COVID-19 quarantine has many people stuck at home. With many people suddenly having so much free time for what seems like the rest of the year, it’s only natural they gravitate towards different ways to kill time—such as gaming. With the abundance of time, many people have started picking up gaming as a hobby due to this pandemic.
What these newly-found gamers may not know is that there are a plethora of ways to improve the gaming experience, from comfort to performance. Adhering to these tips will ensure your time spent gaming is comfortable and stress-free.
5 Ways to Improve your Gaming Experience
1. Set Up a Discord
The late 2000’s/early 2010’s saw Skype rise to the top of online communication. But, given a decade and a lack of improvements on Skype’s side, Discord has quickly snatched the crown from Skype, becoming the king of communication for professionals and gamers alike.
Discord prides itself on its minimalist aesthetic, easy-to-use interface, and fantastic audio quality. Plus, creating a server for you and your friends is free and only takes a few seconds.
Discord is a near-necessity for online gaming today. If you play with friends often, do yourself a favor and download Discord.
2. Improve Your Connection With a VPN
To have the best online gaming experience demands that you have a decent, fast internet connection. A significant aspect of having a decent connection is having enough bandwidth to allocate for consistent, strong connection to a game’s servers and its players. Unfortunately, a recurring issue that can happen sometimes is when internet service providers (ISPs) engage in bandwidth data throttling, affecting your gaming experience.
Bandwidth throttling occurs when an ISP intentionally slows down (throttles) Internet speeds for its users. This is a cost-saving measure and is done no matter what speeds a user pays for. By limiting the speeds on certain sites, the ISP can reduce data usage across its entire network, allowing it to serve more customers without changing its network capacity. This often disrupts and ruins the gaming experience for many people.
Fortunately, there are also ways to avoid bandwidth throttling. A VPN can be used to bypass your ISP’s servers and connect via a VPN’s servers instead, avoiding ISP throttling entirely. If it fails, calling your ISP can fix the issue, at least temporarily.
3. Buy a Gaming Mouse
Certain games require a lot of inputs from the player. For example, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV have tens of buttons that a player will need constant access to.
Other games require pinpoint accuracy for competitive play, such as Counter-Strike and Valorant. Whether you need near-perfect aim or a plethora of buttons, gaming mice are your best bet.
Most, if not all gaming mice come with DPI (Dots Per Inch) settings, which controls how fast your cursor is—for example, how fast your cursor will go from one side of the screen to the other—and how much input is needed from the player to move a certain distance.
More specialized gaming mice come with tons of side buttons. For example, the Razer Naga Trinity comes with 12 side buttons, making it good for MMORPGs
4. Use a High-Refresh Rate Monitor
Nothing matters more to some gamers than framerate. Framerate (hertz), the frequency at which an image is updated, determines how “smooth” your game looks. For example, 30 frames—the standard for console games—looks stuttery and slow compared to 60 frames.
Current monitors go all the way up to 360hz. And if you ever want to experience these framerates, you’ll need a display that supports them. For example, you won’t see 144hz on a 60hz display.
Buying a high-refresh rate monitor will drastically improve your gaming experience. And your eyes will be thanking you afterwards.
5. Buy a Decent Chair
Unless you’re using a standing desk, your gaming sessions probably have you sitting down on a chair or couch or bed for multiple hours at a time. And if you’re sitting in a chair, you need to make sure it’s a good chair.
Sure, you can buy a cheap chair for $50 at your local Hobby Lobby, but these chairs typically lack proper ergonomic options, such as lumbar support or a proper backrest. These chairs may seem fine at first, but they wear your body down.
If you can, be sure to buy a proper office chair. Not only will your back thank you, but your gaming sessions will see instant improvement.
Buying the next console or graphics card isn’t enough anymore. Gamers need to be sure that they have the proper equipment for the games they play. Fortunately, if you follow these tips, your gaming experience will see an immediate boost in quality and comfort.