OUR STREAMERS

Online games have been on the rise for the last few years, with millions of people playing titles like PUBG, Fortnite, and Overwatch every day.

These games are different from traditional single-player games in many aspects, but probably the biggest among all is their reliance on a solid internet connection.

No matter how powerful the CPU and graphics card you have in your PC, there will be lags if you have high ping and latency.

For those who don't know, lag is the time duration between a player's actions in a game and the reaction of the game server based on those actions.

The signal your computer sends to the game server for communication is called ping, and the time it takes for your PC to send a ping to the game server and receive it back is called latency. This round-trip is calculated in milliseconds.

Although ping and latency are different terms, most people use them interchangeably. And for the sake of simplicity, we'll do the same here.

Although ping requirements vary from one game to another, most of them are unplayable beyond the 200ms mark. The 100-200ms is what's considered poor ping. You'll be able to compete with this ping, but there will be frequent lagging.

The 50-100ms ping is acceptable, but only for RTS and MMO games. For fast-paced FPS titles, you should aim for the 20-50ms ping.

8 Ways to Lower Your Ping During Online Gaming

In case you're experiencing high ping, below are some of the ways you can improve it.

1. Reboot Your PC

The first thing you should try is restarting your computer. You'll be surprised to know that many programs occupy tiny space in the RAM even after they've been closed. These small memory leaks can accumulate over time, causing your PC to slow down after continuous usage and subsequently increasing your latency.

To avoid this situation, you should restart your PC at least once a day as it will clear your system cache and flush the RAM.

2. Close background programs

There are a lot of background programs running on your PC at any time. You won't necessarily notice, but many of them eat your internet bandwidth in small chunks continuously.

Therefore, you should force-close apps like Skype and Google Chrome using Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) before playing any online game.

Photo by blurrystock on Unsplash
Photo by blurrystock on Unsplash

3. Temporarily Disable Windows Updates

Enabling Auto-Updates for Windows OS is a good step in improving your PC's security as you get updates and patches as soon as possible. But these updates can also consume a lot of your internet bandwidth, causing your game to lag.

That's why you should temporarily disable Windows and other software updates when starting a gaming session.

4. Change Router Settings

WiFi is the preferred internet connection type these days because of its convenience. But it also comes with many downsides such as signal interference, dependency on router's range, and security risks.

The WiFi router's range is crucial because the farther you move away from it, the lesser internet speed (and subsequently high ping) you get. To avoid this, you should place the router in a central location of your house.

In case you're using a single-band 2.4GHz router, make sure to change your WiFi channel as your WiFi signals can get interference from other routers in your area. Ideally, you should select any one among channels 1, 6, and 11, as these are only non-overlapping WiFi channels on the 2.4GHz band.

If you use a dual-band or tri-band router, you can switch to 5GHz, which is much less cluttered and provides faster data transfer.

Some other things you can try are removing less important devices from your WiFi network, restarting your router, and using QoS to prioritize gaming traffic in your network (only available in high-end routers).

5. Switch to Ethernet connection

If you've tried the above settings to your router and are still experiencing high latency, you can try using an ethernet connection. These connections provide faster data transfer than WiFi internet, have no risk of signal interference, and are also more reliable.

You can also try a hybrid solution where your PC/console is connected directly to the router through an ethernet cable. And your other devices, such as smartphones/tablets, are using the WiFi connection.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash
Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

6. Change your game server

The physical distance between your computer/console and the game server also plays a huge role in deciding how high/low latency you'll get. For example, if a game server is in the US, then a US-based player will have lower latency than a SEA-based player.

Therefore, you should switch over to a server that's closer to your location physically to improve the ping.

7. Adjust your in-game settings

Many times your frame-rate can drop due to non-optimized in-game settings. Features like Ray-Tracing, Motion Blur, and Anti-Aliasing can make the in-game graphics even more stunning but will also put a heavy load on your graphics card and processor.

