PC gaming is a different breed than console gaming. 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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.
The “Basics” List
Now that you have the essentials, it’s time to start considering a few items to create a micro battle station.
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 — 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.
ASUS CS248H-P — Another trustworthy brand, this monitor is 24 inches but performs in much the same fashion as the Acer model.
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, 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?
When keyboards are good, they’re really good. Unfortunately, they’re often also really expensive. Here are a few essential keyboards 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.
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. Besides, there’s nothing quite like taking a day to revisit the classics 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 than the Xbox controller.
AmazonBasics HDMI Cable — If you game at all, you’ll need an HDMI cable. HDMI is the current standard and there’s no matching its quality. Note this cable is $7! You should never spend much more than that 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are sort of like solid-state drives: 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 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.
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 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 and you’ll be all set. Happy gaming!
Wait! Do you need something to carry your computer in? How about a new anti-theft laptop bag?
Image Credits: lassedesignen/Shutterstock