Pc Gaming Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pc Gaming RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC https://www.gameskinny.com/6yc6k/how-to-connect-ps4-controller-to-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/6yc6k/how-to-connect-ps4-controller-to-pc Fri, 22 May 2020 14:55:57 -0400 Daniel Hollis

Wondering how to connect a PS4 controller to your PC? We've got you covered. 

While the initial process for connecting an Xbox Controller to your PC isn't too strenuous, connecting a PS4 controller isn't as intuitive. Luckily, it's simpler than you might think. Once connected, the PS4 controller is incredibly easy to use on PC; you can even configure the trackpad as a workable mouse!

The DualShock 4 can also be used for a wide array of games across many launchers, such Steam, Origin, Epic Store, and more.

Here is what you'll need to get started:

  • A PS4 Dualshock controller
  • A Micro-USB cable
  • Dualshock 4 USB Wireless Adapter
    • If your PC doesn't support Bluetooth

How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC

1. Connecting to Steam via Wired Connection

This is perhaps your easiest and most efficient method for connecting your PS4 controller to your PC.

Ensure your Steam App is up to date to the latest client. Once this is done, simply plug your PS4 controller to the PC via micro-USB and you're good to go.

It's as easy as that. Just ensure that the games you're wanting to play are compatible with controller support. You can see if a game has controller support by going to the game's Steam page and looking at the panel on the far-right side of the page, just to the right of the game's pricing. 

Playing with Steam's Big Picture Mode is also advised, as it makes the application easier to use with a controller. It's not necessary, but it helps for a smoother experience.

If you're finding that the PS4 controller isn't working with compatible games, then that's because it can be a bit hit and miss. Unfortunately other game clients such as Epic Games and Origin aren't quite as user-intuitive as Steam and will require the use of DS4Windows or require you add the game(s) into Steam as a non-Steam game.

2. Connect to PC via Bluetooth

With Windows 10, your PC now has the ability to connect to peripherals via Bluetooth if your PC has a built-in Bluetooth card. It's a simple process and can be completed in a couple of minutes without any additional software.

To pair the devices, simply do the following:

  • Power on the controller.
  • Hold the PS button along with the Share button. Once the controller light starts flashing, it is in Bluetooth pairing mode.
  • Open settings on your PC.
  • Click Devices, then Bluetooth & other devices.
  • Go to Add Bluetooth or other device, then click Bluetooth.
  • Once in, click wireless controller. Your PS4 controller is now connected.

This is a quick and simple process. However, you may need to finetune the controller to ensure the experience runs as smoothly as possible. If so, then you're going to need to download DS4Windows.

3. Download DS4Windows

You can download a fantastic application known as DS4Windows, which works to ensure your PS4 controller connects to your PC with ease and allows a variety of customisation. The program allows you to set up controls for specific games, change the lightbar color, and enable even more in-depth controls such as touchpad sensitivity. 

To complete this process, you'll need to do the following:

  • Download the latest version of DS4Windows here.
  • Extract the DS4Windows file and DS4Update file.
  • Once both are extracted, run the DS4Windows installer.
  • Complete the installation, following the simple instructions on the screen.
  • Plug the PS4 controller into the PC to connect the controller.

If you then want to utilize it wirelessly via Bluetooth, then follow these options:

  • Hold the PS button in the center of the PS4 controller until the light bar begins to flash.
  • Open your Bluetooth settings on your PC.
  • Click connect to a Wireless Controller.
  • If asked for a pairing code, input 0000.
  • Go back to the installer and click finish.

From here, you can use DS4Windows to customize the experience to your liking with button mapping and even tailor your controls for specific games.

4. Using the Dualshock 4 USB Wireless Adapter

If your PC doesn't support Bluetooth and you want to play wirelessly, then this is your best bet. It is worth noting that Sony doesn't manufacture these peripherals anymore, so you will be paying reseller prices to obtain one.

If you manage to obtain one, it only takes a few easy steps to set up:

  • Plug the Dualshock 4 Wireless Adapter into your PC's USB port.
  • Once done, power on your PS4 controller.
  • The PC should then detect your controller, and you're good to go.

It's perhaps the simplest method, but it lacks the user controls of DS4Windows.

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While not as straightforward as setting up an Xbox controller, the PS4 controller still manages to be an accessible means for PC gaming with a controller.

Once connected, you'll be able to use your controller for a variety of games on numerous clients. It's worth noting that you should check that any game you're playing is controller compatible before running out to purchase one, as not every game is.

Complete these simple steps on how to connect PS4 controller to PC, and you're good to go. Be sure to check GameSkinny for other guides of similar nature.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Update Introduces Brand-New Content https://www.gameskinny.com/pgmkf/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-update-introduces-brand-new-content https://www.gameskinny.com/pgmkf/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-update-introduces-brand-new-content Mon, 04 May 2020 13:52:29 -0400 Daniel Hollis

EA has announced a slew of new features coming in a free content update for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The news comes via a blog post on perhaps Star Wars' most sacred day, May the 4th, better known as Star Wars Day. 

The update is available now across all platforms and introduces a new hub area, game modes, new game plus (called New Journey +), and a host of new cosmetic rewards.

Meditation Training

First up we have the inclusion of Meditation Training, which is broken up into two sub-modes:

Combat Challenges

These challenge rooms will see you traversing multiple planets, fighting a plethora of enemies across numerous waves. They're aimed for the experienced players who have reached the end-game and have maxed out their skills. Unlocking stars for each challenge also rewards new BD-1 customizable options.

You can see those over at the official announcement linked at the top of this article. 

Battle Grid

This is a sandbox mode in which players will be able to customize battles to their liking by choosing enemy variations, difficulty settings, and various other modifiers. 

New Journey +

This mode allows players to experience the Jedi Fallen Order adventure again  right from the beginning  with all their upgrades, unlocks, and the ability to unlock chests or collectibles they may have missed in their first playthrough. 

There's also an array of unique customization options for this mode which consist of:

  • A Call Kestis Inquisitor uniform
  • Protection and Defence I & II lightsaber parts
  • Red kyber crystal for your lightsaber

Other New Additions

Alongside all of this, there's also been some quality of life improvements added to enhance the experience:

  • Quick time events can now be skipped
  • You can turn off the option to hold the climb button, as well as with interactions
  • A variety of text scaling options

This is on top of a range of bug fixes and tweaks that have been made to the game, which you can see below via the official announcement: 

Bug Fixes and Tweaks
  • Improved transitions between parry and block animations
  • The Bog Rats on Bogano were sometimes floating. They should now be more grounded
  • Improved the transitions into and out of jumping and double jumping
  • Fixed the issue where Cal could get stuck in an endless falling loop during air attacks
  • Fixed the issue that would prevent Cal from progressing his journey when a Bounty Hunter would show up
  • Improved overall responsiveness of gameplay and the reliability of actions based on player feedback

Be sure to check out our Fallen Order review, in which we said that, "Despite some technical and pacing issues, the final product is still the best Star Wars game we’ve seen for years. It’s particularly impressive, given the current gaming landscape, where live service titles are more prevalent than ever, and real singleplayer epics are falling by the wayside."

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as the other games in the Star Wars universe, including LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga

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Five Best Things About Last Epoch in Alpha https://www.gameskinny.com/d0yr6/five-best-things-about-last-epoch-in-alpha https://www.gameskinny.com/d0yr6/five-best-things-about-last-epoch-in-alpha Thu, 28 Feb 2019 14:10:07 -0500 PapaSisler

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Exploration

\n

And last but not least, there are huge areas to explore.

\n

Many ARPGs that have been released within the last few years have really let gamers down when it comes to exploring different locations. Yes, many of these games have multiple locations to visit but they have really fallen short on the size of the maps.

\n

There should be more ARPGs that can follow in the footsteps of Last Epoch by not forcing people to be so linear.

\n

---

\n

Even with all the bugs and incomplete graphics of this game thus far, the positive number of things that players can enjoy in the game's alpha stage is quite amazing.

\n

Unlike many other PC games in their alpha stage, gamers will not be let down with the number of classes they can choose from, places they can explore, loot to be found, and much more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/a/crafting-system-5e8ee.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/a/crafting-system-5e8ee.JPG","type":"slide","id":"195034","description":"

Customization

\n

Any ARPG without some sort of crafting system in it is not an ARPG. The majority of ARPGs you come across, like Diablo III and Path of Exile, require you to go to your main house, base, or a hideaway in order to craft things.

\n

However, in Last Epoch, you don't have to worry about that anymore. Here, pretty much everything, with the exception of legendary equipment, can be customized.

