The Gamer on a Budget
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How to Create a Budget Gaming Setup

Gaming is a hobby for many and a lifestyle for some. But for most, having the right type of gaming setup can seem too costly, at least when it comes to the main components, such as the PC and monitor. But it is possible to own a budget gaming setup that can perform well, even compared to some high-end setups.

A budget gaming setup can consist of many of the same components you’ll find in a higher priced setup. The only real difference here is you’ll need to prioritize in terms of which components you’ll invest more money in. Buying a basic rig and upgrading the memory and graphics card later down the line is a great way to save money on the initial cost and can allow you to enjoy a custom setup. Since gaming has become huge over the past ten years, manufacturers are now producing gear that’s more affordable, even for the gamer who’s on a tight budget.

Read on to learn which components to invest in and which gaming gear you can upgrade, later down the line.

The Gamer on a Budget

Gaming doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, these days it’s possible to purchase a good gaming PC that’s affordable and fast, especially if you keep your eye out for sales and deals on powerful rigs. But when you’re looking to buy a cheap PC, there’s a lot to consider, especially if you want to get the best bang for your buck. Most pre-built PCs can be easily configured to suit your gaming needs, which is why the components themselves are usually the least consequential. This includes everything for the best graphics cards and CPUs, to budget parts. Instead, when you consider gaming on a budget, look for things like upgradeability, performance per dollar, and the type of warranty the product comes with before you even worry about cable management or design.

close up of hands holding a controller

Of course, it’s also possible to save money by building your own budget PC, however, if you want a cheap gaming experience without having to deal with assembly or purchasing the right parts, then we recommend steering clear of custom rigs for now. Instead, focus on finding a prebuilt that comes with all the components you’ll need. Pre-builts are generally more expensive compared to building the same rig from scratch. However, there are times when you’ll come across great deals online for pre-builts that are available at a lower price. Some may even be cheaper than a custom rig that has the same parts.

With that in mind, let’s go over what major components you’ll need for your budget-friendly gaming setup. This will include the bare bones you need in order for your rig to handle today’s graphically demanding games.


A complete gaming system can range from $500 up to a couple of grand, depending on the type and quality of the components. However, for those of you on a budget, you’ll want to avoid the fancy light up rigs that are more flash than substance. For now, stick with the basics, and that’s primarily a PC that can handle gaming for several hours on end, without overheating. We recommend the CYBERTRONPC BORG-Q TGM4213B gaming PC.


A good quality headset is essential, whether you’re discussing strategy with your teammates or listening for enemies. But there’s a lot to look for when you’re shopping for a headset. A headset that’s too big can fall forward or slip down the back of your head, while a headset that’s too tight can cause pain and discomfort. Low-quality sound can also hinder your ability to communicate with your team, or you may be unable to hear danger approaching. A good headset will have balanced clear sound without any distortion or fuzzy feedback. It should also fit your head well and come with an adjustable headband. In terms of price, you really do get what you pay for with headsets, so this is one component you can expect to pay a little more for.


A crystal clear monitor can make all the difference between winning and losing. Some monitors are specifically designed for gaming and have low input lag. This involves the amount of time it takes for the monitor to render an image. Some monitors have impressively low input lags of nineteen milliseconds, which is what makes it easy to play fast-action games. But finding a monitor this fast at a lower price can definitely be a challenge. Keep your eye out for specials on monitors and if you have to, save up for one that has a reputation for crystal clarity and lower than average input lag.


The type of controller you buy will determine what games you can play. Most of the time, serious gamers opt for wired controllers instead of wireless. This is because a wireless controller will either need to be charged or you’ll have to constantly replace the batteries. If you normally game a lot, then the price of batteries can really add up. Of course, the wireless design allows you to move around when you play. However, if you’re serious about your game, then you really don’t want to risk your controller dying on you in the heat of the battle. Additionally, a wired controller is much cheaper than a wireless model.

Pro Mic and Webcam

Webcams will allow you to record your gaming or live stream it to share with friends. If you care about image quality, you can easily find a top of the line webcam these days for around $50 to $70. Because you can’t really judge the quality of a webcam’s image until you set it up and test it out, it can be difficult to find a good model. If possible, get recommendations from friends or hit up gaming forums and discuss your options for a budget-friendly model.

Related Questions

tech items on a desk

Can a Budget-Friendly PC Handle Fortnite?

Some can, some can’t. You’ll want to pay close attention to the PC’s processor and memory. It’s definitely possible to find a great rig for under $500 if it comes with the right components. Since Fortnite can be graphically demanding, a computer with a good cooling system is also essential. To learn more about this popular PC game, you can click here to read our article on how to get better at Fortnite.

Why do You have to use a Faster PC for Gaming?

If your PC doesn’t have enough memory and doesn’t come equipped with a fast processor, then your gameplay can definitely suffer. You’ll experience screen freezes and lags, which can majorly impact your performance and cost you and your team big, especially if you’re in the middle of a battle. If you’d like to learn more about the leading affordable gaming rigs on the market, click here to read our gaming PC buyer’s guide.

Final Thoughts

A budget gaming setup is totally possible, if you plan, know which components to invest more money in, and the basic gear you need to get started. Today, gaming rigs are more affordable, and there are literally dozens of models to choose from. In terms of the other components we discussed here, you can easily find some great deals online for top of the line gaming gear that’s available at a more affordable price. It will all be a matter of keeping your ear to the ground and jumping on a deal once you spot one.

Learn How to Create a Budget Gaming Setup
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Learn How to Create a Budget Gaming Setup
Find out which gaming components you should invest in, how to buy a top of the line gaming PC for less and all the gear you need to get started gaming today.