Dealing with Toxicity in Video Games

In most team-based online video games, toxicity is something you will face, possibly on a daily basis. Not only can it negatively impact your gaming experience, it may deter you from playing certain games outright. But as bad as it is, toxicity is part and parcel of video games – you’ll have to learn to live with it.

But there are certainly ways to deal with it effectively. We’ve faced our fair share of toxicity in video games, and here are some tips on how to make the best of it.

Foster Goodwill

If one of your teammates starts getting toxic, try to be helpful and supportive. It’s very easy to just ignore toxic teammates and leave them to their own devices, but there’s no harm in trying to calm them down or encourage them.

In fact, it could improve your whole team’s performance if everyone is level-headed. It’s easier to work together when there’s no hostility in the team, and it will make the gaming experience a lot more pleasant.

But some teammates can be extra difficult, so if that doesn’t work..

The Mute Button Is a Blessing

No matter how much you try to be helpful, some teammates are as toxic as they get. In this case, the mute button is the next best thing. Yes, it will affect the effectiveness of the team, but chances are, you will perform better if you’re not reading or hearing toxic messages from your teammates.

Fortunately, some games make it possible to still communicate (to an extent) with your other teammates even if you’ve muted them. Apex Legends, for one, has a very robust ping system. You can use the mouse wheel button to ping enemy locations, supply drops, and equipment.

Although it differs from one game to another, it’s still possible to play most games effectively even with muted teammates.

Play with Friends

Getting into a game with a group of friends is one of the best ways to minimise the possibility of running into toxic teammates; even more so if you can fill an entire team with friends. More often than not, it’ll be much more fun to play with your friends as well.

Of course, friends can be toxic too, but hey, it will be much easier to talk to them and calm them down. Random strangers on the internet? Not so much.

Take a Break

If the toxicity starts to get to you, take a break. Even a quick break would help immensely to get you back into the right mindset. After all, playing a game when you’re “tilted” will magnify even the slightest setback, which will affect your enjoyment of the game.

Take it from someone who was repeatedly paired with teammates that refused to play as a team in Apex Legends. They landed far from where our teammates are, and swiftly blamed the others when they’re swarmed by other squads before leaving the match.

I wasn’t enjoying the game very much with my streak of bad luck, so I took a break, and waited for my regular squadmates to come online before I get back into the game.

Enjoy the Game!

At the end of the day, we play games to have fun; it stops being fun when we get paired with toxic teammates, and we take it too seriously. Taking a break to clear your mind is one way to do it, or you can just enjoy the ride and play for fun.

Got a teammate that starts throwing vulgarities at the slightest inconvenience? Mute them, and enjoy the rest of the game without any disturbance from said teammate. Just focus on the game itself, and you’ll have a lot more fun once you’ve stopped taking things too seriously.

There’s definitely a time and place for serious gaming sessions, but it’s important to know that it’s not always ideal or possible, especially when you’re paired with random players on the internet. Go for the win when it’s more feasible, and you won’t get tilted as much.

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