Over the past year, it’s no secret that many people have found solace in the digital world. The phrase ‘Zoom quiz’ was practically cliché by mid-2020, and almost all aspects of life have had to go online. Gaming was obviously already part of this realm, but it has boomed over the last year; the worldwide phenomena of Animal Crossing, Among Us, and other titles show that players have relied on video games more than ever. 

There are many great websites and tools out there now for enthusiastic gamers and game fans to use to immerse themselves in the gaming community and their favourite titles. Whether it’s playing the latest PlayStation game or an old Xbox title, popular mobile games or new slot games, there are also tools to help manage the time players spend on their screens each day too. 

Discord

Users might be part of a fandom, want to explore game-related channels, or just chat with other gamers, then Discord is a popular free tool to use right now. While there is a paid membership option, gamers can also use the free download and use it on their computers and phones. 

According to an article from Business Insider, over 250m gamers around the world are using Discord to talk to each other. Users must always be cautious and safe when speaking to strangers online, but there are plenty of amazing experiences that have been had over the past year via Discord.

Apple screen time

As well as the latest video game consoles, mobile gaming has also risen dramatically over the years. Mobile app stores for iOS and Android have seen a huge number of downloads each year for a variety of games and apps. Last year Apple highlighted in one of their blog articles, how to use Screen Time on their devices to help manage the time spent on our phones.

The feature helps users to access real-time reports to show how much time is being spent on iPhones, iPads, or iPod touches. Using Screen Time on Apple products also enables users to set limits for when they want to manage their time more effectively. They can set daily app limits for the games category or even use the ‘downtime’ feature to schedule downtime every day. Being smart and reducing screen time each day can help to increase productivity and also reduce eye strain and exposure to blue light.

F.lux

Whether it’s scrolling through trending gaming topics on Twitter or playing hours of a new title, very long screen time can have an impact on your eyes. Luckily, there are tools like F.Lux that can help reduce eye strain when players are on their electronic devices, which are available on MacOS, iPhones and iPads.

Plenty of games, from Metal Gear to Cuphead, contain messages for the player asking them to take a break and avoid the eye strain that comes from playing in low-light environments. F.lux is designed to help with this, as it adjusts the brightness and colour of your monitor based on the time of day, meaning you can get your gaming fix with the protection your eyes need. 

F.lux can make gaming at any time of the day easier on your eyes, when playing as the sun sets, your screen will be adjusted to take on a warmer, orange tone to match your room’s lighting.  This doesn’t mean you can play into the early hours of the morning, but it does mean your evenings will be easier on the eyes.

YouTube

Whether you’re a user watching playthroughs or you are actually a gamer who is filming their own, YouTube is the perfect place to fulfil your gaming binge watch. With a variety of channels on the platform dedicated to gaming, many small and big gamers play and broadcast popular titles such as Resident Evil, Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, and Apex Legends. The video platform can be a great place for enthusiastic gamers and fans to discover new titles, watch their favourite YouTubers, and immerse themselves in the gaming community. 

Game fans can even see how successful YouTubers have forged careers out of the channel and take notes on what makes their videos so watchable. Some of the most viewed gamers on Youtube right now include Pewdiepie, El Rubius, and Fernanfloo. According to a recent article on the top 10 most viewed gamers, Pewdiepie is currently YouTube’s number one creator with an impressive 95m subscribers on his channel. In all, gaming fans can immerse themselves in YouTube easily and can browse thousands of videos from a range of creators. 

BetBlocker

Managing gaming time on a mobile or desktop is not just important in relation to video games but also games that adults can gamble on too. Spending too much time gambling online can be a big financial problem for gamblers. Sometimes it can be all too easy to gamble for hours and not realise how much time has passed and how much money has already been spent. If gambling becomes too much of a problem, there are free tools that gamblers can use to limit their gambing activities. 

BetBlocker is just one free tool that people can use for self-exclusion to restrict themselves on thousands of gambling websites for a specified period of time. When gambling online, it’s also important to play with a recommended operator, such as those highlighted on casino review sites. For beginner’s who have never played before, it can be useful to read a guide to playing at online casinos to know more about tips on online gambling and how to set limits, such as deposit and wagering limits.  

MSI Afterburner

As gaming requirements are starting to get higher, PC’s are struggling to keep up without a little extra help, and not everybody has the money for an upgrade. Luckily, GPUs can be overclocked to give an enviable boost in performance. MSI Afterburner is a free application that can fulfil this; by monitoring in-game graphics performance, benchmarking and video capture to ensure you with the best possible graphics when gaming. 

Even when players are in the middle of their gameplay, MSI has an on-screen display in the corner of the screen that can quickly become a gamers best friend. Whether gamers are playing Call of Duty or Minecraft, the on-screen display provides real-time information for a system’s performance so players can keep an eye on it during their game. It also provides a useful hardware monitor too that displays real-time critical hardware information from temperature to usage, voltage to clock speed.

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Hardware enthusiast, Gamer, Writer. I enjoy picking up games, putting them back down, and then writing about it.