You know the feeling.
The circle is getting smaller and only you and a few players remain.
You’re so close to getting the Victory Royale that you want.
But then you start to get nervous and panic.
When you get nervous your heart rate increases, your hands start to shake, and you can’t play at your normal level.
Ultimately, getting nervous loses you the game.
You’re not alone.
Getting nervous when playing Fortnite is a common problem that players face and I want to help you overcome it.
When I first started playing Fortnite I would get nervous as well. But now I know how to remain cool and calm, which allows me to consistently play at my best.
As you read this post, you’re going to learn effective ways that will help you remain calm and stop getting nervous when you play Fortnite so you can play at your best and win more games.
Why do you get nervous when playing Fortnite?
There is a part of your brain called the amygdala.
The amygdala is a prehistoric part of your brain that’s hardwired to avoid danger and is responsible for the fight or flight response.
The fight or flight response is an evolutionary necessity because when we were roaming the earth with vicious animals, we needed something that would alert us to danger so we could run away and survive.
But a lion is not going to eat you when you’re safe at home playing video games.
Of course, Fortnite is a battle royale game where you’re running around a big open map with dangerous enemies that can attack and kill you at any time from anywhere.
So it makes some sense that your fight or flight response can get triggered as you’re playing Fortnite.
But your fight or flight response isn’t particularly useful when you’re playing Fortnite because it can negatively impact your performance and make you lose.
So how can you stop the fight or flight response? How do you not get nervous? And how can you remain calm when you play Fortnite?
Reframing your nervousness
Reframing is a technique for changing your view of a negative situation, experience, or event for a more positive one.
Let me explain.
When top performers are getting ready to go on stage and perform in front of thousands of fans, it’s common that they start to feel nervous, anxious, and scared.
In fact, many performers stop performing because of performance anxiety or stage fright.
But not Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce Springsteen loves to perform because of the passion he gets from it.
If you ask Bruce to describe the sensations that he feels before going on stage he will say he feels things like butterflies in the stomach, an elevated heart rate, and sweaty palms.
In other words, Bruce Springsteen feels the same sensations that a nervous performer would, yet his emotional response is different.
So why does Bruce not feel nervous at these sensations?
Because he has reframed the sensations in a positive way to signal excitement rather than nervousness.
And do you think that feeling excitement rather than nervousness affects the way that he performs?
You bet it does.
Instead of being worried about all the things that could go wrong, he’s excited and energized by all the things that are about to go right and the electrifying performance that he’s about to put on.
So instead of thinking negatively about your nervousness, remind yourself that you’re actually feeling the positive energy of excitement and this is going to enable you to play even better.
Get more experience in nervous situations
The reason that you feel nervous could be because you just don’t have enough experience.
And as you gain more experience you’ll start to increase your confidence and stop getting nervous.
A lot of new Fortnite players are absolutely terrified at the thought of fighting other players and dying. And they will do anything to avoid fights with other players.
But avoiding nervous situations actually increases rather than decreases anxiety. The solution is to voluntarily expose yourself to situations that make you nervous.
This is known as exposure therapy and it’s a technique for overcoming anxiety, stress, and nervousness.
I used to be scared about fighting other players, too. But instead of avoiding other players, I would drop at the most popular areas with the most amount of players and try to get into as many fights as possible.
Of course, I died a lot. But each fight taught me something new and enabled me to get better at Fortnite.
And eventually, I wasn’t afraid of getting into fights any longer.
So if you’re someone that lands far away from other players and avoids fights, stop. Do the opposite. Look to land in highly populated areas and get into as many fights as you can.
Not only will this help to reduce your nervousness and anxiety, but it’s also one of the best ways to get better at Fortnite because you’ll be getting a lot of practice.
But what if you’re a more experienced Fortnite player and you’re not scared about getting into fights in general?
What if you get nervous during build fights or end game scenarios with moving zones? How do you quickly get more experience in those situations?
If you spend a few hours playing Fortnite then you’ll be lucky to get into a few good build fights and end game situations. But this isn’t enough experience for reducing your nervousness and increasing your confidence.
The solution is to simulate those situations using Fortnite Creative to play 1v1 build fights, zone wars, box fights, and so on.
As you play these scenarios and continue to gain more experience, your confidence will carryover to when you play an actual game and you will find yourself feeling more calm and less nervous.
Sit upright and relaxed
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and best known for her promotion of “power posing”.
In her TED talk, your body language may shape who you are, Cuddy suggests that adopting expansive postures can cause you to feel powerful.
And you already know this, right?
You know that certain moods and behaviors have certain postures and body languages associated with them.
Someone that’s nervous or uncomfortable, for example, will typically have a closed up posture. And if you start to put yourself into that posture, then you can start to feel that way.
But if you want to feel confident, then you know the body language and posture associated with that. Shoulders back, chest out, and so on.
Gamers are notorious for their poor posture. With their slumped shoulders and chest collapsed.
How do you think sitting in that poor position makes you feel?
Certainly, it’s not doing anything good for your mood or your problem of getting nervous when you play Fortnite.
So if you’re someone that sits on the edge of your chair hunched over and nervously anticipating what’s going to happen next when you play Fortnite, then you’re going to feel nervous.
