Your reaction time plays a vital role in any video game you play. You know the feeling… You’re facing your opponent in a tense AWP 1 vs. 1 showdown. Your opponent clicks 0.0042 seconds faster than you do, and BOOM!
If only you had reacted just a tiny bit faster, you would have had him! You had him right there in your sights. Right in your crosshair – 100% chance, no doubt about it (right?!).
Now, we’re going to talk about reaction time in gaming. As previously stated, it is one of the most important factors for success in esports. In this article, we are going to give you all of our best tips on improving reaction time. As long-time gamers, followers of esports and with Mads being a former professional esports athlete himself, we believe that we have some good tips and tricks for improving reaction time.
After all – reaction time is what our product do best.
So, let’s get to it! The ULTIMATE GUIDE for improving reaction time.
Pro Tip #1 – Concentrated Practice
If you’re serious about improving reaction time in games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is a great idea to spend 30 to 60 minutes each day on practicing reaction time alone. There are many factors that contribute towards being a great player such as tactics, reflexes, strategy, precision, mentality, etcetera. Reaction time is one of these major pillars of success. There are websites like Human Benchmark , where you can test your reaction time, as well as great maps in CS:GO where you can also do this. Normally, when you play a game of League of Legends, CS:GO or any others, you use your reaction time but you don’t concentrate on improving it – you just play! If you take just 30 minutes a day and start doing this consistently, you will see major improvements over the course of a few weeks.
Pro Tip #2 – Precision vs. Reaction Time
One thing that many people forget is that reaction time is not the only thing that makes a player fast and great. You have to be precise while being fast. The two go hand-in-hand in Counter-Strike, and you really need both to be a top-tier player. We absolutely love this map in CS:GO , and have been using it to improve reaction time and precision for as long as I can remember. It trains both your precision and reaction time at the same time.
Pro Tip #3 – Warm hands vs. Cold Hands!
As we’ve covered before, you react up to 6-8% faster with hands that are around 32-33°C, as compared to hands that are colder (below 30°C). Once your hands drop just a little in temperature because of the adrenaline that your body produces, your reaction time drops dramatically. This can be crucial to your success if you’re in a clutch situation. We have previously covered how to keep your hands warm while gaming .
We recommend the Envavo Heatbuff , which is the best on the market when it comes to keeping your hands warm at all times (and not just when you’re dead, and therefore can keep them warm by holding a cup of coffee, rubbing them together or other similar methods).
Pro Tip #4 – Zone In!
One of the major things to think about when it comes to improving reaction time is simply “getting in the zone”. What I mean by this is the ability to fully concentrate. Loosen up your shoulders, block external noise and focus on your gameplay. However, you don’t have to overthink this. The method of “getting in the zone” is individual for each person, but being mindful and relaxing is a great way to keep you in the game. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people can get TOO focused on their gameplay and not relax while gaming. This will actually decrease your reaction time, so it is extremely important that you try to relax while being focused on the task at hand – getting those headshots.
Pro Tip #5 – Gaming Equipment
Reaction time and gaming equipment go together like bread and butter. If you play on a 60Hz monitor, you will have a slower reaction time than if you play on a 144Hz monitor. Why? Because even though you can’t actually see it, your brain processes more images per second and the game will feel smoother. Therefore, you will be able to improve your reaction time. While the Hz is important (not only for reaction time, but also for aiming and precision), you also need a monitor with a low input delay. This is even more important, as you’ll have a hard time aiming if your input delay is above 5ms. Aim for a screen with high Hz and low input delay. For me personally, getting a 144Hz monitor made me a substantially better player overnight.
The final thing you need to think about in terms of gaming equipment is your mouse and keyboard. Having a mouse and a keyboard with low input will ultimately make your reaction time faster than if you have a keyboard and mouse with high input delay. Say that you react in 195ms, and then your mouse has a 5ms input delay. This gives you a reaction time of 200ms. If that was a 1ms input delay mouse instead, you would have a reaction time of 196 ms. Those 4ms can mean the difference between a kill and being killed. More often than not, it won’t matter
too much, but if you’re really going for the fastest reaction time possible, you absolutely need a good mouse and a good keyboard.
Pro Tip #6 – Play More Games!
Playing a lot of video games is a great way to improve your reaction time, but remember to have fun while doing it. We won’t spend too much time going into detail with this, as it is pretty obvious. However, it must be mentioned as, in the end, you will need to be good at the game and not just able to react quickly. Reaction time is one important factor, but it is not the only one. So, why not improve your reaction time while improving your overall gameplay? Play more games!
Pro Tip #7 – Physical Advantages
Being in good shape, eating healthy, drinking enough water and getting the right amount of sleep are all necessary if you want to perform at your highest level. Professional esports athletes like Astralis’ key player “Dev1ce” are a good example of this. He is fit, and you often see him and the other players on social media doing workouts as well as eating healthy snacks and drinking water before important games. They do this for a reason. They do it to help concentration, reaction time, dexterity and all of the other factors that go into improving reaction time. If you eat junk food and drink soda, you will not have the same advantages as if you were eating healthy and stayed hydrated.
Pro Tip #8 – Don’t Stress It!
Improving reaction time takes time. A lot of time, practice and dedication will need to go into this. If you stress about this too much and only focus on improving your reaction time, you could end up burning out. We don’t want that! Here at Envavo, we want you to be the best gamer possible and enjoy each gaming experience to the utmost. We know that esports is becoming a global phenomenon, and aim to help that rapid expansion in any way that we can. So, practice hard but always remember to enjoy yourself at the same time.
- Don’t just play a game and expect to improve your reaction time based on that alone. Try to do 30 minutes of concentrated reaction time practice each day.
- Don’t hyperfocus on reaction time alone, it is important to focus on your precision as well.
- Keep your hands warm at all times. This is one of the major factors when it comes to improving reaction time.
- Zone in! Relax, loosen up, block out the noise and focus on your gameplay while not overthinking it.
- Have the right gear – you’re going to need 144Hz and as low input delay as humanly possible.
- Take care of yourself. Keep hydrated, eat well and get enough sleep. Your headshots will thank you for it.
- Don’t stress about it. Relax a bit, and play games with friends. Reaction time is not the only factor of being a good gamer – remember to have fun.
If you want to improve your overall performance with mental practice, best tips from pro players, choosing the right gear, and performance-enhancing methods you should check out our Ultimate Gamer Guide Ebook, which you can download for free!