It's expected that the games industry will be worth almost $5 billion annually by 2025, but what many gamers are now realising is that the purchase price of games only gets you an invite into the world of gaming.
What can get you so much further, including into the winner's circle, is a smart investment in gaming technology. And this isn't a simple matter of having the best GPU (graphics processing unit) or CPU (central processing unit) – although they never hurt – but also smartly buying gaming-specific peripherals to make the most of your gaming time.
That's not just a gaming pitch for those who want to become the next generation of eSports champions, either. Even if your gaming time is limited, you'll be able to enjoy those titles much more with a few smart buys around sound, control and comfort – all which can take your gaming experience to the next level.
Gaming Peripherals: Keyboards, Mice and Controller Must-Haves
Your first stop on the road to improving your gaming experience should be to look at the peripherals you're using. Sure, you can technically game with just the keyboard and trackpad on your laptop, but precisely 0% of the world's best players do that. Instead, specific mechanical gaming keyboards, gaming mice and gaming controllers give them a critical edge over time, in both play and comfort.
This isn't just a matter of fancy RGB lights and extra buttons. The essential detail to look for here is key, button or tracking response. On many gaming mice, that's an adjustable DPI (dots per linear inch) setting so you can smoothly switch between fast turns and precise clicking. (DPI is a common way to measure the speed at which a mouse cursor moves on screen).
For gaming keyboards, keep an eye out for actuation speed – the time it takes for a keystroke to register – to make sure no vital keystroke is missed or double-counted.
What to Look For: Adjustable input speeds (DPI for mice) and configuration options around lighting and macro commands for keyboards. Also keep an eye out for a robust physical design because gaming PC peripherals have to be able to take a bit of a beating.
What To Try
- Logitech Prodigy Gaming Keyboard G213
- Logitech G203 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Mouse Black
- Logitech G203 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Mouse Lilac
- Logitech G203 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Mouse Blue
- Laser Ultimate 4-in-1 RGB Gaming Bundle
- Laser Deluxe 4-in-1 RGB Gaming Bundle
- Logitech G440 Gaming Mouse Pad
- Razer Goliathus Chroma Extended Gaming Mouse Pad
- Typhoon Mechanical Keyboard Pro MK12
The Best Gaming Laptops and Monitors
A good gaming laptop can totally change the way you play any game. And that's not only about the raw graphics power it can provide: a laptop will also make it possible to game wherever you happen to be. That means you're no longer constrained to gaming at a desk – all you need is your gaming laptop.
The battle between Intel and AMD on the gaming front has been intense in recent years, and it's only going to step up in 2022 with Intel's 12th-generation processors facing off against AMD's Ryzen-based systems. This is one of those battles where gamers win regardless as it keeps price competition stiff, which will see a steady increase in high-end gaming-specific features for even sharper visuals on gaming laptop systems.
However, if you're concerned your laptop screen might not be big enough for your gaming ambitions, hooking up to a gaming monitor can make all the difference. But, it's not just a question of size. Look for a model with a 144Hz+ refresh rate (the frequency a display updates per second to show a new image on screen) if you're a twitchy FPS gamer and prefer the three-dimensional combat genre. Also seek out multiple inputs if you're going to be sharing game time with a more productive PC.
What To Look For: Display resolution, refresh rates and inputs to match your computer, games and gaming style. For FPS gamers, refresh rates can be key, but those that play on the strategy side may do better with a larger display.
What To Try
- Acer EI242QRP Curved Gaming Monitor
- Acer 27" Gaming Monitor VG271S Black
- Asus 23.8" Full HD Gaming Monitor Black VP249QGR
- Samsung 49" CHG90 Super Ultra-wide Curved QLED Monitor
- Lenovo 31.5" WLED QHD Curved Gaming Monitor G32QC-10
- HP 23.6" X24c 15000R Curved Gaming Monitor
- Lenovo 15.6” IdeaPad Gaming Laptop i5 16GB/512GB
- Acer 15.6" Nitro Gaming Notebook Core i5 16/512GB Black
- Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Notebook Core i7/16GB/512GB RTX3050Ti
The Latest in Gaming Microphones
Gaming microphones are essential for online play, whether you're engaging in a team game where clear comms lead to victories, or streaming your exploits for the world to watch on Twitch or YouTube. Gaming technology like mics improve things dramatically – these days, the simple microphone in your laptop just won't cut it. If you want the clearest audio, a pro-quality mic, mic stand and clear space to place it on your gaming desk is a must.
