With most of the world stuck indoors thanks to the ongoing health crisis, the gaming industry is thriving more than ever. For instance, the numbers for the Nintendo Switch’s March sales alone exceeded the amount from the same period in 2019 by over more than double.
US NPD HW – Hardware spending in March 2020 grew 63% when compared to a year ago, to $461m. Nintendo Switch hardware sales more than doubled when compared to a year ago, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One each grew by more than 25 percent.— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 21, 2020
Much of this boom can be attributed to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the same month, which sold more than 3.6 million copies in Japan alone. It continues to sell an average of 300,000 copies every week. Similarly, Final Fantasy VII Remake, a game that was released in early April, has already shipped more than 3.5 million digital copies worldwide. According to reports on Screen Rant, this has made it the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive to date.
Indeed, the long days at home have made gamers eager to try out some new games… or clear their year-old backlogs. Whether you’ve been itching to play some Doom Eternal on the PC or be immersed in the complex narrative of the PS4’s Ghost of Tsushima, here are a couple of tips that can help you make the most out of your home gaming set-up.
Select a fast monitor
For PC gamers, having the right monitor can make or break your set-up. This is especially true if you play a lot of AAA titles like The Witcher 3 or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which have heavy-hitting graphics that can only be appreciated on an equally good monitor.
A good monitor is a fast one. The right model should have refresh rates that run up to 240Hz, with response times that are no slower than 1ms. To this end, tech writers from Esquire Magazine recommend ASUS’ ROG Swift PG258Q. It may not boast 4K resolution like most screens on the market, but it does have that 240Hz refresh rate—which is all you need for smooth, no-lag gameplay.
Find an appropriate controller
Sure, you can always play with the standard Xbox controller that came with your console, but the best gamers know that there’s always a better option on the market. For instance, those with a serious appetite for the most high-end experience available would want to invest in a gamepad. These devices – like the Xbox Elite Series 2 – has rubber grips, swappable controls, and programmable inputs—all features that will refine any gamer’s experience.
Meanwhile, those who want an undisturbed game-day would instead opt for a wired controller, if only for its seamless inputs and unlimited battery life. All in all, it depends what your home gaming set-up looks like, how far you’re situated from the screen, and what kind of games you play.
Invest in an ergonomic chair
If your equipment isn’t optimized for comfort, then you’re going to have a hard time playing all day. True enough, sports medicine physician Dominic King found that gamers are prone to back and neck strain, which is typically caused by improper posture. This is why Dr. King recommends that gamers invest in ergonomic chairs to reduce the pressure on one’s body. Ergonomic chairs go all the way up to $1000, yet you don’t need to break the bank to save your back. A feature on office setup ideas by HP notes that there are affordable ergonomic gaming chairs like the Noblechairs Icon and Secretlab Titan that are perfect for gamers. While not as flashy as your typical gaming chair, they’re still made with quality foam that helps the chairs retain their shape. This encourages proper posture, allowing you to play comfortably for hours on end.
Get the proper headset
While premium headphones tend to be comfier than your typical gaming headset, they sometimes lack the features you’d need for a home gaming set-up. A Rolling Stone article on the best gaming headsets emphasizes the key features you should look for, namely: wired models for lower latency, surround sound for better sound quality, and a microphone for easy network communication. Some headsets to consider are AmazonBasics’ Premium, Razer’s Kraken X, and HyperX’s Cloud II.
The right home gaming set-up doesn’t need flashy, elaborate tech or expensive equipment. All that matters is that it’s well-suited to your tastes, both in design and in function.
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