How to choose a gaming chair
As you all know, us gamers are all very different. One – casual, other – long-term; one preferring MOBA’s over any other genres, other one – racing games. Tastes, needs and preferences differ with each and every one of us. Therefore, just before you blindly rush off to buy a gaming chair, you might want to answer yourself a few questions that are going to help you determine your own best chair for gaming.
1) Platforms and chair types
What gaming platform do you use?
Unfortunately, not all chairs are built right for every platform. Stationary; with wheel casters; low seating; high seating; adjustable height; swiveling; with or without pedestal; with racing frame. Depending on the platform or platforms you are going to use the chair with your choice will vary.
i) Best Chair for Console Gaming
Getting straight to the point here. If you are a console player you are probably looking for something with low seating and comfy. Why? So you can kick back and dive into your game without any thought about lifting your butt for a while.
The best type of chair for console gamers is without a doubt a “Rocker”. “Rockers” could be described as the most cozy and feature-full chairs for gaming ever. It is a low seating chair designed to be comfortable when playing big-screen games. Giving off its nice couch vibes, it has been attracting customers not only to play games. Sitting down and chilling, watching a movie, reading a book become a lot more fun in this chair. Capability to rock back and forth, and in many cases – play sounds, is what gave the chairs a good name.
Most of the higher end rockers like X Rocker 51396 aim to make gaming even more entertaining and enticing. They usually have other features that make gaming very immersive. The most exciting one is probably, as mentioned before, the built-in sound surround system. Having two or more hidden speakers on both of your sides and a built-in sub-woofer with control panel for bass and volume are surely going to give you a whole new kind of experience when playing your favorite games.
Additionally, most of this type of high-end chairs will connect to the same kind of chair for multi-player gaming. Some of them even have vibration motors that further improve your gaming experience. There is also an audio jack for input that could be used to connect your iPod and listen to some music.
Likely nothing to get you this immersed into the game other than a “rocker” chair with speakers.
ii) Best Chair for PC Gaming
On the other hand, video gaming chairs like rockers are obviously not be the best solution for a PC gamer. Low seating, stationary, chairs tilted backwards are often the opposite of you’ll need to make the best out of your gaming experience as a PC player. As a personal computer gamer you need to move your chair a lot, sit with your back straight and chair height adjusted to match your set up. Which is why rockers, as tempting as they surely are, are definitely not what you are looking for.
That’s where high-back gaming chairs come to light.
High-back gaming chairs are basically office chairs, adapted to best match the gamer’s needs. Although, unlike rocker chairs, they do not have quantities of neat and fancy features they more than make up the difference in quality and overall performance.
It’s all about Ergonomic Design
Ignoring the height adjustability feature, one of the strongest high back chairs’ point is their ergonomic design and comfort. Attempting to target the biggest problems most PC gamers encounter – posture, high back chairs manufacturer’s main focus is always their ergonomic design. What solves the most mind-boggling problem for a personal computer gamer. If you think that quality ergonomic chairs are what interests you the most read up more on best ergonomic gaming chairs article.
As hard to imagine comfort sitting in an office chair for many continuous hours as it may be… the second most annoying thing for long-term gamers was also thought about – states the often encountered thickly padded base of the throne and countless other features that make the chairs very comfortable to use for longer sessions of gaming. In addition to that most of the chairs are often accompanied by neck and lumbar support designs. And, needless to say, one of the most attractive features some of this type of chairs, like current quality best selling chair by RapidX, have to offer a gamer is the ability to tilt backward (recliners). It is a must-have function for a heavy grinding gamer. Taking a nap here and there is nothing short of necessary if you are playing many hours a day.
For more on recliners see Best Reclining Gaming Chairs post.
It may seem unlikely but most of high-end PC gaming chairs brag about their strength and ability to handle people of more than average builds. Before you buy yourself a high-back chair you are always better off taking a look at the chair’s maximum capacity and its measurements to make sure it will be able to handle your specs. It surely isn’t funny buying a chair only to be reminded that your lifestyle is getting out of hand… slightly, of course.
If you feel like reading up on best heavy-duty chairs check out my Best Gaming Chairs for Big Guys article.
iii) Racing Simulator Chairs
The last type of gaming chair could be named racing chair. Exactly as the name describes, it is a chair built to simulate the feeling of a real racing seat and get the most out of your already exciting racing games.
It comes with frames for mounting your steering wheel, pedals and, in some cases, gear shifter mounts and depending on the price it might also include other features such as multiple monitor mount. Fortunately, controllers are mostly never included with the package so you can use your own.
