Top Five PC Gaming Peripherals and Accessories

Finding the right gaming peripherals is a lot like taking part in an expensive scavenger hunt. You might turn over a lot of stone, and purchase a lot of mice, keyboards, and headsets before you find the perfect combination for you.

I love PC gaming. It’s one of the reasons I created The Daily PWN over a decade ago, and continues to play a big part in my life even into my mid-30s. Over the past several years, my focus has shifted from creating the best possible gaming PC to assembling a collection of peripherals that make it easier to play the game itself.

Frames and graphics are great, but for many players like myself, having an uncomfortable mouse or fatigue-inducing keyboard makes the whole experience less enjoyable. Not to mention, getting headshots and capturing enemy bases is a lot easier when you are using controls that feel natural to you.

Here is my list of five of my favorite gaming peripherals.

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset

A good headset will make music and games sound great. It fits well, and adds to the immersive experience of the game rather than distracting from it. Comfort, sound quality, and features are important considerations with gaming headsets.

The Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum is exactly what the doctor ordered. It features wired and wireless audio options, USB charging with an extra-long 10′ USB charging cable, and on-board programmable buttons.

The included Logitech Gaming Software makes programming the 7.1 surround sound experience easy. You can boost bass, add sidetone, and optimize the sound for different types of games. I’ve found this headset to be a literal game changer for FPS titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and CounterStrike: Global Offensive.

The option to use either a wire-mounted microphone or the on-board boom is a neat option. This allows the headset to work whether it is powered on in wireless mode or powered off and driven by a 3.5mm mini jack.

This headset is comfortable and versatile. It sounds really good, too.

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum on Amazon

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Keyboard

I have a thing for mechanical keyboards – especially when they come equipped with programmable macro buttons and onboard audio and USB. The Razer Blackwidow Ultimate is a gorgeous keyboard that has endured countless rage smacks and hours of heavy use.

This keyboard has outlasted keyboards from Apple, Logitech, and Microsoft. Its included green switches are clicky and responsive. Finger fatigue is practically non-existent – even during 24-hour writing and gaming marathons.

Out of all the keyboards I’ve tested through the years (and believe me there are dozens) this one is the one that I keep digging out of the closet and putting to use time and time again. The only reason it isn’t a full-time member of my primary workstation desk is its size.

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate on Amazon

Logitech G602 Gaming Wireless Mouse

If there is one thing that gives me fatigue during long gaming sessions, it’s the mouse. My mouse hand gets cramped and sore after even just a couple hours with a badly-designed mouse. The Logitech G602 is one of a very few mice I’ve tried that feels a good during the first hour as it does on hour 18.

Six programmable buttons at the thumb, two on the left-click, and a weighted body makes it an excellent choice for MMORPGs, FPS, and MOBA gaming.

Like the G933 headset, the G602 is configurable using Logitech Gaming Software. Automatic game detection enables you to set sensitivity and button customization options that match the game you’re playing. The thumb buttons make it easy for me to toggle voice chat, rebuy weapons in CounterStrike, and check the leaderboards with a press.

Logitech G602 on Amazon

Redragon M801 Mammoth Gaming Mouse

Inexpensive gaming mice don’t have to be low quality. The Redragon M801 Mammoth is one such example of a budget gaming mouse that delivers excellent quality at a low price.

The software (which only works on Windows) is not great, but, you can customize the RGB lighting on the mouse as well as set its switchable sensitivity profiles in a range of between 1,000 and 16,400 DPI.

This is a wired mouse, and that’s a benefit for a lot of folks that still notice a lag with wireless mice during games. After a year of use, the Mammoth has stood up as not only comfortable in the hand, but exceptionally durable.

There is a big difference between the black version and the white one. The black one is made out of a textured plastic that feels rough and easy to grip. The white version is smooth and squeaky. I do not like the white version of this mouse at all, but I love the black one. The difference between these two goes well beyond color.

At $27, this is a great value for the money.

Redragon M801 on Amazon

Valve Steam Controller

A keyboard and mouse is great for PC gaming, but sometimes there is a title that just works better on a console-style controller. Valve’s Steam Controller doesn’t just give you a controller for all the console ports that work naturally with one, but it goes a step further by providing controls that turn PC games that were never meant to be played on a controller playable on one.

Dual touchpads enable you to manipulate the mouse cursor and scroll from a controller. That’s not something you get with most other options.

In addition, the Steam Controller offers a bit more freedom to configure controls in a way that works for you. It has excellent tactile feedback by way of the on-board vibration motors and its button placement is remarkably natural.

This doesn’t mean it works for every game. Some games don’t like the trackpads, such as WWE 2k17. Still, for other titles, it brings a whole new level of control to your fingertips.

Steam Controller on Amazon

Nintendo Offers Bounty for Security Exploits on its 3DS

Nintendo is offering a new bounty to anyone that can find a security exploit in its 3DS handheld game system product line. This announcement comes as players are eagerly anticipating the release of its upcoming Switch console.

From Nintendo’s statement on HackerOne:

Nintendo’s goal is to provide a secure environment for our customers so that they can enjoy our games and services. In order to achieve this goal, Nintendo is interested in receiving vulnerability information that researchers may discover regarding Nintendo’s platforms. Currently, in the context of the HackerOne program, Nintendo is only interested in vulnerability information regarding the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems and is not seeking vulnerability information regarding other Nintendo platforms, network service, or server-related information.

This bounty comes at an interesting time as the 3DS product line is beginning to show signs of aging. New special edition releases of the smaller 3DS and larger 3DS XL have kept the handheld gaming system fresh in the market, but the underlying technology behind it has become stale over the past several years.

