Whether you’ve just started playing video games or are a longtime gamer, having the right accessories on-hand can make or break the experience. Extras designed to enhance the experience — by helping software load more quickly, creating immersive audio, or boosting the controller’s response time, for example — can make a good game, great.
The right gear will often depend on what you’re playing and what you prioritize. I can’t live without my Nintendo Switch and protective case when traveling, but otherwise I only dabble in PC gaming and don’t need any extras while playing Stardew Valley. My husband, on the other hand, games on PC almost exclusively and therefore has a dedicated video card, gaming monitor and gaming keyboard.
However you prefer to game, many items, such as headphones, can be used across platforms. With that in mind, here are the essentials to consider to make the most of your gaming.
Our top picks
Best Gaming Accessories
While some accessories are specific for certain consoles — take, for instance, the Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controllers for Xbox Series X and Xbox One — they can be used for other forms of gaming, such as PC. And no matter what you’re playing, an ergonomic chair will come in handy. Here, experts in the field share their picks.
Corey Bertelsen, a game developer and gaming sound designer based in Stockholm, Sweden, swears by these headsets, which offer noise-cancellation and a built-in mic, for both office meetings and multiplayer gaming sessions alike. “They’re really great at blocking outside sound from my ears, and I never have an issue with room noise bleeding into the mic,” he said, adding that they’re great for the price — and that the brand offers higher-end models that he’s hoping to try out in the future. “They’re great for the price, and Epos has some higher-end models that I would like to try out for my home use someday.”
While this wireless controller is intended for the Xbox console, Bertelsen is a fan of using it for PC gaming, too. “It’s one of the best for ergonomics and connectivity, especially if you have games on GamePass,” he said. That ergonomic feel can be a game-changer, especially if you have discomfort while playing for long sessions. That’s the case for Tanya DePass, the founder and director of I Need Diverse Games (a non-profit that advocates for diversity in gaming) and pro streamer on Twitch.
“Since I have to use a controller due to having a long term RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) when PC gaming, I go with this as it’s comfortable, lightweight, and, with an additional dongle, can be used wirelessly with ease at my PC,” she said. “It’s far more comfortable to use for long sessions, and not feel pain or fatigue in my wrists no matter which game I’ve been playing.”
While you can find a