Gaming sites are full of expensive solutions to your problems. However, sometimes the low-cost hacks offer the best way to boost your gaming experience.
Constant sales pitches for high-end equipment and expensive gear can make gaming culture feel like one big money grab. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many small upgrades can be made for minimal amounts. Sometimes, you can improve your performance by free improvements. These small enhancements can open up a better way to play.
Here are eight low-cost hacks that can lead to an improved gaming experience:
Protect Your Equipment
Almost any list of cheap gaming hacks includes the old “banana holder for the headphones” trick. Put that way, it probably sounds like a joke your uncle might tell at Thanksgiving. But it’s an actually good way to protect your expensive headphones.
Buy one of those stands people usually use to hold bananas and utilize it to hang up your headphones at the end of each game in session. It keeps them safe and away from a possible accident (getting kicked or sat on, for instance).
The general point is to find ways to protect the expensive gear you already own. Put it away after use. Make sure it’s out of harm’s way. That way, you avoid the cost of replacing things unnecessarily.
Check Your Internet Speed
Slow Internet speeds can limit your performance in online games. However, a limited connection can be hard to spot at the moment. Speed issues don’t have to reach the point of glitching or pausing to impact play. Your problem may be imperceptible, but still real.
To find out, run a diagnostic test. It will show you whether you are getting optimal speed from your online connection. If not, you can take steps to improve the issue.
Even if your online speed checks out, there are still ways to improve your Internet connection. Specifically, bypass Wi-Fi for an old-fashioned wired link up.
Many internet providers will give you faster service. Of course, that comes at a price. A direct connection represents a relatively inexpensive way to boost your speed.
For the simple cost of a wire, you can bypass the potentially slowing impact of the Wi-Fi. The wired setup allows you to enjoy more direct access to cyberspace.
Watch Your Posture
A bad posture can wear you down over time. Your back and neck start to hurt, making it difficult to achieve the level of performance you want. Meanwhile, you can actually suffer long-term injury if the problem persists over a long enough time.
If you feel the investment is worth it, you can buy a gaming chair. It should help relieve the issue.
However, there are plenty of cheaper solutions as well. Any comfortable chair can help. Also, set up your gaming space in an ergonomic way to prevent stress on your body. Finally, take sufficient breaks, giving you a chance to stretch and rest.
Wear the Proper Eye Protection
Long gaming sessions don’t just take a toll on your back and neck. They can wear down your eyes as well. All those hours spent staring at a bright screen can leave you bleary, sapping your ability to perform and possibly threatening long-term vision problems.
Counteract these effects with proper eyewear. You can pick up a pair of gaming glasses for less than $20. Even nicer pairs shouldn’t run you more than $75. These products allow you to block the harmful blue light emitted by the screen and limit eye strain.
However, if this seems like more than you want to spend, there are other (cheaper) solutions to the eye-strain problem. You can adjust the brightness of your screen to better match the room. Or you can exercise your eyes by stopping every 20 minutes or so and staring at an object approximately 20 feet away for a period of 20 seconds. This action is also supposed to cut down on eye fatigue.
Custom Fit Your Controller
Music history is filled with stories of musicians altering their instruments. Jazz greats filing their horns. Rock gods attacking their guitars with screwdrivers and hacksaws. Follow their lead and customize your instrument…in this case, your controller.
The Internet is full of suggestions for custom-fitting the equipment for particular games.
For instance, one popular suggestion involves using gum wrappers to maximize your trigger action. Meanwhile, another widely described hack calls for rubber bands to be used to hold the controller in place, optimizing play in particular circumstances.
Remap Your Controller
Okay, so you don’t want to start attaching gum wrappers and rubber bands to your controller. We get it. Still, even without physically altering your controller, you can take steps to optimize its setup.
By remapping the controls, you can fit the structure of the play to match your instincts.
Normally, you have to retrain your brain to follow the default controller pattern. Remapping allows you to change the action to conform to your previously existing muscle memory. It allows you to shorten the learning curve on any game, leading to better performance in a shorter period of time.
Don’t Play as Long
In any endeavor, your performance will start to drag after a long period of time. It takes rest to get an optimal level of execution. Gaming is no different.
As easy as it is to settle into a 14-hour session, it might start to take its toll after a period of time. Set limits on how long you want to play or take a rest after you start to see your performance diminish. You’ll end up playing less, but you’ll get more out of the time you invest.
By limiting your playing time, you’ll likely see your overall performance improve. Meanwhile, your level of satisfaction might rise along with it, as you cut those frustrating hours that mar the tail end of most sessions.