Gaming is more popular than ever these days, and if you want the most versatile gaming experience you're better off playing on a PC. Not only do you get the option of incredible graphics, there are a whole bunch of different ways to actually play everything. If you're looking for some gear to get you started on PC, or to improve your existing gaming experience, then look no further.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.
If you're gaming on a PC and feel like you really need some new accessories, we've thrown together a list of a few of our favourites. If you have any of your own to share, jump into the comments!
The main way to play games on PC requires the use of a mouse, but there are a lot of them out there and you don't want to end up with one that hurts when you use it. This mouse from Thermaltake is made with ergonomics in mind, letting you adjust the height and angle so that it feels right for you. It also has 11 programmable buttons, five separate memory profiles for your custom buttons, and adjustable DPI.
If you plan on playing with a mouse, you'll also need a keyboard to go with it. Razer is one of the big names in PC gaming, and this one comes with mechanical keys for improved speed, responsiveness, and that satisfactory clicky-clacky noise. It also comes wit programmable backlit keys, to add a bit of colour to your desk.
Steelseries 4HD Gaming Surface Mousepad, from $25
What good is it playing with a high-end mouse if you're using it on a poorly responsive surface like a regular desk? This mousemat offers consistent precision, accuracy, and stability, along with minimal friction, and a texture that's designed to enhance the capabilities of advanced gaming mice.
If you're typically a console gamer, a mouse and keyboard takes a lot of getting used to. So why not get a controller to help ease into the transition? You get all the bonuses of an Xbox 360 controller, but with the bonuses of playing on a PC. If you have an aversion to wires, you can always get yourself a wireless controller instead, but you will need the wireless receiver to get it to work.
Gunnar Optix Gaming Glasses, from $69
If you're staring at a screen all day you're going to end up damaging your eyes, which is why a pair of gaming glasses wouldn't go amiss. Gunnar's gaming glasses help protect your eyes by offering a sharper, clearer view of the screen without you having you put further strain on your eye muscles. They also block out blue light, UV, and glare to protect your eyes from nasty stuff being pumped out by your screen.
Audio is an important part of your gaming, but instead of investing in a huge space-consuming sound system you could just buy a nice headset. The SteelSeries H offers Dolby Virtual 7.1 surround sound, low latency, an adjustable directional microphone, two hot-swappable battery packs (so you'll never have to stop to charge it up), and no pesky wires to get in the way of things.
No wires is great and everything, but good wireless headsets are rarely cheap. Luckily wired headsets are not so unfortunately priced, and if you don't have as much money to spend they're a good option. This one has a built-in battery-powered amplifier for better game sound, a microphone for keeping in touch with your gamemates, and they don't look too shabby either.
So you want to play a game where you're flying, maybe a flight sim or Elite: Dangerous, and you want real immersion. You can't exactly play with a controller or keyboard & mouse, you need a real flight stick. This one is a wired throttle and flight stick with all the switches and and knobs you need, and because it's technically two pieces you can lay them out as you see fit.
Do you not have a mouse with programmable keys? Or are the programmable keys you have not enough? Try one of these. It has 20 programmable keys that you can sort out on the fly, an ergonomic design for hand comfort, customisable backlights, and an LCD display for showing game info and communication from your friends.
Different types of games perform better with different mice, and if you're big on MMOs this is an ideal one for you. It's got 12 programmable macro keys, handily situated on a thumb pad, a tilt-click scroll wheel, a green back light, and a cutting edge sensor for precision and responsiveness.