Tilted. We gamers have all been there at some point, even though it might make little to no sense to people who are not playing games actively.
First, I would like to clarify what being tilted means – angry, perturbed, specifically caused by a video game.
It can completely ruin your gaming night with friends, make you toxic, or feeling extremely angry at yourself. As a result, the whole gaming experience, which should be extremely enjoyable, is ruined.
I used to be that person who got tilted after a few losing streaks in League.
I used to be that person who was constantly toxic in the tilted state. Not just towards other players but also to myself.
You can be a lawyer, student of psychology, clerk, or whatever position, you name it, but nothing makes you resistant towards tilt.
You literally have to master your mind to change this toxic and damaging pattern during gaming (that is unless you want to stay toxic).
So how to stop tilting?
Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no simple solution. As every negative pattern of thinking or behavior, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to change it.
To start off right, try to answer the following questions honestly. It might help you and guide you on the right path.
1. Why do I play this game?
The reason you do it, even if you do it competitively should be because you enjoy the game. Whether you play alone because of the game itself or because you play it with friends does not matter.
The rule is simple, you should enjoy the game for the time playing. Realistically speaking, you might be thrown off balance sometimes. But the majority of time spent playing should be an enjoyable and wholesome experience.
2. What makes me tilted and why?
Typical answers for this are usually something like “other teammates”, “my own stupid mistakes”, “I somehow won but my support was bad AF”, “I had to carry 1v9”, “someone flamed me and was awful himself”, “someone was trolling”, and “my jungle went AFK”.
I could continue forever with more examples (pretty sure you can think of at least 10+ by yourself).
My point is that if you are being tilted in multiplayer games, you are most likely focusing too much on variables that you have no control over. They are called external factors because you have little to no effect on them.
The majority of gamers I have talked to used to tell me that they are tilted mainly because of others. Obviously, there is also a chance of you being tilted from yourself and your performance. But the latter is way rarer.
Let’s break it down piece by piece.
If you are tilted and it’s mainly caused by your teammates, I have one piece of advice for you. Have you performed perfectly that game? Have you never messed up the game for others? I think we both know the answer.
It’s crucial to realize that even if you are playing a competitive game, it should not be heavily focused on judging the skills of other players. They are their own people responsible for their own actions.
With you having zero to no impact on their behavior, it’s more about the learning experience and your own improvement.
3. Should I continue playing if I feel tilted?
The truth is, yes, you can continue playing but at a heavy cost.
Not just you feel bad, you will most likely lose if you are playing games like CS: GO, Fortnite, or League, and if we are talking about MMOs you will be just feeling frustrated and irritated, defying the purpose of playing MMOs.
What I do is that I stop playing when I start feeling even a little bit tilted. A good rule is to stop playing after losing two or three games in a row because it’s usually impacting you very negatively (if you are prone to tilt).
If you are already tilted and continue playing, you simply underperform because of your negative emotions and loss of focus caused by that.
4. Did you just say to yourself: BUT…?
Have you found yourself trying to reject what you have just read? Yes, this is how we, humans work. We give up many times abruptly and easily, mainly when things get difficult to deal with. Change of attitude is one of these seemingly distant and hard to achieve things.
Let me give you one counter-argument. The change of attitude and habits is tough but the benefits outweigh that.
Imagine being able to enjoy every game you play to its fullest. Yes, even you can achieve it.
Even if you sometimes think that your thoughts have control over you, you are the one and only master of your mind. If you find it difficult to think positively, try to not formulate or give any space to intrusive and negative thoughts. If you that kind of person, who, like me, finds it difficult, you don’t even have to remove the negative part of the thought.
Instead of thinking “I am so bad/ my teammates are so bad”, you can try adding “I am playing bad right now but I am actively doing everything I can to win.”
This not only reduces the negative impact of the first part of the sentence but also helps you to shift your previous thought patterns.
5. What other things can I do to stop being tilted?
First of all, acceptance. One of the most useful things is to realize and accept that you can’t win all the time. The nature of games like League of Legends shows that even the best players are around ~60% win rate. And we are talking about high elo here.
If it comes to the majority of people, they will win 50% of their games and lose the other 50%. Simply put, this is how it is for 90+% of people who play that game.
Secondly, it’s important to realize that you are (probably) playing just for fun and some improvement in that game. That is if you are not aiming to be pro or being one. As a result, your rank, your win to lose ratio, and game achievements mean very little for your life. And even if you are one, you might want to take a little break instead of getting a huge losing streak for no reason.
Thirdly, you need to realize that what might be holding you back from winning more games or getting better is your attitude. I am not telling you that will win all games if you change it. But you will win and improve way faster if you have the right attitude during seemingly impossible games. It is possible, and my boyfriend, who plays League professionally, does it quite often. Focusing on himself, trying extra hard, and not surrendering too early even if it looks grim. He simply knows that he can overturn it and win in the end.
In other words, do your best in every game you play if you are aiming to win and you will see how much it helps.
If you find it hard to focus on your game while listening or reading toxic and unproductive chat, mute them.
You can’t change how other people play, but you can focus on yourself. This way you can improve and learn while having fun.
Psychologist, Dreamer, and Writer whose great passion is to bring healing to people.