Could this free Nvidia feature make you a better gamer?

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Nvidia has developed many features and technologies over the past few years, from its frame-rate-boosting DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) to useful streaming apps like Nvidia Broadcast, and that impressive catalog can often overshadow some services. .

Nvidia Reflex is one of them, a tool that helps improve gameplay by reducing render lag and reducing system latency on GeForce graphics cards. It’s the lag between, in a first-person shooter like Overwatch for example, pressing the mouse button and firing the gun at the screen.

It might only cut a delay by a few milliseconds, but if you’re skilled enough to make a difference, it might give you an extra advantage over your opponents.

I don’t see much chatter about this feature online, and I can only assume it’s because less people care about latency than pretty graphics or smooth frame rates. In fact, about a year ago I was also snubbing how much of a difference a tool could make to my gameplay compared to an actual hardware upgrade, but while I finally saw the benefits in competitive games or esports, I recently discovered that my horizons have once again been broadened.

Does Nvidia Reflex really make a difference?

A screenshot of the benefits of Nvidia Reflex

A screenshot of the benefits of Nvidia Reflex, as told by… well, Nvidia (Image credit: Nvidia)

I was invited to a Reflex demo by Nvidia recently where I played one-on-one against a professional Excel esports coach in Fortnite and Valorant, alternating between a gaming PC with the latest gen hardware and an older machine that had a few. years behind to simulate the kind of equipment that more of us have at home.

This older hardware also had its frame rates capped and Reflex disabled in order to create a handicap. The goal was to see if my skills improved against the coach based on the equipment I was leading, and if he in turn noticed a difference after playing between the two systems.

I’ll be brutally honest…at my skill level in shooters and Battle Royale, I couldn’t tell you if all those extra frames and low latency made a difference, but it could be a comment on my own skills gaming more than anything.

It’s a feature that will appeal to people who play a lot of these competitive online titles, and I’ve spoken quite candidly about how I avoid them because getting my ass kicked by angry 14 year old boys n isn’t a pleasant way to spend my evenings, but the coach (who understandably has a better idea of ​​these things) assured me that the difference it made to their gameplay was like ‘night and day’, so we can assume that in professional hands, Reflex actually makes a difference in performance.

Gunnr from God of War

I don’t know if it’s more humiliating to lose to an AI or a pissed off teenager to be honest (Image credit: Sony/Playstation)

There’s one instance where it was easier to notice on another game though: God of War was also present, specifically a saved point in the game where you meet the first Valkyrie Gunnr. This action/adventure title has very little in common with competitive online games, but not only did I find this boss fight more enjoyable on the highest-performance system thanks to better graphics and framerate. images, but I also found it easier.

Could it be because Nvidia Reflex was enabled, giving me a split-second advantage against my AI-controlled opponent? It’s hard to say given that a plethora of other things could have contributed – a few extra practice laps switching between the two to name one but if you naturally think I’m too poor from a competitive gamer to pass judgment on Nvidia Reflex, you’re in luck: there’s hardly any downside to enabling it, so you can try it yourself.

There is no alternative to hard work

The new mantling maneuver in Fortnite

I should make gaming my full time job to improve my Fortnite skills at this point (Image credit: Epic Games)

Getting it to work shouldn’t impact your frame rate or cause stuttering, so the only issue you’ll likely run into is that this feature has only rolled out to a relatively small selection of games so far. . The full list can be found on Nvidia’s website, but most major competitive first-person shooters are featured, such as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare and Destiny 2.

As Nvidia Reflex is enabled in-game, the process will vary depending on the title you’re playing, but generally speaking, you can find a way to toggle the feature on and off in the “Video” section of your game settings. Game.

Although originally introduced with Nvidia Ampere 30-series GPUs, Reflex has since been made available on older GeForce GTX 900-series cards or later, which is great news for…well, most players if investigating Steam hardware is anything to go by. given that Nvidias GTX series GPUs such as the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti still dominate much of the market.

These older GPUs won’t run Reflex cards as well as Ampere cards like the RTX 3080, but it’s still a free performance boost for those with the skills to take advantage of lower latency. Will it make you a better player? With time to adjust it, it definitely gives you an advantage, but to make a real difference, it will need to be paired with well-optimized peripherals like gaming keyboards, as well as a lightweight Reflex-supported gaming mouse. and high refresh alike. – rate monitor equipped with Nvidia Gsync.

You can consider this as a recipe. Reflex is a fantastic ingredient when used by good hands, but it’s unlikely to make much of a difference on its own or by those who aren’t particularly skilled bosses…er, I mean players. If you can pair it with additional gear, you’ll see a noticeable difference that should give you the edge over any opponent who doesn’t have the same gear or features enabled.

This unfortunately means you’ll still need a lot of practice for “git gud”, but for something without inconvenience you should have this feature enabled, especially if you already have compatible hardware or feel your performance is being affected by high latency. You literally have nothing to lose but a game.

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