Gaming Setup Ideas for Small Rooms – Maybe you’re a college student trying to puzzle out how you’ll fit a decent gaming PC into your dorm room. Perhaps you live in a big city, and gaming space is at a premium in your apartment or condo. You might even be a new or soon-to-be parent trying to relocate your gaming rig to make room for cribs, playpens, and other baby essentials.
Whatever the reason, plenty of people have to condense their PC gaming setups into a smaller space than they’d prefer. Fear not — you can still have an awesome setup that provides a comfy place to relax and enjoy your favorite games! Keep these seven tips in mind as you’re designing your compact PC gaming rig.
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1. Choose a PC with a smaller form factor.
Whether you’re doing a custom build or buying a prebuilt gaming PC, there are tons of options for solid PCs that give you more power with less tower. Compact gaming PCs come in many shapes and sizes, including some that minimize their footprint with a vertical case, and most use either micro-ATX or mini-ITX motherboards.
What kind of performance can you expect from a mini PC? As usual, it depends on your resources and gaming tastes. Many of today’s budget mini PCs offer excellent performance on staples like Overwatch or League of Legends, but it’s certainly not impossible to find (or build) mini PCs that will let you play current AAA titles. Do note, however, that these can be more expensive and/or more challenging to build than comparable full-sized rigs.
2. Wall-mount your display (or other bulky parts of your rig).
If you own your house or condo, wall-mounting various parts of your setup can open up a lot of space. Monitors are the most common choice, since most gamers either want the biggest display possible or want to use a multi-display setup. However, there’s no reason you can’t also mount other system elements like your speakers or even your tower on the walls. Just make sure you’re mounting into studs rather than drywall alone.
For renters and students, who often don’t have the option of wall mounting, a monitor arm can be an efficient alternative that also makes it easy to position your monitor just the way you want it. For a finishing touch, some gamers also like to wall mount a hanging shelf or pegboard where they can store things like gaming headphones or controllers within easy reach.
3. Embrace the lofted bed/desk combo.
Here’s one for the college students, or anyone who has a truly tiny space to work with. A lofted bed with a desk beneath will free up plenty of room for a compact battle station while still giving you a comfortable place to sleep. Worried about keeping a roommate up at night? Add a curtain around the desk to create the gamer cave of your dreams.
Careful measurement will once again pay off here. You need to know the exact dimensions of the space, the loft bed, and any furniture you’ll be placing underneath it. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a small fan to keep yourself cool. Between the enclosed space and the heat from the electronics, it might get a little toasty in your corner of paradise.
4. Invest in a quality compact desk.
Looking to slim down the total footprint of your setup without compromising performance? Get a compact office or gaming desk. These desks use a variety of design tricks to maximize space, from multi-tiered designs that keep your monitor and keyboard at the perfect height to an “L” shape that turns any corner of a room into your ultimate battle station.
You don’t even necessarily need to look for a gaming desk specifically. Many office desks will have the features you’re looking for, such as cord organizers or a tower shelf. Do, however, pay attention to the ergonomics. You’ll probably want something that maximizes your leg room and gives your elbows plenty of space during gaming sessions.
5. Add accent lighting to give the space the vibe you want.
Even if your gaming area is just one corner of the room, some well-chosen lighting can turn it into a place where you really feel at ease. The simplest options include string lights and basic LED light strips. These offer a big improvement versus harsh overhead lighting, and they’re easy to change up and customize into a design that works for you.
However, many gamers want to go further and have full-on RGB LED lighting, even in a small setup. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do this! Most gaming hardware companies offer mice, keyboards, cases, and all kinds of other RGB-equipped gear. However, if you want to maximize flexibility and minimize the hassle of syncing colors on different hardware, an all-in-one LED system can offer a ton of bang for the buck — and most have a modest footprint.
6. Get your cords and cables under control.
A huge snarl of cables on your desk can take up a lot of room in your setup, so attacking your cable management head-on is a key part of maximizing space! Here are some of the top tips for improving cable management in a compact PC gaming setup:
- Use a cable raceway to consolidate your cables onto a single path, especially when dealing with power cords.
- If your desk doesn’t have holes for cable management, consider adding them yourself. It’s easier than you might realize!
- Consider a wireless mouse, keyboard, and/or headset. Today’s models have banished the lag of previous generations, and they can make a difference in cutting down on cables.
- Get a set of cable clips and use them to tame any cables that are giving you trouble.
7. Create side-by-side setups with your roommate or significant other.
Sometimes, you’ve got not one, but two people who need gaming setups in a small space. If that’s the case, have you thought about creating an area with side-by-side setups?
The advantage of this strategy: Sharing really is caring! You won’t have to worry about finding two separate spaces in a small apartment, and you can share things like power strips, storage space, or even a double computer desk if you’re so inclined. Plus, it can just be a lot of fun to game next to each other, especially if you’re actually playing together.
This won’t work for everyone! Some people will drive each other crazy gaming next to each other, and some spaces just aren’t big enough. But if you’re a highly social gamer, this idea can be worth thinking about!
Gaming is all about the experience, so don’t let a small space stop you from getting the experience you want! Although a small setup can require a little extra planning, it can absolutely be done, and the results look awesome.