There comes a moment in time that you reach that certain level where having the right equipment means the difference between winning or losing. For a newbee or recreational player, none of this matters, however, when you have the intention of being more than just an average gamer, your mouse, keyboard, mousepad and headset become important.
Choosing the right equipment depends on the game you’re playing. For Counter Strike, your keyboard (movement) and mouse (aiming) are both equally important. Playing Dota2, your mouse is your most valued asset. LoL and StarCraft focus more on the keyboard. How your mouse performs highly depends on your mousepad. If your mousepad is of poor quality, the interaction between your mouse and the game (through your mousepad) is badly transmitted which will cause you to fail your game. A mousepad should be smooth and able to handle a lot of swiping. Once you’re playing at a seriously high level, your headset becomes an issue to never miss out on directional sounds and communication with your team.
Things you need to pay attention to purchasing the right mouse for you, not in general. Rule number 1; the appearance of the mouse is not important at all. A mouse can be beautifully designed, however, if it constantly disconnects or has slow responsive time the only comfort you’ll have after the loss of your game is being able to say: ‘hey, but I do have a sharp mouse’. Do as the pros do, pay attention to how it feels, does it fit the shape of your hand, is it reliable (connection&click). If you do a lot of swiping, make sure you chose a combination of mouse and mousepad that ensures constant contact, even when the mouse is lifted during your swiping movements
Your keyboard is, just like your mouse, a matter of personal preference. It’s important to have quick and responsive keys, but the amount of pressure you want for each key is personal. Mechanical keyboards are the thing to look for, as they allow personalization of the keys in setting each key’s pressure. You can set any key for any specific input by reducing the amount you have to press on that key.
Where mouse and keyboard are constantly upgraded, the headset is still something that needs to be revolutionized. Although communication wise there are some improvements, the reception of directional sounds is still a bit poor, while it would absolutely benefit the game if you can have clear knowledge of what direction for instance a shot came from, just by hearing the shot being fired. There are still many complaints about headsets by pro gamers, but nobody seems to be doing anything about it, which is a shame.
Some brands work together with pro gamers to improve the equipment they manufacture, for instance Razer, Logitech, Kingston en SteelSeries. They let pro gamers test the gear and adjust it to the specific comments they might have. From that comes the next logical step that players and teams commit to a certain product line, the so-called signature lines. So, if you’re into a specific game, look at what equipment a player in that same game uses. He will have chosen the best there is for that game and that will save you a lot of testing. However, only do so if you want to take your game to the next level, because it won’t always be cheap and it’s not necessary if you want to stay recreational. Also, take this to hart: most pro gamers state that having good equipment will only do that much. If you don’t train a lot and make the effort, it will not make you a better player, only talent and effort will. They also say the best equipment isn’t always the most expensive stuff. For instance, they almost all recommend the Rival 100 (SteelSeries) mouse, which can be bought for around €35,-, you don’t have to get much higher than that.