Having the right desk setup is crucial for an enjoyable and comfortable gaming experience. The desk is the foundation of your gaming setup and can affect factors like ergonomics, convenience and performance. With so many options on the market, choosing the best gaming desk requires some consideration of your needs and preferences.
In this guide, we will overview the key factors to think about when selecting a gaming desk. Topics covered include optimal desk size and shape for your space, ideal height for your gaming posture, material and build considerations, cable management features, storage options, and any extra capabilities that may enhance your gameplay. We'll also provide desk recommendations across various budgets. Equipped with this information, you'll be able to select the ideal desk to level up your gaming station.
When choosing a desk for gaming, one of the most important factors to consider is the size. The standard desk sizes available are 60”, 72”, and 96” wide. However, the ideal desk size for your setup depends on how much surface area you need.
For a single monitor setup, a 60” wide desk is usually sufficient to fit a monitor, keyboard, and mouse comfortably. However, if you want extra space for gaming peripherals, speakers, and other accessories, a 72” desk is a better choice.
For a dual or triple monitor setup, you'll need a desk that's at least 72” wide. A 96" extra-large desk is ideal for fitting multiple monitors, computers, and accessories. Make sure to measure how much horizontal desk space your monitors and peripherals will take up.
Don’t forget to consider desk depth as well. A standard 24-30” depth provides ample room for most monitors and keyboards. However, if you want to push your monitor further back or mount it on a stand, look for a 30-36” deep desk.
Choosing the right size gaming desk ensures you have plenty of surface area to work with for your specific setup and gaming peripherals.
When choosing a desk for gaming, you'll want to consider the overall shape of the desk. Some common desk shapes include:
- Rectangular - A basic rectangle shape provides a large flat surface, but can feel confining.
- L-shaped - An L-shape gives you more flexibility, allowing you to set up your screens on one side while leaving room for other accessories.
- U-shaped - A U-shape wraps around you, giving easy access from multiple sides.
A rectangular desk is the simplest option. It provides plenty of usable surface area, though the confined space may feel restrictive. An L-shaped desk opens up more possibilities for your setup. The long side can hold your monitor(s) and peripherals, while the return segment gives you room for other items. This shape keeps everything within arm's reach. Finally, a U-shaped desk surrounds you for even easier access to your gear. However, the open back is not suitable if you want a partition or backdrop behind your station.
Consider the pros and cons of each shape and how much space you need to determine the optimal desk form factor for your gaming and streaming needs.
When choosing a desk for gaming, it's important to consider the height. You'll be spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, so you want to make sure it's at an ergonomic height to avoid neck, shoulder and back pain.
The standard desk height is about 29-30 inches. This allows enough room for your legs while seated, with your arms relaxed at your sides. However, everyone's body is different, so this may not be the ideal height for you.
Look for an adjustable desk that can change from a seated to standing position. Motorized desks that move up and down at the click of a button offer the most flexibility. You'll be able to find the right height for your body type and switch positions throughout the day.
Sit at your current desk and measure the height from the floor to your elbows. This will give you a target height when shopping for a new gaming desk. Also consider the thickness of the desk surface itself - thicker surfaces will increase the overall height.
The ability to adjust your desk's height is crucial for healthy computing. Don't settle for a fixed height that could lead to discomfort over many hours of gaming.
When selecting a desk for gaming, one of the most important considerations is the desk material. There are a few common materials used for gaming desks that each have their own pros and cons.
Wood is a very popular choice for gaming desks. It provides a stylish, natural look that fits well in many room decors. Wood is also durable and stable. Oak, maple, and birch are common woods used. The downside is that solid wood desks tend to be heavier and more expensive.
Glass desktops have a modern, sleek aesthetic. Tempered glass is durable and scratch-resistant. Glass desks are easy to keep clean. However, fingerprints and smudges can show up more on glass. The surface can also feel slippery for gaming. And glass desks tend to be pricier.
Metal desks like steel provide a strong, industrial look. They are extremely sturdy and durable. Metal conducts heat well and stays cool during long gaming sessions. But metal desks tend to be on the heavy side and prone to scratches. The hard surface can also be noisy when typing.
Overall, it's worth considering the pros and cons of each material and thinking about your priorities like style, budget, and durability when choosing a gaming desk.
Proper cable management is crucial for any gaming desk setup. You don't want cables dangling all around your desk or getting tangled in your mouse and keyboard. This can make your setup look messy and interfere with your gaming. There are a few cable management features to look for when choosing a gaming desk:
Holes - Many gaming desks have holes specifically designed for routing cables from your PC, monitor, peripherals, etc. Look for holes positioned around the edges and surface of the desk to thread cables through.
