Every gamer dreams of the perfect gaming setup — and this doesn’t just involve the latest gaming gear, although that makes a huge difference. What gamers truly want is a gaming space perfectly tailored to their every need.
The ideal gaming setup should provide a homey and welcoming environment to soothe them during long gaming sessions, and this doesn’t necessarily have to be too big. Let’s face it, a cozy little setup is much better than a formally decorated room.
Over the next few minutes, we’ll explain why a cozy, small room gaming setup is superior to larger, more elaborate arrangements for comfort, lighting, ergonomy, and ease of access.
While we’re at it, we’ll try to provide you with a few ideas on how you could arrange and decorate a small room to fit any gamer’s needs.
Preparation Is Key
Before entertaining potential gaming room ideas, we should first acknowledge the importance of preparing everything in advance for whatever project you are about to undertake.
In this respect, consider the implications of completely transforming your living area, provided that you plan to set up the gaming setup in your bedroom or living room. We’re talking about all the furniture or room decor elements you have to shift around to make room.
In other words, your game room setup must be designed around your available space and the miscellaneous items already in the room, including furniture and other accommodations.
The first thing you need to take into account is the exact space. This requires you to measure the room correctly and determine which elements of the room can be moved and which should be later integrated into the gaming setup itself.
You don’t really need a lot of room to play video games. So if the layout allows it, you can begin by figuring out if your desired gaming setup fits well within the available space.
In this respect, a minimalist setup works wonders because it doesn’t involve the use of large desks, gaming chairs, or multiple monitor setups. On the other hand, a minimalist setup limits your options concerning what kind of hardware you can use.
Bear in mind that even a small gaming setup should include a gaming PC or console and any board games or tabletop entertainment you might own.
Every modern gamer understands the importance of ambient lighting in any room you play games in, which applies to a small room gaming setup. Think about it — gaming isn’t just an activity, it’s an entire experience.
Like all experiences, you should try to make the most of it, which is the case with background and ambient lighting in a game room.
For lighting, you have several options. While natural light is by far the healthiest option, it usually isn’t available all throughout the day, nor can you depend on it at night. In this respect, you should choose a light form that reflects the kind of games you play.
For casual video games, standard LED strips with overhead lighting should be good enough. This may also be complemented by disco lights if they fit your room aesthetic.
For a more competitive gaming environment, you should rely on RGB lights, but not past a certain spectrum. Whatever your choice, you should position these lights away from shining straight into your eyes at night.
3. Gaming Platform
If you haven’t already, this is the point where you settle on which types of games you’ll be playing and what platform you’ll be playing them on.
The choice of gaming platform will determine what type of changes you make to your room decor. It can be something as simple as adding one or two more pieces of furniture or changing the entire outlook.
Either way, the change will have to take monitors and TVs into consideration, which adds an extra layer to the decision-making process.
With most console setups, a single television set is more than enough, and the setup shouldn’t be more elaborate than that. With gaming PCs, the need for a dual monitor setup increases, depending on your budget.
Your choice of gaming chair is also reliant on the gaming platform, as consoles require a more laid-back, comfortable arrangement. On the other hand, with a gaming PC, you want an adjustable gaming chair and all the accessories that go with it.
Permanent Modifications for a Small Room Gaming Setup
On top of the smaller hurdles you might be presented with, you should also consider any permanent changes you might be required to make to the room. Chief among them are the soundproofing and wall decorations.
Soundproofing the Room
A gaming setup requires some hefty space modifications to be permanent. Soundproofing is among the permanent changes you’ll have to make to the room. This is vital during prolonged gaming sessions when the noise might cause your roommates, neighbors, or family members distress if not properly contained.
To effectively soundproof a gaming room, consider simple paneling or rubber lining on the doors and windows above all else.
At the same time, you should consider installing foam panels on internal walls if you prefer to use speakers instead of headphones for some games.
Seeing how this is quite an investment, most people prefer to simply change traditional doors to sliding wooden or glass doors for more effective noise insulation.
Consider the Wall Decor
Although not as important as the soundproofing, the room’s aesthetics should also be a serious concern, especially in the context of establishing a permanent gaming setup.
Regarding decorations, a bedroom gaming setup may involve a permanent paint job or big posters for good measure. Then again, a blank wall can be equally attractive if paired with a wide selection of other interesting features and accessories.
