Few people live and breathe their hobby quite like gamers do. In order to become a professional gamer, you need to be incredibly passionate about gaming, but even if you never intend to go pro in your life, you’re just not doing the games justice if you don’t level up your setup. Improving your gaming experience involves an understanding of how to maximise your enjoyment while gaming, how to build the best setup you can, and how to truly immerse yourself like never before. Here’s how to take your gaming experience to the next level.
Build up some funds first
Believe us when we say that gaming is an expensive hobby. While it won’t run you into the eye-watering amounts that some hobbies require, it’s still going to cost you a pretty penny to get everything you need for the ultimate gaming setup. That’s why you need to build up some funds before you start. If you’re financially solvent and you know you can make the repayments, then an unsecured personal loan could be the perfect way to fund your new setup. Pick the right provider and make sure you can afford to repay the loan at minimum term, then use that cash injection to buy what you’re going to need!
Do away with brand loyalty
One of the ways in which gaming companies sting customers is by practically demanding they show some sort of brand loyalty. Exclusive games are one way in which this is achieved; if you want to play a game, you have to buy a specific console or you won’t get access to it. If you want to supercharge your gaming experience, make sure you have as many of the current gaming machines as possible. It’s a great idea to have a PS5, an Xbox Series X or S, a Switch, and a gaming PC sitting side-by-side, because then you’ll be able to use any of them whenever you like.
Don’t skimp on your entertainment system
A true gaming experience isn’t complete without a monster entertainment system. Contrary to what many companies may have you believe, it is possible to assemble one yourself, and it may not be as expensive as you imagine. A surround sound speaker system and a huge 4K display are must-have devices for your gaming setup; playing expansive experiences like God of War or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a dinky little TV is just selling those games short. Not all options are created equal here, so make sure you do your research first!
Don’t settle for basic peripherals
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the default PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch controllers, they probably won’t suffice if you’re looking for the optimum gaming experience. Microsoft and Nintendo offer premium alternatives to their standard consoles which you should definitely look into, and there are lots of options available for PlayStation gamers as well (although the PS5 market is decidedly more thin right now for obvious reasons). That goes for specialist games like racers or fighting games, too; invest in dedicated peripherals, and you’ll be glad you did.
Get the lighting and mood right
Even with the greatest entertainment system in the world, a poorly-lit room that’s cramped and uninviting can completely ruin your immersion. Try installing dimmer switches and smart lighting in your gaming room so that you can match the light to the game you’re playing. It might also be worth getting blackout blinds or something similar so that you can control the amount of natural light that’s coming into the room. However you do it, you need to make sure the room around you is right for gaming, because otherwise it’s just not going to feel the same.
Hunt for bargains
If you’re like us and you want to play pretty much every game that’s available to you, then it’s crucial to look for bargains wherever you can. Don’t pick up new games for the eye-wateringly expensive price the shops are asking. Wait for them to drop in price (as they inevitably will) and pick them up when they do, or watch the digital storefronts to look for sales. Even Nintendo, who are usually stubborn about price drops and sales, will discount their games from time to time, so you can always grab a game for less than you think you need to pay.
Get a good headset
Nobody wants to play Apex Legends or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with someone who’s using a poor-quality headset mic. If you’re a multiplayer fiend and you love to get some competitive gaming in, be sure to grab an upgrade for whatever your default headset is. Some consoles don’t come with headsets, while others simply include extremely basic options to get you started. It’s always worth upgrading, because a clear mic and a headset with great sound quality can be the difference between victory and defeat when every bullet matters.
Talk to your friends about games
If you really want to take your gaming experience to the next level, then it’s time to get critical. Gaming is, after all, an art form, and like any other art form, it should be subject to analysis and criticism. When you love or hate a game you play, ask yourself why. Are the mechanics and the narrative misaligned? Does the risk-reward relationship feel lopsided? Are the microtransactions just too intrusive? There’s always a reason behind how you feel, and if you really love gaming, you owe it to yourself to become as informed and intellectual about the art form as possible!