19 Oct





 min read

Best Equipment for Starting an Esports Program

As someone who’s passionate about video games and esports, it can be intimidating to decide what equipment is needed to start an esports program at your organization or school. In this article, we’ll cover the key considerations you’d make when getting equipment for your program.

PC or Laptop?

Source: Pexels

The biggest decision you’ll likely make with esports equipment is to decide between getting PCs or laptops.

PCs have the advantage of being modular, meaning you can switch individual parts very easily. In the long term, this will likely be cheaper than replacing entire laptops, as you can pinpoint the malfunctioning component within a pc and buy a replacement for a fraction of the price of a laptop. However, a pc will lack portability, which means you’ll likely have to dedicate a space within your organization for your PCs, or risk damaging them when you have to move them in and out of storage every week.

On the other hand, laptops offer a lot in portability as they’re a lot lighter and smaller. This will make it a lot easier for organizers to temporarily borrow spaces much more easily, as you can set up your laptops as long as you have some tables and chairs. It also comes with the extra bonus of having in-built keyboards, which remove another potential cost to your budget. As mentioned above, one possible downside is long-term expenses, as you’ll need to fork over larger sums of money to replace broken laptops.

Throughout my time as a coach, a popular computer I see used is a Chromebook. This can be a particularly efficient choice as many schools already own Chromebooks, which lessens your budget significantly. What you will have to keep in mind is that you won’t be able to directly install and play from the chromebooks itself. Rather, you’ll likely use a streaming service like Nvidia’s GeForce Now to stream those games over the internet. While that can certainly work, do keep in mind that you’ll need a stable internet connection, so it’s almost imperative to have a wired ethernet connection to remove any chance of Wi-Fi interference.

When it comes to choosing between PC or laptop, my recommendation would be to make your choice dependent on the space you have available. If you can establish a dedicated space where you don’t have to move anything, a PC is best. If you only use a temporary multi-purpose room, then laptops are the way to go.


Source: Pexels

The next most important equipment to consider is a keyboard. Even if laptops have built-in keyboards, there are many cases in which buying an external keyboard can be more advantageous as many are made specifically for gaming.

To be more specific, gaming keyboards, more known as mechanical keyboards, offer a more clicky and responsive keyboard than a membrane keyboard you’d usually see in an office. Mechanical keyboards come in a huge variety with varying qualities and prices.

The biggest consideration with mechanical keyboards will be the switch type. Linear switches feel the most similar to office keyboards, where there’s no tactile noise, but would likely still feel easier and lighter to press than your average office membrane keyboard. Tactile switches give you a bit of tactile feedback whenever you press down, which makes it easier to know when you’ve pressed the keys. Clicky switches are the loudest of the three, where it makes a click sound whenever you press down. 

The type of switch you get will depend on what you prefer, as all three switch types are offered at all price points for a keyboard. If you feel like the keyboards are too loud but your players still want satisfying feedback, tactile switches may be the best. 

My recommendation would be the Keychron brand. They offer a large variety of types and shapes, and boasts long hours on wireless mode as well.


Source: Pexels

A mouse (and a mousepad!) are going to be imperative for many esports games. For reasons elaborated below, I would recommend a gaming mouse even if the price is slightly steeper than a traditional office mouse.

The most important quality of a mouse will likely be its weight. The heavier the mouse, the harder it will be to maneuver it during a game session. For that reason, I’d recommend a wired mouse, as a wireless mouse will be considerably heavier with a built-in battery. Gaming mice are also generally lighter as well, which makes it easier to move around.

Gaming mice also have the added quality of being easier to press. This is particularly important as the more energy you need to click the left/right mouse button, the harder it will be to quickly respond to things in the game.

The last consideration you’ll make with mice will be their response time. Whenever you do anything with your mouse (moving it, left or right click, etc), it sends a signal to your computer and registers the input. The delay between your mouse input and the game registering it will depend on the quality of your mouse. As a rule of thumb, a good latency for a gaming mouse will be from 1-3ms, meaning a 1-3 millisecond delay from mouse input to the game registering that input.

My recommendation would be the Logitech G305 Mouse. It advertises a 1ms delay, and is even lighter than most wired gaming mice as well. 


Source: Pexels

A headset is important for a few reasons. Firstly, players will need to hear sound cues from games that provide them with useful information. It also means that speakers will be suboptimal as players will likely all be in the same room, thus muddling the sound between computers. Lastly, a microphone will be needed as you’ll need some way for players to communicate.

The headset you choose will depend on what games you’re playing. Games that require a lot of spatial awareness, such as fps games, will benefit from having a headset with good surround sound. Games that don’t have an emphasis on spatial awareness like MOBAs won’t need that feature.

Comfort is also a huge factor when choosing a headset. If your players feel discomfort wearing their headsets, then they won’t be able to play for the full session you intended. The best thing to do to gauge comfort is to go to tech stores and physically feel the padding on each headset. If that’s not possible, the very least a comfortable headset should have is a high level of adjustability. A headset would ideally be comfortable with good padding, but it’s important that the headsets can adjust to fit snugly on most heads as well.

As a budget recommendation, the Logitech G430 provides a good balance between price, comfort, sound and mic quality.


Hopefully you have enough information to make some informed decisions on what equipment to buy. If you’re looking for the next steps to find a responsible, reputable coach to elevate your players to the next level, take a look at our team coaching services at Vanta.

Hopefully you have enough information to make some informed decisions on what equipment to buy. If you’re looking for the next steps to find a responsible, reputable coach to elevate your players to the next level, take a look at our team coaching services at Vanta.

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