PC gaming has been a dominating force in the gaming industry as far back as the industry’s conception. For decades, it has been a strong competitor for the various consoles that have come and gone, constantly improving, and upgrading to meet technological demand.
Starting out with PC gaming can be very daunting and intimidating for those unfamiliar with it. There are a range of different hardware and software requirements, different storefronts, and mediums for accessing games, and many different genres of games to choose from, making it challenging to figure out where to even start. That’s why we’re here to help you start your PC gaming journey.
The first thing to consider when looking at PC gaming is exactly what hardware you will need. Whether you’re playing Fortnight with V-Bucks or at online casinos for real money, the first thing you’re going to need to spend your money on is a PC or gaming laptop. The first thing you need to do is budget. How much are you able to spend on your PC? According to PC Gamer, the sweet spot for a PC on a budget is around the $1000-$2000 mark.
From there, for a beginner, the best place to start would be with a pre-built PC tower or laptop. For most games, as a bare minimum, you ideally want gear that has an NVIDIA GTX 770 graphics card or something similar, at least 2-4GB of VRAM, and an Intel Core I5 or above CPU. All game’s requirements differ, and some older games may be capable of running on less powerful PCs, so it’s important to always check your game requirements on your storefront and whether your PC can handle the game before you purchase.
Regarding storefronts, you can find most games on the Steam Store. Steam is an online distributor for games, allowing you to find, purchase, download, and even review numerous video games, from indie to AAA. It’s one of the main platforms used to download and launch PC games, reaching 26.09 million concurrent users in September 2021. You will need to create a login to use it, which includes the creation of a gamer tag. Once you have done that, you can then install Steam on your PC. If you have enough space on your PC, you should then be able to buy and install games ready for you to play, all of which can then be found in your Steam library for easy access.
You should keep in mind that there are other storefronts as well. Some developers, such as EA, Blizzard, and Ubisoft, all have their own storefronts. Or you can also find games that are exclusive to certain storefronts; for example, Minecraft is exclusive to the Microsoft Store, and Fortnite is exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
PC gaming opens the door to a variety of game types and genres with little to no limitations. That being said, some games and genres are just better suited to console play, and it can be difficult to determine what the best way to play a certain game is. Here are a few popular game types and genres for PC gaming to get you started and hopefully spark some inspiration:
First Person Shooters:
Possibly the most popular genre of modern video game currently, the first-person shooter, or FPS, has the player view the game from a first-person perspective, with a gun or weapon at the centre of the screen. A core part of the game is weapon-based combat, which sees players pitted against a common enemy or, more often lately, other players. Some current popular examples include:
- Counter Strike Global Offence
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
Getting their start in arcade games and remaining popular on both PC and console, platformers involve the player moving a character along points in the environment. The levels often include uneven and challenging terrain of varying heights, which the player must navigate by jumping and climbing, all while dodging or fighting off enemies. Some classic examples of platformers include Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, but here are a few that have proven popular amongst PC gaming audiences:
- Super Meat Boy
- Hollow Knight
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Role Playing Games
Second- to first-person shooters would have to be role playing games, or RPG’s. These involve the player taking on the role of a character within a fictional narrative. Most RPGs today are open world, giving the player the opportunity and freedom to explore fantasy worlds and their stories and side quests at their own pace, with the decisions they make often impacting the overall story and its outcome. Some popular examples of RPG games include:
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
- Fallout 4
- Mass Effect
While PC gaming can seem very intimidating, it’s far simpler than it may seem. All it really requires is a good PC, an internet connection, and a Steam account. If you follow this guide while you set up the basics, you’ll quickly be enveloped in the limitless opportunities that come with PC gaming.
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