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10 Hacks to Make Your Gaming Setup Even Better

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| By Alex Kidman | May 31, 2021

A little fine-tuning can turn your gaming setup from good to great. Here are some simple ways to enhance your gaming space.

Make your gaming setup even better with these great ideas to enhance your space.

It takes more than dropping a PC on a desk to create the perfect gaming setup. While it’s true you can game from just about anywhere these days, a few tweaks can improve the way you game, whether you’re seeking fame via Twitch or YouTube or just a more comfortable space to indulge in your favourite hobby.

Change Up Your Monitor

No gaming setup is complete without a proper gaming PC monitor setup.

Gaming PCs can often handle multiple monitors, but that doesn’t mean you have to run them side by side. “Look at the option to rotate a monitor into portrait orientation,” says Seamus Byrne, editor of technology and gaming site Byteside. “A lot of streamers use this style of monitor setup for where they're trying to just keep an eye on incoming chat, or [for] having a preview of what’s going out. It becomes a very handy way of putting a lot of information into a quick kind of glanceable space.”

If you do opt for a single monitor, a wide-screen curved gaming monitor is a smart option. Regardless, Seamus also recommends ensuring your monitor (or monitors) support either G-Sync or FreeSync. These are technologies that keep your monitor and graphics card in sync, removing screen tears and jagged display errors that disrupt focus. “When you're in the thick of some moment in a game where everything is kind of slowed down, then the screen is going to stay synchronised with you and what your graphics card is doing,” he says. “And it keeps the picture really smooth.”

What to Try

Choose a Quieter Keyboard

A quieter keyboard can make your gaming setup more functional in a crowded environment.

Gamers tend to prefer mechanical-style keyboards for the definitive “click” that signifies a button press, and the added split-second accuracy that they provide. But they’re not beloved by everyone – that click-clack reverberation can be annoying to outsiders. The good news is you don’t have to go for a noisy keyboard. If you need a more office-friendly approach, Seamus advises looking for brands that offer hybrid-mechanical keyboards that still sound snappy but are quiet enough to use in a crowded environment, too.

What to Try

Download Software for Your Mouse and Keyboard

Keep your gaming setup up-to-date in all aspects by downloading new software for your mouse and keyboard.

Most USB- or Bluetooth-gaming mice and keyboards will work as soon as you connect them, but you’re not going to make the most of their features if you only do that. Installing the brand’s specific software can open up a world of configuration options and enhance your gaming setup, whether that’s fancy RGB lighting or per-game button configurations that you can switch to on the fly.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: How to Choose the Best Gaming Chair

Upgrade Your Power Game

A great gaming setup  needs a proper power output that can support all your gadgets.

Your computer, monitor and other gadgets need power to run, but if you’re using an old four-socket power board, you’re not making the most of your gaming setup. Look for a power board with onboard USB sockets, so you can keep devices like wireless gaming mice and gamepads charged with ease. “Make sure that a power board is actually supporting a high-quality USB power output,” says Seamus. “Some boards may skimp on that a little bit, which means you end up with a slow charge coming off a power board for your USB gadgets.”

What to Try

Invest in Quality Headphones

Invest in high-quality headsets that make gaming or streaming setup crisper and clearer.

Sound in-game can set the scene and it can also tip you off when there’s a foe lurking around the next corner. You can improve your gaming sound considerably with a good set of wireless gaming headphones, but these don’t have to be exclusively Bluetooth. “You can set up some headsets to be attached to two different devices simultaneously,” says Seamus. “So you can have it feeding you sound from a desktop computer and at the same time from your phone.”

“The other advantage if you’re thinking of a broadcast streaming setup is that you're not going to disturb people around you,” he says. “If you're in a shared space, that's really important, but in the game streaming context as well, you just can't operate with speakers when you're also trying to use a microphone. Having a good set of headphones helps a lot.”

What to Try

SEE ALSO: What Are the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

Get Smarter About Your Cable Management

Proper cable management is key for your gaming setup to stop accidental unplugging.

It’s all too easy to let your cables wind around each other but this isn’t the best approach – you’ll lose track of which cord is which and tangled cables can pull down screens or yank out power cables if you pull the wrong one at the wrong time. Nobody wants that mid-match! Labelling your cables can avoid disaster – if you do need that extra power socket, you’re better off knowing that it’s for a speaker than your PC.

What to Try

Check Your Microphone

A bespoke microphone will give your gaming setup clearer communication.

Most gaming headsets come with a microphone that’s passable for gaming, but if you’re looking for clearer communication – especially if you’re looking to stream your games over Twitch or other popular games services – a standalone microphone with proper noise isolation will make a big difference.

What to Try

Upgrade Your Streaming Visuals

Your streaming setup can be made more engaging with a better webcam and some new visuals.

The online game streaming space is massive, but getting noticed doesn’t have to involve spending a fortune. “You don't have to buy any software to attach your computer into streaming to [platforms], from Facebook to YouTube to Twitch,” says Seamus. Although he suggests looking into custom graphics online for your channels to use as overlays and truly stand out. On the hardware side, you can make do with your laptop’s basic webcam but you’ll get much more pleasing results – and happy stream watchers – with a good-quality webcam that’s able to pump out Full HD resolution video.

What to Try

Improve Your WiFi

Keep your gaming setup online at all times with a modern WiFi router or mesh system.

Getting good at online games takes practise and plenty of it, but making sure you’re hitting the Internet as fast as possible is also a big help. Don’t rely on the modem your ISP gave you; a modern WiFi router or mesh system can make a huge difference to in-game lag and connectivity throughout your home or office. Look for a router or mesh system with WiFi 6 for best of breed wireless performance and throughput.

Got a WiFi deadzone that’s leading to annoying in-game deaths due to dropped frames? A mesh networking system can help here too. “When you are using one of these new modern mesh networks, and especially WiFi 6 mesh, you can upgrade everything at once,” says Seamus.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: Easy Ways to Boost Your WiFi Signal at Home

Set the Mood With Lighting

ISet the atmosphere of your gaming setup with some cool ambient lighting.

If you want to create just the right atmosphere for your gaming den, consider smart lighting solutions. Some products in combination, like LIFX bulbs and Razer’s Chroma gaming gear, can synchronise your game’s display to the ambient lighting, but even if you simply set the colour to the game’s general mood, you’ll go a long way to enhancing your gaming experience.

If you’re looking to stream games for others to watch, lighting is even more important. “Think about your needs in a ring light or basic LED light setup” says Seamus. “The quality improvement you can see when you add an extra light to a webcam is often huge.”

What to Try

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