Have you ever been in the midst of playing Iron Throne and had the overwhelming urge to throw your phone? Hopefully, that’s not just me!
Here’s an interesting fact for you, while gaming can reduce stress, it can also increase stress. There are studies on this and the reasons; however, the focus is on video games. When you look at mobile gaming communities, the studies don’t necessarily catch the spirit of these communities.
That or I haven’t found the studies that do. Mobile gaming presents unique challenges, and often while we love it, we also want to chuck our phones across the room. When we spend too much time in this space, our stress levels around the game we are playing begin to rise.
How do we handle this? Keep reading to learn more about decreasing stress in mobile gaming communities.
Understanding the Unique Qualities of Mobile Games
The popularity of mobile gaming has increased during the pandemic. People are beginning to learn what gamers already know; within our communities, you are never alone (does that sound creepy? You know what I mean).
When you could no longer have a games night, people turned to playing games online. Mobile games were awaiting the opportunity for people looking for a new way to connect.
This is what makes the mobile gaming community and, in particular, the Iron Throne community unique. We cannot exist within the game without acknowledging the need for community.
Your alliance is needed for success within the game. This creates unique stressors within the game that need to get addressed.
Handling Stressful Situations in Mobile Games
Have you ever been told by someone that if the game is that stressful, you should quit? Believe me; this is not the answer.
Yes, you need to find a way to handle the stress. If you do not, you will end up becoming overly negative; this, in turn, can often lead to a toxic community.
However, quitting is a short-term solution; it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself in a similar situation. In addition, many mobile gamers will tell you that they stick around in the games they play because of the people.
So how do you handle the stress? The first thing you need to do is identify the cause of the stress; from there we can look at methods utilized to combat the source of your stress.
Not Being Able to Accomplish a Task
Are you stuck and unable to beat chaotic levels or monsters without boosting? Or is there a point you want to be at in your gameplay that you’re struggling to achieve?
This can lead to stress. It can be easy to download a game and set out to be the best trap or attacker. The difficult part is accomplishing that.
In Iron Throne, it’s definitely not an overnight process. If you’re struggling to reach a goal and frustrated because you keep falling short, set smaller goals that will help you get there.
Goal: I want to kill a level 40 Chaotic Stronghold in one hit without boosting. However, I seem to fall just short of that goal every time I attempt it, and I need the boost. (Fictional scenario, I can kill a level 40 in one hit without boosting).
If you find yourself in this scenario, find a way to break that down into smaller goals.
Revised Goal: I currently need a 100% march boost to kill a level 40 Chaotic. I want to decrease it so that I only need a 75% march boost.
Once you have reached that goal, set a new goal of only needing a 50% and then a 25%. By approaching your task from this perspective, you take some of the frustration and stress out of it. You also start to see the small gains, which are encouraging.
However, maybe it’s not that straightforward. Maybe your goal is to be an excellent trap and cap more marches than you burn from.
In this type of situation, you will want to break things down into smaller goals. What will it take for you to get to this point? Do you need better gear, research, or more troops?
Make that your goal. These small goals will lead you to accomplish your bigger goal and take out the stress of thinking too big.
We play these games, in part, because we love the people. But, at the end of the day, people are stressful.
Maybe you’re like, no, no, no Cin, I love my alliance and the people I play with. That’s great, but even the people we love can cause stress sometimes.
Let’s look at this point from a few angles.
One: When You Care About People, Emotions Get Involved
No, Duh, right? However, when emotions get involved, it means we worry about the people we love.
It also means that when they’re having a bad day, it can impact us. If they’re sick, we will worry; we will stress.
One of the things I love about mobile gaming communities is that they truly become family. However, with family comes stress. You’re not going to cut your family out of your life because of the stress.
You need to learn how to manage that stress. Take the time to listen to some calming music, talk to someone, take care of yourself.
Self-care in our online relationships is just as important as self-care in RL relationships.
Two: The Toxic People aka Trolls
Don’t tell me you stay out of KC, and therefore you do not get stressed because you don’t have to deal with these people. Y’all act like I haven’t been playing this game for years.
I know what happens; someone starts drama in KC, and it will leak over into AC and Line chats. There is always someone willing to take screenshots and share them.
“Can you believe what JohnBoy said????!!!!!”
With this, sometimes, you need to set an expectation within your alliance. If conversations are becoming too centered around negativity and external pressures, how can you change that?
Set an expectation that drama does not enter your alliance chats. That includes bringing outside drama into that chat.
On the other hand, if you’re regularly visiting KC and getting caught up in the negativity and trolling, and this is causing stress, STOP IT!
Learn to block the trolls, to be honest; I understand the FOMO argument; however, ultimately, you will feel better if you’re not stressing over what you see in chats. If you can’t bring yourself to block the trolls, spend less time in KC.
