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The Best Desktop Gaming PCs We’ve Played With

The Best Desktop Gaming PCs We’ve Played With

Consoles like the Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 5 may be great for gaming, but they’re hard to come by. Fortunately, a good old fashioned gaming PC is always an option. If you want to get access to the massive library of games on stores like Steam and Epic, we’ve got some of the best gaming PCs collected here.

Since gaming desktops can be upgraded more frequently than consoles, they can deliver high-fidelity visuals unrivaled by most other systems. Paired with the right peripherals—a quick and responsive mouse, a mechanical keyboard, and a good headset—a gaming PC can quickly become the place you spend most of your free time.

Choosing a gaming desktop can be incredibly complex, though. There are several specs and factors to consider, including specs, what kinds of games you’re going to play, and how many thousand RGB lights you want on it. Building your own PC is also a great option if you want to make it yourself and upgrade it over time, but for everyone else, these are the best gaming desktops we’ve tested at WIRED.

Updated November 2021: We’ve removed the HP Omen and Dell G5 desktops because those models have been discontinued. We also added the NZXT BLD custom build system.

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The Best Wireless Gaming Headsets for Every Kind of Player

The Best Wireless Gaming Headsets for Every Kind of Player

Going wireless is cheaper than ever, but if you’re going to spend hours wearing a headset coordinating with your squad in a game—or maybe sitting through your tenth Zoom meeting of the day—it needs to be comfortable, sound crisp, and pick up your voice clearly. Over the past three years, we’ve tested dozens of headset and headphones to pull together this list of the best wireless gaming headsets for PCs, Mac, Android phones, iPhone, Nintendo Switch (all models), Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. We’ll continue testing new models over time, so bookmark this page to see our future picks.

Be sure to check out our many buying guides. For more accessory suggestions, check our picks for the Best Nintendo Switch Accessories and Best PS5 Accessories.

Updated October 2021: We included new info about Xbox Series X/S and PS5 compatibility and added in the Logitech Pro X. We’ve also begun a new round of testing on recent headsets to add to the mix. Eric Ravenscraft, Jeffrey Van Camp, and Jess Grey contributed to headset testing for this guide.

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20 Amazingly Addictive Couch Co-Op Games

20 Amazingly Addictive Couch Co-Op Games

If you need to recharge, what better way than to cozy up with friends or family and play some couch co-op games? Whether you want space shooter action, a platform challenge, or a tricky puzzler, we have a game here for every co-op crew, including games built for pairs as well as trios and quartets. Here are the very best cooperative titles for the PlayStation, Xbox, Windows PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Updated August 2021: We’ve added four titles, including It Takes Two and Overcooked! All You Can Eat.

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Our 10 Favorite Gaming Headsets for Every System

Our 10 Favorite Gaming Headsets for Every System

I complain about “gamer” aesthetics pretty often, but in the case of the JBL Quantum One, the ostentatious design and lighting are well worth it. This headset is very expensive, but it’s for people who have full-on gaming desktop setups and want the best, most immersive sound while gaming (or listening to music while they work, like me). First and foremost, the sound is just incredible. The broad, expansive soundstage and deep rumbly bass make it perfect for video games or consuming any kind of media.

At this price, you get a few more features on top of great audio. These headphones offer spatial audio, so when you set them up with the JBL software, they track the position of your head. If you turn away from your computer, the volume goes way down. The spatial audio also makes for a killer, sometimes overstimulating, gaming experience. They also feature active noise cancellation and a super-clear boom mic. The only thing I don’t like? The exterior design. If they were a bit more understated, these would be my take-everywhere, wear-everyday headphones.

Corded only. Works with PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Switch, and PC. Spatial audio only on PC.

The New Nintendo OLED Switch Is a Small But Punchy Upgrade

The New Nintendo OLED Switch Is a Small But Punchy Upgrade

After months of fan speculation, Nintendo today confirmed rumors that a new Switch console is on the way. Nintendo’s updated OLED model for the Nintendo Switch will arrive October 8, 2021, the same day as the highly anticipated Metroid Dread.

The OLED model—no cute or snappy name yet—replaces the Nintendo Switch’s 6-inch 720p LCD panel with a 7-inch OLED screen. LCD screens rely on a backlight for illumination, while individual pixels on an OLED screen produce their own light, which means the latter offer myriad advantages: better viewing angles, deeper blacks, and higher brightness levels that should help make playing outside in direct sunlight less of a squint-fest. Notably, Nintendo’s announcement does not mention 4K, which last-gen consoles like the Xbox One S and X and the PlayStation 4 Pro all boasted. (The standard Switch model outputs at 1080p when it’s docked.)

At $350, the new model will cost $50 more than the standard Switch, but does come with some quality-of-life improvements beyond that OLED display. A built-in ethernet port will make a huge difference for anyone who plays online Switch games like Super Smash Bros. Ethernet connectivity will cut down on frustrating lag between players competing in multiplayer titles. And instead of the widely maligned dinky, fragile back stand of the current generation, the OLED model has a wide, adjustable stand for tabletop mode, for anyone who wants to play Switch games with friends on airplanes or at coffee shops. It’s a long, rectangular bar that spans most of the console.

The new Switch will also have 64 GB of internal storage and “enhanced audio for handheld and tabletop play,” but Nintendo did not elaborate on what exactly that entails. It comes with white Joy-Cons and a white dock or Joy-Cons in the traditional red and blue. (Nintendo says that old Joy-Cons work on this model as well.)

The OLED model doesn’t appear to be a significant step forward for Nintendo hardware. Many of these upgrades simply take the Switch to a bar of quality it arguably should have cleared when it released in 2017: The Switch released with a puny 32 GB of storage, requiring many consumers to invest in expensive SD cards. Its battery life is listed 4.5 to nine hours—the same as the base Switch model, despite the upgraded display—with your mileage varying depending on the game. All of which might be appealing if you’re new to Switch, but without 4K, or even a greater variety of hardware color options, it’s hard to justify as an upgrade. An exception might be if your Switch’s Joy-Con controllers are borked, an endemic problem that has sparked more than one lawsuit. Nintendo is not changing the Joy-Con controller configuration or functionality with the new OLED model.

Nintendo has been in a creative rut for some time now. As the era of Splatoon 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 approaches, that same stagnation appears to apply to its hardware as well.

Updated 7-6-2021, 12:17 pm ET: This story has been updated to include more information about the Joy-Con controllers for the OLED model.


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