Now, I got you; you are into some video games, and your preferred method of this guilty pleasure is through a computer. Top choice, because honestly, console users experience so many downsides, you just don’t have with a PC. A good computer has endless opportunities for you and will age way more gracefully than a console. They just aren’t as fast and aren’t made for hardcore gamers. Even if you aren’t one, there are some chances of that occurring on the horizon. Right?!
One perk of consoles is simplicity. You unpack that smooth little electronic device, connect it to a monitor (better be a good one with the modern graphics), hold on tight to your controller, and you are good to go. With computers, it’s a bit more complicated. If you are getting into the nitty-gritty, you are probably compiling a monster of your own. That means choosing all the insides, and even the home of your machine, the case. It doesn’t really do much besides looking and acting (literally)cool, but that’s probably enough for most of us to succumb to paying top dollar.
Well, what’s a computer, anyway? It’s a lot of electronic parts connected together to produce the desired outcome. In your case, it’s a pleasurable gaming experience. To do that, you need parts of at least decent quality and with modern specs. You can definitely play on that ten-year-old by-now-ancient thing that’s sitting in your basement, but only in case it actually turns on. And when it does (if), you may be to install a few decade-old games. Now, there are plenty of great old games. But even they run better if your athlete (in this case, computer), isn’t from a past era.
Before we delve into the details, why are they important anyway? Well, each part has a role, and it better does its job as well as possible. You wouldn’t want your game to be lagging, freezing, and providing you with the worst-kind-of gamer nightmare possible, would you? Exactly. Some parts handle the stability part of your experience, others the graphics and a few important components cover the speed of how the internal process occurs. If it goes slow, your game is going slow.
Getting on grasp on what exactly each part is doing will help you in a multitude of ways: if you are planning on play a lot of games, you might soon run into capabilities issues. Your computer “brain” may decide to go for a break, visual processing literally catches on fire, and your memory might overload and decide to crash the whole thing, without any explanation. None of that is particularly desirable, which is why it’s a good idea to get educated about things at least a little.
One of the most important parts, arguably the top dog, is your faithful companion in a good gaming session. Also called a video card. Never neglect this little powerful ally. Although a little bigger in size than your smartphone, this one has way more capabilities. Your video card handles all of what’s displayed on your monitor, handles all that has to do with image rendering and processing, and many other aspects of the visuals you may want to be of good quality. Unless you are playing Terraria, then I guess it doesn’t matter. Weirdo.
If your graphic card is a bit on the budget and/or aging side of things, that may be the reason why your computer can’t handle modern games at good graphics settings, or even on any settings for the most demanding titles. Consider investing substantially in a graphics card, so it will serve you long, well, and deliver you the best gaming time you could dream of.
And while picking headphones isn’t as complicated as building your own computer, you still have to figure out what it is exactly that you need and want, and how that matches your budget and what’s actually relevant to your gaming. A friend of mine, an avid gamer from Japan, recently wrote an excellent article about how to choose gaming headphones at gamesgamers.net. With a few clicks in your browser, it’s an easy translation and definitely worth the read.
With a quick side-tangent to emphasize how important your headset is, none of that, and not even your video card, matter at all if your CPU ain’t doing its part. Consider it to be the said “brain” of your whole apparatus. It handles the actual game part of most games, all the moves and shots you are making, taking all of the instruction you tell your mouse and keyboard (well, do), loading the locations, every item, and character on the map, and so on. If you’d like to how actually important your CPU is, dig into this post. It will explain it in much better detail than any other gaming enthusiast can ever do (because it’s actually written by smarted nerds).