Beyond the pixels and polygons on our screen, online gaming is fundamentally a social experience in which gamers enjoy playing their favourite video games.
As the popularity of multiplayer games continued increasing over the past decade, the size of online communities grew as well with a heavy focus on social interaction.
Sadly, this social interaction between gamers nowadays is paired up with a dose of toxicity which is characterized by abusive language and harassment. Luckily, there are methods you can use to reduce your own toxicity towards other players as well as reduce the overall toxicity in your games.
Set an example
Acting towards your teammates in a kind and friendly manner will go a long way when it comes to maintaining a healthy team environment.
Even if the teammates are overwhelmingly negative and toxic in-game, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from setting an example when it comes to attitude.
Instead of partaking in toxic conversations and exchanges, you can shift the focus of the conversation to winning and working as a team. You can also use some simple acts of encouragement to promote healthy team spirit in other teammates as well.
When a teammate makes a successful play, you should always acknowledge that in chat and give them a compliment so they are motivated to keep performing.
On the other hand, if a teammate is playing poorly and they’re having a rough time, you should give them constructive advice and tell them to keep their head up.
Play with friends
Playing with friends or a premade goes a long way when it comes to reducing toxicity since you have a built-in support system before the game even begins.
Your friends are more likely to defend and stand up for each other in toxic situations which discourages negative behaviour from others. They will share common goals with you and by playing with people who are not toxic and who are focused on the game, you significantly increase your chances of winning.
Furthermore, with a group of friends, you can create a positive and inclusive atmosphere that limits any behaviour that would make anyone uncomfortable.
Additionally, friends will also contribute an additional report on top of yours when you face a toxic player who needs to be banned.
Sadly, it can be difficult to find teammates who aren’t toxic these days which is why duo finders like Duoo are very popular nowadays.
Limit the communication options
Most multiplayer games have built-in communication systems that allow players to talk with each other while they’re playing, through texts or voice comms.
Sadly, since toxicity is most often spread through voice and text chats, it shouldn’t be surprising that muting solves the majority of the problem.
If you feel that the game or your teammates are slowly agitating you and the chat isn’t helping, you should always turn it off and stay focused.
By muting these communication tools, you will be blissfully unaware of any slurs and offensive language that is often exchanged by players in multiplayer games.
These toxic talks are very difficult to fully ignore and block out as you’ll often feel the need to give your two cents to the discussion. However, this will only lead to more toxicity across the board and less focus on the game which often results in a negative outcome.
In-game report system
If you want to reduce the number of toxic players in the game you’re playing, you should always report toxic players who are abusing others in the chat.
In multiplayer games with strict banning systems, many players will think twice before flaming their team as it can lead to terrible consequences for their account.
For this reason, apart from pointing out negative behaviour, you should frequently report it and encourage other teammates to do it as well. This can prevent some toxic behaviour since some players that flame are unaware of the consequences of their actions.
If the player you ended up reporting collected several reports from other players he’s played with, there’s a high chance that he will get banned altogether which is a positive outcome.
By reporting these players and participating in their banning, you make a small contribution to making your in-game community healthier and friendlier.
Taking frequent breaks can reduce toxicity in a number of ways, making you much calmer while you’re playing overall.
The main problem and source of toxicity are players who play long gaming sessions in which they get frustrated with the game, often resulting in players who are annoyed before the game even starts.
To prevent this, by constantly taking small breaks, you allow yourself to step away from the intensity of gameplay, reducing stress and frustration as a result.
These pauses don’t need to be particularly large but they do require you to step away from the screen and take a break from any devices.
There are several positives that you will instantly notice in your in-game behaviour. First of all, since you’re going to be more relaxed, you’re much less likely to lash out when you make a mistake or when your teammates aren’t performing well.
Furthermore, encounters with other toxic players will be much less stressful as well. Instead of being emotional and responding to toxic players with negativity, you will be able to objectively assess the situation and approach it calmly.