\n

You don't get to change the appearance of the item or the color to do so; with all of the crafting materials you find on the ground, you can increase the stats of any piece of equipment. Just make sure that you are customizing your equipment based off how your character is progressing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/n/tons-items-2f344.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/n/tons-items-2f344.JPG","type":"slide","id":"195033","description":"

Loot

\n

Last Epoch has a ton of loot to find and each item really does have different stats. You will find everything from weapons to armor and accessories to crafting material. Just today after many hours of playing and streaming the game, I finally found my first unique armor piece. There was an amazing beam of light shining down it.

\n

The only downside of the loot system is the colors attached to them. As you can see above, all of the crafting materials look like rare items. The unique item that dropped for me was white. Other than that, there is a ton of loot to be found.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/a/class-subs-9f54f.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/a/class-subs-9f54f.JPG","type":"slide","id":"195032","description":"

Class Customization

\n

Unlike many other ARPG's like Diablo II or Path of Exile, Last Epoch allows for unlimited class customization options.

\n

When you first start out, you pick from one of only a few different class options, which is normal for any game like this. But as you start to level up character, you can pick and choose subclasses to expand your character's strength.

\n

As you can see, the character above started out as a Mage and after some time, I began exploring in the realm of being a Sorcerer. Probably the best thing about this system is that each subclass has its own passive skill tree as well as new spells to be learned.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/i/skill-customization-0e982.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/k/i/skill-customization-0e982.JPG","type":"slide","id":"195031","description":"

Skill Customization

\n

Last Epoch is an ARPG with true skill customization.

\n

There are a ton of spells you can learn, though, you can only select a few of them to actually upgrade over time. Every skill has its own individual skill tree, which allows for almost unlimited customization when creating new characters.

\n

For example, the spell above shows a tree where that makes the fire shield do more damage to surrounding enemies. But of course, that's just only one option; there are a ton of other options like increasing shield elemental defense, increasing the radius of which enemies can be burned, and even increasing the number of times where enemies can be caught on fire. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a2e530f90904fb9fcace0f3fcc0ca041.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a2e530f90904fb9fcace0f3fcc0ca041.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12664","description":"

Last Epoch, an ARPG currently in alpha on PC, is becoming one of the best hack n' slash ARPGs. The game has a ton of classes to choose from, places to explore, spells to learn, and much more.

\n

In this slideshow, we'll look at the best things so far about Last Epoch in the alpha stage. To learn more about the game, head over to the Last Epoch website.

"}]]]>
How to Build a Capable Gaming PC on an Insanely Low Budget https://www.gameskinny.com/lx9ep/how-to-build-a-capable-gaming-pc-on-an-insanely-low-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/lx9ep/how-to-build-a-capable-gaming-pc-on-an-insanely-low-budget Thu, 24 May 2018 13:55:47 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

We know why you're here. You've decided to build yourself a gaming PC, and you started hyperventilating, worried that it will be insanely difficult, stressful, and expensive. Then you googled "building a gaming PC on a budget" as your heart rate steadily rose. It's okay. Breathe. We're here for you.

The truth is that depending on what you already have, you can build a PC that can run modern games at respectable settings for around 600 bucks. "But Sam!" I hear you cry. "Didn't Bitcoin ruin all of this because now you need more money than God to buy a decent graphics card?" Well, yes and no. Sure, graphics cards are a whole lot more expensive now because high-end ones are used to mine cryptocurrency. But that doesn't mean there aren't still tools and hacks you can use to find yourself a decent graphics card at face value. 

Building a Gaming PC on a Budget

Getting Started

The first thing you'll need to do is set your budget, though this is a bit more complicated than you might think. Most PC building guides do not include the price of necessary accessories like keyboards, mice, and monitors in the total build cost. If you don't have any of those lying around, you'll want to be aware that this is going to be an added cost down the line. You'll also likely need a CD drive in order to install your operating system (which you'll also need to snag somehow). Be aware that all these costs do add up. When I built my first PC, all together, I ended up spending an additional $250 on all of these components. 

Of course, if you already have your operating system and a monitor you want to use, you don't really need to worry about this, but for a first-time build, this really bears mentioning. 

Now, once you've identified the additional costs, you can drill down a bit. The next, most helpful step is to get a sense of what exactly you'll need for your build, especially if this is your first time building a PC. My favorite tool for this is Logical Increments.

If you've never used it before, it really is an incredibly useful site. In short, it lists recommended builds and their total price point. It's a great place to start for something like this so that you can pinpoint everything you'll need and get a sense of how much it'll hurt your wallet. As an added bonus, every build that Logical Increments lists is fully compatible as long as you're on the same horizontal line. 

In this use case, we'll be splitting the difference between the Good and Fair tiers. Don't worry, we're really not sacrificing much in terms of quality here. You'll be just fine running modern games in 1080p at medium-to-high settings.

CPU, Motherboards, and RAM

Though the CPU is ostensibly the core of your computer (and, admittedly, a place where you'll want to invest pretty heavily), it's actually fairly easy to upgrade your central processing unit. The same goes for RAM. 

The only tricky part is pairing each of these components with a motherboard that will be compatible with each. Logical Increments' recommendations for motherboards are usually fairly future-proof up to about three or four years, and their recommendation of the MSI B350 PC MATE has an AM4 socket for your processor and room for 4 DDR4 RAM sticks for $90. This might seem steep for a motherboard, but trust me, this is one part of your computer you will not want to replace anytime soon. This means you'll want to make sure it'll last and be able to accommodate upgraded CPUs and additional RAM upgrades as well, making the AM4 sockets and DDR4 compatibility a must.

In terms of your CPU, AMD's RYZEN series has been absolutely killing it, packing a whole lot of power into a budget-friendly chip. We love the R5 1500x, which, as of writing, is on sale for only $135.

In terms of RAM, you might want to go all out right now and buy 16 gigs, but trust us when we say you really don't need to. For now, start off with 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM, then if you notice you really need more, buy another stick and slot it in later. It's really super easy. Plus, RAM is expensive at $83/8gb.

Ok, so that's about half our budget gone, with a total cost so far of $308. Let's talk about graphics cards.

Picking a Graphics Card

Our own Ty Arthur put together a pretty great guide that runs down a few tools that are incredibly helpful in terms of making sure you're getting the best price no matter what graphics card you pick. You really should read it. 

Done? Good. 

Personally, for a build that's around $600, I think that AMD is the better choice for budget-friendly GPUs. The Radeon RX 560 isn't just our recommendation for a great, cheap card, it's pretty much everyone's. And as an added bonus? As of writing, Newegg has it right now for the MSRP of $155.

Storage

Hard drives are now cheap enough that for any build, you should be using two: a solid-state drive that holds your operating system, and a standard hard drive that can hold all of your pro Fortnite replays.

For $95, you can snag yourself both a 128GB solid state drive to hold your system files, as well as a 2TB internal hard drive. Installing your OS to a solid-state drive might sound unnecessary, but it really does increase performance across the board on your computer. You'll be booting your system in a second or two, installation speeds will be slashed, and at the same time, since SSDs are much more reliable than HDDs, your mission critical files are much more safe. Just make sure that once you close everything up and install your OS that you choose the right drive!

Power Supply, Case, and Heat Management

Of course, you gotta plug your rig in. The EVGA 500 B1 ($45 as of writing) should handle anything you throw at it; this PC won't be a monster, so you don't need any super heavy-duty power supply to deal with that. 

In terms of your case, feel free to shop around on Amazon and Newegg to find something you find attractive. We like this Corsair Carbide series case (now on sale for just $50!) because of its front-mounted USB and audio ports, as well as its convenient side window. If that's not your speed, find something else! There are plenty of case options out there, with front-mounted HDMI ports and all sorts of odds and ends, so think about where you'll put the computer and let that guide your thinking.

For heat management on your budget build, we recommend just using the heat sink included with your CPU if you don't plan on overclocking. If you do, you can absolutely drop $25 on a fancier heat sink, but it really shouldn't be necessary for a rig like this. 

Final Cost: $638

This build should give you everything you need out of a gaming PC. It'll be relatively future-proof, easily upgradeable, and will, out of the box, be able to play modern games at respectable settings. 

Notes on Upgrading and Changing the Build

Looking to upgrade further, or to cut corners and bring the build down under that all-important $600 mark? There's a very important tool over at PCPartPicker that can help you with that. In fact, it's a must for every build. 

The site allows you to, essentially, create a complete list of parts for your build. It will then check everything for you and alert you to any compatibility issues that have been found. In addition, after you've built your PC, it will allow you to confidently upgrade parts using recommendations based on the components you've already installed. So if you're a fan of this build but want an Nvidia card, or want to use an Intel chipset instead of an AMD one, the site can guide your purchase decisions in a very helpful way.

