The Optimum Guide to Gaming Accessories
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Technically, all you need to play video games is a game and something to play it on. And while you could get away with a Playstation, a copy of Call of Duty and a TV, you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Gaming accessories—a great sounding headset, a custom controller, a good chair—can all serve to enhance your gaming experience.
But where should you start? That all depends on what kind of games you play and what system you're playing those games on. Whether you're a PC gamer who needs a new mechanical keyboard and mouse combo, a Halo devotee looking for a headset to give you an edge in multiplayer, or someone who's tired of switching out the batteries in their Xbox controller, there's a gaming accessory for you. Read on for Optimum's favorites.
When you make your list of gaming setup accessories, a good chair should be close to the top. Unless you game exclusively on your couch, it's one of the most universal accessories you can buy. And your spine will thank you for spending hours in an ergonomic chair.
Racing Gaming Chair
The most common style of gaming chair is often called a "racing chair," thanks to race car seat-inspired styling. There are a ton of brands to choose from in the space, but your best option is SecretLab. Their Omega and Titan chairs have set the standard for racing-style gaming chairs, no one else comes close to their quality and comfort.
Embody Gaming Chair
If ergonomics is your primary concern and you've got money to spend, consider the Hermann Miller Embody. The famed desk chair maker teamed up with gaming accessories brand Logitech to make a gaming version of their top-of-the-line chair, and the results are spectacular. There's likely not a more comfortable chair in the world. That comfort will cost you: the Embody clocks in at over $1600.
Gaming Chair Accessories
Now we're getting into accessories for accessories! While there aren't a plethora of gaming chair accessories, there are a few worth considering. An ergonomic footrest like this one from Mind Reader ensures that your posture is as healthy as possible. A floor mat is also essential. They’ll protect hard floors and make it easier to move a chair on carpet.
PS4 and PS5 Accessories
If you mostly play on one of Sony’s two Playstation consoles, you’ll be spoiled for choice—there are countless accessories to choose from.
PS4 and PS5 headsets
A headset with a microphone is an essential purchase for PlayStation gamers, especially those that play online. The PS4 comes with a functional, if uncomfortable, single-earbud microphone. The PS5 doesn't come with a microphone at all. Sony makes excellent headsets for both consoles: the Gold Wireless Headset for PS4 and the PULSE 3D Wireless Headset for the PS5. Upgrade to one of those—you’ll thank us later.
PS4 and PS5 controllers
The best Playstation controller upgrade is to just buy an extra controller and perhaps a charging station to keep them topped up. The base DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers are excellent, and most gamers won't need to upgrade them. For hardcore Call of Duty players or aspiring esports pros, third-party options like the Razer Raiju Ultimate or Scuf Impact are worth a look.
PS4 and PS5 cameras, stands, and more
Sony sells official cameras for both the PS4 and PS5, so pick one up if you plan on becoming a streaming superstar (or just want to video chat with friends). For the PS4, a console stand is an easy upgrade. Finally, there's Playstation VR. The Sony-made VR headset allows you to step into the world of virtual reality gaming on your Playstation. It's an incredible experience, but one that's soon to be outdated. The current PS VR headset is very old, and Sony is hard at work on a new one. We'd wait for the new one before making a purchase. For more, check out our guide to VR gaming.
As with Sony's console, the number of Xbox accessories to choose from borders on overwhelming. With that said, Microsoft does make life a bit easier: most Xbox One accessories are compatible with the Series X|S (they’ve even made a list!). Here are a few of our favorites.
Back in the days of the Xbox 360, Microsoft included a headset with every console. Unfortunately, they no longer do that. They do, however, sell the excellent Xbox Wireless Headset. A Bluetooth wireless headset for $100 is an excellent deal and an easy choice for any Xbox owner.
A good charging station is a key Xbox accessory. Unlike the Playstation, Xbox controllers run on two double-A batteries. Grab the Power A charging station and replace those batteries with rechargeable power packs.
For controller upgrades, Microsoft’s premium Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is worth a look. It's loaded with customization options-you can switch thumbsticks, adjust trigger tension, and reconfigure buttons on the fly. Outside of Microsoft, Razer’s Wolverine V2 is an excellent esports-focused upgrade.
With game sizes regularly pushing 100 gigabytes, storage is at a premium. Both the Xbox One and X|S support external hard drives. An option like this Western Digital external will make your storage problems disappear. The X|S also supports these official storage expansion cards. They’re pricey but will perform exactly like the hard drives that come with an Xbox.
PC Gaming Accessories
Customizing your PC gaming setup is practically a rite of passage. We could write multiple guides on PC gaming accessories alone. Instead, we narrowed it down to the three most important parts of a PC gaming setup (beyond the PC, of course): headsets, mice, and keyboards.
PC gaming headsets
Wired or wireless? If you're buying a PC gaming headset, that's the most important question to ask yourself. Wireless headsets offer freedom of movement, though they need to be charged and unless you're willing to spend quite a bit, have lower-quality sound. Wired headsets offer excellent sound quality, but require you to remain tethered to your PC.
There's no right answer here. For wireless headsets, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless offers an exceptional combination of comfort, sound, and price. The beyerdynamic MMX 300 is wired and more expensive than the Cloud II but provide premium, audiophile-grade sound.
PC gaming mice and mousepads
Unlike headsets, there's no reason not to get a wireless mouse. Wireless sensors are just as accurate as traditional wired mice, and the vast majority of wireless mice are usable while they're plugged in and charging. You're essentially getting a wired and wireless mouse in one. Ultra lightweight mice are all the rage at the moment, the Glorious Model O Wireless and Logitech Pro X Superlight are the two best options in that category. If you don't mind a mouse that weighs a few more grams than those two, the Logitech G Pro Wireless is fantastic. No matter which you pick, grab a big mousepad like the SteelSeries QcK to go with it.
PC gaming keyboards
Keyboards are another topic we could write an entire article about. It's a space that's easy to get lost in, so just keep one thing in mind: you want a mechanical keyboard. That means that each key uses a mechanical switch. Mechanical switches last longer, feel better and are much easier to type on than the membrane and scissor switches featured in most run of the mill desktop and laptop keyboards.
There are three types of switches. Linear switches have a smooth press all the way through and are very quiet. Clicky switches have a noticeable "bump" when you press down and are loud and clicky. Tactile switches keep the "bump" from clicky switches but are much quieter.
Most gamers will want linear or tactile switches. For a keyboard, look no further than the Glorious GMMK. it comes in three different sizes and offers a ton of customization options. Importantly, it's also "hot swappable," meaning you can replace the switches as you see fit. It's an awesome gaming keyboard and an even better entry to the world of mechanical keyboards in general.
This just scratches the surface of the wide world of gaming accessories. We haven't even touched racing wheels, flight simulator joysticks, or gaming glasses. But those are specialized accessories for very specific people. For the average gamer, the above list will serve you just fine.
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