Console gaming has been popular for a long time, but for purists, there’s no substitute for the experience of PC gaming. What exactly is PC gaming and why is it different than console gaming? Is this hobby a good fit for you? And if so, how can you get started in this exciting and relatively inexpensive field?

Consider Your Goals

First, it’s important to think about your goals as a PC gamer. Your goals will dictate things like the types of games you can play, the type of computer you buy, and even how you approach this hobby at a high level.


  •       Types of games. What types of games are you interested in playing? A person interested in fast-paced, first-person shooters with the latest graphics is going to have different requirements than a person more interested in slow-paced strategy games. Certain types of games demand more resources than others.
  •       Number of hours. You should also consider how much time you want to invest in this hobby. People who are seriously dedicated to gaming can and should invest more money in a serious rig. If you only plan on dabbling in this hobby, you can get away with something more minimalistic.
  •       Degree of dedication. You’ll also need to consider how serious you are about this hobby. If you plan on PC gaming for many years, it’s a good idea to invest in a PC that can be easily upgraded over time. If you’re just experimenting, this isn’t as big of a requirement.

Choose a Computer

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as you approach this hobby is choosing a computer. Your computer is responsible for running the game, and its internal components will dictate your overall experience.

Computers designed for gaming tend to be more powerful and therefore more expensive than comparable computers for everyday tasks. However, there are also a number of affordable options – including gaming laptops that will allow you to play almost any game for a relatively low price.

When buying a computer, consider the following:

  •       CPU. Your central processing unit, or CPU, is the main processing engine of your computer, responsible for a wide range of different tasks.
  •       GPU. Your graphics processing unit, or GPU, is extremely good at a narrow range of tasks, including graphics processing, which is necessary for most modern games.
  •       RAM. Your Random Access Memory, or RAM, stores information temporarily and is also useful for many gaming purposes.
  •       Hard drives. Your hard drive is where you’ll store and access your games, so more storage will allow you to store more games simultaneously. Keep in mind that SSD drives are faster than HDD drives.
  •       Peripherals. You may also want peripherals for an optimal gaming experience. There are many gaming keyboards, mouses, monitors, chairs, and other accessories available.

Plug Into Gaming Communities

If you’re relatively new to this hobby, consider participating in gaming communities on social media and dedicated forums. If there are some specific games you want to play, consider reaching out to fan communities of those games. Otherwise, reach out to general gaming fans and see if they’d be willing to give you some recommendations.

Find a Distribution Platform

Next, you’ll need to find a distribution platform. These platforms list a wide variety of games for sale, and you can buy and download them directly through this platform. Steam is arguably the best and most popular game distribution platform for PC games, but there are many viable options to choose from. You’re also not limited to only one platform, so consider experimenting with multiple platforms to see what each experience is like. You’ll likely need to create an account first.

Download and Install Your First Game

Once you’ve made your decision and you have your computer, you can download and install your first game.

  •       Check system requirements. Even if you have a beefy PC, it’s a good idea to check the system requirements for a given game before you download it. Developers are very forthcoming about the resource needs of their games.
  •       Read reviews. Even if you’re excited about the title, take a look at player reviews to see how well this game is received. Don’t hesitate to pass on games that are universally hated.
  •       Purchase, download, and install. If you’re ready to move forward, the process should be very simple; distribution platforms try to make it easy. Simply click the buy button, download the game, and it should install automatically.

Start Playing!

Now that you have your first game, you can start playing! The more experience you gain, the more confident you’ll feel in selecting new games and experimenting with them. This hobby can develop in many different directions, and it’s entirely within your control.