A few weeks ago, Razer sent us a deluxe model Razer Blade Pro PC gaming laptop, a sleek device specifically built for PC gaming.
That said, we put together a beginner’s guide in case you’re getting into PC gaming for the first time. There are a few basic things you’ll want to understand, as well as some tips on how to set up the Steam and Origin services – so feel free to add these to your notes.
Don’t Dive Head First Into a Custom Unit
If you’re just getting started with a gaming computer, you shouldn’t worry about making yourself a custom rig right away. There’s so much to learn when it comes to what makes a computer tick, including memory/RAM, motherboards and central processing units. It’s best to go slow and steady.
Shop around. See what’s being offered before you immediately rush out and buy all these parts, or invest in a heavily priced pre-built unit by the likes of Alienware or Dell before you know what kind of experience you want.
One thing you should do is stop at a LAN center, as there are still several across the country that cater to PC gamers, as well as casual ones who come in for a couple hours at a time. Ask them what kind of unit is best to start off with, and be sure to get details on specs.
That said, don’t buy something that won’t run the hottest titles. Try to set aside an adequate spending amount for your gaming PC, and research what would be the right experience for you. While you’re at this LAN center, try out several games and see if anything stands out.
What Kind of Gaming Experience Do You Want?
PC gaming means different things to different people. Some are happy messing around with games like Angry Birds and offerings from the PopCap library, while others want to create a deep, fast-moving experience that lets them level up like a pro.
If you’re happy jumping into a game of poker or a puzzler that’ll keep you entertained for a few hours, you’ll be fine with a moderate offering. If you’re up for a higher-end game like Battlefield 3, you might need to put some more cash down for better parts, especially that CPU.
Cloud Gaming is Your Friend
When taking game sessions into consideration, it doesn’t have to be about buying $60 titles right away. OnLive, despite its ups and downs with behind-the-scenes purchases, built a solid library of games. For $10 a month, you can access its PlayPack, which enables you to play hundreds of titles for unlimited hours.
Since everything is Cloud based, you don’t have to worry too much about processors or internal parts to make the experience go. Give it a try.
Getting Started With Steam and Origin
Valve’s Steam service is easily the most popular for online PC players. Its community is vast, and if you couldn’t tell over the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in its massive summer sales.
Getting into Steam for the first time is easy. Simply register for an account, and when prompted for purchase, enter your credit card info. From there, you can add friends, post on subject boards for particular titles and buy games on-the-cheap.
Origin is a good service as well, one that’s on the rise with a huge number of EA offerings as well as others from third parties. Its registry is a bit trickier than Steam, but once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to classics and new titles.
Other retailers offer digital purchases, including Amazon, Gamestop and GreenManGaming. It never hurts to look around and see what’s out there.
Important note, though – make sure you know your specs once your game machine is set. Some games will require you to meet a particular minimum and have free hard drive space to run them. Keep a close eye on your computer’s capacity and performance set-up, then get to gaming.
With a good gaming PC, you’ll want to have a trusty mouse nearby, as it’ll make all the difference from using a routine touch-pad – especially if you’re playing a first-person shooter. SteelSeries makes some fine gaming mice, including custom Diablo III and Call of Duty: Black Ops II products.
For that matter, look into traditional controllers as well. Microsoft’s Windows Xbox 360 controller is a premiere choice, especially with action games like Darksiders II and Saints Row IV. You’ll thank us later.
Don’t forget to have fun, too. That’s what PC gaming is all about.