Final Notes

Phew. Isn't that better? Like we said, building a decent PC doesn't really have to break the bank. And once you get all the parts, we promise, it'll be a whole lot of fun to put everything together. It's like adult Legos, except at the end, you get to play Overwatch with texture quality set to high.

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins Introduces a Sandbox Modifier for PC Players https://www.gameskinny.com/pefct/assassins-creed-origins-introduces-a-sandbox-modifier-for-pc-players https://www.gameskinny.com/pefct/assassins-creed-origins-introduces-a-sandbox-modifier-for-pc-players Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:30:15 -0400 Tinh Nguyen (Tinhn778)

Ubisoft has added an in-game feature for Assassin's Creed: Origins that can change the way you -- and your enemies -- play. Ubisoft calls it the Animus Control Panel, and it’s now available for PC players through the Uplay Launcher. 

Ubisoft released a video that explains some of the changes available in the Animus Control Panel (ACP). Although you can’t remove anything from the game, you can create your own gameplay experience. If you, like me, found the game's combat to be lacking, the Animus Control Panel can completely change that. Here are some of the details:

  • 75 parameters can be altered within 11 categories
  • Three pre-created presets
  • Presets created by players can be shared
  • The Animus Control Panel is embedded in the Uplay Overlay

The preset parameters can vary from visual differences to other playable characters to design-centric changes. The most impactful parameters that can completely change the way the game feels are the design-centric parameters. Changing movement speeds, hit volumes, and stun times creates more fast and furious combat than the slow, stealthy style found in the main game.

a chaotic scene representative of what players can do with the Animus Control Player in AC:O

The Animus Control Panel doesn’t only give you the option to change the way you want to play, but it can also be a shared experience. ACP’s sharing system isn’t as intuitive as the control panel itself, but it gets the job done. There are multiple ways to share, and each has a four-step process that must be followed.

  1. Create a preset
  2. Find the Animus Control Panel file
  3. Upload it to a hosting service (Onedrive, Dropbox, GDrive, etc.)
  4. Share the link on the forums

This is just one way to share your presets. It might be cumbersome at first, but hopefully there will be another, quicker solution in the future. For more information on how to share your presets, Ubisoft has a forum that has all the details for creating and sharing any preset.

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The Animus Control Panel seems amazing for players who love the game and want to try something new with the sandbox, and having the ability to share presets shows how much Ubisoft is dedicated to post-release content. If Far Cry 5’s Arcade Mode is any indication of how far Ubisoft will go with their silly but robust sandbox modifiers, I am optimistic for the Animus Control Panel.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information on the ACP and all things Assassin's Creed: Origins, and let us know all about your experiences with it in the comments!

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Steam: Too Much Content, Too Little Curation https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcwd/steam-too-much-content-too-little-curation https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcwd/steam-too-much-content-too-little-curation Mon, 09 Apr 2018 11:43:19 -0400 Lewis Parsons

As of this writing, in the middle of the afternoon on March 26th, 2018, there have been over 40 games released on the Steam platform today. Just today. This is a Monday, not a day for new releases (those are usually Tuesdays), and not a particularly busy time of year. How many of those 40 games are worth purchasing? What are they like? What are they about? Are there any hidden gems in there? Unfortunately, answering any of these questions, let alone all of them, would be quite a task, as again, this is just a Monday. That is not to say Steam gives you no information -- they do. A hover of the mouse over the title gives you broad “genre” information, an overall review score, and whatever screenshots or videos the publisher decides to include. Is this enough? Is this enough to give the consumer confidence in parting with their hard-earned money? Yes, there are refunds available, of course -- a welcome change and, in this author’s opinion, a needed one.

Many have written or made videos on this, pointing out some of the absurd content that gets put up on Steam by those either hoping for unwary shoppers, money laundering perhaps, or maybe content by a creator that truly does believe that their work is worthy of distribution. Steam Direct has democratized game creation, allowing some fantastic content to be distributed that might otherwise never have been seen. The influx of high-quality indie games that have come out in the past decade may never have made it to market before, and that is something truly special that we as gamers and in the gaming community should celebrate and encourage. But will the next great title get buried? Has it? Does the cream always rise to the top? Or does it get overwhelmed in the sludge and never see the light of day?

An average day of releases on the Steam Store ...Browsing screen on Steam 

Unfortunately, the answer may not be positive to these questions. There are currently over 22,000 games on Steam; in contrast, there were roughly 700 games released for the NES in North America, and roughly 1,700 games were released on Playstation 4. Good, right? Or not? This is where curation and discovery come into play. 

Discovery

First, let's start with discovery. Discovery is just what it sounds like, and we are probably all familiar with it. It is about finding something new. We do this in our lives in a wide variety of ways: trial and error, browsing, advertising, appearance, title, genre -- we all have our own magic mix we look for when making choices from a vast catalog. We are used to doing this in libraries, stores, and when car shopping. All of these institutions have various ways of curating their collection of products or services to encourage you towards certain selections. Perhaps a manufacturer has paid to have their item have prime store placement (there is an entire industry built around customer behavior in retail environments and on websites). Perhaps the staff at a local library (like myself) have built a display of lesser-used items we want to see circulate out of the building and get read. The possibilities are endless.

How does Steam do this? Well, it relies on pushing content at you. Pushed content is content you don’t search for yourself, and in the era of ad impressions and the deluge of information the internet has created, pushing content is often the only way to get someone to see content; our time is limited, after all. Valve uses secretive algorithms to give you games it thinks you want. This can have mixed results. With dozens of games released a day, the ability to search by, say, genre, or to have that be a limiter to what you want to see is basically useless, as is looking simply at new content.

Instead of the careful curation that exists in physical storefronts or a library, Valve has decided to take a quasi-laissez faire approach, letting the community take the reins in discovery. On paper, and sometimes in practice, this sounds great. It’s a further democratization of art. In reality, this can often lead to very real problems.

Video games set up in a libraryOrder, not chaos 

Greenlight and Direct

Valve first tried this with the now-shuttered “Greenlight” system. Greenlight had users vote on games in development (some closer to a “pitch” than anything) that would appear on the platform. Enough votes and you were in. This led to some gems emerging, but also to some drek or broken promises, angering gamers. Steam shut down Greenlight in 2017 and is now relying on community curation and “Steam Direct.” Steam Direct essentially opens the floodgates to content and relies on the curators (publications, groups, and personalities) to sift through and make lists and recommendations. This is great for Valve as it can only cut costs and leaves the hard work to essentially unpaid volunteers. While Valve claims to verify that games going through Direct are vetted by them (vaguely promising the title is “configured correctly, matches the description provided on the store page, and doesn’t contain malicious content”), they offer no explanation of what “malicious” means in regard to content.

While relying on these curators, the way you search for these curators is frankly a hot mess. Steam will “recommend” curators (again, no explanations as to why these curators are being pushed at you), give you a list of “top” curators, which is a solid option, or allow you to search. Much like the game searching, there is just way, way too much here. You have to click through dozens of profiles of avatars to find quality curators whose tastes, values, and standards might align with yours, or at least complement them. Many of these don’t seem to be active to boot, and even more seem inconsistent, which is understandable given the lack of reimbursement.

Steam’s lack of oversight has also led to it being full of hate groups and bile. This is a potential nightmare for Valve, as brigading, mass voting, and trolling are inevitable based on any reading of recent internet history.

Nintendo Switch with neon red and blue Joy Cons

Steam killer?

Where this does succeed, however, is in making Valve massive amounts of money. It is doing better than ever. As long as this is happening and Gabe Newell can strive to be a niche version of Jeff Bezos, it is not going to change. What is the cost? A platform that is safe and welcoming for new players, those turned off by the cesspool that seeps throughout the internet wherever gaming meets Slack moderation, and an increasing number of developers who are increasingly looking at other platforms for their games, platforms like GOG and the Nintendo Switch. Valve’s gatekeeping is failing at making them a “no rules” platform for small, honest developers, while at the same time, their tolerance for poor behavior is causing them to fail at being a safe, comfortable place for all as well.

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Dissidia Opera Omnia: Should You Reroll? https://www.gameskinny.com/j1oml/dissidia-opera-omnia-should-you-reroll https://www.gameskinny.com/j1oml/dissidia-opera-omnia-should-you-reroll Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:16:01 -0500 Nilufer Gadgieva

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is quickly becoming a mobile favorite RPG, a great collection of Final Fantasy heroes and villains in one. By completing quests and challenges, the player can level up and gain access to more maps and explore further, not to mention get a hold of better, stronger equipment to help them through. 

Like most games in the genre, this one offers a gashapon where players can obtain new, better equipment with gems. However, there are only so many gems a player can receive at once.

