Man sitting on a couch and playing video games with an exhausted or dazed expression.

It’s essential that you take breaks when gaming for extended periods of time, just like any other physical activity. Let’s take a look at why that is and what the best habits are to make sure you recharge properly.

Give Yourself Time to Relax and Reset

Playing video games can be stressful, especially if you’re playing competitive games that require a lot of thinking and focus. Playing for many hours non-stop can be exhausting and stressful. You start feeling extremely burnt out and tired, which isn’t a good way to play games. It’s supposed to be fun, exciting, and rewarding, not the opposite.

Even if you’re an avid gamer, you need to give yourself breaks–a mental reset. Whenever you feel like you need one, give yourself one! If you don’t, you may overwork your brain, and this is what causes you to feel fatigued after long hours. It only goes downhill from there as you’ll feel worse the more you play. This not only is taxing on your body but decreases your performance overall.

So, if you’re trying to reach certain goals in the game you’re playing, learn to give yourself breaks to help you reach them faster. You’ll be refreshed, attentive, and motivated to keep going!

Get Back Into Focus

Like with most things in life, you don’t perform your best when you’re not taking care of yourself. This is especially true when it comes to gaming. If you’re feeling exhausted, stressed, and unfocused, then your performance in the game will reflect that.

If you’re playing first-person shooters, your aim, reflexes, and movement become sloppy. In strategic games, your smart decision-making diminishes. In role-playing games, your ability to react to situations and think critically decreases. Basically, every aspect of your gameplay is going to be negatively affected. Taking breaks can help you get back into focus which will drastically improve your gameplay.

If you’ve been playing for hours on end and you’re feeling gamer’s fatigue, chances are, you’re not in the best state to be playing. A break will help revive your mind, which allows you to regain your focus. The more focused you are, the better you perform, the faster you achieve your goals.

Eye Strain

Eye strain is a serious problem that many gamers need to be aware of. It’s already a problem for those who stare at digital screens all day. It can be worse for gamers because we tend to focus more intently on the screen in front of us and for longer durations.

When you’re playing a first-person shooter, you need to pay close attention to where you’re aiming. You may subconsciously try not to blink as you’re preparing for a gunfight. After a while, your eyes dry out and feel heavy, and these are signs of eye strain. You’re forcing your eyes to work harder than just seeing things around you.

If you’re playing a game that has a lot of text or details that you need to watch closely, you need to be able to see them without problems. Glare and low contrast can make it difficult to see what’s going on, and this can also cause eye strain. All of this is on top of the negative effects of looking at blue lights digital screens emit.

If at any point your vision starts to get blurry or you start seeing spots, it’s time to take a break immediately. Continuing to play in this condition will only damage your eyesight over time. Give those eyes some time to rest. This means not pulling out another electronic device such as your smartphone.

Types of Breaks to Take

The type of breaks you take depends on how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling slightly tired while gaming, a short break of 5-30 minutes may be enough. Of course, you can always take a longer one if you feel like you need it. Setting a reminder can help with this.

If you’re feeling exhausted and burnt out while gaming, consider shutting down the game and playing tomorrow. Let’s say, though, for some reason you really want to keep going—then it’s best to take at least a 1-2 hour break. For some people this may not be enough, so feel free to extend the break for as long as you need.

You don’t have to think much about it. Just take a break as soon as you feel like your mind or body needs one, and then continue playing when you feel back to normal.

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Profile Photo for Andy Nguyen Andy Nguyen
Andy Nguyen has been a professional freelance writer for over three years and has written hundreds of articles. He has loved computers and technology ever since he started gaming as a kid back in the 1990s. He's the person everyone he knows turns to for help with tech, too. Andy also runs a blog where he provides information and guides for students on becoming more productive.
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