Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the MMO peripheral junkie

    
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Full of sound and fury. Sadly.

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

Seriously, I love this mouse.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.

2. Turtle Beach Ear Force Z300

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.

3. Razer Blackwidow Chroma

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.

4. Logitech Gamepad F310

Yes, I prefer it to the Xbox controller.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.

5. Corsair cloth mouse mat

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.

Some links included within this article may be part of MOP’s Amazon affiliate program, income from which goes entirely to funding our operational budget. MOP’s writers have selected products based on their own opinions and receive no direct commission or profit from the affiliate program. We have not been sponsored or coerced to mention any product. Stay tuned for more of our holiday gift guides for MMO players throughout the winter holiday season, and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
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zoward
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zoward

Gangrel  The Roccat mice also come with good linux support – no editing a long list of config files to get the buttons working and/or mapped.

zoward
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zoward

Siphaed breetoplay Agreed.  I’ve found that having a desk with a keyboard/mouse tray helps with this.  A lot of desks end up high enough above your chair that you’re forced to bend your wrists.  The pain soon follows. 

I suppose a standing desk would likely help as well, although I haven’t worked with one personally.

zoward
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zoward

The Logitech G600 MMO gaming mouse is on Black Friday sale at Amazon right now (I’ll link it here, not sure if Maasively automatically appends a referral link or not):

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-G600-Gaming-Mouse-Black/dp/B0086UK7IQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448657864&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+g600

Not sure if anyone else has it cheaper than that, altough it came up US$2 more expensive than it was when I bought it this morning.

GabeNewellFetish
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GabeNewellFetish

I’ve found Razr to be of dubious build quality and to have poor sensors. After a few years with the terrific Cooler Master Sentinel Advanced II, I’ve gone to the Mionix NAOS 7000. A sizable palm-grip mouse with an excellent precision sensor and no positive acceleration problems.

No need for a mouse pad. Best surface possible would be a desktop made out of a patterned formica (or other similar material). Haven’t used a mousepad in fifteen years.

Avoid “gaming” keyboards. Just get yourself a high quality mechanical tenkeyless (unless you need a numpad) keyboard. If you need a mix for typing/gaming, aim for brown switches. They’re a great compromise. You can get a Leopold Tenkeyless for about $100 from Elite Keyboards and that is a keyboard designed by the guy who previously designed the heralded $300 Filco keyboards that everyone adores.

For headsets; avoid combination headsets. You’re going to get a crappy headphone *and* a crappy mic. Get an antlion mod-mic and attach it to the best dedicated headphone-only headset you can find. The modmic is better than any mic that’ll come built in on a headset and you can get a *far better* headphone with the remainder.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
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Zulika_Mi_Nam

Armsbend Zulika_Mi_Nam Your welcome.  I got 3 layers of padding cut out from one yoga mat to the same dimensions as the pads and used 2 layers at home for 1/2″ of comfty goodness and took the other one to work – that padding made a huge difference.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

breetoplay Siphaed 
Nope. It just means you’ll save a bundle by not buying those overpriced gimmicky, flashy things that have half the life-cycle of other ones.
You’ve been gaming for years, so I really shouldn’t need to give you any pointers.  However I’ve found to train my arm not to droop (i.e. drop elbow below wrist level).  That itself makes your wrist constantly bend at contact usually with your desk/mouse pad end, causing the point of pain.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Zulika_Mi_Nam I have never considered an oversized mousepad until now.  Thanks for posting this pic.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Siphaed You know, I used to have horrible, horrible wrist problems. I tried all the mousepads and ergonomic whatsits. Then I realized that my actual problem was that mice are made for men with huge hands, and my hands needed a much smaller mouse. Solved my problem almost overnight.
Does mean I will never get to use one of these awesome many-buttoned mice though. :(

breetoplay
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breetoplay

enamelizer Thanks Enamelizer! Yeah, even if you don’t buy THIS stuff, just clicking the link and then surfing to what you do want to buy helps us. Everyone wins!

Zulika_Mi_Nam
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Zulika_Mi_Nam

My best purchase over the last year or so has been those big extended mousepads along with yoga mats that I cut and put underneath of them for added padding.  The smoother ones (Razer – speed) I like better than the rough ones (Razer – control) as the rougher ones can act like sandpaper after hours of rapid movement.  I was getting pain in the in the area of the outer lower corner of my hand during long play sessions and/or that work thing – this combo solved that.

I recommend the naga for people with smaller hands and the G600 for those with larger man-hands.  I have them both and change them up from time to time, but for heavy use of the side buttons I find the G600 easier to use -man hands here.  My non-side buttoned mices were banned from my house and sent to work.

Also I use Gunnar glasses as they do help my eyes when they get strained, and I have a gaming co-worker that says the same  -glasses are not mentioned here, but the things that make you more comfortable from a physical aspect make a big impact.  I thought the gaming optics was bunk, but I decided to give them a try after some reading and it helped.  Unknowingly my co-worker went through the same actions and one day we happened to bring it up in a discussion, he is much like me and works as hard as he games.

I use a mouse left handed at work and right handed at home due carpel tunnel yadda yadda yadda – many years of doing spreadsheets/VBA like a friggin madman for about 12hrs a day and also playing guitar 10-14 hours a day for years in a former life.

The things that make a comfort difference I have replicated at home and work – home is the pic with the Green Cup of Forgetfulness that may or may not contain some Buchanan’s Special Reserve 18 Year Scotch – don’t judge meh, I’m old! -at least the much younger cooler me would call me old.