We’ve long been fans of PC gaming, but a recent trip to the Intel Extreme Masters competition in Chicago illustrated just how frenetic and passionate that world can be. From mice and keyboards illuminated with color-changing LED lights, to high-end laptops that can handily overpower many fancy desktops, PC gaming gear means serious business. However, if you’re not familiar with the hobby, shopping for a PC gamer can be a bit frustrating. Here are some PC gaming gifts for the gamer on your list.
Gaming mouse—Precise control is key to the PC gaming experience. Using a mouse and keyboard gives gamers a level of control not possible with a console controller, which is one of the main reasons people prefer gaming on a PC to gaming on a console. Gaming mice bring a wealth of benefits over the normal desktop mice you might find in a typical office, from high dpi laser tracking that offers ultra-precise targeting, to the inclusion of multiple programmable buttons so users can do more than just right and left click. Some things to look for in a gaming mouse: Customizable weight and shape, lots of programmable buttons, and a high dpi sensor (8,000 dpi or higher). A good choice is the Corsair Glaive RGB Gaming Mouse.
Gaming mousepad—You might not think this is a thing—since you most likely don’t even use a mousepad anymore—but for those who take PC gaming seriously, a mousepad can make a difference when it really counts. A gaming mouse pad provides a smooth, consistent surface for your mouse to track on, giving you perfect cursor movement. If you’re going to be paying top dollar for a gaming mouse, you may as well do everything you can to get the most out of it. There’s another practical reason to using a gaming mouse pad: it protects your desk. Hours of intense gaming per week—especially with a heavy-duty gaming mouse—can begin to wear into the surface of your desk. Consider the Bloody RGB Gaming Mouse Pad.
Gaming Keyboard—Like the gaming mouse, a gaming keyboard can look a lot like its unassuming office-dwelling brethren, but it’s what’s under those keycaps that makes them so different. A good gaming keyboard uses mechanical switches, which is what gives them their signature click-clack sound when typing. These switches give better feedback, so gamers can hit keys faster and more accurately. Mechanical gaming keyboards are also extra-durable, which is important when the user might be hitting the same key thousands of times in a single gaming session. You’ll also find programmable buttons on most gaming keyboards. The great thing about these keyboards is that most of their benefits carry over to general typing tasks, which makes this an especially great gift for the gamer/student on your list. And, of course, you’ll often find gaming keyboards with color-changing LED backlights, like the Bloody Light Strike Gaming Keyboard.
VR Headset—For an out-of-this-world gaming experience, a Virtual Reality headset is the ultimate gift. There is simply nothing that can beat VR for creating an immersive gaming experience. Be forewarned—to get the most out of VR gaming, the user will need a relatively powerful gaming PC with a newer CPU and GPU. If you’re not sure if your giftee’s rig can handle VR, keep reading. A good entry into the world of high-end VR is the HTC VIVE VR System.
Gaming Monitor—The best gaming desktops need a good gaming monitor as well. A fast CPU and GPU won’t matter if the screen can’t keep up. Look for a monitor with a fast refresh rate (120Hz or higher), a low response time (5 milliseconds or quicker), and a low input lag. Many gaming monitors also offer higher resolutions, like QHD (2560×1440 pixels) or UHD (3840×2160 pixels) for a more detailed gaming experience, and a curved gaming monitor offers a more immersive view for the gamer. It’s important to note that a high resolution screen will require a very powerful computer to game on. We’re currently playing on the MSI Optix MPG 27-inch Curved Gaming Monitor.
Gaming Chair—This is something you might not even consider, but long gaming sessions demand a comfortable chair. Gaming chairs are built not just for comfort, but also to promote good posture during an activity notorious for ruining it. Look for adjustable head and lumbar support pads for a fine-tunable fit. All of our gaming tournaments feature Arozzi Verona V2 Gaming Chairs.
Gaming Headset—Multiplayer gaming has been around for decades, but perhaps one of the greatest advancements in the hobby was the implementation of voice chatting. It added a whole new layer to gameplay, from being able to strategize with your teammates to being able to talk trash after a victory over your opponents, even from across the world. And even when you’re not using the mic, a gaming headset lets you game with quality audio without disturbing those around you. A consistent fave: Astro A50 Gaming Headset.