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It turns out that size does matter…when it comes to gaming!

Written by Stakester
8 Jun, 2022

Stakester commissioned Dr. Lindsey Migliore to examine the mechanics behind the perfect hand size for gamers. The result? Bigger really is better, for longer.

Here at Stakester, we’re no strangers to a deep dive into some gaming science – in the past, we discovered that a one hour gaming session can burn more calories than 100 sit ups and we proved the effectiveness of the lean forward meme.

Gaming performance is crucial to our community of  players on Stakester, who are always looking for new ways to win. And that’s why we commissioned this study: to produce interpretable results for gamers so they can see how they stack up in the size department, and better understand how their hands affect performance.

So, we got in touch with one of the world’s leading esports physicians, Dr Lindsey Migliore. Dr Migliore is currently leading a growing area of science to improve esports players’ performance, take better care of their bodies, and prevent them from developing chronic injuries from gaming. We asked if she’d be interested in designing our study, and when she agreed we rounded up 90 gamers to make it possible!

The methodology 

Consisting of 90 participants between the ages of 18-44 (the core demographic on Stakester) the study drew comparisons between hand measurements and performance in a series of tests.

Those partaking in the study were asked to perform a series of click tests; three durations of click speed tests were carried out – a 5 second test, a 30 second test and a 100 second test. These tests produced results which were applicable to gaming titles of different lengths.

Participants were also asked to rate their ability on different games, including huge titles like FIFA and CoD. Ratings ranged from expert to novice.

The measurements 

We examined how different finger lengths and sizes could impact how effective you can be during gaming. The four measurements people were asked to take are:

  • Tip of index fingers to the base of index finger (green line)
  • Tip of index finger to the wrist crease (grey line)
  • Max finger span  (purple line)
  • Palm breadth (blue line)

The results

Drum roll… the results showed that smaller fingers are better suited for quickness in small bursts – so if you have small hands you might perform better in a quick, high intensity game like Mario Kart.

However, as the amount of time spent moving / clicking increases, longer fingers perform better. So Dr. Migliore concluded that longer finger lengths (and bigger hands) are better for stamina during longer games, like CoD and FIFA.

The perfect hand size for gamers

Usually, being told “it’s the perfect size” isn’t something to brag to your mates about – but not anymore! We’ve got the exact hand measurements which mean you’ve got the genetics to be  an expert gamer:

  • Tip to the base of index fingers – 7.6cm
  • Index finger tip to wrist crease – 18.1cm
  • Max finger span – 22.8cm
  • Palm breadth – 8.7cm

So how do you measure up? For those of you who aren’t a close match, at least you have an excuse for any future losses!

Compare your hand

We’ve created an interactive hand measurement tool, so you don’t have to crack the tape measure out! You can easily compare your hand – simply hold it up to our 1:1 scaled image (you’ll need a laptop screen/computer monitor for this).

The detailed breakdown 

5-second click test

The following combination caused speed to decrease:

  • Longer index finger
  • Longer length of index and palm 
  • Higher max finger span
  • Wider palm breadth.

Summary: Longer fingers and larger hands move slower on shorter duration tests for small periods of time.  

30-second click test

There was no change in click speed across all finger and finger + palm lengths. But as max finger span and palm breadth increased, click speed decreased. 

100-second click test

The following combination saw speed increase:

  • Longer index finger 
  • Longer length of index and palm 

Summary: longer fingers move faster throughout longer duration tests for longer periods of time. 

The best and the worst

The fastest participant, able to click at an average of 8.9 CPS (clicks per second) had a longer index finger at 8cm, with a long max finger span of 24cm. 

The slowest participant was able to click at an average of 4.3 CPS, their index finger measured 7cm, with a max finger span of 18cm.  

It’s not just skill

All in all, this study shows us just how easily your physiology impacts your gaming skill. There are both positives and negatives to having longer or shorter fingers, and you’ll likely find that you perform better in different game styles due to your hands.

If your hands are on the smaller side, you’ll be able to test your skills – and likely come out on top – in Stakester’s fast paced Rocket League lobbies. If your hands are on the bigger side, you should think about heading into FIFA competitions, as those longer games are where you are bound to excel!

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