Experienced PC gamers know that the environment in which you game often has a powerful effect on how you perform, so you really need a strong setup if you want to play your best. If you’re serious about this hobby, you want to do everything you can to optimize your performance. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative to set things up perfectly.
For example, your gaming area needs to be comfortable enough to handle marathon gaming sessions. Many games have some kind of ranking mode where prolonged, expert level play is rewarded with loot and bragging rights, and you might as well not play at all if you can’t put the requisite hours in.
Unfortunately, there is no button that you can press to make an ideal PC gaming setup appear overnight. However, the guide below can be used as a cheat sheet to help you build something suited to your needs and tastes. You look up cheat codes online all the time, so why not try one you can use in real life?
Experts and novices alike need the right setup, so create one! The following advice can help you get your ideal setup going before you know it!
1. Plan For The Long Haul
It can be tempting to settle for the first things you see when planning your gaming setup, but it’s actually important to carefully consider what you want. It would be heartbreaking to have a setup for six months only to decide that you should have chosen something else entirely. Take the time to make the right decision now so that you don’t regret anything later.
Gaming is currently a fun hobby, but it will only get better as technology improves. You need to keep future innovations in mind when deciding how you want your gaming setup to look and function.
2. Create Your Man Cave
Now that you have the right mindset, it’s time to start thinking about the specifics you want and need. The man cave is a simple concept, but they can be truly wonderful if you get them right. Gaming should be an immersive experience, and a man cave can be a nice cozy nook where that is eminently possible. The outside world might as well not exist!
The key to an effective man cave is to use it only for having fun. That means no sleeping (so bedrooms are out) and definitely no working. You can entertain friends and unwind without necessarily gaming, but make sure that fun is the top priority!
3. Choose Your Desk
Most gamers pay little mind to the desk that serves as the base of their setup, but it’s actually pretty important. You’re counting on it to hold a lot of expensive stuff, and you’re going to be very sad if it gives out and ruins all of it. If you’re the type to bang a desk in frustration when a game doesn’t go your way, you also need to choose something that can withstand the abuse.
Therefore, it’s probably best to avoid that hand-me-down desk from your next door neighbor you’ve been seriously considering. Instead, opt for a brand new desk large enough to comfortably house everything you plan to put on it and then some. That last point may seem unnecessary, but trust us. You always end up with more stuff on your desk than you initially intended.
Alternatively, you can try your hand at making your own desk. It’s not as hard as you might think, and you can get the exact size, shape, and quality that you are looking for. Get it right, and you will have leveled up and learned a new skill!
4. Get A Comfortable Chair
Comfort will ultimately determine whether or not you can maintain focus during a long gaming session, so do not compromise on your chair! A stiff chair will bring a premature end to every gaming session and a stiff back the next day.
The best way to find a chair that’s right for you is to try out numerous options and decide for yourself which one you want. Many chairs look alike, but that doesn’t mean that they all perform the same!
5. Select A Computer
A man cave equipped with the best possible chair and desk will take you nowhere without a computer capable of handling all of your gaming. If you’re lagging or dropping frames, it’s virtually impossible to play well. Worse, other people will be hesitant to bring outdated technology into their guild or team.
If your current setup is lacking, planning out your gaming area is the perfect opportunity to upgrade it. Most serious PC gamers build their own PC to get a competitive machine without the associated cost. I would recommend reading one of our best gaming PC guides, give them a read and see if it’s something you might be interested in.
Should you decide that you lack the skills to build the type of machine you need, you can buy one too. Just be prepared to pay a lot for a machine capable of hanging with the top players.
6. Protect Your Hands
Gaming is often tough on hands. They’re used all the time, often in positions unnatural for the human body. There’s very little you can do about this besides mitigate the damage they sustain.
The way to do this is to invest in a mouse and keyboard designed specifically with the needs of gamers in mind. If your PC is the thing that gets you to the battlefield, your mouse and keyboard are the sword and shield that can lead you to victory!
7. Maximize The Monitors
Some gamers think that they can get by with only one monitor, and you can. However, most gamers want to do a lot more than just “get by.” Having multiple screens dramatically improves the immersion of the gaming experience, letting you see details that opponents with fewer screens may miss. That can be all of the advantage you need to secure the coveted victory!
Two screens are better than one, but the best gaming setups usually demand three. If you were wondering why we recommended a large desk above, now you know.
8. Mic & Sound
Gone are the days when gaming was a solitary activity shunned by the rest of society. Today, gaming is a social activity. You can make friends, join guilds, and discuss tactics using headphones and a microphone no matter where your teammates are. If you’re the type to engage in a little trash talking, you’ll need a good mic for that too.
Therefore, you should really avoid skimping on your headset. Sound quality is vital, but remember comfort too. You will be wearing your headset for hours on end, so it really needs to fit your head like a glove.
9. Beyond The Necessities
Everything above is absolutely mandatory, but you can get an even better experience by going beyond what you strictly need. It would be a bit much to install a toilet (though wouldn’t that be nice?), but a nice mini-fridge can keep energy drinks and even snacks readily accessible without needing to pause the game. Nourishment can make the difference between gaming success and a heartbreaking failure, so get that fridge!
10. Keep It Clean
Once you have your ideal setup up and running, don’t trash the place. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into this space, so make sure that you can find everything you might need within a reasonable time frame. If you need to dig through three months of garbage just to find a game or accessory you want to use, things have gone awry.
It’s a little abstract, but a well-organized environment may also improve your game. Some studies suggest that a tidy space promotes calmness and a clearer head, increasing your ability to focus on any virtual task you may be concentrating on.
11. Get Creative!
The tips above are good general guidelines, not gospel. You will be the one gaming in the space you create, so make sure that everything in your gaming den suits your preferences. If you have your heart set on something not addressed above, go ahead and do it anyway.
Of course, you may be limited by your space and budget, but these limiting factors may be used as incentives to help the creative juices flow. As long as you are satisfied with the end result, you will have a perfect gaming setup.
The right environment can make a tremendous difference in your gaming experience. If you invest everything into it that you should, you will find that there is no better hobby imaginable.