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How to Build a SteelSeries Setup on a $100 Budget

Only looking to spend about $100 on your gaming gear upgrade? Do you start with a headset, mouse, mousepad, or keyboard?

What to buy or upgrade first?

Here are my suggestions on the "importance" of your gear and which budget-friendly upgrades you should pick up first. Of course, everyone's situation and circumstances are different, so ultimately I hope I can help you make a good decision for yourself.

  • Mouse and mousepad
  • Headset
  • Keyboard (and everything else)

Upgrade first: Mouse and mousepad

Most games rely heavily on aim, whether it's aiming a crosshair, a pickaxe, or just organizing your items. When I finally caved and invested in a good mouse, it was the biggest game-changing purchase to my performance.

So first and foremost, I'd recommend starting with a mouse and mousepad upgrade if yours are bad (or non-existent).

Budget mouse pick: Rival 3 mouse (~$30)

SteelSeries Rival 3 mouse floating in space The Rival 3 has extremely high precision, looks and feels great, but most importantly, it's insanely durable and built to last for many years longer than your average $30 mouse.

Budget mousepad pick: QcK (~$7 and up)

A good mousepad doesn't slide around your desk or in any way interupt your mouse performance.

SteelSeries QcK Medium mousepad with a SteelSeires mouse, both floating in space

The QcK mousepad is the gold standard for mousepad material. It is incredibly affordable; the QcK Small is just $7, and the QcK Medium is $10. Even the QcK Large is just $15, so your never have to deal with a cruddy or non-mousepad surface again.

As a bonus, QcK mousepads are easy to wash, so you can keep it clean and functional for years.

Upgrade second: Headset

Once you've got your mouse and mousepad settled, now it's time for the next quality of life/gaming upgrade: audio. Headsets provide both good audio and a microphone together in one product (so you don't need to pick up headphones and a mic)

Budget headset pick: Arctis 1 (~$50)

Arctis 1 headset floating in space The Arctis 1 is a great high-quality headset for $50, plugs into virtually anything. It's durable, folds flat, sounds great, and comes with a detachable mic. It functions as both your everyday gaming headset, as well as a great pair of headphones that you can confidently wear outside of the house.

The $100 setup

With the above mouse (~$30), mousepad (~$7-15), and headset recommendation (~$50) you should come in under $100. I believe that those 3 items will make the biggest difference in your setup right away.

Upgrade if needed: Keyboard

Not that a gaming keyboard isn't important, but if you already have a working keyboard, you shouldn't worry too much about upgrading to a gaming keyboard before you get your mouse, mousepad, and headset upgraded. But if you're all set there, here's the keyboard to pick up:

Budget keyboard pick: Apex 3 (~$50)

Apex 3 RGB keyboard floating in space

The Apex 3 looks amazing and comes with tons of features that you wouldn't expect in the $50 range, like customizable RGB that intrgrates with your games and Discord, a wrist rest, and more. It's built to last longer than any other membrane keyboard; specifically rated IP32 water and dust resistant to survive spills and accidents.

I hope this helps you to put together your budget-friendly setup. Check out the pieces below for more specific gaming needs.

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