That's why you should tone down these settings a little and then retry playing your game.

8. Upgrade your internet connection

If you have tried all the above tweaks and still experience unusually high ping, then it's your ISP's fault. Try contacting your ISP regarding this issue and ask them whether it can be solved by upgrading your internet speed.


This guest article was written by PCBuilderz.com.

This guide is the second in our series of guides on how to become a Facebook Gaming creator. Check out the first guide on hardware if you haven't yet!

Introduction

There are a few routes to take when it comes to setting up the software for your stream. Since we want this route to be as easy as possible to execute, we'll go with what the author is familiar with - Streamlabs OBS. If you're unfamiliar with Streamlabs OBS, it's a modified version of OBS that implements a bunch of features to make setting up a Facebook stream easier. Based on my experience, it turns into a very straightforward experience - there's no need to deal with setting up stream keys.

To start off, head over to the official Streamlabs website to download the program. Once you've installed it, login to your Facebook account (the one which you use to manage your Facebook Gaming page) and you're set. You won't have to worry about any other streaming settings. Streamlabs will automatically configure the video, audio and bitrate settings for you (you can still customize it manually if you wish) once you're logged in.

Now comes the creative part - setting up your stream's look. A stream can be as basic (i.e. only-gameplay footage) or as complex as you want it to be. This will be up to your imagination and creativity, but here are some examples of how to set up some basic scenes.

Scenes

Scenes are the bread and butter of OBS - they determine what is shown to your audience when your stream is live. From your gameplay, to camera, to text, messages etc - imagine them as different parts of a movie, and you as the streamer, are the director who decides what the audience sees.

There are plenty of free templates available online if you don't want to spend so much time designing the look of your stream, but in this guide, I'll give you some basic tips and ideas on how you can set it up.

First, let's get to know the Streamlabs user interface.

Like I mentioned earlier, a scene determines what the audience sees on your stream. What you see is what you get (there are some things such as widgets and chatboxes that don't preview if you're not live but you don't have to deal with that at the moment).

To create your first scene, click on the "+" icon and put in a name for the scene. You can call it anything you want or rename it later if you like. If you're going to have many scenes set up, it's best you have names that allow you to identify what you want to show on screen. Here's an example of my naming scheme, which is very straightforward: Starting Soon, Mobile Gaming, BRB, Dota 2, Gaming No webcam - when I'm streaming, I know exactly which scene to choose depending on what I'm doing.

For this example, let's call it your "mobile gaming" scene. This will be the scene where you'll spend most of the time if you're playing a mobile game. Next, look at the Sources box, where you will add all the different elements that make up your scene. If you click the "+" icon, a list of things you can add will appear. Select Video Capture Device and click Add Source. You can leave the default name for now since you won't have multiple video inputs for your smartphone.

In the Device dropdown menu, locate your video capture device (for me, it's the AverMedia Live Gamer HD 2). This will enable you to use the video feed from your phone on your stream. For Resolution/FPS Type, set it to 1920 x 1080 (or whatever resolution you are planning to stream at).

Here's the first tricky part. By default, if you have your smartphone is outputting HDMI video, the audio won't play from your phone. While it will be on your stream, it's not going to play through your computer's speakers, which means you'll be playing without sound. Here's how we fix that: scroll to Audio Output Mode, click the dropdown menu and select "Output desktop audio (DirectSound)".

Now, connect your phone to your video capture device to test it out - if you've set it up correctly, your phone's display will appear on your scene. If you don't hear any audio from your phone, we'll address that later in the Mixer Settings.

Next, let's add your webcam to the scene - after all, everybody wants to see the streamer! Click "+" in the Sources box again. Again, select Video Capture Device and click Add Source. In the following window, make sure you select "Add a new source instead". You can name this one "Webcam". In the Device dropdown menu, locate your webcam (for me, it's the Logitech C920). For Resolution/FPS Type, set it to 1920 x 1080 or whatever resolution your webcam supports. It'll be too big at first, but we can resize it after. Click Done.

