One of the biggest things that separate winning from losing for pro gamers is their reaction speeds. All those hours they spend practicing each day are to hone very specific skills that help them be the first to pull the trigger in the arena. Increasing these reaction speeds is no simple feat though. And, to make it worse, the improvements feel almost invisible to the naked eye - we’re talking about reducing reaction times by milliseconds, here.
But, they do have some of the best tools in the business at their disposal. Their decked out gaming rigs have been specifically designed for them, providing the best gaming experience possible from the refresh rate to the RGB keyboards - these pro gamers have the perfect setups.
So, it makes sense that if we want to match our own reaction speeds to those of the pro gamers, our setup will be equally important. Here are our top products that can help you improve your reaction time.
When you spend hours upon hours playing, you need the proper support and comfort backing you up. If you’re thinking about how much your back aches or you just can’t get comfortable, your reaction times are going to be affected too. This is why finding the perfect gaming chair for you is essential.
When picking a gaming chair, you need to bear in mind how well it will support your back for prolonged periods of time. Most of us are all too familiar with the pain associated with terrible office chairs, so make sure your gaming chair is a cut above the rest.
Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
No matter how quick your trigger finger is, if your keyboard and mouse can’t react as fast, it’s all for nothing. That’s why getting your hands on gaming-specific versions can do wonders to reduce your in-game reaction times.
When you’re working with gaming keyboards, you have the option to customize beyond the traditional everyday settings. You get to choose between mechanical and membrane keys, backlight settings, and additional items such as wrist rests and adjustable feet.
When it comes to picking the best gaming mouse for you, you’ll need to consider a few aspects before purchasing Things like the style of your grip, the size of your hand, and the kind of games you play will all factor into your choice. You’ll need a mouse that can provide a high polling rate so that your PC picks up your clicks in the quickest time possible, as well as a solid CPI rate to make sure it can keep up with your movements.
A Good Mattress
If you really want to drastically and systematically improve your reaction times, you’ll need to give your brain and body time to recover and commit the training to memory. The only way to do this is by getting a proper night’s sleep. And, the only way to get a great night’s sleep? Owning a good mattress. Believe it or not, there are mattresses for gamers out there that have been specifically designed to provide advanced back support as well as coming in under budget.
Having a good mattress will help you to sleep like a pro gamer (in some of the top gaming houses, they have strict curfews to make sure they get their eight hours), and in turn, will help boost your reaction speeds. Giving your brain the time to unwind and relax helps to stop it feeling overworked, and also gives it time to process everything it’s learned that day.
Our Pick: The Nectar Sleep Mattress
Nectar has created a memory foam mattress that manages to be both comfortable and supportive, helping to ease back pain and give you the best night's sleep possible. The built-in cooling technology means you won't overheat, and the online ordering process makes it quick and easy to purchase.
One of the biggest things that can negatively affect your reaction times are distractions. And the easiest way to get distracted? Random noises, listening to music, missing important moments. If you want to keep as focused as possible, you’ll need a top of the line gaming headset that can shut out the unnecessary sound, and make sure you hear every detail in your game.
You need a headset that feels comfortable yet durable, and that can perform under pressure for those all-important gaming moments. This means the microphone needs to be of the best quality too - you need your teammates to hear you as well as you can hear them. And, ideally, is easy to adjust on the headset so you’re not having to worry about it’s positioning while you play.
Having all these peripheral components are great, but if your monitor can’t keep up with the game you’re running, then you’re never going to squash those reaction times down. Having a monitor with a wider aspect ratio (we’re talking 21:9) can give you a nice advantage during gaming as you’ll have a better view of your surroundings. It’s also nice to work with a higher resolution where possible - although this will all depend on your graphics card and how much it can handle.
The most important aspect though when it comes to gaming and reaction times is your monitor’s refresh rate. If this isn’t up to scratch then you’ll be missing vital milliseconds to your opponents when it really matters. You need at least 120Hz, although if you’re a serious gamer hoping to break into esports or wanting to really boost your reaction speed then a monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate will be just the ticket.
Exercises to Improve Gaming Reaction Speed
So, you’ve got your equipment set up and ready to go - now what? Well, now comes the hard work. You’re going to have to practice, practice, practice if you want to shave off vital seconds from your reaction times, and it won’t just happen overnight. The top esports players practice for hours each day with scheduled lunch breaks and curfews to keep them in top condition. Of course, most of us can’t just spend all day gaming (even though we might really, really want to) so instead, we’re going to have to fast-track our training.
In the world of competitive gaming, it’s better to be great at one thing than average at many. This means some serious time spent doing the same activity over and over again. Many of us will play for hours and hope that by just doing that, our reactions will improve. But, usually, we focus on the gaming aspect, rather than our reactions.
By focusing specifically on improving our reactions, we’re more likely to see an improvement. Choose a particular map or mission and repeat it a few times each day, focusing on how fast you can complete it, rather than how well. Over time, your reactions will speed up enough that you can do both, but for now - speed is better than perfect scores.
Get “In The Zone”
Yes, we know how weird that phrase may sound, but it has a real purpose. If you’re getting distracted by outside factors, then you won’t be focused on your reactions. So, set aside the time to game, shut the door, and plug in your headset. Do your best to focus solely on the game in front of you, and you’ll soon see your reactions improve.
This also means it’s probably better running your chosen game solo where possible. Having other voices in your ear, or teammates to worry about may mean you can’t slice those reaction times like you want to.
Go To Bed!
But really. A good night’s sleep will make a huge difference to your reaction times. When we sleep, our bodies have the time to process everything we learned during the day. It moves these memories and experiences from our short-term to our long-term memory bank, helping them to solidify in our brains. This means you’ll be able to recall information quicker about the games you’re playing through.
It also makes it easier for you to focus on the game in hand if you’ve had a full eight hours the night before. Professional eSports players may have reputations for practicing crazy amounts, but some of the best gaming houses around impose strict curfews to make sure their players are catching enough z’s each night.
So, there you have it. Those are our top tips for how to improve your gaming reaction speed. Follow these, and you should soon see a difference in your gameplay abilities. One thing we didn’t mention though, which is equally important (if not more so) is to have fun! We know how seriously some of you take it, and that’s awesome, but games were invented to fun, so don’t let that side slip away from you.