How To Take Your Gaming Career To The Next Level
So you’ve decided to become a pro gamer? You’ve got your games, you’ve got a console or PC, and you’ve got the passion - what next? No matter if you upload to YouTube or stream the latest releases, you’re definitely going to need a cool gaming setup. You’ll need to be comfortable while you play, have the best tech, and want it to look the part for your followers as well.
Optimising your gaming setup will help to give you an edge over other gamers. Whether it means getting every single headshot, capturing every emotional moment on camera, or catching all the creepy sound effects during a horror gaming marathon, your setup can be what sets you apart from everyone else on the platform. From the most comfortable gaming chair to the extra little bits you might not have thought of, check out our top recommendations for making your gaming setup the best it can be.
When it comes to getting your setup started, location is key. You’ll want to make sure you have a good background (no sneaky clotheslines or clutter!) and find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed too often. This won’t matter so much if you’re planning on using a green screen or removable backdrop, but no one wants the hassle of editing out every time the dog barks or your partner brings you a snack. Also, soundproofing the room is a great way to improve the sound quality (and means you won’t disturb your neighbours).
Make sure you have plenty of space for your equipment without feeling cramped. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a mouse cable not being long enough or knocking our elbows into things as we type. Feeling cramped can be stressful and no one wants to watch a stressed out gamer (although, rage-quits can be particularly entertaining!). Turn your space into a place you want to spend time in - your emotions will show during recording sessions, so you want to make sure you are chilled out and enjoyable to watch.
Next, think about what you’re going to put all your equipment on now that you have it. Cardboard boxes can only serve you so long and the top pro gamers certainly don’t use the dining room table. A good gaming desk will be big enough for everything you need: monitors, keyboard, mouse mat, mouse, additional consoles if you have them, speakers, headsets, and that all-important can of energy drink. It’s pretty safe to say that your desk has a lot of responsibilities!
Many of the top gamers have an adjustable desk that they can use while sitting and standing. Standing at your desk can help to alleviate back pain and even burns more calories than sitting down does - it’s a win-win!
The setup essentials
Now you’ve got the location covered, what else do you need to take your gaming career to the next level?
Arguably the most crucial part of your setup (after the computer itself of course), a good gaming chair will help you stay comfortable and prevent back or neck pain during long sessions. Most gaming chairs are ergonomically designed to support your back and have comfy armrests. If you stream or use a webcam, the top of your chair is probably going to be seen by your viewers, so you’ll want something that looks cool. Some even come with speakers in the headrest for a great surround-sound experience. There are thousands of different designs of gaming chairs out there but to narrow it down, why not check out our ultimate guide to gaming chairs? In this guide, you’ll find out all the information you need to make the best choice for you - and we’ve even suggested a few top picks to tempt you, too!
For PC gaming of any kind, you’re going to want to get a good mouse. Not only will a quality, ergonomic mouse help to ease any shoulder or arm pain, but superior optical sensors will also enable you to play better. A more sensitive mouse will give you better reactions, helping you to become the best of the best.
You can find computer mice that are either wired or wireless. Wireless mice offer functionality without the confines of a wire, however, they may have a slight delay. The Razer brand has been a household name in the gaming community for ages and offers some of the best models on the market to fit a variety of budgets.
Speaking of a gaming mouse, you’re obviously going to need a mouse mat. A mouse mat will help to protect the surface of your desk from getting damaged with continued use and, due to the huge range of designs available, can also offer a level of customisation - why not match it to the theme of your setup for an extra professional touch?
The setup extras
So you’ve got all the essentials covered - it’s now time to look into all those extra bits to help your setup stand out!
No matter what game you’re playing, you’re going to want to catch every note of the soundtrack, every moment of ambience, and every booming explosion in crystal clear clarity. To do so, you’ll want a good gaming headset. Many gaming headsets come with a microphone attached so you can be heard by viewers and teammates at any time. Is a headset not your thing? A pair of speakers will help you enjoy every game to the max too.
Getting a good webcam is essential if you’re wanting to take your streaming up a notch. Using a face cam can add a more personal touch to your videos and help your followers connect with you more. You’ll want a camera that can offer HD video, so look for models specifically designed for streaming. They’ll also double as a great way to keep in touch with your family and friends!
All the pro gamers out there have strips of LED lighting around their setup. Most will allow you to select your favourite colour and others can be programmed to change colour to the beat of the music or colours on your screen. They can add a lot of ambience to your background and we’d be lying if we said they weren’t pretty to look at.
Got a lot of gear that needs to be stored? You can find all kinds of stands for your controllers and headphones, as well as special monitor stands which mount multiple screens at once and help to keep your desk clear.
K.O. the competition
Once you’re all set up, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your favourite games, chat with your followers, and grow your channel!
Looking to boost your gaming career on a budget? Take a look at our guide to the best budget gaming chairs for 2021 and get ready to smash your PBs - without breaking the bank! Alternatively, if comfort is king, check out our list of the top six comfiest gaming chairs and sink into snugness as you battle your way to the top spot on the leaderboard.
Whatever you play, wherever you play it, with the right gear at your fingertips, you’re sure to be reaching streaming stardom in no time at all. Move over PewDiePie, there’s a new gaming pro in town!