chess is almost all about memorizing openings nowadays. If you have a good arsenal of openings you will already be better than a decent amount of players. Obviously experience is also needed, but that comes with time.
just play a lot, study the endgame and try not to blunder. on low elo 99% of games are won because the other side just gave away a piece, so if you can avoid blunders you will climb the elo ladder very quickly. oh and study your own games (lichess for example has an analysing tool).