You should now see the webcam completely covering your scene. Click on it in the Editor Display (the scene preview window), and there should be 6 boxes that appear around the webcam footage. Click and drag the boxes to resize the webcam until it's a size you're happy with. If the webcam is showing too much, you can also press alt and drag the boxes to crop the video. If you mess up, it's easy to reset it - right-click the box, Transform > Reset Transform. You can also drag the whole video around to change its position. Adjust it until it is a size and position you're happy with.

Let's spice up the scene with some images. Click on "+" in Sources again, and this time, select Image and click Add Source. Use any name you want, I call mine Border. Next, browse your computer for an image you want to use - take note that you can use transparent images in Streamlabs OBS, so this will allow you to get creative with how you want pictures to be shown on your stream. Personally, I don't have a lot of fancy visuals on my stream - just a simple border that frames my mobile game footage that is made from a transparent PNG. Once you've selected the image, click Done. On the scene preview, you can adjust the image the same way that you adjusted the webcam video. If you have a low-end computer, minimize the number of moving images on screen, they do take up additional processing power.

Next, we can add some text. In my scene, I use text to display some URLs for my viewers - you can use text for whatever you like. Click the "+" in Sources, and select Text (GDI+), Add Source, and give it a name (I call it "Stream info"). Here, choose what font you want to use, the size for the text, and the color. If the text has trouble showing up against the video of your stream, there are options for background or outlines to help the text stand out. In the Text box, you can type out what you want to show. Click Done once it's complete.

And there you have it - your very first scene! By following these steps you should get a feel of how to create your own scenes in Streamlabs OBS.

One thing to take note of: the order of your sources matter - the higher the source, the closer it is to the foreground. This means that if your webcam source is below your video capture device source, it will be blocked - you have to drag it to the top. If you have borders for your video, the border should be above the video source to block out parts of the video. Play around with the source order by dragging them up and down the list and you'll get the hang of it.

There are two icons to the right of the source names - clicking the lock locks the scene, so you can't make changes to it (no accidental resizing etc.), while the eye icon will hide the source from the scene. If you want to quickly hide or show a source, you can use this function.

If you need to make some changes to any of the sources, double click them to quickly bring up the settings window, or right-click them and select Properties.

Here's some of my other scenes, and how I set up my sources:

As you can tell, they are very simple scenes - just an image for the background and some text on top. I use these scenes to let my viewers know when my stream is starting soon, or when I need to be away for a bit. Not everybody needs to have these scenes, but they can be more useful than not informing your audience or latecomers about your current status.

Adjusting the Mixer

The Mixer is where all your audio sources are listed. If you have a source that plays sound, you'll be able to monitor and adjust the sounds accordingly here. Immediately, you'll be able to adjust the volume, and mute/unmute your audio sources. Once you become more familiar with Streamlabs OBS, there are plenty of options you can tweak.

Firstly, let's address the issue of your phone audio not playing through your speakers. When your phone is transmitting video output through HDMI, the speakers on your phone won't play audio anymore, it will be going through your computer instead. However, by default, your computer is not set up to monitor the audio from your phone. To fix this, click the gear icon in the Mixer box. The following window will appear:

By default, your video capture card will be set to 'Monitor off'. Look for it in the list, select the drop-down menu and click 'Monitor and Output'. To avoid your microphone picking up audio from your speakers, use headphones for your PC audio, lower your PC volume, or put your mic as far from the speakers as possible. It's not great having your game sounds echo on your stream, so keep that in mind when tweaking your audio settings. From my experience, there will be a slight delay coming from the audio on your computer compared to when you're gaming using your phone's speakers. It's not bad enough to mess up your gameplay, but it's definitely better than not being able to hear any audio at all.

Other than that, from here you can also adjust the volume of your audio sources: make sure that the audio from your game isn't too loud so that your viewers can hear you speak through your microphone. It'll require some testing to get the balance right, but once it's done you don't have to touch them again unless your hardware changes.

