From consoles to arcades, it seems like the craze of gaming is still in full swing.
Gaming is the common name for the pastime of playing video games.
Video games can include electronic games played on computers. Or, playing a game meant for a single device, whether that device is hand-held or on a stationary machine doesn’t matter.
It is difficult to pin down everything that applies to gaming because the term has spread like wildfire.
While gaming is the act of playing virtually any game that uses an electronic device, the term for the players is gamers.
Gamers might spend a few minutes a day, hours a month, or even hours a day playing. For some people, gaming is a pastime or hobby. But for others, gaming is a lifestyle.
When you are looking into the very general term of gaming, you'll find that you will quickly immerse yourself into a new culture.
To know more about gaming, gamers, and gaming culture, you'll need to know how it all started.
How Did Gaming Start?
In 1971 the first arcade opened with Computer Space from Nutting Associates.
But, was quickly followed with the more successful Pong, from Atari. Both came from the same man, Nolan Bushnell who has become a lost name amongst gamers.
While arcades are still popular now, they quickly advanced, and in 1972 Magnavox delivered the Odyssey. Then in 1975 Atari developed a home version of Pong. These were the first home video games.
These two systems allowed players to take part in the fun arcade games at home. But, they had their own difficulties. Not only were the early system expensive, but they were very basic. The Odyssey even required the player to tape plastic over their tv screen. These systems were extremely basic running on transistors and diodes only.
In the mid-1970s there was a bit more competition as companies were making more at-home systems. The Fairchild Channel F came out in 1976 but has since been lost to time.
The system that put gaming on the map, and changed a generation was the Atari Video Computer System.
The Atari Video Computer System 2600 came out in 1977, and this is the first time in gaming history when anyone started talking about the hardware. While gamers now refer to hardware as specs, the incredibly simple specs of the Atari system would lay the foundation for game development.
This system has a MOS 6502 microprocessor, a custom graphics chip called Stella, 128 bytes of Ram and 4-kilobyte Rom game cartridges. Many removable cartridges used the same hardware. The cartridge system would stick around in gaming for decades.
Other notorious at-home systems in these early days include:
That changed in 1985 when Nintendo created the NES.
The Rise of a New Industry
The arcade side of the industry is still more iconic than most other factions of gaming culture.
People who are near retirement might not know what Fortnite is, but they probably have spent time playing Pac-Man or Asteroids.
During the 1980s arcade games flourished with classic characters like Q*Bert.
But, on the at-home gaming side of the industry, the Nintendo was setting itself up for a series of successes that would establish them among other reputable companies.
Super Mario Bros hit the shelves with the NES, and in 1987 they also released:
Metal Gear would become a series that established the importance of over-arching plot, character development, and eventually good graphics.
Zelda would stick with traditional Nintendo style graphics but build on engagement. Classic Nintendo games are responsible for uniting some of the original gamers with the younger generation.
While Nintendo would continue to drive development, there were many other companies at play.
In the early 1990s, the games finally developed into a full-scale community with eSports.
Although there had been arcade tournaments and competitions before, eSports became real for many people outside the gaming community because of internet connectivity.
Online video games were the next great step in the industry.
The ability to play online has given birth to MMORPGs, PUBG, and brought together Global Tournaments. Events such as E3 and eSports airing on ESPN has established the gaming community as an industry all its own.
The Gaming Industry vs. Other Entertainment Industries
While many people play games and engage in other entertainment such as going to the movies or attending music events, most people have a favorite.
As gamers enjoy a higher level of interaction than they would get from movies or music events, many revert to only using this form of entertainment.
While only a few years ago parents would be irate to hear that a child was entering the gaming industry, they can now be proud.
The gaming industry brought in $108.4 billion in revenue in 2017.
Comparatively, the film industry saw $11.07 billion in box-office sales.
Unfortunately, it isn't as easy to assess the sales side-by-side. The box-office revenue figures miss out on the mainstream film or television mediums such as Netflix and other tv services. It is hard to believe that they will make up more than the difference of over 97 billion dollars.
Finding the Best Gaming Laptop for You – What to Consider
The best gaming laptop is out there but finding the right one for you depends on 3 primary factors.
You need portability, adjustability, and connectivity.
After you decide what you need, you can start looking in your price range!
The whole point of a laptop is to be able to take it with you when you're on the go.
But, with gaming laptops, there is some give and take.
Better hardware is usually heavier. Better displays are generally larger. But, more than anything else, it's best for your computer if it is somewhat stationary.
Adjustability fits into 2 categories.
First, there is the issue of comfort. You don't want a keyboard that will lead to fatigue.
