Opinion: How to bust lockdown boredom by building the ultimate PC gaming set-up

A gaming setup for the PC
Amid the pandemic, Oskar Howell looks at the best ways to improve your gaming rig. Photo credit: Oskar Howell

Sitting in my dark and dingy flat awaiting the day I can return to cafes, I'm feeling the all-too-familiar itch to tinker with my gaming battlestation.

With a near-endless selection of peripherals to choose from, what does the best of the very best look like in 2021?


A good mouse is undoubtedly the key to unlocking crisp aim. As an avid gamer and tech reviewer, I've tried most of the top contenders, but have decided not many mice surpass the Razer Viper Ultimate.

I found myself clicking heads and fragging out with ease with the Viper Ultimate - absolutely no troubles there.

The Viper Ultimate has a few things going for it, including a comfortable ambidextrous profile that fits my large hands perfectly, and a cutting-edge optical sensor that results in minimal lag and no stuttering.

It holds a reliably large charge, meaning I'm not worried about running out of juice during a firefight either. And paired with the wireless charging dock, it's simple enough to put it on charge before going to bed.

The Razer Viper Ultimate can be bought for around $230.


My first foray into peripheral brand Steelseries was underwhelming at best, but the Steelseries Apex Pro, a full-sized tournament keyboard, is light years away from my relatively unimpressive introduction.

I don't take gaming as seriously as some pros do, but I did notice the benefit of Steelseries' customisable actuation (the distance you have to press the key for it to register) when switching between work and play.

It sounds gimmicky, but adjustable actuation has its uses. High-octane sessions of Counter Strike require minimal actuation and featherlight touches, while long tweets and even longer articles benefit from the deliberate, deep thuds of reliable mechanical switches reminiscent of the IBM Model M keyboard.

The Apex Pro has all the other bells and whistles expected in a top-end keyboard. Gamers get uber-bright LEDs, a roller to adjust volume, programmable OLED screen and palm rest and will cost you just under $400.


At what point does a chair become a key part of a gaming setup? Is it when it's stamped with a gaming company's logo, or is it when it adds enough to make the difference in those gaming sessions?

The Razer Enki straddles this line, and does all the things my mid-2000s office chair could only dream of doing. It wins where it counts - comfortable, atypically sleek for gaming gear, and very customisable means it ticks all the boxes, but will set you back around $650 depending where you purchase it from.

A gaming setup for the PC
Photo credit: Oskar Howell


Long live the king of headsets: The Logitech G Pro X.

I've had various wired iterations of this headset wrapped around my dome for almost three years now, but with the G Pro X Wireless bringing a fresh revamp to an iconic headset, I knew I had to put it through its paces.

The Logitech G Pro X Wireless doesn't come cheap but in my eyes justifies the high price tag. There aren't many headsets I can sit on and expect to hold together, but thanks to the metal frame of the G Pro X Wireless and sturdy general build, it's survived at least two would-be assassination attempts.

As expected for a $350 headset, sound quality is crystal clear with Logitech's tried and true 50mm drivers.

Its seriously comfortable set of faux leather memory pads and friendly shape (even for my excessively large head), makes for an enjoyable night of gaming. In fairness, this is the same setup as you'd get with the wired version of this headset, but why change a winning recipe?


I recently had my first foray in streaming when I set up my Blue Yeti Blackout microphone and Logitech Streamcam for some light video conferencing. While hardly the most exciting content on the internet, having a quality setup did end up being essential when I organised a streaming night with mates over Discord to break up the lockdown blues.

They will cost you $149 and $210 respectively.

A gaming setup for the PC
Photo credit: Oskar Howell


Ultimately what counts when assembling a gaming set-up?

Whether it's through the lighting, poor posture, excessively-loud headset or a bad grip on your keyboard and mouse, long stints behind the screen can be the cause of serious health issues down the line.

The best way to reduce the risk of RSI, eye degeneration, or a general bad back is by building a setup that feels comfortable and offers you support.

So does the answer lie in upgrading your computer set-up with state-of-the-art gear right this moment? Probably not.

But if lockdown is getting the better of you and you're itching for a pre-Christmas shopping spree, your PC is a great place to start.

Oskar Howell is a freelance tech journalist.