Once everything is set up properly, you can go live. But if you're worried about your settings being incorrect, the best way to test out your stream is to record a clip first. Click the "REC" button on the bottom right of Streamlabs OBS and record a few seconds. Play your game a bit, speak into the mic and so on, and stop the recording. Go to the folder where the recording is saved, this can be adjusted in the options menu, and watch the clip. If the visuals look good, the audio sounds balanced (not too loud/soft), you're good to go!

The only thing left to do is to hit "Go Live". A window will pop up allowing you to input your stream title, description, select your game, and choose which Facebook Page you want to post it to. When you've put in all the details, just click "Confirm & Go Live" and your stream will begin after a few seconds. Be sure to share your stream with your friends on Facebook so they can tune in to watch you play. When you're finished, click the "End Stream" button. You are now a Facebook Gaming streamer!

Tada!

There are many more things you can do in Streamlabs OBS that isn't covered here, but by following these steps, you'll be up to speed on broadcasting your very first stream. Feel free to drop comments below or on Facebook if you have any questions and I'll try to address them. Stay tuned to eGG Network for more content on being a Facebook Gaming creator!

Introduction

This article is the first in a series of guides on how to be a streamer. From start to finish, we'll tell you everything you need to know about starting a stream on Facebook Gaming.

First things first, you're going to need the necessary hardware. While it's possible to stream directly from your phone, we'll be focusing on the hardware you need to stream from a computer. Assuming your phone is powerful enough, all you need is the right app and you're good to go - you don't even need this guide! Streaming through a computer isn't so straightforward, but its many advantages make it a much more preferable method.

Benefits of Streaming from a Computer

It might be daunting to set up. Making sure that everything works usually isn't too difficult, but making sure that you're on the best settings for your stream is going to take some trial and error. If you're not running a powerful machine, you'll need to tweak your settings so that your game doesn't slow down when you're broadcasting at the same time. This way you'll enjoy playing the game and your viewers can also enjoy watching a lag-free stream.

Hardware Requirements

There are two routes you can take here: purchase a prebuilt or build a PC for yourself. If you're purchasing a gaming machine, chances are that it's stream-ready and you won't have to worry about the details. Generally, you'll want your PC to have the following specs:

For your processor and GPU, it will be highly dependent on what you plan to stream. If you're planning to stream indie/casual games, you won't need the highest-end processors but you might want to future-proof your machine in case you do decide to stream more intensive games in the future. At the very least you'll want a quad-core processor - an Intel i5/i7 or AMD Ryzen 5/7. Less powerful processors might be capable of streaming but can affect your streaming experience i.e. frame rate drops on your game or stream.

The same goes for your GPU - you're going to want at least a GeForce GTX 1650 an equivalent or better. NVIDIA's NVEC technology, which is present in all their latest cards, are great at alleviating the encoding workload normally taken on by your CPUs. Radeon's Ryzen processors with built-in Vega graphics can also work here if you're on a budget (you can get a separate GPU later on). My machine has an i7 9500 CPU and GeForce 980Ti which still holds up since I only stream games at 1080p (and I don't play the latest titles) - however, I'll upgrade it once it is no longer sufficient.

If you want to stream in 720p or 1080p, you're going to want at least 16GB of Dual Channel DDR4 3600 MHz RAM. And if you're using a Windows 10 machine, 16GB is the minimum I'd recommend anyway - it makes using your computer a much more pleasant experience. In my opinion - you can't have too much RAM! I have 32GB of RAM on my machine since I stream intensive PC games and multitask at times.

