All gamers know the importance of good hardware, but it can be difficult to know what gear you need if you’re new to PC gaming.
Even if you have a computer already, increasing PC performance is almost always necessary if you’re serious about gaming. This is because the cutting-edge graphics of many new games are demanding on your system, and many digital games require a huge amount of storage space to download.
So, we’ve compiled this short guide to help you buy the essentials for your PC gaming setup. With these gadgets, you’re sure to have a fully-immersive gaming experience like no other!
Although it’s possible to enjoy a game by listening to the audio through speakers, a gaming headset will give you the most immersive experience. And, it’s key to communicating with your teammates if you are playing a cooperative game online.
The best gaming headset needs to be comfortable enough for a gaming marathon. The microphone quality is also a key feature to look out for. You want your teammates to be able to hear you clearly without any delay, but you don’t want the mic to be so sensitive that it picks up background noises like key presses or the clicking of the mouse.
Of course, excellent sound quality is also vital. The best gaming headsets will allow you to hear even the faintest noises in your game, like an enemy creeping up behind you. So, investing in a decent headset could buy you precious seconds and help you win!
CPU coolers come in two varieties – air coolers and liquid coolers. Air coolers tend to be cheaper to buy and easier to install, although they can be on the bulkier side.
On the other hand, liquid coolers are generally quieter and can cope with higher temperatures than air coolers. So, if you are looking to boost your PC’s performance by overclocking, it’s better to go for a liquid cooler to help dissipate excess heat more efficiently.
There are two main types of PC keyboards – mechanical and membrane. Many PC gamers prefer the feel of mechanical keyboards, but there are other pros to choosing this type. Mechanical keyboards tend to last a lot longer than membrane keyboards, and there are different switch types to choose from, so you can customize your keyboard to your needs.
If you’re looking for superior control, a PC joystick will give you just that. Although a great keyboard and mouse are essential, a joystick is a must for serious PC gamers. A great stick can cost a considerable sum but is often a worthwhile investment for hardcore gamers.
The best PC joystick should offer three-dimensional control for the most accuracy, particularly in flying games. This means as well as moving along the X and Y axes, you can rotate the stick in either direction to control movement on the Z-axis too.
Although some gamers like to play using the keyboard alone, it’s usually best to use both a keyboard and a mouse for the best performance and control. A designated gaming mouse can cost hundreds of dollars, so why invest in one?
For a start, the buttons on a gaming mouse can be programmed so you can easily access the functions you need the most. You can also tweak the acceleration to suit your game for maximum control. The best gaming mice are lightweight and ergonomic – you don’t want your hand or wrist to feel fatigued during a long gaming session!
A specialized gaming monitor is the final piece of hardware we recommend for an outstanding PC gaming setup. There’s a lot of jargon surrounding gaming monitors, so choosing the best one can be difficult if you’re not clued-up.
One thing to look for is a high refresh rate, shown in Hz. The higher this number, the more smoothly the video feed will flow because the screen is refreshing more times in a second. So, this is essential if you don’t want your game to appear fragmented and jerky.
You’ll also want a fast response time, no more than four milliseconds. Response time refers to how long each pixel takes to change to a new color. If the response time is too slow, you’ll notice ‘ghosting’ on your screen. This is when anything that moves on the screen appears to have a trail of pixels behind it, like motion blur.
Finally, most modern games look best on a widescreen monitor with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or higher if possible. Ultra-wide gaming monitors are available if you can afford to splash out a little. With an aspect ratio of up to 32:9, these (often curved) monitors will really allow you to immerse yourself in the game and see every little detail.