If the trolls continue making it unpleasant by attacking tiles, and targeting your alliance, consider a move to a new kingdom.
When you put yourself in environments that breed negativity, it will impact your stress levels. If you spend too much time being stressed, the game will no longer be fun for you.
Expectations from Your Alliance
There are several types of alliances you will meet in Iron Throne.
- Mega Alliances
- Big Alliances
- Casual Alliances
- Wannabe Alliances
- Farm Alliances
Almost all of these alliances will set expectations for their members. The farm alliances may not care as much. However, as your alliance gets bigger and more competitive, there are bound to be expectations for the members.
This makes sense; if you do not set expectations, you often end up with 10% of the alliance doing all the heavy lifting. This is a type of stress in and of itself.
What’s important is that you find the alliance that fits your needs. Personally, I have been a member of a mega alliance; I have been a member of a big alliance; honestly, I have probably been in every type of alliance.
To reduce my level of stress in the game, I had to learn where I belonged. I am competitive (in case y’all didn’t already know), and I thought that the right place for me was a mega alliance or a big alliance.
However, these types of alliances have high levels of expectations for their members. Do I want to do well at Dark Moon? Of course, I do. However, I am not willing to spend so much time in the game that I do not eat or drink or sleep.
I need a break from my screen, or I become hateful. Don’t believe me, ask my alliance. They have seen me try to carry events and not take breaks.
I need the ability to step away. Other people might have no problem being on 24 hours a day. Alliances will set expectations on you, and that is okay.
It is your responsibility to learn where your boundaries are and what kind of expectations are realistic for you.
Expectations from Yourself
All of us place expectations on ourselves. I have the biggest account in my alliance, so I often find myself blaming myself if my team loses. However, I need to remember that I am only one person.
The great thing about Iron Throne is that we do play within a community. We play within a team. When you allow the game to become work, it impacts how you interact with that team.
When you take your team’s losses as your own, you burn out and end up quitting the game. Yes, you need to set boundaries when it comes to the expectations from your alliance.
However, you also need to set boundaries when it comes to the expectations you place on yourself. It is a team game; you do not have to be there all the time. It’s unhealthy to be there all the time.
Learn to take a step away from your screen. If you want to truly enjoy the game, let it be fun, let it be a game, not work.
One of the most stressful things within gaming communities is taking on a leadership role. When you are an R4 or R5, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and responsible for the success of your alliance.
When alliance members are constantly coming to you with complaints, and you feel like no one is happy, it takes a toll. I somehow always end up as an R4, and while I love it, I also hate it.
I already place a lot on myself, and this causes me to feel I need to do more and be more. However, we’re going to go back to the same conversation we had around expectations.
As Alliance leadership, you exist within a team. You do not have to be the only one handling things. Set boundaries and keep to them. Trust that the rest of the leadership team will step up and be there.
If they’re not, you should probably consider a new leadership team.
Trying to keep up with the Joneses
If y’all don’t get this reference, google it. However, if you’re not wanting to Google, what we mean here is trying to keep up with the top players or spenders.
When you open the game and have account envy, it can be stressful if you expect yourself to keep up with those players. This causes stress in a couple of ways.
First, if you try to keep up but don’t have the budget, you may spend an exorbitant amount of time online grinding to try to catch up.
Two, not having the budget but still choosing to spend in a manner that makes it seem as if you do have the budget. What I mean here is choosing a pack on the game over groceries.
Okay, I know you guys are probably getting tired of hearing this but, BOUNDARIES. However, the solution to this stressor goes beyond boundaries.
You can set boundaries around your time and money, but it doesn’t stop the account envy. You may never fully get over that tbh.
However, you have to learn how to be okay with the fact that you do not have the same account. You may not be the best gear so that you can be the top hitter, so how do you get around that account envy?
Find something in the game that you absolutely love. Did you find it? Now find a way to scale that down to your level.
Do you love capital battles but have no way to compete against the top players in your kingdom? Invite a smaller group to battle around a sanctuary for fun.
The great thing about Iron Throne is that there are endless possibilities. Find a way to have fun on a level that respects your time and budget.
To recap, reduce game stress by doing the following:
- Learn to set boundaries
- Set smaller goals
- Block trolls
- Change kingdoms if you must
- Create a positive environment
- Exist within your budget
- Be happy with the account you have
Go back and read the rest if you skipped down to the TL;DR. The details are great!
Do not miss out on so many articles and videos on our site with a ton of information!
War and Community
Do you love our community-centered content? Check out our War and Community article about a community at war.
Stay Tuned for more great information from our Elite Team as Iron Throne continues to evolve.
In addition, be sure to join our community on the Line App for more on-the-go tips!
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