Revisiting the Patient Gamer


The economy of our world is still a mess, inflation is high, and the world waits for the madness to subside and consume us all. For PC Gamers the only good news is GPU prices have declined, but that still leaves the fact that we, the gamers, still have less budget for our gaming hobby. There is a way however to have amazing gaming and not need to skip meals to afford it.

Almost 5 years ago I wrote an article on Sapphire Nation talking about the idea of the Patient Gamer. The concept for this is easy to understand. Instead of rushing out to buy a game the minute it releases, you wait. You focus on older gamers and play them through, let the new games sit a while waiting for sales perhaps.

This sounds simplistic but the truth is people still ignore it and often to our own detriment.  Let’s break down the Pros and Cons of the patient gamer for me to show you why this might be something you should consider.


By waiting for the purchase of a game until it has been out for a while, you gain some HUGE benefits.

  • Maturity: The game has time to mature, you’re not getting the half-baked, barely beta that so may games are at launch. If you hold off you can buy the game fully patched with all, or at least most, of the game’s issues corrected.
  • Full Content: You buy the game at launch, play it for 100 hours and then move to the next game only to realize a few months later the game has new DLC that adds more to the game and now you’re not sure you want to go back. By waiting for the DLC to be released before buying the game you can buy the entire game, with all content at once and enjoy the game in its fullness.
  • Proper Reviews: Lets face it, a lot of the PC Gaming reviews we see read more like propaganda pieces than real informative reviews. Games get solid reviews and then two weeks later the various issues and mess that is this supposed good game, come to light. By waiting we give time for the community to give a full accounting of the game and allow us to make an informed opinion of if we want to buy the game or not.
  • Save Money: Finally, by waiting we can save money. Games usually launch for about $60 and then have DLC ranging for $20 to $30. To get the full game experience as soon as possible you are often spending over $100 for game and DLCs. Waiting however sees the game with all DLC launched together in a single package at a much lower price, often below the cost of the base game at launch.

We can look at various releases over the years and see how this can all work to our advantages. Look at No Man’s Sky, people rushed to play because it was going to be so incredible, but the launch was a disaster. The game became better with updates and eventually has morphed into a solid game play experience. However, those that rushed into the game spent a lot of money to get a bad experience. By showing a little patience they would have eventually been able to buy a more complete, patched game and done so at a lower cost.

Another current example is Cyberpunk 2077. The game launch was a mess, the game felt incomplete, was buggy and had a rough launch, that is phrasing it politely. A year and a half later the game has been patched and some additional content added with talk of a DLC soon. Yet many, such as myself, already have over 100 hours in the game and have since moved on. The new patches are not enough to draw me back and I doubt the DLC will be either. We have had our fun and are now looking for new horizons, not replaying the same material we have already played. By waiting gamers would have gotten a better gaming experience and waiting for the DLCs, a fuller content game.

The list of games that we would have benefited from a Patient gamer approach goes ON AND ON….  But wait, there is still one more benefit and one that after the great GPU shortage, we can all appreciate.

Being a Patient Gamer means your hardware needs for your gaming rig are reduced and the life of your hardware is extended.  If you not always chasing the latest PC game, then you will find your gaming hardware can stay relevant much longer. This saves you money on upgrades until you need them and allows you to buy hardware based on what you need, not constantly chasing the next new thing.

For example, recently I have taken a step back to my roots and gone back to some old school RPGs. My current game of choice has been Pillars of Eternity.  I am almost 100 hours in and loving it. This also however has me looking at another old school RPG, Neverwinter Nights.  Both games are light weights when it comes to PC hardware. This means that while I have access to higher end PC hardware, I do not actually need it.

My current gaming rig is a 5900X with a Nitro+ 6800, can run anything I want easily at 1440P. However, I can play my current game choices on my wife’s PC which is a Ryzen 2600 and a Pulse Vega 56.  The game play is identical on either system.

This principle is a big selling point to the Patient Gamer lifestyle, it allows you to get more life out of your gaming PC and make upgrades that are more impactful by being able to easily skip a generation or two of technology without any major impact to your gaming experience. 

So, let’s recap the Pros:

  • Games are stable and complete
  • Proper reviews so we can make more informed choices
  • Save money on the games and the hardware

All right now that we have the Pros defined, lets look at the Cons.

Well, there is a problem, there are none. Oh, sure people will talk about being able to enjoy new games more often but that is even a bit of a fallacy.  The new game release experience for many games and many people are just not great. Games are buggy at launch or have baked, drivers need updating, reviewers missed critical issue and the list goes one.

Outside of a few competitive multiplayer games, waiting to grab a new game gives no real benefit. Sure, there are a few competitive style games where early access means your able to get into the better gear or higher levels so you’re at the top of the heap. However, let’s face it, even that is an illusion. You jump into the latest PVP game so you can get to the top when the game is young only to find the 5 hours you planned to use on your day off, still leaves you way behind the person that gamed all night for 3 days to have already capped the game.

PC Gaming has done it’s best to convince us that we need to rush into new games as quick as we can, they have sold us a bill of goods. They try to convince us to buy early access or pre-order a month in advance, implying we gain something by doing so. What we gain is a terrible experience, with us often burned out on the game before the final release.

The truth is we do not need to jump into the newest games if we need something to play for our entertainment. Look at your Steam Library, how many games do you have that are unfinished? How many that you only have a n hour to two of game play in? For that matter, how many games are still out there? Games that are classics, you have never played. Sure, the older games might look dated graphically, but they often have deeper and better storylines and many times actually better game play.

The next time you hear of some new game launching, instead of grabbing your wallet and throwing down money months before release, make a note of the game and then go to your library, find an older game you never finished and play it. Then in 6 months to a year, come back to that list of titles and look at them again. Did they live up to their hype? Are they on sale with full DLC and patches? You might have dodged a bullet on a bad game or gotten a diamond at a lower price buy just waiting and being a Patient Gamer.

The articles content, opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in SAPPHIRE NATION are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent official policy or position of SAPPHIRE Technology.


Edward Crisler
Edward is the definition of an “old school” gamer, playing computer games as far back at 1977. He hosted a tech talk show for 20 years and is now the North America PR Representative for SAPPHIRE as well as SAPPHIRE’s unofficial gaming evangelist. You can follow him on Twitter @EdCrisler.