How to optimize your gaming setup

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Peripherals can be almost more important than your components when gaming. They connect you to the game and allow better response time. The main 3 are sound (headsets and speakers), a keyboard, and a mouse. You will need different peripherals for different focuses. For example you don't need 500 buttons on a mouse for FPS games. I will help you learn what you need so you can choose for yourself, instead of getting flooded with GET THIS GET THAT.

The type and quality of your keyboard depends on your budget. It is usually best to get a mechanical if you have at least $80 for the keyboard. They are more durable and have better keys. The difference is that they use actual switches, of which there are different kinds (look up mechanical keyboard switches for an explanation). Those are something to consider when getting a more expensive keyboard. Everything else in this section will apply to mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards.
Decide if you want backlighting. Generally it helps you when you play in the dark, and it looks cool too, if you want to show off.
Do you want extra macro keys? They allow you to do more in some games, while some are played with minimal buttons, and would be overcomplicated by more buttons. These are useful for streaming games.
Media controls: Are they necessary? Do you game while listening to music? Media keys help with that, allowing you to change songs without getting yourself killed.
Do you want to pay for a brand name/showing off, or reliability? Some brands like Razer make great products with a bunch of flashy lights, but tend to break down a bit faster than minimal products from Corsair. It's your choice.
Test it out at an electronics store if possible.

There are two basic types of gaming mice: those with a lot of buttons, and those with incredibly sensitive sensors, for MMO gaming and FPS gaming respectively. MMOs can have almost as many buttons as your keyboard, so adding some to your mouse so you don't have to switch so much is a huge help. FPS games on the other hand, use movement keys, and left and right click, not much more. Those buttons are just a waste of space for you. For those you want something with a high DPI, or dots per inch. That means a high DPI mouse (8200) will be more sensitive to movement than a low one (1000). You can increase the cursor speed of less sensitive mice, but then the cursor kind of jumps, and is less accurate and less smooth. A good mouse will be smooth, durable, and comfortable, so that you can blow people's heads off with ease.
What to look for
Good DPI: higher DPI mice also tend to be better built. No reason to store gold in a cardboard box. (Bad example. But really, store it in a bank or something)
Buttons: you don't need extra for FPS, but some mice have an auto DPI adjust, some have a "sniper button" that reduces your DPI (cursor speed) for increased aim. For MMO games, you can bind pretty much anything to your mouse.
Feel: Does it fit your hand? Some are smaller for a claw grip, and some are larger for a palm grip.


The claw grip does sound really cool, but if your hand is big and you get a little mouse meant for it, you will be unhappy.
Looks! Don't get something ugly, a cool mouse will impress your friends.

Headsets are fairly undervalued, but a good one will help you communicate with your teammates better, and as Turtle Beach advertised "Hear them coming". Something to look at is the diameter of the drivers. Bigger is better. The most common is 40mm, but some are 50mm. That measures the diameter of the drivers, and because they are round, that means a 50mm driver has almost 50% more area than the 40, causing them to give out much better sound, and the most exciting part: bass. Everything just sounds better with good headphones. They make games sound more realistic, so you can get more involved, and a good gaming headset will work well for music.
What to look for
Wired/Wireless Most Wireless headsets will give you 6-12 hours of battery life, and can be charged while in use. They have a range of about 40 feet (generally), but they tend to be more expensive. This usually becomes a good decision after ripping the cords out of 3 wired ones. It is also really nice to walk away from your computer and keep your music with you.
Microphone Generally a headset over $30 will have a nice microphone, but it helps to read reviews. You don't want to be 90% static over vent.
Durability: Some headphones are very comfortable because they have a lot of soft parts and hinges and other fragile things. They become less comfortable when you have to cover them in duct tape.
Comfort: Go for something that is padded, not made of foam. Also, check the weight. A heavy headset will make your life suck after a few hours.
Glasses: If you have glasses, make sure the earcups aren't too solid, or else you will never be able to take your glasses of again.
Sound: Get a headset with good highs, lows, and mids. You can usually figure that out by reading reviews. As I mentioned earlier, 50mm drivers tend to be better, but add bulk.
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