How to Avoid Stressing Out In Competitive Games

gamers talking at lan party

Do you enjoy competitive games more than single-player, narrative-driven titles? Don’t confuse the excitement with stress, though! Playing video games is meant to be fun and relaxing, and these types of competitive environments are often highly stressful, mainly if unexpected issues occur, such as game lag.

Here are five tips on how to remain calm and avoid stressing out when you have high ping or high latency.

1.   Set Realistic Expectations

Seriously, though, it’s good to understand that not every game will result in a win. Missing challenges and experiencing setbacks is normal, as even pro players sometimes have strings of losses. What matters is focusing on improvement rather than solely winning.

2.   Take Breaks

Extended gaming sessions shouldn’t be conducted without breaks. Fatigue is a major component of your stress levels rising, and it can easily make you more susceptible to making mistakes. Take breaks regularly to clear your mind, rest, and recharge. Remember that our bodies are made for movement, and if you sit for extended periods, your stress will affect your reflexes.

3.   Maintain a Positive Mindset

Can you enjoy a game if you always win but never fail? That would be boring and unrealistic in competitive games. Failures and frustrations are normal. Yet, we can learn from them and improve. Maintain a positive mindset and refrain from negative thoughts to alleviate stress—this goes hand in hand with having realistic expectations.

4.   Make Your Environment Comfortable

A disorganized or uncomfortable environment can make you feel stressed, especially when you’re preparing for a competition and focusing on that. Make your environment comfortable and clean so you enter the match in the best circumstances. Use proper lighting for your room, invest in an ergonomic chair, and make sure your space has adequate ventilation.

5.   Learn How to Deal with Game Lag

And lastly, focus on the number 1 stressor when it comes to online games: the dreaded lag.

A gamer’s worst nightmare while engaging in competitive video games is lag. Here are some tips to deal with that:

Focus on What You Can Control

Game lag is a temporary issue that may be out of your control for the moment. Stay calm and focus on finding solutions rather than continuing your session in frustration. If nothing can be done at the moment, direct your energy to something else.

If you’re playing a team-based game, focus on becoming a support for your teammates, or think of how you can provide utility even if lag impacts your mechanics.

Also read: 8 Reasons Why You Might Be Dropping Rank in VALORANT

Troubleshoot Internet Connection or Upgrade Internet Plan

You can sometimes fix your internet connection speed and reduce game lag if you hard reset your router—just unplug it, then plug it back in.

If game lag persists, use a wired connection. Your Ethernet cable will always be faster than Wi-Fi connections.

No matter what you choose, it’s good to avoid running bandwidth-intensive applications or downloads. Close unnecessary programs that run in the background and, if there are other devices using the internet, turn them off.

If nothing works, consider upgrading your internet plan to a higher speed. What is a good internet speed for gaming? It should be about 25 Mbps or higher.

Use a VPN to Change Your Location

Sometimes, game lag or additional latency and ping are caused by the location of the servers of the games you are playing. To address this, you can use a VPN and change your geolocation. Try out different VPN geolocation servers closer to the ones related to the video game you are playing. After connecting to a server, check out the ping levels and how your experience changes.

Change Game Settings

In some instances, changing your game settings can reduce game lag a bit. Opt for lower graphic settings and see if this changes your gaming experience.

If you can still enjoy the game with lower graphics but no lag, go for it. After all, it’s what the Valorant pros are doing!

Article contributed by Akshay Shil.

About the author: Akshay Shil is a seasoned SEO specialist with six years of dedicated experience in the field. With expertise in optimizing web content and enhancing online visibility, Akshay has demonstrated proficiency in driving organic traffic and improving search engine rankings for various clients and projects.

Lead image by Stefan Soeters, via Flickr.

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