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PC gaming is a really fun way to de-stress after a long day, connect with friends online, and appreciate a fast-paced interactive art form. But to get the most out of the experience, you’ll need to pick up a few of the best gaming accessories. Yes, you can play games with the mouse and keyboard you use for work, but they’re not necessarily designed with ergonomics in mind.
Bluetooth gaming accessories, meantime, are great if you want a clean desk, but they introduce latency (lag), which is imperceptible when you’re surfing the web, but make the difference between (virtual) life and death.
Plus, gaming accessories allow you to customize some features, especially lighting, to add some ambiance and fun to the experience.
The world of tech accessories is large, but we’ve done the heavy lifting for you by finding 10 must-have accessories you’ll need to create a great PC gaming setup. From keyboards and mice to the right WiFi routers to use, we’ve got you covered.
1. A Gaming Headset
If you’re going to play online multiplayer games with friends, you’ll need a good headset. SteelSeries’ Artics 7 are an over-ear headset with support for DTS, a Dolby-designed audio codec that mixes stereo audio to simulate surround sound.
It can be connected directly to a computer with a cable, or wirelessly via a 2.4Ghz wireless audio receiver that SteelSeries includes in the box. The Artcis 7 has a flexible, bi-directional microphone that SteelSeries says is “broadcast quality.” The company also touts the microphone’s ability to block out background noise.
You can adjust many of the Arctis 7’s audio settings through SteelSeries’ PC app. This includes the ability to adjust the volume of every app on your computer, so you can get the right mix of game audio and your teammates’ voices if you’re communicating through Discord or Skype.
2. An Ergonomic Chair
Long gaming sessions lead to serious back pain if you don’t have the right chair.
This one from AmazonBasics was specifically designed for gamers, and has ergonomic features like a high-back design to cradle your entire body, height-adjustable arm rests, a headset pillow, and a lumbar pillow.
The chair can be tilted back from 90 to 120 degrees, so you can stretch out, or find a comfortable position. Its roller wheels also allow you to easily adjust your positioning with your desk to find the sweet spot.
Finally, the chair itself is available with different colored accents, so you can find one that fits in with your look.
Amazon says their gaming chair is certified by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association, which signals that the manufacturer has met basic standards in production quality and materials used.
3. A Set Of Stereo Speakers
If you prefer speakers to headsets, Logitech’s G560 is the right choice for playing games.
It’s a 2.1 audio system, which means it has two stereo speakers and a subwoofer for additional bass. Like the SteelSeries Artics 7, the G560 supports DTS:X Ultra, which simulates surround sound to help you feel more immersed in your game.
The speakers can be connected to your computer with a cable, but they also support Bluetooth, so you can wirelessly stream music to them through a phone or tablet if you prefer. Volume controls are available on the right speaker for easy access if you need to make changes in the middle of your game.
The feature that helps the G560 stand above its competition is the programmable RGB lights on the back of each speaker. They can be programmed to automatically change during the course of your game, or set to your favorite color. The lights support 16.8 million colors, so you’ll find the perfect shade or hue to match your game or mood.
4. A High-Resolution Monitor
There’s no better way to appreciate a game’s graphics than on a high-resolution monitor.
This 28-inch 4K monitor from BenQ was built specifically with gamers in mind. It has two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, so you can hook up your gaming PC and game consoles to it at the same time.
The EL2870U supports HDR (high dynamic range), a video technology that makes colors look more lifelike, and AMD’s FreeSync, which reduces screen tearing and other visual glitches that can distract you while playing.
Most importantly, it has a 1ms (millisecond) response time, which reduces the amount of lag between what’s going on in the game, and what you’re doing. This level of precision isn’t necessary for everyday tasks, but makes a big difference when you’re playing games.
Finally, the EL2870U uses ambient light sensors to automatically adjust the monitor’s color temperature to make it easy to play games or use your computer at night.
