Entertainment |

Gaming rituals from a pro to improve your performance

By Tristan Wright December 18, 2020

We all know the feeling. It’s the end of a round. Down to the wire. The dying seconds of a game that’s yours to lose. You’re on a knife-edge. The room closes in around you and you’re laser focussed. Your winning rituals have taken over, and suddenly you’re on rails to victory.

Believe it or not, many of us have our own personal gaming rituals. For some it’s leaning forward when you need to stage an epic comeback. For others it’s a playlist of verified bangers that get you in the mood for victory.

To ensure you can drive your squad to success, we spoke to a real pro. IAmFallFromGrace is an Australian Twitch streamer and pro-gamer. With 100,000 followers on Twitch watching her game from all over the world, Grace knows a thing or two about what it takes to win regularly.

For Grace, it all starts with her setup. If you’ve ever viewed her stream, or watched any of her incredible set-up tours, you know that she’s meticulous.

“I have to set the perfect scene, and set up my stream. I turn on all the lights in my background, power up my PC, put on my headset and turn on my camera. I’ll usually do some wrist and neck rolls to warm up before I focus into the game,” she says of getting started.

Like most of us, Grace does the instinctual lean in ritual while she games,

I get very immersed in games and sometimes my body takes over,” Grace says. “I don’t even realise I’m doing it half of the time until my chat calls me out on it or I notice it on my preview window,” she tells us.

But for Grace, every game is different and comes with its own set of rituals for success.

“Game-to-game there are definitely differences. If I’m preparing for an aggressive push in a Battle Royale I’ll usually take a big deep breath and try to slow my heart rate. The adrenaline in that style of game is immense.

“When it comes to a more relaxed story game or puzzle platformer, there’s not much adrenaline going on but if there is a lot of dialogue, I’ll bring my microphone in nice and close and narrate for my audience.”

“It’s all about getting into the zone. Gaming requires a lot of mental focus and stamina.”

Grace isn’t the only one getting in the zone with rituals. We spoke to hundreds of Fortress Melbourne members, and found that we all engage in some form of ritualistic gaming behaviour to help us clench the big W.

Fortress players know how to get in the zone. They know what it takes for a big win, and they all have their own rituals to get them there. The biggest ritual for Fortress players is having a drink handy to stay hydrated during a session. Almost half of the gamers we spoke to with rituals said that ensuring a drink is nearby is key for a clutch session. Of those who told us they needed libations during play, only 5% said they needed their drink to be alcoholic.

Interestingly, not everyone loves a snack as much. Only 17% of respondents told us they needed munchies nearby to ensure a good game.

Much like Grace, Fortress gamers also must have their environment just right to play effectively. 25% of respondents said they needed their furniture, software, settings and more to be just so in order to enjoy a gaming session.

Importantly, Fortress gamers also value the ritual of taking a break between rounds. Those we spoke to often referred to requiring regular movement or mental check-ins throughout a gaming session.

One ritual that can save your game faster than a checkpoint is ensuring your modem is humming at top performance. That’s where Telstra Game Optimiser comes in.

We’ve already taken steps to optimise our network for gaming, but for the vast majority of Australian console and PC gamers, the big opportunity is within your own home network with Telstra Game Optimiser.

Game Optimiser is our new gaming add-on that gives you the power to prioritise traffic to gaming devices in your home network, and helps curb lag spikes by letting you choose what bandwidth your device needs. It plays the key role in maintaining your low ping to reduce lag, improving gaming performance.

It helps you choose servers to improve latency for the game you’re playing. It works for more than just games, too – you can use Game Optimiser’s network monitor to spot bandwidth-hogging programs and devices, helping your ping be uninterrupted by a pesky system update or unexpected download.

With Game Optimiser, we’re seeing a 75% reduction in ping spikes, when playing on a typical shared household network. And in the initial beta, 66% of Battle Royale gamers had overall improvement in their gaming experience, with 72% quoting improvements in the reliability of their connection.

After a successful series of early betas for Game Optimiser, it’s ready to drive your squad to the chicken dinner you deserve. You can road test Game Optimiser on us for one month, then it’s $10 per month after that.

Things you need to know

Eligible Telstra nbn customers will be able to add on Telstra Games Optimiser with a one-month free trial, then the subscription is $10 per month, plus your existing nbn plan charges.

One-month free-trial for new Game Optimiser Customers. Monthly charging will start at the end of your trial period. Cancel at any time and receive a pro-rata refund for the month. Requires Gen Smart 2 Smart Modems. Incompatible with Fixed Wireless connections, nbn Basic and Ultrafast speed plans.

