Aside from your trusty ol’ gaming PC, a set-up is more than just hardware. You’ll need stuff to output your gameplay to, as well as input your controls. What is all that stuff? If you’re ever in need of a list of all kinds of gaming peripherals, you’ve come to the right place. This is everything you could ever need around your PC gaming set-up.
As we briefly touch on all PC related product groups, we will inform you on what you might look for. Depending on what kind of gamer you are, you might benefit more from certain features. We tend to keep it short, but might hit you with some tips on what to look for in gaming peripherals.
In many cases, we will refer you to related articles that offer more detailed explanations, or offer some solid recommendations. Be sure to click on through, if you want to go more in-depth on certain gaming peripherals.
Do keep in mind that some products are almost essential, while others are more of a luxury. We will list this, as we go. Depending on what you go with, some products might also cover multiple facets in one. Without further ado, let’s get to listing all types of peripherals for gaming set-ups.
It goes without saying: any gaming PC still needs to send its gameplay over to a display of some kind. You’ll need something to actually see games with, after all. In theory, that could be anything from televisions to projectors, but most desktop set-ups run with a traditional monitor. Maybe multiple, depending on how much you would like to multitask.
In recent years, we’ve seen many monitor manufacturers offer gaming oriented displays. It started out as mostly marketing, but these days, gaming monitors have proven quite beneficial to many gamers. For example, displays that sport low input latency (often 1 millisecond) and high refresh rates can improve performance in fast multiplayer titles.
If you want to get up to speed on what kind of specifications to expect, check out our handy article on All Gaming Monitor Terms. We also have a quick guide on gaming oriented technologies like AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync, and can recommend some of the Best 1440p Gaming Monitors.
It’s the poster boy to all PC peripherals: your keyboard. Useful for typing essays, but mostly a reliable tool to input your WASD movement and misfire ultimate abilities. Whether you’re a casual gamer or someone more invested in the hobby, you’ve probably heard people selling you on a Mechanical Keyboard.
We can’t stress it enough, but mechanical keyboards are the way forward for most PC gamers. Yes, these precise switches usually come with higher price points, but they’re worth the investment. Not only are mechanical keyboards more reliable, they also prove far more durable than traditional membrane alternatives. Even if you’re strapped for cash, you can always opt for smaller lay-outs, or generally cheaper models. As long as it’s mechanical, you’ll reap the rewards.
To get the most out of your mechanical keyboard, some regular upkeep is recommended. Check out our step-by-step guide on How To Easily Clean Your Keyboard, or our tips on How To Fix Tight/Loose Keycaps, if you’re experiencing any troubles with your keyboard.
Aren’t you sold on the durability yet? Consider opting for an Analog Keyboard. These offer more versatility than mechanical switches in general, with adjustable actuation points, and sometimes even controller-like input.
A keyboard is nowhere without a mouse. After all, that’s the killer combo of PC gaming: keyboard and mouse. These days, many mouse manufacturers offer gaming oriented mice, which offer many benefits to demanding audiences.
If you’re completely new in this scene, you might want to head on over to our article on Gaming Mice Terms and Their Meaning. This guide will get you up to speed on what kind of (wireless) technologies to expect, as well as the amount DPI, different grips and other relevant factors to a gaming mouse.
It’s not as “sexy” as some other peripherals, but a mouse pad is definitely an important part to any PC gaming set-up. A good mousing surface isn’t defined by high-tech promises, but offers a consistent glide to your trusty mouse.
Mouse pads aren’t rocket science, but some are just better options than others. If you need any advice on some solid performers, consider checking out our recommended list of Best Gaming Mouse Pads. Over there, we tip you on some quick-and-easy solutions, as well as luxurious picks with wireless charging, RGB lighting, and/or additional USB hubs.
A mouse bungee is far from a necessity for most gamers. However, if you are using a wired mouse and want to grant it optimal flexibility, you might want to get one of these. By keeping your cable suspended, you’ll net some additional freedom of movement.
Want to know more about mouse bungees, and get recommendations on some of the best out there? Head on over to our article on the Best Gaming Mouse Bungees. Don’t worry: a solid mouse bungee isn’t all that expensive.
To get a console-like experience on a gaming PC, you’ll need an actual controller. The keyboard-mouse combo is great for RTS games and shooters, but some games just work better with a gamepad. If you’re into platformers, arcade racers, or games like Rocket League, it’s worth shoving your mouse aside.
Most proprietary controllers for gaming consoles can be hooked up to your PC over USB. Alternatively, you can invest in a separate controller for your PC games. These can range from affordable and simplistic, to luxury peripherals with many additional features. Many high-end controllers for PlayStation and Xbox still work natively on PC systems.
It’s a niche, but it’s worth listing. PC gamers with a knack for racing games and flight simulators, benefit from specific gaming peripherals. A simple steering wheel with pedals will get you racing alright, but that’s just a little taste of what’s possible. Those willing to invest, can build entire cockpits out of their desktop, with all kinds of flight sticks.
Luxuries like realistic force feedback are costly, though. And as more types of input can require additional modules. prices ramp up at an amazing pace. These kinds of inputs and outputs aren’t always natively supported, so it’s mostly about how invested you are in a few, particular titles.