5. An Ergonomic, Backlit Keyboard
Razer’s Ornata Wired Keyboard was designed to help make PC gaming more comfortable, and more fun.
The Ornata has a large, cushioned wrist rest, and mid-height keys with a mecha-membrane that makes them softer to press. Both of these features make the Ornata a lot easier on your hands. The wrist rest is detachable, so you can easily remove it if it’s interfering with your performance.
Each of the Ornata’s keys are individually lit, and you can program the keyboard’s backlights to one solid color, or a rainbow through Razer’s PC app. The Ornata supports 16.8 million colors, and you can even program the colors to change as you play your game.
6. An Ergonomic, Side-Lit Gaming Mouse
Razer’s Mamba Mouse was designed to be the perfect complement to its keyboards (you can get them as a set) and carries over the same strengths: ergonomics, flair, and performance.
The wired mouse uses a 16,000DPI (dots per inch) optical sensor to track your movements with pinpoint precision, and nine programmable buttons, which you can customize for easy access to different settings within Razer’s Synapse 3 app.
You also have control over the LED lighting zones both sides of the mouse, and under the click wheel. The Mamba Elite supports 16.8 million colors, which you can sync up with your Razer Keyboard and Logitech speakers for a unified look.
Its curved frame has side grips, which Razer says makes the Mamba Elite more comfortable to hold, and small texture buttons that provide traction if your hands get sweaty during an intense match.
7. A Bluetooth Gaming Controller
Most PC gamers swear by using a keyboard and mouse, but if you prefer to play with a controller, you can use the PlayStation DualShock 4 instead.
The controller can be paired to your computer wirelessly via Bluetooth, or plugged in with a MicroUSB cable. You’ll get up to eight hours of play time per charge.
The DualShock 4’s button layout was designed with comfort in mind. Its directional pad, face buttons, analog sticks, and triggers are all designed to be easily accessible, and its two grips should be comfortable to hold in your hand.
If you don’t like the button layout or feel of the DualShock 4, you can pair an Xbox One controller to your PC instead.
8. A 1080P Webcam
If you plan on streaming your gameplay to YouTube Live, Twitch, or Facebook, you’re going to need a webcam.
Your best option right now is Wyze’s security camera, which was updated recently to allow you to use it as a webcam. The cube-shaped camera can take video at 1080P, has a night mode, and comes on a stand that allows you to position it at the perfect angle.
This is a good choice if you’re just giving streaming a chance, and you can use the Wyze Cam as a security camera if you upgrade to a nicer webcam.
9. Customizable Smart Lighting
You can take the lighting in your gaming up a notch by getting a set of Philips Hue Play Smart Lights.
The 10 x 1.7 x 1.4-inch light bars can be set to one of 16.8 million colors, and attached under your desk, behind your monitor, or above your monitor with included mounting gear.
The color of the lights can be adjusted within Philips’ Hue app on your smartphone (iOS and Android), and synced up to work with other Philips Hue smart lights, which gives you the ability to create a unique gaming environment in your room.
The Hue Play Smart Lights do come with a couple of restrictions. First, you’ll need to have a Philips Hue Smart Hub connected to your WiFi router in order to use them. Second, they do need to be plugged into an outlet at all times; there’s no way to run these lights via battery power.
These are minor speed bumps, though, and are well worth the customization power these lights offer.
10. A Set of Fast Mesh WiFi Routers
Playing PC games online requires a really strong internet connection. Even a momentary drop in speed can give your competition the advantage.
Ideally you’d have your computer directly connected to your WiFi router via Ethernet, but that might not be possible depending on your living situation, and where wires were placed in your house.
If you need to rely on WiFi, I recommend getting a set of three eero mesh WiFi routers. One of them has to be connected to your cable modem, but the other two can be placed anywhere in your house.
The three routers will connect to one another, and create a strong, consistent connection throughout your entire place. This set of eero routers is designed for homes up to 5,000 square feet, but you can add additional routers, or jump up to eero’s Pro line, if you live in a bigger place.