What to know before shopping for new gaming accessories

Experts weigh in on the best was to elevate the gaming setup.

March 19, 2024, 10:29 AM

Since the arrival of the first forms of modern gaming decades ago, the world of video games, and gear associated with the hobby, has multiplied in size.

Being a competitive or casual gamer is no longer solely about having a console and copy of the game to play your favorites on.

And gaming setups have advanced beyond the simple couch and TV to include desks, monitors, chairs and more custom-mades to enhance the gamer experience in the age of online gaming and streaming that has grown along with the hobby and profession to some.

ABC interviewed two experts on the topic to understand what casual and competitive gamers alike should know before diving in to the complicated world of gamer technology.

Meet the experts

Coach Timmy, a competitive gaming coach from New Zealand, made a name for himself playing the popular game “Fortnite,” but has transitioned his work first to focus on coaching competitive gamers to excel in gaming tournaments, and more recently a streamer himself for PWR, a gaming team.

Next, ABC News spoke with Dr. Emma Vossen, a knowledge mobilization and research impact officer at the University of Waterloo Games Institute. Vossen has experience within the intersection of gender and technology with a specific focus on gaming. Vossen said one key idea to keep front of mind while shopping is that gaming setups can easily be transferred to work setups.

"I have everything sort of docked in a way where I can just unplug a couple things and plug a couple things in to go from my work computer to my game," she said.

Monitors

Liam noted that the best way to elevate your gaming experience from a monitor perspective was to focus on the refresh rate of the monitor, in other words, the amount of times the screen resets every second.

“The higher the number, the more smooth the game is gonna feel, and technically the more you're actually able to see as well,” according to Liam.

Liam explained that If something flashes across the screen, you will be able to catch a longer glimpse at it if you are working with a higher refresh rate.

Vossen highlighted the importance of a wide-screen monitor for gamers looking to get the most out of their screen. She currently uses a 32-inch Dell monitor, a product she said she has been pleasantly surprised by.

32-inch Dell:

Amazon

Dell S3221QS 32 Inch Curved 4K UHD

  • $349.99
  • Amazon

165 refresh rate:

Amazon

KOORUI 24" QHD Gaming Monitor 165Hz

  • $259
  • Amazon
36% off
Amazon

Acer Nitro KG241Y Sbiip 23.8” Full HD (1920 x 1080) VA Gaming Monitor

  • $109.99
  • $172.99
  • Amazon

240 refresh rate:

Amazon

KOORUI 27 inch Gaming Monitor - WQHD (2560x1440)

  • $269.98
  • Amazon

Keyboards

Vossen noted the quality of several Logitech products, but particularly the Logitech Lightspeed Wireless Keyboard. She said logitech makes products that range in use from typical work to gaming and cover a wide range of prices for affordability at each rank.

“For keyboards, it’s kind of either top of the line or it doesn’t really matter in my eyes,” said Liam.

He noted the top of the line product use analog trigger switches, which allows users to adjust the point that keys register, allowing for quicker strokes.

If intense speed is not necessary for your gaming purposes, Liam recommended a mechanical keyboard that is hot swappable, meaning you can customize your keys to an organization that fits your style of play.

Logitech Lightspeed Wireless Keyboard:

18% off
Amazon

Logitech G915 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Low Profile GL Linear Key Switch, LIGHTSYNC RGB, Advanced LIGHTSPEED

  • $203
  • $249.99
  • Amazon

Top of the line:

Amazon

SteelSeries Apex Pro HyperMagnetic Gaming Keyboard — Adjustable Actuation

  • $199.99
  • Amazon

Hotswappable:

Amazon

NZXT Function 2, Full-Size Optical Gaming Keyboard

  • $139.99
  • Amazon
7% off
Amazon

AULA 60 Percent White Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

  • $27.89
  • $29.99
  • Amazon

Gaming Chairs

Liam and Vossen were most adamant on his belief that comfort is king in gaming, and there is perhaps no accessory that controls comfort more than one’s gaming chair.

“Your gaming chair is actually a really, really important part of your setup,” said Liam. “If you're sitting down and playing games for, you know, five hours, six hours, seven hours at a time, the last thing you want to do is start getting a sore back after two hours.”

Liam said Herman Miller chairs are the premium brand of gaming chairs, though they run more expensive than equally comfortable options.

Liam said an office chair is a good option to use but stressed the importance of back support. Both experts said they use office chairs in their own personal gaming setup.

Good support:

9% off
Amazon

GTPLAYER Gaming Chair, Computer Chair with Footrest and Lumbar Support, Height Adjustable Game Chair with 360°-Swivel Seat and Headrest

  • $99.80
  • $109.99
  • Amazon

Ergonomic:

32% off
Amazon

Office Chair Ergonomic Desk Chair

  • $135.97
  • $199.99
  • Amazon
Amazon

Nouhaus Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair - Rolling Desk with 4D Adjustable Armrest

  • $369.99
  • Amazon

Gaming Headsets

Both experts agreed in the modern era, sound quality is high across the board in the gaming headset market. Much like chairs, both experts contended that comfort should be the main quality to chase when in the market for a gaming headset.

Vossen noted that Logitech products are easily adjustable to fit consumers of all sizes. "I think that you want something that's adjustable, more than anything so that you can make sure it fits you comfortably because if you're going to be sitting there with a headset on for three or four hours or you get really into a game. You want to make sure it's comfortable or you're not going to want to wear it," she said.

13% off
Amazon

Logitech G733 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Headset with Suspension Headband

  • $129.99
  • $149.99
  • Amazon
13% off
Amazon

Logitech G733 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Headset with Suspension Headband

  • $129.99
  • $149.99
  • Amazon

Gaming Mice

Liam said like most products in the gaming accessory market, mice have gone the way of customization. Additional features like added paddles, help extend the flexibility of what a game player is able to do with a mouse.

He noted LAMZU mice as an affordable option whose products are high quality for gamers of any level.

He pointed out one helpful metric for mice, noting that looking for a 3395 or 3390 quality sensor is the best option.

LAMZU:

Amazon

LAMZU Atlantis Mini Wireless Gaming Mouse

  • $91.99
  • Amazon
Amazon

LAMZU Atlantis OG 4K Wireless Gaming Mouse

  • $99.99
  • Amazon
Amazon

ENDGAME GEAR XM2we Wireless Gaming Mouse

  • $89.99
  • Amazon

Gaming Mousepads

Liam said practically speaking, make sure you are actually using a mouse pad.

“Don’t use something as a substitute,” advises Liam.

Liam said this is something that can be done on the cheap, too.

“You’re not going to see a huge difference between a relatively cheap desk pad and an artisan hien." Liam said Hien is a top of the line mousepad.

Vossen agreed on the utility of mousepads, opting for a model that covers the entirety of her desk.

Basic mousepads:

Amazon

TECKNET Mouse Pad with Wrist Support, Ergonomic Gaming Mouse Pad Pain Relief

  • $7.99
  • Amazon
Amazon

Amazon Basics Square Mouse Pad, Cloth with Rubberized Base, Standard, Black

  • $8.82
  • Amazon

Full-desk Mousepads:

6% off
Amazon

Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges

  • $14.99
  • $15.99
  • Amazon
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