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14 Hacks to Boost Your Gaming Response & Reaction Times

Half the fun in a multi-player video game is the competitive element of playing alongside other players. To win the video game, one of the most important things you need to do is to become faster at the game, i.e., decrease your ‘reaction time’. Reaction time (RT) is the time taken to respond after a stimulus within the video game. The time you take to react can be critical for winning the game against your opponent. Even in a solo game, your reaction time can be the reason for losing the game, all due to the tiniest pause. Here are 14 tips to improve your response and reaction times in a video game. 

Get the Right Equipment

Get the fastest gaming workstation you can afford. Also, don’t forget a high-quality monitor and mouse too. Many cutting-edge gaming systems employ a similarly cutting-edge monitor, like one from the Lenovo 240hz gaming monitor range. A high-quality 240Hz monitor ensures your super-fast gaming goes extremely smoothly and fluidly. The high refresh rate makes it easier to spot an opponent before you yourself are seen, and improves response time during critical events such as a duel. Similarly, a good gaming mouse will help in reducing reaction time.

Do a Ton of Practice

For any show, repeat rehearsals are what lead to a flawless, ‘winning’ performance. The same goes for a video game. The more you ‘practice’ by playing often, the better you will get at understanding all the nuances of the game, where you can find an edge, where you need to ‘duck’ etc. Also, the more variety of games you play, in different environments, the broader your knowledge of gaming will be. Practice is thus key to getting better at the game, and thus improving your reaction time.

Tune in Your System

Make sure you install updates on your workstation so you have all the latest gaming drivers. Also, turn on the ‘Game Mode’ on your OS if there is one. This lets the system know you need greater performance, and the settings will change accordingly.

Check Internet Speed, Bandwidth

Your reaction time depends on the Internet connection too. You don’t want to go guns blazing in an online game only to be let down by your Internet. Check your Internet settings to make sure you get the fastest speed you can, so you can optimize your response. 

Look for Low Latency

In general, the lower the latency of your Internet, the better for your response time within the game. Latency is the time it takes for data to move from the source to the destination. What you need for a good reaction time is fast Internet with low latency.

Boost the Performance of Your Computer

You can help your machine along by closing all non-essential windows and tabs when you are gaming. The fewer programs, websites, and applications you have running, the faster your computer will react, and the better your reaction time will be.

Use the Ethernet Cable

It might sound like a step back towards the stone age, but switching from wireless Internet to a direct connection via an ethernet cable can actually give you a much faster Internet. Your Wi-Fi will usually be shared by others, or have other devices like your cellular phone connected to it. The ethernet connection will help you work around all of that.

Check Your Router

If your router is old or a little out-of-date, it might be a good idea to replace it with a new one. There are even routers meant for gaming now, with features optimized for gaming. If you’re not in the practice of shutting off your router every night, then it might be a good idea to switch it off and back on again. Sometimes, a reset makes the router settings work better.

Warm Up Those Hands

Cold hands can lead to stiff fingers and joints, and thus, a slower reaction time. Make sure you have warm hands before the game, so your fingers can fly over the keyboard. You can try wearing gloves, or keeping a mug of hot tea or coffee next to you.

Stretch Your Hands

Take every opportunity you can to stretch your fingers and wrist as well as your hand and arm muscles. The constant hand movements can make your fingers grow tense and tight. Relax and stretch your hands and arms to improve your reaction time.   

Follow a Good Diet

This might seem less like a gaming and more like a health blog tip. But seriously, a well-balanced diet will ensure your body doesn’t crash from too much sugar, too much caffeine, or too much alcohol. You want your mind and body alert, but not too much so.

Keep Up with Your Fitness

Seriously, this isn’t a health post! But think of yourself as a competitive athlete. Plenty of studies have shown that your mental acuity improves with an exercise and fitness regimen. Exercise also improves blood circulation to the brain, hands, and all organs of the body. So, by following a moderate, regular exercise routine, you can give yourself a better chance at winning at gaming.

Get Enough Sleep

To follow up with the above, make sure you get enough sleep too. Your body and brain need their rest. If they’re wired for most of the day (and night), you’re going to push it beyond the point of exhaustion. A tired body and brain means slower responses, not to mention plenty of mistakes.  

Learn How to Rein in Emotions

Playing to win is not for the faint-hearted. Letting your frustration or disappointment get to you can mean losing the calm and strength of mind you need to persevere to win. Breathing techniques and a meditation practice can help you stay calm, or calm yourself faster when you see yourself getting agitated. The less agitated you are, the clearer you’ll think, and the better your response time will be.

When you’re playing a video game, every little advantage you bring to the game can matter a lot. With these tips, you can improve your reaction time in the game, and give yourself the edge you need to win.

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