It’s frustrating, infuriating, downright maddening. It’s the modern, online-enabled equivalent of infinite recurrence, a specific level of hell reserved only for gamers.
No matter what you do, no matter how many hacks you try, no matter how intensely you focus, you can’t change the outcome. It just keeps happening. You face off against 11-year-old from Omaha…and get absolutely destroyed.
Sometimes the problem arises from a highly technical source. You can scour message boards for fixes to tiny, esoteric issues that allow for incremental upgrades to your gameplay. Other times, the solution is more obvious. So obvious, in fact, that it becomes difficult to see.
Before launching a search for those intense micro-solutions, which take significant effort to root out and solve, take a second look at the problem. You might be suffering from something much more blatant.
The good news about these obvious problems is that once you appreciate them, they become fairly easy to fix. They also tend to be relatively cheap and simple. As such, they represent a better place to start.
Here are seven simple ways to boost your gameplay that are so obvious you may have overlooked them:
It’s important to stay comfortable if you’re going to play at your highest level. This is especially true as time passes, and the impact of a bad posture starts to take its toll on your body.
As such, check your surroundings before settling in for a gaming session. That means making sure the room is correct temperature and that you’re situated in such a way that you can comfortably perform for long periods of time.
Meanwhile, take the idea of comfort to the level of your fingertips. Customize your controls. Get everything the way you like them so that movements can become second nature, cutting the time between thought and action.
Upgrade Your Hardware
You might not be the problem. Your lack of success might be the result of poor equipment. A tennis player can’t win Wimbledon using a wooden racket, and a bicyclist can’t compete in the Tour de France with one of those 19th century bikes with the giant front wheels.
Similarly, if you’re using ageing or outdated equipment, it might be difficult to get an edge on people with more elaborate equipment. Meanwhile, if you don’t have adequate processing power, you might run into unforeseen slowdowns. To combat these problems, make sure you have the proper hardware to succeed.
Improve Internet Speeds
Hardware doesn’t stand as the only mechanical source of trouble. Your Internet connection might represent another culprit.
A sub-optimal speed, even one that isn’t obvious when you play, can slow things just enough to give your opponent the edge. By upgrading your connection, you can close this gap and improve your chance of success.
Start by testing your Internet speed, making sure it is up to snuff. If not, take steps to improve it. Limit the number of devices operating at the same time, and consider working off a wired connection, instead of off of Wi-Fi. Finally, if necessary, many providers allow you to pay for faster service.
Work Out (Your Hands, Anyway)
People might scoff at the idea of gamers as athletes. And it’s true that a marathon Overwatch session doesn’t have a lot in common with actually running a marathon.
Still, gaming has a physical component. There is a certain (admittedly limited) athleticism necessary to win. You need strong hand-eye coordination, and you need stamina and strength in your hand muscles.
Take steps to improve these skills. Squeeze a stress ball in your off-hours to strengthen your hand and finger prowess. Meanwhile, you can sharpen your hand-eye coordination and quick-decision skills with less-complicated games, like Tetris.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Play
Along the same lines, you should keep your overall health in mind. Often, the dynamics of gaming seem directly opposed to any attempts to sleep regularly or to consume a healthy diet. However, these things matter.
Abusing your body can limit your performance. For instance, too much caffeine can seriously hamper your ability to play well. Similarly, a lack of sleep can dim your reflexes and diminish your mental acuity.
Your mood can also impact your ability to perform. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, or overly emotional, step away for a few minutes and calm down. When you return, you’ll be in a much better mental place to win.\735689+
Practice, Practice, Practice
It’s the most obvious solution of them all. If you want to get good at anything, you have to spend time honing your craft.
It’s true for sports, it’s true for music, and it’s true for gaming. Now you might not be able to invest the fabled 10,000 hours that you supposedly need to master a skill. But with a little time investment, you should see a marked improvement.
Look for Playing Tips
Two proven ways to get better at something: practice and coaching. Practice is probably the more fun of these choices, since it basically involves playing the games you love. But coaching might come with the biggest bang for your buck, in terms of time investment.
A few worthwhile tips can transform your gameplay. As such, you seek out information online to improve your performance. Watch videos, check in on Reddit boards, and read up on potential tricks of the trade.