Tilt is a part of the competitive gaming culture, but unfortunately it’s detrimental to our skills in-game and our mood IRL. Urban Dictionary calls tilt an “emotional state” that comes from doing the same thing repeatedly and having the same negative results. It can feel like an “emotional breakdown” from the “frustration of your hard work not resulting in the success you so desperately crave.” 

Maybe you’re trying to hold a flag by yourself in Domination, or the route you keep running in Call of Duty is constantly met by an annoying camper. Different tiny things can trigger tilt, but there are ways we can avoid this feeling!

Remember: It’s Just a Game

Calling a competitive match “just a game” has been a topic of debate thanks to a past Ninja tweet that became a perfect slice of copypasta. However, it’s important to remember that the game on the screen isn’t the only game you’re playing through. Esports and competitive gaming is also all about your state of mind. Taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that it’s just a game can help you retain a positive perspective and help keep you fresh.

And no, it’s not a weak mindset. 

Winning is Teaching, Losing is Learning

We all need to make improvements in our gameplay, and that’s one of the biggest challenges in esports. It’s important to realize that there is still value in losing. You’re learning a lesson, and it’s the perfect opportunity to become better at your craft while studying your opponents. This is the reason why so many professional teams will spend hours after scrimmages simply re-watching their gameplay. What did they do wrong? What did they do right? Sometimes the solution is to take a step back and research. 

By transforming a negative experience into a positive lesson, you can avoid tilt while becoming a better overall competitor. 

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Practice Mindfulness 

The subject of mindfulness is one that is often brushed aside, but it’s actually an important part of gaming! It’s one of the best antidotes for tilt, and it can keep you feeling fresh while you climb the leaderboards. It seems simple, but being present and aware of how you’re feeling can help you ward off negative thoughts and keep you focused. Even taking a minute to focus on breathing in between matches can keep you feeling steady. 

Don’t Enter a Game Angry

Sometimes it’s all about having a positive foundation. When you jump into a game while agitated, you’re going to be easily triggered, and you’ll inevitably make careless mistakes. Try your best to create a healthy baseline before you log on. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself! This means eating healthy before matches and taking the proper breaks. When you feel good, you’ll play better! 

Recognize Tilt and Release It

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid getting tilted during a game. The best thing to do is recognize tilt for what it is and learn to let it go. Sitting with the feeling and letting it grow can lead to stress outside of the game which can negatively affect your balance. Take a break, take a step back, and breathe. Take the opportunity to calm down and figure out how you ended up in that state of mind. 

Remember, maintaining a healthy mindset can drastically influence your ability to compete. Enjoy your game!