How to Choose a Gaming Desk – Buying Guide
Buying a gaming desk can be a great addition to your setup, especially if you want to create a fully-loaded battle station for an wonderful gaming experience.
It is very difficult to choose a gaming desk when the market is filled with so many options. For a gamer who is thinking about getting his first gaming can made mistakes when selecting a perfect gaming desk.
The perfect choice will be different for everyone because it depends on several factors, including budget, space, design, personal preference, and use (PC or console).
This buying guide will cover different aspects that need to be considered when buying a gaming desk. So, you can buy the perfect one according to your choice.
I am adding links in this guide to different articles about gaming desks on our website that you may like. These articles about gaming desks are in different categories to make buying easier.
Three of the most popular categories are:
Let’s get started.
What Is a Gaming Desk? Do You Need One?
Gaming desks are designed for gamers who are serious about their gaming setup and love to play games for hours. The main reason of getting a gaming desk is to enhance the look of your setup.
Also Read: Gaming Desk Accessories to make your setup look even better!
These desks are made to look better than those ordinary computer desks. They are also designed to meet specific requirements of gamers.
Value Addition in Gaming Desks
Let me tell you what’s different in gaming desks as compared to simple computer desks. Lots of newer gaming desks come with extra features like headphone hooks, cup holders, and controller racks to provide proper management for your gaming accessories.
We all know that cable management is a pain when there are no cable grommets in a desk. For that reason many gaming desks have built-in cable management features like cable grommets and under-desk power strip holders.
Many advanced gaming desks come with a full-desk mouse pad to provide a comfortable gaming session. These pads are washable too. However, the life of these full-desk mouse pads is not much.
Many gaming desks have curved design for better reach and rounded edges for comfort. You can play for long hours without the edges pinching your arms.
Gaming desks are available in many different designs, sizes and price. Now let me explain some key features to keep in mind when buying a gaming desk.
Factors to Consider While Buying a Gaming Desk
Below are some important key factors which should be taken into consideration when buying a new gaming desk. This way you will find best desk according to your requirements.
1. Availability of Space
The foremost thing to do is to check the available space in your room or wherever you want to place your new gaming desk. Buying a desk before taking the measurements of available space will cause trouble later.
After taking measurements, you’ll come to know what size will be best for that specific area. It will save you time when you are only looking for a 40”, 55” or 60” gaming desk.
Without taking proper measurements, it’s quite possible that you will make mistakes in choosing the right sized gaming desk. This scenario is where the space is limited.
2. Size of the Gaming Desk
Next thing is to makeup your mind about what size of a desk will be good if there is enough space in your room or the area where you want it.
You can determine this by taking few things into consideration, like how many accessories do you have, how many monitors do you have, will you place your CPU under or above the desk, etc.
Suppose you have a single monitor but you are planning to add one or two more monitors in the near future. In this case, you should buy a bigger desk, 55” for dual monitor setup and 60” or L shaped gaming desk for a triple monitor setup.
Keep in mind that these gaming desks don’t come with built-in drawers or storage cabinets. So, make sure you buy the right size according to all the gaming stuff you have.
For me, the ideal size of a gaming desk is 60-inches wide, 30-inches deep, and 30-inches high. This desk dimension perfect to accommodate multiple monitors, all the gaming accessories, and allow you to freely move your legs.
In short, a bigger desk is future-proof but the right size varies from person to person and depends on the available space.
3. Shape of the Gaming Desk
The shape of a desk is also an important factor when buying a new desk. There are multiple designs and shapes available in the market like, rectangular, curved, with a monitor shelf and L-shaped gaming desks.
All of these gaming desks are made for different purpose in mind. However, the standard rectangular gaming desks are the most popular ones because of their suitable design. Desks with curved front are made for comfort and best for long gaming sessions.
Rectangular gaming desks are great for placing your rig on the tabletop. Make sure the base design is sturdy and stable. You wouldn’t want a desk that wobbles when gaming.
- shaped gaming desks are best of multi purpose PC setup, where one side can be used for gaming and one for work or other productivity related tasks. They also provide maximum space to its users because of their large size.
Here is a list of benefits of a L-shaped gaming desk.
Gaming desks that come with a monitor shelf are good for space saving and my favorite for console gaming. Desks with rounded corner are great if you are always bumping into the desk.
4. Type of the Gaming Desk
If you are spending more than eight hours sitting in front of your PC then I would recommend getting a standing desk. Sitting for too long is not good for your health. So, it is better to get a height adjustable desk.
For gaming you can play while sitting and for other tasks you can stand for a while so the blood circulates better. There are two types of standing desks, manual and electric.
So, make sure you buy the right type of desk considering how long you use your PC. what benefit you want from your gaming desk and how much you can afford to invest in a gaming desk before you choose anyone.
5. Materials of the Desk
There are different types of materials used to make desks. However, most of the gaming desks are made of MDF sheets. These sheets are waterproof and scratch resistant.
You will also find material like glass, particleboard, metal natural wood etc. But these desks are not specially made for gaming.
Desks made from solid natural wood are expensive. Particleboard desks are cheap and prone to water. Glass desks are prone to scratches and the cable management is difficult. So, in most cases gaming desks with MDF tabletop are recommended.
The material used to made the base is usually powder coated steel pipes. Make sure you check if the welding is done properly and the pipe is of high quality.
6. Look of the Desk
As I said earlier, he main reason gamers prefer buying a gaming desk is because of the appearance and the aesthetic design.
