The Year In Tech: Gear for the hardcore gamer

Blockbuster titles, jaw-dropping announcements, and solid games mark 2016 as a great year in gaming. But from what we’ve seen so far, it all feels like a setup for a bigger year in 2017. So why not prepare for the grander launches by setting up your very own gaming lair – a sacred space where you can traverse different worlds and universes, marathon through your next favorite RPG, and trash talk your enemies, comfortably and stylishly.  Here are some of our picks top help you fill out that that room: 

More than eye-candy monitors 

Refine your reflexes and overall gaming experience with a crystal clear, responsive monitor. Whether you’re gaming on your PC or on your console, you won’t be able to fully see or appreciate the graphic and performance capabilities of your machine without an equally capable screen. And if you’re competitive or prefer going for the notoriously difficult titles, being able to see the tiniest detail or movement can spell the difference between victory and certain death. 

Photo from Asus

For PC gamers, the Asus ROG Swift 27-inch monitor is the best choice right now for high-end gaming. You get a fast and consistent 144 HZ refresh rate, which can be overclocked to 165 HZ, crucial for your split-second competitive gaming moments. The 2560x1440 resolution is perfect for an immersive gaming experience. It’s G-sync capable which means, if you have an Nvidia GPU, you can avoid screen tearing without your monitor slowing down. And finally, it comes with nifty gaming display features for a more visually appeasing and comfortable gaming experience. 

Price: You can get this monitor at PC Hub for P60,000. 

Photo from AOC

Now if that’s a little pricey for you, fear not. You can go with the AOC G2460PF. It doesn’t have the best picture quality for the price but if you prefer speed, then the AOC monitor is good enough. It has a 144 HZ refresh rate at 1080p and it also uses FreeSync which minimizes screen tearing without the need for an NVidia card. 

Price: A cursory search will show online sellers pricing the AOC monitor at around P15,000.

You can go even lower if you prefer picture quality over response time with the Asus 23” VC239H. It has a 60 HZ refresh rate at 1080p which is standard for PC and console gaming. The previous AOC monitor we mentioned uses a TN panel, which is more responsive and ideal for FPS and racing games but it doesn’t give the great picture quality of an IPS. The Asus monitor may be a little smaller than the previous entries but it is sleek and it uses an IPS panel capable of giving you better colors and contrast whichever way you view it. It also has dedicated gaming features similar to the pricier ROG Swift. 

Price: The Asus monitor can be found at your local PC shops for P8,000.  

Cans can save your life

Seeing your enemies is one thing. Hearing them is another, and anyone who’s played video games with a headset knows how much a pair could immediately level up your game senses. Surround-sound speakers may improve the entertainment factor in the living room but popping on a decent pair of cans will definitely give you the advantage. This is especially true if you’re playing a horror/zombie game like The Last of Us or a competitive FPS game like Call of Duty.  

Photo from Kingston

For your first gaming headset you can choose the reliable and affordable Kingston HyperX Cloud II. The Kingston headset is both durable and light with large, comfortable cups perfect for your marathon gaming sessions. The large cups help in giving decent space and depth for your sounds giving you an immersive listening experience. It also has great sound quality and while it isn’t completely 7.1 surround sound it picks up enemy movements and faint sound cues impressively. You’ll want to make your voice a little louder when playing Destiny with your friends as the detachable microphone isn’t the best in the market.

Price: The predecessor of the HyperX Cloud has a retail price of P4,250.

Photo from Razer

If you have a little more money to spend, then you can invest in the newly released Razer Man O’ War. These wireless set of cans are some of the most comfortable headsets you can own despite its bulky appearance. It delivers impressive and immersive 7.1 surround sound with EQ profiles that you can tweak for a more personal experience, and its retractable unidirectional microphone takes out much of the background noise so your friends can hear you loud and clearly in a round of Overwatch. It also has an impressive battery life of 14 to 20 hours on a single charge. Be aware that this is pretty plasticy, so you may not want to throw this in a fit of rage when playing Dark Souls

Price: The Man O’ War retails for around P6,000.00 

The right peripherals for the job

Most quality gaming peripherals are expensive. Some are even more expensive than gaming headsets. And while many will scoff at the idea of purchasing a specialized gaming keyboard and mouse, competitive gamers will know that the right accurate and responsive peripherals can give you the edge you need. It’s not just a keyboard with fancy colorful lights. It’s an important investment for the many battles ahead. 

