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The Effects of Auditory Latency on Experienced First-Person Shooter Players

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Latency is inherently part of every interactive system and is particularly critical in video games. Previous work shows that visual latency above 25 ms reduces game experience and player performance. However, latency does not only affect visual perception but also may influence auditory elements of video games. It is unclear if auditory latency impairs the gaming experience and player performance with the same magnitude as visual latency. Therefore, we conducted an experiment with 24 participants playing a first-person shooter game. Participants played with four levels (0 ms, 40 ms, 270 ms, and 500 ms) of controlled auditory latency to reveal effects on game experience and player performance. Our analysis shows that auditory latency in video games increases the perceived tension, decreases positive feelings towards the game, and on its highest tested level (500 ms), even causes significantly stronger associations with negative feelings towards the game. Furthermore, we found that the negative effects of auditory latency are particularly pronounced for high-skilled players. We conclude that auditory latency negatively affects video games and their players. Therefore, researchers should investigate it with the same rigor as visual latency


Halbhuber, David; Köhler, Annika; Schmidbauer, Markus; Wiese, Jannik; Henze, Niels (2022): The Effects of Auditory Latency on Experienced First-Person Shooter Players. Mensch und Computer 2022 - Tagungsband. DOI: 10.1145/3543758.3543760. New York: ACM. pp. 276-286. MCI-SE06: Usability and User Experience. Darmstadt. 4.-7. September 2022