However, the problem with a blank wall is that it may interfere with the lighting, especially if you opt for bright RGB color schemes. This arrangement will make the room rather bright at night, which isn’t something you want during late-night gaming sessions.
A Home Theater System Is a Good Idea
Even though people seldom associate home theater systems with video games, the ample sound options presented by such a system are undeniable. Furthermore, most gaming PCs and consoles have HDMI outputs, which will enable you to watch your favorite YouTube or Twitch clips on the TV in between gaming sessions.
If you plan on using a console for all your gaming needs, then a home theater system becomes absolutely necessary. You probably shouldn’t invest in a system that requires extensive installation work, at least not in the context of already having to redecorate your entire living room.
The perfect choice for a small room gaming setup is a 32 to 40-inch home theater system. Big enough to allow for hours of playing video games, yet small enough to take up little real estate.
Versatility and Flexibility
Even though you mostly set up the gaming room to enhance your gaming experience, there is no reason why the room should be used solely for video games. In fact, you might also want to consider investing in some cool board games while you’re at it.
If you’re going to spend valuable resources to completely transform a room inside the house, you might as well try to put it to good use in other ways. Of course, the limited space might prove to be a problem, but this is nothing that a foldable table and chairs can’t fix.
On a related note, you might also consider investing in an older console that you could switch to from time to time, which would allow you to play some retro games for nostalgia’s sake. This, on top of the board games, is guaranteed to give the room some extra versatility.
Gear and Accessories
Once you’ve set everything up inside the room, you can proceed with picking the actual gear and gaming accessories that you’re going to use in your newly established game room. For a small room gaming setup, you will need gear that fits into the available space without sacrificing performance.
If you plan on setting up a gaming room in a limited space, you will need a gaming chair to fit the bill. An adjustable gaming chair doesn’t cost that much, and you could probably get one for less than $200.
In this respect, know that a good gaming chair usually has armrests, wheeled bases, and adjustable settings regarding height and angle of recline. More expensive models might also incorporate adjustable armrests, built-in speakers, or Bluetooth capabilities.
When choosing a gaming chair, consider the size, ergonomics, and material. No matter what you choose, make sure that your gaming chair offers good lumbar support and is easy to clean.
Should you prefer a gaming PC for your small room gaming setup, you’ll have to pick one that fits the reduced space without sacrificing stability and durability in any obvious way. Given the smaller size, some loss in tabletop space is to be expected, but not at the cost of ergonomy or construction quality.
You can look for an L-shaped or U-shaped desk, each with its own particularities. While L-shaped desks offer the capacity to accommodate a multi-screen setup, a U-shaped desk provides you with more stability and comfort.
One thing you probably shouldn’t do is to invest in a traditional, rectangular gaming desk. These desks take up a lot of real estate inside a room, which also stifles any comfortable gaming experience you might be looking for.
Along with the gaming PC, a gaming monitor is the most important piece of gaming gear you can invest in. From an ergonomic point of view, a decent monitor has just as much of an impact on your posture and neck strain as a decent gaming chair.
Specs-wise, you should go for a 144 Hz as a bare minimum or a 240 Hz monitor if you can afford it. At this point, a standard 60 Hz monitor doesn’t seem like such a good choice, not unless you’re setting up your gaming room on a really tight budget.
Either way, look for a gaming monitor with an adjustable mount. If you have the budget, you should consider a monitor with a full-motion mount or a setup that involves a multi-monitor mount if you have the space for it.
Your gaming room setup should first and foremost focus on the essentials. If, however, you have the funds for them, some cool accessories couldn’t hurt. Perhaps the most important in this regard is a cable management solution to prevent any wires and cables from dangling behind the desk.
You might also want to consider getting a speaker stand for your external speakers. This is among the gaming essentials that any true gamer should consider to improve sound quality and minimize desk clutter as much as possible.
While we’re on the subject of accessories, know that you can save yourself carpal tunnel and a lot of general discomfort by investing in a keyboard and mouse pad. While most people focus solely on the mouse pad, bear in mind that even the best gaming keyboard causes wrist strain.
The Essential Components of a Small Room Gaming Setup
We talked about the primary gear and room setup, but what essential pieces of equipment should you consider when setting up a small room gaming setup?
