A great feeling is playing a game at the comfort of your desk. Constantly adjusting during a session is tedious and takes focus away from the game itself. Posture contributes a tremendous amount to the experience of a game and the ability to get kills, score points, or compete at an advantage.
It is best to consider monitor height, keyboard & mouse position, and chair support as variables contributing to your desk experience—trial and error and adjustments make a setup comfortable for longer gaming sessions.
With multiple peripherals types and customization available for the average consumer, this blog goes over the best position for different keyboards, mice, monitors, and chair configurations.
Common Mouse & Keyboard Positions
An essential part of desktop setups is the position of the keyboard and mouse in relevance to the monitor and chair, depending on if you are right or left-handed and a 60%, 75%, or 100% keyboard enthusiast; here are some positions people at the computer find themselves in.
Some of the more common mouse and keyboard positions include:
- Centered Keyboard
- Even Mouse & Keyboard
Let's go over each of these so you get a better idea of what they mean and how they look.
Playing in a tilted position is a strategy prioritizing the most accessible access to keys used for gaming. The FPS genre is where this setup has the most room to move the mouse at typically lower DPI and sensitivity modifier to aim the mouse on the screen more precisely.
A 60% or 75% keyboard can also increase the room where the mouse can move, allowing for better precision over a mouse mat.
Keyboards centered on a desk mat direct focus on typing up word documents or games relying only on keyboard inputs. Needing to adjust or access a majority of keys becomes possible in this position, in addition to having to manage less space by moving the mouse.
Even Mouse & Keyboard
Having the mouse and keyboard even is the “default” position for basic browsing and typing in tandem. This mouse and keyboard position usually accommodates any size keyboard and mouse with slightly higher DPI and accounts for a smaller space.
The main reason for having an even keyboard and mouse is the accessibility of the keys on the keyboard's right hand. For example, Page up, Page down, and Delete are great functions for quick actions when working on a word document.
Alternatively, they are necessary key binds in simulation games like Digital Combat Simulator, Star Citizen, or Microsoft Flight Simulator, whose binds take up almost every key and key combination on the keyboard.
Economic Positioning for PC Peripherals
Now that you've decided on what subjective part of our peripheral setup, let's move to the equally subjective peripherals; the types of keyboards, mice, monitors, and chairs.
Depending on the keyboard size, placing your keyboard in any configuration above can provide great comfort to any given task. There are fine adjustments like keyboard length, kickstand (or the high adjustments seen on most production keyboards), and keyboard orientation. To the enthusiasts, there are also different switches employed in touch typing and gaming.
Cherry MX is the leading gaming and consumer keyboard brand and has many switches that feel different when pressed.
To figure out which one is right for you, I would suggest this review going over the different types of mechanical switches that Cherry MX offers.
Image Credit: MX Cherry
While the mouse exists in the same area as the keyboard, its model can be slightly different depending on your desired ergonomics. Some mice are small and can fit any number of hands directly; some have slight tuning adjustments that contribute to the pinpoint accuracy required for some applications and games. No matter the use, there is a mouse out there for everyone.
Monitors come in different size resolutions and aspect ratios, and finding the correct one for the right price requires research. For the best experience, moving monitors from stands to a monitor mount can fine-tune monitor height and angle to align with your eyes.
Moving your chair seems like a no-brainer, but there is a subtle difference in adjusting to git your setup.
Most office and gaming chairs have a slant bracket and height piston. Slightly adjusting or augmenting the chair and how you sit lets you better engage with your peripherals and surrounding deck area.
While many people restrict their desk space to their needs, those looking to get a new desk for their office or gaming set up should do their due diligence before buying between the most popular forms of desks from significant retailers or DIY solutions.Assembly Required Desks
A popular genre of desks on eCommerce stores like Amazon are metal or wood variant desks for assembly and disassembly in under 30 minutes. This configuration is excellent for dedicated space for a PC and peripherals but not looking for a long-term solution.
Due to its construction, most of these desks have obstructions on the corner edges of the desk platform itself, making it challenging to install mounts.DIY or Wider Wooden Desks
Wood is one of the most sturdy desk materials and its feeling transitions to the user experience. By sourcing or building your own, a wooden desk's longevity and routine maintenance are less taxing if you have the space.
Posture, Arm Angle, & Hand Position All Matter
While working an office job and gaming seem like entirely different worlds, slight adjustments in posture and mouse or keyboard positioning bring a world of difference.
The eye level when sitting on the chair should be even with the monitor's top bezel. Armrests or elbows should be even with the plane of the desk to promote easy access to the keyboard and mouse. This position is considered good posture and alleviates pain experienced in the lower back, neck, and arms.
Many people (animators and gamers tend to be the worst offenders) have “Shrimp Posture,” or the habit of hunching over a desk for clarity or working on a tablet or viewing a monitor. While this may seem beneficial in the moment, extended periods of this posture contribute the most to back problems.
Hand position for a mouse-oriented program is crucial to prevent carpal tunnel development. Wrist compression sleeves are an excellent solution for those not wanting to overexert being in a place for a long duration.
Summary of Mouse & Keyboard Position for Gaming
Finding the right mouse, keyboard, chair, desk, and gaming PC takes time and factors into your skill and comfort as a proficient user of computers or gaming ability.
At Apex Gaming PCs, we sell different mice and keyboards with interchangeable keycaps and switch components from Cherry MX and their available selection. In addition to keyboards and mice, we also offer 1080p and 1440p monitors using the standard mounting hardware. What ever your peripheral needs, we hope to supply them at Apex!
Written By William Wilson
Photo Credits: Pavan Bhakta