even a fraction of my insight will make you a profoundly better player, and your resulting happiness is all the reward I need.

I've provided this service to the gaming community countless times over the years, for games like SkyrimGTA V, Dark Souls II, Metal Gear Solid V, Far Cry 3The Last of Us, and Tomb Raider, all of which were met with ecstatic praise. I put my enlightening How To series on hiatus after I launched Funny To A Point, but when I started Prey, I knew it was time to reprise my all-too-important role.

Simply put, Prey can be brutal – if you're an amateur. Surviving on Talos I doesn't just require skill, it also requires the right mindset, which few non-professional gamers have achieved. That's where I come in; my insightful advice will reprogram your broken brain to make you a better gamer. I'm kind of like a cult leader, only I use my powers for good, and I won't ask you for money when this is all over!

If you've never read one these features, here's how it works. For each entry, I list a common situation you might find yourself in while preying Play. Then I describe how an amateur would respond – if it sounds like something you would do, just know that your resulting shame and embarrassment is all part of the learning process. After the amateur description, I outline what a Professional GamerTM would do; this is how I personally handled each situation while playing the game, and it's where you should start taking notes to be more like me. Now that the explanations are out of the way, let's get to it!

Situation: You start playing Prey.
How an amateur handles it: Follow the opening prompts up to the roof of your apartment and then board the helicopter to begin the journey.
How a pro handles it: Obsessively poke around every corner of your apartment and hallway before begrudgingly heading to the roof. Once there, get distracted by the large fence enclosing an area that clearly doesn't go anywhere. Head back to your apartment and proceed to carry every crate and box you can find into the elevator, along with the bench from the hall to boot. Spend 30 minutes trying in vain to stack them high enough to jump over the fence, repeatedly toppling them with every slightest misstep because they clearly weren't designed for such an exercise in stupidity. Finally give up and punt a small box over the fence in a fit of anger, only to watch it bounce off an invisible wall. Lament the time you just wasted as you head onto the helicopter.

Situation: You're riding the helicopter to TranStar Corporation, 10 minutes an hour into the game.
How an amateur handles it: Look out the window at Prey's super-imposed credits, then walk into the building to begin your training.
How a pro handles it: Rotate back and forth in your seat for what feels like forever because you've already been playing the game for an hour and haven't done anything other than lug around boxes like you just got evicted. Wait as the helicopter lands on TranStar's roof, then continue your Quixotic quest for nonexistent secrets, walking to each corner of the building even though you can clearly see there's nothing there. Stroll back to the helicopter and climb up onto the hood, then jump as your character is instantly killed by the propeller blade. Smile as you see that your gross incompetence has earned you a hidden achievement, then instantly regret it when your last save transports you back in front of a half-collapsed pile of boxes, requiring you to sit through the entire helicopter ride again.

Situation: You've discovered a deadly alien species that disguises itself as ordinary inanimate objects.
How an amateur handles it: Move through the environment slowly, looking for items that appear out of place, or duplicate items in close proximity to one another.
How a pro handles it: Move through the environment waaay too slowly, until your snaillike pace and obsessive attention to detail cause you to fall asleep. Stubbornly keep playing even as you continually nod off and wake up staring at the ground/ceiling. Continue investigating the environment, then doze off with your thumb on the joystick, causing your character to blindly creep along a wall. Get blasted awake by a full-body cringe as an alien attacks you out of nowhere and swing your wrench wildly at whatever is in front of you because what the hell just happened!?!? Save the game before realizing you just lost two-thirds of your health in the comically inept fight, and that your in-game play timer is now permanently borked. Go to bed, then lie awake for an hour because your heart still won't stop racing.

Situation: 30 90-ish? minutes in and you're still having trouble with those damn mimics.
How an amateur handles it: Continue using the lame-o strategy of looking for duplicate and out-of-place items, spraying them with the GLOO gun when in doubt.
How a pro handles it: Obsessively swing your wrench at every object, then pick it up and throw it for good measure. Walk around a kitchen counter and freeze when you find an upturned coffee urn on the ground. Silently wonder if it's lying there because it's a deadly alien, or because the other crap you just whacked knocked it over. Slowly creep up while charging your wrench attack, then unleash it on the suspicious appliance. Suffer another full-body cringe as Morgan grunts out of the surround speaker behind you and the totally-not-an-alien urn clatters away from the impact. Respond to your wife that you can't "stop doing that" because jumping is involuntary and she'd be paranoid too if she was surrounded by shape-shifting aliens!


Pro Tip: If you ever find an alien oozing out of a public restroom toilet, LEAVE IT ALONE.

Situation: You've acquired your first Neuromod.
How an amateur handles it: Peruse the skill tree and then unlock the ability that interests you most – like a SUCKER.
How a pro handles it: Waiver between the hacking ability and repair ability, because you could use both of them immediately in the starting area that you are still in for some inexplicable reason. Finally choose the hacking ability and backtrack to the vulnerable computer. Hack it, only to feel an instant tinge of buyer's remorse because all it netted you was a blueprint for a toy crossbow. Reload your last save and choose the repair upgrade instead. Backtrack to the foyer and try to fix whatever the heck those weird gravity tubes are, only to find out that you're one spare part short. Scour the area for any resources you might have missed, then give up and reload your previous save. Choose hacking AGAIN, then backtrack to the computer and hack the blueprint AGAIN. Continue on, only to stumble upon an already-fabricated version of the crossbow 20 minutes later.

Coming Up Next: More hot tips you definitely won't find anywhere else...