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PC gaming is a different breed than console gaming Switching From Console To PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained Switching From Console To PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained PCs and consoles may be closer than ever -- after all, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are basically just gaming PCs -- but there are still huge differences. Read More . While console gamers typically spend money on specific gaming peripherals compatible with their console, PC gamers are given a larger range of freedom. With great power, however, comes great responsibility. Once you’ve invested in a cockpit simulator, there’s no turning back.

Maybe you’ve just gotten into the PC scene How to Turn Your PC Into a Game Console How to Turn Your PC Into a Game Console PCs are awesome, but maybe you want to play on your TV instead? Here's how you can turn your PC into a console so you can play on your TV! Read More , or maybe you’re looking to bump up your command console. In any case, here’s a list of the peripherals you should definitely invest in based on their level of necessity. While price is the primary focus on this list, and all listings are highly rated and trusted, necessity and price often share a correlation. There’s no need to buy a gaming chair when you haven’t settled on a mouse yet!

The “Bare Bones” List

This list covers the absolute necessities for people that want to dip their toes into PC gaming.

Mouse 1.0

When it comes to gaming, both your mouse and keyboard are basic essentials. A decent, responsive mouse can vary in price range significantly, and you don’t always get what you pay for. That said, your lousy Dell mouse 8 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Crappy $10 Mouse 8 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Crappy $10 Mouse If you're still using the mouse that came with your computer, realize that you can do so much better. Here's everything you need to know about buying computer mice. Read More just won’t do for gaming. Here’s a selection of decent budget mice that still pack a punch.

VicTsing MM057 | Wireless — There are plenty of cheap mouse options available, but few are as highly favored as the MM057. I prefer the minimal profile gaming mouse model (read: no lights) so this mouse was a cinch, style-wise. It has five adjustable DPI levels (2400, 2000, 1600, 1200, 800), an ergonomic design, and two customizable side-buttons, which are staples for any gaming mouse. If you’re interested in a flurry of flash as well, check out VicTsing’s Wireless Gaming Mouse. It’s essentially a fuller size with an extra DPI button and red LED lighting.


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Tecknet Raptor | Wired — Typically, wired mice are preferred in gaming. At around $10, the Tecknet Raptor isn’t just inexpensive, it’s downright cheap. The Raptor is anything but shoddy, though. Three adjustable DPI settings, a selection of LED options, and two side buttons make it everything you would need in a gaming mouse. If you’d like to spend a little more to buy from a reputable mouse company, I’d recommend either the Corsair CH-9301011-NA Gaming Harpoon or the Logitech G300S Gaming Mouse, both available for around $25.

Keyboard 1.0

For beginner gaming, a decent keyboard is absolutely necessary. While all keyboards generally work the same, aspects like build quality, input lag, and customization all play important roles. Backlit keys, for example, are typically considered extraneous until you’re playing in a dark room. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on all-around keyboard models.

Redragon K552 Kumura | Mechanical — The Redragon Kumura often surprises the users who buy it 7 Newbie Tips When Buying a Mechanical Keyboard 7 Newbie Tips When Buying a Mechanical Keyboard Thinking of getting a mechanical keyboard? Here's what you should know before you commit to a purchase. Read More because of its quality. With a classic red backlight, Cherry MX Green-style key switches, and minimal decal, few other keyboards match up to this one at this price point.

Redragon K502 Karura Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | Chiclet — The Redragon Karura is a backlit, chiclet keyboard with a built-in wrist rest. The Karura also allows for seven switchable backlight colors as well. For a similar, more recognizable product at a comporable price point, there’s no looking further than Razer’s DeathStalker Essential. A highly touted budget keyboard, this non-backlit, chiclet keyboard provides a responsive (and macro-capable) keyboard experience that will easily last you years.


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Adapters

An adapter is a USB device that allows for wireless capabilities between devices and PCs. That includes both mouse/keyboard options and gaming controllers.

