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Choosing The Best Gaming Desk – Game On!

Choosing The Best Gaming Desk – Game On!

A gaming desk is a piece of furniture that has been carefully constructed to reflect the needs of a serious gamer. Every element of the desk has been designed to match the specific requirements of a gaming addict and, they can be adjusted to optimise the whole experience and even provide a competitive advantage.

PC gamers have traditionally always played at a desk but now, with the introduction of online gaming and super internet speeds, online gamers are now changing how they interact with other players, and console gamers are also tending to move towards a more classic desk set up.

Unique gaming desk features

There are some specific features unique to gaming desk design and these include:

  • A large and stable surface.
  • An extensive custom mouse pad which may cover almost the entire desk top with a non-slip coating which is usually removable and even machine washable or, a specially prepared permanent surface which should resist chips and scratches over time.
  • Custom design to hold several large monitors.
  • Desk tailoring options so an adjustable height to dovetail with the gaming chair, some high-end models are electrically operated.
  • Unique cable management systems with commonly three cut outs in the desk design so cables can be threaded through the desk surface into a mesh storage area below. Some desks also offer horizontal and vertical wire management.

Gaming desk ‘do’s’

Do be prepared for a flat pack purchase and home assembly; it’s not rocket science but you will need some very basic DIY skills to build your desk.

Pay attention to the quality of the desk top if there is not an integrated mouse mat – cheap laminate surfaces can chip and scratch over time. It is also important to look at how well the surface is made - will it also stand up to spillages from hot and cold drinks and how are the edges finished? Are they bonded and smooth for user comfort, with a robust and attractive look? Commercial-grade laminates usually offer the best finish in terms of appearance and durability but this will increase the price point.

Do choose a design that will be comfortable to sit at; a standard cross-bar style may not offer enough clearance for the sitter’s knees although this design will ensure the desk is stable and doesn’t wobble or move. Some more expensive gaming desks feature electrically adjustable settings which means you can easily change the height to accommodate different people or even stand up to game.

Gaming desk ‘don’ts’

Don’t overlook the frame quality as the desk needs to be really stable as precision is a key element of successful gaming. Admittedly, this affects console players less than those using a PC and a mouse but often, the materials used for gaming desk construction are quite lightweight so read user reviews carefully to make sure your choice of desk is going to be sturdy enough for your needs. Also, pay attention to the joins and the weak points where the desk fits together as this can seriously impact on stability; a poor quality frame will give the gamer an unstable experience and ultimately will not last the course.

Don’t underestimate the impact of casters which are a feature on some gaming desks. These are ideal if you want something portable but may not be the most stable on a tile or wood floor when you are actually gaming. Some designs offer two out of the four casters as lockable but users often find there is still too much mobility when they are playing.

Don’t assume that a standard oblong desk shape is the best option for your needs. There are corner desks or ‘L-shaped’ styles which tend to offer greater flexibility in terms of available surface and below desk storage options; these also work well in a compact area where there is not much room. If the L-shape desk also has cross supports then this can offer the maximum amount of stability without interfering with the gamer’s space and plenty of room to tuck legs underneath the desk.

Gaming desk space and storage options

One of the key considerations when buying a gaming desk, is the amount of space available. PC gamers require the most table top area with keyboard and mouse setups. Gamers that mix both PC gaming and console gaming will need even more space and also require extra storage facilities.

Adequate storage is essential, and many desks are very minimalist in design and do not have any storage options. However, some desks have sufficient space below the table top to add your own storage units.

There are gaming desk designs which major on the storage options with integrated pedestal files and an upper storage shelf area which can be used as a monitor holder although if you are very tall, you may find that the height of this is just completely wrong. These desks are also self-assembly and are much more complicated and time-consuming to put together.

If you plan to put a lot of weight into the drawers then avoid the lower quality and cheaper desks as their drawer slide systems are often inferior, instead choose a design with steel ball bearing slides to manage heavy loads and operate smoothly.

If, like many people, the desk is going to have to double up for homework purposes or office work then an L-shaped desk will probably offer the best flexibility in terms of available space and as a multi-purpose design.

Adding a gaming desk to your home interiors

There is no two ways about it, most gaming desks are minimalist in design and pretty functional, finished in either black or silver and they can look out of place in some interiors. Fortunately, there are wooden options designed in a conventional desk style which will harmonise much better with a more classic or period interior. These gaming desks can also double as a stylish option for studying or home workers.

Home Assembly

Most gaming desks will be self-assembly and not come ready made so if you are not handy at DIY then avoid a complicated design with storage options as these are harder to construct.

The package when delivered will be large and cumbersome, something to bear in mind if you need to build the desk in an upstairs flat or room. Always read the desk reviews on an authentic site as someone is bound to give you the low down on how easy it was to put the piece together.

Don’t forget the chair

Committed gamers will find themselves sitting for many hours at their gaming desk: if it doubles up for homeworking or study then this could increase even more.

An ergonomic chair is essential for comfortable gaming and to minimise the risk of strains and aches and pains which can develop into RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury – with problems manifesting in the neck, shoulders, wrists and hands. For maximum user comfort and flexible options for different sitters, an electrically adjustable desk and a well manufactured ergonomic chair will manage all of these issues and ensure optimal ease and enjoyment whilst you are gaming. Standing up or using a tilting desk are an even better way to pursue your hobby for the health-conscious gamer.

Office desks versus gaming desks

Cheap gaming desks are often no more than a basic office desk designed for the home with a quick name change and re-brand. These are not usually fit for purpose as they lack adequate storage and are frequently made from inexpensive materials which are not strong enough to stand up to the wear and tear of gaming and won’t offer the user a stable and slick unit for maximum competitive performance either.

How to buy the best gaming desk

  • Look at your available space and work out how much room you have.
  • Decide on the design and how much table top area you need.
  • What is the frame made from and how robust and stable is it?
  • Consider storage options and whether you require storage.
  • Assess whether an integrated mouse mat is fine for your needs or whether you want a high-end slick laminate or glass finish.
  • Is the desk going to be multi-purpose and used for office work or study in which case an L-shape design might be the best option?
  • How many people will be using the desk? Do you require an easily adjustable height?
  • Where is the desk going to sit in your house? Are you looking for a design that will match your interior?
  • When you have found your gaming desk design, check out user reviews carefully in terms of fitness for purpose and how long and difficult it is to self-assemble.

A good gaming desk is never the cheapest option but will be money well spent and possibly represent a fraction of the budget spent on PCs, consoles and other equipment in aggregate.