Much like films, gaming is at its best when it is fully immersive. Gaming is always looking for ways to put you more and more into the game. Without that sentiment we wouldn’t have equipment like VR and we wouldn’t have games like The Last of Us 2 that goes so far as to allow you to play the guitar with chords and everything! Why do you need to play the guitar during a zombie apocalypse? Who knows? But it’s immersive.
Aside, perhaps, from the apocalyptic backdrop, the world is becoming more and more like Ready Player One, with the experience becoming more and more immersive so that you’ll need to be convinced that you have in fact been sitting in a chair for the last few hours and not battling orcs in Middle Earth.
If you’re looking to make that experience even more immersive, there are some things you can tweak in your set up to make sure that real life doesn’t interfere with your sessions. Read on for all the details.
Have you ever stood up front an intense game and felt like you’d transformed into an 80- year-old? Or maybe you’ve heard all the notches in your spine straighten as you unfold yourself from whatever position you were unknowingly taking as you were playing? Bad posture is something we all get shamed for, and rarely get right, but your back and general body aches can be helped with a decent chair.
If you are spending even the minimum amount of time of a couple of hours gaming, invest in a decent chair. That discarded dining chair or garden fold away chair is doing nothing for you, and you will just end up with long-term aches that will never resolve.
The average price for a gaming chair is around £300, but it will be worth it when you aren’t crippled at 30. There are already a lot of concerns around office workers and how they have to sit at a desk for 8 hours of their day, leading to weight problems, and therefore cardiovascular disease, and back problems. More Silicone Valley-type offices have famously tried to fix these problems by having their workers sit on yoga balls or stand at their desks.
You don’t necessarily have to resort to that but investing in something like the £349 Secretlab Titan with its adjustable lumbar support will allow you to extend the life of your spine.
Otherwise, just be aware when you are doing your best Quasimodo impression over your controller.
If you are a fan of MMO gaming, it is crucial that you have a reliable wi-fi signal. Losing your signal in a game isn’t like buffering through a movie or waiting for a webpage to load. It is a rage-inducing moment where you lose all progress made before, and online, you may as well check out of the game. The game will carry on without you, and whatever XP and other progress you had racked up will be gone. Lost to the ether.
So says the speech you gave when your mother told you dinner was ready anyway.
Even with all the “superfast”, “5G” and whatever other buzzwords your broadband supplier told you, your Wi-Fi can decide to give up on you for a number of reasons, and they aren’t likely to be something that pulling out the cable and replacing it will fix.
You will need Setapp. Setapp offers a range of apps that can keep your PC in tip top shape, from cleaning apps to make it run faster, to VPNs and creative apps like writing apps. But, crucially, they offer a Wi-Fi maintenance app that will scan your network, looking for dead spots that can be repaired and improving the strength and reliability of your Wi-Fi signal. Find all their apps, including the Wi-Fi maintenance tool and this bookmark organizational tool at setapp.com.
If you live in an apartment or with roommates, it’s only polite to keep the headset on while you’re playing. After all, it’s loud work saving the world, and someone might be on the night shift. Avoid a noise complaint by getting the right headset.
Sure, you can plug your cheapest set of earphones with a mic into your PS4 controller, but then you’ll have people wondering why they can hear your neighbours eating, and you wondering why everyone sounds like they are whispering at you through a tunnel.
Our ears are in fact more sensitive than our eyes, it’s why you can always tell when a Youtuber had to re-do their voiceover, so the best immersive experience is one where you have the best audio quality.
And there’s plenty to choose from. You can buy very comfortable headgear, with crystal clear audio and a superior mic, for practically any budget. Wear them all through your gaming session without feeling a headache coming on, and even look into the cat ear ones, for a laugh.
Deciding what you should play your games on, is a hotly debated subject. The console wars are themselves at war with PC gamers, while handheld devices like the Nintendo Switch sit in the corner enjoying themselves, and mobile game makers count their notes.
A gaming PC is the priciest option, but it is also the one that you will get the most out of. No one will come around in 5 years’ time and tell you that your PC is now out of date, and no one is making games for it anymore.
Meanwhile, the newest version of the PlayStation, the PS5, has hit the market with superior power and storage levels, if you can get your hands on it. You can go for the Xbox Series X and Series S and gain backwards compatibility, meaning you can play all your old favorites but also be excluded from Sony’s popular future releases.
It’s a hard decision to come to. One that is mostly dictated by your budget and your natural leanings, but no one would blame you if you just picked up a jigsaw after thinking about it.