Some players get lucky from the first roll with the initial 5000 gems, but most players are usually not so fortunate. They're usually stuck with whatever they get from the start, but with such a rare combination of heroes, players don't have to settle for less!

The simplest way to get access to the best items and weapons is to reroll. The question is when is it worth the reroll

A reroll is not always necessary, but it is generally recommended when players do not get either Vann or Terra's strongest 5-star weapons or the duplicates for easy Limit Breaks by fusing together the duplicates of the weapons. 

5-star (and 4-star) weapons are both rare and valuable for the Affinity Ability corresponding with the character they are meant for. In short, the weapon can make the character extremely potent. 

This is especially important if someone is min-maxing their character. That said if a player is simply aiming for weapons for their favorite heroes, that alone should justify a reroll. 

Rerolling is a fairly simple process, taking about 20 minutes at most:

  • Android: Settings > Apps & notifications > App info > OperaOmnia. Change the emulated file name. Clear the storage of the game and reboot it. 
  • iOS: Delete and reinstall the game.

And that's all there is to it. If you have any other tips for rerolling on Opera Omnia, comment below and let us know!

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Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet Livestream This Week Shows Off New Features https://www.gameskinny.com/2cvpl/sword-art-online-fatal-bullet-livestream-this-week-shows-off-new-features https://www.gameskinny.com/2cvpl/sword-art-online-fatal-bullet-livestream-this-week-shows-off-new-features Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:25:33 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

Get ready Sword Art Online fans, for Fatal Bullet is just weeks away! But that doesn't mean you can't tune in on January 23rd for an exclusive livestream on Twitch.tv from 4 - 5 p.m PST.

Jump into the world of Gun Gale Online, the setting for SAO II. Immerse yourself in identical designs of the manga series world, weapons from the series and sci-fi settings, and an engaging combat system that allows you to customize skills and abilities. Play as the protagonist and interact with characters from the novels, show, and past games.

Join the Bandai stream and special guest, Jacob Dooley, to go over character customization, some of the battle mechanics, and ArFa-Sys, the android unit that will be accompanying the protagonist. There will also be amazing giveaways during the stream. 

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is to be released February 23rd of this year. Keep tuned to GameSkinny for more Sword Art Online news!

 

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Overwatch Receiving New Skins, Sprays, and More in January 23 Update https://www.gameskinny.com/fwnlh/overwatch-receiving-new-skins-sprays-and-more-in-january-23-update https://www.gameskinny.com/fwnlh/overwatch-receiving-new-skins-sprays-and-more-in-january-23-update Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:22:41 -0500 buymymixtape123

Get ready to open some loot boxes, as Overwatch is getting new cosmetic items on January 23, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. These items include new emotes, skins and sprays for character like Tracer, Mei, Widowmaker and others.

Blizzard first teased this update in Blizzcon last November, where they showcased a bunch of the new items in a video short. Some of the memorable skins in that video are barbarian Zarya, butcher Roadhog and immortal Orisa. They are also adding skins from the fan favorite Mei and Reinhardt shorts.

 

Roadhog

 

Blizzard has been teasing these new cosmetics all last week on Twitter by  showing a different skin, emote or spray every day. One of these teases was the new Pharah skin, Lucio skin and the different new emotes you can unlock.

Blizzard is also planning to release their new map, BlizzardWorld, on January 23rd. This map pays homage to Blizzard's many games, like Warcraft and Diablo, in a amusement park setting. 

Be sure to download this update January 23, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Overwatch news. 

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11 Cheap and Reliable PC Cases Under $100 in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/64k71/11-cheap-and-reliable-pc-cases-under-100-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/64k71/11-cheap-and-reliable-pc-cases-under-100-in-2017 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:43:02 -0500 ElConquistadork

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-e33c5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-e33c5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173463","description":"

2017 has been a phenomenal year for games: PC gaming in particular. So going into 2018, there's no reason to find yourself unprepared for everything that's sure to be coming our way. And, as this list proves, there's no reason to go completely broke doing it!

\n

Have any under $100 PC case favorites of your own? Let us know! And keep an eye on GameSkinny for upcoming articles on how to get the most out of your PC gaming setup without breaking the bank.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-carbide-spec-df05f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-carbide-spec-df05f.png","type":"slide","id":"173263","description":"

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Mid Tower Gaming Case

\n

Price: $50
Buy it on:  Newegg

\n

With a ton of room on the inside and some incredible stylish good looks on the outside, the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04's low-end price tag belies the fact that this gaming case has a lot to offer beginners and veterans of PC building alike. Throw in a sleek viewing window of tempered glass and a number of color options, and you've got our attention.

\n

Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 9.26 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 17.05 x 7.91 x 19.37in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 370mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 150mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 225mm length
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/z/z/azza-titan-csaz-240-55dab.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/z/z/azza-titan-csaz-240-55dab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173260","description":"

Azza Titan CSAZ-240 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $70
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

A mid-level PC case going for $70 has no business being this gorgeous, but there it is, right in front of you. Not only is it slick and stylish to look at, but the Azza Titan CSAZ-240 sports some serious flexibility, with lots of space for you to fit in the rig of your dreams. With a massive tempered glass viewing window and a study steel exterior, this is a great budget case.

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AZZA Titan CSAZ-240 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 7.75 x 18in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 380mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 170mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 190mm length
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/t/bitfenix-prodigy-cddf5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/t/bitfenix-prodigy-cddf5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173256","description":"

BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Tower

\n

Price: $85
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Not only is the BitFenix is great mini setup for your PC, it's one of the most stylish on this list. While it's true that it's among the smallest budget cases you can get, it boasts a lot of flexibility, and some serious first time builder-friendly features. Its size and easy carry design also makes it a prime choice for gamers who want to take their PC on the road with them.

\n

Oh, and did I mention that you can get it in six different colors? 

\n

BitFenix Prodigy Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 16.7 lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 15.91 x 9.84 x 14.13in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 300mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 180mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-lite-89be1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-lite-89be1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173255","description":"

Masterbox Lite 3.1 mATX Computer Case

\n

Price: $40
Buy it on:  Amazon

\n

Another terrific budget PC case from Cooler Master, the Masterbox Lite 3.1 is easily the most affordable entry on this list at its $40 price point. There's no question that the Lite 3.1 is a smaller case, but with room for a micro ATX and any GPU you can throw at it, it's still got a lot of opportunities for some heavy firepower. 

\n

Masterbox Lite 3.1 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 8.71lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Micro ATX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.19 x 17.95in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 380mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 158mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 4
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/z/x/nzxt-s340-elite-1c8b5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/z/x/nzxt-s340-elite-1c8b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173250","description":"

NZXT S340 Elite Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $100
Buy it on: Newegg 

\n

Not only does the NZXT S340 Elite come in a variety of colored shell designs (including the red and black pictured above: a personal favorite), you'll find a massive tempered glass viewing window, full compatibility with Kraken series liquid cooling system, and a level of VR readiness that is hard to find on a budget.

\n

This case comes in right at $100, but it's worht looking at if you're building your first PC or going for a budget build.

\n

NZXT S340 Elite Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 17.92lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 18.66 x 7.99 x 17.01in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 344mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 161mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-f3082.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/masterbox-f3082.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173247","description":"

Cooler Master Masterbox 5 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $65
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Cooler Master's Masterbox 5 not only sports a sharp, clean look, it also boasts a level of flexibility in its design that will be invaluable for anyone building their first PC. The inside allows for HHD and SSD storage, along with enough space to fit upwards to an E-ATX motherboard, offering a level of performance that you won't always find in a smaller chassis.

\n

Masterbox 5 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 15.43lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 18.7 x 8.66 x 19.69in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 410mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 167mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-0239d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-0239d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173245","description":"

Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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Price: $90
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Not only does the angular design on the face of this PC case look incredible, it also offers superior air flow and outstanding cooling, along with a surprising amount of space for such a compact design. And with its edge to edge tinted glass window, you'll be able to show off your interior's handiwork with ease.

\n

Fractal Design Meshify C Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 13.2lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 217 x 453 x 413mm
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 315mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 172mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-1181f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/a/phanteks-eclipse-p300-1181f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173242","description":"

Phanteks Eclipse P300 Mid Tower Computer Case

\n

Price: $60
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

A gorgeous design in black steel and tempered glass, the Phanteks Eclipse P300 is another high-quality tower for any level of computer builder. Despite its slim size, it can still fit a full sized ATX motherboard, with a lot of air flow to go around. It also boasts an all-in-one water cooling fit-in, along with two USB 3.0 slots.

