How to supercharge your home gaming set-up in 5 simple steps
From gaming chairs to LED panels, there’s no shortage of ways to spruce up your gaming area.
They say that a man’s home is his own castle, and that’s all too true with the most important room – home is where the gaming is, after all.
Whether if you stream full-time or game for an hour an evening, there’s always an opportunity to improve how you do it. Whether if it’s with the chair you use, or how you hear the game being played.
With that, here are a few examples of how to improve your gaming setup to compliment your room.
Smarten up your surroundings
These are a duo here because they become very useful when you’re about to stream, game, or just chat to a few on Skype if you’re working from home during these times.
Smart Lights & Voice Control – A fine duo where you can change the lighting of the room with the sound of your voice.
The Phillips Hue lights have become the go-to smart-lights for a lot of homes out there, but they’ve also been very useful for being used in one room instead of all in a house. That expands to a gaming room in so many ways.
With Alexa, it can enable voice-commands for the Hue lights, so you could command it by just saying a few key words.
If you have a colour scheme for your Twitch channel, the Hue light could change for when you go live, which can be automated for when you select ‘Ready to Stream’ in OBS, or by a calendar entry. Easy, simple, and works great when that webcam switches on.
Of course, with Alexa you could go ‘Alexa, gametime’ and the light will change colour, ready to go. There’s also scripts that could launch your stream to go ‘live’ automatically when this happens as well.
Lots of possibilities, and for a total price of £150 depending on the offers by the day, it’s not a bad combo.
Get a gaming chair
You need to be able to sit in comfort while you’re speedrunning the Resident Evil 3 demo for the 6th time, and a comfortable chair will be the first avenue to help with this.
Fully adjustable so you can lay back if you need to for a break, or to have the armrests at a height where you can easily reach your keyboard and mouse combo.
Invest in an adjustable desk
You may have a great desk that holds all your essentials and hides all the wires, but does it go up and down by remote?
With this desk, it’s possible.
Standing-desks have become very popular in recent years, and with gaming and streaming, it can really help with players who would like to just stand up for an hour to work the legs and posture.
It’s even a great help for VR games. Your webcam and monitors will be in your eye-line, so the viewers get the benefit of being at your height while you’re walking through City-17 in Half Life: Alyx, or just throwing some shapes in Beat Saber VR.
But if you stream talk-shows or podcasts, it could be great to use it as a ‘studio’ to record audio with your microphone of choice. Some prefer to talk and be expressive in their movements, which can’t really be done when sitting down. But with a heightened desk, it’s possible.
LED there be light
Granted, you may have a smart bulb ready to go, but if you have your desk facing an empty wall, then this could be another great light source. These are panels of which you can add to, so you can create a pattern which lights can fade and change colour at your request. There are hundreds of configurations that you can set with this, and with Alexa, it could be different configurations on different days.
Even just the look of panels as a light can make a big change to your setup, and makes it really stand out if it’s being displayed in the background when on a stream.
Sort out your sound
Part of wanting to be in another world, isn’t mainly because of COVID19, but because you want to be totally immersed in the world. With audio, it’s really important that this works, and with these headphones, you won’t go far wrong.
Sony have had these out for 18 months, and they’ve been known to be one of the best headphones in audio-cancellation and sound quality.
Even the ease of use makes them not only compatible with bluetooth devices, but a Nintendo Switch or PS Vita, thanks to its headphone-jack on the right of the peripheral. You just plug it in to your device of choice, and as long as there’s a battery, the noise-cancellation can be switched on, and you can enjoy Metal Gear Solid 2 HD on the Vita in full immersion. A perfect combination.
The battery on them can easily last a week, and charge through USB-C, although it doesn’t need to be switched on for audio to pass through to the headphones.
At £250 it’s a steal, and if you pair it with a VR headset, you’re in for a great weekend.
There you have it. Five different ways of improving ‘how’ you can game, regardless of whether you’re a streamer, an esports player, or just a casual gamer who likes to play a few rounds of Counterstrike: Global Offensive.