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13 Tips to Improve Your Reaction Time For Gaming

Tips to improve your reaction time for gaming

How good are you at reacting to any in-game events?

Nowadays, we see a standard convention in several top players called the gamer reaction time.

This metric evaluates the ability of professional gamers to react as fast as they do to any in-game events.

For those who want to become better players or eSports players themselves, the gamer reaction time should be a number one priority among every top-level required skill.

This ability is crucial because it directly affects your chances of winning games, improving all important eSports KPIs like the win rate or K/D ratio.

In today's article, we share some helpful strategies to improve your reaction time for gaming so you can train it to earn precious milliseconds in matches.

What Is The Gamer Reaction Time?

The gamer reaction time is the time between the moment an event in-game happens and when the player responds to this event.

This metric is always estimated in milliseconds (ms).

The lowest the score, the better your response time!

An angry gamer girl defeated in game
An angry gamer girl defeated in game

It significantly impacts results in several top-level game genres requiring velocity.

So for those aspiring to become an eSports player wannabe or just try to rank in a top division, you should consider exercising hard to improve your speed reactivity.

What Is a Good Reaction Time for Gaming?

The average gamer has a reaction time of around 300-500ms, whereas most professional gamers react faster than 200ms.

The difference between these 2 gamer types can be attributed to their intensive training and strict schedule.

How To Estimate Your Response Time?

To estimate your response time, you can do these 2 ways:

  • The first one is to measure it by using a stopwatch and recording the time between when the game starts and when the player presses a control key. However, this one is difficult to test alone, as you need to trigger the starting timer and press a key to stop it.
  • The second way is probably easier to do. All you need is a specific reaction time calculator game like an aiming game in which you have to aim at targets and then click on them as fast as possible. However, other games can easily be used as a calculator, like racing simulations.

This metric will vary from person to person, depending on their training, reflexes, and overall gaming experience.

13 Tips to Enhance Your Reaction Time For Gaming

Here are 13 tips you can apply daily to enhance your game reaction speed.

Don't want to read?

These advices are also available through our podcast episode on Spotify:

Don't Compare Yourself to Other Players

One of the players' biggest mistakes when improving their reaction time is comparing themselves to other high-level players.

Do not compare yourself to other players because they may have practiced longer than you did.

It will give you only negative vibes, whereas you could improve some other aspects of your game to achieve an equivalent result.

In fact, the game experience, map control knowledge, and early and late game strategies can easily outperform a potential response time weakness.

Instead, focus on improving your own performance, and you'll reach your goal.

Get Better Gaming Accessories

The first step you need to take when improving your reaction time is to acquire better gaming accessories.

Gamer gears are made for intense and long game sessions by enhancing your overall gaming performance.

Ensure that you have installed some good game optimization tools for those with an old setup and don't feel like upgrading to something new.

These tools will help you optimize your system for the best possible performance.

For those expecting to reach top divisions and have a chance to compete in championships, be sure to get a top-notch gamer setup.

In fact, other top-level gamers already have a high-performance gaming setup running with top graphics cards, motherboard, RAM, processors, hard drive, power supply, cooling system, and more.

You'll also need the basics to start with a high-end gaming monitor, a top-notch gaming mouse, a mechanical keyboard with your favorite switches, and a comfortable gamer headset.

All these devices enhance your overall game performance and reduce fatigue, resulting in improving your gamer speed time.

So don't neglect them to have a chance to contest in competitive games.

Configure Your Controls and Macros

For those already using a gamer keyboard and mouse, you already know the advantage of dedicated gamer accessories and their abilities to configure macros and settings.

But for the others, macros are your best bet to earn much efficiency in your gameplay.

For instance, you can create a macro that automatically buys your starting equipment when you start a new game or respawn after being defeated with just one pressed key.

Setting up your macros can be really handy in closed ranked matches
Setting up your macros can be really handy in closed ranked matches

This way, the macro will handle all your clicks to avoid all this manual labor and give you more time early in-game to focus on the strategy.

Play Quick Thinking And Decision Making Games

Playing action-based games is a great way to improve your reaction time, so be sure to choose video games that train your game reaction speed.

Some game genres are well-known to require quick thinking and velocity skills like:

  • FPS (CS:GO, Call of Duty, PUBG: Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Valorant)
  • MOBA (DOTA 2, Leagues of Legends, Arena of Valor)
  • Racing (Forza Motorsport, DiRT Rally 2.0, Gran Tourismo 7, F1 23)
  • Fighting (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Guilty Gear -Strive-, Tekken 7, Dead or Alive 6, Soul Calibur VI)
  • MMORPG (New World, World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76, Black Desert Online, Tera, Lineage II)

So to train your response time, you should play video games that urge your reactivity and forces you to make fast choices.

Practice Makes Perfect

You know what I mean if you have played competitive video games for years.

You may not realize it, but you probably play games more than you think. During these extended hours of practice, you learn how to control your character, equipment, and skills and get used to different situations.

These experiences are essential if you want to increase your reaction time.

Racing simulations are one of the best gamer reaction speed training
Racing simulations are one of the best gamer reaction speed training

You need to make sure that you spend enough time practicing before each ranking game.

