If you’re a serious PC gamer, some of the best technology in the world is literally in your hands. While games themselves have become sleeker and faster, gaming gear has progressed along the same lines. Console gamers can customize their controllers and screens, but PC gamers have access to an unprecedented range of tech and gear to help them level up their skills.
Between the keyboard and mouse you use, the PC and monitor you run your game on, and even the chair and table you play from, just about everything is customizable and better than ever. While the “best” gear comes down to your individual preference, here’s some high-quality hardware that won’t break the bank.
Read more about the Top Esports Gamers of All Time.
Gaming Gear Part I: The Computer and Monitor
Your computer is really the foundation of all your gaming hardware. You can upgrade every other piece of equipment you have, but it won’t matter if your PC doesn’t have high-end RAM or processing power.
Top tier gaming PCs can cost upwards of $1,000 in many cases, but luckily you don’t need to drain your bank account to get a good rig. If you’re committed to getting cutting edge gear at any cost, check out the Corsair One.
The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme is a budget-friendly pick that comes at about half the cost of most other rigs. With an Intel Core i5-8400 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, there’s really no better bang for your buck when shopping for a gaming PC.
For your monitor, the 24-inch ViewSonic XG2401 offers everything you’ll need to game like a pro at a reasonable price relative to comparable monitors. The 1920×1080 screen offers HD resolution, hyper-fast response times, and customizable visual modes that put you in control. As a nice touch, the base serves as a headphone stand, which leads us to the next piece of gear you’ll want.
Gaming Gear Part II: Your Headset
While the visuals are the most important part of your gaming experience, any professional will tell you that audio makes a huge difference. The Logitech G433 may not look as sleek as other high-end headsets, but it delivers excellent quality nonetheless.
Whereas other popular brands like Turtle Beach bring style and sound quality at a higher price, this Logitech headset doesn’t come with bells and whistles, but you’d hear them perfectly if you needed to.
Gaming Gear Part III: Specialized Mouse and Keyboard
When it comes down to it, there’s arguably nothing as important as the tools you use to actually play games. You can have the best audio and video possible but without a mouse and keyboard you like, gaming just won’t be that enjoyable.
Few mice will feel better in your hand than the Razer DeathAdder Elite, an ergonomic mouse that touts durability up to 50 million clicks. Razer mice are popular among esports athletes for their comfort and precision, and the DeathAdder brings all of that to the table at a reasonable price tag.
Last but not least is the keyboard, the piece that ties together the entire gaming set up. Many high-end keyboard options feature stellar RGB backlighting, and you can really express yourself with this kind of hardware. The Corsair K63 is a great pick to get flashiness and function at a decent price. This wireless keyboard is compact and customizable, offering red or RGB LED backlighting.
Can Better Hardware Make a Difference?
Buying better gear won’t necessarily make you a better gamer, and pros often warn against sinking money into hardware as a means to get better. High-tech gear can certainly give you an edge in a lot of ways: better headphones can improve your perception and reaction times, top tier keyboards and mice can make you more precise and efficient, and a great monitor will allow you to see the world better than your competitors.
At the end of the day though, the best gaming gear is the gear that you’re most comfortable using. Hardware makes the biggest difference when you’re familiar with it and it plays to your existing strengths as a gamer, but not even a $3,000 PC will boost your skill without a lot of practice on your end. If you’re trying to break into professional gaming, high-end gadgets should be some of the last things you purchase.
For some extra tips on how to get into competitive esports without awesome tech, check out our guide on How to Qualify for Esports Tournaments.