PC gaming can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty expensive. And we don’t mean the games themselves – any gamer worth their salt knows you can just wait for a Steam sale, or grab a slew of great titles on Humble Bundle. Building a dedicated desktop can be pricey, and gaming laptops can take a real bite out of your wallet. One aspect that doesn’t have to bankrupt you are gaming accessories. It’s possible to kit out your gaming setup with some of the best headsets, keyboards and mice on a budget, and we’ve got a few recommendations to get you started.
Turtle Beach Recon Spark
The Recon Spark has been one of my favorite headsets for years; in fact, it was my daily driver in the Engadget office. There are some good reasons for that: it offers solid audio both in its cups and mic, plus it’s comfortable, sturdy and cute. It might not be wireless, but you can just plug it into almost any desktop or laptop and not have to worry about driver compatibility or installing software or anything like that. It’s also a great option for kids.
While the Recon Spark might be my preferred work headset, the one I use at home is the wireless Logitech G733. It sounds great, has a phenomenal battery life and just the right amount of bling, with bright colored LED strips in the front and a customizable fabric headband. I use it for playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends on Discord, as well as recording the occasional podcast. It’s been around for a few years, but that just means that you can get this headset for under $100 at some retailers. If it’s still too rich for your blood, check out the similar G435.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1
If you’re looking for crisp audio, SteelSeries has always offered excellent clarity and volume, and the Arctis line does so at a reasonable price point. The Nova 1 is a wired gaming headset where everything feels premium, thanks to its sturdy build (I’ve dropped it twice already), its smooth, matte finish and soft, comfortable ear cups. They can block out lower sounds, but not things like a TV or crying baby, making this headset ideal for new parents. The adjustable mic is built-in, so you don’t have to worry about losing it either.
Logitech Zone Vibe 100
Since video conferencing from home exploded during the pandemic, I’ve been extolling the virtues of using a headset for all of your business meetings. They block out unwanted noise, make your voice come through loud and clear, and they’re a good sign to others that you are on a call. The only problem is that gaming headsets don’t exactly look all that professional — but the Zone Vibe is a breath of fresh air. It offers all of Logitech’s expertise to deliver solid gaming audio in a stylish wireless package you won’t be embarrassed to wear in front of the boss.
Corsair K60 RGB Pro Low Profile
When it comes to buying a keyboard, my first recommendation is always going to be “buy a Corsair.” Corsair keyboards offer an excellent typing experience and they’re super durable. Unfortunately, they’re not the best budget option because they are rather expensive, with the cheapest ones usually going for $120. Luckily Corsair introduced the K60 RGB Pro a few years back and I’d recommend the Low Profile version for those used to typing on laptop keyboards. No, it’s not the same as a membrane keyboard – it’s lightyears better, with mechanical keys and a durable build that will last you years (and hundreds, if not thousands, of game matches).
HyperX Alloy Origins 60
One of the new hot things in gaming seems to be 60 percent keyboards, which chop off the number pad to make more room on your desk for a mouse or other accessories. Being smaller also means they tend to be cheaper too, so budget-minded gamers should take a look at decks like the Alloy Origins 60. Besides being small and affordable, it’s also solid as a rock. The placement of the arrow keys in the lower right corner should be less confusing for those making the switch from a full-sized deck, too.
SteelSeries Apex TKL
Mechanical keyboards are great, but even the quietest among them might be too noisy for some environments. The Apex TKL is great at being unobtrusive: it’s a 60 percent deck so it’s compact, and its keys offer great typing response while being whisper quiet. The Apex TKL is a little bigger than many other keyboards that eschew the number pad, but that’s for a good reason – you’ll appreciate the dedicated arrow keys and volume scroller, the latter of which is a must-have for anyone who consumes a lot of media on their device.
Going budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality or looks, and the G305 is both a high-performance and stylish mouse. What’s also nice is how it keeps things simple, with six programmable buttons and a sleek profile. The battery life is rated for 250 hours, though I swear based on my personal use it’s much longer, and it only needs a single AAA battery so you can swap it out in seconds and get back to gaming. If you have a headset like the G435 you can get the G305 in lilac to match, or just stick with a basic black model. If you want to save even more money and don’t mind having a wired mouse, also check out the G203 Lightspeed, which we recommended in our best gaming mice buying guide.
SteelSeries Aerox 3
Every gamer knows the pain of spilling something on their desk once or twice, whether it’s water, coffee or soda. The Aerox 3 might look like it’s headed for disaster thanks to all the holes in it. But it’s actually rated IP54, which means it can take a good splash and just keep on working (though maybe a bit sticky if you don’t wipe it down). The holes do more than just look cool, too – they make the mouse much lighter to handle (if that’s your thing), and they keep heat from building up in your palm.
SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless
If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional but still affordable and wireless, the Rival 3 might just be up your alley. It’s a basic black mouse with a sleek contour and five programmable buttons. It comes with a wireless receiver to ensure a strong connection, but also works over Bluetooth so you can easily switch it to a laptop or mobile device. This makes it great for the office as well as gaming, the ultimate money-saver.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/best-budget-gaming-accessories-130040522.html?src=rss