After a stressful week, when you finally sit down on Your PC or Console in the comfort of your own chair on the weekend, log in to your steam account, psyched to play a game of league, CSGO or whatever floats your boat, you may find yourself blinded by rage and poor gameplay decisions as the opposition crushes you.
All that excitement goes to the drain when you start cursing at your teammates, creating a very toxic vibe. You are experiencing something called “Tilt”.
What Is Tilt and Why Should You Care?
The term “Tilt” was derived from poker and refers to emotional stress and confusion. When we talk about gaming, tilting could be when one makes irrational decisions due to, let’s say, extensive loss streaks, resulting in an aggressive manner.
Players play the game carelessly when they are tilted as there is no logic or reasoning to the decisions they are making due to, well, rage.
Why Do Gamers Become Salty when they Tilt?
- Feeding: When your teammate deliberately starts dying to the enemy team.
- Miscommunication: You asked for a flash at long but they never do. Consider that they never heard you?
- Throwing: “Why do these kids play competitive”. This is the thought that comes to your head when you are playing with people who seem to be enjoying themselves, rather than concentrating on the game.
- Griefing: Some annoying player starts to kill their own teammates just because they are too incompetent.
The first thing to know is that EVERYBODY Tilts, even the Pros in a competitive game, it is just human nature.
Consider the big names in the gaming industry, Simple, Stewie2K, KennyS, Caps, Perkz. These Pro players spend 12 hours practicing every day and still find themselves smacking the desk.
Now do some self-analysis. You probably spend 3-4 hours a day with the intention to “win” not “learn”. Just because you managed to clutch one round in the game does not mean you get to taunt the rest of the players. In that case, you are just being toxic and will put the rest of the players on tilt, ultimately losing the game.
Tilt is caused by something called ‘amygdala hijack’. Amygdala is a set of neurons located deep in the brain which is responsible for the processing of emotions.
Here is how it works. Imagine losing 3 games in a row because some toxic player starts griefing and the same situation happens as soon as you start your 4th game.
Now imagine losing a consecutive promotional game the same way you did before. You are probably going to want to smash your keyboard, or already have.
What happens is that you snap into another state of mind, be it panic, anger or stress. This mechanism is called “Amygdala Hijack”.
Getting out of this state is quite hard, especially when the trolls are in your face.
We reached out to known gaming experts and @Hambinooo (A well-known PUBG Streamer on Twitch) was kind enough to share a tip with us. Here is what he has to say.
Once you become tilted, performing afterward will inevitably become harder. Keep a calm, open, analytical mind to fix your mistakes and improve in future matches!
Ron Rambo Kim, A famous YouTuber, and former Cloud9 CSGO pro-player also shared on how he deals with tilting while gaming.
For me personally, my mood, state of mind, and energy levels are the most influential factors of how susceptible I am to tilt. When gaming or doing any activity in general, if I’m well-rested, in a peaceful and calm state of mind, nothing phases me!
What Happens when you Tilt?
Tilting is a vicious cycle.
You want to make up for your mistakes or get back at an opponent which forces you to make aggressive and bold plays which in your head turned out to be different. Unfortunately, you get punished for a careless play and go on Tilt.
The moment you start tilting, you instantly take it out in the form of slamming the desk, smashing the keyboard, breaking your mouse or raging on the teammates instead of trying to contain yourself.
How to avoid Tilting and Take Control of your Emotions?
In a nutshell:
- Ignore what others say: This is similar to what is stated above. Just as you do not want to tell others how to play, you should not be listening to what they have to say either. Because they are probably tilted themselves, and may just bring you down with their toxicity. Try using the “Mute” option, you will definitely have a better experience.
- Treat the game as a stress reliever: Play casual games to uplift your mood if you have already had a bad day at school or work. A person who has just done a 12 hour shift listening to his/her boss complain about how everyone but him is incompetent, will only drain themselves if they decide to play a serious competitive game.
- Focus on yourself: Focus on what you can do better in a given game, as you can not control others’ actions by spamming the mic. For all you know, the other player might not even be using headphones at all!
- Ranks Do Not Matter: Just like some people say your grades are not representative of your knowledge or skill, similarly, your ranks in a competitive game do not matter. Just because you de-ranked lost your prestigious symbol, will not affect how good you are as a player.
- Acceptance: If you are constantly failing at something, maybe you’re just having a bad day. Why not leave that role to somebody else? Do not let your ego cloud your judgment. Everyone loves to awp and hit flicks that will make others go “Insaaaane shot brooo”, but ask yourself if you are really helping the game.
As cliche as it may sound, success or failure is never a matric to determine one’s ability. It is the person who learns from their mistakes and tries to be a better version of themselves.
Recognize and acknowledge your tilt triggers and take control of your emotions so that you are able to make more rational decisions, no matter what the outcome of that action.