Video capture device - if you're planning to stream mobile games, this is necessary. You need some way to transmit what's on your phone to your computer and video input is the most common way. Computers don't come with HDMI inputs by default, so you'll need an interface to decode the output from your phone. Video capture devices are available in many different formats, sizes and prices - pick one that suits your budget and needs. Personally, I'm using an AverMedia Live Gamer HD 2 which supports 1080p at 60FPS. It is also an internal capture card which works for me since I don't want to deal with additional USB dongles sticking out of my computer. If you're using a laptop, you'll need an external one.

The above are the main things you need to be concerned about when building a streaming PC. The rest of the parts (motherboard, PSU etc.) don't matter too much as long as they work with your hardware.

Extras for streaming

Everything here isn't necessary - but can improve the quality of your stream or your streaming experience

Now that we've got the hardware settled, check out part 2 where we talk about the software you'll need to set up and run a Facebook Gaming stream! In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comments below or on the Facebook post. Stay tuned to eGG Network for more content on being a Facebook Gaming creator!

This article is part of a series of PUBG Mobile mini-guides from your eGGcellent friends at eGG Network, to help level up your mobile battle royale prowess with bite-sized tips that are quick yet nutritious to digest.


Capping off our PUBG Mobile throwable guide series (we covered smoke and frag grenades, in case you missed them) is the Molotov cocktail which is usually viewed as the lesser-known sibling of the trio. Despite their more infrequent spawning in-game, these bottles of fiery destruction - also known as Mollys - are as helpful as their throwable counterparts, and can be used both offensively and defensively ... as long as one knows how to utilise it.

Genie in a bottle

Weightage: 16 spaces
Diameter: 10 meters (approximately)
Duration: 10 seconds

No frag-like cooking is needed for Molotov cocktails. Instead, they'll explode into an area of flames upon impact, which renders them unable to bounce like the other two throwables. Its AoE (area of effect) damage is a slow burn (Hehehe) that continuously burn enemies until they get knocked down or the fire reaches its duration.

Access denied

The length to which we'll go to measure diameters.

Even though fire is one of mankind's very first useful discoveries, this volatile element remains as frightening as they come, even in PUBG Mobile. Thus, Molotov cocktails can be used to scare your enemies away both indoors or outdoors. When in a building, you can lay flames to entry points (doors, stairs, windows etc.) that'll discourage them from pursuing you, giving you time to either heal or reposition yourself.

Be mindful of the wildfire spread, especially if you're on the same floor - you may risk dying a silly self-inflicted death (self-burn much?).

Herd your enemies (pun intended)

Taking the above fear factor into account, you can also apply that thought process in a more aggressive manner. For example, when an enemy is hiding behind a cover, you can deploy your Molly at/near their location to pressure them out of safety. Once they're within your line of sights, you can gun them down without moving as much as running towards them.

A little help from some old flames

Another offensive tactic one can use with a Molly, is that before launching an attack on enemies, you can hurt them slightly pre-battle with your flaming throwable. So, you'd have a headstart when you finally face them and are more likely to take them down.

Fire > water

Contrary to the laws of real-life nature, fire in PUBG Mobile doesn't bow to the extinguishable properties of water. Along with frag grenades, Molotovs can also deal the same serious damage to anyone underwater. No wonder why pro players pretty much avoid going underwater, it's one of the riskiest places to be in for any sane person.

The only flipside to this is that the Molly fire doesn't spread as wide as on land.

What other high IQ Molotov cocktails tips do you know? Do impart your wisdom in the comments below!

For more PUBG Mobile goodness, be sure to follow eGG Network on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article is part of a series of PUBG Mobile mini-guides from your eGGcellent friends at eGG Network, to help level up your mobile battle royale prowess with bite-sized tips that are quick yet nutritious to digest.


Throwables in PUBG Mobile - maybe except stun grenade - are one of the most essential tools to getting that Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, which is why so many professional PUBG Mobile players utilise them to the max, even in PMGC 2020 (PUBG Mobile Global Championship Season Zero). We've already covered how you can put your smoky friends to good use, so now it's time to shine the spotlight on the big daddy of all utilities: the frag grenade.

