Many people associate gaming with loneliness and anti-social personalities but there are plenty of positives to gaming whether you prefer free to play or hardcore console and PC gaming. 

Gaming can support our mental health by improving our social skills and situation. Make the most of social and health benefits through gaming with our top tips.

1. Join teams

The app store is filled with games that can be played online, where you can add and make friends. Some mobile games even have a 'team' feature where you get more benefits and prizes. Plus many have chat functions where you can make friends who share similar interests while on your daily commute!

2. Go beyond the app

Many social media platforms have groups and pages dedicated to mobile games and their brands. This is a great place to meet new people and make connections with games and interests you love! Many have local meetups which are a great opportunity to meet online friends in person too.

3. Developing teamwork skills

Co-operative games allow you to develop social and team work skills by working together to defeat challenges. Whether they're logical puzzles or a boss that needs taking down, your brain will develop with social gaming.

4. Try out charitable gaming

Doing good and supporting charities has a number of social benefits. There are many gaming based charities too where you can raise money and awareness for the things you enjoy!

5. Supporting your mental health

Mobile gaming can help your feelings and emotions by providing a distraction in difficult times as well as developing skills to help you cope with thoughts. But the social side is important to feel less lonely and build a support network through mobile and online gaming.

6. Getting outside

Handheld gaming, as well as mobile gaming, means you don't need to stay indoors to play your favourite game. Head to a local cafe or meet up to play games with people, whether its battling gyms in Pokemon Go or party games with a mobile or handheld device.