Most people started their life as a gamer on a console of some kind – whether that be Nintendo, Playstation or Xbox, and some happily stay there. However, many of those choose to move from the console to the gaming PC. So what things do you need to know about switching from console to PC?
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Customise your machine
The inside of one console is identical to the inside of another, whereas your gaming PC can be truly unique; it can be yours in a way that an off-the-shelf console never can be. You can also upgrade individual parts when you choose to. Whereas with a console you have to wait until an upgraded version or a new generation is released to see an improvement in your gaming experience.
You’ll also get more satisfaction out of listing your PCs parts (processor, graphics card, storage, peripherals) than you will by saying “I have an Xbox Series X” because it sounds more impressive to know exactly what’s in your gaming PC, especially if you can say you picked all the parts, or even put it together yourself.
More controller options
Consoles generally only have one choice of controller, and extra controllers are getting more and more expensive. PCs come with the standard keyboard and mouse as a controller, which can be as expensive or as cheap as you want. Avid PC gamers will tell you comes with greater precision than a console’s joysticks. However, you can also use your console controller with your gaming PC, as well as a large number of peripherals like pint-sized hand keyboards and wheels and pedals.
Many of your options in keyboards and mice also come in a variety of colours with different levels of lighting, which you can also customise to your tastes.
PCs give you far more control over the specific graphical settings for your games than you have on console. You can tailor the settings of specific effects in some games, making them as high as you want (or your PC can handle), which gives you more control over your gaming experience. Additionally, as they have more powerful graphics cards, they give you a better experience even without the tailoring, especially if you overclock (push past your equipment’s usual performance capabilities to improve your experience).
Gone are the days of hoarding old consoles to ensure you can keep playing your favourite games. On PC, you can play older games whenever you want, as long as you own them, and they’re often cheaper to buy than the remakes for a new console would be. You can also find more deals and sales more regularly on PC, not just through the big game clients like Steam, Battle.net and Origin, but through websites like Humble Bundle. You might need to have multiple applications to open all of the games you own, but it’s all on one machine. This makes your life simpler because you don’t need to use multiple devices to game.
You may lose access to some console-exclusive titles, like PlayStation’s Ratchet and Clank series or most of Nintendo’s games, but more and more games are coming to PC. Horizon Zero Dawn used to be exclusive to PlayStation but has recently been released on PC). Some have even started on PC and taken years to be made available on consoles, which is especially true of some indie games.
Online gaming is much simpler and cheaper on PC than on consoles. The vast majority of games you don’t need to pay a subscription to game online. This will save you money and means that you can play whenever you want, so you don’t need to worry about getting the most out of that monthly subscription.
Transferring your games from console to PC
For the vast majority of games, you can’t transfer from one platform to another, you have to rebuy the game. However, you can buy some games through Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere system that lets you buy the game once and play it on either an Xbox console or a Windows 10 PC, so the situation isn’t quite as expensive as it seems. You can add into this the regular sales, and you’ll be set for games in no time.
Modifying your games
Lots of games are amazing as they are, but some of them need a little bit of something extra to make them go from ‘great’ to ‘brilliant’. This is where the modding communities come in, and it’s far more common to be able to mod games on PC than it is on consoles. Cities: Skylines is a great example of a game that gives a much better (and in some cases more challenging) experience when you add in some mods, which can only be done on PC, so if you’re still playing it on console, You’ll find the game isn’t quite as fun as it is on PC, or you might not be able to achieve the same thing as you can on a computer.
You can do more than game on a PC
Games consoles are almost exclusively used for gaming, whereas PCs are used for gaming, work, watching videos, online shopping and even things like streaming on Twitch. It may be possible to do all these things on a games console, but it’s often more complicated, or the controller makes your life a lot more difficult, so switching from console to PC will help improve your experience (and efficiency) when doing anything.
Game on the go
With a few exceptions, games consoles are generally stationary objects – you attach them to your television and sit on your sofa while you play. This is true of some gaming PCs as well, but if you’re a busy person who travels a lot, you could invest in a gaming laptop. While they aren’t as powerful as gaming desktops, you could play your favourite games, watch some Netflix or even do some work from anywhere.
It might seem overwhelming, but in reality, it’s very simple, and you can do it as slowly as you like – you don’t need to have every game you want to play installed immediately. Switching from console to PC gaming is a personal choice, but there’s a lot to be said for getting a gaming PC, setting up a Steam account and doing some PC gaming. You get to customise your setup so it suits your needs, play games that aren’t available on modern consoles, improve your gaming experience through mods, and even overclock your machine so your graphics are almost as good as real life. Not to mention that you can work from the same machine that you game with, or even stream your gaming experience to friends on a program like Discord or people you’ve never even met on a platform like Twitch.