The reward being offered in this bounty ranges from $100 to $20,000 depending on the importance of the information and the quality of the report. Vulnerabilities which are more severe are given a higher bounty than those that are minor.

Payment of the bounty occurs either after Nintendo has successfully patched the vulnerability or four months after the report has been validated by Nintendo.

Boogie2988 Wins ‘Trending Gamer’ at The Game Awards 2016

Boogie2988, a popular and recognizable figure on YouTube, has received the Trending Gamer award at The Game Awards 2016. This award, which is voted on by a worldwide gaming audience, is a testament to his large and loyal audience of viewers.

Boogie has been producing online content that relates to the gaming community for about a decade. His work includes parodies, comedy, news, and discussion about important social issues. He isn’t a professional gamer with tournament wins and sponsors or a live caster that calls the action in esports. He’s simply a gaming everyman.

His YouTube channels are a variety show that covers a wide range of topics and interest points. He tackles gaming news in a weekly segment, produces rage comedy through a rambunctious character named Francis, and builds a personal rapport with his audience through often deep rambling videos.

He even has a dedicated gaming channel in which he plays games and unboxes collectible cards from series like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon.

Through these channels, Boogie2988’s message is one that stands behind the gamer. He went toe-to-toe with Sony and Microsoft over decisions that affected their respective gaming consoles that hindered the gamer’s ability to get the most out of their experiences. He is an active advocate for cautious buying and fair reviews.

On a more serious note: He speaks out regularly about issues that affect the gaming community, such as obesity and depression.

“Physically there’s not a lot I can do in this world,” Boogie said in his short acceptance speech. “The game creators have created worlds I can explore, worlds that I can accomplish, worlds that I can be a hero in.”

Boogie2988 produces new content almost every day on his main and gaming YouTube channels, Twitch, and beyond.

What’s the secret behind his success? Is it his good looks? His personalities? His excellent comedic timing?

He’s a relatable character that gamers turn to for a dose of honest truth. His integrity, an unfortunately rare sight in new media, is a refreshing change from the norm. Whether he’s destroying an Xbox while in his juvenile Francis character, speaking from a southern perspective as Jesse, or rambling about life and love as himself, Boogie2988 is anything but your average online personality.

Redragon M801 Mammoth Gaming Mouse Review

If I were to recommend a gaming mouse priced at under $28, you might think I was crazy. That is, until you put your hands on the Redragon M801 Mammoth.

The Redragon M801 Mammoth is priced on par with the lowest of the low end gaming mice, at that sweet spot where you might expect to find a decent three-button mouse for office use. Gaming mice are held to a much higher standard, often demanding high price tags and features such as variable color options and sensitivity settings.

But somehow, the folks at Redragon have managed to pack the Mammoth with exactly the right features to qualify it as a high-end gaming peripheral you would expect to easily pay three times as much (or more) for.

Build and Design

Redragon

If the Redragon M801 Mammoth were made by Apple, it would be described as unapologetically plastic. This isn’t necessarily a detriment to the device, especially with its generous rough coating that provides plenty of comfortable grip throughout its top and sides.

At its base, you will find a small opening containing weights that you can add and remove as needed. With all of the weights in place, the mouse has a good, quality density to it that makes it glide smoothly across the mouse pad on its teflon feet.

Build quality is exceptional, especially at its price point. The left and right buttons are a bit light on the click sensitivity, often registering clicks if I fidget a bit with the surface of the buttons.

The scroll wheel reminds me very much of the one included on the Razer DeathAdder, a $70 gaming mouse with a similar color-changing light feature.

Speaking of color-changing lights, there are four different areas of the mouse that light up, each with a different color. The software focuses on the lights at the top of the mouse, where your palm rests. The volume/sensitivity adjustment buttons also light up, but their color seems to be linked to which of the five sensitivity settings are currently selected.

As a special extra touch, the Mammoth features a red and black threaded USB cord that is exceedingly difficult to tangle and looks great.

Software

Redragon Mammoth

Perhaps most uncharacteristic of a sub-$30 mouse is Redragon’s driver software. In this software, you can configure a number of things, including:

  • Sensitivity Presets
  • Light Color
  • Button Assignments
  • Acceleration
  • Point Speed
  • Scroll Speed
  • Double Click Speed
  • Polling Rate
  • 5 User Profiles

Redragon Mammoth

I found the software easy to use, and generally well designed. Button assignments especially were super intuitive, and generously accessible.

Redragon Mammoth

If there is one drawback I noticed, it would be that changing the colors for the lights in the scroll wheel and front of the mouse were not readily accessible. Also, “Close” is a confusing term here. Disabled would make a bit more sense.

Value

At $28, the Redragon M801 Mammoth delivers in the value department. When it comes to getting your money’s worth, the Mammoth is near the top of its class.

In an industry where you tend to get what you pay for, the Mammoth is certainly an exception.

Prospekt is a New Half-Life Game Made By Fans, for Fans

It’s not Half-Life 3, but it’s certainly something. Prospekt is a new game built with Valve’s blessing by 25-year-old developer Richard Seabrook. What started as a simple demo for a job application to the popular gaming company has turned into a full-fledged game.

Rather than picking up where Half-Life 2: Epsidoe 2 left off, Prospekt is a continuation of the story introduced in Half-Life: Opposing Force.

In Prospekt, Gordon Freeman is cornered and being overrun by soldiers in the Nova Prospekt prison; the player controls US Marine Adrian Shepherd – the unsung hero – as he’s teleported in by Freeman’s Vortigaunt allies to help fight back.

Prospekt is set for release in February at a price of $9.99. You can preorder it on Steam now at a 10% discount.