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Getting serious about gaming? Your set up and peripherals are more important than you think. We’re going to go ahead and assume you have your PC and monitor all good to go – so what else do you need to really level up your gaming experience?
For starters, as sexy as a cable-free desktop can be, Bluetooth is not your best friend when it comes to gaming peripherals. When you’re just browsing online, a little lag isn’t that much of an issue, but when it comes to gaming, anything that creates latency can be a huge problem. So to ensure smooth gameplay, wired options really are your best bet.
Better performance at your fingertips
You’ve already got a keyboard and mouse for work; do you really need a special set for gaming? The short answer is sure, you can get away with using a standard keyboard and mouse, but the reality is that if you want to get serious about gaming, you’re really going to want to get your hands on an ergonomically designed gaming keyboard and specialised gaming mouse. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Better performance: gaming gear is designed for gaming, making it more intuitive to use for that specific purpose.
- Less risk of injury: ergonomic design will offer you more protection against repetitive strain style injuries from spending hours online.
The other thing that the best gaming keyboards offer is the ability to add colour and lights – which isn’t critical to gameplay, but it adds an extra element of fun and gives you the opportunity to completely customise your rig.
The seat of success
If you spend all your time gaming sitting in some crappy old random chair, your back will DEFINITELY let you know how it feels about that sooner or later. Even standard office chairs aren’t necessarily up to spec in terms of spine and posture support. The best gaming chairs, on the other hand, have been designed specifically with gaming in mind. Specialised gaming chairs have full height back support, adjustable lumbar cushioning, have ‘starfish’ castor wheel supports, and a reclining feature so you can stay super comfortable all of the time (the best ones even recline a full 180° so you can even cat nap if you want to).
Blue light reduction glasses
It doesn’t matter whether you’re scanning spreadsheets for hours on end or scouting ahead for your advance party in blue light is going to affect you. Excessive exposure to blue light can cause eyestrain and wreak havoc on your sleep schedule, so a good pair of blue light reduction glasses should be one of the key items in your gaming toolkit.
Mini USB fridge
Or a full-size bar fridge if you have the space. Snacking is part of gaming, and while this one isn’t a technical requirement, keeping your refreshing beverages cool and on hand is still awesome. If you’re more into hot beverages while gaming, you can also grab a USB cup warmer to keep your drinks toasty while you play.
No matter how neat you are, snacking can lead to mess, and having a mop-up kit handy is going to save you a lot of heartaches if you knock your super-size slurpee over on your desk. Keep a kit handy with paper towel, wet wipes, tissues, alcohol spray and microfibre cloths to sop up any spills pronto and stop sticky fingers from ruining your keyboard and mouse.
Unless you live alone, or our housemates don’t mind listening to all the chatter during your gaming sessions, a headset is going to be an invaluable part of your gaming rig. Get a good gaming headset that isn’t Bluetooth. As convenient as it might seem to not be ‘tied’ to your computer, a wired headset is going to deliver a seamless listening experience, and if you’re playing online multiplayer games that require you to ‘sound out’ your competition, any latency matters a LOT.
We’re not telling you anything you don’t already know, but if you’re into online multiplayer gaming, every single second counts. So eliminating lag and optimising your connection speed are critical. Get yourself a good, hi-speed modem and if you’re tech savvy, have a crack at some of the tweaks to increase your speed, like finding out what channel has the least traffic on it and using that one.
If course, there are loads of other bits and pieces that you can add to your peripherals to personalise your gaming experience and make it even more fun – these are just a few to get you started in terms of helping to improve your performance too.
What we all wouldn’t give to have an endless budget to be able to enjoy all of the bells and whistles available to gamers right now!
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