How to get into PC gaming: A guide for console players

Making the switch from a console to a PC can be always difficult, especially if it’s all you have known. A casual gamer sides with a console as they are affordable, reliable and provide the blockbuster games everyone is familiar with. But if you want a bit more than just a casual gaming experience, you can take the next step and consider purchasing a gaming PC. It’s not a completely different world, though there are some tips you may want to know before you make the move.

Build or buy?

Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB memory in a desktop

When deciding on a gaming PC you should consider the question, is it better to build or buy a gaming PC? Buying a PC is obviously the simpler approach as it arrives ready to turn on out of the box. The system will have a warranty and there will be a lot less to worry about over time. If you have busy lifestyles or know little about how to put PC components together to build a gaming rig, buying could be the right option for you.

If you’re more of a hobbyist and building a PC interests you, then this is arguably the best option. While with a console - until the expansion of the internal PS5 SSD slot - this was almost impossible to do, with a PC you can choose the combination of components that matches the performance you need, such as the motherboard, CPU, GPU, PSU, gaming memory, and storage. And you can also customise it into a colourful and unique masterpiece with RGB lighting.

The bottom line, if you have the technical know-how or are handy with a screwdriver, building your own PC is the way to go. However, if you want the out-of-the-box experience a console gives you, you’re better off buying an off-the-shelf machine.

Controller or no controller?

Another point to make is the change in peripherals when making the switch to a new system. As you know, the generic option for a gaming PC is the keyboard and mouse duo. The keys can easily be reprogrammed and in most cases, this is a better option, especially when playing an FPS (First-Person Shooter) due to the more precise aiming and movement, which creates a much more competitive gaming experience. You can still purchase a compatible controller and game the way you are familiar with. Controllers are the go-to if you have an interest in ‘controller friendly’ games such as FIFA or Forza. Some gaming platforms such as Steam will let you know if the game you have downloaded is friendly for a keyboard and mouse, controller, or both.

Where to buy games?

Physical games are almost non-existent in the real world. Now, just like your console, almost all your games will be readily available to download through digital stores. A logical step to transition from console to PC is Xbox Game Pass for PC. There are plenty of stores you can look into. The go-to store is Steam but Epic Games Store is great for exclusive and free games, and GOG has DRM- free games (games without Digital Rights Management).

  • Steam is the most well-known storefront, as it supplies almost every game you can think of. Steam also works as a launcher and will supply an easy-to-use games library to halt any stress this may cause you.
  • The Epic Games Store is a much newer platform, with a lighter selection of games, but the perk of Epic is they have a huge number of exclusives which you can only find on this store as well as handing out one free game per week to their users!
  • GOG also has plenty of games available and, unlike Steam, you will open your downloaded games without relying on the launcher regardless of whether the launcher is installed or if you have an internet connection.

Getting homesick?

If you are used to playing on the TV rather than in front of a monitor, you still can! Steam now provides an application called Steam Link. This is a downloadable app which is compatible with Samsung Smart TVs. The link will allow you to mirror your running PC to your TV and freely play your game library from the comfort of your own living room. You’ll need a compatible controller which is supported by your TV via Bluetooth or USB port, and by Steam.

There is plenty to look into when deciding to make the switch from console to PC gaming, but with some research, we’re sure you’ll find it much simpler than you imagined!