\n

Phanteks Eclipse P300 Specs:

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 13.2lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 7.8 x 15.7in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 330mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 160mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 150mm x 86mm x 140mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enermax-ostrong-light-d892a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enermax-ostrong-light-d892a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173240","description":"

Enermax Ostrong Light Mid Tower Computer Case

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Price: $50
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

This mid-sized PC case covers a lot of ground with minimum of cost. Aside from its high quality aesthetics, the Enermax Ostrong Light has room for even the longest VGA cards, along with seven extension card slots and support for liquid cooling systems, all of which can be viewed through a tinted acrylic side window.

\n

Enermax Ostrong Light Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 10.5lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mid Tower
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 8 x 18.5in
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 390mm
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 155mm
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 120mm
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silverstone-ml08-55c94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/l/silverstone-ml08-55c94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173238","description":"

Silverstone Technology Mini ITX Computer Case

\n

Price: $85
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

With its slim design, the Silverstone ML08 comes across looking like most popular consoles on the market today. With room for 13-inch graphics cards and compatibility with Mini-ITX motherboards and SFX PSU power supplies, your homegrown PC will proudly stand next to those consoles -- but will always be above them.

\n

Silverstone ML08 Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 9.5lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 15 x 3.4in
  • \n
  • Chassis support: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 13in
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 58mm
  • \n
  • Power Supply: SFX & SFX-L
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/o/riotoro-cr280-dc650.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/o/riotoro-cr280-dc650.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173237","description":"

Riotoro CR280 PC Gaming Case

\n

Price: $50
Buy it on: Newegg

\n

Compact and stylish, the Riotoro CR280 Mini ITX is an excellent PC case for gamers on a budget. With options for fan or water-based cooling, this case fits full-sized power supplies, despite its size. And mentioning that, this mini case will easily fit on or next to your desk, freeing up room for an over-sized mousepad, mechanical gaming keyboard, or gaming mouse. 

\n

Riotoro CR280 Specs: 

\n
    \n
  • Weight: 7.3lbs
  • \n
  • Chassis format: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 8 x 13in
  • \n
  • Chassis support: Mini ITX
  • \n
  • Max GPU length: 11.41in
  • \n
  • Max CPU cooler height: 5.31in
  • \n
  • Max PSU support: 7.08 x 5.90 x 3.34in
  • \n
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-00bbe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/a/fractal-design-meshify-00bbe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173234","description":"

In the gamin' universe's constant console wars, there are a few people who set themselves apart by saying, "You know what? I don't want Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo telling me how much power I need. I'm going to decide for myself."

\n

Thus begins the budding life of a PC gamer.

\n

It's the beginning of a long process of research, investment, and building. And with much of the focus falling video cards, motherboards, and the general minutia of creating a gaming machine from scratch, the ever-important PC case is often overlooked. Sometimes, by the time you've invested in everything else, you might have precious little cash to put toward the literal shell of your device, much less a good one. 

\n

So we at GameSkinny have put together some of our favorite PC cases for those of you on a budget. These cases all fall under $100, whether there's a sale on or not, and are highly reliable.

\n

So, in no particular order, let's jump into the best PC cases under $100 for 2017.

"}]]]>
Best Free-to-Play PC Games Released in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/515so/best-free-to-play-pc-games-released-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/515so/best-free-to-play-pc-games-released-in-2017 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:12:07 -0500 Brandon Janeway

This year gave us some amazing games, including a handful of free-to-play games for PC. We came up with 7 games that we think are the best free-to-play PC games released in 2017. 

Hand of the Gods

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is for anyone who is a fan of Hearthstone or who wants to play a strategic card game. Mixing the style of SMITE with that of turned-based card games, the game itself is free and only has players pay for additional content if they want to. Additional content comes in the form of card packs and exclusive items, but otherwise, the game can be played without spending a penny. Hand of the Gods is available here.

Fortnite

Fortnite is a co-op multiplayer survival game with PvE and PvP modes. The PvE campaign requires payment, but Fortnite is at its best in its PvP survival mode. This is a 100-person battle royale on a single map, with unique combat mechanics and environmental features. The PvP alone makes it a great game. You can play Fortnite here.

Dauntless

Dauntless is a co-op, action role-playing game where players team up to battle fearsome monsters and reap rewards. You can craft powerful weapons from your hunts and use them to take down your next kill. There are numerous weapon types to chose from, and the grim setting does a lot for the game's atmosphere. Dauntless is currently in open access, and you can access it here.

Total War: ARENA

If you are looking for a strategy game that utilizes team mechanics, Total War: ARENA should be on your radar. It thrusts two teams onto an ancient battlefield to take part in large-scale warfare. Your team will need to make use of all its resources in order to take down the enemy army. Total War: ARENA is available in early access here.

Lost Ark

Lost Ark is a new action-oriented MMO with a beautiful fantasy setting. The game utilizes a non-targeting combat system and a quarter-view angle to intensify the action and provide a more dynamic feel. If you are a fan of Diablo, or if you're looking for a new MMO, this game may be for you. You can play Lost Ark here

Black Squad

If you want a free-to-play first-person shooter, then check out Black Squad. The game has a standard premise of CIA vs terrorist cell, but it's a nice break from typical first-person shooters. Black Squad is very free-to-play friendly and very easy to jump into, even if you have never played an FPS before.

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game

If you are a fan of The Witcher franchise, then GWENT may be calling your name. A strategy-based card game set in the fantasy world of The Witcher, GWENT has a promising eSports field and deep mechanics that allow for a lot of player freedom. The game is currently in open beta, and you can access it here.

These were our top picks for the best free-to-play PC games released in 2017. Let us know in the comments what free-to-play game you are playing this year.

 

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5 Tricks to Get Through Your Gaming Backlog https://www.gameskinny.com/ivexg/5-tricks-to-get-through-your-gaming-backlog https://www.gameskinny.com/ivexg/5-tricks-to-get-through-your-gaming-backlog Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:05:35 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Have you got a library of games on Steam as long as your arm? Have you not even played 75% of your GOG.com library? Well, you’re in luck, as we’re here to help you conquer that backlog. Our useful tips should help you power through those games you always wanted to play but haven’t gotten around to yet. Before you know it, you will have overcome that mountain of games that has been staring at you for so long. 

Make Time to Play Games

This one may seem quite obvious, but sometimes we neglect the time we should be devoting to playing video games. In our busy lives, it’s hard to sit down regularly to get through that hurdle of games, so playing when you can is important. Just as you would sit down once a week for your favorite show or read a book for an hour before bed, you’ll need to set aside time to play video games.

Not everyone has the same amount of free time, so work games into your schedule. If you can’t play for a day or you can only play for half an hour, that’s fine. The important thing is to make time to play your games, and that pile will start to dwindle before your eyes.

Try to Focus on One Game at a Time

It’s hard to focus on one game when there are so many you could be playing, but not doing so can set you back on your quest to get through your backlog. Try to focus on one game at a time (or two, if you get bored), and prioritize what you want to play. This way you aren’t missing out on any of those games that you desperately want to play.

This trick can also be implemented once you’ve made your way through the backlog beast. If you continue to focus on one or two games, you’ll find that your backlog hopefully won’t return as quickly.

Prioritize Single-Player, Campaign-Based Games

We all love playing video games with friends and strangers. It’s what makes being a gamer so fun -- the community is always there. However, this is majorly contributing to the backlog of games you’ve got piling up behind the scene. When you continue to play multiplayer games or simulations with no definitive conclusion, you can sink hours into them with no end on the horizon. Focusing on a game that has a set ending will help you get through your games much faster.

That’s not to say you should give up on open-ended games entirely, but try to make time for single-player, campaign-based games in particular. Dead by Daylight or Civilization VI are still going to be there once you’ve finished your backlog, and they can create a fun change of pace for when you get bored of a certain game.

 

Stop Buying More Games 

I know it’s difficult and that you practically want to strangle me through the screen for saying it, but it's important to finish the games you already own first. It’s always so tempting when those Steam sales come along and you can purchase that game you’ve had your eye on for a few dollars. Nevertheless, continuing to buy games when you haven’t gotten close to finishing the ones you have only adds to the gaming mountain.

You need to be strong and know that these sales will come around again at some point and that you’ll be ready for them then. Until that time, you’re just adding to the masses of games you’ll want to get through.

You Don’t Have to Complete Them 100%

Achievement hunting is tempting, and it fulfills that completionist need inside of us, but do you really want to slog through just to earn a badge? Some people do, but odds are if you’re trying to clear a backlog, it’s because you want to move on to more games out there instead of getting that 100%.

As for finishing the main campaign, that is entirely up to you. If you’re not feeling the game you’re playing, or if you think you’ve achieved everything you wanted to, then you don’t have to play on. Gaming is about your experience and how you interact with the story; you get to decide for yourself when you've reached the end.

