In this article, we will be exploring how to make a gaming setup that will allow you to escape into an alternate reality after a long day's work.
Gaming can be immersive, challenging, and fun, not to mention satisfying to watch, even if it's just a pro-gamer showcasing their skills or a simple game walkthrough.
And here's the thing, a pc gaming setup doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
I completely understand the struggle of having a small budget but wanting to get the best pc gaming setup parts.
It's possible, you just need to know where to look.
For this article, we would be focusing primarily on PC gaming, but if you also like to game on a console, you will be able to find room to fit these in too.
And if you already have a gaming setup, find out how you can make your gaming setup look even better.
Or if you're looking for some accessories to spice up your battlestation, check out our guide on great accessories to add to your gaming setup.
Enough said, let's dive in!
Here's a tip that I don't see often when researching how to find quality parts for your PC.
Shop during the big sales, or when you're going to get some money (during your birthday).
Here's a quick list of dates to look out for:
You can save hundreds of dollars simply shopping at the right times, at the right places.
Most of my shopping is done towards the end of the year, as that's when a lot of there's a lot of sales happening.
Save up some money throughout the year, so when it comes to Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas, you're ready to buy some goodies.
Here are some resources you can take advantage of:
Do your due diligence, and do your research on the companies you haven't heard of, and protect yourself from scams when doing hardware swaps.
For the most part, you can find some high-quality parts for some low prices.
You may be surprised that the first piece of equipment I suggest getting first is a chair.
And here's why...
Getting a quality gaming chair covers many important roles:
Given that you will be spending most of your time seated in a chair, it's important to get the right seat, especially if you do suffer from any pain in your body.
For chair suggestions, you can check out our guide on what the best chairs are for being seated for long hours.
You do have the choice between two options:
You can't go wrong with a gaming chair, they're made to be sat on for long hours. However, if you have the chance to get a Herman Miller chair at a good price, opt for the Herman Miller.
Now that you have the seat, the next item should be your desk.
Unless you like to have an adjustable desk, your average desk comes at a standard height of 29" - 30".
When seated at a desk, you'll want to have your elbows at a 90° angle as to not put any strain on your shoulders.
Then you can start to think about how spacious you want your desk space to be.
Don't skimp out on getting a long desk (↑) as the longer it is, the more desk space you will have, the more room you have to get your monitor at the perfect height and distance.
For width (← →), you will want to measure the space on which you will be placing your table.
Having the perfect desk size will give you a lot of room to install some goodies that will make your gaming setup comfortable.
You do have the option to choose either a:
Office desks are more of your basic, elegant-looking desks that you may see in the office.
Gaming desks may come with additional gaming accessories that can help with your gaming setup.
We have reviewed some of the best quality gaming desks under $200, feel free to check it out!
Now comes the PC. There is a lot of depth when it comes to building a PC, so I will focus on what's important.
The most important PC components you must focus on are:
These 4 components you will want to focus most of your budget on.
If you would like a cookie-cutter approach to building a PC, you can check out what I'm currently running on my setup.
I would consider my setup mid-tier, which would allow me to play some graphic-heavy games without any FPS drops.
Although if you want to get into gaming, I would suggest doing your research about what's actually going into your gaming rig.
Here are some great resources you can dive into to really get a grasp of what to look for:
Don't just buy a pre-built PC or copy someone else's setup, dive into why they chose their specific parts and seek out what the pros and cons are.
Getting a monitor is your next step once you have your gaming PC built and ready.
If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can opt for a dual-monitor setup and have some extra room to use programs.
There is a big difference between having 1 monitor vs. 2 monitors. Having 2 monitors or more is definitely recommended.
For monitors, you want to look for the following:
Graphics cards make the biggest difference in terms of rendering actual 'graphics' from games, but monitors can make the colors look more vibrant and the lighting extra special.
This is optional, but if you like desk space and want a clean setup, consider getting a monitor mount.
Installing a monitor mount can get your setup looking like this:
These mounts are attachments you clamp to the back of your desk, that allow you to screw in your monitor in order to elevate it off the desk.
These mounts are great for ergonomics too, as they allow you to maneuver the monitor to the desired ergonomic height.
If you decided to go with a dual-monitor setup, we have the perfect guide to choose the best dual-monitor mounts, check it out!
Now, comes the peripherals.
Most of your budget will be spent on getting the best gaming PC, and a comfortable desk and chair.
Your peripherals, you can always upgrade in the future, and come at a relatively cheap cost.
