Whether you’ve purchased a new computer to fulfil your gaming needs or would like to add some fun (and functionality) to an aging PC, perhaps it’s time to invest in a few accessories.
You’re not alone: the demand for computer gaming accessories grew 81% year-over-year, according to market research firm NPD Group, when comparing U.S. sales data between 2019 and 2020. Combined with PC gaming hardware, such as game-centric laptops and desktops, consumers spent $4.5 billion last year – double the total sales from 2017.
“Not only has PC gaming become the dominant gaming platform globally, but making the technical and aesthetic choices for your setup is a fun hobby in and of itself,” says Evan Lahti, editor-in-chief for PC Gamer, a leading publisher of computer game news, reviews, and how-to’s, across its nearly 30-year-old magazine and popular website.
“People like PC gaming because it gives you access to higher fidelity gaming, higher performance gaming, with lots of options for upgrading and customization over time,” he explains.
Peripherals range from controllers, mice and keyboards, to monitors, routers and headsets, to gaming furniture, such as specialty chairs and desks.
The following is a look at a few new and newsworthy accessories to spice up your laptop or desktop gaming setup.
Not mousing around
Regardless of the genres you’re into, the Razer Viper 8KHz ($79.99) is simply one of the best wired mice on the market.
The ambidextrous esports gaming mouse features an 8000 Hz polling rate for incredible speed, low latency and smooth cursor movement. That is, this “hyper rolling” tech sends up to 8 times more data per second (and reducing delay from 1 to 1/8th of a millisecond) compared to other gaming mice, says Razer – all to give you an edge while competing online.
Weighing 71 grams (2.5 oz.), the black Viper 8KHz also houses 2nd-generation Razer optical switches, to make every click feel (and sound) more satisfying, an reduce the odds of “misclicks,” while achieving an industry-leading 99.6% resolution accuracy.
Another gaming mouse option is Marsback’s Zephyr Pro ($59), the follow-up to last year’s “world’s first” gaming mouse with a built-in fan to keep your palm cool.
Offering more power and performance than its predecessor, the “sweatproof” Zephyr Pro features premium parts, including OMRON switches and a Pixart 3389 optical sensor (with 16,000 dots-per-inch resolution).
Available in black or white, it’s also a RGB (red-green-blue) mouse, which lets you customize the 16.8 million colors.
A best-seller is the Logitech G G815 LightSync RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard ($199), an ultra-thin, fully customizable and mechanical gaming keyboard for desktops and laptops.
With its low profile, Logitech says gamers get the speed and accuracy they want with traditional switches, yet at half the height. You can choose between GL Clicky (audible click and tactile feedback), GL Tactile (a gentle bump for some tactile feedback), or GL Linear (a completely smooth keystroke).
Handled with software, LightSync RGB technology lets you customize the keyboard from a full spectrum of millions of colors, as well as synchronize lighting and effects with other Logitech G devices.
Also via free software, programmable G keys line the left side of the keyboard. There are also dedicated media controls for quickly accessing music, adjusting volume, skipping through music and video tracks and instant mute.
A USB port at the front of the keyboard is ideal for charging devices, while a USB port on the back of the keyboard can be used to pass through data (to the connected device in the front), if plugged into a PC.
Monitors are getting bigger, wider, clearer, and faster – all of which are appealing to those who play computer games.
But what really sets is apart is its speed. Capable of delivering a 270 Hz refresh rate (with overclocking), it’s the kind of display used by pro esports gamers for incredibly smooth and fast (0.5 ms) response times. Especially when you’re competing online, every millisecond counts.
Standard features on this fast IPS monitor include ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC) technology and compatible with NVIDIA G-SYNC, all to eliminate “ghosting” and “tearing” in your fast-paced shooters and racing games.
Hear ye, hear ye
Whether you’re looking to strategize during a heated multiplayer match or simply want to trash-talk online opponents, a headset microphone is ideal for private audio listening and chatting with others.
While SteelSeries has less expensive wired and wireless models, its Arctis 9 Wireless ($199) is a premium headset for PC gamers, offering lossless 2.4 GHz wireless for lag-free, high fidelity gaming audio and simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity for calls, music, and VoIP chatting while playing.
The Danish gaming peripheral maker says it uses similar technology adopted by aircraft carrier deck crews in its Discord-certified microphone. That means clear audio (to whom you’re yelling at, or with!), with noise cancellation, while on-ear ChatMix control lets you instantly change audio levels on the fly – without pausing your game. It also supports DTS Surround Sound.
Better yet, the Arctis 9 Wireless headset’s battery tops 20 hours between charges.
Gaming desks are also ideal for PC gamers – and can be had without breaking the bank.
New this summer, Ameriwood Home’s NTense Xtreme Gaming Desk ($195.98 for white, $250.19 for black) offers two levels to set up gear, such as placing monitors and speakers on the back riser, and the mouse and keyboard on the main level.
The wire management trough keeps cords organized and out of the way, while two USB ports lets you charge up a phone, wireless headset and other devices. The desk also includes a configurable cup holder and headphone hook.
For added versatility, the NTense Genesis Adjustable Gaming Desk ($237.45 for white or $260.51 for black), on the other hand, adjusts to three different heights. It converts from a 29-inch sitting desk (office chair) to a height of 36 inches (barstool) to a full 40-inch-tall standing desk.
It also includes wire management, dual USB ports, cup holder and headphone hook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: PC gaming: A sweatproof mouse, more gear to help you level up