 ---

Remember when working through your backlog of games that gaming should be fun, and if you’re not enjoying yourself, then something is wrong. Let your games sweep you away, and don’t get bogged down by titles you haven’t touched. 

Have you got a backlog of games? How do you deal with it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Header image courtesy of Nerdist

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Warface Celebrates 4th Anniversary With a Glimpse of its Future https://www.gameskinny.com/2tuu1/warface-celebrates-4th-anniversary-with-a-glimpse-of-its-future https://www.gameskinny.com/2tuu1/warface-celebrates-4th-anniversary-with-a-glimpse-of-its-future Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:50:39 -0400 Caio Sampaio

48 million players, 179 countries and more than 70 updates. These are some of the numbers that display the growth of Crytek`s free to play competitive FPS game. Released on October 21st 2013, the title has just gone through its fourth anniversary.

To celebrate the occasion, the publisher My.com uploaded a video (above) on the official Warface channel on YouTube, displaying what players can expect from the game's next expansion, which will become available in December.

The Pripyat Update:

The developers expect it to bring a unique experience to the Warface community. In an exclusive interview with GameSkinny, Michael Khaimzon, the creative director of the game, spoke about the new content and shared some insights: 

“It has been in production for almost a year, so there are lots of new things coming. New environment, new enemies, new boss fights, and a new chapter in the Warface- Blackwood duel. Let’s not forget, though, that, in addition to this mission, the update will also include new weapons, achievements, and many other things."

Apart from the items listed by Michael, the package will also feature a new narrative-driven cooperative mission (above) held in Pripyat, Ukraine, at the heart of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. After decades of isolation, players will explore the ruins left by the worst nuclear disaster in history.

The mission will mark the next chapter in the conflict that drives the universe of the game, wherein the world is facing its most severe financial crisis. While most people on the planet dive into poverty, a group of capitalists holds most of Earth's wealth. They hired the paramilitary group Blackwood to protect their facilities worldwide. Players join the Warface squad to take down the monopoly.

With this premise, the expectations from developers to deliver a unique experience are high. While they give the final touches to the Pripyat mission, the material My.com has shared online allows us to start having some thoughts about the arrival of the Warface arsenal in Chernobyl.

First Impressions: 

The trailer shown previously in this article is not the first media My.com has shared about the Pripyat mission. In the past month, the publisher uploaded three other videos: Soon in Warface: Special Operation in Chernobyl, Next in Warface: Welcome to Chernobyl and Pripyat: Behind the Scenes.

Through the footage available, we can have a glimpse of what type of experience the developers of Crytek have created. 

Chernobyl may seem as a familiar environment to some players, thanks to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007)but the developers of Warface made sure to add new elements to the old formula. 

As the image above displays, players of the Pripyat mission will travel through environments that combine the desolation of a post-apocalyptic setting with the high-end technology of Blackwood. The result is an interesting contrast of old versus new, which can create unique and memorable locations, as Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017) and the Fallout franchise have proved.

It is also worth mentioning the effort Crytek put into bringing Pripyat to life. The company sent 30 developers to the real-life location to study how to best reproduce it in Warface. As consequence, the team added to the mission 230 furniture models, 6 kilometers (approximately 4 miles) of terrain, 800 objects and 400 textures, along with 30 buildings and constructions from real life.

These numbers show that Crytek emphasized the ambiance and the immersion of the new mission, staying true to the source material, while adding new elements to the world, such as the Blackwood buildings. Whether Crytek will hit the right balance between old and new, we will only discover in December.

However, we can claim that, by creating a version of Chernobyl we have never seen, the Pripyat mission has the potential to become one of the grandest experiences a player can have in a Free to Play shooter, thanks to its unique setting.

Apart from releasing new footage on the upcoming mission, My.com and Crytek also found other means to thank the fans of Warface for their continued support throughout these four years.

Player Rewards:

On October 19th, My.com announced (above) that players would receive many bonuses during the four days in which Warface celebrated its anniversary. According to a press release, the giveaway included: 

  • Four gift cards, one for each day Warface celebrates its anniversary, with the chance to get various prizes, including the Black Hawk axe;
  • From October 19th through the 22nd, players can obtain a golden random box every day for accumulating 100 kills in any game mode. The boxes may yield various items and even permanent weapons. Only one box can be obtained per day;
  • Special anniversary skins for the Fazil UE3, AP-84 Custom, Anatolia RK-102, S60B3 and Abada 266 mm for players in every day that they play;
  • From October 19th through the 22nd, every player will receive a 400% bonus to all their gains, including Warface dollars, Crown Points, XP, and VP.
  • Increased VIP booster on October 22nd to wrap up the celebration.

As Crytek and My.com celebrated the fourth anniversary of Warface, it is normal to look back at accomplishments from the past, but we must also wonder about what lies ahead.

What the Future Holds:

In this regard, Michael Khaimzon claimed that his team is studying methods to bolster the storytelling of the game. Therefore, it would be no surprise to see future missions of Warface featuring deeper plots.

However, the Creative Director pointed out that this is not an easy task. Due to the fast pace of the game, it is difficult to find a mean to convey a narrative without interrupting the action.

Storytelling, however, is only one of the aspects that Michael and his team aim at perfecting. Crytek's free to play title will continue to expand, with new missions, features and weapons. To stay updated on the progress of Warface, as it marches forward, make sure to join today on the game's website.

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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/n6tmh/wolfenstein-2-the-new-colossus-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/n6tmh/wolfenstein-2-the-new-colossus-preview Fri, 29 Sep 2017 17:19:18 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Two years ago, Bethesda brought back the beloved Wolfenstein franchise with Wolfenstein: The New Order. I pre-ordered it the night before it was released because I needed a new game to play and once I started playing it, I fell in love -- it ended up being my game of the year for 2014. And I wasn't the only one that thought the FPS was successful; it currently has an 82 on Metacritic. Naturally, fans were eager for a sequel. 

It's taken a little over two years, but that wait for another blast-filled journey into the heart of the Third Reich is almost here. 

At E3 this year, Bethesda pulled out another surprise by announcing Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and setting its release date for October. Last week, I was able to get hands-on with the New Orleans level of Wolfenstein 2 (which is a few hours into the game) to see how it plays and how it compares to the first one.

Wolfenstein 2's Weapon Upgrade System

My time with Wolfenstein 2 started out fast. There were plenty of weapon upgrades available right from the start of the level. From adding a scope to increase your accuracy to a grenade launcher to take out small groups of ads, every weapon seemed somehow customizable. You upgrade the weapons based on upgrade points you get as you go through the game. (Due to this being a demo, I had extra upgrade points so I could max out more of the weapons.)

Like in the past Wolfenstein games, you can quickly pick up ammo and weapons from fallen enemies and find armor and health packs scattered around the level. (In the beginning of the level, there weren't many health packs and that's one of my excuses for dying so often ... ahem.)

The New Colossus Gameplay

The gameplay in The New Colossus is the same style that you've grown to love from entries in the Wolfenstein series: shooting Nazis. Whether you are a silent killer that likes to dispatch foes from above or the Rambo that loves to shoot Nazi's right in the face, you can do either one in The New Colossus.

While the soldiers were easy to take down in my time with the game, the robotic/mech dogs in this level were not so easy. I found it better to use the laser gun, an extra ability that I'll talk more about in a few paragraphs, to be highly effective against the robots and tougher enemies in general. 

If you think that you'll just be using guns and lasers to take enemies down, you are wrong, my friend. Toward the end of the gameplay video above (which you can also see on GameSkinny's YouTube channel in its full NSFW glory), you will see me ride one of those robotic dogs (which breathes fire) and take out enemies in glorious fashion.

Needless to say -- it was a lot of fun, and the latter added a nice wrinkle to the series' traditional gameplay elements. 

Extra Abilities in Wolfenstein 2

Something new to Wolfenstein 2 is the presence of extra abilities. These abilities give you an additional edge in the game whether you are killing Nazis or trying to access a hard to reach part of the level. There were three accessible abilities featured in my time with the game.

The first ability is Stilts. When you double jump, B.J. gets "taller". This Wolfenstein 2 ability can help you reach new areas and take enemies down from new angles. While it is nice to get a new perspective, the stilts do slow down your speed so be careful to not corner yourself because you won't be able to escape.

The second ability is the Laser Gun I mentioned earlier. This is a gun and it shoots lasers. Pretty simple. You can access it by using your weapon wheel while you're in-game. Use it against the robotic enemies so you can save your gun ammo.

The third ability is called Ram Shackles. This allows B.J. to run through not-so-thick walls. When you see a wall that doesn't look too sturdy, don't worry about throwing grenades or shooting at it. Just sprint into the wall and it'll come down.

