Whether you’ve just bought a new PC for your gaming needs or want to add some fun (and functionality) to an old PC, maybe it’s time to invest in some accessories.
You’re not alone: Demand for PC gaming accessories grew 81% year-on-year, according to market research firm NPD Group, when comparing US sales data between 2019 and 2020. Along with PC gaming hardware, such as gaming-focused consoles Laptops and desktops, consumers spent $4.5 billion last year — twice total sales than in 2017.
says Evan Lahti, Editor-in-Chief of PC Gamer, a leading publisher of computer game news, reviews, and how-tos, via its nearly 30-year-old magazine and popular website.
“People love PC games because they give you access to games with higher resolutions and higher performance, with lots of options to upgrade and customize over time,” he explains.
Peripherals range from controllers, mice, and keyboards to monitors, routers, headphones, and gaming furniture, such as specialized desks and chairs.
Here’s a look at some new and newsworthy accessories to spice up your laptop or desktop gaming setup.
Don’t pronounce it around
No matter which type you like, the Razer Viper 8KHz ($79.99) is simply one of the best wired mice on the market.
This ergonomic gaming mouse features an 8000Hz polling rate for incredible speed, low latency, and smooth cursor movement. This means that this “super-spin” technology sends up to 8 times more data per second (and reduces lag 1 to 1/8 of a millisecond) than other gaming mice, Razer says — all of which gives you an edge during online competition.
The 8KHz black Viper weighs 71 grams (2.5 ounces), and also contains second-generation Razer optical switches, to make every click look (and sound) more pleasing, and reduce the potential for ‘mistakes’, while achieving industry-leading 99.6% accuracy accuracy.
Another gaming mouse option is Marsback’s Zephyr Pro ($59), a follow-up to last year’s “world’s first” gaming mouse with a built-in fan to keep you comfortable.
The “sweat-proof” Zephyr Pro offers more power and performance than its predecessor, and features premium parts, including OMRON switches and a Pixart 3389 (16,000 dpi) optical sensor.
Available in black or white, it is also an RGB (red-green-blue) mouse, which allows you to customize 16.8 million colors.
If you’re looking to replace the keyboard that came with your PC, Logitech has 14 wired and wireless gaming models to choose from.
A bestseller is the Logitech G G815 LightSync RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard ($199), an ultra-thin and fully customizable mechanical gaming keyboard for desktops and laptops.
With its low profile, Logitech says gamers get the speed and accuracy they want with traditional switches, but at half the height. You can choose between GL Clicky (audible click and tactile feedback), GL Tactile (a gentle bump for some haptic feedback), or GL Linear (a completely smooth keystroke).
Using the software, LightSync RGB technology allows you to customize the keyboard from a full range of millions of colors, as well as synchronize lighting and effects with other Logitech G hardware.
Also across the free software, the programmable G keys line up on the left side of the keyboard. There are also dedicated media controls for quickly accessing music, adjusting the volume, skipping music and video tracks and instant muting.
The USB port on the front of the keyboard is ideal for charging devices, while the USB port on the back of the keyboard can be used to pass data (to the connected device in the front), if connected to a computer.
Screens are getting bigger, wider, sharper, and faster – all attractive to those who play computer games.
ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix XG27AQM ($699) is a 27-inch monitor with Quad Ultra HD (WQHD, 2560 x 1440) resolution and HDR for better contrast, brightness and color.
But what really sets it apart is its speed. Capable of providing a refresh rate of 270Hz (overclocked), it’s the type of display used by professional esports players for incredibly smooth and fast response times (0.5ms). Especially when you’re competing online, every millisecond counts.
Standard features on this fast IPS display include NVIDIA G-SYNC-compatible ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC) technology, all to eliminate “ghosting” and “stuttering” in fast-paced shooting and racing games.
Whether you’re looking for strategic placement during a hot multiplayer match or simply want to talk about opponents online, the headset microphone is perfect for private audio listening and chatting with others.
While SteelSeries has less expensive wired and wireless models, the Arctis 9 Wireless ($199) is an excellent headset for PC gamers, offering 2.4GHz wireless for high-res, lag-free gaming audio and simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity for calls, music, and VoIP chat while Play.
The Danish gaming peripherals maker says it uses similar technology adopted by aircraft carrier deck crews into its Discord-certified microphone. That means clear sound (to whom you’re yelling at or with!), with noise cancellation, while on-ear ChatMix control lets you change volume levels instantly – without pausing your game. It also supports DTS surround sound.
Even better, the Arctis 9 wireless headset has more than 20 hours of battery life between charges.
Gaming desks are also ideal for PC gamers – and they 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 gear setting levels, such as placing monitors and speakers on the rear riser, and a mouse and keyboard on the main level.
A cord management dock keeps cords organized and out of the way, while two USB ports let you charge your phone, wireless headset, and other devices. The desk also includes a configurable cup holder and headphone hook.
For even more 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. Converts from a 29″ sitting desk (desk chair) to 36″ high (bar stool) to a full 40″ tall desk.
It also includes cord management, dual USB ports, a cup holder, and a headphone hook.