Some gaming accessories are necessities. Like your mouse, keyboard, controller, etc. You really can't play without them.
But some gaming peripherals just aren't quite as necessary...until you try them. Once you do, and you understand how much better your gaming experience can be with something like an awesome gaming chair, you can never go back.
Here are a few of my favorite gaming accessories that you may have never even heard of, but that you're really missing out on.
Have you ever been in the heat of an intense firefight in Call of Duty or Halo and had the joystick slip?
Or maybe after that six-hour session of Skyrim Special Edition, it felt like your thumbs were a bit sore because your controller's joysticks are starting to fall apart?
Getting these must-have joystick covers can help with that. Not only do they help protect your controller, but they give you a little better grip on the dang thing. You'll appreciate it the next time you're in an intense match in Overwatch and realize how much more control you have over your aim.
Some games- especially first person shooters like Call of Duty - are largely about reflexes. The quicker you can draw your gun and shoot, the better your odds of leading your team to victory.
While changing your button configuration (such as switching your trigger and shoulder buttons) is one way to give you an advantage, using trigger stops is another option.
There are a few types out there, but the main premise is simple. They extend the trigger and include a "stop" that reduces how much you have to press the trigger to get it to fire. In other words- instead of having to pull the trigger all the way down, you just to pull it back a hair to get the controller to register it.
Sounds useless? Just wait until you try it. There's a reason why $100+ SCUF controllers have them.
One nice feature of modern consoles is their ability to operate vertically. If you're short on space, it's a great way to free up some space for your towering stack of video games.
...but there are two little problems.
For one thing, standing vertically makes the console more susceptible to tipping over. The base isn't very wide, so a number of things can knock it over.
Kids. Dogs. Cats. Roommates. Yourself... especially after a few adult beverages.
Enter the hero - a vertical stand.
The biggest benefit of these stands is the wider base. This makes the unit much more stable and roommate-resistant.
The other benefit is (some) vertical stands help with ventilation by including a fan.
You can get these for both a PS4 or Xbox One, although the one linked to above is Xbox specific.
A lot of gamers (myself included) primarily use their console for just one thing - gaming.
But for some people, it's their primary entertainment hub. They'll stream Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, their favorite music - all kinds of stuff. I know people who bought the PS2 when it first came out just for its ability to play DVDs, or an Xbox to manage their other hardware.
Using these features is great, but typing things with the on-screen keyboard isn't. Fortunately, there are mini keyboards you can purchase to make typing in your favorite sing, YouTuber, etc. much easier.
How fun is it to carry around your console in a backpack to go play at a friend's house?
Right - not very.
Because assuming they have a screen you can use, you still have to deal with plugging/unplugging stuff, throwing the console in your dirty, falling-apart backpack, worrying about it getting hit/stepped on during transport, etc.
And if you're traveling a lot, it's even more of a hassle. When I used to travel for work 2 weeks a month, I didn't even consider hauling my PS4 with me.
...but with a GAEMS system, it's easy. It's very strong and protective, easy to carry, and contains everything in one simply package.
Perfect whether you're a road warrior for work or just want to head up to your brother's for a night of gaming.
Let me make this clear- there are gaming chairs, and then there are gaming chairs.
The first is the kind you buy for $20 at Wallie world. It's meant for kids that weigh like 40 pounds and is made from the cheapest materials known to man- which doesn't make sense, considering the audience.
But an adult gaming chair is different. It has speakers on the sides, allowing you to hear the peripherals. Got someone running up behind you in Battlefield? Now you'll hear 'em.
Or maybe you just like to jam to your favorite music while you game. No problem - you can also hook up the speakers to your phone, tablet, etc.
The best part is the size. Even though it's not extremely comfortable for tall folks like myself, it's high enough off the ground that it's actually usable for adults.
What's worse than your controller dying on you?
Having it die on you when that boss in Dark Souls 3 has just a sliver of health left.
Ask me how I know about that. (sigh)
Unless you use a small monitor and sit close to your console, you probably don't like using a cord. Plus, cords are messy. Instead, it's nice to have a charging station. This does 3 things:
1) Let's you charge one controller while you play with the spare.
2) Charges two controllers at once (which is nice for preparing to play with someone else.)
3) Clear up clutter - somehow my charging cords tend to always be laying in the middle of the floor, looking messy.
Let me start out by saying- if you're one of those people who solely play racing games and put in 20+ hours a week... I understand you probably know these things exist.
This one is for normal people.
These chairs really help you take racing to the next level. Once you combine them with a racing wheel and foot pedals, you almost feel like you're really racing.
I mean- it won't be as intense as something like this- but still very cool.
Actually, that thing doesn't even make sense. It seems to be bobbing and weaving even when the guy is going straight on level ground.
Stick with the one linked to above.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, there's a reason why there's a market for high end controllers. They give the user the millisecond advantage required to be extremely competitive in games like Call of Duty.
If you're not looking to invest in one of these controllers, you can always get an adapter like the one pictured above to snap onto your existing controller. It comes with a lot of different mods built in for Auto Run, Burst Fire, etc.
These bad boys also have paddles that you can map buttons to. This makes it much easier to push a few buttons at the same time, or at least have no delay between presses.
Have you ever tried to stream a game from your PC or console to your phone? Assuming you have great Wifi, it actually works pretty well. The main issue is figuring out where/how to mount your phone.
Investing in a decent phone clip that snaps onto your controller makes this a bit easier. Even though it may feel a little awkward (and heavy) at first, you get used to it.
Perfect for those nights where your significant other wants you to "spend time with them." In other words- you can sit next to them in the living room and play your favorite games while they watch their favorite (stupid) TV show.
This last one may seem a bit strange. How would the Echo Dot help a gamer?
Here are a few ways I've used the one I just got for Christmas
You can also use it to order something on Amazon- like the newest game your buddy just told you about.
Do you have any of these things I mentioned? From what I've seen, most gamers don't have (or even know about) a lot of this stuff. But if you're serious about this awesome hobby and want the best experience possible, sometimes having the best video game accessories out there makes all the difference.