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    Do you really need that new gaming keyboard, monitor, mouse? Here’s an explainer

    by gab pe
    Jan 18, 2021

    IF, anytime this year, you found yourself with some extra cash, you might be tempted to buy that fancy new gaming mouse and gaming keyboard you’ve been eyeing for the past few weeks. But before you click on that “add-to-cart” button, here’s a bit of an explainer on whether you really need those gaming peripherals.

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    When you add the word “gaming” to a keyboard, mouse, headphones, or monitor, does it really matter? It depends on who you ask. Some pro esports athletes and streamers would say that it does. But here’s a breakdown of some of the more common “gaming peripherals” and whether you really need one or not.

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    Gaming Mice

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    One of the cheapest yet most controversial decisions: Do you really need a “gaming mouse”? For one of the greatest Pinoy Dota 2 teams of all time, TNC Pro Team from The International 6, the clear answer is, no.

    Former TNC Captain, Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho, posted a picture of his team’s preferred mouse weeks after the iconic TNC vs OG match, where the unknown Pinoys eliminated OG, then four-time Major winners, 2-0, in the lower bracket of the tournament.

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    Plus, here’s a former League of Legends player who proved that mice are just a matter of personal preference.

    But if you’re into FPS like CS: GO or Valorant, there might be a case for needing a “gaming” mice. Gaming mice more often than not, come with a higher Dots Per Linear Inch (DPI) which measures mice sensitivity. FPS games thrive on high DPIs as players need a quicker mouse reaction when “clicking” enemy heads, or lower sensitivity if you’re the type of player who overshoots when reacting.

    Other features a gaming mouse might offer over a non-gaming one are extra mappable buttons, a slightly better hand fit, and (depending on whether you like to or not) RGB lighting.

    Gaming Headphones

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    Having great headphones is a no-brainer for many, but getting a “gaming” headset may be difficult for some especially considering the price.

    Is it a necessity for being a better gamer? Not really. In terms of sound quality, a “gaming” headset doesn’t really differ that much from a normal headset. Some gaming headsets even have a lower quality sound profile than similarly priced headphones made for dedicated audiophiles.

    If there’s a case for a gaming headset, it’s actually the included mics. Esports games require a load of teamwork, and having a good mic to communicate is essential to be the best team player. (Emphasis on team.)

    Other than removing the need for a mic, most of the other features are gimmicky, and don't really help beginners improve. For example, surround sound in gaming headset is marketed as allowing players to know where the opponent is coming from, but it still isn’t precise and comes fairly close to earphones using the free Windows Sonic surround sound feature in your desktop.

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    Gaming Keyboards

    Of all the gaming peripherals out there, keyboards are undoubtedly the most questionable. Gaming keyboards offer no major difference from that of a regular keyboard.

    Almost all of the gaming keyboards in the market right now are mechanical keyboards, and depending on the user, do give a better typing feel than the regular membrane keyboard. The only difference between a more expensive keyboard and an entry-level one are the switches, the extra function and media keys, and, of course, more RGB customization.

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    If you’re a user who prioritizes work over gaming, then a good keyboard with your preferred key switches is a game-changer. If you’re just using the keyboard to game and not type, then it doesn’t really matter what to get.

    Still, if there’s one good thing that came out of the mechanical keyboard boom, it’s the hobby of custom keyboard making. Having a customized keyboard makes gaming and working on it very personal.

    Gaming Monitors

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    If there’s one thing that definitely impacts a player’s game, it’s monitors.

    Having a higher refresh rate monitor does show significant improvement for FPS players. This is because of the speed it refreshes the image on the screen and the time a player registers that information and reacts. If you want an in-depth explanation about refresh rates and FPS, you can check tech Youtuber Linus Tech Tips and their testing with Shroud on how refresh rate impacts performance.

    Higher refresh rate monitors are pretty expensive, with the 144Hz ones going for about PHP 10,000. If you’re a casual player, this is more of a luxury than a necessity. But for wannabe pros, you might want to consider this as a future upgrade when you do have the cash.

    For more esports stories on Spin.ph, tap here.

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