You also don't want a screen that will have you hunched over. Look for laptops that can adjust for your physical comfort.
The other aspect of adjustability is the compatibility with games.
Although many gaming PCs or laptops are made to handle even the best graphics and intense gameplay, not all laptops are created equal.
Connectivity to Accessories
Connectivity to accessories and the internet is a big deal for PC gamers. You need a strong Wi-Fi chip if you’ll be playing online.
But you must also consider that EA, Blizzard, and other game manufacturers will require an internet connection to sign in even if you are playing single-player.
Types of Games
Many gamers associate themselves with a "type" of game that they enjoy.
You may hear terms such as MMORPG, or FPS. But these terms don't seem to mean very much out of context.
When it comes to the type of games, the community has built a new language that can seem confusing at first.
Here we will break down what each type of game is, some of the language you’ll hear within the community and what specs you might need to get the most out of your gameplay.
First-Person-Shooter Commonly Known As FPS
First person shooter games are most commonly known as FPS.
The acronym covers a large range of games, but they all share the basic graphics setup and user control system. The screen shows what your character would see "first-person" viewpoint and all of them are shooting style games.
These games were once very popular in eSports.
Although they still have a strong presence in the community, gamers have expanded past only playing FPS games.
Why Is Frames Per Second So Important For FPS Games?
Frames per second can make things a little confusing because although the concept is very simple, it shares the same FPS acronym.
Frames per second in its simplest terms refers to the rate that your computer can update the image on your screen.
Basically, the faster, the better. But there is some speculation about FPS and what is good or bad.
The consensus is that if your framerate or frames per second is under 60, it can affect your gameplay in an FPS game.
First person shooter games rely on a fast response from the gamer. They must hit a target and avoid being caught. If your computer cannot depict the game on your screen as quickly as it is happening, you are at a severe disadvantage.
Choosing A Good GPU For FPS Players
GPU is an acronym for graphics processing unit.
It is a single-chip processor that helps with lighting effects. The graphics-heavy nature of FPS games means that you want a good GPU, but you don’t need the best.
Look at either AMD or Nvidia for a mid-range GPU.
Every few years they come out with an upgraded version of their best GPU. Most people enjoy gaming with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-Series or the AMD RX 400-series.
Beware The Dangers Of Overheating
Laptops don’t breathe as well as towers that have great cooling systems.
But overheating is a particular danger when you're playing FPS. FPS games will drive your computer to work harder as they attempt to provide the best framerate possible. If your laptop gets too hot, it can damage your hardware, and your desk (or lap).
Protect your hardware by keeping your computer free of dust, and in good airflow.
Display Size And Resolution For FPS Players
Display size and resolution tend to live hand-in-hand.
You want a bigger monitor, but you don't want a large monitor that has terrible resolution. Many people find that since they are limited with the size of laptops, they will focus more on the resolution.
It’s best to get the highest resolution possible, and then allow your budget to dictate the display size.
For FPS players resolution is important because the pixels are smaller which can mean more or less accurate gameplay for you.
How Much RAM And Processor Usage Do You Need For FPS Games?
RAM does not directly affect the framerate as most people might think it does.
But, because RAM is your fast storage, it can affect some of the gameplay. RAM will bring in the resources your needs, and then will allow your GPU to supply the full speed.
The processor usage is much more important than RAM when it comes to FPS games.
Most processors can handle a lot more than people give them credit for. You can work with FPS games without any issue with a mid-grade AMD or Intel processor.
Finding A Great Keyboard And Audio Chipset
Laptops are far more than just buying a standard computer because you must also consider aspects like the keyboard. A keyboard can affect your gaming.
You need a good keyboard with backlights as it will help you navigate the distance between keys more quickly.
The other thing to look out for is an audio chipset.
Most FPS games are online, or part of eSports. These chips set right on the motherboard, but it allows additional hardware to connect. You want a chipset that will allow you to connect a headset or microphone.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game: MMORPG
MMORPGs took the world by storm.
The most common games include World of Warcraft, Neverwinter, Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XIV, and Terra. However, many other MMORPGs have sprung up in recent years.
The undisputed king is World of Warcraft from blizzard.
These games stand apart from the rest of the gaming community for a few reasons.
First, they allow players to interact in non-competitive ways.
Second, they encourage people to socialize through guilds.
Third, the gameplay usually revolves around story-telling in large-scale events.
Finally, most of the game design has gone to world building.
While there are solo games that focus on world building as well, the expansive worlds you’ll find in MMORPGs are well developed.
Important Aspects to Consider if You’re A MMORPG Player
There are a few aspects to consider when choosing your gaming laptop if you’re an MMORPG player.