Conclusion

If you loved Wolfenstein: The New Order and want to continue following B.J.'s adventures as he takes on the Third Reich, then you will definitely love The New Colossus. If you haven't played Wolfenstein before but this preview has you interested, you can pick up the combo pack that includes The New Order and the story DLC, The Old Blood on Amazon for $19.99 before picking up the newest entry in the series. 

Once you are ready to buy Wolfenstein 2, you have two options. The first is a vanilla version that comes with just the game. The second option is a really cool special edition (what I pre-ordered) that comes with a B.J. Blazkowicz action figure and a steelbook. 

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will be available on October 27 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The Nintendo Switch version will be released sometime in 2018.

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Mad Otter Games Rebuke Jagex Over Runescape Mobile Claims https://www.gameskinny.com/j8go5/mad-otter-games-rebuke-jagex-over-runescape-mobile-claims https://www.gameskinny.com/j8go5/mad-otter-games-rebuke-jagex-over-runescape-mobile-claims Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:00:18 -0400 UltimateWarriorNot

If you have any interest in the MMO market, you've probably heard Jagex’s plans to bring its MMORPG, RuneScape, to mobile platforms. But the claims that the developer is making about the game has raised some eyebrows and led one company to publicly dispute the claims. 

Phil Mansell, COO of Jagex, wrote in a press release:

“The RuneScape titles will become the first mainstream and established Western MMORPGs on mobile in full, and the first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile platforms.”

But there seems to be a problem with this terminology, mostly with its lack of specifics. Terms like “Western” or “mainstream” are easier to confirm, but what makes something established? Existing for a year? Two years?

The only reason this really matters is because there has been another established Western MMORPG that made the jump to mobile before RuneScape -- a game from Mad Otter called Villagers and Heroes. And as such, the developer has come forward to contest some of the claims Jagex is putting forward.

Villagers and Heroes launched in 2011, then later introduced its players to interoperable mobile play in October 25, 2016. So technically, this was the first instance of interoperable play for a mobile MMO on the current market -- and it came a full nine months before Jagex dropped this announcement for RuneScape.

Villagers and Heroes claims to be "the largest and most immersive Western MMORPG" available on mobile. It allows players to craft, fight, and quest in a massively multiplayer environment from their Android devices. It will soon be launching its next expansion, Starfall

So far, there has been no response from Jagex about the veracity of its original claims. Stay tuned for more information!

What do you think? Is RuneScape really the first established Western MMORPG to deliver cross-platform play, or has Villagers and Heroes beat it to the punch? Let me know down in the comments!

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Sega Once Again Teases Vanquish PC Release https://www.gameskinny.com/9tyt7/sega-once-again-teases-vanquish-pc-release https://www.gameskinny.com/9tyt7/sega-once-again-teases-vanquish-pc-release Mon, 08 May 2017 15:28:25 -0400 Erroll Maas

Today, the official Sega Twitter Sega Twitter released an image with a symbol from Platinum Game's 2010 third-person shooter action game Vanquish. Text in the corner of the image reads "2017," while the symbol shown is the logo of the Order of the Russian Star, the primary antagonists of Vanquish.

This image comes after a smaller tease in an April 24th update for the PC version of Bayonetta where an image of a character from Vanquish was added to the game's "Extras" folder.

When or if the PC release of Vanquish will be officially announced is still unknown at the moment, but for now, fans can only hope that the fast paced, over-the-top action shooter will be available on the platform soon.

Vanquish was originally released in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Fans have been hoping it will be the next Platinum Games' developed title to release on PC after the long awaited PC release of Bayonetta on April 11 exclusively on Steam.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Vanquish

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RBT, The Carpal Tunnel Relieving Mouse, Has Met Half Its Goal With a Month to Go https://www.gameskinny.com/y7gck/rbt-the-carpal-tunnel-relieving-mouse-has-met-half-its-goal-with-a-month-to-go https://www.gameskinny.com/y7gck/rbt-the-carpal-tunnel-relieving-mouse-has-met-half-its-goal-with-a-month-to-go Wed, 03 May 2017 17:56:02 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Created by QuadraClicks Gaming, the RBT- Original Rebel mouse has just crossed over the halfway point as it strides towards its $5,000 goal on IndieGoGo with roughly a month left to donate. The RBT mouse was developed to relieve and prevent the effects of hand cramping and carpal tunnel experienced by gamers or anyone that uses a mouse frequently over long periods of time.

According to the campaign page:

Our patented Right 'Bove Touch design makes maneuver and click rate faster and reduces pains associated with using the conventional mouse. The RBTs - Original Rebel defies all existing mouse ergonomics in today's market. After 4 years of research & development, we are convinced that, RBTs, are the ultimate computing ideal for gaming enthusiasts, badass designers, and everyday Workaholics.

That being said, the mouse is intended to be fully usable to play competitive games, such as Overwatch, League of Legends, or SMITE. It was created by a gamer, after all. Investing $150 dollars will net you the mouse, which is a 62.5% discount from its $240 projected retail price. While this is oddly the lowest tier that you can back while receiving an award, you can donate regardless. 

You can read more about the process of its creation and intended uses here on GameSkinny as detailed by the creator himself. 

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Are Consoles Evolving into PCs? https://www.gameskinny.com/3jvr0/are-consoles-evolving-into-pcs https://www.gameskinny.com/3jvr0/are-consoles-evolving-into-pcs Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:00:01 -0400 ReverendShmitty

Video game consoles have long been lauded (and derided) for their ease of use and simplicity to set up. No driver downloads, no software or firmware updates, no patches, no internet needed to verify your games, no checking specs to figure out if your rig can run the new game you’ve got your eye on. Just plug and play.

Well, for a while at least.

Back in the day, these descriptions were accurate. Early systems like the NES, Atari 2600, and Sega Master System were around pre-internet, and even later consoles such as the Sega Genesis and PlayStation made no use of internet connectivity. In fact, it wasn’t until 1998 with the introduction of the Sega Dreamcast that video game consoles came equipped for internet connectivity at all.

Years later, Sony’s PlayStation 2 emerged with an available adapter that would allow it play a select few games online, but it wasn’t until Microsoft’s Xbox that online console play really took off. They launched Xbox Live, a first-of-its-kind subscription service that took care of multiplayer server hosting instead of leaving it up to developers, revolutionizing console multiplayer by allowing players to reliably play over the internet just like PCs -- as well as giving a universal account, so in any game you kept your details, you didn't need to make a new account for each game.

ps4, ps4 pro

Cut to modern consoles and we have games that require constant internet connection, mandatory patches and updates, and firmware updates for the console’s OS, all of which can only be downloaded via the internet -- you can grab console updates and install via USB, but you still need to download the update.

With the introductions of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio, consoles are becoming ever closer to their fully modular brethren, by providing smaller hardware upgrades much sooner that waiting for a whole new generation like before.

And this is nothing new.

Back in the 90s, Nintendo released a variety of accessories for the Nintendo 64 that introduced new features such as controller rumble, reading Game Boy cartridges, and even expanding RAM. Of course, there are also numerous other examples such as slimmer bodies (the PlayStation 2/3/4 Slim, Xbox/Xbox One S), and some models including backwards compatibility (the original PS3). Consoles have long had small upgrades and variances in ability.

For those worried their consoles will soon be too complicated and finicky for them to manage, take a breath. Consoles have been evolving constantly since their inception and growing more and more advanced over decades, so you don’t have to worry about them suddenly changing drastically. They adapt with new strides in technology, as do we all in this modern age. So if you, like billions of people around the world, can operate a computer, you can operate a console.

What are your thoughts and opinions? Do you like the way consoles are becoming more like PCs? Does their added functionality and power outweigh the loss of simplicity?

Or are your grievances of constant patching and day one updates just too much work to play a game? Let us know in the comments.

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Have You Got Carpal Tunnel? My Journey to Recovery, and Creation of the RBT https://www.gameskinny.com/4a9o2/have-you-got-carpal-tunnel-my-journey-to-recovery-and-creation-of-the-rbt https://www.gameskinny.com/4a9o2/have-you-got-carpal-tunnel-my-journey-to-recovery-and-creation-of-the-rbt Thu, 16 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Qalmighty

If you are a serious PC gamer for some time, then you might have experienced some level of pain and/or numbness in your hands. Sometimes its been referred to as Carpal Tunnel. 

My journey with Carpal Tunnel started in senior year of college, as for everyone, League was a big deal, then. So I spent a couple of thousand hours on it. Yes, I was literally consumed by the game. My grades suffered, social life vanished, but who cares? I was having so much fun owning newbies! Things were going well, and I wasn't planning on stopping anytime soon.

