The number of mobile gamers continues to skyrocket, with some experts forecasting up to 2.3 billion mobile gamers worldwide by 2027. At the same time, a surprising number of gamers are embracing a platform that might as well be the polar opposite of mobile: PC gaming.
What’s behind the resurgent popularity of the PC in an era when mobile gaming seems to be conquering everything? While some say that COVID lockdowns contributed to a new influx of PC gamers, you don’t need a pandemic to appreciate the inherent advantages of the platform! Let’s check out some of the most significant upsides that PC gaming has to offer today’s gamers.
1. PC gaming is more accessible than it’s ever been.
You might have heard that PC gaming is inaccessible, requires lots of technical knowledge, or is expensive to get started with. Once upon a time, these things were true to varying degrees — but in today’s world of prebuilt gaming PCs and step-by-step YouTube PC building tutorials, they’re less relevant than ever.
Starting with a prebuilt desktop PC is a go-to option for gamers who want to jump right in, especially since you’ll be able to upgrade parts later. Gaming laptops are also a good option for gamers who value portability over customization. Then, of course, there’s building your own PC: a great way to save money and get exactly the PC you want while teaching yourself a little bit about hardware.
2. You’ll enjoy a whole new level of graphics and performance.
Sure, some of today’s top phones have impressive gaming specs, but they still pale in comparison to a properly-equipped gaming PC. Almost all of a phone’s processing hardware is crammed onto a single chip and optimized for saving space and reducing heat — not necessarily for providing the best gaming performance.
A PC, on the other hand, has room for a powerful discrete graphics card, an aftermarket cooling system, and all the RAM you could want. Plus, of course, there’s screen size — even a generously-sized phone screen won’t achieve the same immersion level as a 30-plus-inch monitor. You don’t even need top-shelf PC components. A mid-priced system with parts a few years old will still give you solid graphics performance on many titles.
3. The game library is second to none.
Mobile gaming can’t compete with the incredible array of game titles that a PC offers. From the latest AAA blockbusters to indie gems to older titles with a loyal following, PC is the perfect platform for a gamer who wants maximum selection.
Even when a game is available on both mobile and PC, the mobile version will almost always be a stripped-down port with fewer features and a simplified control scheme. Mobile games also often introduce microtransactions (such as buying in-game items and characters) — a feature that many gamers dislike, and which is usually absent from PC games.
4. PC gaming offers far more options for controlling your game.
A mobile gamer can get pretty darn good with the flicks and taps of a smartphone screen, or they might even use one of the add-on mobile controllers available. On a PC, however, you can take your pick of gaming keyboard and mouse, console-style gamepad, arcade fight stick, racing wheel and pedals, flight sim stick — you get the idea.
For PC gaming newbies, a solid mouse and keyboard combo is the place to start for controls. Try out a few in a store if possible to get a feel for the specific shapes. There’s no one-size-fits-all. Picking up a gamepad is also a good idea. Some PC games play best with them, and it can definitely feel more familiar than a mouse and keyboard to someone who hasn’t used them extensively for gaming before.
5. Modding unlocks a stunning range of possibilities.
The ability to install mods and user-generated content is one of the biggest advantages unique to PC gaming. Nothing really comes close in the mobile scene (or on consoles, for that matter), and once you’ve experienced Skyrim with a full suite of 4K texture packs, you’ll understand.
Of course, those used to closed marketplaces like the Apple Store should proceed with caution when it comes to modding. To keep your PC safe, only download mods from vetted sources like Steam Workshop and Nexus Mods. Take some time to get familiar with modding fundamentals, too. Learn about concepts such as load order, mod compatibility, and managing your mods through a mod organizer program.
6. The multiplayer social scene of PC gaming is far larger and deeper than mobile gaming.
PC gaming is where online gaming began, and the PC landscape still boasts some of the largest and most active online communities in all of gaming. You’ll find lively gaming communities for current hits, of course, but that’s not all. The platform’s versatility means that indie games, cult classics, and games 10 or even 20 years old all have passionate followings of players and creators.
That’s before we even get to streaming! The ease of capturing audio and video (as well as the huge game selection) makes the PC a great platform for streamers of all kinds. It’s easy to jump into the streaming world and start making friends, and those with a knack for it can even turn it into a source of income. Mobile streaming, on the other hand, makes up a tiny percentage of the streaming landscape, mostly filled by already-popular streamers and games.
If you’ve been hesitating to take the plunge into PC gaming, why wait any longer? A whole world of awesome games and new friends is waiting for you! We promise — your phone will still be there.