Whether you’re decking out your brand new gaming PC, or trying to breathe new life into an existing rig, there are plenty of affordable accessories that can spruce things up. You can make do with a clunky keyboard or a bad mic, but just a few strategic purchases can make a world of difference for your gaming experience.
With the accessories below, you can load faster, stream to your TV, control more comfortably, and even jump into virtual reality. And if you’re just on the lookout for gift ideas, this gear will serve the PC enthusiast in your life very well.
As the PS4 has become something close to the “default” console of this generation, the DualShock 4 has seen significantly more traction on the PC than the previous Sony controller ever did. Many newer games support the DS4 right out of the box, and third-party tools like DS4Windows make backwards compatibility much simpler. And besides being a top-notch controller for PC games, it’s the easiest way to play PS3 and PS4 titles on your PC with PlayStation Now and Remote Play. Buy on Amazon for $ 45.99.
Xbox One Controller
While the Xbox One hasn’t been quite as popular as the PS4, the ubiquity of the Xbox 360’s controller on the PC has given Redmond’s newest controller pretty solid momentum. Compatibility is pretty much a non-issue here – especially with first-party Microsoft titles that release on the PC. If you want a straightforward solution, it’s hard to go wrong with this gamepad. Buy on Amazon for $ 49.50.
Playing games on the television while relaxing on the couch is undeniably appealing, but many of us keep our gaming PCs in other rooms. Frankly, schlepping a tower back and forth simply isn’t worth the hassle. Valve saw this problem, and made their own solution: Steam Link. Hook up this tiny box, and the games running on your PC will stream over your network to the TV. And as long as you have a reasonably reliable wired connection, it should work like a charm. Buy on Amazon for $ 30.
Logitech G230 Gaming Headset
If you’re a fan of team-based multiplayer games, a headset is a must-have. When the competition is heated, having a noise-cancelling mic and crystal-clear audio can be the difference between a last-second victory and a stinging defeat. And since this set from Logitech has a 4/5 star average with over 6,000 reviews, it’s a safe bet that the G230 will work well for most gamers. Buy on Amazon for $ 24.99.
Redragon Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo
When you’re buying gaming accessories, utility is important, but there’s nothing wrong with caring about the aesthetics as well. So if you’re into the LED-lit look for your gear, this keyboard and mouse combo from Redragon is worth checking out. Featuring configurable DPI settings, programable buttons, removable weights, and adjustable lighting, you can make a truly custom set-up without having to spend big. Buy on Amazon for $ 31.99.
SteelSeries Mouse Pad
If you’re just using a junky pad from a swag bag as your mousing surface, you’re potentially hampering your gaming performance. For optimal mousing, you really need a large, uniform surface that won’t slide one bit. Thankfully, you won’t need to invest much for a nice mouse pad. This low-cost model from SteelSeries has nearly 10,000 reviews with an impressive 4.5 star average. Buy on Amazon for $ 9.99.
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Solid-State Drive
If you’re still loading games off of a spinning drive, your number one upgrade priority should be an SSD. You can expect faster start-up, more consistent asset streaming, and much shorter load times for a huge swath of titles. You might have to make some sacrifices for the total number of games you keep installed at once, but the boost is absolutely worth dealing with a higher price per GB. Buy on Amazon for $ 139.99.
Oculus Rift and Touch Virtual Reality System
Even though there have been plenty of bumps in the virtual road, VR headsets have become more appealing recently. With a decent library, more compatible hardware in the wild, and some notable price drops, the Rift headset and Touch controllers are pretty darn impressive. Buy on Amazon for $ 399.
Note: Prices, stock, and shipping may fluctuate. See the individual pages for more information.