Have you ever thought about what gaming peripherals actually give us, gamers? Is it worth paying extra to buy a product catered for a gamer? I will try to explain my point of view on this matter.
Gaming product – a label, or something more?
Most of the hardware manufacturers have gaming products in their offers, whether they are gaming headsets, mouse pads, obviously mice, keyboards, PC cases or even motherboards with the gaming label.
Let’s focus on peripherals alone and see whether they are like the manufactures advertise them.
It is a natural thing that everyone who considers oneself a gamer should possess a high quality gaming keyboard , mouse and mouse pad for it, designed especially for gamers.
When it comes to mouse, everyone must choose one for own preferences, taking into consideration what types of games they usually play. If the mouse will be ergonomic and if it will fit their standards. An important element is the mouse sensor used in the product and its precision. I recommend Avago sensors as in my opinion they are the best available on the market. Don’t forget about DPI , in my opinion 3200 DPI should be more than enough in most cases, however everyone has different needs. It is also very important to have features such as programmable keys, macro programming and additional software.
For most gamers out there, mouse I would recommend is either the CoolerMaster Mizar or Ozone Argon Ocelote World. Both come in reasonable price with all the features I would need.
It should be obvious that the mouse is a product specifically directed for gamers, so it is a big YAY. It is worth to pay extra for a mouse with all these features.
The mouse pads alone are also a very important element and not every product will satisfy a demanding gamer. First of all, you need to choose a mouse pad depending on what sensor your mouse has – sometimes the pad has to be made out of plastic and sometimes the fabric. The pad has to be big enough so that the mouse does not slip off and it also cannot be too thin like a sheet of paper. It is pretty obvious that during a game like CS: GO we cannot afford to make even the slightest mistake. Quality matters as well. It is a nice touch when our pad has an artwork from one of our favorite games – of course this is a personal choice.
I personally use CoolerMaster Swift-RX – TOP quality mouse pad with stitched edges, low friction surface and different sizes. Both SteelSeries and Razer also have good quality mouse pads in their offer.
Mouse pad is another product that deserves to be labeled as gaming gear. Gets a YAY from me.
Similar criteria apply to keyboard. It must be ergonomic and comfortable, have the ability to create macros, well placed keys to provide comfort during long-term use. Lately mechanical keyboards have become very popular with gamers and indeed they are worth the thought, however they are quite expensive. Key factor in determining the mechanical keyboard’s quality is the type of switch being used. There are several of mechanical switches available on the market, I personally prefer Cherry MX. These split into subgroups such as Red, Black, Blue and Brown. Each of them has a different button resistance. Brown switches feel the best for me.
A very good alternative are gaming pads such as Logitech G13 or Razer Orbweaver. They are comfortable even after long hours of use. Each key is easy to reach, not to mention that all the keys are programmable. The gaming pad is also very little, so it does not take up space on your desk.
But be careful as not all “gaming” keyboard are actually gaming products, e.g. a couple of differently colored keys doesn’t make it a gaming keyboard.
If you find a proper gaming keyboard though, it is certainly another piece of gaming equipment worth buying.
In regards to headphones, it is harder to tell if some of them can be considered gaming peripherals. There is a wide choice of gaming headsets available with surround sound such as 5.1 or 7.1, and pretty much every one of them comes with a built-in microphone. Does this make a gaming gear? In my opinion no, and I will explain why.
Usually the gaming headsets are quite expensive, however the sound quality they offer is not worth the premium price. The built-in microphones are also usually of poor quality. I believe that a cheaper stereo headset can offer same or even better quality of sound.
So this time I would say NAY!
Last but not least – PC cases. They are not gaming peripherals, but still they are a very important piece of gaming equipment. As you probably know, every gaming PC has computing components such as CPU and graphics cards which generate large amount of heat. This is why we need a well-ventilated PC case. It also must be able to fit all your required components inside e.g. long graphics card or a big CPU cooler. Cable management matters too, as when the cables are well routed, air flow inside the case will improve.
There are a lot of great gaming cases on the market, the choice will depend on how much money you can spend on them. I recommend manufactures like CoolerMaster, Antec, NZXT or Corsair. Just make sure that the PC case is big enough to accommodate your components, well ventilated and, last but not least, you like its design. I would personally recommend the Antec P380 chassis.
PC cases are another YAY.
Summing up, I think that gaming peripherals are of a big importance for PC gaming and in most cases they are worth buying. Most of this additional hardware has to do with the comfort and precision of controls, and that has a direct impact on the way you perform, let’s say, online FPS matches. Keep in mind that products like mouse or keyboard do not have a universally good design – they’re like a pair of shoes – a single one won’t fit everyone. Do your research, try different products out, see how it feels in your hand before making a purchase decision.