Modern Life

Level up your gameplay with a battle station that’s uniquely yours

From peripherals to personalization, tips to create the perfect gaming setup that reflects your interests and vibe.

By Tim Barribeau — February 9, 2023

What really pushes a good gaming space to a great one?

It’s the whole room you construct to perfectly capture your vibes, and that you’ll enjoy being in for hours at a time. Is that traditional RGB lights and black plastic in a cave-like setting? Smooth clean white lines? Pastel cottagecore in an open and airy space? Neon soaked vaporwave? As Eric Moran, new product introduction lead for HP’s OMEN Gaming Hub, put it, “Gamers have an affinity towards certain objects and aesthetics, and will research and tweak it until it looks and feels perfect for them.”


RELATED: 5 tech trends to watch from CES 2023


Take his room for example: it features eye-catching programmable LED squares from Twinkly, a custom made Sam Fisher “Splinter Cell” shadow board (one of his favorite game series), different PCs for work and for play, and sound insulating foam boards to make sure he doesn’t get any echoes during video calls or game streams.

OMEN Gaming Hub lead Eric Moran's colorful battle station uses colorful ambient lighting to set the mood.

Every gamer is different, and wants different things from their space. But the beauty of this hobby is just how much can be customized, be that your keyboard, your lighting, or your chair. Here are a few ideas to think about as you get started: 

The rig of your dreams

At the core of your gaming setup, naturally, is the PC. Regardless if you’re running games off a tower you assembled yourself, or on a ready-to-go and powerful laptop, it’s the central nervous system for everything else and the item that you’ll be shaping your space around. Do you value portability, and so want to opt for a laptop like the powerful Victus 15 or OMEN 16? Or are you willing to be more stationery and get more processing heft in the form of a desktop, like the tricked out OMEN 45L?

Set the stage with displays

Some people like to array multiple displays in front of them, either stretching their playspace across the entire setup, or arranging apps and tools in different places. This is great if you’re streaming or recording, so that you can have your tools pulled up on one monitor and focused gameplay on another. The HyperX Armada 27 comes with an adjustable desk mount, so you can arrange the screens to fit your personal tastes. The other option is to go big: Ultrawide, curved monitors follow the arc of your vision so that every part of the image is equidistant from your eyes, like with an OMEN 27C. But whatever choice you go with, keep in mind that higher refresh rates will offer you the possibility of faster reactions as you play. And monitor arms to adjust the exact positioning of each screen will save your neck during a long session.

HyperX Armada display with an adjustable arm, left. OMEN by HP 45L Gaming Desktop, right.

Peripherals for comfort – and style

When it comes to keyboards and mice, it’s all about what feels best. With keyboards —do you prefer clicky or smooth? How loud or soft? Backlit and glowing or unobtrusive? Check out the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 with red switches, or the hyper-programmable OMEN Sequencer. And for a mouse, look for something comfortable, and wired. While a bluetooth mouse may make sense at your job, a wired mouse means never having to worry about disconnections, dead batteries, or high latency. The HyperX Pulsefire Haste is lightweight, programmable, keeps your hands cool and sweat free, and has customizable RGB lighting.

Get your head in the game 

A good headset will give you better spatial awareness, thanks to hyper-accurate surround sound, and will save the sanity of people who share a space with you  as you work through that raid. And good noise-canceling will help with the reverse, blocking out background sounds. The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is not only comfortable on just about any head (even if you wear glasses) but it’s also a long term Wirecutter recommended headset for its up to 300 hours of battery life. If you’re a bit “hot-headed” you can try the HP OMEN Mindframe Prime headset with FrostCap active earcup cooling technology, a feat of impressive engineering that makes the ear cushions actually conduct heat away from your skin. Throw in a pro-level mic like the HyperX QuadCast S for better team comms (or just causing trouble in a Discord chat with your friends), and you’ve got exactly what you need for a great audio experience for all. Also consider getting a headphone stand to stash them when not in use—Ikea makes a wooden mannequin hand for holding headphones, if you’re into something unusual, or if you want something more minimalist, then an under desk hook keeps your headphones stowed and out of the way.

Bianca Tamura

HyperX taps 3D printing tech to create customized gaming peripherals. A mushroom character microphone stand, left. Keycaps add personality to a keyboard, right.

Sitting pretty

Now that you’ve got all these pieces picked out, what are you going to put them on? Desks are an area where you may have the most flexibility, as long as it’s comfortable, any will work. Sure, there are some with more bells and whistles, like motorized standing desks, built-in cable management, extra charging ports, and more. But any solid, stable surface will hold your computer just as well when it comes down to it. 

Similarly, you don’t specifically need a gaming chair: they’re often overstuffed and over-hot, with faux leather covers that just trap sweat. Consider, instead, a high quality office chair. They’re just as comfortable, and tend to have better support in ways that will help your long term health thanks to OSHA accountability. I’m particularly a fan of Herman Miller Sayl, with its striking mesh design that does a stellar job of keeping you cool.

As unique as you are

The final touch is arguably the most important for making the space feel truly yours. And that’s the decor: art from artists you like, collectibles from your favorite games, purposeful task lighting or ambient colors to set the mood. Even something as small as coordinating your accessories can make you feel more at home.

Programmable colored smart lighting is easier than ever to set up with  the OMEN Light Studio, which can link to dozens of different peripherals, including Philips Hue and Twinkly Lights. With Light Studio, your room and accessory lighting becomes part of your games, changing brightness and color in response to things happening in-game and on-screen. Or you can set them to calm and mellow, if you just want to vibe out and play “Stardew Valley.” The lights become a conversation piece if you’re streaming or on a meeting, a way of focusing more on the action during intense gaming sessions, or a way of just making your space feel more yours.

Mechanical keyboards also (mostly) allow you to replace the keycaps with ones that express your personal tastes. Add one or two as an accent, like swapping out your escape key for “Coco the Cozy Cat,” a 3D-printed character from HyperX; or you can go deep on swapping out the entire set with different shapes and colors.

If all else fails, take inspiration from the pros. HP’s Moran says, “Very few of the pro and popular streamers have what I'd call ‘boring’ set-ups.” 

In other words, you’ll always find hints of what kind of player persona they bring to their game, Moran explains. Like a carefully-chosen avatar, “there's always something that represents their personality in the games they play.”


Read 7 emerging areas of technology to watch in 2023.