PC Gaming 101: Things Newbies Should Remember
If you’re new to PC gaming, you’ve got a LOT of things to learn, but many of them can be mastered while you’re playing. The following considerations are offered by experienced gamers to newbies who are planning to get serious with their preferred PC games:
Table of Contents
Is Your Computer Capable?
If you’ve been using your computer for work in the last couple of years, there’s a 50/50 chance that it isn’t powerful enough to play some of the modern games we have in the market right now.
Of course, if your work heavily involves graphics, such as CAD or video editing, your computer is likely equipped to accommodate graphic-heavy games. If not, here are some components to check:
- Storage: For many years, there was only a Hard Disk Drive where you install all programs and save your files in. The HDD was designed with a mechanical arm that reads data from a spinning disk. In recent years, the faster SSD (solid-state drive) allows users to boost their computers more quickly, open programs without lag, and move from one app to the next seamlessly. SSDs are often used together with HDDs, wherein the SSD boosts programs up, while HDD serves as main storage. There is also the smallest, fastest and most expensive NVMe SSD but they’re not as popular yet.
- Graphics Card (GPU): The brain of your computer, the CPU tells all other components what to do. There are plenty of graphic card options, so consider your budget and games to play when choosing. GPU with more threads can interact with multiple programs and games simultaneously, but those with higher clock speed are known to improve game performance.
- Memory (RAM): RAM (or Random Access Memory) may only be the storage used temporarily or short-term while a particular program runs, but it is just as important as your storage. This is because having a powerful memory (somewhere around 16GB) ensures you’ll be able to run multiple programs simultaneously without experiencing any lags.
If you’re upgrading many components, make sure to also check if your PSU (Power Supply Unit) can still accommodate the power consumption of your PC components.
You don’t know this yet, but PC gaming is going to keep you awake for days.
If you don’t have a comfortable set-up yet, invest in a good table, a comfortable ergonomic chair, proper lighting, a monitor stand (or swivel).
For some people, it would take a few trial-and-errors to get to the perfect table-to-chair height. Some even may consider a standing table to encourage moving around (and preventing back pains and other issues connected to sitting down for hours on end).
If minimalism is a priority for you, it might be harder to find comfortable gaming furniture for your setup, but they’re available.
Invest in Your Connection
Even if you can use a wired connection for playing games on your computer, you can still improve your internet connection. This is especially true if your PC game requires connectivity (some are playable without internet).
So what can you do?
- Invest in wi-fi extenders or repeaters (if you’re using wi-fi as your main connection)
- Replace your router with an up-to-date model.
- Check router settings for possible issues
Accessorize like a Pro
Additional fans may seem like overkill to someone who isn’t playing, but it is actually a pretty good investment.
You see, when your computer’s temperature gets too high, the CPU automatically reduces its performance as a self-preservation technique (and keeps the chip from melting itself). Installing additional fans or water cooling devices provide heat management and in turn ensures your games play at optimal performance.
Amp up Your Gaming Experience
If you still feel like something is missing, maybe you have to upgrade or add the following:
- A high-resolution monitor or second monitor. Investing in one doesn’t just ensure you see the game as it was intended, but a high-resolution monitor also prevents eye strain.
- Game controllers, gaming keypads, mechanical keyboards, an ergonomic mouse, cronus zen xbox one and so on. You’ll find yourself getting better at any game once you’ve begun using a controller, keyboard, or mouse designed for the gaming world. If you’re obsessed with racing, there are also driving wheel accessories you can check out.
- A good set of speakers, or a gaming headset. Games are carefully developed to wake up the gamer’s senses – this includes your hearing. If your sound system isn’t that good, there’s a good chance you’re not experiencing the game properly.
- Oversized mouse pad or mat. Because it’s just super-comfy than the tiny, traditional mouse pad.
You’ve invested in a TON of PC parts and accessories, but most people don’t prepare for PC maintenance. Something like an electric duster to clean both the CPU and keyboard, or a screwdriver kit to be able to open up your case sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many beginner gamers are left unprepared.