Now this is solely your own choice about which gaming desk look good to you. But make sure not to compromise the quality or features of a gaming desk due to the look a desk.
Some desks come with side trims with built-in RGBs that may take up some space on tabletop. Some desks have Z-shaped legs with less weight holding capacity.
There are also different colors available. So, you have the option to get your favorite color. Some desks have carbon fiber vinyl on tabletop which looks good.
7. Weight Holding Capacity
Make sure to check the weight capacity of each gaming desk because it is an important factor. Make sure you account in all the weight of gaming accessories, monitors and the PC itself.
It should be steady and sturdy with all the weight because nobody likes a wobbling desk.
If you are going for a glass gaming desk then my tip is to never put a PC on top of the glass. I have see the glass break many times.
So, make sure you get a desk that can hold the weight of all the items you are planning to put on the desk. Check for the additional support bars under the desk so it can withstand the heavy weight of your gaming rig.
8. Price of the Gaming Desk
Specifying a price range is a great way to shortlist. Prices of gaming desks are ranging from $150 to $350. Of course there are cheaper and more expensive gaming desks available in the market but in my opinion you will find great gaming desks in this price range.
There are cheap gaming desks available in the market with price around $100. These desks are for gamers that are tight on budget.
If you have a higher budget then you will find good quality gaming desk within the range of $150-$250. But if you have a flexible budget and looking for a high quality item from renowned brand then you will have to spend $300-$450.
Standing gaming desks are also very expensive. They range from $400-$1000.
9. Adjustable (Ergonomic) Features
There are two types of adjustability that you need to consider. One is the height adjustability and the other is feet adjustability.
Make sure that the feet of the desk you are about to buy has adjustable feet. The adjustable feet play an important role in the stability and sturdiness of a desk. Sometimes the floor is not flat or you have a carpet underneath the desk which is not equal on both side.
This is where you can adjust the feet of the desk to make it on equal level from each side.
Not many people buy standing gaming desk for gaming but you should know that this is an option. These desks are great if you are health conscious and stay in front of your PC the whole day.
These desks are height adjustable and you can change the height with a single touch button and do your tasks while standing. I bought a standing gaming desk just because I have a condition called hypothyroidism and my muscles start to hurt while sitting for too long.
11. Additional Features
It is obvious that there will be many different accessories on gaming desk and managing them in a neat way can be difficult. To solve this problem gaming desks come with additional features to manage these accessories.
Also Read: Cool Gaming Desk Accessories
These additional features will vary from desk to desk. Most of the new gaming desks come with built-in headphone hook, and a cup holder. However, additional features may include monitor shelf, speaker shelves, controller holder/DVD holder, large/full-surface mouse pad, LED lights and USB ports, etc.
Make sure you get a desk with much needed extra features.
12. Cable Management Features
This is the main factor in keeping a neat and clean look of your gaming station. With so many gaming peripherals, there is wire chaos on the desk. It doesn’t matter whether you are a console player or a PC gamer; there will always be many wires. You can’t just avoid wires, but you can manage them.
There are plenty of DIY ways that you can try to manage cables as neatly as possible. But having built-in cable grommets are the best. Lot’s of gaming desks have built-in cable grommets, but if you are buying a desk with no cable grommet then you got to be creative with cable management.
Some desks also come with built-in power strip holders underneath the desk on the rear end.
Here is an article for those who are interested in glasses desks or have one: Cable management on a glass desk.
13. Pre-assembled or Need Assembly
The desks you purchase online arrive at your doorstep non-assembled that need to be assembled using tools. Most of the manufacturers include tools in the packaging so you don’t have to buy them separately.
The instruction manual is also provided so you don’t have to figure it yourself on how to assemble this particular desk. Just follow the instructions step-by-step and put screw in the pre-drilled holes and tighten them.
Most of the desks are easy to assemble because of the straightforward design. Sometimes the alignment of holes is not accurate, which causes problems when assembling the desk together.
However, if you are not comfortable spending time and effort on putting a desk together then you can purchase a pre-assembled desk from any store.
Frequently the problem occurs due to missing parts or manufacturing fault like the poor alignment of screws and holes. Read the reviews carefully if the desk you are buying is easy or difficult to assemble.
Most of the desks can be assembled in under 30 minutes. Some buyers even make their decisions about buying a product on how hard is the assembly. They wouldn’t waste their time figuring out how to assemble a desk instead of playing games.
Warranties are essential for any product. The good thing is that most of the gaming desks come with a warranty. But not all the manufacturers have same warranty policies. They can hide specific details from the product description.
So, take a closer look at what the warranty covers and whatnot. The every day wear & tear is never covered. You can contact the manufacturer for the missing or defective parts. Some manufacturers offer a worry-free warranty, and if you don’t like the product, you can always return it in the given time-frame.
The most common problem with the gaming desks is the de-lamination of the edges.
The problem with claiming warranty of a desk is that you have to disassemble the desk, pack it, and send it. This can take a lot of time, and also there is a chance that you will pay the shipping fee.
FAQ on How to Choose a Gaming Desk
1. Difference Between a Gaming Desk and a Computer Desk?
The main differences between a gaming desk and a computer desk are the looks, aesthetics and the additional features in a gaming desk for gamers.
Also Read: Writing Desk VS Computer Desk
When it comes to building an ultimate gaming setup, choosing the right gaming desk is important. Just make sure the desk is high quality.
In the end, it all depends on your personal preference and which gaming desk is suitable for you.
What do think about this guide? Let me know in the comments if I have missed something important.