I’m not going to lie, folks: I love peripherals. Love ’em. As soon as I was introduced to the idea that you could have something other than a keyboard attached to a computer, I was hooked, and subsequent years have provided me with a surfeit of options about what I can plug into my case.
That sounded kind of dirty. I assure you it is not.
Maybe you don’t much care for peripherals, but you have a friend on your gift list who loves MMOs and is a big fan of peripherals. Or maybe you just want to get yourself something for this holiday season – I’m not one to judge. Here are a few suggestions for the peripheral junkie in your life, whether it’s you, someone else, or all of the above. Get your USB hubs ready.
1. Razer Naga
I’m pretty sure that Bree thinks of me as The Peripheral Guy specifically because of how many years I have spent crowing about this mouse. This would probably bother me more if this were not such a great mouse, you guys. Seriously, I can’t play some of my favorite stuff without the Razer Naga’s reassuring thumbpad to guide my keypresses, and all of my bindings have changes as a result of this one mouse.
I originally bought this mouse close to the launch of Star Trek Online because of how I liked to pilot my ship in that game, and I have never regretted it since. I do, however, recognize that some people really don’t like Razer products. For those who do not, may I recommend the Logitech G600? It’s got many of the same core features, but it’s not, well, by Razer. I don’t have as much experience with it, but as thumbpad mice go, it’s also a solid option.
Allow me to open off with a caveat: For the price of the Turtle Beach Ear Force Z300, it does have the slight problem of wearing out a bit faster than I would like. Mine is about two years old, and it’s about due for a replacement due to the arms of the headphones not holding up too well. Still, in every other respect this a great headset, with clear audio, excellent performance, and enough range that I can regularly go downstairs and keep listening to whatever’s otherwise playing on my computer.
Best of all, since the headphones are wireless, you really do have a degree of flexibility you just don’t get with wired sets. I tend to pace a bit when I talk, and I appreciate that the headset allows me to do just that without a problem. It’s a good “big” present for someone who really needs a headset and likes to be mobile.
I liked elements of the last keyboard I had, like swappable profiles for various games and its macro flexibility. I didn’t like how it was laid out and some of the additional keys. Good news, then: The Razer Blackwidow Chroma contains all of the former and none of the latter. And it’s mechanical, too, so there’s a satisfying clack to every single keypress.
If you’re like me, you may be tempted to spend far too much time playing with color profiles. That seems pointless, but remember – the shift in profiles allows you to tell at a glance which profile you have active at a given time. Never go into Star Wars: The Old Republic with your RIFT key layout again. If that’s, like, a thing you do.
More and more MMOs these days seem as if they can work with a controller. The Logitech Gamepad F310 is one on the cheap side, but boy, has it ever proved reliable and worthwhile over the years. Mine needs a replacement after quite some time, but that’s natural wear and tear on a single button; in every other respect it’s still ideal for controlling games like DC Universe Online or WildStar. (You can always remap keys to make normally non-controller games work with it!)
Want something a bit higher-end? The F710 is basically the same thing without wires and with rumble functionality.
Wow. Exciting. Mouse mats? Yes, mouse mats, and as silly as it sounds they matter. If you’ve ever had a particularly shoddy surface for playing with your mouse, you’ll be nodding your head in slow, irritated understanding.
That having been said, much like cables, while there is a “really bad” tier there’s also a whole lot of “unnecessarily enhanced” stuff on the upper end. The Corsair mats (which are available in many sizes) are cheap enough to not be insanely pricey while still being quality playing surfaces. You do not really need a mouse pad engineered within an inch of its life, but you could use a good one, and these are good indeed.