Video gaming has never been as accessible as it is today. It’s no longer the exclusive domain of tech enthusiasts, with people from all walks of life getting involved. Cheaper prices for computers, the roll-out of internet connections to more of the world, and the widespread adoption of smartphones have all played a significant role in this.
Free-to-play games have also made a big difference. Players are no longer required to commit to spending $50 (or more) on a game before they know whether they’ll enjoy it. Someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to commit to a game because of work commitments or a busy personal life is also unlikely to be keen on spending such an amount.
However, despite this, there continues to be a huge market for people who take their gaming very seriously. These are people who want the best graphics, the lowest lag, and the highest frame rates when they play. They’re also often prepared to spend top dollar to shave off fractions of a second in their reactions while playing, something that could mean the difference between virtual life or death.
If you are one of these people, then here are some of the best gadgets to help take your gaming to a new level.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router
When you’re gaming, there’s nothing worse than being about to take out an enemy when suddenly you’re transported to the other end of the map, or your character becomes unresponsive because of a drop in your internet connection.
Having a high “ping” is something that gamers dread and there are many steps you can take to prevent it.
One of these tricks is to use a gaming router. As well as looking space-age thanks to their dozens of antennas, gaming routers are designed to cope with the demands that gaming places on your internet connection, give you more control over your home network, and house a larger number of ethernet ports so you can connect more hardware directly to the router.
ViewSonic Elite XG270QG
There’s not much point in having a powerful graphics card if it’s outputting onto an old monitor that can’t display the game you’re playing in all its glory. So you need a quality gaming monitor.
One of the best on the market at the moment is the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. It has a maximum refresh rate of 165 Hz and a resolution of 2560×1440. Although this isn’t quite full 4K resolution, it’s hard to tell this on a 27” IPS monitor. It supports G-SYNC natively and is compatible with the FreeSync standard, so you can benefit from the variable refresh rates of modern graphics cards.
To take your gaming up another notch, getting two of these monitors could give you the upper hand in some games. For example, if you’re playing poker, you may want to have a guide to the things you should consider while in a game. Alternatively, those playing racing games may benefit from having the circuit’s map open on another screen while they’re learning a new track.
Philips ACC2310 Foot Control
Manufacturers of gaming products have spent years adding more and more hotkey buttons to gaming mice and keyboards. We’ve gone from a couple of extra buttons under our thumb to gaming mice that look like they have a telephone keypad stuck to their side.
These are useful, as they can let us activate in-game menus or features without having to take our hands away from direction controls and the vital trigger button. The law of diminishing returns has begun to kick in, as having too many buttons can be just as confusing and lead to gamers pressing the wrong one.
One solution to this is the Philips ACC2310 Foot Control device. It connects to your computer and sits under your desk, providing three foot-controlled buttons for you to hit while you play.
Technically, this device is designed for those who work in transcription, as it gives them the ability to pause, start, and fast forward a recording as they type. However, it can just as easily be repurposed to give you quick access to a melee attack or lob a grenade while playing shooter games.