That was until the day my right hand started to hurt, I thought it must've been some funny muscle glitch and it'd stopped in no time. But instead, the pain escalated quickly with each game I played.

Weeks past, and I finally decided to pay a visit to see the doctor.

Yup, I had Carpal Tunnel... (applauds here), I was officially a veteran gamer!

So, now what are my options?

Option A: Stop Gaming

no game

Option B: Surgery

carpal tunnel surgery

Option C: Gears Up "Ergonomic" Style

cost too much

I'm big on natural cures, so option B was a no-go.

My life literally didn't offer much outside of the PC games, and I was heavily in a love/hate relationship with them, so opting out was too much of a sacrifice.

I decided to go with option C.

I went and bought an expensive gaming mouse, wore a wristband, and kept ice bags nearby; they seemed to work for a little bit. Eventually, they stopped working, and the pain got much worse!

My family doctor suggested that I get carpal tunnel surgery, but I decided to give myself a second chance (not because I fear the operation, but the scar just seemed too horrid).

I decided then, it was time to try option A...

...and for the next 5 years I quit gaming, cold.

Life went on okay, I graduated college and went to the job world. Occasionally, I'd hear some buzz about tournaments and addictive new games like Overwatch.

About 3 years later, in 2013, I got a crazy idea on how to get back into gaming: I was going to invent a new kind of "mouse." It would have to solve all the pains associated with using a mouse, for it to be good. So for the next four years, I started working on a secret project known as "The QuadraClicks Mouse" -- the ultimate weapon that would fix my carpal tunnel problem, and letting me own at my favorite games, again!

The more I worked at it, the more I became devastated, because the original idea was to create something that "upclicks" (clicking by lifting a finger to even out the muscular motions as a means to rebuilding the muscles.) I had some press coverage, but it was very counter-intuitive, as I couldn't persuade any of my gamer buddies that it was a good idea.

One evening I found myself staring at my 3D printed model (picture below, next to the regular mouse), not sure why I wanted to lay my hand on top of the elevated parts instead of the usual underway approach, I couldn't help but notice how amazingly comfortable it felt.

Patents Pending - USA & World

By recreating the base structure, we are able to eliminate forced finger bending, fingertip clicking, palm suppression, and add in the missing pieces -- elevated finger support.

contrast with other productA massive contrast to a regular gaming mouse

About a year ago, after hearing so many comments like "hey it looks like a rabbit." I renamed the product "RBT - Right aBove Touch" and have field tested it with many astonished professionals and amateur gamers.

Some demo photos from conventions for the general public:

During GDC (Game Developers Conference) 2017 in San Francisco:

Doing demos during CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 in Las Vegas:

I've been using RBT (picture below) for more than a year now.  The result? Find me on League, Diablo3, & Overwatch

A live demo & interview from the Hardware Hound for CES 2017:

With over two decades of misuse, it's time we stop punishing ourselves. The RBT is ready to rock the Gaming World, but are you?

Follow us here for future updates, also opt in to the newsletter to be alerted when the RBT becomes available!

Writers note: I am the creator of the RBT.

 

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Rise of the Tomb Raider Review: Should You Play It? https://www.gameskinny.com/848fa/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-review-should-you-play-it https://www.gameskinny.com/848fa/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-review-should-you-play-it Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 JazmanGames

When the 2013 Tomb Raider was released I was sceptical, I bought it as I am long time Tomb Raider fan, but I found it to be too different to what I’m used to in a Tomb Raider game -- I was comparing it a lot to Uncharted. I couldn’t get into the story and it didn’t get my attention from the start. I stopped playing it and picked it up a year later and finished it off, it was a great story in the end but I found Rise of The Tomb Raider to be far better. I thought the writing and storytelling was a big improvement.

Rise Of the Tomb Raider

The story

Lara is following in the footsteps of her father in search of the Divine Source, an artefact that holds the key to immortality -- much like Nathan Drake's quest to find the Tree of Life in Uncharted 2. Lara is not the only one looking for this artefact however, as she has to deal with Trinity, a military group who want the Divine Source for their own gains. In this aspect, I do feel that there are similarities to Uncharted 2, the treasure hunter searching for the ancient artefact, a hostile military group also searching for it, and eventually stumbling on to an ancient lost city guarded by powerful undead citizens.

This is where the similarities end though as Rise of The Tomb Raider brings in its own unique story, new characters as well as old, and really builds on them with more detail. We see Lara having to fight her own conflicts, knowing that if she finds the Divine source it would prove her father right, completing the work he died for and restoring the Croft name. The other side of the conflict is Lara wanting to help the tribe who are protecting the Divine Source from being wiped out by Trinity, and stopping it from falling into their hands.

How does it play?

Crystal Dynamics have taken the gameplay mechanics from the 2013 Tomb Raider and improved upon them for Rise of The Tomb Raider. The control layout did take a little bit of getting used to, because they have ever so slightly changed it this time, but it is a more sensible layout. The controls are thankfully smooth and responsive.

Other than that Rise of The Tomb Raider plays the same way as the previous one but things have been expanded upon. There are more challenges to complete, and more places to explore, they have added more optional tombs. Some Tombs you cannot enter until you have progressed and unlocked a certain piece of equipment or skill, which means you’re forced to revisit the area later -- it's not a bad thing.

Optional tombs have also been improved upon, most are now challenging puzzles that you must complete to get to the end, and they provide a welcoming distraction from the main story while making the game feel like Tomb Raider again. (That was my main issue with the 2013 Tomb Raider, it didn’t really feel like a Tomb Raider game to me.)

The reward for completing tombs is usually an advanced ancient skill to help you in combat, hunting, and crafting. For example being able to highlight and target the hearts of animals you are hunting, rather than something like a weapon part in the previous game.

Optional side missions have also been included, these earn you extra rewards and experience, and some of these missions help your standing with the locals and even help with the end game as well.

Hunting and crafting is also still in the game, and again this has been improved upon, especially the crafting. You can now craft most needed items on the fly, and some unlockable abilities allow finding crafting components to be easier.

Lara can also be customised with outfits that you can unlock as your progress and complete various objectives.

Onto the graphics...

This game is stunning right from the start. Crystal Dynamics have created a very believable world that looks beautiful. From the Syrian desert, to the snowy mountains, through the geothermal valleys; Rise of The Tomb Raider pushes the limits.

I remember the start of the game, walking on the snowy peaks knee deep in snow, while creating a path in the snow and the wind is blowing, setting a great atmosphere.

Character models have been improved upon since the 2013 Tomb Raider too, and Lara’s character model has changed in appearance as well; looking more realistic. Cutscenes look amazing, and when combined with an excellent soundtrack, realistic sound effects, amazing performance, and motion capture by the actors it really completes the experience.

On the PC version DirectX 12 support was added to the game. It's is supposed to further improve the games looks (by making the game more optimised due to how DX12 works) and performance, however on my setup I found DX12 to be unstable and often caused my game to crash. This eventually got to the point where it became game breaking and I have had to switch it off.

DLCs have since arrived

We also see the addition of two addition story DLCs, Blood Ties and Baba Yaga: The Temple of The Witch.

In Blood Ties, you explore a neglected Croft Manor, with the death of her father and her mother missing Lara must find a way to prove that she is the rightful heir to the Croft estate, or risk losing it all to her Uncle and being evicted. This DLC as entirely narrative driven and has no combat or action in it, it is also quite short but gives a lot of insight into Lara’s past, her parents relationship, and how she came to be on her quest for immortality. There are also a few nods to the classic Tomb Raiders, especially Tomb Raider II, which fans of the classics will notice if they look hard enough.

In Baba Yaga: The Temple of The Witch Lara decides to investigate an old Soviet mining facility and comes across a woman who is searching for her missing grandfather. Lara agrees to help her locate him and enters the Wicked Vale, a location where the Soviet Military were trying to create a biological weapon. Upon entry Lara is exposed to pollen that causes hallucinations. It is this very pollen that the Soviets were trying to turn into a biological weapon.

We also see Lara deal with her fathers death and are given more insight into her relationship with him. There are additional puzzles to complete with a paranormal twist, a house on chicken legs and a finale boss fight with Baba Yaga which provides a very good ending to this DLC, with some small rewards for completing it.

So, should you play it?

Rise of The Tomb Raider has lots of Replay value thanks to a great story, excellent graphics and gameplay mechanics, as well as plenty of places to explore beyond the main story. There's more, with extra story DLC, recently added zombie survival mode, endurance and co-op endurance mode as well as score attack multiplayer. All of this means Rise of The Tomb Raider gives you plenty to do, and is well worth your time and money. 

If like me you didn't feel that the Tomb Raider reboot was good enough, I would strongly recommend giving this one a chance.

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