Boss Level Labs this past October launched a dietary supplement called GodMode. Aimed specifically at gamers, the pills are packed with 14 brain-boosting nootropics – ingredients designed to improve cognitive functions in healthy adults.
Folks were naturally skeptical at the time, and rightfully so. Could a pill really help you be better at video games? Roughly five months later, we’ve got some feedback to go by.
Brett Makedonski with Destructoid took the supplement for a solid month and notes that while “the pills probably work,” he felt no uptick in how he played games. Regardless of when he took the pills (before hopping into competitive games like PUBG or Rocket League or even before starting his work day), Makedonski felt the exact same as he did without the pills and / or just under the influence of caffeine.
CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti reached out to more than a dozen scientists, health experts and universities regarding GodMode. “No one in the department wants to talk about it because it is all hype and there is no scientific evidence” to support the supplement’s claims, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine representative said. Others said the product was bogus or didn’t want to talk about it at all.
For those curious, GodMode’s list of ingredients is as follows:
- Yamabushitake powder (200mg)
- Theobromine (200mg)
- Artichoke 4:1 extract (200mg)
- Bacosides A & B (100mg)
- Acetyl-L carnitine (100mg)
- L-Theanine (100mg)
- Beet powder (100mg)
- Citicoline (100mg)
- Caffeine (75mg)
- Pterostilbene 12:1 extract (40mg)
- Coleus forskohili extract (20mg)
- Bioperine black pepper extract (5mg)
- Lithium (500mg)
- Huperzine A (40mg)
Details on each ingredient can be found on Boss Level Labs’ website.
Eurogamer’s Chris Bratt reached out to Dr. Kimberly Urban, a neuroscientist based in Philadelphia, for an opinion on the supplement.
“Well what jumped out at me,” said Dr. Urban, “was the fact that it contains caffeine, it also contains theobromine which is another stimulant. It is going to provide a sensation of enhanced alertness and focus, but that's just from the caffeine. You'd get the same thing from drinking a couple of cups of coffee.”
Al-Heeti was put in touch with multiple people that vouched for GodMode including Ronnie Castro, a 35-year-old network engineer from Los Angeles, and Dennis Delgado, a computer programmer in San Leandro, California.
“Everything is improved as far as focus and drive,” Castro said. “When I'm on it, then I feel I don't have to warm up to do things.” Delgado, meanwhile, said, “I was using it for gaming-related things, but then I started seeing benefits overlapping to concentration for programming.” Again, these endorsements were supplied by Boss Level Labs.
Eurogamer also found a list of “Pro Users” on Boss Level Labs’ website. Here’s what they had to say about it:
Fortunately Boss Level Labs advertises a list of what it calls its 'Pro Users', including Grandmaster Judit Polgár, but also a gameplay designer who'd worked on Gears of War, the co-founder of Remedy Entertainment, the co-founder of Ready at Dawn and a long list of other industry names from the gaming, fitness and literary worlds.
Starting with Ms Polgár, I began contacting each of the Pro Users, requesting an interview about their experience with the supplement. She declined the interview, as did one other person on the list. There were a handful of users I just couldn't get in touch with, but others stopped replying once GodMode had been mentioned. Two of the Pro Users told me they hadn't taken the supplement at all, with one of those users going on to request he be removed from the site. Another explained that although he was passionate about the project because he'd known Boss Level Labs CEO, Scott Miller for years, he wasn't sure he'd noticed any effect from taking GodMode for three months.
As for Bratt’s personal experience with the supplement, he said he certainly felt something. “There was an effect. I felt more alert, less groggy and occasionally a little lightheaded for half an hour or so. Which, as Dr. Urban had predicted, felt quite similar to drinking a couple of cups of strong coffee in quick succession. It didn't feel especially obvious to me that anything more complex than that was happening.”
Over on Amazon, GodMode currently has three user reviews – a five-star review, a three-star review and a one-star review. One user spoke highly of the yamabushitake powder, another warned of potential crashes and the third experienced zero effect.
As with any supplement, it may not be a bad idea to consult with your doctor before taking.