Once you’ve got your shiny new gaming PC all put together, you might be itching to get gaming. Sure, you can game with the cheapest keyboard and mouse to begin with, but you’ll soon find yourself wanting more. From adding more functionality to better quality materials to all the RGB you can shake a light-stick at, there is a huge market for computer peripherals to make your gaming time more enjoyable.
We can’t promise that these peripherals will help you beat your opponents, that’s down to you and lots of practice. We can say that each and every one of these is something that will make your gaming more enjoyable, and enhance your fun. Read on and we’ll walk you through some of the best peripherals to raise your game.
Here are the best computer gaming peripherals for 2020 so far
Good audio is one of the best things you can do to make your gaming experience better, and what better than this pair of cans from HyperX. Created in partnership with Audeze and Waves NX, the $280 Cloud Orbit S features Audeze’s superb planar magnetic drivers for bass that will move you, Waves NX head tracking that keeps sounds fixed in 3D space while you move your head, and a detachable noise-canceling mic with a pop filter to remove those ‘plosives. It’s not cheap, but then nothing good ever is.
Next on the quest to improve your in-game audio is a quality microphone. Equally at home handling Zoom calls as it is with call-outs in your favorite esports title, the $140 HyperX QuadCast is the only USB mic you’ll ever need. It comes with four selectable polar patterns depending on what you’re using it for, from interviews to podcasts to music and everything in between and has an integrated shock mount to remove unwanted noise. There are a number of handy features that elevate this mic, like an internal pop filter, tap-to-mute, and a red LED glow when unmuted, and a handy gain adjustment on-mic so you don’t have to wrestle with Window’s sound settings.
Now it’s on to things to help your aim. Razer is one of the best in the industry and their flagship is the Basilisk Ultimate. It’s got a nifty charging dock that makes the mouse seem like it’s floating, a very good sensor, and the secret sauce of Hyperspeed, which closes the gap between wireless and wired mice in latency.
Yes, you can get rock-solid, 1,000Hz polling over wireless now, with multiple re-assignable buttons, and a neat paddle that changes the DPI of your mouse when held down. Of course, for a Razer product, you also get all the Chroma RGB lighting that you could want, both on the mouse itself and on the dock.
Remember those pressure-sensitive buttons on the original PS1 controller? They were great, letting you have analog control over speed, braking and other functions. Now you can have that on your keyboard, with the Wooting One and Wooting Two. In essence, the only difference between the two is how many keys are on it, so pick the one that fits best on your desk.
They both feature optical analog key switches, which let you have a full analog movement range, like on a controller joystick, and neat tricks like multiple actuation points so you do things like have auto-capitalization if you press the key all the way down, or lower-case if you just tap it. Oh, and while you’re buying their keyboard, grab their wrist rest as well. Your wrists will thank us in six months, honest.
If you don’t fancy the idea of analog key switches, maybe this compact little number from Glorious Gaming will be just what you’re looking for. It’s a 60-percent keyboard, so it keeps all the essential keys while removing the numpad and function row which add bulk to your keyboard. That means you’ve got more space on your desk for using lower-DPI on your mouse, or doing your homework without pushing your keyboard out of the way.
The GMMK brings features usually found on more expensive keyboards such as a removable braided USB cable, full hot-swap sockets for easy changes of keyboard switches to suit your particular tastes, and sandblasted aluminum on the casing. Oh, and don’t forget about that sweet, sweet ASCEND vanity keycap.
Now you need a slick surface to game on. Lets face it, your “got this from a conference” mouse mat ain’t going to win you no games. Glorious Gaming to the rescue again, with their humongous 3XL mouse mat, that is 48 inches by 24 inches in size. That’s enough to cover most of your desk, and cushion your keyboard and mouse from the desktop. It’s also designed for an optimal balance of speed and control, so get out there and start dominating!
Sennheiser just recently spun its gaming arm into a new brand, EPOS, and this external sound card is one of their first products. It’s an easy way to upgrade your gaming audio, bypassing the often-terrible onboard sound card, and moving the signal path out of the noisy interior of your PC case. It’s got 7.1 surround sound once you install the EPOS Gaming Suite software, with customizable profiles to suit your ears. Oh, and it’s got a simple volume control knob for ease of use.
All of the gaming power you put into your computer shouldn’t be wasted on a low-refresh-rate monitor, and this 34-inch ultrawide from Nixeus is anything but that. It brings a 3440×1440 pixel count to the game, with a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync VRR support. That nifty tech makes it so you get buttery-smooth frames, even if you hit a dip in fps due to heavy sections of the game for your GPU to render.
While the ultrawide aspect ratio is great for all games, it has a particularly good pairing with racing simulators, which brings us to our last recommendations…
Thrustmaster TMX racing wheel ($426), with Sparco wheel, sequential gearbox ($342) and racing clamp ($130)
Thrustmaster has one of the most amusing names in gaming, and has been around since the early days of flight simulation, which it no doubt took its name from. Flight gear isn’t all they’re known for though, as some of the best racing sim controls come from their designers. The TMX force feedback racing wheel works with Xbox and PC, and comes with a set of pedals so you’ve got everything you need to race straight from the box. It’s got adjustable rotation angle from 270 to 900 degrees, depending on if you prefer finesse or flinging the wheel into tight bends, force feedback for realism, and has a huge range of additional extras to complete your racing setup.
Our favorite add-on is the Sparco bundle, which replaces the wheel with a rally-style one, and brings a sequential gearshift and progressive handbrake to the mix, for everyone who grew up watching Colin McRae on TV and thought “oh, I could do that.” You’ll also want to add the racing clamp to your shopping list, as it’s the best way to mount the Sparco gearshift to your desk. If you’re deciding to go all-in on racing sims, you might want the last item on our recommendation list.
The Challenger racing cockpit from Next Level Racing is a fantastic entry-level rig to get into the racing sim hobby. It’s got an adjustable, racing-style seat, mounts for your pedals, wheel and gear shifter, and a steel construction that’ll handle your curves. Next Level Racing also has a range of accessories for the Challenger, such as a monitor mount that puts it just where your windshield would be, lockable castor wheels for easy movement when you’re not driving, and a floor mat so you don’t destroy your carpet in the process. I can hear those beep beep mmmm start line noises already.
If any new worthy peripherals come out later this year, we’ll add them to the list. Until then, happy gaming!
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