What do you need for a Gaming Setup? - A Complete Guide

By The IFTTT Team

July 10, 2024

What do you need for a Gaming Setup? - A Complete Guide
  • So, you've decided to get serious about gaming. Congratulations, you are joining a community of millions of global gamers who also love building the perfect setup for whatever games float their boat. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or a newbie, the right equipment can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

    Creating the perfect gaming setup can be a thrilling yet daunting task. The last thing you would want is to build a setup that doesn't fit your needs or make a costly mistake when setting up your computer system. But don't fear, in this guide, we'll dive into all the essentials of a gaming setup. We'll explore everything from the core components like PCs and consoles to peripherals like monitors and keyboards.

    We'll also discuss the importance of comfort and ergonomics, and how to create an immersive gaming environment. Finally, we'll talk about how our free automation software IFTTT helps millions of gamers bring their setups to the next level. So, let's embark on this journey to create your ideal gaming setup.

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    Understanding gaming setup essentials


    A gaming setup is more than just a PC or console. It's a combination of various components that work together to provide an optimal experience. Some gamers prefer complex setups with a lot of bells and whistles, while others work best with a more minimalist and practical scattering of devices.

    First, the core of your setup will be a high-performance gaming PC or console, like an Xbox or PlayStation. This is where the magic happens, running your games smoothly and efficiently (hopefully most of the time). It's generally agreed upon that your PC or console should be the biggest investment in your setup.

    Peripherals like monitors, keyboards, and mice play a significant role too. They provide the interface between you and your games, allowing you to interact and control the gameplay. You'll obviously need something to see the game on, so monitors are essential, but there is more wiggle room on what you choose.

    Comfort is the last key aspect. A good gaming chair and desk can make long gaming sessions much more enjoyable. Also, enhancing your setup with the right lighting, sound system, and accessories can take your gaming experience to a whole new level.

    Here are the key components of a gaming setup:

    • Gaming PC or console
    • Monitor or TV
    • Keyboard and mouse
    • Gaming chair and desk
    • Sound system
    • Lighting and accessories

    The core of your gaming setup: PC or console


    The heart of any gaming setup is the device that runs the games. This could be a gaming PC or a console, depending on your preference. A gaming PC offers flexibility and power. You can customize it to meet your specific needs and upgrade components as new technology becomes available. A good gaming PC can also be used for work or school as well, whereas a console cannot.

    On the other hand, consoles are more straightforward. They offer a plug-and-play experience, with less need for technical knowledge. Many games are exclusively made for consoles, and the controller style means almost anyone can pick one up and start playing.

    Both options have their pros and cons. The choice depends on your gaming style, budget, and technical expertise.

    Choosing the right gaming PC

    When choosing a gaming PC, several factors come into play. The most important are the CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage.

    CPU (Central Processing Unit)

    The CPU is the brain of the computer. It handles most of the general-purpose processing tasks, including game logic, AI, physics calculations, and more. A powerful CPU is essential for ensuring smooth gameplay, especially in CPU-intensive games or scenarios involving complex calculations and multitasking (e.g., streaming while gaming).

    GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

    The GPU is crucial for rendering detailed graphics and providing high frame rates. A high-performance GPU allows for better visual effects, higher resolutions, and smoother gameplay, which are critical for an immersive gaming experience.

    RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM is the system's short-term memory, used to store data that the CPU needs quick access to while performing tasks. It helps in running applications and processes efficiently. Sufficient RAM ensures that games load quickly and run smoothly without lag.


    The main types of storage in gaming computers are HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) and SSDs (Solid State Drives). Hard drives tend to be slower but cheaper, while SSDs are much more expensive but with added performance.

    Remember, a gaming PC is an investment. Choose components that will last and can handle future game releases.

    Console gaming: picking your platform

    If you prefer console gaming, you have several options. The PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch are the most popular. Each console has its unique features and game library, so choose the one that best fits your gaming preferences.

    Xbox Series X

    The Xbox Series X represents Microsoft's latest entry in the console market, offering a robust gaming setup for enthusiasts. The Series X is the powerhouse with a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU, delivering impressive 4K gaming at up to 120 fps. Its high-speed NVMe SSD ensures rapid load times and smooth gameplay.

    These consoles benefit from Microsoft's extensive ecosystem, including Xbox Game Pass, which grants access to a vast library of games, making it a compelling choice for gamers seeking a rich and seamless experience.

    PlayStation 5

    Sony's PlayStation 5 is a formidable competitor in the gaming console arena, known for its exclusive titles and advanced hardware. Equipped with a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU, the PS5 excels in delivering high-fidelity visuals and smooth performance. Its ultra-fast SSD significantly reduces load times, enhancing the overall gaming experience. The PS5 also features innovative DualSense controllers with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, providing a more immersive gameplay experience.

    Nintendo Switch The Nintendo Switch offers a unique gaming setup with its hybrid design, allowing it to function as both a home console and a portable device. While not as powerful as the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, the Switch features a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor that handles Nintendo's diverse library of games with ease. Its versatility is a major selling point, with the ability to seamlessly switch between docked and handheld modes.

