Your environment has a huge impact on your mood, your concentration and your overall enjoyment and performance when gaming. Whether you are playing a few casual poker games on your PC or embroiled in an exhilarating first person shooter on console, a good screen, a comfortable chair and the right tech accessories can really make all the difference.
Building your ideal gaming set-up can be a matter of trial and error but getting recommendations and sourcing inspiration online can help prevent you wasting money investing in equipment that isn’t right for your personal preferences.
Budget can be a limiting factor in creating the optimal set up. However, purchasing second hand and utilising discounts can help. Here are some of the most important items to consider for your best gaming set-up and recommendations on which products offer the best experience for gamers:
For PC and console gamers, having a high spec monitor isn’t essential but when you upgrade from an older model, you will notice a huge difference and wonder how you ever managed before.
One of the newer high spec monitors built with gaming in mind is the Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED. With a gentle 1800R curve, this screen offers a 3440 x 1440 resolution and aspect ratio of 21:9.
This model uses new G-Sync Ultimate refresh rate technology and delivers refresh rates of 0.1ms, which is critical in action games where speed is essential for effective gameplay. The contrast and colours on this display are fantastic, as is the pixel response.
However, this monitor is clearly aimed at PC gamers, as there is no HDMI 2.1 it is most likely not the best fit for most console gaming.
Another great monitor option is the Acer Nitro XV282K KVbmiipruzx, this is actually one of the first to include HDMI 2.1 inputs. It has a 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. At 28 inches, the screen is a little smaller than the Alienware monitor but it has comparably great response times overall.
The ideal gaming setup isn’t great about the tech, the furniture is also essential to creating the optimal environment. Regular gamers need a dedicated desk space for their equipment, you might also use this desk for remote working so investing in something that will last is important.
Of course, the desk will need to work in the space you have available. You might have a dedicated study or spare room with space for a larger model, however there are plenty of compact and fold-away desks on the market for small or multi-use spaces.
For a study, smart looking option on a budget the Ikea Utespelare fits the bill. It is height adjustable between 26.75” to 30.75” and its sleek design means it is unlikely to clash with the decor you already have in place. Also, the metal mesh for ventilation and cable management will keep your hardware cool and organised neatly.
Standing desks have become a bit of a fad in recent years and for gamers that spend long sessions slouched in a chair, it can be a refreshing option that helps your posture. The Thermaltake ToughDesk 300 RGB is a standing desk built for gaming and can be adjusted up to 43.3 inches.
One great feature this desk has is memory space for up to four different height settings for quick and easy adjustment for sitting to standing and vice versa. Also, with a maximum load of 330 pounds, you don’t need to worry about its ability to hold heavy monitors and machines.
A headset is an essential item for any PC or console gamer and many smartphone gamers use them too. The microphone in particular is a key feature for those that play online with friends.
A great headset for those that have a preference for wireless is the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless. While it isn’t compatible for Xbox, it is an affordable choice for Playstation and PC users. The battery life extends over 300 hours and there are presets for sound customisation.
Another option is the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7, the battery life is less impressive at 30 horse but you have the choice of using them either wired or wireless. You can also use the app to adjust your sound preferences and connect via bluetooth to listen to music during gameplay if you so wish.