What to Look For: Multiple audio modes if you're recording more than just your own voice, audio passthrough if you want to hook up a set of gaming headphones, and a solid stand to minimise desk noise.
What To Try
- Blue Compass Premium Microphone Boom Arm Black
- Blue Yeticaster Bundle
- Thronmax MDrill One Pro Microphone Kit
- Samson Q9U Broadcast Microphone
- Thronmax MDrill Zero Plus Microphone
- Audio-Technica USB-C Microphone ATR2500x-USB
- Audio-Technica Content Creator Pack
- Razer Seiren Mini Microphone Black
- Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone Black
What to Look For in Gaming Headsets and Speakers
Gaming audio should never be an afterthought: it's a key part of the immersion of gaming, with the best games featuring stirring soundtracks and meaty effects to truly draw you into the action.
Beyond that, a good set of gaming headphones or solid gaming-specific speakers can actively enhance your gaming skills, allowing you to more precisely hear the gaming world around you, whether that's a foe sneaking around a corner or the precise sound of a finely tuned racing engine.
What To Look For: Surround modes for either headphones or speakers (if your PC supports them). Newer microphones on gaming headphones also tend to have easy mute modes, either with inline buttons or by simply flipping up the mic when you're not talking.
What To Try
- Qudo Typhoon Stand for Gaming Headphones with RGB Strike OH11
- Razer Hammerhead True Wireless X Earbuds Black
- Razer BlackShark V2 X Wired Gaming Headset
- Logitech G435 Gaming Headset White
- Typhoon RGB Gaming Headset Black Pro GHL12
- Razer Nommo Chroma 2.0 Gaming Speakers
- Typhoon 2.0 RGB Gaming Speakers Black Strike SP11
- Typhoon RGB Gaming Soundbar Black Strike WSB11
Gaming Chair Choices
No matter your game preference, you're not going to get far – or game at your highest level – if you're uncomfortable. Gaming-specific chairs can offer ergonomic support best suited to longer-form gaming, and hold up to the rigours of being your day-in-day-out chair of choice.
A good gaming chair can also represent your brand as a gamer if you're streaming your exploits for the world to see, with a wide variety of colour choices to match every gamer's style and decor.
What to Look For: Keep an eye out for ergonomic gaming chairs that provide most support to the head, neck and shoulders. And, of course, a look that fits into your gaming brand.
What To Try
- Typhoon Gaming Chair Black
- Typhoon Gaming Chair Blue
- Typhoon Gaming Chair Red
- Typhoon Gaming Chair Pink
- Typhoon Pro Gaming Chair Black
- Typhoon Pro Gaming Chair Blue
- Typhoon Pro Gaming Chair Red
- Typhoon Prime Ergonomic Gaming Chair Blue
- Typhoon Prime Ergonomic Gaming Chair Grey
SEE ALSO: How to Choose the Best Gaming Chair
The Lowdown on Gaming Desks
If you want to really enhance your gaming experience, the place where you put your laptop or your desktop shouldn't be overlooked.
Gaming desks have come of age in recent years, offering a suite of additional features to make the most of your gaming time, whether it's RGB lighting to accentuate your gaming den, or additional charging points for your devices to keep them constantly powered up. This isn't just a sitting proposition either, because there are now standing gaming desks available that are just as good out of the office to improve your gaming experience.
What to Look For: Adjustable height, RGB lighting (to taste), power sockets for USB or passthrough for powerboards, and a solid frame to take consistent gaming use. Maybe a shelf or two for those late-night gaming snacks as well (we won't tell if you don't)...
What To Try
- Qudo Bathurst LED Gaming Desk 1000mm Black
- Typhoon Elite Gaming Desk 1500mm Black and Blue
- Typhoon Elite Gaming Desk 1500mm Black and Red
- Typhoon Elite Gaming Desk 1500mm Black and White
- Typhoon Elite Gaming Desk 1500mm Black