Trays - Cable management trays attach to the underside of the desk surface. They provide a dedicated space to organize wires and keep them out of sight.
Clips - Adhesive clips can be attached along the edges of your desk to hold cables in place neatly.
By utilizing cable management features like these, you'll avoid cable clutter and have a much cleaner, professional looking gaming station. Your wires will also be securely routed and won't get in the way during intense gaming sessions.
Storage & Organization
Having ample storage and staying organized is key for an optimal gaming desk setup. Here are some useful storage options to consider:
Shelves - Mounted shelves above or below the desk surface provide space to store gaming peripherals, controllers, headsets, and more. Make sure shelves are sturdy and deep enough to securely hold your gear.
Drawers - Look for a desk with drawers to stash away wires, paperwork, office supplies, and other desk clutter. Drawers keep items hidden but within reach.
Rack mounts - Specialized rack mounts allow you to securely attach equipment like speakers, microphones, lights, and webcams to your desk frame. This frees up space while keeping gear accessible.
Cable management - Features like cutouts, hooks and trays under the desk help neatly run and hide wires out of sight. This prevents cables from cluttering your work surface.
The key is choosing storage that meets your needs and keeping frequently used items within reach. Proper organization helps maximize desk space while minimizing clutter and distraction during intense gaming sessions.
Gaming desks often come with additional features beyond just the desk surface. Some popular extra features include RGB lighting, USB ports, headphone hooks, and cupholders. While these extras can enhance your gaming experience, it's important to assess whether they are truly useful or just gimmicks.
RGB lighting has become very trendy in gaming gear. Desks will often have LED strips installed along the edges or underside to cast colorful ambient lighting on your setup. While this can create a cool effect, the lighting is purely aesthetic and doesn't actually improve your gaming performance. Consider whether RGB lights would actually add value and enjoyment to your gaming space or if the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Built-in USB ports provide easy access for plugging in gaming mice, keyboards, controllers, and other peripherals. This prevents cable clutter by avoiding the need for external USB hubs. However, many PC cases and monitors already include USB ports, so additional ports on your desk may be redundant. Think about your existing setup and how many free USB ports you have before deciding if built-in ports on a desk are truly essential.
Headphone hooks allow you to neatly hang your headset when not in use. This prevents damage and clutter from tossing headphones on your desk. If you use a headset frequently, headphone hooks can be very convenient and are relatively inexpensive add-ons. Just be sure any hooks are sturdy and well-placed so your headset cable can reach comfortably.
Some gaming desks incorporate cupholders or drink coils to hold beverages. While keeping drinks off your desk surface avoids spills and stains, take care not to place drinks directly over electronics. Assess whether you truly need drink holders integrated into your desk or if a separate side table might work better. Prioritize the core features like size, height, and material first, and view cupholders as more of a bonus than a necessity.
When buying a gaming desk, you'll want to get the best quality you can afford without overspending. Here are some general price ranges to consider:
Under $100 - Very basic options, likely just a basic tabletop with minimal features. Can work but lacks specialized gaming elements.
$100-$200 - Decent starter or budget desks. May lack some features but provides the core necessities.
$200-$500 - Ideal mid-range for solid, full-featured gaming desks. Quality and specialized design at moderate prices.
$500-$1,000 - High-end desks with premium materials and features. Overkill for many but great if you can afford it.
Over $1,000 - Top-of-the-line luxury desks with cutting edge tech and features. Hard to justify the price for most.
The $200-$500 range likely offers the best balance - specialized gaming desks with all the key features, without getting excessive. But set your own budget based on what you can reasonably afford and aim for the best quality desk possible in that range.
When choosing a gaming desk, consider factors like size, height, shape, material, and features to find the best option for your space, setup and budget. Here are some top recommendations for different needs:
Best on a Budget: GreenForest L-Shaped Corner Desk
This affordable L-shaped corner desk offers plenty of space for multiple monitors, PC tower, accessories and more. The sturdy steel frame and waterproof PVC laminate surface hold up well for heavy gaming use. Cable management cutouts help keep wires organized.
Best Extra-Large: Mr. IRONSTONE 63" Gaming Desk
With an expansive 63” width, this spacious desk provides ample room for ultrawide or multi-monitor setups, speakers, consoles and other gaming gear. The carbon fiber texture and RGB lighting accentuate the gaming aesthetic.
Best Standing Desk: Flexispot Height Adjustable Gaming Desk
This electric standing desk converts to sit or stand height with the touch of a button. The height adjustment range accommodates standing or sitting gaming. The wide surface fits dual monitors and full gaming rigs.
When selecting a gaming desk, carefully consider the size, dimensions, materials, and features that best suit your gaming setup, equipment, room space and budget. Prioritize surface area, comfort, durability and functionality.
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