Instead, lean back into your chair a little bit and relax.
Of course, a good chair is going to help a lot with keeping a good posture throughout a long gaming session.
I recommend an ergonomic office chair over a gaming chair because, in general, they are better designed. But I don’t want to go off-topic and start talking about chairs too much.
This is about you taking action with your posture and sitting upright and relaxed.
And when you sit upright, you’re going to be able to breathe better, which brings us to the next thing that can help with your nervousness.
Take a deep breath
Your breath can provide you with powerful benefits. It’s relaxing and a proven stress reliever.
Esther Sternberg is a physician and is internationally recognized for her discoveries in the science of wellbeing. She is the author of two best-selling books on stress, healing, and wellness.
According to Sternberg, rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and is part of the fight or flight response. Whereas slow, deep breathing stimulates the opposing parasympathetic reaction.
In other words, taking slow deep breaths calms you down and can help to negate the fight or flight response.
Pranayama is the formal practice of breath control, which is the source of your life force. It is used as a tool for positively affecting the body and mind.
And when you pay attention to your breath, you shift your focus to the present moment, enabling you to concentrate on what’s happening so you can focus on your game and performing at your best.
If you’re someone that takes short and shallow breaths, then try one of Dr. Andrew Weil’s deep breathing exercises for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.
For example, here’s how to do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise:
- Exhale completely through your mouth
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four
- Hold your breath for a count of seven
- Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of eight
That’s one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
This is a simple, yet powerful exercise that acts as a natural tranquilizer to your nervous system.
According to Dr. Weil, “practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems.”
So when you begin to notice that you’re getting nervous and feeling the sensations associated with it, shift your attention to the breath and take some slow, deep breaths.
The great thing about Fortnite is that you can build to protect yourself. So you can box up and take a moment to breathe, relax, and reset.
As you get better at breathing and increasing your awareness of the breath, you’ll find yourself naturally taking more calming deep breaths as you play and feeling less nervous as a result.
Break your nervous pattern
If you want to change your behavior about something, one of the most important steps you have to take is to break the pattern.
Failure to break the pattern is how you find yourself stuck in a loop creating the same negative experience every time.
In other words, your nervousness could be a bad habit and you’re going to have to find a way to break it.
But habits are difficult to break. After all, your habit has been formed by creating a strong neural connection in your brain by repeating the same behavior.
Now is the time to stop.
So how can you break your habit of getting nervous when you play Fortnite? What can you do to get out of your current state of high-excitement and into one that’s more calm and relaxed?
When I think of a Fortnite player that’s always calm and relaxed I think of Tfue.
I remember a time when I was watching Tfue stream and he was asked by a viewer: “How do you not get nervous?”
Tfue’s responded: “Nervous? Why would I be nervous? It’s just a game.”
I love his reply because it’s so simple and truthful.
I find it helpful to say “it’s just a game” out loud whenever I feel nervous because, after all, Fortnite is just a game.
Of course, your brain in the heat of the moment doesn’t realize that.
But when you make the effort to actually say that “it’s just a game” you’re reminding yourself that there’s nothing to be nervous about and you’ll find yourself becoming more calm and relaxed as a result.
General tips for reducing anxiety
I would say that I suffer mildly from anxiety.
And I think that everyone feels anxious, from time to time.
Now I want to share with you some of the things that I have found helpful in reducing my anxiety and nervousness.
- Meditation – If I could choose any one habit that has made a measurable improvement in my life and has helped to reduce my anxiety, it is the practice of daily mindfulness meditation. Every morning I meditate for 10 minutes using the Waking Up app.
- Exercise – Evidence shows that physical activity is one of the best ways of reducing anxiety. I find weight lifting particularly helpful. It’s hard to feel anxious or nervous about anything (especially a game of Fortnite) after you’ve had a killer workout. But your workout doesn’t have to be particularly intense, a walk can be incredibly beneficial. Anything that gets your body moving is going to be helpful.
- Eat good food – You’ve probably heard the saying that “you are what you eat.” Your nutrition can help to ease anxiety, but if all you eat is processed junk food that’s high in sugar, then you’re going to feel rubbish.
- Get good sleep – Anxiety causes sleeping problems and a lack of sleep is bad for you. It’s a vicious cycle. But you can make things better by having good sleeping hygiene like waking up and going to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends) and avoiding caffeine late in the day. Aim to sleep for at least 8 hours a day.
- Attend to your responsibilities – The source of your anxiety and nervousness may be something unrelated to your game of Fortnite. So if you have something else you need to do, then get it done. As we discussed earlier, avoiding anxious things increases rather than decreases your anxiety.
Getting nervous when you play Fortnite is a normal response.
Even though it’s just a game, that doesn’t mean you won’t get nervous.
After all, you’re a competitive person and you want to win.
But getting nervous can and will throw you off your game and make you play worse and lose.
Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?
You may die and lose the game, sure. But you can always come back and try again.
Look, there is nothing wrong with making a mistake and dying in a game of Fortnite. In fact, mistakes are how you learn and improve so you should embrace your mistakes.
But there is something very wrong about getting so nervous and stressed about a game of Fortnite that you can’t perform at your best.
I hope this post has given you some helpful tools and strategies that you can use to remain calm when you play Fortnite.