Some of the older models of the chairs do not all have adjustable mounts and are quite heavy because of their sturdy builds (cockpits), what results in overall bigger prices and a really hard time moving and positioning it. Wouldn’t call it an ideal choice for a gamer. Quite a few racing enthusiasts do still prefer old fashioned cockpit builds for reasons unknown. But you will simply have less problems with the less expensive, adjustable, lightweight racing chair model like OpenWheeler Advanced Racing Seat.
The following question you must answer to help yourself decide what your personal best chair for gaming is: “How much are you willing to spend for it?”
Let’s say you are an Xbox player, but you just don’t feel like spending a whole lot of money on the rocker chair. Or, say, you play both console and PC games but you cannot afford OR do not want to buy two chairs for gaming because that’s just an overkill. The obvious choice is purchasing a height adjustable high-back chair, that, while not the best pick for console gaming alone, is definitely the best choice for playing both – consoles and PC’s.
a) Long-Term Players
Other thing to consider is – whether you’d name yourself a long-term player or a casual player. Depending on which are you, your choice for the best chair for gaming could also change.
If you are a long-term player who can’t afford a high-end chair immediately, you should save up a little. You are buying a chair that will get worked to the bone… quite literally. In which case you are saving money by picking something that will hold.
Also when you spend a lot of time playing games it is not only important that you are as comfortable as possible but that you are also able to maintain your posture. Otherwise you will be soon greeted by back pain, neck pain or health problems even worse than that. Therefore saving up a little more for that sweet high-end ergonomic chair with maybe a cushion here and there, instead of rushing off to buy one you can afford now, will definitely solve some future issues for you.
b) Casual Players
On the other hand, if you are a casual player and you are not planning to spend much time sitting or lying in your chair, you could just go ahead and buy a chair that’s comfortable playing in for shorter periods of time and is within your current budget.
It never hurts to think forwards a little. Decide what you want to get out of your buy in the future too… In case you feel like you are gradually getting closer to becoming a long-term gamer, that is. Trust me – you can become one surprisingly quick.
One of the things that decide how much the chair will cost is its features. So ask yourself a question, is that feature really necessary? If you are on a hunt for a chair running a tight budget – maybe you don’t need that leather if you know what I mean… eh?
See my Best Cheap Gaming Chairs article here for best bang for the buck chairs.
3) Compatibility issues
“Is it compatible with my PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/Wii?”.
While this problem belongs mostly to the “gaming chairs with speakers” category only, it seems to have been shoving away some potential customers. To make it simple, the answer is yes. Even when it is not compatible with your console (what is rarely a case) it will be with your TV that the console in question is connected to. And even if your TV doesn’t have RCA outputs (what is very unlikely), you can buy an HDMI to HDMI + SPDIF + RCA L/R Converter that will make sure your chairs do indeed ROCK.
Going into detail, whether it is a wireless audio system or not, it will be using cables that most of the time can be used to connect to your TV either for wireless transmitter or direct connection. Meaning that there are more than one ways to get the sound flowing to your fresh buy.
The cables are included with the package of your buy. However, depending on your preferred placement of the gaming chair, you might run out of cable. Of course, you can always buy an additional cable adapter to make it longer. But just to save yourself some trouble, you should check out the product description for the cables length if stated.
4) Caring for you gaming chair
In many cases what covers the gaming chairs is faux or leather faux or similar. Basically materials that are quite easy to clean. So if you are the kind of gamer that tends to be a bit clumsy when multi-tasking in eating-and-grinding mode (such as myself), that would be an ideal pick for a gaming chair. However, if you happened to pick yourself a chair that has materials harder to tend to, you ought to thing about using some of the saved up money for deep cleaning foam cleaner used to quickly wipe any stains left by that mysterious goblins in your car seat material. Let’s be honest here, did you ever see a gamer that doesn’t snack while using their PC or console? Well, I surely haven’t. I think you might need that foam cleaner along with your gaming seat.
Other than those mentioned, there are a lot of ways to clean furniture. I’m sure google is more than willing to help you out with that should the need arise.
5) Shipping Considerations
One last thing just in case you are buying online. There is probably only one thing that’s as frustrating as receiving your long awaited awesome new chair and unpacking it only to find out it’s broken…what luckily never happened to me, well, at least with gaming chairs. That would be finding out that the chair you are so excited about buying can’t be shipped to your address…
Before you get all excited – make sure to check if the seller is able to ship to your address. If they aren’t, well then, there are many other sellers to choose from. I’m sure at least one of them will deliver.
That’s about everything you need to know in order to pick yourself the best chair for gaming. Welcome to my blog!