It’s official: according to statistics, video games are now the most popular form of entertainment there is. Gaming is no longer the niche hobby it once was; now, people are flocking to this art form in droves, hoping to take advantage of its unique methods of storytelling and challenge-based progression systems. If you’re looking to get into video gaming, there’s never been a better time than right now.
It can, however, be a bit of a daunting pastime. There are so many different ways to get your game on that it can be hard to know what the best one is for you. Are you a console or a PC gamer? Do you prefer casual or hardcore gaming? Single-player or multiplayer? Thankfully, we’re here to demystify the process. Here’s how to get started if you’re totally new to the wonderful world of gaming.
- Choose between PC and console
Supposedly, the PC gaming market contains around 1.2 billion people, while console gamers number about 638 million. If you choose to become a PC gamer, you’ll be in esteemed company, but console gaming is also enjoyed by millions around the world. Your choice will entirely depend on a number of factors including comfort, cost, and convenience.
PC gaming can often be more expensive, especially if you opt for the kind of components that will see you soaring above consoles for graphics and processor speed. Console gaming, however, can be more prohibitive; most consoles charge for online services, and the graphical quality often dips as a result of the specs being less powerful than gaming PCs.
If you’re blessed with unlimited money, we’d strongly recommend that you opt for both. Get yourself a good console – decide which one is for you – and grab a decent mid-range gaming PC into the bargain. That way, you can enjoy both disciplines whenever you want. Some games are better on PC and others are better with a controller, so it’s good to cover all your bases.
- Decide what kind of games you like
OK, so you’ve got yourself a gaming machine. Now you need to figure out what kind of games you want to play. There are a wide range of games in every genre available; this horror game list, for example, can tell you the best horror games around right now, while you can look here for a list of the best strategy games. You don’t have to pick a single genre, but it’s good to have somewhere to start.
Depending on what you picked earlier – console or PC – you’ll have different options and different preferences. PC is by far the platform of choice for creative games like Minecraft and Roblox. If you want to get started with PC gaming, Roblox is a great choice, as is Minecraft. If you do fall in love with Roblox, check out this guide on how to get free Robux.
Your console, on the other hand, might have some exclusives that you should definitely check out. Some say the PlayStation 4 is the undisputed king of exclusive games, while others champion the Xbox One. There’s no right answer here; it all comes down to what you prefer and what your gaming tastes seem like they might be. Hey – what’s stopping you from getting both?
- Build your setup
A good gamer is nothing without a good setup. No matter what platform you’ve chosen to game on, you’ll need to decide what your rig is going to look like. A good gaming PC needs decent monitors and speakers, while a good console setup requires a great TV and home cinema system. It’s worth shopping around to see what your preferences are in these regions.
Many PC gamers opt for dual monitors. This is ideal if your PC will also be a workstation in addition to your main gaming rig. You’ll also need good speakers and a reasonable desk to game on. Last but not least, the piece de resistance of PC gaming: a good keyboard and mouse. Logitech, Corsair, and SteelSeries are all excellent brands to opt for in this area.
Console gamers, meanwhile, will want to look into a good TV. Make sure that whatever TV you get has a Game Mode setting, as high picture quality and 4K output often means TVs can lag when processing gaming signals. A solid home cinema system is also essential; you can get a good inexpensive soundbar, or you can splurge on a huge 5.1 surround sound system.
- Consider getting some subscriptions
Unfortunately, in this day and age, you’re rarely done paying for a system once you’ve coughed up the cash upfront for your gaming PC or console. There are several subscription models you should consider if you’re going to be a serious gamer. Your console and your PC both have many options to offer, so you should take a look through them and see what options appeal.
For console gamers, PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold – as well as Nintendo Switch Online – are arguably essential. All three services allow you to play online with your buddies, but they also grant access to extra games every month (as long as you’re a subscriber, that is). If you game solely on these platforms, it’s probably not worth neglecting these subscription options.
If you’re a PC gamer, you’ve got a few more options here. Origin Access is dirt-cheap and bundles lots of EA games for you to check out (the console equivalents are PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass, the latter of which is also available on PC). There’s also Uplay Plus for Ubisoft games and Utomik for general gaming. All of this is being loomed over by Google’s streaming console, the Stadia.
We hope this beginner’s guide to gaming has proven useful. No matter how you choose to start your journey, you’ve just made the decision to enter one of the most exciting and rewarding hobbies there is. Best of luck on your gaming journey!