Can archery video games help you shoot better?

archery video game

Playing archery video games can offer some benefits that may contribute to improving your shooting skills to a certain extent. This is a debatable point for sure. As in most activities, nothing will improve your performance as much as practicing the activity itself. But, in times when going out to the range isn’t possible, a video game might provide some conceptual practice. In my experience, the concept that became apparent in playing a video game, was being comfortable in being unsteady.

In most first person POV archery games, you are looking through your sight or past your bow and arrow down range as the bow hand is slowly moving around. the longer you pull back on the bow, the more unstable the bow becomes. This idea reinforces the habit of releasing your shot before fatigue sets in. The main concept that I appreciated was letting a shot go as the bow was in motion, rather than wait for a moment of perfect stillness with the sight locked on target. releasing the arrow while the target is just coming into the sight or about to be in sight is an idea that has worked well for me at the archery field as well.

an example of this would be the gameplay in the online game Archery World Tour on the Crazy Games website (as seen above)

It’s important however, to note that virtual archery involves different sets of skills and experiences. There are a few other ways video game archery might help your real life performance:

  1. Hand-eye coordination: Video games often require precise control and coordination, which can help improve your hand-eye coordination. This skill is crucial in archery for aiming accurately and releasing the arrow at the right moment. Admittedly, much easier in the game than it is in person. Target archery games tend to have you shooting at 90m targets and hitting them, whereas, in real life, I’d have way more misses.
  2. Understanding equipment: Some archery video games may provide information about different types of bows, arrows, and accessories. While not a substitute for hands-on experience, this knowledge can be helpful for beginners in understanding the basics of archery equipment. It can teach you the names of the bow parts, and may simulate what they do for you.
  3. Mental focus and concentration: Archery video games often require focus and concentration to hit targets accurately. Developing these mental skills can be beneficial in real archery, where maintaining focus is crucial for consistent and precise shooting.
  4. Learning about different environments: Some archery games simulate various environmental conditions, such as wind and terrain. While virtual experiences can’t replicate real-world conditions perfectly, exposure to different scenarios in games may enhance your adaptability and decision-making skills Windy conditions in particular give you the chance to try varying degrees of offsetting your shot to accommodate for wind. Rain is another interesting condition that comes up. Depending on where you live, this may be something to mentally prepare for. It could cause a change in the way the arrow flies, and reduces visibility

However, big surprise, I know, there are limitations to how much video games can help with real-world archery skills:

  1. Physical aspects: Video games don’t provide the physical experience of drawing a bow, feeling the resistance, and releasing an arrow. Physical strength, muscle memory, and proper form are critical aspects of real archery that cannot be fully replicated in a virtual environment. Another physical aspect is your focus on the target. A TV screen is flat. So, distance is depicted by making the target smaller. But, it will still be a small brightly colored, sharp edged circle. In real life, a target at a long distance may be difficult for some to focus on. Not me of course ?. Things like sore string fingers or wrist slap cannot be simulated as yet.
  2. Real-world challenges: Archery in real life involves factors like weather conditions, distance estimation, and the feel of different shooting environments. Video games may not capture these challenges accurately. sitting in an air conditioned or heated living room cannot mimmic cold fingers, or being drenched with sweat.
  3. Safety concerns: Archery is a sport that involves handling real equipment, and safety is a paramount concern. Video games can’t provide the necessary understanding of safety protocols, equipment maintenance, and the responsibility that comes with using a real bow.

While video games can complement your archery training by enhancing certain mental aspects, they can not simulate the full experience and cant be relied upon as the primary means of learning or improving They can, however aid with visualization, which may be a useful supplement to actual practice.

If you like archery games, there are a few low commitment options. Meaning, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a console. The games being brought up here are free to play online. As you may already know, nothing is free. Although you don’t need to pull out your credit card to play any of these, you do pay the nagging price of ad interruptions. If you’re wondering, No, I don’t receive any money for sending you to these sites. These are just some site games I came across when I should have been working.

Archer defense is a first person archery game where sme kind of cute zombies are slowly stumblimg toward you and your property. Shoot as many of those things as possible

Archer Ragdoll Masters has very little resemblance to real archery, but it is a fun game that I spent a few hours playing. As you play, you accumulate gems to upgrade your own bow and helmet.

Archery Flying Island is a cartoonish colorful game that’s pleasing to the eye. Although it is a tad overly cute, it addresses the arc of an arrow traveling over the ground. There’s a bit of a cheat in the game though, since once you point, the arrow is going to go exactly where the marker is pointed, so not a lot of surprise, from what I’ve seen. Not the best game for practice either… So why did I add it?

Cool Archer is a first person perspective game that gives the gamer a somewhat real experience. although it doesn’t have the decent graphics we see in Archery World Tour, The movement of the bow is relatable. Another element that adds to the game is that you can’t pull the bow back indefinitely. after a few second, the arrow will be released in whatever position the bow is in when the time is up.

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