HEALTH & WELLNESS
How to improve your reaction time for gaming performance
Gaming is a very broad genre that has an immense amount of variation. With thousands of different categories, games all require a unique set of skills and attributes to perform well. Puzzle games, role-playing games, sports games, and adventure games represent a small selection of this immense digital world.
A vast majority of video games require you to have a fast reaction time to do well. Performing different moves quickly in succession, or simply being on your game requires your reaction time to be as small as possible. Avid gamers have reaction times that rival that of athletes and to cross the threshold of elite gamers status, you need the reaction time and skills to perform with the best.
Improving your reaction time takes a holistic effort. The best way to think about reaction time is to think of it as a 100-meter sprint. To get better times in the 100-meter, athletes need to practice the 100-meter, but they also need to train those muscles independently, get adequate nutrition, and get enough sleep to perform at their best.
This same concept applies to gaming, and by going through and training the individual components of reaction time in the context of gaming, you can improve.
Reaction time is a term that is thrown around pretty frequently in the gaming community. Reaction time refers to the amount of time that passes by when a stimulus appears and the amount of time your body takes to react. The practical explanation in a video game would be a scenario in which you were to spot an enemy and the amount of time it would take you to react accordingly.
When you break reaction time down into its component pieces, there are three different stages of reaction time. This includes the stimulus, your brain perceiving the stimulus, and the motor response of hitting the appropriate keys or buttons on the controller. Understanding these three components can better allow you to practice each component to get a faster reaction time to the game at a higher level.
Cues come in a variety of different forms. In video games, the two major cues that you may encounter include auditory and visual cues. Most video games rely heavily on visual cues, but some games give you an even more immersive experience and provide auditory cues.
The way to get good at noticing cues is to play the game you want to improve your reaction time. When you first begin playing a game it can be difficult because you are unsure of what you should be looking out for. One example would be going from a war game where you have human enemies, to a sci-fi game where spaceships are your target. A large part of reaction time is being able to notice the cues when they occur.
In addition to being familiar with visual cues, you should train yourself to become familiar with auditory cues. Some games provide gamers with three-dimensional spaces where audio can be an important stimulus to let them know where the enemy is. By playing the game you will train your ear to be able to recognize cues like footsteps which could greatly improve your reaction time.
The cognitive aspect of reaction time takes the longest to hone. The main reason for this is that your brain needs to develop a new pathway for perceiving video game stimuli and routing that information to signal the movement of the fingers.
The best method to help with the cognitive aspect of reaction time is to practice as much as possible with the desired game. Practicing the same game will help to strengthen neural connections, allowing you to reduce the time it takes for your brain to signal movement to the appropriate muscles.
Another way you can help is to support your brain’s cognitive ability through supplements. MitoQ is an excellent supplement for the energy-hungry neurons found within your brain. MitoQ is a CoQ10 supplement that selectively targets the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria. By supporting the mitochondria, you help ensure neurons have the ATP requirements they need to fire quickly and efficiently.
Muscle memory is the final component to perfecting your reaction time. With the ability to quickly identify a stimulus and signal movement, the only thing left is ensuring that you are hitting the right set of buttons or keys. With your vision, hearing, and cognitive abilities strengthened it comes down to remembering what button you need to hit for a specific move.
Developing muscle memory can be difficult, especially if you are frequently changing game titles that utilize different sets of controls. If you are wanting to improve your reaction time, you should stick to one game or one set of controls.
Most games allow you to change the mapping of the controller to your liking. Taking the time to have the same controls across as many games as possible can help to build stronger muscle memory.
Other tips for gaming
While focusing on the aspects of gaming that contribute to reaction time can level up your gaming performance, it only represents a small portion of things you can do to improve your game.
Having an ergonomic setup, taking care of your eyes, and practicing self-care can all yield beneficial results when it comes to your gameplay and ability to beat the competition.
If you are a serious gamer, you have most likely heard about an ergonomic gaming setup. Ergonomics is a concept that focuses on ensuring your posture and body position are ideal for optimal blood flow and your health.
Many gamers suffer from what is known as “gamer neck” which is essentially a slight hunch of the shoulders due to an unergonomic setup. Not only can this lead to a less than ideal posture, but it could lead to joint problems and pain later down the road.
Getting an ergonomic gaming setup and getting a joint supplement like MitoQ Joint can give your joints the support they need to help you get through lengthy gaming sessions free of distracting pain and soreness.
Eyestrain is a constant battle for gamers. A well-lit display is important for being able to see the visual cues in the game, but it can also be quite harsh to the eyes. This in combination with a dimly lit room is a recipe for disaster for your eye health.
Eye strain is commonly caused by dryness, an inability to focus, or screen glare. Eye strain can present itself in the form of itchy eyes, a headache, or even blurred vision. There are many different things that you can do to support your eye health.
The first thing you can implement is the 20-20-20 rule. The 20-20-20 rule describes a technique in which for every 20 minutes of screen time, you take 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away. While this technique seems rather simple, it can significantly help reduce eye strain.
Another thing you can do is ensure that you get regular vision exams to ensure that your vision is normal. If you have vision problems, it can cause your eyes to strain to put something within focus.
The last way you can support optimal eye health is to take eye supplements. MitoQ Eye is a specially formulated supplement that aims to support eye health by providing essential nutrients and molecules to help maintain normal functioning. While it won’t improve your eyes, it will ensure that they are supported and have everything they need to perform at their best.
Gaming can be quite exhilarating and it can be easy to get too caught up in the excitement of the game and forget to take care of yourself. It is important that you take the necessary breaks to take care of your body as it is what is allowing you to perform well during your gaming session.
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is to ensure you are getting nutritious meals throughout the day. Having meals with high-quality sources of nutrition can be incredibly helpful for your mind and body.
In addition to eating well, taking the time to give your body some TLC through a skincare regime can allow you to feel more rejuvenated and awake. Sitting and gaming for extended periods of time with a headset on can lead to a build-up of oils on the skin. Taking the time to remove oil buildup and utilize a quality nourishing moisturizer can help to reduce the chances of gaming-related acne.
Self-care may seem unrelated to gaming performance, but the better you feel and the better you take care of your body, the better you will perform.
In summary, improving reaction time takes quite a bit of time and energy. Focusing on the components of reaction time and continuing to practice and strengthen them can give you the best shot at speeding up your reaction time and leveling up your performance. In addition to training the components of reaction time, you should also take the time to take care of your body and the parts of it that allows you to game at a high level.
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