The Perfekt (exactly like the present perfect) is a compound using the auxiliary verbs ( either haben (to have) or sein (to be) with the past participle .
SPIELEN ( to play):
Er hat ( haben) + ge+ spielt
GEHEN ( to go):
Er ist ( sein) ge+ gangen
You will have to learn which verbs uses 'haben' and which uses 'sein'.There are lists of irregular verbs with their conjugation .The regular participle is usually formed as follows:
"Ge + verb + T"
gespielt , gemacht , gemalt ...etc
This tense referring to past events is mostly used in spoken German.
For instance, if you want to express, “I used to live in Paris” in German, you can say, “Ich habe in Paris gewohnt.” — a completed event (you no longer live in Paris).
On the other hand, if you want to say:
“I have lived/have been living in Paris for ten years,” you can't use the perfect tense (or any past tense) because you're talking about an event in the present (you are still living in Paris). So German uses the present tense (with schon seit) in this situation:
“Ich wohne schon seit zehn Jahren in Paris,” literally :
“I live since ten years in Paris.”
(A sentence structure that Germans sometimes mistakenly use when going from German to English!)
With daily usage and an more intense encounter with those tenses you will come to differentiate between them and use them in their right places.
However notice againthat you will be more likely to use the 'Perfekt' in daily conversations and the 'Imperfket' in formal written text.
I hope you got a good idea about the difference and usage of both tenses :)