Your teammates are yelling at you and you feel the anger coursing through you as you watch the killcam, feeling nothing but frustration. It’s almost as if the game itself is mocking you, making you relive your death as you wait for another chance to join the battle alongside your team. At this point, you may be thinking, “That wasn’t even fair, I shouldn’t have died there!” or, “My stupid teammate got me killed again, why is everyone so bad at this game?” If you can relate to this kind of experience, then you can probably benefit from the wonders of positive thinking.
Competitive gaming can be very stressful. People online owe you absolutely nothing, and with the relative safety of being at home communicating through a headset or chat window, there is really nothing stopping them from raging at you mercilessly. So what do you do when the pressures of performing well crash down on you and people begin to yell at you? You take the steps necessary in order to remain calm, cool, and collected. Not only will you be in a better mood when you play, but your game will inevitably improve. People play better when they’re happy, that’s really all there is to it.
The most difficult part of improving your game is realizing that there is always room for improvement. A lot of the time, competitive gaming lends itself to projecting blame onto others. It’s much easier to blame your death on a teammate or the other guy getting “lucky” than it is to take a look at your own mistakes. I’m here to tell you that if you die/lose an objective/fail to reach a goal then there was something you could have done differently. Of course, there will always be times when someone else may have been at fault or some circumstance may have stopped you — but no matter what, you could have maybe eased the loss by changing your positioning, or gotten that extra kill if you had paid more attention. When you watch that killcam, don’t let yourself think, “This is complete bullshit.” Instead, think about why that situation turned out that way. Think, “How could I have dodged that grenade?” or, “Maybe if I’d just moved a little more to the left, I would’ve been able to get that guy.” This is easier said than done, but you’ll be able to see significant improvement in your game and your mood overall if you play this way.
Life will always throw us curve balls, and we will all have our good and bad days. When you’re having a bad day or you’re in a bad mood, don’t play competitively. It’s better to stay away from the potential anger you might feel at a loss than to risk making yourself feel even worse. Try playing a custom game instead, something you feel is more fun than it is serious. Don’t queue for a ranked game, play a game with your friends or watch some TV. Most things in life are better done happy, so unless you’re Gordon Ramsey and your job requires you to maintain a level of anger, just relax and play when you’re feeling better. If you play on your good days, you’ll find it much easier to take your losses in stride and look at your mistakes critically.
Getting better takes time, and it may take some longer than others. Setting small, reachable goals will make you feel a lot better than having one difficult, long-term goal. If you see yourself being a competitive gamer, than I urge you to follow that dream if it’s truly what you want. However, you can’t do that overnight. Otherwise, we’d have millions of professional gamers playing at all of the biggest competitions. If you want to improve your Kill/Death ratio, take it a tenth of a point at a time. Also, it’s okay to feel happy about your achievements. Don’t let others bring you down. If you see some improvement in your game when you follow these steps, let yourself be happy. You’re a gamer, you love what you do, and it’s good to feel proud of your progress.
Everyone can get competitive and feel disappointed when they play games. It’s perfectly normal to get irrationally angry every once in a while. If you find yourself thinking positively at least 60% of the time, then hey, that’s more than half! You’re well on your way to being a better gamer, and making the community more positive as a whole.