If you consider yourself as more than just a casual gamer, you’ve probably already taken steps to help you to game in comfort. If you’re the kind of person that factors in the colour of the lights on a mouse or the macro keys on a keyboard when making a purchase decision, the chances are you’re in the category of players that would benefit from a fantastic rig. Whether you’re in the planning stages or want to know if your current setup is right for you, the following 10 tips will help you to get your environment right.
1. Start Any Setup with a Good Chair
It doesn’t matter how good your computer is or how good you are at any given game if you can’t bring yourself to stay seated for extended periods. Comfort is often overlooked in favour of performance, but we think this is the wrong approach. Even if your computer is a few years old and your desk is falling apart, if you’re still using a stool, regular office chair or dining chair for your gaming sessions, a new seat should be your first investment.
Consider a good chair as an investment not only in comfort but also in health. The wrong chair can lead to back pain and long-term health issues. You don’t need to break the bank on a chair, but anything explicitly designed for extended sessions – for gaming or general office tasks – will be significant to boost your comfort levels.
2. Ensure Your PC is Capable
Once you’re comfortable, it’s time to focus on performance. If your PC can’t keep up with the latest games, then your performance will suffer. The chances are that you play whatever you enjoy to win, and this often requires maxed out settings that can keep up with your reaction speeds. You’re limited by budget in many cases, so it pays to do your research and shop smart. Not everything that is more expensive performs better than cheaper alternatives, and knowledge is power in this scenario.
3. Invest in a Great Monitor
When it comes time to upgrade or even wholly replace your PC, so many gamers decide that they can save on the monitor as they’ve already got one. However, you need to be honest and ask yourself whether your current monitor is good enough. Research is your friend once again, as you can investigate panel technologies, refresh rates and response times to find something that will adequately display those maxed-out graphics settings you crave.
4. A Great Desk is Almost as Important as a Great Chair
As with your chair, if you find yourself making do with a desk, then it may be time to invest in an upgrade. At the very least, you want a playing surface that remains stable under pressure as even the slightest wobble can throw off pinpoint accuracy. Size is often the primary consideration and you need to think about a desk that is big enough to hold all your monitors and peripherals, but small enough so as not to overpower a room. Once again, you don’t necessarily need the added expense of a dedicated gaming desk, but you want something you can rely on in tense moments.
5. Grab a Good Controller
Many PC games work well with a keyboard and mouse, but if you don’t have a controller available, you might find yourself performing suboptimally on some games. Most controllers designed for consoles will also work with PCs, and you have a choice between wired and wireless options. Xbox and PlayStation controllers feel very different to hold and play with, and they’re just two of a multitude of possibilities so experiment to see which works best for you.
6. Consider Lighting On and Around Your Rig
An outstanding gaming rig and unique lighting go hand in hand, and there is plenty to consider. Many keyboards and mice enable the user to adjust the colours on them, but you should also consider colours in the room too. A regular ceiling light works, but it’s a bit boring. Consider smart bulbs and even setups that change colour with the gameplay on screen as a finishing touch to your setup.
7. Get a Good Keyboard
You shouldn’t spend thousands on a great PC and then cheap out on the keyboard. There are plenty of big names in the gaming space, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. You’ll almost certainly want to go with a mechanical keyboard, but colour options, macro keys and other factors are down to you.
8. The Mouse Matters Too
The same logic to making a decent investment in the keyboard also applies to the mouse, especially as you have the same broad range of options. While any mouse would work, a bad one can limit your performance, so do your research and, if possible, test out mice in person to ensure you get one that is comfortable to hold.
9. Decide on Your Ideal Headset and Speakers
Just as much effort goes into the sound on modern games as the graphics, and you want everything to be crystal clear. If you play first-person shooters, sound can even impact performance as you listen out for footsteps and need to know the direction from which your opponent approaches accurately. Ideally, you’ll also want to coordinate colours and lighting options here too, so there’s always plenty to think about.
10. Keep Everything Up to Date
On the computer itself, you need to ensure you have the latest drivers and updates to ensure optimal performance. If you find your rig falling behind in performance terms on the latest releases, consider upgrading parts. As far as we’re concerned, the perfect gaming rig is never finished, so keep your finger on the pulse of what’s out there and be prepared to make changes and upgrades as required.