However, getting a quality gaming keyboard and gaming mouse can make a drastic difference if you are looking to game seriously.
To choose the right gaming mouse, you must first determine what kind of grip you naturally have, whether it is a:
I briefly explain the differences between the 4 grips on getting the best fingertip grip mouse, scroll down to 'the different mouse style grips'.
Here's a pro tip: FPS games should be played with your mouse DPI either 400 DPI or 800 DPI with your mouse sensitivity being adjusted in-game, as this will provide the most accurate mouse movements.
So if a company is preaching "up to 24000 DPI", don't consider that a factor when buying a mouse. 800 DPI or below is all you need.
Instead, look out for the following features:
Take into account what games you enjoy playing.
If you're the type to like MMORPG's, getting a mouse with multiple additional buttons like the Razer Naga can be beneficial, as you can bind those extra buttons as actions in your MMORPG.
If you're an FPS player, a simpler mouse will suffice, with more of a focus on the mouse grip and texture.
If you like to game a lot, or do a lot of typing, or are both, then you can get a keyboard that suits your needs.
Firstly, skip the membrane keyboards, and opt for the more satisfying option - the mechanical keyboard.
I even wrote a guide on membrane keyboards vs. mechanical keyboards, check it out if you're interested.
Mechanical keyboards use mechanical switches which when you press down on, can give different responses as well as different feels.
Mechanical switches come in 3 main types:
Linear switches are completely different from tactile and clicky switches.
Whilst clicky switches are basically tactile switches but louder.
If you don't know what to go for, I've written about the 3 different switches in detail, check it out by clicking here.
Other than your monitor, the 2x pieces of equipment you'll be using the most are your mouse and your keyboard.
So it's worth investing in one that is satisfying, and is comfortable to use.
You can build your own keyboard from the ground up for maximum customization, if you wish.
There's a great subreddit dedicated to custom builds called r/MechanicalKeyboards, check it out!
Quality sounds are what create the immersive environment and will improve your overall gaming experience.
This is especially important as in FPS games, using sound to detect where your opponents can give you that competitive edge when playing.
If you play CSGO or any FPS game which involves using sound to your advantage, check out our buyer's guide to getting the best headphones for CSGO.
When searching for headphones, consider the following:
If you would like to save money, grab a headset with an attached (or detachable) microphone.
I would not recommend this if you live in a busy household, as you won't be able to hear anything.
Opt for ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) headphones instead as you will block all background noises.
If you don't like having a headset wrapped around your head for hours on end, speakers are the way to go.
You can buy some bass-heavy speakers, and also build a 7.1 surround sound setup if you want cinematic-quality sound.
It's really personal preferences.
When I do my work, I listen to LoFi music through my speakers (an external speaker, not the built-in ones), but when I game, I need to use a headset to hear the footsteps of my enemies.
You're not a true gamer unless your setup is clean and minimal.
This means, making everything need and tidy with cable management.
If you would like a deeper dive on what items to get for cable management, check out our guide on how to make your gaming setup look better.
There is a ton to cover about cable management, the best way to showcase this is through a tutorial video:
Basically, hiding or neatly tucking away your cords can go a long way with making your setup look neat and tidy.
It also allows you to keep everything organized, so if you need to upgrade and swap around parts, you can do it with ease.
Once you've cable managed everything correctly, focus on maintaining a clean desk.
Too often, you see people leave junk on their desks, like papers, receipts, food, plates, etc.
By the end of it, you get a cluttered mess, which ain't pretty.
If you want a battlestation-worthy gaming setup, keep your desk clutter-free.
Use a compressed air cleaner to clean out your PC, and wipe your desk every once in a while.
The less clutter you have, the fewer distractions you will have, in turn, the more focus you'll have when you game.
Lastly, add some decor, to add some of your personality to the environment.
If you're a fan of a particular TV series or Anime, hang up some posters of your favorite media, or if you're a collector, find a neat and convenient place to hang your collection.
Here is some design inspiration for you:
You could even simply illuminate the room with RGB lights if you enjoy having more of a mellow-type gaming setup.
The possibilities are endless, and you will have all of the components you need to truly make your setup stand out.
If you have followed each step from 1 - 10, you would have the following:
This will allow you to have a complete gaming setup that you will enjoy going to every time.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to start off with, you can always get what is reasonable within your budget, and upgrade over time.
That's how I built my current setup which took over 3 years of upgrades, and you can do the same.
If you want more tips and tricks, join our email list down below, or message me personally!