Gaming in this current generation is a big deal, and it often doesn’t come cheap either. Sure you can have great time playing as casual as you like for a couple of hours on the weekends, but if you’re more of the hardcore demographic (which I consider myself to be), you can maximise what you get out of your games and your overall experience by kitting yourself out with the right tools and make your gaming set up all that more complete and if you want to take an extra step, you can also pimp our video game inventories, let’s say Counter Strike players can buy CSGO skins so they show off a better appearance in-game.
Now I’m not part of the PC Master Race (although I am working on changing that) as I’m thoroughly attached to my Xbox gamertag, but these items apply to most if not all gamers no matter how their playing manifests and will be beneficial for all gamers to own in some shape or form.
External Hard Drive
With games being a mandatory install and updates procedurally becoming more and more commonplace in the gaming landscape, an external HDD is pretty much a necessity to anyone who plans on owning more than 4 games at once, especially as most base console storage space isn’t overwhelmingly expansive when compared with some of the room that some of the triple A titles point blank demand from you.
I find that having an HDD of 1TB is more than enough on top of my 500GB Xbox One storage (Day One Xbox OG). This Seagate HDD gives you a tidy 1TB of space for just over £35. For the big dogs, this My Book from WD gives you a meaty 5TB for around £100.
Speaking from experience, I would highly advise investing in either a gaming chair or some kind of ergonomic piece of furniture to enjoy your pastime in. Having spent many an hour or seven in a rigid, wooden vessel to contain my fragile frame, my back and spine have rebelled against me in a painful revolution.
This could have all been avoided had I sunk some dollars into a comfortable gaming chair of some kind.
Secret Labs is a pretty popular brand for most people, but there’s plenty of other suppliers that vary from a couple of hundred dollars to nearly $1000 depending on the size, quality, and named brand you go with.
Other good brands to look into are X Rocker, GTOmega, and Noblechairs.
I personally find more joy in the smaller areas, getting hold of the more minute little gadgets and tidbits that provide increment amounts of ease and help to my gaming or to my set up.
A list of things you can get (which also doubles as a great list of gift ideas for any other gamers you may know) are Cable Guys which come in many different varieties to keep your controllers safe and snug when you’re not playing your favourite titles, a Snorlax beanbag which I don’t need to explain how amazing it is, or even functional things like gaming glasses, gaming gloves, or something as simple as an extension lead tower with the maximum amount of sockets.
Also, having a multi-adaptor for my HDMI cables has changed my life.
Play and Charge Kit
Don’t get me wrong, batteries are great. There’s a real whimsy of nostalgia that hits me right in the feels when I have to change the double A’s in my Game Boy Colour. They are however, a plague on the environment, so the less they’re used the better.
Playstation guys and gals don’t have to worry about this problem, but Microsoft dropped the ball by not shipping a rechargeable USB accessory out of the (X)box. You can pick up one for fairly cheap, and as much as it’s nice to have official merchandise from companies like Microsoft, almost never go with this option as they’re just more expensive and do the same job as the cheaper alternatives.
Amazon has some great and affordable choices, with Fosmon Dual Charger being a good choice for Xbox players and the Beboncool for PlayStation users.
There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned standard controller, and I actually happen to think that Microsoft makes decent peripherals (forgetting the Original Xbox’s Duke) and Sony hasn’t changed the core of their Dualshock design for many years now simply because you don’t have to fix something that isn’t broken.
It’s just having a custom controller feels so much better and adds some personality to your set up. Having an Elite is only really an option to pursue if you’re more into the online PvP scene or if you have some very flexible cash to splash.
Xbox has a Design Lab feature where you can actually design your own controller and actually has a decent amount of options that you have the ability to customise. Elites on the other hand have things like better thumbstick grip, interchangeable D-pads & thumbsticks and hair-triggers on the shoulder buttons.
As badass as they look and feel, they don’t come cheap. You’re looking at around £100/$100 to get your hands on one.
Again, bog standard headsets are fine for just chatting with your friends (or taunting enemies with your triumphs), but until you get a good quality piece of gear, you don’t realise what the jump in quality can be and what you’ve been missing out on.
Turtle Beach has a huge range, but a good middle of the road headset is the XO Three, the Recon 50P or if you wanna go all out, Astro A40’s are an expensive but great choice.
Also what with the pandemic shifting the paradigm of both human interaction and the concept of working from home for at very least the foreseeable future, having a good microphone/headset is a tool that becomes universally more worthwhile beyond just gaming.