Before I started working here at WePC, my PC gaming was limited to Civ 5 and pouring endless hours into destroying my Sims lives. And, when I had enough time to fit it in, some time spent leveling up my characters in WoW. This was, mostly, down to circumstance. I was gaming on a battered old laptop, so I didn’t have the option of enjoying any of the bigger game titles or I risked the whole thing over-exerting itself and blowing up in my face. So, it soon became clear that I needed a beginner’s guide to PC gaming.
The awesome team here took me under their wing, showed me how to build a gaming PC, and laughed at my terrible first attempt of playing CS:GO. Slowly, with access to all the wonderful setups in the WePC office, along with our extensive Steam library, I have started to become something of a PC gaming convert. This isn’t to say my PS4 and Nintendo Switch don’t still see some serious use, but I’ve started to see how the grass may actually be greener on the PC gaming side.
So, this is my guide for others like me. Those who have grown up with consoles but are wanting to take their first tentative steps into the world of PC gaming. A beginner’s guide to PC gaming, a console lover’s guide on making the switch, and a general “how-to” for those who don’t know where to start.
Your First Gaming PC
First things first, you’re going to need to get your hands on an actual gaming PC. Now, this can be as easy as getting the latest console as there are a number of great prebuilt gaming PCs out there. But, by going prebuilt, you will end paying more than if you build it yourself.
Trust me, I know that the thought of building a gaming PC from the ground up is absolutely terrifying, but I promise, it’s much easier than you might think. There are some great guides out there to show you how to do it, step-by-step (may I recommend ours right below?) but it’s always best to have someone on hand who knows what they’re doing. Chances are if you’re a big gamer, you probably have at least one friend that’s been harping on at you about how much better PC gaming is than console gaming, so grab them and get them to help out.
As much as you might want to build the beefiest system in the world, you’re probably going to want to look at something mid-range if you want to enjoy great gaming without breaking the bank. Take a look at our $600 and $700 PC builds, which we update every day, as great options for your first PC.
Don’t forget that you’re also going to need a solid collection of peripherals to go along with your tower, though. So add some more cash into that budget for a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at the very least (although going for a gaming chair and headset as well is definitely recommended). All in all, for less than $1k you can have the perfect gaming setup ready to go that can easily last you a good few years. And, it’s so much easier to upgrade your PC than your console when the time comes!
First PC Peripherals
Winner: A bit of both
While the PC will be more powerful, customizable, and upgradeable, not everyone has the skills or funds to build their own.
PC Graphics Vs. Console Graphics: Which Is Better?
When it comes to graphics and hardware power, PCs are almost always packing more punch than consoles are. The hardware inside a gaming PC can far outperform its console counterparts, especially with the scope to overclock.
If you don’t know what overclocking is, or how to go about it, we have some guides to help you out:
- How To Overclock Your GPU
- How To Overclock Your CPU
- How To Overclock Your RAM
- How To Overclock Your Monitor
But, the short version is: overclocking lets you push your components past their usual performance. Not all components are able to do this, but if you invest in one that can be, you can boost your PC’s abilities and enjoy even better gaming.
Hands-down, if better gaming graphics are your thing, then you have to go with a gaming PC.
Your Favorite Games, And The Games You Missed
As long as releasing platform-exclusive titles is fashionable, someone is always going to miss out. But, with well over 30,000 games on offer (not including DLC or software) it’s hard to argue with the monolith of gaming that is Steam. From the latest AAA titles to under-the-radar indie titles, there is definitely something for everyone. You don’t even need to give up your favorite console titles, most of them, anyway. Big-name games like Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077, and Halo 3 (finally) are all available for PC gamers too.
You’re also much more likely to find great gaming deals on Steam than you are on Xbox or Playstation stores. So, you’ll be able to get all those great titles for much less.
Winner: PC (mostly)
Cheaper games, a wider library - it’s easy to see why PC would win. But, missing out on those console-exclusive titles like The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, and even Animal Crossing means consoles get half a point here.
Controller Or No Controller (That’s Not A Question…)
As a console gamer, the idea of trying to play through games with a keyboard and mouse was daunting at first. I was a practiced controller user, how was I supposed to do anything worthwhile without one? While many members of the PC master race will love explaining to you how superior a keyboard and mouse is, you don’t actually have to make the switch.
There are a bunch of controllers you can use with PC games (as well as just using your existing PS4 controller if you want). And, depending on what game you’re playing, controllers can still be easier to use than a traditional keyboard and mouse setup (sorry not sorry).
With everything else the PC does better than consoles, being able to use controllers or keyboard and mouse with it means the gaming PC easily beats outs consoles once again.
With three and a half wins out of four, it’s safe to say that PC gaming manages to beat consoles in most categories. And, trust me, as a console lover, that sentence was hard to type. But, you have to hand it to the PC master race - you guys know your stuff. While I won’t be throwing my consoles onto the scrap heap anytime soon, I’ll admit that my PS4 has been relegated to Netflix duties while I boot up the PC for those all-night gaming sessions.
WePC, what have you done to me?