PC gamers use their keyboard – a lot.
But they’re not typing a whole lot of words.
They’re using directional arrows, numbers, and shortcuts.
In the days of old, communication in multiplayer games was done through typing. These days it’s almost exclusively through voice with headsets and microphones.
So can gamers, who tend to spend a significant time at the keyboard, type faster than the average person? And could it benefit you as a writer to spend more time playing games in order to improve your typing speed and accuracy?
It’s important to define what we mean by gamer here. Because there are games that require typing, and there are games that ARE typing games. These aren’t generally the games I’m talking about here. I’m referring to the most popular form of gaming nowadays, which is FPS, RPG and other action and strategy games. The question is are THOSE types of gamers a faster type than the average person?
Will PC gaming help you type faster?
Playing PC games in the most popular genres won’t help you type words faster. What will help you type words faster, is to practice typing words and sentences. The problem with keyboard use with most PC games is that your actions are repetitive.
You are using shortcut keys over and over again – you’re not (for the most part) actually type words.
So while using keyboard shortcuts in game does certainly get you familiar with where certain keys are located, and gives you practice in using them without looking at the keyboard, this can be a limited skill. There’s likely to be parts of the keyboard that are barely touched in a game.
And since you aren’t forming words when typing you do not develop the instinctive feel for typing actual words; only where some individual letters and numbers are located as you need them for in-game shortcuts.
What typing speed do gamers have?
There are hundreds of millions of gamers around the world. Every one of them will have different typing skills. Even though competent keyboard use is important for many PC gamers, typing isn’t specifically important at all.
Communication is usually by voice, so gamers are not having conversations through text based chats in modern PC games.
It’s simply not possible to know of an average typing speed for gamers. We know that the average adult computer user (many of whom will be gamers to some extent) types at around 40 words per minute. This is quite a slow rate, especially for writers who want to be typing significantly faster – and accurately.
So how do you learn to type faster?
You can improve your typing speed and accuracy by typing more often. Using a quality mechanical keyboard will also make fast typing easier.
Just like riding a well built, perfectly functioning bike can make bike riding smoother and faster, so too does a well made keyboard and mechanical keyboards are far more easier to type on than membrane or normal keyboards. The last thing you want to be doing is battling with your keyboard to get those words out.
The difference between your typing speed and just as importantly, your typing accuracy, can be enormous depending on the design, quality and comfort of the keyboard you’re using. A good keyboard should therefore be your first step to speeding up your typing skills.