Whether you’re a competitive player or just looking to have some fun, a gaming keyboard is one of the most essential tools in your arsenal. The best gaming gadgets not only offer great tactile feedback but also feature programmable keys, lighting, and switches that can be adjusted for individual gamers.
Here’s a list of our best gaming gadgets from mice and headsets to keyboards and mice that will keep you playing for hours.
1. Mice And Trackpads
Whether you’re a competitive player or just looking to have some fun, a gaming gadgets like the mouse is one of the most essential tools in your arsenal. The best ones not only offer great tactile feedback but also feature programmable keys, lighting, and switches that can be adjusted for individual gamers. Here are our top picks — from mice to lift-proof mice, mice with extra buttons, and more — that will keep you playing for hours. For the best mouse, we recommend the Razer Mamba.
It’s got a huge sensor and customizable buttons that adjust the sensitivity you want to the point where you can play anything, even first-person shooters, with ease. Other mice from Razer and Logitech, as well as other top brands, offer similar sensors and buttons. If you want to get technical, optical sensors are precise enough to pick up on consistent vibrations from gamepads or the click of a mouse button, while other types detect surface interactions such as vibrations and sound waves. For more information on mice and other gaming gadgets, read our buying guide here.
Controllers are special devices that allow you to interact with a game via a physical joystick or more traditional controls. For example, a standard controller might have only two buttons, but a pro controller has up to six buttons. The best controllers feature a variety of buttons, a comfortable grip, and are easy to program. Some controllers feature built-in sensors that allow you to interact with games via an app.
These are great for VR games where you might want to lean into a virtual world. For example, the SteelSeries Stratusformer has a GPS that allows you to navigate your surroundings and track points, enemies, and globes of objects. For a more in-depth look at controllers, read our buying guide for the best gaming gadgets in 2023.
Hear yourself talk and listen to virtual conversations through headphones. Use a headset to read books and view videos in virtual reality. Put on a pair of headphones and you can even simulate being in another room with a friend — all without moving from where you are sitting. Find headsets with different sizes to fit different people. Some people prefer large gaming headphones while others are more concerned with sound leaking out.
Some people also complain that headphones are too loud, but if you want to be heard but not disturbed, then go with the quiet option. Some games feature built-in headphones that come with the game. Try plugging in your own set if you want a better fit and this is among the best eight gaming gadgets.
Refurbished and secondhand monitors are often great deals, but be careful. Used monitors sometimes have issues with contrast and color accuracy, sometimes have issues with brightness, and are sometimes tinted to the point where you can’t see the buttons on the front panel. For monitors, there are many different options. For example, the Dell G4 Ultra HD is a single- Monitor version that lets you watch TV and game at the same time. Some models feature a “cinema” mode that makes the monitor even more vibrant and colorful.
If you’re looking for a standalone monitor, we recommend Apple’s A-TECTrueTint monitor. It’s got the most accurate color accuracy of any monitor on the market, is made of glass, and costs the same as a car — all while looking like it was straight out of a luxury car ad.
5. Laptop Or Desktop Computer
The Computer section is a little odd, but it’s definitely in. A laptop, right? Well, not always. Some people like to play games on laptops, but most people prefer to play games on PCs. A laptop is a good choice for playing games that require a lot of processing power but don’t require a huge amount of graphics firepower. For example, Civilization, Garry’s Mod, and QBrawl 2 all run smoothly on gaming laptops, but require a powerful graphics card to run properly.
Most laptops feature a “gaming” or “gaming desktop” option that is more powerful than the standard laptop but comes with additional features such as a beefier keyboard and trackpad. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop, check out the Razer Blade. It’s a laptop that’s powered by a desktop-class Intel processor and comes with a long list of features — including a built-in 15-inch display that can be used to stream games and watch videos.
6. USB Keyboards
You might have heard about those “USB keyboards with trackpads” — the QcK+ from SteelSeries, anyone? While they have their place, we like standard USB keyboards for gaming. For keybindings, set up your keyboard to assign all keystrokes to a single button or key combination. This makes it much easier to get to your gunshots or air-drum rolls.
7. Xbox One Controller
Although it might seem like an odd choice, we like to include controllers on our lists. They’re often the center of a lot of controversies and they deserve some attention. We’re going to start that off with the Xbox One controller. Although only available since December, Microsoft’s new controller has already received a negative response. Critics claim it’s too big, too stiff, and doesn’t feel good in the hand. But perhaps most damagingly, it doesn’t work with gamepads.
To clarify, Xbox One controllers are not connected to a keyboard. Instead, they have built-in sensors that detect your gestures and allow you to play games without the need to take your hands off the game.
8. Games And Consoles
As a game developer myself, I’ve worked with controllers for years. And when it comes to the matter of whether or not a controller deserved its place on the list, the answer is clear: Yes. From the most basic imperative of all — ergonomics — to the more nuanced field of personalization — there are no rules that govern the inclusion or exclusion of devices on our list. And that means we have to draw inspiration from the devices themselves, as well as the games they power.
Gaming gadgets are crucial to any gamer’s toolbox. From mice and keyboards to headsets and controllers, these products will help you get the most out of your favorite games. With so many great gaming gadgets on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin. We recommend starting with our list of the best gaming mice and gaming headsets, as well as our list of the best gaming monitors. If you’re looking for something different, consider picking up a mechanical keyboard. They offer a tactile, clicky feel that’s unlike any other type of input device you might use.