How to Improve Reaction Time for Gaming

Avid gamers knowingly or unknowingly gain skills that they can use outside the gaming realm. There is a good reason for this. Gaming requires great motor skills, reaction time and quick reflex action. The coordination of the brain and the muscles is honed over time to perfection.

But first things first … what is reaction time? If you are driving a car and a pedestrian suddenly steps out on the road, your reaction time could save or kill that person. In gaming, reaction time is the length of time it takes you to react to visual or auditory stimuli in a game. It greatly determines whether you will win or lose.

Improving your reaction time is not easy. It takes many hours of practice on your computer, playing game after game. The improvements in your reaction time are so minimal such that you might not notice them. However, they are there alright. You can never be perfect in your reaction time. It is something that you build over years of playing.

4 main things that improve reaction time for gaming

These four things shall help take you from the slow zone to fast-as-lightning reaction time. Even if you have the best gaming equipment but you only play once a month, your reaction time will still be down there. That brings us to the first point.

Play consistently

The average reaction time of a human being when gaming is 215ms. However, several things can affect this, including the latency of your gaming mouse or keyboard.

The secret is to find one area where you need to improve and then work on that. Therefore, instead of playing consistently but on different games, try one game only, for several days. In fact, even playing a full game might not help that much. Isolate your skills and find out where you need the most practice.

While gaming, people respond to visual and auditory stimuli to make moves. Thus, if your ear cannot pick the sounds just right, get that headset on. Practice with your favorite games until you can catch the smallest of sounds from your game.

While gaming, the person with the fastest reaction time wins. Therefore, it is not always about how well you can play a game. It is how fast you can do it. Get a certain mission and practice on it purposely to shorten your reaction time.

Have enough sleep

Gaming is very much a thing of the mind. In fact, reaction time is all about how fast the brain can process commands. The brain regenerates itself while we sleep. If you have enough sleep, you can be alert, productive and attentive even to the smallest detail.

Sleep early after spending time practicing to improve your reaction time for gaming. That way, the brain will have time to analyze everything that you learned.

Create your playing room

Your reaction time is not going to improve much if you play in the living room when everyone is present. It will not improve with the children playing outside in the yard hollering their hearts out. You need to be very deliberate about your gaming hobby. Dedicate a room for gaming. It could even be your study. You can then soundproof it to keep out all the distractions.

Enhance the lighting in the room. A dim bulb will trick your mind that it is almost night and so your system starts shutting down slowly. A very bright bulb could affect your sight. Therefore, find a light that is specifically made for gaming.

When it is time for your hobby, close your door and put a no disturb sign if you have to. Get everything ready and wear your headsets.

Get the right gear

Gaming is as much about gear as it is about skill and experience. Skill and fastest reaction time will not do you much good if you have a computer that has high latency.

Here are some of the items that can help you enhance your gaming reaction time:

Headset – comfortable and light in weight

When you are playing your latest release of Call of Duty, you will need to shut out all the noise and all the distractions. In fact, a high quality headset is recommended for practice too to help you create an incredible reaction time.

Choose a headset that is specifically made for gaming. It should be light in weight, and it should also sit comfortably on your head. Make sure it covers your ears fully to keep in the gaming sounds and keep out all the noise.

Since you could sit for hours practicing on a certain map or mission to improve your reaction time, your headset should not be heavy.

Buy a gaming laptop

Gaming laptops are made to handle heavy graphics, display colors in vivid details and project sounds in the best way possible. That is why not every computer is good for gaming.

When you are practicing a fast hand for your gaming reaction time, you need a good computer with minimal latency. Latency is the delay between the time you type or key in a command and the time it is executed by the computer. To enhance your gaming reaction time, practice consistently with the computer that you will use to play.

Look for specs like a keyboard with backlight (for a laptop), at least 16GB of RAM, high SSD/HDD capacity, high screen resolution and long battery life. The hardware, software and drivers must be compatible with the game that you are using to practice to increase your reaction time.

Gaming mouse

Brands like Logitech make some of the best gaming peripherals. You need a high quality mouse to improve your gaming reaction time. Some people swear by wired gaming mouse, while others are wireless diehards.

Buy the right mouse for the right games. For example, an FPS mouse cannot be very useful when you are playing an MMO or MMORPG game.

High polling rate is better in a gaming mouse. It is usually 1000Hz. Although you might never use this high setting, get it. It will help you enhance your reaction time. Polling rate in a mouse means the number of times it communicates with the computer in one second.

Comfortable gaming chair

A regular office chair will not help you improve your gaming reaction time. Because you have to sit down for long hours to play your favorite games, a good chair is necessary because of back support, arm and head support.

A chair like RESPAWN RSP 110 gaming chair offers you excellent back, neck and arm support. It is also affordable, has a breathable back and nice padding on the lumbar region. You can sit on it for hours without feeling any strain. When you are comfortable, you can work on maps and missions that can enhance your reaction time. Its not just about gaming gear, even small stuff like the shoes you are wearing. The point is ensure you are comfortable when playing. 

Gaming desk

Today, we have desks that are specifically made for computer gaming. Some people do not consider this as a must-have, but if you are serious about gaming, it can help bump up your reaction time. Try something like the Need Gaming Desk that has some exciting features like RGB mouse pad, cupholder, cable access, matte black frame and a nicely finished top.


It is quite possible to take your reaction time for gaming from 400ms to 200ms. You just need to practice consistently and buy the right gear for gaming. If you do not see any improvement in a few weeks, keep working on it. It takes time and it is hardly measurable.

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