While console gamers can simply purchase an Xbox or PlayStation from the nearest GameStop and enjoy fun straight out of the box, PC gamers don’t always have this luxury. It takes a lot of resources to build an efficient gaming machine. And if you aren’t careful, you could end up spending too much money and not getting enough value in return.
4 Tips for Affordable PC Gaming
PC gaming can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Not only do you have to purchase a computer that can handle the demands of modern gaming, but you also have to continually purchase new games and update your software and hardware to account for changes in the industry.
The good news is that there are ways to enjoy PC gaming without blowing through your budget. Let’s check out a few tips and tricks experienced gamers use to make their hobby more affordable.
Build a Gaming Computer
One of the more exciting aspects of PC gaming is that you have the opportunity to build your own system. And contrary to popular belief, it’s actually cheaper to build a custom system than purchase one. TigerDirect has some of the most affordable products on the market. Here in the UK, retailers like Overclockers UK and Amazon are also good options for hardware.
It is, however, important to note that there’s currently a graphics card shortage in the market. If you find it challenging to build the computer you want at a price point that fits into your budget, you may want to purchase a system. According to tech and gaming blogger Michael Andronico, the best sub-$800 gaming desktops on the market are as follows: CyberPower Gamer Xtreme VR, Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop, iBuyPower BTS Mini Special, SkyTech Archangel, Digital Storm Vanquish 6, Lenovo Legion Y720 Cube, and Acer Aspire GX-281.
KitGuru also reviews plenty of pre-built PCs, many of which are available right here in the UK. You can check up on our latest system reviews, HERE.
Hold Off On Brand New Upgrades
When new hardware comes out, it’s easy to become enthralled with flashy capabilities and compelling marketing. However, it’s prudent to hold off on purchasing new PC gaming technology until it’s been around for a few months. This gives you time to read reviews, investigate technical issues, and figure out if it’s something you’ll actually use. It will also get you into a good routine of getting the most out of your hardware for as long as possible.
Never Pay Full Price for PC Games
A brand new PC game can cost you as much as $60. At this rate, purchasing just one game per month will set you back $720 per year. Regardless of how healthy your income is, this is a lot to spend on gaming.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay full price for PC games. Using a site like Codes.co.uk, you can find coupons and promo codes that save you between 10 and 75 percent off list prices. You can also check out game retailers like GreenManGaming, GOG, or the Humble Store, all of which have regular sales. If you don’t like buying elsewhere, you can always hold off for the next Steam sale, in-fact the dates for the next one have already been announced.
Wait to Buy Games
Unless you absolutely have to be the first one to own a new PC game, patience will pay off. Prices typically drop after the initial release. While some larger Triple A games will hold their price on Steam for a bit longer, waiting a few weeks and shopping around could save you as much as 25 percent. Waiting a few months will increase savings, sometimes in the realm of 50-60 percent.
Enjoy the Process
The process of building and maintaining a gaming PC is more challenging than just picking up a console- but don’t let that dissuade you. There’s something empowering and rewarding about the process of building a gaming PC and enjoying games at higher frame rates and visual settings. Enjoy the process and don’t feel like you have to purchase everything at once. It’s okay – encouraged, in fact – to purchase one piece at a time and slowly improve your setup as you have the means to do so.