Maintaining focus during gameplay is the key to success on the leaderboards, but it’s something many people struggle with, especially during long hours of playtime. If you can’t retain focus on your objective, you won’t make progress. Here are our top five tips to help you improve your in-game focus:
Make Your Setup Work for You
Your battlestation, whether it’s a major PC station or a spot on the couch, carries a huge effect on how you perform. Before you slump down into your chair for another eight hour session, make sure your setup is properly accompanying your physical needs. Does your chair help you maintain good posture or do you find your back hurting after a few hours? How tall is your desk? You should be able to configure your setup based on your height and posture needs. If you’re finding yourself making uncomfortable changes in order to stay in front of the screen longer, maybe it’s time to rearrange some things.
How close do you sit to your screen? If you experience eye pain or other annoying symptoms like headaches, you may need to adjust how far away you sit from your screen. Other factors like blue light could be interfering with your performance. Finding a comfortable pair of blue light gaming glasses could change your game!
Drink Plenty of Water
It seems obvious, but remembering to drink water while gaming is important. 60-70% of our bodies are made of water, and when we don’t get enough, everything will begin to crumble. While drinking enough water is fantastic for our bodies physically, water heavily affects our nervous systems, which play a huge part in our performance in-game. The nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, are about 73% water.
In addition, your blood plasma is over 90% water, and the blood is how our bodies transport things like oxygen, macronutrients, micronutrients, and waste products.
In other words, we’re all basically house plants who game so make sure a bottle of water is a part of your battlestation!
Just like drinking water, exercising regularly is an obvious but important part of retaining focus! Dedicating even just 30 minutes a day to a physical activity can help with heart health and weight loss. However, it has a huge impact on how we game! Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help give you an energy burst, increase your mood, and improve your memory.
Whether it’s a walk around the block or an intense boxing session, make sure you’re making some time to move around!
Research Healthy Supplements… Only if Needed
Supplements are a familiar part of esports as more companies jump into the mix to provide enhancements. Energy drinks are the usual go-to for energy and focus, but the crashes that come with such a huge intake of sugar and caffeine are horrible… but that’s just the beginning.
Chugging an energy drink can introduce a plethora of bad reactions such as increased blood pressure, weight gain, and tooth decay. They also increase the risks for things like irregular heart rhythms, can contribute to mental health problems, and cause kidney damage.
Supplements in general aren’t necessarily bad, but it’s important to remember that supplements are used to supplement a balanced diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids (or Fish Oil) are commonly used to “help build cell membranes in the brain and also may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that could protect brain cells.” However, the three types of omega-3s are commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, which can be the perfect base for a healthy meal. If you’re not consuming enough fish (about two portions of oily fish per week), then taking this supplement could be beneficial!
Creatine also plays a role in energy metabolism and can be naturally found in your muscles and brain. It can also be found in some foods, primarily animal products like meat, fish, and eggs. However, it’s also a great supplement that can help improve memory and thinking skills, especially for those who don’t eat meat.
Caffeine, while not so great in products like energy drinks, is still a natural stimulant. Most commonly found in coffee, tea, and dark chocolate, caffeine can help you feel more energized, enhance focus, and improve reaction times and general brain function. According to studies, most people can take a single dose of “around 200-400 mg per day” to safely enhance energy levels, but taking too much can be linked to issues such as anxiety, nausea, and trouble sleeping.
The bottom line is this: Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help introduce the things you need to stay sharp during game time! Build your foundation first before jumping into supplements.
Fatigue and burnout are the results of overworking and not resting. The same can be said when it comes to gaming. Gaming Fatigue is a real issue, something many people took notice of during the pandemic. No one is immune to burnout, and it can be a major career killer.
It starts with pressure to do more: more hours played, more stream time, more content creating. While playing games casually can be a relaxing and freeing experience, building a career out of it can be stressful. It’s easy to neglect a healthy diet and positive sleep hygiene when you’ve adopted the “grind mentality.”
Sometimes it’s just best to pull away from a game! Experiencing regular exhaustion, irritability, and headaches can be a huge sign of burnout. For streamers, it could mean losing interest in going live, feeling anxious about jumping on camera, or even feeling tense about interacting with chat. For competitors, it could mean losing all interest in the games they’re contracted to play.
Understand that it’s easy to get lost in gaming, especially if you’re adding on a workload of streaming, competing, or content creating. While it can be difficult to do, it’s important to find a healthy balance between gaming and taking care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, take breaks during sessions to help avoid fatigue, and always make time to do something outside of gaming.
When video games become your job, it’s important to find other hobbies to take its place. If you’re anything like me, even playing a casual game by yourself can turn into a brainstorming session.
Stay healthy, drink plenty of water, and get some good sleep! I promise you’ll become a better gamer and a happier person.