- USB adapters – Along with USB hubs, adapters allow you to accommodate a wide variety of USB-accessible gadgets and accessories, some more essential than others. Among them are gaming controllers, external sound cards, storage drives, headsets, and plenty more.
- Clamps and clips – We talked about the necessity of good cable management, which is why you should get yourself some good clamps and/or clips. These clamps will make it easier to hide cords that might otherwise get tangled around the desk area or even injure you.
- Headset hangers – Similar to clamps, hangers make it easier to store away a headset when you’re not using it. At the same time, they can accommodate pretty much everything else that dangles or hangs, be them charger cords or cases.
- A swivel – A swivel is a key component of game room furniture, a piece that you can use to turn your computer screen or TV in any direction of your choosing. This makes it easier for you to watch the screen while lying down on the bed or leaning back in your chair.
- VR Headset – Although not as essential as the other items on the list, a VR headset is definitely useful nowadays as more and more video games integrate VR support into their core programming. In fact, we can expect most games to soon incorporate VR modes, if not even require them.
Tips for Setting up a Small Room Gaming Setup
We talked about the importance of measuring everything before designing your gaming setup, and we also mentioned how your wall color affects the lighting in your room. With that being said, you can do a lot more to ensure that you get the most out of your small room gaming setup.
Whether you’re buying lighting fixtures, gaming gear, or peripherals, you will have to pay close attention to their size. If you run across a keyboard you like, check if the manufacturer makes a compact version without the Numpad keys.
The same applies to desktop towers, motherboards, sound systems, and power sources. Believe it or not, the “mini” versions of these components are cheaper than the default models.
Not just that, but the miniATX power sources that some manufacturers sell are actually much more durable than the larger versions because of the high-quality components used in their making.
A Theme to Fit the Bill
If we’re talking gaming room ideas, you’re probably considering all sorts of themes for your gaming room setup. Now, as extravagant as some decorative pieces can be, they don’t quite bode well in a minimalist setup.
If you can, choose the aesthetic pieces of your gaming room in line with your available space. It may be difficult to find smaller posters of your favorite games, but it’s not like you have any other option.
The same can be said about game consoles. Some manufacturers sell smaller consoles with more stylish casings, albeit at a somewhat higher price.
Custom Shelves Are Key
Speaking of game consoles, you will have to store these consoles away when you’re not using them. Unless you want to see them lying around on the floor to further reduce your already reduced room real estate, you should really think about storage options.
Custom shelves are a key part of any modern decor, so it’s not just about storage options as it is about aesthetics and practicality, all blent into one.
When it comes to the exact number of shelves or rows, remember that your prized possessions aren’t the only things you will be storing long-term. If you can, build yourself a shelf arrangement with a few shelves to spare.
How Do I Find a Good Theme?
First of all, consider what you like and how feasible it might be to buy the appropriate accessories. While you may be interested in obscure themes and lore, you might have a hard time finding items in that particular style. Instead, you should focus on buying easily attainable decor items, preferably the kind that you can order online.
How Do I Keep My Room Cool?
If you’re building up a small room gaming setup, you will need to seriously consider how hot the room will get during long gaming sessions. Because of its diminutive size, a small room heats up like crazy the more your video game console or PC runs.
A good way to avoid the heat is to build vents into your desk and invest in top-notch cooling for your PC. As for the room itself, you can do that by installing a few extra fans here and there.
How Much Does a Small Room Gaming Setup Cost?
Excluding the gaming gear that may vary drastically in price depending on what you’re after, the rest of the room should cost you upwards of $1,500-$2000 or even more. We’re talking about the light fixtures, furniture (a wooden desk costs more than PVC), cooling, shelves, accessories, and the theme of the room itself.
You will never populate a small room gaming setup with all the stuff you want, but you can definitely make it cozy enough to be worth the investment if you’re smart enough and have the budget to match.
While larger gaming rooms may include arcade machines and the like, you should probably focus on what you value most. In other words, even a basic setup with a console and a gaming PC should do the trick, provided you spend enough time decorating the room properly.
At the end of the day, many design choices come down to personal preference more than anything. So even if you somehow find the budget for high-end gear and peripherals, it’s still up to you to put them together in a way that you enjoy.