Edimax EW-7811Un Wi-Fi Adapter — Amazon’s best seller in the category, the Edimax EW-7811Un Wi-Fi Adapter is a go-to choice. You won’t get screaming fast Wi-Fi speeds 4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix Them) 4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix Them) When you rely on Wi-Fi, speed issues can hurt -- and Wi-Fi speed issues aren't always easy to diagnose. Here are some things you ought to check. Read More , but if you’re in a bind it’ll do fine.

Plugable Bluetooth Adapter — Another best seller, the Plugable Bluetooth Adapter has been used by thousands of people to add Bluetooth connectivity. After purchase, you can use your PC for speakers, controllers, remotes, mouses, keyboards, and more How to Connect Your Cell Phone to PC Through Bluetooth How to Connect Your Cell Phone to PC Through Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology. Most phones and computers have it. It's a great way to connect your devices and transfer files wirelessly. We'll show you how to set it up. Read More .

The “Basics” List

Now that you have the essentials, it’s time to start considering a few items to create a micro battle station.

Monitors

You can’t fully enjoy gaming without picking up a quality monitor. We’re basically looking for two details in our essential gaming monitors: savings per inch and IPS (In-Plane Switching). IPS displays will not warp the image on your screen given the viewing angle. Typical TN (Twisted Nematic) displays will.

While it’s debatable whether IPS monitors are better for gaming 4 Myths About LCD Monitors That Are Outdated and False 4 Myths About LCD Monitors That Are Outdated and False LCD monitors have improved a lot over the years, but these myths and misconceptions just won't die. Read More — and considering parameters like FreeSync are more conducive to gaming — it’s a preference I’ve rarely regretted.

Acer R240HY — I’ve never been disappointed by an Acer monitor. This IPS monitor provides high-definition picture, crisp color quality, and 23.8 inches of glorious gameplay. By the way, 1080p displays typically look best with 23-24-inch monitors.

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ASUS CS248H-P — Another trustworthy brand, this monitor is 24 inches but performs in much the same fashion as the Acer model.

Mouse 2.0

Alright, you already own a mouse but you’re looking for something particularly game-worthy. While any mouse will do, you do get what you pay for with gaming mice. Faster connections, more in-depth acceleration settings, higher-quality sensors, and a comfortable, ergonomic feel are absolutely necessary in a gaming mouse.

Razer DeathAdder Elite — The DeathAdder Elite, tied with Razer’s Synapse software Have A Razer Keyboard? Recording Macros Is Easy With Synapse Have A Razer Keyboard? Recording Macros Is Easy With Synapse If you use Razer peripherals but don't take advantage the Synapse software, you're missing out. Here's how to use macros effectively and how they can supercharge your gaming. Read More , will provide you the ease and comfort of settings completely tailored for you. If you feel a little more adventurous, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma provides the same quality mouse with Razer’s signature rainbow Chroma options, minus two additional middle buttons.


Logitech G403 — Logitech makes fantastic, durable gaming mice. The Logitech G403 is proof of that. Its additional removable weight also lets you play around with beginner mouse weight distribution.

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum — The Logitech G502 is a favorite among gamers. It features RGB customization, has 11 programmable buttons, allows for weight tuning, and is comfortable to use. What more could one want?

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Keyboard 2.0

When keyboards are good, they’re really good. Unfortunately, they’re often also really expensive.  Here are a few essential keyboards Which Mechanical Keyboard Should You Buy? 6 Keyboards for Typists and Gamers Which Mechanical Keyboard Should You Buy? 6 Keyboards for Typists and Gamers While CPUs and GPUs remain essential to computer performance, there's an underappreciated peripheral: the keyboard. Everyone uses keyboards, but few people think about them when buying a new PC. Read More which will last, feel insanely comfortable, and won’t break the bank.

CM Storm Quickfire XT — Cooler Master makes fantastic products, and the Storm Quickfire is a favorite among the gaming community. Plus, it’ll last you a lifetime.

Logitech G213 Prodigy — Logitech’s keyboards are comparable in quality to their mice, and the G213 Prodigy is a trustworthy keyboard. Not only does this provide a classic chroma aesthetic, keystrokes are smooth and quick as well. The added built-in hand rest seals the deal.

