A gamer’s battlestation is a sacred thing, more so for streamers. What you create will have an aesthetic appeal to you and possibly your viewers. While those aesthetics and the color of your RGB lights are totally up to you, there are a few must have peripherals and addons for your gaming or streaming setup.
Because they cater to vastly different needs, we’re going to split this into two sections, gaming essentials and streaming essentials.
First up, your keyboard. No battlestation is complete without some sort of RGB keyboard that is also mechanical. You’ll have to decide on what type of switches you want for your keyboard, but after that it’s straightforward. A mechanical keyboard will give your battlestation the edge it needs by making sure all your inputs are captured and executed properly.
A word of warning for those purchasing your first mechanical keyboard, there is an unending rabbit hole of information and high prices in the mechanical keyboard and switches world, but if you’re looking for a simple mechanical keyboard upgrade from your current membrane keyboard, check out the iBP Mek 3 LT mechanical gaming keyboard. It has blue switches and comes with a detachable wrist rest. If you’re looking for something more compact without a numpad, check out the GAMDIAS Hermes E3 RGB Mechanical Keyboard with red switches.
Next up, you need to make sure your audio is sorted. Good audio can help you level up in games, metaphorically speaking, and make your overall experience much more pleasant. Many games, both competitive and solo, have subtle audio cues that will clue you into hidden objectives, so being able to hear them is essential. A proper over-ear headset is essential. Make sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t squeeze your head too tight as you’ll be wearing it for hours at a time.
Now, we can’t all be the best gamers in the world, which means we occasionally need a little extra help. That’s why a second monitor is an essential for your gaming setup. Having that extra rooms means you won’t have to tab over to YouTube as you try to figure out that difficult puzzle in Myst. A second monitor is also great for having game maps on screen or programs like Discord up so you can easily see who is in channels with you or who is typing in text channels. If you don’t have a second monitor already, you can pick one up here.
No gaming battlestation is complete without a gaming chair. These high-backed, bucket seated chairs are everywhere, and for good reason—they look good. Gaming chairs come in all forms, many with synthetic leather material and others with cloth material. You can check out options here.
Everything we previously talked about is incredibly important if you’re going to stream, but here are some streaming specific essentials.
With streaming, you’re going to be talking with your viewers, a lot. Making sure your voice comes through clearly is critical to your stream’s ongoing success. One of the many essecantials for your streaming battlestation is going to be a dedicated microphone that isn’t on your headset. Depending on your price point there are a few options, but one easy starting point is the Blue Snowball iCE mic, makers of the ever-popular Yeti mic.
Streamers have a lot of things they need to take care of. When you can automate things like starting up your stream or launching four different programs at once, you kind of want to just do that. That’s where the Elgato Stream Deck XL comes into play. The XL version of the Stream Deck brings you more of what you loved about the Stream Deck and gives you more! More buttons mean more presets and less work for you in the long run. An addon like this will take your stream production to the next level by allowing for one-press lighting changes and scene transitions on your stream.
Speaking of lighting changes, lights are essential for your streaming battlestation setup. Many streamers will go with some form of ring light, but that’s not the catchall. Key lights are also popular, as are more aesthetic lighting choices like Nanoleaf lights. Whatever you choose, make sure they illuminate you well enough that your camera can pick you up clearly.
A proper camera is essential for streaming. There are your standard options, like a Logitech 1080p webcam, but there are plenty of other options depending on how much you’d like to spend. Many streamers will have a dedicated DSLR as their face camera for their setup.
Internal Card Additions
You’re going to have multiple audio devices plugged into your system, so a dedicated sound card is a smart choice. A dedicated sound card will also give you more control over your audio and many sound cards come with dedicated software that will help you filter noise and balance audio levels automatically. Check out something like the Creative Sound Blaster Z Sound Card for your dedicated sound card needs. Just make sure you have a PCIe slot to install it in.
There are a few more internal cards that are essential for your streaming battlestation setup. A capture card, like the Elgato Game Capture HD 60 or the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K capture card. These capture cards will make streaming and recording your footage a breeze. If you want to edit highlights of yourself playing, a capture card is essential.
As you continue to plug more peripherals into your PC, you may run out of USB ports, which is why installing something like the SIIG USB 3.0 7-port Extension is essential. You’ll never run out of ports for your peripherals with this and you won’t be compromising on speed, either.
The last internal card we’ll talk about is a dedicated ethernet or wireless card for your system. A choppy stream is one of the easiest ways to lose viewers and a dedicated internet card can help solve that problem, provided your ISP isn’t just terrible. Cards like the ASUS AC1300 Wireless Card are great options to make sure you’re making full use of the speed you’re paying for.
If this all seems too much or too piecemeal for you, consider upgrading your battlestation by acquiring a brand-new PC. iBUYPOWER offers multiple categories of PCs that will fit your needs, gaming or streaming.
You can check out pre-built gaming and streaming PCs like the Creator RDY Revolt 3 here. If you want to customize your PC, check out iBP’s Easy Builder tool and choose your parts step-by-step for your ideal setup.