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.
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.
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.
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.
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.