The PC gaming industry doesn’t revolve solely around processors, graphics cards, tricked out towers, and RGB lighting.
No, there’s an entire cottage industry of “gaming gimmicks” that gaming enthusiasts spend billions of their hard earned monies on annually that has nothing to do with the hardware that lets you gain in the first place.
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We are talking about gaming peripherals, gaming monitors, gaming chairs, and even things like gaming glasses and gaming energy drinks.
If a company can promise that it’ll help you dominate the online competition or game more comfortably for hours on end you can be sure that someone out there is making, advertising, and selling it!
Truth be told, some of these gaming gimmicks are actually worth owning.
Some of them are 100% legitimate, actually, boost your gaming experience, and will make life as a dedicated PC gamer a whole lot more comfortable. Other gaming gimmicks are decidedly less effective, products pitched to enthusiastic and dedicated fellow elites with a bit of disposable income that wants to pour it into their favorite hobby.
Below we dig a little deeper into the gaming gimmicks worth owning and highlight a couple you’ll probably want to steer clear of.
Let’s jump right in!
Sometimes gaming peripherals get lumped in with gaming hardware, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Almost as important as your graphics card, processor, and blazing fast memory, you’re going to need keyboards and mice to play your favorite games – and peripherals that are tuned with gaming in mind definitely offer an advantage over more generic options.
Some gaming mice and keyboards, for example, offer you a world of customization that traditional peripherals don’t.
You’ll be able to set up macros, reprogram different buttons, and find options that are tuned with speed and accuracy in mind compared to more office focused choices for sure. These are all gaming gimmicks worth spending a bit of extra money on.
On the subject of keyboards, check out our article on some of the best wireless mechanical keyboards.
When I finished my analysis on my favorite wireless mice, (you can read that here), it felt like the natural thing to do next, was cover the keyboards, because when you’ve eliminated that mouse cable, the keyboard cable is your next enemy, and my favorite
Gaming headsets are another accessories/peripheral that you want to invest in.
Sound is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to the overall experience of gaming these days, particularly if you are playing even halfway competitive online against other players.
Great speakers offer fantastic ambient sound and background noise but nothing beats being able to hear opponents footsteps in the distance with crystal clarity the way you can with headphones. Get a good set and you’ll be good to go.
If you’re going to stream a decent webcam isn’t a bad investment, and monster sized gaming pads that take up your entire desk guarantee that your mouse is as precision accurate as possible no matter where or how quickly you move it.
These are the peripherals you’ll want to focus in on for sure.
Gaming monitors aren’t gimmicky at all and should be one of the main areas that you focus your budget on straight out of the gate.
High quality gaming monitors are available in a variety of different resolutions, ranging from 1080p to 1440p and 4K (with 8K resolutions just over the horizon). You’ll get stunning graphical fidelity out of these monitors but you’ll also get picture-perfect resolutions that make your gaming sessions more accurate, too.
One good example would be the ASUS TUF Gaming VG32VQ1B
Combine that with super smooth motion frame rates when you bump things up from the standard 60 Hz nontraditional monitors to 144 Hz or even 240 Hz and all of a sudden your games are running even better than they ever did before.
These smooth motion frame rates guarantee smoother animations, more fluid motion, and a decided advantage for competitive players using them compared to those stuck on slower refresh rates.
Some new monitors are being built with adaptive synchronization technology built right in, too.
These kinds of monitors are very gaming focused, engineered to work well with AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, and can unleash even better graphical fidelity and smoother gaming experiences than more generic monitors could.
IPS panel technology is another key component you’ll want your new gaming monitors a focus on. Make sure that you spring for that type of panel and you’ll love the way your games look from here on out.
The right gaming chair guarantees that your gaming sessions are a whole lot more comfortable than they ever would have been a standard office chair or (even worse) a folding aluminum or kitchen chair you pulled in from another room.
Gaming chairs are designed with ergonomics in mind above all else, offering plenty of support for long gaming sessions. These kinds of chairs are a dream to sit in for extended amount of time, something that’s next to impossible to pull off any more traditional chair set up.
On top of that, good gaming chairs usually have temperature control materials that avoid you getting uncomfortable, too. Even leather gaming chairs usually have perforated materials to help you avoid overheating when you are parked in front of your rig during marathon rounds.
The jury is still out on the overall effectiveness of gaming glasses, but the science is definitely there to show that monitors put out harmful blue light that does a number on our eyesight with a lot of overexposure.
Certain gaming glasses (especially ones that look like traditional shooting glasses) are engineered to block the damaging blue light without impairing the overall gaming experience. Some glasses do a better job than others – just as some are more comfortable than others – so you may want to experiment with these gimmicky gaming accessories.
If you want to check some out, here are some Gunnar glasses.
Don’t spend a mountain of money on these kinds of accessories, though. Like we highlighted a moment ago the sciences isn’t settled just yet regarding how effective these glasses are (or aren’t).
There are a lot of brands in the energy drink world that bill themselves as gaming focus, and some of these drinks actually taste pretty good and will definitely give you a little more pep in your step than you would have had otherwise.
At the same time, a lot of gaming energy drinks out there are little more than caffeine and sugar bombs.
Check out some G Fuel, like pictured above here.
Sure, they will pick you up in a hurry but you’ll be guaranteed a massive crash in an hour or so.
Sometimes the crash leaves you feeling even more wiped out than you did before you popped the top on one of those drinks, too.
Truth be told, you’re probably better off drinking a cup of coffee, keeping hydrated with plenty of water, or making a glass of energizing tea than flooding your body with all that sugar and caffeine. But if you like these drinks you like these drinks, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
At the end of the day, if you’re looking to spend good money on gaming gimmicks and aren’t sure where to focus it you’ll get the most bang for your buck with:
- Gaming focuses keyboards and mice
- Gaming focused headsets
- Gaming chairs
Gaming glasses and gaming energy drinks are (usually) a waste of time and money. But if you’ve got disposable income burning a hole in your pocket and want to spring for either of these they’re not going to really hurt your gaming experiences either.
Hopefully, this guide helps you navigate the almost endless amount of gaming gimmicks out there today!