If you’re a dedicated gamer, at some point or other, you’re going to want to set up a proper room to make the most of your console and take advantage of the superior acoustics and graphics that are now part and parcel of modern games.
While setting up a games room doesn’t need to be completed, just like with so many other areas of life, if you’re to get the best results, you’ll need to plan ahead and buy items of equipment that complement each other and that work in the space you have available.
If you’re considering investing in a dedicated gaming room, read on for some tips and ideas to create your ideal space.
First, start by considering the space you have available
There’s little point in buying a massive screen if you only have limited space available. Even with today’s high-resolution TVs, sitting too close to a large screen will detract from the overall experience and, while issues with pixelation are less likely, you’ll still end up missing out on important details, points of action, and may even end up suffering from eye strain problems.
Conventional wisdom regarding screens suggests the following formula should be used when trying to work out the optimal screen size for the space you have available:
Viewing distance (in inches)/2 = the best TV size
So, for example, if you’re going to be sitting 10 feet (which equates to 120 inches) away from your TV, you should divide that figure by two to get the correct screen size, i.e. 60 inches.
Also, remember that the room size will dramatically affect the quality of sound your system can achieve. Go with a room that’s too big and the sound will likely suffer from echoes or feel ‘lost’ – go too small, and you’ll probably find it hard to make the best of the surround sound capabilities.
Lastly, the size of the room will dictate the potential for other essential items such as a gaming chair, steering wheel, and pedals for driving games, etc.
Choose your speaker system carefully
Modern game design has pushed the envelope in terms of surround sound and the quality of music/sound effects in games, so you’ll need to think carefully about your speaker setup.
As sound has become such an essential element in game design, if you don’t use high-quality speakers, you run the risk of missing out on the more immersive elements of gameplay, so you should be looking at systems that support 5.1 channels and above.
Also, think carefully about where you place speakers combined with the acoustics of your room to achieve the best, most engaging sound setup.
Invest in a proper gaming chair
Sure, you could just use an old kitchen chair or beanbag for your gaming – but where’s the fun in that when you compare a basic chair with the advanced capabilities of modern gaming seats?
Not only are gaming chairs more comfortable, but they also provide essential lumbar support for those longer gaming sessions into the night. A dedicated chair designed for purpose will help prevent you from suffering back problems further down the line and allow you to keep gaming in comfort for longer.
Also, many modern chairs come complete with extra built-in speakers in the headrest, further improving the sound capabilities of your gaming setup.
Buy a mini-fridge and keep it well-stocked with energy drinks/foods
On the subject of long gaming sessions, if you’re going to keep your attention levels on-point, you’re going to need regular refreshments to boost energy levels. Rather than having to make frequent trips to your kitchen fridge and potentially breaking gameplay, think about buying a mini-unit and keeping it well-stocked with energy-boosting drinks and snacks like Command gaming supplements.
Think about sound-proofing your gaming room
Sound-proofing your gaming room will help dampen and soften the sounds from bouncing off plain walls and provide a more real feeling to your sound setup. Also, while you maybe want the sound cranked up to 11 for your next Call of Duty foray, the rest of your house is unlikely to want to share in your gaming antics.
If you want the best results, you should consider enlisting the services of a sound-proofing specialist – however, there are still some improvements you can make on your own if this is beyond budget:
Don’t just think about sound-proofing the walls: The sound in your gaming room will escape in 360, so you should dampen the ceiling and floor as well as the walls. This will also improve the overall quality of the sound.
Use alternative sound-dampening materials to save setup costs: Thick carpets, heavy curtains, or heat-insulation materials can be used as effective (yet cheap) sound-proofing materials. Also, remember that keeping a distance between speakers and your surrounding walls will decrease the likelihood of unwanted sound escaping.
If you want maximum screen size, think about buying a projector
While it’s true TVs are being produced at truly monstrous sizes these days, the larger models also feature equally monstrous price tags that may prove to be outside your budget. If you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to achieve a larger ‘screen’, you should consider investing in a projector.
Projector technology has advanced considerably in recent years and, while it was once the case that projectors produced images below the quality of those on TV screens, new projectors are now available in 4K and 8K resolutions.
If you’re sticking with a TV, buy a quality stand or wall mounting
Having invested all this time and effort in your ultimate gaming system, you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle and have your TV sitting on the floor or a rickety old table. Instead, invest in a quality wall mounting bracket that will help hide cables and wires – or buy a dedicated stand or unit.
As a rule, you ideally want the TV to be at eye level for the greatest viewing comfort – and this should be dictated by the gaming chair you already bought! Your setup won’t only look better and more professional, you’ll also make gaming easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable.