Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn't looked back since.
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So, you’ve built your new gaming PC. Maybe you have opted for a cheap gaming PC or maybe you have spent far too much, but in either case, you are going to need to complete the setup. Today we are looking at the best cheap gaming setup, to bring you a quality, budget-friendly gaming experience for less.
If you spend a lot of time at your desk or plan to, then a decent setup is imperative. Whether money is no object or you are looking for a budget gaming setup, there are quite a few elements to consider when it comes to a gamers space.
Let’s go over a few key areas to think about before you buy, then run through the product recommendations to help bring your game room setup ideas to life.
Cheap Gaming Setup: What To Consider
Like with anything in regards to PC Gaming, there are a few key areas to go over first. Everyone’s setup tends to be different, you might have more disposable income, or fancy getting into streaming, so to ensure you walk away with the best setup for your needs, read below.
- Budget – This article is looking into the cheaper, budget-focused end of the setup scale but it is still important to note that you get what you pay for. We are recommending products that we ourselves have tested and know offer good performance where it counts. You may look through this list and realize you want to spend more on a few of the items and that is ok, go for it.There are cheaper gaming setups than this but you start to go into uncharted territory in terms of manufacturers, so be careful.
- Space – Most people’s gaming setups have to be planned due to limited space in their designated gaming area. Whether you are planning to set up in a study or bedroom, you are going to need to buy a desk that fits into that. We have selected the desk in this roundup that offers incredible value. Our desk selection may be considered too small for many, so be sure to get a tape measure out and work out what is best for you.
- Compromises – Of course, when building a cheap gaming setup, there are going to be some compromises. We are talking about products that aren’t strictly the best in their categories, so there’s always going to be a better option. Regardless, the products chosen will complete your setup on a budget and offer great levels of performance for the price.
Cheap Gaming Setup: The Essentials
When it comes to completing a cheap gaming PC setup, many already have a desk and chair. So, with this in mind we will quickly go over the peripherals you are going to need to not only play games but get more out of them.
We have had the pleasure of testing every major gaming mouse, helping us narrow what’s out there down to the very best gaming mice. This article isn’t all about the best though, budget is at the forefront of our selection process.
The bottom line for a good gaming mouse is – it needs to be accurate, reliable, and comfortable. The good news these days is that many gaming mice above $20 use highly accurate optical sensors, giving us less chance of buying a dud. A well-rounded mouse option for the cheap gaming setup is the Razer DeathAdder essential. This mouse is lacking features compared to the more premium DeathAdder V2 but it comes with one of the best shapes in the mouse world, premium components, and a very accurate sensor. All this for such a low price is hard to come by, making the DeathAdder Essential a solid selection.
Let’s start by saying that any old keyboard will do, don’t be throwing out your old office keyboard for a gaming one unless you really want to, as it’s a great area to save money on your setup. That being said, you may want to pick yourself up a mechanical keyboard, with the odd splash of RGB and that’s where our next pick comes into play.
The Redragon K582 SURARA mechanical gaming keyboard isn’t going to win any awards, it is budget after all but it’s solid and offers gamers a responsive, mechanical experience. Behind the board sits OUTEMU red switches, pretty much the same as Cherry MX Red’s, with linear and quiet operation. While they are advertised as quiet you can expect some noise compared to a membrane switch but these require much less force to actuate, making them ideal for gaming and a joy to type with.
No one’s gaming setup is complete, budget or otherwise, without a headset. Sure many play games using speakers but the vast majority of PC gamers need a headset. A headset is just more convenient, can help with immersion, and is obviously useful when playing multiplayer games.
When it comes to a cheap gaming setup we need to find a headset that can offer a great experience on a budget. This is an area that you should re-invest in when you can, depending on what games you play, as many will know, audio equipment is a bit of a minefield. With all this in mind, we have opted for a reliable budget gaming headset, the Razer Kraken X Ultralight. Not only does this offer excellent sound for the price but it comes with features the competition fails to bring to the table. We see 7.1 surround sound, a bendable cardioid mic, and a lightweight, comfortable design.
Some feel a mousepad isn’t entirely necessary but we advise you to always use one with your gaming mouse plus you get the added benefit of how it looks. If you already have a desk or want to get a bigger desk than the one we recommend below, check out XXL mouse pads for an even better-looking gaming setup.
Despite what you might think, a gaming setup isn’t complete without a mousepad. Now, everyone has different mousepad requirements, some like them hard, others like them soft. We have opted for one of the most popular mousepad products on the market, the SteelSeries QcK gaming surface. Despite being from a premium brand, it is competitively priced and while it isn’t the cheapest, it should outlast the ones a mere few dollars lower.
What gaming monitor to go for is a bit of a tricky subject when building out a cheap gaming setup. It is an area you don’t really want to compromise on but is also one of the most expensive parts of a setup. In truth, you can go for a monitor at half the price of this selection but you would have to settle for a 60Hz refresh rate.
We have opted for an esports-focused gaming monitor, as the truth is, most budget gaming setups tend to have a competitive game lover at the helm. The ViewSonic XG2404 comes from a premium monitor company, offering excellent build quality, a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and some advanced eyecare modes. These specs, along with the 1080p resolution and FreeSync, make this a superb gaming monitor for the price.
Cheap Gaming Setup: Nice Little Extras
As previously mentioned, it is not uncommon for most to have a table or chair already in the household that they can turn into a gaming space. If this isn’t you or you fancy a change, then keep reading.
A mouse bungee is definitely something I would consider optional for a cheap gaming setup. However, this one is incredibly cheap and if you enjoy any fast-paced game, this will improve your gaming experience to no end. For those that are unaware, a mouse bungee is a simple device that holds your mouse cable off the desk, eliminating drag and giving you a wire-free experience, or as close as you can get with a wired mouse.
As mentioned, any old chair could potentially see you through for gaming but if you spend a lot of time at the PC, a comfortable chair is probably a wise investment. “Gaming” chairs tend to be a bit overpriced so we have opted for a comfortable ergonomic chair to complete the cheap gaming setup. Its all-black design can work with any theme and is a great addition.
Last but not least is a desk for the majority of your gaming setup to sit on. We have gone for a small desk as our first choice, with a length of around 31.5 Inches. Yes, this is small but it also keeps the overall cost down. By all means, if you are someone that needs more space to work with or really wants to buy an XXL desk pad, choose a bigger option. This particular desk is available in four sizes all the way up to 55” and comes with a few nice features that other models lack. At one side of this desk is a metal hook, which is perfect for holding your gaming headset out the way. There is also a small cable management clip, which if used, keeps the gaming setup looking quite tidy.
So, there is our run-through of what we consider a cheap gaming setup. We know it could be cheaper but we feel this list offers the perfect balance of quality, price, and performance. The chances are that most of you will already have at least one or two of the items listed but now you can complete your budget gaming setup and make the most of your gaming experience.