For gamers that enjoy the MMO aspect, you need high-quality connectivity. But, you also need a great cooling system because you’re likely to spend long durations of time playing.
The giant worlds however that can take a toll on your RAM and processor.
The processing equipment needs to be on the higher end to handle the large worlds. But, the RAM size is a big deal. RAM acts as your fast storage, so with smaller amounts of RAM, you have issues with both shadows and textures showing up in your game.
The New Gladiator Grounds: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
They are becoming the middle ground between PC gaming and old-style arcades.
Most of these games require some teamwork and basic strategy. They evolved from the older maps of Warcraft and Starcraft. These are becoming the new gladiator grounds where the gameplay relies more on the player's ability than gear.
Popular MOBA Games
Probably the most popular MOBA game is League of Legends.
They started out in 2009 and were an almost instant hit. The game took over eSports events, and teams started popping up everywhere.
There are other popular MOBA games such as Infinite Crisis, Dota 2 and Smite. Many of these games start as free to play but entire players into investing money for skins or other in-game additions.
When Choosing Monitors, Bigger Is Better.
For MOBA games you want something physically large.
The MOBA games aren't usually fast-paced games so you don't need a high resolution. But, the physically large monitors can let you better track the entire map rather than stare at a small screen.
Many MOBA players enjoy ultrawide screens that support 21:9.
Battle Royale Games
Battle Royale Games are what they sound like.
Many players pitted against one another. The most popular games include Player Unknown Battlegrounds, H1Z1, and Fortnite.
There are tons of to the Battle Royale style games that are free to play.
These large-scale games are fun to play and bring in age groups ranging from younger children to the older gaming generation.
What’s The Difference Between FPS And Battle Royale Games?
While you can almost always play Battle Royale Games from the first person perspective, there are other options available.
The big differences for many of these games are:
Many FPS players enjoy the teamwork and social aspect of playing online. Whereas many battle royale players only strive to be the last person alive.
Why Is PUBG So Demanding?
Players Unknown Battle Grounds is no to tax even the best computers.
If you can play better games with amazing graphics on your computer, you might wonder how PUBG is destroying your framerate.
Many people report frame rates as low as 20 or 40 frames per second.
Part of the issue is that the textures and shadows aren’t static, so they aren’t relying on your RAM to process these parts of the game.
The game is almost running entirely on your CPU. However, PUBG is considering these issues for their patches and working towards using static shadows.
You Need A Great GPU!
Because it is such a demanding game, you need to focus on your GPU.
The GPU is your graphics processing unit and acts as a processor that strictly reinforces the graphics needs.
Many people have much less GPU power than CPU. But if you're looking to play battle royale style games, you should consider investing more in the GPU.
Two Things You Must Get Right: Wi-Fi And Display
Wi-Fi can mean life and death for battle royale games.
A glitch in your connection can knock you out of the game and send you into the spiral of anger that comes with technology issues. But, this isn’t the only aspect to worry about.
The display is important in battle royale games for the same reason it's important in FPS games. You need what is on your screen to match what is going on in the game time. You also need to have generally high levels of resolution.
Strategy and Real-Time Strategy Games
eSports leader throughout many countries, StarCraft II, belongs in this category.
The RTS games and general strategy games can keep many people engaged for hours. Unlike battle royale games where every player is out on their own, these games require a long-term plan for success.
You may spend hours playing to build a strategy that will let you maneuver particular units, and structures so that you can win, or destroy another player’s assets.
These games usually feature a combination of resource gathering, building a base, and controlling units.
Know Your Games – Is Your RTS Game CPU Heavy?
StarCraft II, a development of the original StarCraft, this game requires a stronger CPU over a GPU. If you're looking for the best, you should opt for a top-tier Intel or AMD processor.
Many players note that an i7 from Intel is a great choice.
Warcraft III is another strategy game that is very CPU heavy rather than GPU heavy. You should look for a CPU that will work well with your RAM.
Cooling Systems Are Vital
Because RTS games can really suck you in, you want a cooling system that can handle long gameplay session with the heat that your CPU will produce.
Many laptops use smart designs to boost the efficiency of their cooling systems. Keep a lookout for a laptop that stays cool even under demanding conditions.
Don’t Bottleneck Your Games with Small Amounts of Diskspace
You can subside some of the demand on the CPU with the proper amount of disk space.
If your system is showing that you are getting higher CPU than GPU usage you may have a bottleneck.
The solution is almost always more disk space.
Single Player GPU “Heavy” Games
These games are literally the games with the best graphics, and they are demanding on your computer but so fun to play.
Single player GPU Heavy games include blockbuster titles such as Skyrim and many from the Assassins Creed franchise.
