Whether you are playing a competitive shooter or trying to clear out your quest log, every second counts. The best way to make the most of your gaming time is to carve out a space that balances comfort and technology while keeping the rest of your family in mind.
That way, you can fully enjoy your gaming experience — and still put your family room or livingroom back in order when you’re done. Here are some great gaming room setup ideas to help make your gaming setup more functional.
On The Technology Side of Gaming Room Setup
The latest game consoles like the PS4 Pro, Xbox One S and the upcoming Xbox One X are maximizing the definition of HD TVs and projectors. You get a more visually intense high-resolution 4K experience: better graphics, great contrast and bold color. But the technology is new, and reviews are mixed. If great graphics are important to you, you’ll want to invest in a 4K TV with HDR compatibility to take full advantage of your console’s capabilities.
Soundbars and Surround Sound
Sound is a more important part of the gaming experience than most people think. If you’d like to have great sound when you play, don’t just rely on your TV. Ultra-thin flat screen TVs look impressive, but their sleek shape comes at the expense of sound quality.
The best way to fix the problem? Use a soundbar. Soundbars are an inexpensive augmentation that will help you get immersed in your gaming experience. They also improve sound quality for the rest of your life, like those times when you’re watching Netflix with your significant other.
And if you’d really like to impress your significant other (or get the truly cinematic experience with a game, like Uncharted 4 or Rise of the Tomb Raider) you want 5.1 surround sound. Wireless speakers give you more positioning flexibility without the ugly cables.
Of course, a more cost-effective way to get an immersive sound experience is just to buy a gaming headset. Headsets are great for gaming in shared spaces or during late night sessions, even if you don’t plan to use the mic for multiplayer games. There are tons on the market at all different price points, from the SteelSeries Arctis 7, which was rated as the Best Overall Gaming Headset of 2017, to the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which gets great reviews as a value-conscious choice.
Your Wireless Router
If you are really serious about gaming, a dedicated wireless router is a must-have for online play. But not everyone needs to take it to that level. A dual-band wireless router is a good solution for gamers who need to share their wifi networks with the rest of the family. Dual-band routers work by creating two networks in your home — one you can use for gaming, and one you can use for everything else.
Consoles and PCs are a heavy investment, so you probably don’t need to be told that a surge protector is a good idea. Surge protection for your gaming gear will defend you gear from power outages and surges.
But what’s the right surge protector to protect a gaming system? Look at the product’s Joule rating. The Joule rating tells you how much energy dissipation your surge protector is capable of. Higher Joule ratings mean more surge protection.
A basic power strip might be rated at 400 Joules, but experts recommend protecting high-end gear with more than that. Of course, you have to consider the complete picture — a 2000+ Joule surge protection power strip is safe, but your significant other won’t want you to leave it hanging around on the end table.
Cords (and Hiding Them)
Speaking of that: HDMI cords, power bricks and other random wires will not give your set up a clean look. Make a plan to deal with those wires and cables, to keep your gaming setup sleek and safe. The SANUS on-wall cable tunnel hides up to 8 cables, but there are other nifty ways to hide wires, too.
On the Comfort Side of Your Gamer's Room
While playing online is now the standard, couch co-op is still a nostalgia trip. Unless you are running a Street Fighter tournament, you probably only need four dedicated gaming seats. Arrange seating so you’ll be the ideal distance from your TV. And use a full-motion wall mount so you can tilt and swivel your TV into exactly the right viewing position, whether you’re playing alone or with others.
You might be getting beat by 12 year-olds who have entirely too much time, but at least you can rest assured that you will have the most comfortable gaming space.