What is this “battlestation” you speak of? Most of us here probably know the term “battlestation” but let’s keep this first post pretty simple with a high level overview of what a battlestation is and it’s components. We’ll get more in-depth later.
When I first heard the term I thought, hmm, interesting…I like. Reddit defines battlestation as “complete desktop computer setups including a tower, monitor, mouse, keyboard, audio playback and recording devices (if applicable), and even wires/cables if desired.”
So basically a desktop computer setup typically featuring high-end PC’s.
So what does it take to consider your computer setup a battlestation? Take a seat and let’s go through the components.
The desk is the foundation of every computer setup. You need something that is sturdy, supports your setup, fits within your given space and at the proper ergonomic height to prevent injuring your body during those long gaming binges. When you have a custom desk, you’re leveling up. If you can integrate your components into a custom made desk, you’ve reached pro level! Check out my article on finding a good desk for your needs.
Your choice in monitor depends on what you are doing and your budget. Are you gaming or not gaming? First Person Shooter (FPS)? Role-Playing Game (RPG), Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO)? Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)? Real-Time Strategy (RTS)? Basically ask yourself if you need something with high resolution, something to support a fast action game or both. Then look at your budget and see what you can get with your priority levels in a monitor. There are many factors in choosing the right monitor. Check out my Monitor Buying Guide that will help you find the right monitor for you!
Depending on how you have your computer setup and how many monitors you have will determine what monitor mount you will need. Wall mount, desk mount, multi-monitor, ceiling mount, monitor stand, arms? Vesa?
Wallpaper! If you’re like me, one of the first things you do after you rebuild or first set up your computer is choose your wallpaper. It’s the eye candy you look at when you first power on. I love looking at other people’s wallpaper. Shows their personality and the theme of their battlestation.
Ahhh. The desktop tower. I love looking at all of the unique towers out there. Some more custom than others. Since this is a high level article, let’s just quickly go through the components of what the tower consists of:
- Case: The house. Many different styles, shapes and sizes.
- Motherboard: The backbone of your computer. This is where you plug all of your components in so they can all talk to each other.
- CPU (Central Processing Unit): The engine or the brains that performs most of the processing. It receives data, executes instructions and processes information.
- RAM (Random Access Memory): The memory that temporarily stores data to provide quick reads and writes.
- Storage: Used for long term storage. Used to install the OS, software, pictures of your cat etc. There are many different types of storage built for speed and/or capacity.
- Cooling: The Air Conditioner of your computer. Working components get hot so you need to cool it down. You can choose to use water cooling or a fan and heatsink.
- Power Supply: Powers everything unless you’re using a hamster and a wheel. I guess that’s still a “power supply.”
- GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): If you’re a gamer, you definitely need something more than the CPU supplying the graphics. Call in a separate piece of hardware called the GPU to render those much needed graphic improvements.
Who doesn’t love a good keyboard? Mechanical, RGB, ergonomic, compact, with or without the 10-key etc. Don’t forget the beauty of getting custom keycaps!
We’ve come a long way in the evolution of computers and the mouse has too. I remember the days of not many options and having just a corded mouse with a rubber ball that I had to clean often for it to function correctly. Then came the optical and laser. Now we enjoy having many options including corded or wireless, RGB, multiple programmable buttons, different sensitivity levels, different grip designs, adjustable weight and faster response times.
Having a mouse pad is still important. It protects your desk from the constant movement of the mouse, gives wrist support, provides some more RGB, and may give you a slight advantage by not skipping or dropping refresh cycles on your mouse’s sensor when gaming. The over-sized gaming pads are nice because it gives you more surface to throw your mouse around.
Getting a good chair is key. I prefer budgeting a little more and getting a good quality chair. Going cheap will only hurt your body. You want something that has good support and is adjustable. You’ll need to look for adjustable seat heights, armrests, lumbar and headrest support, locking backrest for different recline angles and possibly a seat pan slider. This enables you to slide the positioning of your butt forward and backward.
SPEAKERS / HEADSET
Whether you prefer a good set of speakers, headset or both depending on mood, having some quality audio is important. It immerses you into your music or your game. I prefer to have a 2.1 speaker system for those times when I can play some music and feel the bass. To immerse myself into my game, that’s when I switch to a good, quality wireless headset. The wired headsets are a little cheaper but the cords just end up getting tangled or in my way.
LED / LIGHTING
Lighting seems to be hot topic these days with RGB everywhere. I’m surprised they don’t have RGB chairs yet. Seems to me that people either love it or hate it.
You’ll see “aesthetic” used to describe an attractive battlestation setup. Urban Dictionary defines aesthetic as “a combination of things that are pleasing to look at.” A E S T H E T I C
What’s a battlestation without a plant? It’s not. That’s what. Just Kidding. I like have these little oxygen cleaners around for the aesthetics and to just help purify the air. Who’s your little pal that helps you filter the air you breathe while you’re crushing noobs? A plant. That’s who. Unless you’re one of the many who have a fake plant from IKEA, then you’re just getting the aesthetic part.
You need to have something on the wall. Some sort of decor or theme. An empty wall is a sad wall. Put up some pictures, posters (framed to step it up a notch), paintings, etc.
Speaking of wall decor, the Nanoleaf falls into this as well. I like looking at all of the different setups people do with the triangle LED light panels. They also have added a Nanoleaf lightbulb and Nanoleaf Rhythm which has your lighting display react to sound. Looks like they are also introducing a new Nanoleaf Canvas which are touch-control smart light squares. Looks cool!
You probably know the importance of a mic if you wanna place a Skype call, communicate with your gaming friends online, have a Twitch or YouTube channel, Podcast or if you’re a musician and want to record. The quality of audio depends on what you’re doing and what you need it for. Will you use the onboard, internal mic on your computer or get an external mic? If external, will a headset with mic suffice or will you need a USB mic for even better audio? On a stand or arm? USB or XLR? Condenser or dynamic? What polar pattern? There are a lot of questions that hopefully we can help answer in a future blog post.
Doing some Twitch or YouTube streaming? Getting a green screen is probably something you’ve thought about. For those that don’t know, it’s literally a green screen that sits behind you so you can project your stream on it.
You may also want to get a handy Stream Deck that is a customizable control panel that includes keys for switching scenes, launching media, adjusting audio or anything else you want to trigger with a push of a button.
What’s a battlestation without a little extra decor? I’ve seen a lot with figurines and models that look pretty cool and add some extra spice. I personally like the guitars since I play guitar.
What really steps it up a notch is when your whole room is a theme. That definitely takes some planning and brings everything together. Kudos.
I know a lot of this stuff is basic for the veterans but I will be elaborating more on each of these topics as time goes on. My intent is to start basic because there are a lot of people out there that are just starting out and my hope is to help at least one person out there.
Let’s grow our community because we all learn from each other so tell me what you think in the Comments section as we go!