These games focus on 2 things.
First, they either create or recreate a world with lifelike images and second, they focus on the plot.
Many people enjoy playing these games because they are getting to the point that they are almost like an interactive movie. The film industry should watch out!
The Games You Know for Graphics and Gameplay
Most people know or know of, Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls franchise.
There are endless mods, to change up some aspects but the overall world is visually stunning.
Far Cry 5 is another favorite because they are recreating parts of the real world. What most people note was the remarkable section of Montana that shows its diverse terrain with raw beauty. All of this created from behind a screen.
Destiny was a great swing with a terrible miss, but Destiny 2 is known as one of the most visually appealing games on PC. It doesn’t try to recreate the real world, but it takes advantage of everything only the best graphics cards can offer.
Setting The Bar For Benchmark Testing
Many people are a little upset when they see stunning graphics at E3 or eSports events, but when they finally get the game, it seems lackluster. The issue isn't the game.
These games have set the benchmark for visual graphics and GPU testing.
The difference is that these events only use the hardware that can really show everything these games can deliver.
Mobile GPU v. Discrete GPUs
Mobile GPU is any graphics processing unit that uses a specialized circuit to manipulate the memory of a mobile device.
Many laptops fall into the mobile device category. But, discrete GPUs provide another option for laptop gamers.
A discrete GPU is a graphics subsystem that works separately with the graphics card on the motherboard. These GPUs are becoming more popular because they aren’t reliant on integration with the processor.
You can find both options in any marketplace. But, many gamers are preferring the discrete GPUs.
Why Do High-End Laptops Come With Discrete GPUs?
A discrete GPU will not rely on or draw power from anything other than the motherboard.
For the rest of the computer, this means that there isn't so much reliance on the CPU.
Overall, high-end laptops use discrete GPUs for power efficiency and to keep the heat down.
The Importance of a Great Wi-Fi Chip for Gaming Laptops
Almost all games now require online connectivity.
For many gamers that might mean signing into steam to play their game or logging in to play with friends online. Speedy Wi-Fi doesn’t just depend on your provider.
In fact, great Wi-Fi starts with your computer. A great Wi-Fi chip will let you take advantage of everything that your internet provider is offering.
Do MacBooks Have a Place in Gaming?
This is an ongoing problem, can you game on an Apple computer?
MacBook’s are well-loved for their functional aspect, but gamers are usually turned off for a number of reasons.
The biggest issue is that most games don’t use code, design, or architecture that is compatible with a Mac.
There are games made for mac that are great and deserve a place in the gaming community. But, you will have a tough time finding your favorite game on a Mac.
Issues with Retina Display
The retina display leads to a primary problem for gamers, and that is overheating.
The power that games require now is intense, and the aluminum exterior with the retina display can quickly lead to overheating during gameplay.
Which Games Perform Well on MacBooks?
The best performing games on MacBook’s include Fortnite, Elder Scrolls Online, and even StarCraft II.
Although these games perform well on MacBook’s be sure that you keep an eye out on your MacBook’s temperature, so it doesn’t overheat.
Price Ranges and Gaming Laptops that Fit Your Budget
There are gaming laptops to fit your needs in any price range.
We have split up the most popular price ranges here and have great gaming laptops in every category.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $600
Don’t think you don’t have any good options in this price range.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $800
Many people feel comfortable spending this much on a gaming laptop.
If you want something really well-rounded, you should try the Asus Zenbook Flip.
It's incredibly portable and comfortable to play on. But if you want something for better graphics or GPU heavy games the Asus K501UX is your best choice.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
This price range is where more high-end companies begin entering the arena.
The best option in this range is the MSI VG62 8-RD-200, and while this group of letters and numbers might not mean a lot the 16gb Optane hard disk with the terabyte HDD, you'll have plenty of room to keep your games.
The 8GB of DDR4 RAM can support GPU heavy games without issue!
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1200
Alienware is a well-known brand, and their AW15R3-5246SLV is an outstanding option in this price range.
With 8 gigs of RAM, a GeForce GTX 1060, and an i5 processor you will have the power you need to play your games at top quality.
Another great option in this price range is the HP Pavillion with an i7 processor.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
Alienware shows up again just within this price range, but it has the space, RAM and graphics card to support its hefty price tag.
If you’re looking for other options in this price range, you might want to consider the Acer Predator Helios 300 that stands out with an all SSD hard drive.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000
When you're looking at the top tier, it seems like you have too many options.
The best laptops in this price range are the Asus ROG STRIX GL702VI and the Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop.
Both of these have a combination of SSD and standard hard disk space and top graphics cards.