Having the right gear for the right situation can be the difference between glory and defeat. With that in mind, we’ve made a guide to help you chose the right equipment for your specific gaming needs.
Sports are where talent and technology meet, and this is even more true in the world of competitive video gaming and eSports. Sure, having the latest and greatest equipment won’t guarantee you victory, but it will ensure that your failures are your own and not the result of shoddy gear letting you down.
SteelSeries are one of the most trusted brands in gaming, with many of the most decorated eSports teams (Faze Clan, TEAM OG, SpaceStation Gaming) using their products exclusively. In fact, as the company proudly state on their website, since 2001 gaming pros have “won more prize money using SteelSeries than any other brand”. They are essentially the undisputed champ in their chosen field.
Speaking of which, your chosen field matters when selecting gaming gear. The specific video games you play, and their associated genres, are two of the most important factors that should be accounted for when selecting your equipment.
There’s an old saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight, and trust me when I say you don’t want that to be you.
So let’s cut the chitchat and get down to business. Here are the best gaming peripherals, and the games/genres where they can help you elevate your performance. The right tools for the right job, if you will.
Hero shooters and battle royales (Fortnite, Overwatch, APEX Legends, Valorant)
Team-based shooters and battle royale style games have more than a few things in common, particularly in terms of gameplay mechanics and how they relate to hardware. These games are fiercely competitive, and good players know that their ability to quickly execute actions accurately is of the utmost importance.
However, you must also be able to do said actions repeatedly, meaning that hand fatigue can become an issue. Therefore, lightweight gear that doesn’t sacrifice any of its performance or ergonomics is ideal.
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 and Aerox 3 Wireless are the perfect mice for this genre; weighing only 59g for the wired model and 68g for its wireless sibling. This lightness lends itself to being in constant motion, while the state-of-the-art tracking sensor does an amazing job keeping up.
The two buttons on the left-hand side are a nice addition for custom mappings – such as a quick-change to mouse sensitivity or a clutch bindable ability.
In terms of keyboards, the Apex 3 TKL is a solid choice that players are unlikely to regret. While this style of game isn’t overly reliant on hotkeys, it’s worth noting that all SteelSeries keyboards are completely remappable using their Engine software – so the choice is there if you need it.
As an added bonus, the Apex 3 is IP32 water resistant, and the Aerox e is IP54 water resistant. So if you’re prone to accidents, or live in an environment where they happen frequently, this keyboard should offer some peace of mind.
It should also be noted that both of these products are suitable for players with smaller hands.
First-person shooters and MOBAs (Call of Duty, Counterstrike, Battlefield, DOTA 2)
Gamers that play within this genre generally already know what they need: lean and mean gear that boast lightning-fast response times. Equipment lag can be extraordinarily frustrating in this genre, as even a moment’s delay can result in a significant disadvantage.
Customisable buttons can be useful here, but shouldn’t come at a cost to hand mobility and comfort. When you are relying on the speed of your reactions the last thing you need is your finger hitting a poorly positioned button – especially when that button is only relevant occasionally.
This is why we have gone with the Prime+, an elite product that was designed in collaboration with some of the biggest names in eSports. On top of its legendary accuracy, the Prime+ boasts near-instantaneous Optical Magnetic switches, which send a click signal when the light breaks rather than when the switch lifts.
What this all means is that your mouse’s buttons are guaranteed to perform at lighting fast speeds for over 100 million clicks. This baby will dutifully serve you for an eternity.
In terms of keyboards, the Apex Pro is a no brainer. This glorious beacon of shining lights and high-grade aluminium (the same grade as the other keyboards on this list) has the fastest response time available when using the highest sensitivity. Need we say more?
Well if you insist, the Apex Pro comes with adjustable key sensitivity, an OLED screen that can communicate with games and apps, and an ergonomically designed wrist rest. It’s a beast.
RPGs and MMOs (World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online, New World)
When it comes to RPGs and popular MMOs you want lots of buttons and flexibility with their mappings. Response time isn’t quite as important as in some other genres, but comfort and ergonomic design are of critical importance.
Gamers that play these games typically do so often and for longer-than-average sessions. Because of this, investing in quality gear that has been designed for professional application is a wise move. and SteelSeries, as we have already established, have a strong reputation when it comes to meeting the needs of pro gamers.
The Rival 5 is the ideal mouse for these games as it has a grand total of nine programmable buttons. This flexibility means you can map certain skills to your mouse instead of alternating your left-hand between movement and activating abilities.
Once you’re used to it, this technique should improve your overall effectiveness by a wide margin.
In terms of keyboards, the Apex 7 is a real contender that should give players everything they need and then some. That said, if you’ve got the money and don’t mind spending it on quality, the Apex Pro just edges it for us (the adjustable mechanical switches being the primary reason).
If you’re more of a button basher though, you likely won’t notice the difference, and will accordingly recognise the Apex 7 for what it is: undeniably classy.
Some headphone brands aren’t suited to gaming purposes, despite what they’d have you believe, due of latency issues. The good news is that SteelSeries use 2.4ghz wireless technology in all their headphones, guaranteeing accurate audio response. This is true for wired and wireless products.
What this means is that the perfect headphone for you comes down to your personal preferences.
The Arctis Prime and Arctis 3 are both great choices for any gamer that plays across multiple platforms, as they are compatible with Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
If you like to play nonstop for long sessions, the Arctis 7 is capable of lasting through 24 hours of use.
Finally, if you are looking for a truly premium experience, then the Arctis Pro or the Arctis Pro Wireless (which lets you take calls or stream music via Bluetooth while gaming) is your one-stop shop for high-fidelity success.
Honestly, they are simply an impeccable pair of headphones for gaming.
If you have any further questions regarding SteelSeries products, we recommend checking here.