Gaming headsets are essential for really getting involved in a game. The right headset will surround you with quality audio, so that the next time someone tries to sneak up on you you’ll know straight away. And if you play VR games, a quality gaming headset can transform how realistic everything seems.
Wireless gaming headsets have the obvious advantage of mobility. You’re not going to have to untangle any wires and you don’t have to worry about how close you are to your console or gaming PC.
You can stand up and stretch after a marathon game without needing to check out of your group chat.
Wireless headsets will often have controls just like wired headsets (except on the ear cup), but they do have to be charged after a certain time so it’s best to consider what matters most to you.
Wired gaming headsets are less susceptible to interference than wireless headsets, and have in-line controls so you can easily adjust the volume, switch off your mic and control your audio.
There’s also no fussing with connectivity. All you need is a USB port or 3.5 mm jack. Easy.
When picking the right gaming headset it’s worth thinking about what kind of microphone you want.
Boom microphones stick out in front of the headset so they can pick up your voice for clear audio.
If you stream your gaming with commentary or just want your team to hear every warning you shout about snipers – a boom microphone is a great choice.
Integrated microphones can sit inside the ear cup of your headset, or within the cable controls. These are obviously more discreet and ideal for people who might not talk too much in games.
Want the best of both worlds? Keep an eye out for retractable microphones.
A good keyboard is an essential piece of PC gaming equipment. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook how important your gaming keyboard is – but just think about how often you use it. Everything from how responsive the keys are, to how loud and “clicky” they are, all matters. And if you’re not fussed about the details – just keep an eye out for RGB lighting. Sometimes a win is enough, but sometimes you want your keyboard to glow in rainbow colours while you’re on the winner’s podium.
Macro keys are dedicated keys on a keyboard that can perform multiple keystrokes at a time.
They can be programmed to do almost anything you need them to, so you can easily access certain functions of your game and power through tasks.
If you take the key tops off of a mechanical keyboard, the mechanisms underneath are the switches.
There are multiple kinds of switches, often colour coded depending on their functionality. The two main brands are Cherry and Razer, but many other companies product their own unique switches.
Switches vary by force, noise and how responsive they are, so if this is important to you it’s worth keeping an eye out for the right kind of switch.
Some gamers will only play with mechanical keyboards – they love the tactile feel and enjoy the clicking sound that the keys make.
Mechanical keyboards have a satisfying “traditional” typing feel, and the key caps can be taken off if you want to give your keyboard a deep clean, or to change the colour of the keys.
Mechanical keyboards are often more durable, and each key will often register when it’s been pressed down only half way – so you can type faster and make sure your every command is carried out correctly.
But if you want a silent keyboard – a membrane (non-mechanical) keyboard is probably your best bet. Membrane keyboards are often much lighter and can also be more affordable, but tend to be less responsive to fast typing.
Wireless keyboards are obviously more mobile. You can stretch out on your bed while you type, or lean back in your gaming chair with your keyboard on your lap. You don’t have to be restricted to your desk.
On the other hand, some people prefer to be right by their gaming monitors. If you’re happy staying at your desk, the freedom of a wireless keyboard really won’t make much difference. And of course with wired keyboards you don’t have to worry about connectivity or battery life.
Most gaming keyboards will feature backlighting – which just means that the keys have LED lighting underneath.
Basic backlighting just creates a uniform glow underneath the keys (great for seeing what you’re doing in darker rooms) but there are lots of different versions.
RGB backlighting is a step up in quality from single colour lights. You can choose which colour you want, select different settings and patterns, or enjoy a full rainbow of colour.
DPI stands for dots per inch, and is a way to measure how sensitive a mouse is. The higher the DPI, the more sensitive the mouse will be, and if you’re using an ultra-wide or 4K monitor you’ll want a sensitive mouse that won’t jump across the screen.
But bear in mind that sometimes a lower DPI can be helpful – especially in-game when you want to easily target enemies. That’s why a lot of gaming mice will have adjustable DPI settings – so you can switch between sensitivities depending on the situation.
Wireless mice give you the freedom to navigate around on a huge desk without being held back.
And because you don’t have a wire connecting you to your desktop, your gaming area will look neat and tidy. But keep in mind that every now and again you’ll have to change the batteries
Wired mice have a more stable connection and tend to be more affordable. Not to mention, you don’t need to worry about battery life and you can easily plug into your computer – all you need is a USB port.
Need to cycle through your inventory in a second? Program a key to get you there faster. Gaming mice with macro or programmable buttons can be assigned to various tasks – so you can cast your favourite spells in next to no time.
Even when you’re not in game you can program a key to make day to day tasks easier, whether it’s a task in Word or a command in Photoshop.
Racing wheels and pedals
Control your favourite racing game as if you’re sat in the driver’s seat with gaming racing wheels and pedals. Providing greater control over your car, there’s a huge variety of elements that you can get to build your perfect driving set up.
Look out for key features like force feedback for a realistic experience, gear shifters that give you accurate control, and even gaming chairs that are designed to feel like a real racing car seat.