The school year is almost upon us, and if you are going to university, chances are you will be moving into a dorm. Granted you won’t be spending all your time in your dorm room, but when you are in there, you want it to be comfortable and to maximize what little space you have available. Hopefully this guide will help you pick out some great gear and give you some good ideas to give you the ultimate gaming station.
Luckily I have never had to spend any extended amount of time living in a dorm but I have stayed in them from time to time for different reasons, so I have some experience in them. They all tend to have the same design and features in my experience. The main features in any dorm room are going to be, a bed, a desk some closet space and maybe some shelves if you are lucky. One good thing you will have for certain is a good internet connection and that will help things out here for sure.
The right desk can add lots of space
Depending on your dorm room some of the things I mentioned above might come with your room or in some cases be built right in as part of a whole unit. In some smaller dorms I have seen whole walls that are one big long unit which encase a closet, shelving and desk unit all in one. However If you are lucky enough to have a dorm room where you provide the desk, your setup can be a bit more customized. If you have the room, a corner L desk can offer enough space for a huge battle station setup or can double as a workstation and game station as well. It doesn’t take much but a desk like this can really give you a great space for your setup.
Transitional L-Shaped/Corner Desk
Along with your desk a good chair is highly recommended. You can go the super stylish way and get yourself a rad gaming chair that looks like it was ripped right out of a racing car, like this one from Clutch Gaming. Legitimate gaming chairs are awesome and well worth the price but if you want to save a few bucks a good office chair like this Monterey Manager & Executive Chair are a good way to way to go and still make you look like you belong in the MLG.
With your desk and seating chosen, next it comes down to what platform do you plan to game on. If you are going to be gaming on a computer, you ideally would set up your computer as you normally would at your desk and aside from a few choice accessories, you are pretty much done. However if you are going to be gaming on a console you have a few more things to consider and setup.
Check out some great gaming PCs here with my article Gaming computers bring the ultimate experience for school and after school.
Consoles are a great way to save space
Having a top of the line gaming PC is great but in most cases it will take up a lot of your limited space. Worry not as the latest generation of consoles support some great high definition gaming and don’t require very much space. A great example of this, is the new Xbox One S, with its slimmed down size and versatility. The Xbox One S is a full 40% smaller than the original model, comes with a 2TB HDD, supports 4K Ultra HD video and comes with the new bluetooth-enabled Xbox Wireless Controller. If you already have an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 you are already in a good position and can instead spend money on upgrading some of your existing hardware.
A good monitor can pull double duty and save space
In most cases your gaming setup will also double as your work space and your media centre as well. With this in mind, you want to make sure you have a TV or a monitor that has enough inputs to provide the experience you want and supports your chosen resolution. If you just picked up the Xbox One S then you will definitely want a TV that supports 4K resolution, like this amazing VIZIO 40″ 4K UHD LED Smart TV, if you have the space that is. Otherwise I highly recommend this ASUS gaming monitor, the ASUS 23.6″ FHD 1ms GTG TN LED. It supports multiple inputs, like VGA, DVI and HDMI, as an added bonus it also has a built in speaker, which again can help you conserve space but truth be told you should have a good stereo headset if you plan on doing any serious gaming.
Good sound can save your digital life!
We now have visuals and your gaming machine of choice covered, next we need to cover audio. First off good audio can make a huge difference on how well you play as audio cues can provide tons of gameplay info when playing online shooters like Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, but the last thing your RA is going to want to hear come exam time, is gunfire and shouting from your dorm room. The best thing to do, to maximize your sounds and minimize its impact on your dorm mates, is by getting a good headset.
My current headset of choice is the Astro A40 plus MixAmp. When it is connected to my Xbox One via optical out, it provides digital surround quality sounds which is great for a survival horror game like Alien Isolation or even just some great ambiance when playing The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. What also makes this headset great is, I can easily disconnect the headset from the mix amp and plug it into my PC to use as a stereo headset there as well. Keep in mind I could have it setup the other way as well, with the MixAmp connected to the optical out on my PC and then just connect the headphones to the stereo out on the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller(this jack can only be found on the newer model of the controllers). If you are going to take this route I highly recommend the Xbox One Headset Adapter, as it will allow you to adjust the volume between game and chat, much easier and the adapter works with almost any stereo headset.
What I have here should get you a decent setup to start your gaming between lectures and hopefully give you some much needed stress release come exam time. All that’s really left at this point is decorations and then you should feel right at home in your new dorm room setup.