(Pocket-lint) – There’s no doubt that PC gaming is seeing a significant rise. It may not be as trendy as the console, but not only is it the oldest gaming platform of all, but it’s advancing at a much faster rate.
However, it can also be a more expensive pursuit, with decent gaming rigs costing thousands. And then there are also all the peripherals and accessories to consider.
In addition to the PC itself, you’ll probably need a decent mouse, keyboard, monitor, headset, and even a gaming chair. Then, if you want to broadcast your exploits, probably also a camera and a microphone.
One of the companies that provides just about everything you could want to add to a PC gaming setup is Razer. Formed nearly a quarter of a century ago, it is now at the forefront of the peripherals market for professional and amateur gamers alike. It’s one of the few to offer just about every device you need, so we caught up with its PC division chief Chris Mitchell to find out everything there is to know about the accessories of game for pc.
He told us what to look for in a mouse or keyboard, why response times are so important, and even the value of RGB lighting. Hope you find some good advice along the way.
Plush pocket: How important are accessories and peripherals for a PC gamer?
Chris Mitchell: They are incredibly important.
We tend to think of ourselves as sort of the Nike of the game. You’re obviously going to be held back if you don’t have the right peripheral.
The simplest example is a mouse. The design goal is to make the mouse a true extension of your hand. So everything that happens in a game, everything that happens on the computer, is just a natural extension of your hand movement. It becomes intuitive and there are a few things that need to happen for it to become a reality.
First of all, he has to be very precise with the movement. Most sensors these days are relatively accurate, but even at the highest level there are still differences. So in the Razer product line, we now have the new Viper V2 Pro – our latest mouse with 99.8% resolution accuracy and support for both DPI and inches per second. It offers acceleration far beyond human capabilities. Thus, the mouse will never be exact and precise in terms of movement.
And then you also want your mouse to be reliable – you don’t want it to malfunction or spin.
So it’s all about speed, accuracy, and reliability when it comes to a mouse, and the same goes for keyboards or even headsets. Obviously, peripherals can only get you so far. If I had Usain Bolt running shoes. I probably wouldn’t outrun him yet.
PL: Is PC gaming different from console then? You don’t need a lot of accessories to play on a console.
CM: I wouldn’t say it’s super different. Even a controller can make a huge difference.
My particular expertise isn’t on the console side, but ultimately it’s a similar mindset. You want your analog stick to be ultra precise, you want it to have the right sensitivity, maybe you want to make it configurable and adjustable both in terms of sensitivity and overall tension. Buttons should be fast and optimized for tactility.
PL: What difference do latency and framerates really make to a gamer?
CM: A little, especially at the upper level.
There’s an interesting Nvidia video he did around Reflex. He showed this common scenario in an FPS where you’re basically waiting, camping around the corner, and someone jumps out. Somehow, although you already have the crosshair in the correct position, you are still shot down first. It has a lot to do with latency and refresh rates.
If you prefer casual games or single-player games, those elements probably play less of a role. But when playing competitively, especially FPS titles, it can make a huge difference. Especially when looking at equally talented players.
PL: That brings us nicely onto wireless technologies. Cutting cables is becoming more and more desirable, but if you want to be the best player, should you always use cables?
CM: The main advantage of wireless is freedom of movement. With keyboards, it really isn’t much, especially in a competitive environment, just because you’re not moving your keyboard.
In mice, however, we are seeing a significant increase in wireless mice, even in the competitive space. That’s because the latency created by wireless technologies has dropped dramatically to the point that Razer’s hyperfast wireless beats many wired mice in latency at this point. That’s on par with some of the fastest wired mice on the market.
PL: Another big trend in PC gaming is RGB lighting, is this purely for aesthetic reasons?
CM: There’s a purpose to that, but not in the competitive space, I would say. It’s mostly an immersive feature set.
RGB lighting is less prevalent in our competing products. It adds weight to a mouse – not much, but still adds weight. And it drains the battery, again not a ton, but it’s an incredibly popular feature for more casual gamers.
The Chroma RGB ecosystem integrates with tons of games. It connects with other devices. Whether it’s your Philips Hue or another smart lamp or bulb, it can create an overall immersive gaming experience with ambient lighting.
PL: How important has the rapid rise of esports been to Razer?
CM: That’s it for us, really.
Razor was founded on the principle of competitive gaming. It’s in our blood, it’s in our DNA. At the time, Razor was probably the first company to start sponsoring competitive gaming tournaments.
The whole idea of Razer is based on the principle “for the gamers, by the gamers and by giving the unfair advantage”. It’s ultimately with competitive play in mind. Our core product line is centered around this.
PL: To finish, IIf you’re just getting started, what should you be looking for in a mouse or keyboard?
CM: For mice, shape is everything.
Head to your local retailer and grab all the mice you can get your hands on. Find something comfortable. And for that, sit down. Do not try to determine if the form is comfortable while standing.
If you’re not comfortable with a mouse, even the latest and greatest technology won’t do you any favors. You need to be comfortable for long periods of time, so you can only test it while sitting and moving the mouse.
What is Nvidia Advanced Optimus and how can it save your laptop battery?
Once you have a shape that is generally familiar to you, start doing your research on that shape and what is within your budget.
The same goes for keywords. Keyboard feel is incredibly important.
There are different options, from membrane and mecha-membrane to mechanics and optics for that matter. There are linear touch or click options, different actuation forces, different actuation distances. None of that, you can read online and say, “Yeah, that’s the one for me.” Go to a store, play a few keyboards and see which one feels most natural to you.
I can obviously peddle some of our products. But again, the shape and feel of the keyboard are the first things to look for. Next, research which brands are reliable, reputable, and can make you happy or satisfied with your purchase decision.
PC Gaming Week (May 9 – 13) in association with Nvidia GeForce RTX
Whether you’re a PC gaming veteran or a total newbie, we’ve got you covered!
Visit our PC Gaming hub to get all the latest news and reviews, check out some cool features, and find details on the best products.
With plenty of great content dropping every day, be sure to bookmark the page and come back for your daily dose.
Written by Rik Henderson. Editing by Adrian Willings.