Entertainment |

Help make your next match a win, no matter who’s online at home

By Nathan Gumley October 6, 2020

In the heat of the moment, there’s nothing more irritating than a spike of unexpected lag that robs you of a well-deserved chicken dinner. And then you hear the TV streaming from the other room… GG. There goes any chance of keeping up with your squad for the rest of the night.

Online gaming lives and dies on the bandwidth of two things: your home network and your Internet connection. The gamers here at Telstra – and there are thousands of us! – know this, and some of us have been working behind the scenes within the business on a special project.

If you’re a Telstra fixed broadband customer, you probably already know about the Smart Modem included for new customers on sign up; it’s our award-winning, Australian designed broadband modem with built-in 4G backup for if your fixed line goes down. We love it – it makes our lives easier as well as yours, helping keep you online if there’s a network outage and making it simpler to get Wi-Fi throughout your home.

It turns out our Smart Modem is actually gutsy enough to run DumaOS, the ultra-configurable operating system from Netduma. If you’re a hardcore gamer, you might already have heard of DumaOS – it already runs a few gaming routers out there with expensive price tags on them. So, when we were exploring the best way to give our Telstra gamers a boost, it was a pretty easy decision… but we want you to put it to the test to see how it stacks up.

Telstra Game Optimiser is designed to give gamers a competitive edge. We’ve already taken steps to optimise our network for gaming, but the big opportunity is within your own home network. Game Optimiser on an eligible Smart Modem helps combat network congestion by prioritising gaming traffic and gaming devices over other internet-connected devices and traffic in your home, and helps reduce lag by letting you choose what bandwidth your device needs.

It also improves your multiplayer competitiveness by helping you hand-pick the closest servers to improve latency for the game you’re playing. It works for more than just games, too – you can use Game Optimiser’s network monitor to spot bandwidth-hogging programs and devices, helping you to switch off a pesky system update or unexpected download when you’re about to settle down to a movie.

We know that milliseconds matter in gaming, even more than they do with a video call or a big download. In that moment, you want everything to run smoothly. There are millions of gamers in Australia and a lot of them choose to play with Telstra on our leading network when it comes to latency*. Now we have a way to give you more control and help improve the latency experience of your gaming.

As we get closer to the commercial launch of Game Optimiser, we want our most avid eligible gaming customers to see how it can help. We’re running an early access program to an open beta with most of the final functionality of Game Optimiser, and we’d love your expert feedback.

The setup is as seamless as it can be – subscribe and we’ll take care of updating your Smart Modem’s software automatically. From there, test your experience across whatever online games and devices you like best, and with whatever network congestion you normally put up with at home, and let us know what you think. We’ll use that feedback to improve Game Optimiser before and after its official launch.

We’re running the open beta for customers with an eligible Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 and nbn fixed broadband plan that want to give it a try, as well as all our own in-house gaming fanatics, from now until November 9 – when we officially launch Game Optimiser. Fixed wireless and nbn Basic speed plans unfortunately won’t work with Game Optimiser. Open beta customers will automatically roll onto a one-month free trial on 9 November, followed by a paid subscription one month later for $10 a month plus your existing nbn charges if you don’t cancel before the end of the trial.

We really think that Game Optimiser is going to make a difference where it counts. Millions of game consoles, gaming PCs and home network routers are plugged in around the country with default settings that can be improved by Game Optimiser. More importantly, we’ve already seen the improvement that Game Optimiser makes to the pings of our favourite game servers and the advantage that prioritising gaming traffic in your home network brings to your gaming experience.

If all this sounds pretty tempting for that next iso-session of Fortnite or Valorant or League of Legends, you can learn more about Game Optimiser and sign up here.

Things you need to know

* Telstra ranked #1 for nbn average round trip latency performance. ACCC Measuring Broadband Australia – Report 9 – May 2020.

Telstra Game Optimiser Open Beta will conclude on 9 November. From 10 November all eligible Telstra nbn customers will be able to add on Telstra Game Optimiser with a one-month free trial, then the subscription is $10 per month, plus your existing nbn plan charges. Open Beta customers will automatically roll into the one-month free trial followed by paid subscription if they do not cancel their subscription prior. Requires Gen Smart 2 Smart Modem. Incompatible with Fixed Wireless and with nbn Basic speed plans. Customers looking to participate in the beta trial will need a modem serial number beginning with CP and to check their MyTelstra app to confirm eligibility.