How to Manage Gaming Rage

Anyone have any advice to manage your anger when losing in a videogame?

I have been a fan of Super Smah Bros. since Brawl and while I never played competitively, I always felt good at the game compared to my friends and won more often than not. Now that I have been playing Smash Ultimate since release with my little brother, he’s gotten better than me. WAY BETTER. Sometimes I can’t even get close. I am okay with him being better than me at the game, the problem is I get so upset in the moment that I do embarrassing things. I hurt myself sometimes and I feel miserable. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t have fun anymore and my brother doesn’t want to play with me because of how upset I get. I try to remember it’s just a game but I can’t seem able to control myself. I know all I have to do is practice and I can get better but I want to be able to take a loss. I want to enjoy my favorite game again.

Thanks in advance for whatever advice you have.

It’s going to sound like a cliche, but there’s truth in it. Have you tried taking a deep breath when you start getting upset? A deep one from your abdomen, not one that lifts your shoulders? That can be a good way to reset yourself in the moment.

I think it would also be a good idea to ask yourself what’s going on under the surface–what’s really causing you to get upset? Are you putting pressure on yourself to be the best at something? Are you embarrassed to lose? What’s expressing itself through your reaction to the game?


I don’t believe there’s a universal solution to this, each person will deal with frustration on its own way. I’ll share my approach, maybe it’ll help.

I’ve always been very competitive and always showed difficulty dealing with defeat, not only involving myself (watching my football team lose made me cry more times in my childhood than anything else). As I grew older I started to realize how problematic that was, specially because my rage moments usually happened when I was doing things I actually cared about: playing or watching football, gaming (alone or with m friends) and so on. I couldn’t simply stop doing these things, because they were special to me, but I also couldn’t allow them to cause me anymore harm.

So, after years of suffering I started to figure out a few things that helped. They don’t eliminate the issue entirely, but it gets to a point where it rarely presents itself. A good first tip when it comes to competitive games is, actually, to not compete at all. If you like playing with your brother, as you say, focus on sharing that experience with him, instead of putting all of your energy into winning. Have a laugh when you lose. Eventually you’ll see that playing in a more relaxed style is not only gonna make you have more fun, but your performance will improve as well.

Another good option is to try to add variety to your gaming. If you get upset about a game you’re playing badly, go spend some time playing one you’re good at. A boost to your confidence will help you the next time you take the more challenging one. And finally, as @StefyG has said, taking a breath or even some time off can help as well.

Good luck!


This is going to sound obvious and probably not a perfect solution, but simple things like @Jeslie suggested, deep breaths or counting to 10 in your head has application is many stressful situations.

I don’t know how your little brother reacts, but there is such a thing as a “bad winner” too. If he’s making things worse by rubbing it in your face when he beats you, maybe it’s worth having a conversation with him, saying you’ll both have more fun if he doesn’t wind you up.

Another thing. I don’t know how old you are, but my little brother was a “bad loser” too when he was young. He would rage and scream when I’d beat him at stuff. But once he hit his mid-20s, he mellowed right out and is probably more chill when playing games then I am! My point is, you might grow out of it and chill when you get older. That’s not to say you’re being “immature”, just that part of getting older is becoming more forgiving of yourself. You’ll care less about being perfect because nobody is!


Yep, remember that you are playing to have fun and get better, not necessarily to win; and losing doesn’t say anything about you other than “i need to pratice more at this particular game”.


Hey @StefyG, thanks for posting. Sorry to hear that you’re having such a rotten and difficult time. There are some great suggestions above. Also, think about yourself as a model for your younger brother. I play with my five-year old daughter and, the other day, rage quit in front of her. She got really worried and asked why Daddy was so mad. I sat down with her and we talked about anger, frustration, and emotions. This helped put me things in perspective and saw myself as someone who could do a lot of good for someone else.

Posting on boards like this is really important, too. Opening up and talking to others, hearing that we go through similar stuff, is important. I’m not sure how you meant your comment about your hurting yourself, but if this is serious hurting, you should also try and talk to someone in your life who you trust or even a professional. I write this because I’ve worked with a number of folks who are deep in depression. Friends and communities can help, but if you are really struggling, there is no shame in seeking out someone who is trained to help folks in similar situations.


Hey I know this topic’s a little old, but I’d still like to throw out some advice in case you’re still listening and dealing with this issue:

It can be rough to lose in a game you love to play, then go from winning a lot to losing a lot.

I’ve gone through it in Smash Bros as well as real life Ping Pong. Couple of things I practice when losing:

-Hold in the anger and instead let out a good “ah you smoked me!”
Or “I’m getting so close!”

-Real important is to compliment your opponent when you lose. Tell them “You’re so good with that move”
Or “Nice combo! Those are so fun to pull off.”

-If the anger is getting overwhelming, just say “Man these matches are crazy, I’ve gotta get some water.” Your anger will ease up when you stand up and distract yourself.

-Try to sprinkle in some other modes to play. Say “alright, this match we can only use special moves and grabs”
Or even try out teams against some high level CPUs.
Or better yet, in smash bros, raise the launch rate and play Giant mode in Custom Smash. It can be pretty nutty.

-Be more social during matches. Talk about things and ask funny questions to who you’re playing with. Local games are so fun because you both get to hang out and laugh together!

-In fact, try being in the mind set that you’re lucky you get to play with someone. Its actually quite rare to find someone who enjoys the same games as you and games are just so special to bond over, yunno?

-try online Co-Op. it can be relieving to have a strong person on your side.

-Find more games to play with your friend. Nothing resets someone’s ego like playing a completely different genre! Like Tetris or Bomberman!

I hope you find some of these things helpful. I use to get real mad at my opponents and it’s been so helpful to change my perspective on what it means to play a game with someone.

Good luck!


Thanks for the advice, I honestly internalized everything said in this thread so far but haven’t been able to put it into practice yet, as my brother simply isn’t interested in playing Smash at the moment but we have been bonding over other games and tv so things are great for now!