One way to make playing video games at home more fun is to create a proper setup. Here are tips for building a home gaming setup for beginners.
Ten years ago, owning a powerful computer was a source of pride and prestige all on its own. Nowadays, the computer is only one part of a much greater whole: the home gaming setup. By now you’ve probably seen gamers sharing their setups across listicles, competitions, and social media.
But a proper home gaming setup is more than geek cred. It’s about both comfort and function — two essential concerns for those of us who live at the computer desk.
If you’re new to the world of PC gaming, you’re probably thinking of building a home gaming setup of your own. Don’t overlook the fundamentals. Here are seven tips to build an amazing home gaming setup even if you’ve never made one before.
1. Establish the Foundation
A great desk is the foundation of any computer setup, gaming or not. First, consider the height. You want a desk that meshes well with your chair of choice.
When you’re shopping for desks at the store, line up your hands as if you were using a keyboard. Remember, your arms should be straight beyond the bend of your elbow. If your keyboard is too high or too low, you’ll feel the strain before too long.
The width is just as important. You want space to keep your computer off the floor and minimize dust buildup, especially if your gaming area is carpeted. If you plan on using multiple monitors, you’ll want to accommodate those, too.
2. Invest in Comfortable Seating
Don’t use the old dining room chair. Look, we get it: buying a gaming PC is expensive enough. But if it’s between a new desk chair or a better graphics card, you should choose the chair every time.
Do you want to be able to use your PC as much as possible? That could be an issue if you don’t have enough back support for countless hours at the computer.
There’s no such thing as the best gaming chair. Just choose one that’s comfortable for your personal preferences. Try to avoid so-called “gaming” chairs since they are notorious for their poor durability and high price tags.
3. Get Loud
The trend of built-in monitor speakers died out years ago. You’ve got two options for your home gaming setup: speakers or headphones. Of course, you can always use both.
Headphones with a built-in mic make it easy to chat with your gaming friends over Discord — or alternatives to Discord. They also have better directional sound design, which can seriously improve your game in competitive titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO).
Speakers aren’t great for gaming, but they’re more versatile. For example, you can watch a stream or video from your computer without having to sit at the desk. However, there are great sounding speakers with a powerful subwoofer that is also made for gaming. You can find the best quality pc speakers on MusicCritic for your buying guide.
4. Remember the Monitor
Buying a monitor used to be easy. You found a big one… and you got it. But now monitors don’t only come in different sizes, but also various resolutions and refresh rates.
Higher resolutions mean better image quality, whereas higher refresh rates can help you get the most of your powerful rig’s FPS.
There’s no right or wrong here. But for a beginner, it’s best to stick to cheaper traditional monitors rather than blowing your budget on an advanced display your computer may not be able to handle.
One monitor gets the job done, but you should spring for a second monitor if you have the room and budget allotted. Imagine playing your game on one screen and watching a livestream on the other. Pretty cozy, right?
5. Prioritize Peripherals
Love them or hate them, the fact of the matter is you’ll need a gaming mouse and keyboard for some of your favorite video games. Don’t go with budget options.
Most gamers rely on the comfort and precision of mechanical keyboards. These boast various actuation forces and tactility features that make typing easier. If you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard before, MX brown keys or MX red keys are a good starting baseline.
When it comes to mice, always put comfort over performance. Naturally, this means visiting a computer store to test the peripheral in person.
6. Control Your Play
Even though most people prefer mouse and keyboard from a performance standpoint, the fact of the matter is some games play better on controllers. Controllers are also easier on the hands, so they’re good to have available when you need a break.
Xbox and PlayStation sell different game controllers with PC functionality. Usually, you only need to plug in a wireless USB to get started.
Once you decide on the controller layout you prefer, make space for your device in your home gaming setup. You can find controller stands online and in stores. Some even install into the side of your desk to maximize space.
7. Build a Powerful PC
What’s the star of a home gaming setup? The PC itself!
Many PC gaming beginners get started with a pre-built gaming PC. That’s fine, but you can save hundreds of dollars and get a stronger computer by building one yourself.
Computer building enthusiasts compare it to playing with expensive Legos. And it’s a pretty apt comparison (outside of dealing with the processor and motherboard). Use a system builder tool like PCPartPicker and see how much you can save with a custom build.
Building a Functional Home Gaming Setup
With these tips in hand, you’re prepared to become the envy of all your friends. Building a home gaming setup doesn’t have to break the bank or your free time. After making a few smart purchases, you’ll have a comfortable and functional gaming environment that’s right for you.
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