Do you want to play like a pro-gamer? Then you need the same high-quality gear pro-gamers use. Gaming is all about reflexes and accuracy, but without the best gear, you are turning up to an online gunfight armed half-blind, half-deaf, and enough lag to nullify any skills you had to begin with.
It seems logical, more responsive and balanced controls will help you aim, move, and attack better. But improving your gaming skills goes beyond the controls.
Hear no evil
A headset is often overlooked when it comes to gaming. Gamers often prefer to spend larger amounts on the flashier gear like mice, controllers, and keyboards, but a good headset can improve your gaming performance significantly.
A good headset will allow you to pinpoint the exact location of a sound. In games which involve stalking, and ambushing to get the advantage over your opponent (think Call of Duty, Overwatch and Fortnight), a good headset can mean the difference between getting ambushed and killed and turning the gun around on your stalker.
Developer Chris Wilson advises getting a good stereo headset, “software can do an excellent job of providing positional cues through stereo”. Avoid fancy gimmick gaming headsets and get a headset from companies that specialize in sound technology like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and Beyerdynamic.
See no evil
As those of you who have ever had to spend even one excruciating day dealing with lag will know, in gaming, every millisecond counts. Well, it isn’t just your internet connection that can cause a delay to the image you see on your screens. Your monitor and television can too.
The input lag is the time it takes for your console or computer to send the message to the monitor. The average console or computer will take around 0.2 seconds to send the image to the monitor. This is considered a normal amount of input lag. If this number is 0.3 or higher, your equipment is undoubtedly affecting your gaming performance and you should consider investing in a better monitor with less input lag to boost your performance.
It isn’t just a reduced input lag that can give your gaming skills a boost. Professional gamers usually use monitors with 24-32-inch displays. The reason being is that this is the optimal size for gaming.
When you are gaming you likely need to scan both the wider landscape for enemies, whilst simultaneously monitor a mini-map in a corner. On a big monitor, scanning the landscape takes that little bit longer, making it more difficult to monitor the mini-map at the same time.
A 24-inch or 32-inch screen is large enough to clearly see the landscape, whilst small enough to flit between the mini-map and the landscape.
Comfort and response times
Finally, probably the most important piece of equipment when it comes to honing your gaming skills; the gaming mouse. A good gaming mouse increases your skills in two ways. Firstly, by improving your comfort and secondly, through reducing response times.
Getting a mouse that fits your hand is essential for both. Before you buy a high-end gaming mouse, measure your handspan and find a mouse that matches the size of your hand for optimal gaming performance.
A mouse with shallow buttons will also help shave valuable milliseconds off your response times, as will a mouse that can handle a significance dpi (dots per square inch).
By ramping up your headset, monitor, and gaming mouse, you can drastically improve performance by increasing your response times and spatial awareness. Dominate your competition with the right equipment and take your gaming to the next level.