Become more than friends

Cook/fuse time: Seven seconds
Weightage: 18 spaces

The time you start cooking a frag (pressing the Throw button) will also enable its fuse (duration before it explodes), so it's extremely crucial when you release the frag before it goes off. Frag grenades are also the heaviest utility of all, but this is balanced by its high damage that almost always knocks down/eliminates enemies it comes in contact with.

Timing is everything

Ever heard of the terrifying clinging of an enemy frag that lands next to you? That sound cue goes both ways, and with seven seconds to spare before the frag goes off, throwing it too early will alert your "buddies" and allow them to escape.

(Insert clock ticking)

So, depending on the distance and angle of where your frag will fly towards, the estimated best time to release your frag is two to three seconds before it goes kaboom so that your opponents will have little to no time to run away and have to face the music. However, if you happen to hold it for too long and miss your timing, you can just cancel it and try again, lest you risk damaging yourself and your teammates, or giving away your location.

(Credit: Zendex)

Get a headstart

Credit: The Bushka.

It's tempting to rush an enemy when you know they're in that building, but hold up, why not use your frag grenades to give yourself a few advantages? The most obvious one is to lower their health or knock them out, but even if you don't damage them, near enough explosions can deafen your enemies, so they can't hear your footsteps when you run to invade them.

Keep a low profile

As we covered in the smoke grenade guide, aside from being able to control better, the low toss is also perfect for moments when you want to stay hidden when in the prone position. It's because, with the low toss, your arm movement will be more discreet and minimal when compared to high tosses - it's not like you're tossing pizza dough anyway. So, if you want to surprise your competitors and blow them up out of nowhere, keep it low (toss).

Look freely

It's tiny here, but it does show exactly where the frag will land.

Speaking of staying hidden, it can be a bit trickier to aim with your frag when you're lying on the ground, and we have a solution for that: use your Free Look joystick (the small eye button). It allows you to look lower and see where your frag would land exactly, and it keeps your character motionless while planning where to aim too. This also works if you're throwing your frag on a higher plane, and it applies for all throwables, including smoke and Molotov cocktails.

Still more accurate than without Free Look.

Flushed away

Enemy escaping from cover after hearing the frag. (Credit: The Bushka)

Who isn't scared of frag grenades? Any sane gamer would run away the moment they hear the clanging sounds of a frag landing, even if they're in the safety of cover. Thus, this fear can be taken advantage of (Batman much?) - just flush them out of hiding by throwing a frag at them, then you can gun them down to your heart's desire. Suitable for both alive and knocked down players.

Note: if you want to remove someone who's on higher ground, be sure to use the low toss to minimise the grenade's bounce and frag more accurately.

Neat.

Save them for last

And finally, similar to how some of us leave our best food for the end, it's an option to save your grenades for the final few circles. As the area of safety grows smaller, there's less space for everyone to rotate and stay safe in, making it the perfect time to use the AoE (area of effect) damage of frag grenades and eliminate them. After all, where else could they go to escape? Outside of the ring? We advise keeping one to two frag grenades for this situation if it arises.

What other stupendous frag grenade tips do you have? Spread your knowledge in the comments below!

For more PUBG Mobile goodness, be sure to follow eGG Network on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Many were turned off by The Last Of Us Part 2 due to leaked story spoilers, but the highly-anticipated Naughty Dog game still emerged as the fastest-selling PS4 game of all time, evidenced by 4 million copies sold in the first three days of its release.

In the midst of its seemingly-polarising reviews amidst players (no thanks to the recent review bombing of TLOU2 on Metacritic), two things are certain: TLOU2's ingenious accessibility features allow gamers to enjoy it however they want, not to mention a technical marvel that pushes the boundaries of narrative storytelling.

