There's nothing quite like PC gaming, being able to sit at your display for hours on end with your favorite MMORPG or first-person shooter, engaging in battle with friends or working cohesively as a unit. And there are a number of pre-made gaming rigs that help you get the most out of each experience, like some of Alienware's highly priced – but worth every penny – set-ups.
Sometimes you just need a little something extra to get the most out of your in-game performance, whether it's a custom keyboard that lets you do things your way, a special headset to immerse you in your gaming world, or a control option that lets your competition know you aren't messing around. It's nice to be prepared, and, provided you have the extra moolah to really get your custom rig going, it'll really go a long way for you.
Here now are a list of must-have PC essentials, whether you have to buy them separately from your computer system, or if you're building one of your own and want the ultimate equipment for it. You'll thank us the next time you're on a raid in World of Warcraft.
Razer Naga Expert MMO Gaming Mouse
It used to be at one point in PC gaming that all you needed on a mouse was a click wheel and two functional buttons. But, as you can probably guess, it's changed significantly since that time, with the requirement for separate buttons for spell casting, attacking and other functions. That's where Razer's Naga Expert MMO Gaming Mouse stands out, a beautiful green and black model with multiple number buttons on the side, as well as the traditional functions up top. The feel for the mouse is exquisite, and the buttons surprisingly don't over-complicate the functionality of it, despite how it appears. It's a bit costly at $80, but well worth it if you don't feel like tapping away at a keyboard and a mouse.
The R.A.T. 7
If you prefer a mouse that you can tinker with to feel exactly how you want it to feel, your best bet is the R.A.T. 7 from MadCatz. Though it looks like a weird Transformer-esque prototype at first, you'll soon discover that the R.A.T. is heavily customizable with so many parts that you can finagle around so it does precisely what you want it to. And, honestly, how many mice out there come with such a cool option as the wing grip? Finally, your pinky gets something to do! The extra snipe button, which allows you to move with utmost precision during certain segments of the game, is also a plus (and perfect for snipers in Call of Duty and Battlefield games). This is a sweet little device, even if it does look like it's going to crumble at any given second. Don't let that fool you.
Logitech G19 Keyboard
Even though Logitech has announced that it's looking to move out of the PC peripheral business (due to a lackluster 2012 sales period), that shouldn't stop you from investing in what could easily be the most valuable gaming keyboard on the planet. The G19 is a thing of beauty, featuring a customizable coloring system that lets you choose the right tone for your gaming, as well as a sweet LCD GamePanel screen up top, which works as a second display for inventory and other notification systems. And with a total of 36 programmable buttons, your dominance won't stop, no matter what you're playing. It's pretty much priced as the Cadillac of keyboards, but you'll definitely get mileage out of it.
Let's say that you're taking part in an online skirmish, but you find that your keyboard isn't quite delivering the functionality that you're looking for, or you just need extra buttons that are outside of reach. With that, say hello to your new best friend with the Razer Nostromo, a secondary set of keys that sit comfortably right next to your keyboard – or maybe even for your free hand to use. With 16 fully programmable keys, an ergonomic set-up with easy reach, light up buttons and configurator software that comes at no additional charge, the Nostromo is one exceptional piece of equipment. The programmable thumb pad is a nice bonus as well. If you're serious about games, you should easily consider the Nostromo.
SteelSeries Diablo III Headset and Mouse
If you're a Diablo fan, have we got a must-have duo for you. First, there's the Diablo III headset, which features light-up speakers that activate whenever in-game effects or chat is happening, as well as comfortable earcups that don't wear down on you over time, and a retractable microphone that doesn't get in the way of the slick speaker design. It's wired, and only with a few small feet of cable, but it's ideal for playing through Blizzard's latest opus with your friends.
Why stop your Diablo love there? The Diablo III mouse is perfect for those late night sessions, as it glows ominously with both the game logo and mouse button. It's also quite precise for a gaming mouse, reading all your actions without any lag whatsoever.
The set will cost you just under $200, but true devotees to the world of Diablo shouldn't be without either one.
Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset
Finally, while we're talking gaming headsets, we'd be fools if we didn't throw a recommendation out to Astro Gaming, who are quickly becoming one of the premiere headset makers for the PC market. Though its latest headset, the A50, is missing the customizable magnetic tags that go on the sides of the headset, the quality of audio more than makes up for it, with 5.6 GHZ wireless technology, built-in Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound support (perfect for both games and movies), a supplementary mixamp that lets you customize your experience however you please, and, best of all, ideal comfort, even during your most heated gaming sessions. This headset is quite pricey, clocking in at just over $300, but if it's quality you're after, the A50's are the way to go.