Video gaming has evolved to become one of the most widely consumed forms of media, with Variety finding that up to 70% of all Americans play games. With an ever-expanding market comes more great quality players. Whether you’re a competitive PvP multiplayer gamer, enjoy the poker scene or just want to experience new titles, staying competitive will often come down to your command of your gaming machine.
When upgrading is important
The most determinant aspect of your gaming setup for online gaming is, of course, the hardware. For console gamers, the options are fairly restrictive, though a highly quality television can provide greater image fidelity and better help you with twitch-reaction games. Upgrading peripherals is easier to budget than before; making an immediate upgrade won’t break the bank. It’s entirely possible to use your savings without making a huge dent. Alternatively, the low cost of peripheral upgrades means that those on lower incomes will be able to qualify for funding such as personal credit to purchase the upgrades they need. PCs are far more customization and relatively more complex, but prices continue to drop, as Forbes have noted. Big speed boosts can be obtained with minor changes to storage, RAM, or your graphics and central processor.
Bringing in gadgets
For some, an upgrade won’t be feasible, especially if your monitor is already up to date and your console is, too. This is where gadgets come in. For instance, a Xbox or PlayStation experiencing low boot speeds can be augmented with a USB driven solid state drive. As Lifehacker point out, SSDs will write at up to 650Mb/s, against the much slower 80-120Mb/s offered by hard disk drives. When you’re in the flow of gaming and looking to find a new match, this will save you valuable seconds and keep you in the zone.
Fine tuning your system
Buried in the default settings of every system are a myriad of options that can help to greatly improve speed. On Xbox, disabling smooth transitions is infamous for improving menu screen times. The PS4 can be boosted through rebuilding the database on a regular basis, which when done carefully will remove unnecessary files. For computers, the possibilities are often unlimited, but a good starting point is to keep storage usage down and to remove unnecessary software and processes. An often forgotten point is cleaning – a simple air dusting of the interior of any device, once every few months, will keep things running smoothly.
As more gamers pick up their controllers to join the online arena, you’re likely to find much more competition. Keeping your devices up to speed will help you to find that edge. Whether that’s tweaking your settings, a simple clean or replacing the hardware altogether, there are always options to get ahead.