(Credit: Playstation)

Here are some ways to fully awash yourself in the TLOU2's groundbreaking innovations, and dive deeper into the PS4 survival adventure experience:

1. Listen to the world closely

(Credit: Playstation)

Although it's tempting to sit back and enjoy TLOU2 with the subpar audio quality of modern TVs, we recommend taking it a step further: play with headphones on. Naughty Dog has crafted one of the most amazing and intimate sound designs in a game with TLOU2, so much so that it's almost a crime to relish such a gift without immersing yourself in it with earphones. Equipped with any plugged-in audio device, you'll be in Ellie's shoes gaping at the sound of birds chirping from left to right or the padded footfalls of Ellie stepping on snow. Yet, you'd also be terrified by the ambushing Stalker from behind or the snarl of Runner hordes all around you. It's simply the most immersive way to enjoy TLOU2.

If you're planning to tackle the series' signature Grounded mode (the hardest difficulty with no HUD and Listen Mode), earphones will also be your best friend in overcoming the challenging journey.

2. Just the way you like it

(Credit: Playstation)

Did you know that you can tweak the difficulty of five different aspects in-game? Apart from the standard selection, Naughty Dog went deeper and inserted specific difficulty options for players to adjust, which include Player, Enemies, Allies, Stealth and Resource. Modifying each of them would affect only that sole aspect of the game, which means you can tailor it to a gaming experience that's fully suited to your idea of fun. You can also remap the control inputs to your preference.

Fun fact: Shadow of the Tomb Raider also had the same option for players, allowing them to change the toughness of Combat, Exploration and Puzzles.

If you think these were detailed enough, there's actually even more choices that we didn't mention! You need only explore TLOU2's Settings section and find out what else you can change, which brings us to...

3. No one left behind

(Credit: Playstation Blog)

Most of us may have functional relevant body parts to play games, but not everyone is as fortunate. However, in TLOU2, no gamer is excluded from gorging on the beauty and thrills the post-apocalyptic PS4 exclusive. Featuring the most comprehensive accessibility selection yet, Playstation explained that there are "more than 60 accessibility settings, with expanded options focused on fine-motor and hearing, as well as completely new features that benefit low-vision and blind players."

Even if you have no problems playing the game, you can still make use of its features to ease your experience. One of this writer's personal favourites is enabling Auto Pick-up, which lets you automatically loot resources without the tedium of mashing the triangle button.

4. Appreciate the little things

(Credit: Playstation)

It's easy to feel down in the dark, cold world of TLOU2, especially when it centres on themes of vengeance, hate and the consequences of violence. However, there are plenty of things in the game to be amazed at amongst the dirt, and it helps to appreciate those little wondrous moments or details to pull through finishing the game. Whether it's admiring the impressive graphics of water streaming down Ellie's coat (during the game's fluid, yet brutal combat) or basking in the gorgeously detailed Seattle; it helps to have feelings of gratitude to finish the game's heavy plot.

Another tip on taking a step further, why not use Photo Mode more often? It's a game filled with intriguing atmosphere and scenery, not to mention that the action is oh so cinematic worthy of a film poster, so there are plenty of chances to take an awesome screenshot and show it off on social media. Treat it as little breaks from TLOU2's bleakness.

5. Keep an open mind

(Credit: Playstation)

Got your expectations soured by the Metacritic review bombing of TLOU2? This fact might bring some comfort to you: four days after release (24 June), Inverse noted that TLOU2's 4.1 user score was most likely attributed by fans who hated the game without finishing it, so it's fair to assume they were bitter by the leaked plot, intending to punish the series. As of 1 July, TLOU2's user score went up to 4.9 on Metacritic, which is a good sign, right? (Avoid reading the reviews as they may contain spoilers)

Thus, we suggest going in TLOU2 with an open mind. The leaked story details may sound baffling, but it's merely one segment of a 20-hour campaign; good stories need time and nuance to be told well, and Naughty Dog have proven time and time again that they are worthy storytellers.

What accessibility features did you enable for your TLOU2 gaming sessions? Let us know in the comments and share your wisdom with fellow fans.

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