    Visuals and audio: monitors, TVs, and sound systems


    Visuals and audio are key to an immersive gaming experience. The right monitor or TV can make a world of difference in your gameplay. For PC gamers, a monitor with a high refresh rate and low response time is ideal. These features reduce motion blur and input lag, providing a smoother gaming experience. Console gamers, on the other hand, might prefer a large TV. Look for one with a good contrast ratio and color accuracy for the best visuals.

    For audio, you have two main options: headsets and speakers. Both can provide immersive audio, but they offer different experiences. A headset provides a more personal and immersive experience. It's also a must if you play multiplayer games and need to communicate with your team. Speakers, on the other hand, can fill your room with sound and are great for single-player games or when you want to share the gaming experience with others.

    Input devices: keyboards, mice, and controllers


    Input devices are your main tools for interacting with games. The right keyboard, mouse, or controller can truly make a difference in your performance in high-stakes moments.

    For PC gamers, a good gaming keyboard and mouse are essential. They offer features like programmable keys, adjustable sensitivity settings, and ergonomic designs that can improve your gaming experience. Typically, you'll have to choose between membrane keyboards, which are quiet but less responsive, and mechanical, which are louder but more responsive. Console controllers can also be rigged to your PC setup if you desire.

    Console gamers, on the other hand, will need a reliable controller. Some may also benefit from a keyboard and mouse, depending on the games they play. Regardless of your platform, it's important to choose input devices that feel comfortable for long gaming sessions.

    Comfort and ambiance


    Comfort, ergonomics, and ambiance are some of the most underappreciated roles in any gaming setup. They can affect your gaming performance and even your overall health.

    A good gaming chair is more than just a seat. It's a tool that can enhance your gaming experience and protect your health. They can help prevent common issues like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Gaming chairs are designed to provide support and comfort during long gaming sessions. They often feature adjustable parts, high-quality padding, and ergonomic designs. When choosing a chair and desk, consider their adjustability, support, and size. They should fit your body type and the space you have available.

    Your gaming desk is the foundation of your setup. It should provide enough space for your equipment and be comfortable to use. Make sure to use good cable management to keep your desk clean and organized.

    The right lighting can make a big difference in your gaming setup. It can create an immersive atmosphere and reduce eye strain. Consider using adjustable desk lamps or LED strips. They can provide the right amount of light and add a touch of personal style to your setup.

    Budgeting for your gaming setup


    Creating a gaming setup can no doubt be an expenditure, especially if you look up to gamers with top-of-the-line equipment. However, oftentimes you can get a great setup on a budget, and an average gamer doesn't need the best of everything to have fun.

    It's important to set a budget before you start buying anything. This can help you prioritize your purchases and avoid overspending.

    Here are some factors to consider when budgeting:

    • The cost of the PC or console
    • The price of peripherals like monitors, keyboards, and mice
    • The cost of a gaming chair and desk
    • The price of any additional accessories or enhancements

    How much does a gaming setup cost?

    The cost of a gaming setup can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. A basic setup with a mid-range PC, monitor, keyboard, and mouse can cost around $1,500. A high-end setup with a powerful PC, multiple monitors, and premium peripherals can cost over $3,000.

    Remember, you don't have to buy everything at once. You can start with the essentials and gradually upgrade your setup over time.

    Tips for finding deals and saving money

    There are several ways to save money when building your gaming setup. One way is to look for deals and discounts online, and if you are open to buying second-hand, there are lots of good deals out for the taking.

    Additionally, many retailers offer sales during holidays or special events. So when the holiday season comes around, don't be afraid to treat yourself. Above all, remember to put most of your budget towards the important parts of the setup, namely a good PC, keyboard/mouse, and display.

    Better gaming with IFTTT

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    If you are a gamer, you already know how important it is for things to run smoothly. Whether it be getting notified when a new game drops, or automatically updating a game, IFTTT can help you focus on taking home more digital trophies.

    Simply put, IFTTT (If This Then That) is our free web-based platform that allows you to create automated workflows that can help you save time and stay organized. The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example.

    Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.

    Top Applets for Gamers


    Automatically post on Twitter when you start streaming on Twitch

    Who has time to Tweet when the latest game is waiting to be played?! Turn on this Applet and your Twitter followers will automatically be alerted when you start streaming with this Tweet and a link to your Twitch channel: "I'm now streaming on Twitch! Playing [Name of game]"

    If my character is killed in Rust send me a notification

    Make sure you know when your character is killed by getting a push notification anytime your character is killed in-game

    Remind me to download free Xbox Games on the 16th of every month

    Xbox Live gold members get free games twice a month. Don't forget to log in and claim them with this handy recipe.

    Mail me free games with Steam keys posted to /r/gamedeals

    This applet will send you an email anytime a free Steam game is posted on r/gamedeals. Because what's better than a free game?

    To enable these applets and millions more (yes, millions), try IFTTT today for free!

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