How Well Do You Deal With Pressure In Games?

How Well Do You Deal With Pressure In Games?

Last night against many odds, which included inextricably putting my gun away while I was being shot, I managed to win my second squad chicken dinner in Battlegrounds. And it felt great – but it also reminded me of all the clutch situations I used to find myself back in my Counter-Strike LAN days.

The intensity of the top 10 has surprised me, if only because I thought I would have been a lot more prepared for the pressure than I was. I’ve played at plenty of online and offline tournaments over the last decade, across multiple games. It’s something that I’m used to, or at least thought I was. But the fun thing about Battlegrounds is it has a way of making you feel like every decision matters – because one wrong decision can end the round then and there, and there are plenty of opportunities to make that mistake.

The same thing can happen in CSGO or StarCraft, but the amount of opportunities to make a cock-up of that size are much smaller. Often it’ll be a mistake that puts you slightly behind, or maybe something that’s inefficient but doesn’t cost you anything at the end of the day. Battlegrounds is different, and exploring the memory of that, and the pressure that comes with it, has been fascinating.

So for this week’s Tell Us Dammit, let us know: how do you cope with pressure in video games? Do you cope? Are you the type of player to get goosebumps and shakes? Do you learn to deal with it over time, or is it something that gets you every time you play?


  • I had my fair number if clutch wins in R6 Siege to know I can handle it well enough. I tend to just to ignore that I’m the last one left and focus on what I am doing right Now, breaking down the round into smaller objectives.

    I think the key is to not beat yourself up if you lose under that pressure. Take it in your stride, you did your best and you’re just human.

    Though, the adrenaline rush is addictive.

  • I’m absolutely useless. As soon as a games gets remotely stressful, the room gets 5 degrees warmer and I shake like someone slipped 5 shots into my coffee. Always been this way, probably always will.

  • Badly. Which is why certain games, types of games or content in games really doesn’t appeal to me and if I have a bad experience I’ll often not touch it again even if I otherwise liked it.

    It stops me from enjoying the Persona series for example. The time management part of it is way too stressful for me.

  • It depends on if I get into the flow or start seizing up. It changes situation by situation, but it does lead to moments like winning a 1v3 in Mechwarrior Online in a Hunchback to take the match, or a clutch finish of an extreme primal in FF14.

    • In MWO the combat never really stressed me out, even if the round depended on it. I always played to win but there never really felt like there was any major downside to losing. As long as I played well and raked in the those sweet sweet cbills

  • Last time I played anything competitive (apart from Rocket League, which I very rarely play ranked) was back in the CS 1.4 (I think) days in the late 90’s early 00’s. I loved the pressure of being the last team member left, knowing everyone was watching your every move. Back then, the competitive level was much lower than it is now. It was fun, if you died, no one really cared, if you won, it felt great. These days, I really limit online play as it is so, so, toxic. I love playing Rocket League, but too often you’re stuck with a team mate who thinks they’re God, and get pissed at any tiny mistake you make. I have no interest in practicing 5 hours a day to get better, I just want a bit of fun.

    I do love pressure in single player games. Just last night I was playing Horizon and was stuck in a battle with 3 Tramplers coming from every direction. It was awesome, and so rewarding when the last of them bit the dust. Heart rate rose and the palms were sweaty, but damn it was fun. Beauty of games like Horizon, if it gets too much, just run and come back later.

    Like @negativezero, I don’t like time pressures. Games like Majora’s Mask, as awesome as it was, don’t usually last with me because I want to take my time.

  • I feel like I’ve gotten better with pressure now. Whenever a comp came up the adrenaline would get pumping and the hands start trembling and nervous sweat happening, etc. But the last few tourneys I’ve played haven’t been so bad, so guess I’ve pushed through to the comfort stage.

    Still don’t necessarily perform as well as I do in solo queue, but that might be another matter entirely 😛

  • Never used to feel any pressure, except maybe for 1st encounters against a final boss (Sonic 2, The Death Egg Zone with half a dozen mates watching was the most stressed I’ve ever been playing a game). These days once the game is rolling I’m fine. I guess with age and experience comes knowing I’m not as good as I used to be and it doesn’t faze me in the slightest anymore. Conversely though, booting up a game for the first time that I know is gonna be hard, or online multiplayer I now get serious butterflies in the guts. I know that 80% of gamers are younger and have better reflexes than me and the thought that I’ll endlessly get my arse handed to me or worse- I wont have the skills to finish a game I like, truly chills my bones now. Of course after I acclimatise to a game the truth is yes, while my skills are dimming I am by no means out of contention. Which as a 40 year old makes me warm n fuzzy knowing that.

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