Just like a soldier gearing up before deployment or a chef entering the kitchen with their favorite high-quality knife set, the equipment you use when you get serious about your chosen trade or craft is no less important when it comes to gaming, particularly if you’re playing an online competitive game. You need peripherals for your PC that work for you and are comfortable to use for hours on end. Let’s have a look at five of these peripherals and how to choose the best of each for your needs.
It’s time you left the realm of inexpensive membrane office keyboards behind to wade into the muddy waters of the mechanical switch found in more mid to high end gaming keyboards. Mechanical key switches offer less resistance to downward force and better responsiveness than membrane keyboards, meaning when you start to really get your fingers moving and pressing different keys, the mechanical keyboard will keep up without a problem, all while producing a satisfying tactile and audible click with every keypress.
Mechanical switches come in many different options, and the most popular manufacturer of these switches, Chery, color codes their switches based on their tactile feel, actuation force and audible clicky-ness. Finding the right switch, and thereby the right keyboard for you, means trying some out at your local computer hardware store for feel. Arguably the most popular are the Chery MX Red switches, which offer a nice click and low actuation force for a great feel when gaming.
Here’s the thing about the gaming mouse – they differ so drastically from option to option that understanding all the differences is almost impossible, but at their core, they need to do only three things well. They need to glide on your chosen mouse surface with precision and accuracy, they need to be comfortable to wear, and they need their buttons to be in intuitive places and respond to your clicks with millisecond timing.
Some mice might feature rubber grips, extra buttons and RGB lighting with complex and detailed customization software, but you need to know two things when you choose a gaming mouse. The sensor type used to hold significance in the choice of mouse, with some users preferring laser or optical sensors, but these days mouse sensors are so good and offer such high degrees of accuracy that they can detect the tiniest of movement no matter the sensor type – a far cry from the rubber ball mice of old. Because we’re talking about a gaming mouse, most will rule out a wireless option in favor of the faster polling rates offered by corded mice, though there is some room for argument in this particular area.
Another consideration is your grip, of which there are three more common variations. The palm grip, where your hand lies flat on the mouse lends itself to a less sculpted, lower profile mouse design while the tip and claw grips offer themselves better to rounded, sculpted mouse designs. Identify your grip and choose your mouse accordingly.
There’s less to worry about when it comes to your mousepad as you only really have two real options. You’ll find that most manufacturers will produce both a speed mousepad, designed for easy and resistance-free gliding, and a control mousepad, designed more for precision and aim. Which one is better for you depends completely on your personal preference, your play style and which genre of game you’re playing. This is something you’ll need to try out, but thankfully these mousepads are cheap enough to allow some experimentation. Don’t forget to choose something that looks good!
With the right combination of mouse and mousepad, you’ll have the most important tools to play games for real money on Unikrn’s UMode service, where you can wager your real money on your performance in game and bet on your next game on many different popular online competitions.
Your headset is more than just something that will play your game sounds for you in high fidelity. It’s a weapon of war just as important as your keyboard and your mouse. It’ll have a microphone for communicating with your teammates and it will let you hear those soft footsteps of the enemy walking or running around you, giving you vital information about their whereabouts. Choose a headset that is comfortable and has good padding for those marathon sessions, as well as something with a good mic so you can be heard and understood even when you’re talking softly or shouting with excitement.
The only real consideration other than that is whether you want a closed-back earcup style to immerse yourself in the game, or you want an open back earcup where you can hear both your game and what’s going on around you outside of the game – useful if you’re in the same room as your team.
Armed with the perfect mouse and keyboard setup, paired with a great pair of headphones and a crystal-clear screen, you only have your skills to blame for your poor performances because if you win, it’s obviously because of that gaming mouse!