The current pandemic has forced many working professionals to sit and work from home. But what if your home is nowhere ready to accommodate the work you’re doing? You may also be thinking about a gaming setup you’d like to create in that same space. So how do you even begin setting up a space that will not only work for your job but for your gaming as well? If you’re one of these people, then you should follow this definitive guide on how to create a dual office and gaming station.
What You Need in a DIY Work and Gaming Station
A Desk and Chair
The desk sets the tone for your entire build. The desk needs to be sturdy and robust enough to handle your setup. There are many desks to choose from, and they come in different materials. You can choose to build one yourself, or you can buy a one and assemble it yourself. Make sure to select one that has the proper material, like wood for mouse support, and the ideal height so you don’t strain your arm while working or gaming. You should also consider whether you would do better with a standing or sitting desk.
One of the most important parts of the work/gaming setup is the chair. If you are going to be sitting extensively, you need to make sure that the chair has comfortable cushioning and lumbar support. Your budget and type of job will dictate what chair you buy. If teleconferencing is part of your job, then invest in an office chair will be well suited for this situation, just make sure that it adjusts to the proper height so that it doesn’t affect your work or gaming session. But if your budget allows and you like gaming aesthetics, then a gaming chair might be a really fun option.
Computer and Display
What is a desk set up without a computer? Ideally, the laptop or desktop should be powerful enough to run games and be used as a work computer. Again, it depends on your budget, but if you’re going for a laptop, then look for one that has a fast processor, adequate RAM and storage, and a dedicated GPU. It should be cheaper than a desktop. But, if you’re looking to spend more, then a desktop could be right for you. A desktop will have more flexibility in terms of upgradeability and performance.
You can’t do much without a display. The requirements of a display are based on your setup. If you’re rocking a laptop-only setup, then you don’t need a display. But you can hook it up to an external display. If you have a desktop, then there are a litany of monitors to choose from. You should look out for a high-quality display, and if you’re into high fps gaming, then you should look for a high-refresh-rate display like 144Hz or more. They are getting incredibly affordable and would be a good work monitor too. Use a stand that comes with the display or use a VESA mount to adjust the orientation. You can have a multi-display setup or a single display.
Peripherals (Keyboard, Mouse, and Audio)
The peripherals will depend upon what system you are using. Usually, you’ll need a keyboard and a mouse for your desktop setup. These should fit your gaming needs and work requirements.Try a mechanical keyboard or a gaming mouse with buttons you can program. For conference calls, and to truly enjoy game play, you may need an audio setup, either use the onboard speakers or buy a sperate pair. If you’re gaming or teleconferencing, you will need a solid pair of headphones with a headset style microphone.
The Right Atmosphere
This will be totally up to you. Generally, you should pick a place that has adequate airflow and access to direct sunlight. This will help your productivity and focus. Personalize your desk however you want. You can add memorabilia, LED strips all around your desk, or a headphone stand. You might even have gaming decorations to keep you motivated and looking forward to after work hours.
Three Setups for a Dual Gaming and Work Station
1. The Laptop Setup
You’ve decided that your gaming and workflow will run through your laptop. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a powerful laptop that fits your budget. You’re either using it solo or it is hooked up to a monitor using an HDMI cable or a thunderbolt 3 cable. If your laptop has a thunderbolt 3 connector, you can essentially run everything out of that port by using a dock to connect any peripheral imaginable, even your monitor, making it easier to manage your desk. You can even use an external GPU to increase the performance of your game.
2. The Desktop Setup
If you chose to go the desktop route, and you’ll have more power and flexibility at your disposal. You should, however, make sure that you have chosen a desk that can accommodate both your monitors and the computer itself. The desk could be standing or sitting,just make sure it goes to the proper height. Picking a desktop gives you the option to easily use a dual or maybe triple monitor setup to boost your productivity and gaming experience to the next level. Also, you may need a webcam for either streaming or using it for calling your office.
3. The Best of Both Worlds
You could also decide to use a desktop and laptop in your personal gaming/work setup. Maybe your desktop is your work machine while your laptop is your gaming station or vice versa. Or you may be using your laptop as a second screen to accommodate a bigger work load. Ideally, your chosen desk should be able to support that setup and is comfortable to use with your height adjustment, either while standing or while sitting in a gaming chair.