During our Cheapest Gaming PC Challenge the guys and gals of the GameSessions team tried to make PC gaming more accessible by putting together the cheapest PC builds they could. But a PC, even our cheap ones, are just stupidly expensive boxes without peripherals. This guide will help you transform yours from a useless box into a lean mean gaming machine for as little cash as possible; including recommendations for a monitor, headset, keyboard and mouse.
These peripherals aren’t the best, far from it. but they are the best we could find for the lowest price point.
You should also think about how you want to use your PC before you purchase peripherals. For example, if you bought it to replace a console, you can use the TV, HDMI and controller from your console with your shiny new PC. Or perhaps a friend or relative has an old mouse and keyboard knocking around that they can lend you.
My point is, get resourceful and think about what options you might have available for free, and what you want from your PC set up, before you go buying stuff. But if you’ve exhausted all options and definitely want to be a desk, and not a couch, gamer; let us help you out with some cheap, but good, peripherals.
Starting with the keyboard and mouse. Do a quick search on Amazon and you’ll soon see that keyboard and mouse bundles are horrifyingly cheap. Unfortunately, the majority of these really suck. Horrible flat membrane keyboards and mouse with no discernible click.
To avoid those I recommend this bundle from Zoostorm because its cheap and doesn’t suck. I mean, they aren’t amazing either but they are comfortable, functional and cheap.
Now some bad news; monitors, at least good ones, aren’t even close to cheap. Monitors like the ones below £80ish ($115) are usually awful. Unfortunately, it’s something that you learn to accept if you’re going to game on a PC. The cheapest monitors I could find that are worth buying are the Packard Bell Viseo (21.5 inch) and the iiyama E2278HSD.
But if you feel that’s too much money to spend on a monitor, I wouldn’t recommend buying a cheaper one because it won’t last and will probably take away from your gaming experience. Your current TV (if it has HMDI), or a cheap one purchased online, will do for the time being (and is still a TV when you’ve upgraded). At least until you can afford to spend around £80 on a monitor. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!
Ok, so you’re all set up; you’ve built your tower, got your mouse and keyboard, plugged in your monitor, you’re good to go. But if, like me, you play on PC for the awesome multiplayer experience you’ll need one last thing; a headset.
For this I have no reservations about recommending you get yourself a Genius HS-400A headset. This thing is perfect and only £10! Most cheap headsets have really poor locational sound and quality. And while talking, the mics often sound like you’re trying to murder someone with the power of sound.
The Genius HS-400A doesn’t have any of these problems and the build quality is surprisingly good for such a low end product.
Hopefully these recommendations for a monitor, headset, keyboard and mouse will turn that “useless box” into a lean mean gaming machine. All for around £100 ($150).
Once you’ve got yourself set up, why not test out your new build on a free trial of DiRT Showdown?