How to Build the Ideal Gaming Station

Ready to take your gaming experience to the next level? Here’s what you need to know.

Setting up and finding the right equipment for your gaming station can be quite daunting. In this article, we’ll provide the information you need to take your gaming experiences to the next level.

These are the five factors that go into building a gaming setup that will last you for years:

1. Console

​The key element is, of course, the console. There are a variety of consoles available that suit different setups. The recently released Xbox™ Series X offers some of the best specs around: a 12 teraflop GPU, 16 GB of memory, one terabyte of storage and a 3.8 GHz CPU, along with a very large library of games. Another great option is the Nintendo Switch™, which allows you to take the console gaming experience with you wherever you go. It features many titles from familiar franchises such as Super Mario™, Legend of Zelda™ and Super Smash Brothers™.

2. Video Display

​It goes without saying that video resolution is crucial for the gaming experience. You need a great TV to support the increasing detail and complexity found in modern games. A 4K/120 TV featuring HDR10+ is the best current option in terms of resolution and frame rate. Even if you can’t afford a high-end display like that, I suggest you ditch that old 720p TV: 1080p should be your minimum resolution. Having a high frame rate is particularly important since it makes the action smoother and faster. Finding a TV with a low input lag is also vital to your new setup’s success. A low input lag allows you to act quicker. There are few things worse than losing a game because your button click didn’t go through fast enough!

3. Audio Gear

​If you’re a serious gamer, you should forget about using the speakers built into your TV. Instead, connect a sound bar like the compact Yamaha SR-C20A or the beefier SR-B20A, which has dual built-in subwoofers for an extended low end. The benefit of a sound bar is that it not only amplifies the audio and improves fidelity but also creates a much more immersive and gripping experience.

Gaming setup with three desktop screen, controller and keyboard. There is also a long horizontal sound bar speaker centered below screens.
Yamaha SR-C20A compact sound bar.

For even better audio performance, consider an AV receiver with 5.1-channel surround sound capability such as the Yamaha RX-V4A.

View of front right corner of unit.
Yamaha RX-V4A AV receiver.

Another accessory that will enhance your setup is a pair of gaming headphones. These provide high-quality audio and can also double as a headset to communicate with other players.

4. Connections

​Of course, you’ll need the correct cables to bring everything together. Good quality HDMI cables are key. These are used to make the connections between your console and TV, as well as to your sound bar or AV receiver. (Some sound bars require optical cables instead.) If you are using a discrete surround system with separate speakers for each channel, be sure to use a low gauge speaker cable — ideally, 12 or 14 gauge.

I also recommend using an Ethernet cable to connect your console directly to your home router. This will give you faster and smoother internet access than a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. As a result, you’ll have faster download speeds and a steadier connection for all your multiplayer games.

5. Seating

​This may seem like the least important component, but the fact of the matter is that you can’t game effectively without the proper seating … no slouching on the sofa! A well-constructed gaming chair provides not just comfort but also support for the back and neck. This will allow you to enjoy those long late-night sessions without the strain you’d find with a traditional chair.

It’s also important to consider the distance between your chair and your video monitor. Sitting too close could create strain on your eyes over time, and sitting too far could make seeing smaller objects in the game difficult. A minimum distance is 1.2 times the screen width, and I wouldn’t sit any farther than 3x the screen width. Find your perfect distance by trying various distances and seeing what is most comfortable for you. Happy gaming!

Special thanks to Ethan Thies.

 

Check out these related blog articles:

Home Theater Basics

Three Reasons to Upgrade Your Sound System for Modern Gaming

New Gaming Features You Can Enjoy in Your Home Theater

How to Configure an AV Receiver for Gaming

How to Connect Nintendo Switch to Your TV, Sound Bar or AV Receiver

What Is HDR10+, and What Does it Mean for Your Home Theater?

What’s the Difference Between 4K Ultra HD, 8K UHD and HDR10+?

HDMI 2.1: What It Means for Gear and Gamers

 

Click here for more information about the Yamaha SR-C20A compact sound bar.

Click here for more information about the Yamaha SR-B20A sound bar.

Click here for more information about the Yamaha RX-V4A AV receiver.

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