Aside from seeing the picture, you’ll want to hear what’s going on. For PC gaming, headphones are part of the status quo. Many gaming oriented headphones are traditionally headsets, as they come with integrated microphones for in-game communication. The drivers that actually produce the audio, are often tweaked to enhance spatial awareness.
In the quest for optimal immersion, many gaming headset manufacturers promise things like “7.1 Surround Sound”. Keep in mind that most headphones are physically still stereo based set-ups — in other words, traditional “2.0”. The promise of surround sound is mostly a virtual upscaling tool.
We expand on this in our article on Virtual Surround Sound, sided with a list of the more promising upscaling tools. Be sure to check it out if you want to see through some of the marketing surrounding gaming headsets.
If you opt for a traditional set of headphones, you’re missing out on that integrated microphone. Therefore, you might need a separate microphone for in-game communication, or even content creation.
Modern microphones can range from easy-to-use and affordable solutions, to broadcast-grade set-ups. For a few bucks, you can still talk to your squad mates and friends, whereas ambitions in content creation can push you towards more professional alternatives. Many streamers push aside all-in-one microphones, and opt for analog models, sided with professional sound cards.
Whatever type of microphone you need, we have our recommendations ready. Head on over to our list on the Best Microphones for Gaming and Streaming for our top picks. These cover anything from affordable add-on mics, to analog heavyweights adored by the biggest content creators.
An external sound card, or Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), isn’t always required. But still, some gaming set-ups might benefit from peripherals like these. If you want your analog headset to sound its best, you’re going to need proper audio conversion. Most motherboards already do this in some capacity, but audiophiles often invest in additional clarity to their sound.
Many audio brands offer sound cards specifically for gamers. These often come with their own Virtual Surround Sound upscaling, but the baseline is offering higher sample rates and wider frequencies than your PC or console could. Additionally, some gaming DACs target competitive gaming teams by supporting separate communication channels through daisy-chaining.
Want to read up on all things sound? Check out our article on the Best Gaming DACs, where we list some great external sound cards for all kinds of gamers. Do note that most of these are meant to be used with analog devices, preferably headphones or headsets.
If you want to enlarge your soundstage beyond just your ears, a gaming set-up is nowhere without some speakers. Gaming on headphones is great for spatial awareness, but sometimes you just want “bigger” sound. That’s exactly what a speaker set or sound bar can offer your PC set-up.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of speaker sets meant for gaming. This often appears to be merely marketing, but some sets actually offer some commendable features. Adequate gaming speakers still retain great spatial awareness, while comfortably filling the room with sound.
Looking for some great recommendations for speakers? Head on over to our article of the Best Speaker Sets for Gaming, where we list luxury products, as well as some affordable alternatives.
If you intend to chime in on some business meetings from home, or want to start streaming, your set-up requires a webcam. It’s rarely a necessity, but definitely worth considering. Depending on how seriously you take your digital images, a neat little webcam can range from extraordinarily cheap to rather expensive.
Content creators who want to professionalize their set-up, might opt for turning their DSLRs into a sort of webcam. This will require additional cabling and the addition of a capture card, but the crisp results speak for themselves. If you ever want to upgrade your set-up with a DSLR, check out our guide on How To Use Your Camera as a Streaming Webcam.
Looking for a traditional webcam, but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered on that as well. Head on over to our article on the Best Webcams to see our top picks, besides answers to frequently asked questions on webcams.
A VR headset, or a Head-Mounted Display (HMD), is still seen as a luxury in and of itself. Virtual Reality has been on the rise for some time, but it hasn’t outgrown its “Will it ever be the future of gaming?” phase just yet. While more and more traditional franchises experiment with VR capabilities, most of the top performing VR games are one-offs with a niche audience.
But still, if your PC has the hardware (and your room has the space) to properly support VR, one of these headsets can be a neat investment. With traditional VR set-ups, you’ll need some IR beacons to place yourself in the virtual space. Newer HMDs sometimes support inside-out tracking, which doesn’t require additional peripherals. In turn, most VR set-ups still need separate devices to pick up motion controls or other types of input.
Whatever you do, don’t get into VR too haphazardly. Modern HMDs are getting increasingly good, but virtual reality still comes with many hurdles. It’s pricey, requires beefy PC performance, and it still not “the future of gaming” that was once foretold. It’s mostly another part of gaming, with its own fun experiences and off-shoots.
And with that, we close our list of all gaming peripherals surrounding a PC set-up. Not all are requirements per se, but this will cover most of the products that meet a gamer’s needs. We hope this list, and its quick explanations, was of any help to you.
For more information on certain peripherals, be sure to click on through to our other articles. Over there, we’ll go into more detailed descriptions, and might tip you on some great recommendations. If you want to know more about what hardware makes up for a gaming PC itself, head on over to our list on All Components Needed for a Gaming PC.
If there is anything else you would like to add to this list, be sure to reach out. Hit us up with a comment down below, and we might expand our list of peripherals with your suggestions. Alternatively, you can always ask any questions you might have. We would be happy to help you better understand any and all gaming peripherals.
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