Corsair Gaming K55 — Corsair is at the top of the heap for gaming peripherals. It continually creates fantastic, slightly different products to fit particular budgets and interests. The K-Series is always a safe bet, including the K55 RGB keyboard. Six programmable keys, quick response, and a quiet clack make this one of the best keyboards you can get for the price. It’s highly popular for a reason. If you’d like to make a slightly larger, better investment, the K63 is for you.


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Peripherals

Now that you’re getting into gaming, chances are you’re going to start taking quality into consideration. The following peripherals will help turn your your gaming hobby into a gaming experience.

Xbox One Controller — I prefer the Xbox One controller. It’s sleek, ergonomic, and pairs easily with Windows How to Set Up Your Xbox One Controller With Windows 10 How to Set Up Your Xbox One Controller With Windows 10 Microsoft has made it very easy to use an Xbox controller on Windows 10. We show you how to connect it through USB or wirelessly. Read More . Besides, there’s nothing quite like taking a day to revisit the classics Nine 90s Computer Games You Can Play For Free Nine 90s Computer Games You Can Play For Free Yep, we're talking free games, a collection of nine retro PC classics from the 1990s that you can play in your browser or download and run in DOSBox or Windows today! Read More on an emulator with an actual console controller. If you prefer the PlayStation 4 controller or another third-party controller, you use them as well. Just note that they require more configuration How to Use the PS4 Controller on your Mac or PC How to Use the PS4 Controller on your Mac or PC Want to use your versatile PS4 controller with your Mac or PC? It's easier than you think! Here's how to do it. Read More than the Xbox controller.


AmazonBasics HDMI Cable — If you game at all, you’ll need an HDMI cable. HDMI is the current standard Video Cables Explained: Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports Video Cables Explained: Difference Between VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports There are so many video cables out there and it can get confusing. VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort -- what's the difference and why do they even matter? Read More and there’s no matching its quality. Note this cable is $7! You should never spend much more than that 7 Tech Things That Are a Total Waste of Money 7 Tech Things That Are a Total Waste of Money Lots of companies want to take advantage of people who don't know a lot about tech. Here are the things real geeks know not to pay for. Read More for a cable.

The “Beyond Basics” List

There’s gaming, and there’s serious gaming. What was previously mentioned will allow you a good base, but you can always take it further. While some of these items may seem beyond the scope of casual gaming, they’re absolutely indispensable for the nine-hour live stream gamer.

Large Mouse Pads

If your mouse pad doesn’t cover most of your desk’s surface, you’re using the wrong mouse pad. Some consider it trivial. That ends when they get one 4 Gaming Mouse Mats Compared: Which Maximizes Performance 4 Gaming Mouse Mats Compared: Which Maximizes Performance When is a mouse pad more than just a mouse pad? When you are trying to push your gaming skill to its very limit, and every little detail is critical to achieving maximum performance. Read More .

LIEBIRD Extended XXL Gaming Mouse Pad — I dig the awesome map graphic and high-quality rubber base of this mouse pad. A little geography lesson never hurt.

Inateck Huge Gaming Mouse Pad — A subtler approach with approximately the same dimensions as the LIEBIRD mouse pad.

Gaming Headphones

At a certain point in your gaming career, dialogue is key. Multiplayer gaming is inevitable, and there’s nothing like putting on some headphones and losing yourself to the sounds of competition. While there is some debate within the gaming community as to whether gaming headphones amount to little more than kitsch, the following are sure to provide fantastic audio quality The 10 Best Wired Headphones The 10 Best Wired Headphones Looking for the best wired headphones? We've covered 10, ranging from ultra budget to super high end! Read More .

V-MODA BoomPro — These aren’t headphones. The V-MODA BoomPro is a modification microphone that users can attach to their existing microphone. Keep in mind that this particular mod mic requires your headphones to have a 3.5mm jack beside the ear. If your headphone cable is detachable though, you can definitely do without buying a new one.