In other words, don't just jump into competitive game matches without practicing beforehand.

Instead, take the time to analyze different maps, characters, equipment, and skills, then practice on all of them as much as you can.

Try different controllers, keyboard, and mouse controls, then item combination and switches in-game to see what fits the best for you.

By doing so, you'll be able to prevent some opponent's actions as you already predicted all possible incoming situations.

And even if your gamer reaction time is not so good, you'll have a neat advantage on your opponent even with an average gamer reaction times.

It is where the practice gets really interesting!

Try To Learn From Others

Learning from others is an excellent way to improve your reaction speed.

For instance, when you are learning how to play TCG games, you can watch videos or read books that teach you new game strategies.

By doing this, you will be able to apply those strategies to real-life scenarios but also in your games.

This is an excellent way to learn some pro gamer moves on a map when you're looking to improve your reactivity to react faster in situations.

Don't neglect this knowledge part, as it's one of the best ways to compete with players with better reaction times than yours.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential.

When you fall asleep, your whole body goes into an idle state where it doesn't act like usual.

It means that your brain stops processing information from the outside world and focuses only on internal processes.

A gamer thinking after loosing a game match
A gamer thinking after loosing a game match

As a result, your mind becomes much calmer and less reactive.

Playing video games while being tired will definitely decrease your velocity.

You'll lose most of your concentration abilities and could potentially have your vision troubled due to prolonged fatigue.

That isn't good for what you're trying to achieve.

So make sure you go to bed early every night to wake up refreshed.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended that gamers sleep a minimum of 8h per day to expect all sleeping benefits.

Make Your Mind Clear

You must keep yourself mentally ready before starting each game session.

You must be conditioned to win big, so don't get distracted and stay calm while playing.

The more focused you are on your activity, the less likely you will miss crucial details about your opponent's moves.

A focused gamer ready to react to any game events
A focused gamer ready to react to any game events

That's likely resulting in improved reaction time.

Remember, if you find yourself getting involved with unnecessary tasks, this can affect the way you play.

It is also advisable to close all unnecessary windows and running programs on your computer or mobile before starting your gaming playthrough.

Stay focused and calm to win.

Use Advanced Techniques

For those that want to reach a top speed time even further, it's recommended to use some advanced techniques.

One thing you could do is to train your "focus stacking".

It basically relies on your ability to take several actions simultaneously without losing your efficiency.

You should try to play more than one game simultaneously to see what you can do.

This way, your brain can process multiple information at once without feeling overloaded.

However, you should be careful when using this technique as it's pretty exhaustive.

Make sure you practice them slowly until they become second nature.

Take Breaks Between Game Sessions

Taking breaks after each game session is another good habit to develop, whether you are just a player willing to improve his skills or a pro gamer in being.

It will allow you to relax and prepare for the next round.

You will then be more focused and even get the time to evaluate your previous performance to correct some potential mistakes.

These breaks are also the most efficient way to decompress after game sessions where you are under pressure.

Considering the focus required at high-level, you should always take breaks with a minimum of 15 minutes to rest for each on-screen hour.

Don't ever underestimate breaks time or even consider them optional!

A gamer turning mad after several loosing streaks
A gamer turning mad after several loosing streaks

Plus, these breaks are suitable for your overall health, and a healthy gamer is a happy gamer!

Make Sure That You Have Good Lighting

You should ensure that you aren't playing under poor lighting conditions. It will only affect your vision.

As a result, you won't be able to react fast enough.

And worst, playing in poor conditions will make your eyes more solicited to balance your needs resulting in gaming fatigue.

You don't want that.

So it is highly recommended to always play games in good condition in well-lit areas.

Consider Your Age

It has already been proven multiple times, not only on the gaming scene, that age influences reflexes speed.

There are multiple reasons why pro gamers are young, and their ability to react fast due to their age is one among them.

While the age difference in reaction time is slightly noticeable for simple tasks with less than 2ms latency per decade, the difference for complex actions and quick decisions required at high-level is more significant and decisive.

However, even though you can't do anything with age, other game aspects can make a difference in closed matches.

They are often better choices to focus on and stay competitive, especially for those 25+.

Keep Track Of Your Progress

Finally, if you want to improve your reaction time, then you must keep track of your progress.

You need to record all the metrics related to your gaming experience, so you can have an idea of your current progression.

It will also help you to not discontinue your efforts by losing motivation.

Plus, you will be able to analyze your results and determine where you need to focus your efforts.

A girl actually training her reactivity speed on a game console
A girl actually training her reactivity speed on a game console

And that's all about these tips to improve your reaction time for video games.

With all these good habits, you should be able to improve slowly but surely your reactivity.

That can even helps you to enhance your in-game accuracy speed.

Remember that it's not the only metric that differentiates an average player from an eSports player, so continue to train to develop all other required skills!

Have you evaluated your own gaming reaction speed?

Let us know on Twitter!

Dubsnatch Team
Dubsnatch Team

We are a really small team of passionate people loving and supporting the independent video game industry. We are also addicts to most new technologies, animes, shows, pop culture, and movies!

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