The Ultimate Guide To Self-Isolation Gaming
So far, 2020 has not been the bumper year many of us wanted it to be. And now, with the world locked in a viral pandemic thanks to Coronavirus, many people are staying indoors either by choice or by government order. And what does all this time indoors mean for us gamers? It’s time to dust off your games library and use your time wisely.
Take a good look at your shameful pile of games you’ve never played, take advantage of any Steam sales you can find, and make sure to top up those online gaming memberships – we’re going to show you how to do self-isolation right.
First things first, you need to make sure that your set-up is the best it can possibly be. Nobody knows for sure how long Coronavirus is going to impact our lives and you don’t want to be stuck with subpar gaming.
If you’re a PC gamer, which we know many of you are, you’ll want to make sure your PC is built to handle all the new (and old) games you’re about to load onto it. Depending on your roster of game titles, you might want to look at upgrading a couple components.
If you’re only looking to play low-intensity games like CS:GO, PUBG, and other FPS titles, then you should be fine with a more budget PC (like our $500 build). But, if you’re wanting to push it to play heavier titles like Tomb Raider, or Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll need to look a bit higher in terms of specs. We’d recommend shooting for at least our $700 build.
Maybe you’re getting ready for some of the big-name releases coming later this year like Cyberpunk 2077 with its promise of ray-tracing. Or, maybe you’re a fan of VR gaming and need a PC that can handle it. Well, at this point, you’re going to need a budget of at least $1000, but we’d recommend pushing as far as you can. Maybe even shooting for our $3000 build.
If you’re looking forward to getting your hands on the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, then you’re going to need a PS4 to go with it. There are two versions of the hit console currently available; the PS4 and the PS4 Pro.
If you really want to see this game, and any other, in all their glory we recommend going for the PS4 Pro. This suped-up version of the Playstation offers 4K gaming, so you can see the games as they were meant to be seen.
If you want to play any games online with your friends, or random strangers through matchmaking, then you’ll need a PS Plus membership as well. Not only does this give you the ability to play games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, or the new Call of Duty Warzone with your friends around the globe, it also gifts you two free games each month.
Again, you don’t just have one option when it comes to Xbox, you have two: the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. Xbox One S is their standard offering and will allow to play any game from their library as well as enjoying online play and video streaming.
The Xbox One X, on the other hand, is much more powerful. In fact, Microsoft calls it “the world’s most powerful console”. Much like the PS4 Pro, you’ll be able to enjoy 4K gaming and streaming if you opt for the higher-end choice.
To play online games with friends, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold membership. But, we’d recommend upgrading this to an Xbox Game Pass instead. With a game pass, you not only get the online play features, but you also get access to a huge library of games you can play for free, as well as access to your Xbox game son your PC.
And, finally, we have Nintendo. Their Nintendo Switch has now become the best-selling console out there, and if you haven’t got your hands on one yet – this is the perfect opportunity. Depending on how you prefer to game, you have two options. The classic Nintendo Switch can be used as a handheld console or hooked up to your TV for at-home gaming. The newer, smaller Nintendo Switch Lite is more compact and is designed exclusively for on the go gaming.
Now, we might be talking about staying home here, but if you don’t live alone there’s a good chance the TV won’t always be available for you to flex those gaming muscles. So, having a handheld console you can take into any room in the house can be a big plus.
Again, if you want to play online with friends, you will need a Nintendo Online membership. This membership also gives you access to a library of classic NES and SNES games you can play on your Switch.
So, you’ve got your hardware in place to run your games. But, extended gaming sessions – especially ones that can essentially last for a few weeks, need a little more than that to truly be comfortable. So, let’s take a look at what other gaming accessories you’re going to need.
You need to make sure where you’re sitting through all this gaming is as comfortable as possible, which is why investing in a gaming chair is a great idea. Picking the best one for you can be tricky, but we have you covered.
In a rush? We definitely recommend getting a good-quality gaming chair for your home gaming set-up, and one of our favorites is the Secretlab Omega 2020.
If you plan on gaming with friends, you’ll need a quality headset that allows you to hear every in-game detail as well as keeping you in touch with your teammates. For this, we definitely recommend getting over-ear headphones that have been specifically designed for gaming.
Our favorite gaming headset has to be the Sennheiser GSP 670 that we recently reviewed here in the office.
The Games We’re Playing During Coronavirus Self-Isolation
Here at WePC, there’s quite the spread of gamers with some of us being exclusively PC gamers and some loving consoles too, as well as a wide range of gaming genres on the go from FPS games like CS:GO to JRPGs like Final Fantasy to farming games like Stardew Valley. So, with that in mind. Here’s what we’ll all be playing during our own self-isolation.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Warzone
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Genre: Multiplayer FPS Battle Royale
The second the Call of Duty multiplayer released, we dropped everything we were doing and logged on – we even live-streamed our first hour of playing. This FPS battle royale game is a welcome addition to the Call of Duty franchise and was a delight to play through. Grab a few friends, and you can even play together.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
As I write this, there are still a few days until this game releases (and, trust me, I’ll be too busy to update this page when it does) but the new Animal Crossing game will be a welcome distraction for many. With New Horizons, you’re building not just a town, but a whole island. The cute Nintendo graphics paired with a soothing soundtrack and laidback gameplay make this perfect for forgetting everything that’s happening in the real world.
Genre: Action RPG
The recently released ARPG is a frustratingly fun game that sees you facing off against a whole range of weird and wonderful monsters as you try and save Sengoku-era Japan. Fair warning: you will die. A lot. But that’s part of the fun of this game. You’ll have to work out how you can defeat the various Yokai that you encounter.
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, Mac, iOS
Jackbox Games are the ultimate long-distance part game. With a variety of game packs to choose from, only one of you needs to buy the base game and host the party – everyone else just needs a smartphone to play. Each game is filled with fun and silliness and they are all insanely easy to play. Voice chat on Discord at the same time and you’ll soon forget you’re in isolation.
One game that has become surprisingly popular in the last few months is Planet Zoo. You’re in charge of building and maintaining a variety of zoos all over the planet (you can see where the inspiration for the name came from). You have to ensure that all your animals are kept happy, as well as the guests. It’s relaxing, entertaining, and endearing, and the perfect balm for stressed individuals.
If you’re practicing social distancing, are in self-isolation, or are just jonesing for a good gaming session, we hope our recommendations see you through. And please, above all else, stay safe. Wash your hands, limit your social interactions, and spare a thought for those who are most at risk right now. Now get back to your gaming setup and see if you can unlock that next achievement.