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Quick tips: Upgrade your gaming by changing your gaming habits

By James Lu - 6 Feb 2019

Quick tips: Upgrade your gaming by changing your gaming habits

Note: This article was first published on 24th February 2018 and revised thereafter for relevancy.

Do you suck at gaming? You know, maybe it's not your gear that's holding you back, but your poor habits. Here's what you can do.


1.) Learn better posture

Poor posture means your body has to work harder to keep you up, which leads to fatigue and possible injury. Good posture reduces strain on your muscles, letting you game for longer at a higher performance level. Good posture has also been shown to improve cognitive function through improved physiological function.

So what is good posture? To put it simply, you want your body to be as neutral and relaxed as possible, that means you should sit up straight with your head back instead of hunching forward, keep both of your feet firmly on the floor, about shoulder width apart, and your arms in a relaxed neutral position. For PC gamers, it can help to tilt your keyboard in slightly when gaming for a more natural wrist position.


2.) Save your eyes with F.lux

Your eyes are your most important tool for gaming. Simply put: if your eyes are tired, you don’t perform well. If you spend all day in front of a computer screen, consider getting a pair of specialized computer glasses like those made by Gunnar Optiks, or simply download a program like f.lux.

f.lux adjusts your computer screen's brightness and color settings based on the time of day to minimize eye fatigue and strain. Note that f.lux can interfere with full-screen gaming and cause FPS drops, so we recommend turning on the ‘safe mode’, which drastically reduces performance impact during games.


3.) Setup a custom gaming mode for your TV

Most modern TVs have a game mode that turns off color filters and other settings best saved for TV and movies, and focuses instead on minimizing the amount of visual lag between your game console and the screen.

If you want to go a step further, many TVs allow you to set up your own custom settings. Just get the exact model number of your TV and Google it, and you’re sure to find forums full of other gamers who have already worked out the best settings for your TV. Then it’s just a simple matter of copying their settings and applying them yourself.


4.) Stop snacking on Doritos and Mountain Dew

Doritos and Mountain Dew may be the quintessential gaming snack, but eating and drinking them is doing your performance no good. Not only do you get nasty Doritos dust all over your peripherals, eating lots of simple carbohydrates and foods high in sodium, such as Doritos, can quickly cause tiredness and fatigue.

As for Mountain Dew, while its high sugar content does provide you with a quick burst of energy, after the initial rush, it will leave you sleepy and sluggish. Additionally, carbonated beverages contain dissolved carbon dioxide, which increases the carbon dioxide in your body after consumption, also leading to a feeling of tiredness and fatigue. A good tip to avoid the munchies is to keep a big water bottle next to you while you game. Constantly drinking water keeps you hydrated and playing at your best, and it also keeps you full so you don’t get Dorito urges.


Upgrade your gear

Well, sometimes, you do need better gear. Here are some truly useful ones we recommend.


1.) 144Hz Monitor

While we generally aim for 60FPS as the minimum for good gaming, you can get an even better experience by upgrading to a monitor with an even higher refresh rate. Competitive FPS players in-particular will appreciate the smoother gameplay and reduced input lag of playing at 144hz.

Do note that you’ll only see the benefit of a 144hz monitor if your system can consistently get 144FPS – in fact, you’ll actually want higher than 144FPS (aim for about 200FPS to be safe) to make sure you’re not getting frame rate drops during intense action. Do this by investing in a higher-end graphics card or by lowering your graphics settings for optimal gameplay.

How about 240Hz monitors and are they any good? Here's our say.


2.) A good gaming chair

If you’re serious about improving your body posture, it’s worth looking into getting a dedicated gaming chair. SecretLab and DXRacer are the most popular choices, with both companies making full back chairs inspired by the design of racing car seats, and made to conform to the human body shape in order to provide better lateral support and weight distribution.

If you think gaming chairs are overpriced, it’s worth noting that a good ergonomic office chair can easily cost S$1,000 (the Herman Miller Embody will set you back S$2,000) so with the SecretLab Throne costing just S$399, or the new breathable material SoftWeave Throne (perfect for Singapore's hot and humid weather) costing S$429, they're quite affordable (comparatively speaking).


3.) A mouse with a Pixart PMW3360 or equivalent sensor

This entry is mainly for FPS gamers, but any gamer that needs precise, reliable mouse movement can benefit from a better mouse sensor. There are tons of mice out there to choose from, all with different specs and sensors, but right now, there is no better sensor than Pixart’s PMW3360.

The 3360 sensor is practically flawless, and tracks perfectly at any DPI, with no jitters, smoothing or acceleration. Unlike older sensors like the PMW3310 it doesn’t have any issues with tilt slam or mouse spin out. The 3360 is available in a wide range of mice (the two above are the Zowie EC1-B and EC2-B), although a few brands have their own custom version of it, they’re all essentially the same. Logitech has two versions, the PMW3366 and the HERO (which is a low power wireless version), Steelseries calls it the TrueMove3, and Razer calls it the PMW3389-T3QU.

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