HyperX Cloud Core — HyperX headphones occupy a weird niche wherein both audiophiles and gamers are satisfied. The sound is crisp, the cans are comfortable, and the mic is detachable. If you’d like to splurge a little more, some swear by the HyperX CloudX II’s.


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Sennheiser GSP 300 — Sennheiser is a hallowed name in audio technology, and their gaming series incorporates all the qualities one would want in an overall headphone. The GSP 300, on the less expensive end, is a fantastic headset.

Gaming Chairs

Gaming chairs are sort of like solid-state drives The Fastest SSDs You Can Buy in 2017 The Fastest SSDs You Can Buy in 2017 Solid State Drives, or SSDs, improve performance over mechanical hard drives (HDD). However, if you want the fastest SSD around, you need to know two things: the connector and protocol. Read More : they don’t seem necessary until you get one. Then, you’ll wonder how you functioned without it. Keep in mind that your gaming chair is a matter of comfort, not flash. While some awesome chairs The 5 Best Office Chairs You Can Buy Right Now The 5 Best Office Chairs You Can Buy Right Now Good office chairs are an office worker's best friend. The best office chairs in the market are just a click away, and some of them are more affordable than you may have guessed. Read More may seem expensive compared to most gaming peripherals, a comfortable $300 chair that lasts you 10 years costs $30 a year. Consider your seat an investment.

IKEA MARKUS Swivel Chair — If you didn’t know about this chair before, you’re in luck now. It’s comfortable, ergonomic, and critically acclaimed online. Comparatively speaking, it’s also inexpensive. Your back will thank you.

Tempur-Pedic TP4000 Fabric Office Chair — The Tempur-Pedic TP4000 Chair is like a bed for your back. Rarely is a regular office chair rated this highly, which means this isn’t a regular office chair.

Furmas Office Chair — On the lower-budget end, the Furmas Office Chair is a unmatched. If you can’t spend much and are suffering on a kitchen chair, get this chair. The added gaming colorways also allow for some customization.

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What PC Gaming Accessories Do You Swear By?

There are oodles of choices between the various mice, keyboards, headphones, and other accessories you can use to game. The issue isn’t the choices, but picking what and when. A GTX 1080 graphics card Nvidia Graphics Cards: Which One Is Right for You? Nvidia Graphics Cards: Which One Is Right for You? Nvidia graphics cards are the most popular for a reason. But which model should you buy and why? We explain the jargon, the cards, and their performance. Read More won’t shine on a 14-inch screen, and a gaming command center just won’t do with a default Dell mouse.

Now you know when to get what, and what exactly to get. Don’t forget to optimize your computer for gaming 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming 5 Solid Tweaks to Optimize Your Computer For Gaming If your computer doesn't handle games like it used to, it might just need some quick maintenance. Here are five ways any PC gamer can improve their machine's performance. Read More and you’ll be all set. Happy gaming!

Think we left out an essential PC gaming peripheral from our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Doc
    August 18, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Screw "clacky" mechanical keyboards, a $10 keyboard will do just as well and not keep your roommate up all night.
    Also screw "rowing" a mouse across a desktop...a good trackball will stay in one place and not drive you mad having to pick it up and move it all the time.

  2. Chuck
    August 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Don't call yourself a WRITER if...... lol Getting into a PC now? When kids from 5 years old have addictive technology already? Money? Not everyone can afford things to make their "gaming" apparently(?) better. Technology is addictive but nobody with guts will say it. Wait, I just did. Course I am not the lame Psycho-babble people either. lol People need to step back from technology. Of course, technology medias make money (recommending products with a link..is that an affiliate link to make money? hmm?) by pushing more technology even though it is killing society as we used to know it. Sidewalk lanes for buttmunches who can't walk and text at the same time? lol That sure is being social on a sidewalk. Moderation is a good thing. I only get online about 20 hours at most a week. I can still type this at 100 WPM. I learned on an electric typewriter. Ah....the good old days...... Yep will be 58 this year IF I live that long. I have major health issues and it ain't helping when I read things that aren't thought out too well. LOL