Dedicated gamers know all too well about the crushing weight of their backlog. It’s no surprise, with the number of incredible games coming out every year, that we can’t always get round to them. Nowadays, with even more games becoming constantly added and updated on live services, with dozens given away for free every month, it’s tough to manage your pile of shame. But don’t stare at that towering pile with apprehension, just follow these tips to turn your gaming library back into a treasure trove of great experiences.
How To Tackle Your Gaming Backlog
The first step begins before you even start playing a game, though you can think of it as a game if that helps. Though, it’s a bit more like admin. It’s basically admin. But it has to be done! The easiest way to get through any task is to break it up and categorize it. For this, you’ll want to organize and arrange your backlog so you can easily see what you want to get into at a glance. Think of it as the play queue from Netflix or Hulu. Instead of spending 30 minutes scrolling through every movie and TV show known to man before giving up, you go through your saved list and find what fits your current mood.
In Steam’s library as well as the PS4 or Xbox One dashboards you can create custom folders and group games together. We suggest making folders for games you have currently started and are almost done with to get things rolling. Then break the rest of the unstarted games into a number of smaller lists based on how badly you want to begin them. Games you got free from PS+ or Xbox Game Pass but didn’t specifically want can be deprioritized, whereas ones you’ve bought should be much higher. After all, you paid good money to enjoy them! So do it!
That takes care of the logistical problem of knowing what you’re up against. Now that you’ve got a clear view, you probably understand the scale of your backlog a bit better. Is it bigger than you thought? Don’t worry! You can always move some games around in your priority lists. You don’t really have to play everything, try to focus on a smaller number of games that will really satisfy you. Do you particularly enjoy a certain genre? Focus more on those. Are you feeling a bit burnt out on certain types of games? Get a breath of fresh air with a new genre.
As for actually getting stuck in, it’s important to pace yourself when digging through what is likely hundreds or even thousands of hours of entertainment. You’re obviously not going to get through it all in one go, so take your time. If you want to take small breaks by playing a few games at once and alternating between them, make sure you keep track of them in your ‘currently playing’ pile.
Clearly this will all take a long time, and if you start getting really invested in some of the games from your backlog, then great, that’s exactly what you were looking for! You’ve found a new current favorite! Don’t let things like dead controllers and peripherals get in the way when you’re on a roll, so having chargers like the ChargePlay Duo for PS4 and Xbox One, the ChargePlay Quad and Clutch for Nintendo Switch, and the ChargePlay Base will keep everything topped up for your next session. If your definition of finishing a game is getting through its more difficult achievements, then you might need that extra longevity because some games are incredibly hard to 100%.
However, the best advice to getting through your backlog is to change your outlook on it. Though there is some small amount of shame attached to not getting ‘round to games you paid for and should be enjoying, you should remember the fact that they are meant to be sources of joy and entertainment; diversionary escapes from your daily life. Think of your pile of shame more as a hoard of treasure and unappreciated gems, just waiting for you to savor. Many of us have plenty of free time right now to start digging into our personal loot bin of unfinished games, so make like Scrooge McDuck, dive in there, and have fun!