Photo from Corsair

That said, you can’t go wrong with the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire keyboard. Corsair wasn’t joking when they named this keyboard Rapidfire. It’s one of the fastest keyboards in the market right now. Rapidfire uses Cherry’s MX Speed switches so the keys are highly sensitive and responsive. This is the ideal keyboard for FPS or MOBA competitive gaming and definitely not for typing out your thesis paper. 

Price: Dynaquest sells the Rapidfire for P7,250. 

Photo from Logitech

A fast keyboard deserves an equally fast mouse. But there are so many mice out there right now with different features for different genres. Most of the time it will all depend on personal preference. 

But if you want something that’s a jack-of-all-trades that’s still fast and filled with features, then you want the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum. It may be heavy at first but it may only be because this is stuffed with all the customizable features you can ask for. It has eleven buttons which you can personalize for your gaming needs, there’s a shift that you can use so you can switch to different DPI settings mid-game, you can fine-tune the sensors so it can go on almost any surface, and you can even adjust the weight of this mouse if you think it’s a little too heavy.  

Price: You can find this mouse at Lazada for P4,449.

Your throne

Your lair won’t be complete without a proper gaming throne. If you’re usually the type to stay up all night doing dungeon raids, farming, or improving your KD ratio, then you’ll want something that’s not only comfortable but will also help with your posture and is low maintenance. You can probably go for an office chair but a gaming chair is usually more customizable for your preferences.  

Photo from DX Racer

The easiest throne to find in the country is DX Racer’s. There are quite a lot of options to choose from here but the DX Racer Formula Series would suit the typical height and build of your average Filipino gamer. The Formula series resembles chairs from racing cars. They’re both comfortable and durable, and is covered with PU material so it’s easier to maintain. You can recline the back seat up to 135 degrees, and you can also adjust the armrests up and down.  

Price: The DX Racer Formula Series chairs ranges from P15,000 to P20,000 and is available for pre-order at We Are Gamers PH.  

Photo from Secret Lab

If you want a little more comfort and a lot more customization, then you can opt for Secretlab’s Omega. They are similar to the Formula series but their colors are a lot more subtle. Their seats are durable, waterproof and easy to maintain. You can also do a lot more tweaking to suit your preferences. You can recline the back seat up to 165 degrees, you can adjust the armrest in four different directions, and it has a multifunctional tilt which means you can choose whether you want to be able to rock the chair or to lock it at a certain position. 

The caveat here is that the chairs will be shipped from Singapore. So if that isn’t a hassle for you and you’re willing to wait for a solid throne, you can purchase the Omega for $499 SGD exclusive of the $65 SGD shipping price.  

Bias Lighting

No, it’s not your favorite word to describe your mainstream news sources or the relatives you don’t agree with it. Bias lighting is a necessity for us gamers who sit in front of a television or a monitor for long periods of time. Soft lights behind the screen and placed against the wall do a better job at protecting your eyes while gaming than opening all the lights you have in your room. 

Photo from Wikimedia

While you can use any type of light as bias lighting, the most common source of bias lighting are LED light strips.  You place these lights at the back of your TV screen or monitor facing the wall. It aims to alleviate eyestrain caused by playing video games or watching movies at night while enhancing the color quality of the scenes by increasing the contrast. It basically helps you play longer and enjoy the images better. 

Price: There isn’t a particular brand that stands out when it comes to bias lighting, but you can get bias lighting strips for less than P500 at Lazada. – Rappler.com

Nadine has been a passionate gamer since she was a freshman in college. When she isn't playing video games, watching her favorite YouTubers, or trying to share her gaming misadventures, Nadine is working on her photography and her travel plans. Her biggest gaming wish? To build her own gaming PC and to see the release of Devil May Cry 5.