A debate as old as time; is PC better than console for gaming? Each platform offers a unique experience, and although consoles are more affordable, gaming PCs can do anything and everything a console can do and often do it better. If you're a console gamer or looking to get more into gaming in general, knowing which gaming system is best to get the most out of the hobby.
PC gaming's benefits over consoles include customization, ability to upgrade, better visuals, availability of games, and overall performance among others. Gaming PCs offer better frame rates, higher resolutions, and an overall better experience than their console counterparts.
This guide goes over each of these reasons and more so you can see why gaming on PC is better than consoles.
How is PC Better Than Console for Gaming?
PC gaming tops consoles for a variety of reasons. Gaming PCs generally have wider game variety, hardware customization, and better performance over console systems. What’s more, gaming PCs have a variety of uses over consoles for other tasks like work and school.
Benefits a Gaming PC Has Vs. Console Gaming
PC gaming offers a variety of advantages over consoles including better overall performance, game variety, and customization and ability to upgrade. What’s more, gaming PCs can also be used for everyday use like school, work, or other entertainment like streaming movies and shows. Basically, a PC can do everything a console can and more and (often) better.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons gaming on PC is better vs consoles.
Top 10 Reasons Why PC is Better Than Console
1. GAME PERFORMANCE
Better performance is one of the main reasons people choose to game on a PC over a gaming console. By having higher quality components not only will your PC last longer, but it will provide a smoother gaming experience than console in even the most demanding and modern games. Higher resolutions and frame rates is a major advantage PCs have over console hardware.
Gaming PCs typically have better graphic visuals and higher frame rates due to more powerful components than consoles. Game consoles are underpowered in comparison to modern gaming PCs to keep heat down and decrease costs for the manufacturer. Most games on console cap at a maximum of 60 frames per second, and sometimes fall short of that goal.
In contrast, not only can gaming PCs achieve 60 fps but also in excess of 140 fps and the Apex Zen can even do this at high resolution up to 4K. Additionally, PC games have built-in settings to change the visual graphics display to accommodate your PCs hardware making it easier to achieve a playable frame rate. Most console games don't offer the same level of graphical customization.
2. HARDWARE UPGRADABILITY
Hardware Upgradability is a large factor when choosing a gaming PC over a console. While the new designs of the PS5 and Xbox Series X hardware is getting closer to that of PCs, console gamers are still limited to the standard, factory hardware installed in them. Whereas with a gaming PC you have many hardware options for everything from processors, power supply units, RAM , and even graphics cards.
With the freedom to upgrade hardware, you can customize your PC hardware to fit your specific wants and needs, prioritizing better graphics, frames per second, and overall gameplay experience. Apex Gaming PCs give you the option to customize and select a different CPU, cooler, motherboard, RAM, GPU, memory, and more.
3. MORE GAME VARIETY
Another area gaming PCs have a huge advantage over consoles is the larger catalog of games available. Everything from MMO’s to browser games, PCs have a much wider variety of games available over gaming consoles. Even games that are or were once console exclusives like Halo and many other Xbox games which are now available on PC but not other consoles.
There are also many amateur and professional independent game developers that release their games exclusively on PC. Digital games on consoles must be bought in their stores or apps but PC games are available in different marketplaces such as Steam, Epic Game Store, and Humble Bundle - all of which offer sales and discounts.
Free-to-play games are another great reason people gravitate to PCs. Games like Apex Legends and Valorant are free to play, bringing massive online multiplayer experiences to PC players with no cost. In addition, many game distributors offer free games for a limited-time to customers during special promotions.
If you like to take apart, customize, or modify, then you will enjoy the freedom to modify, or “mod”, and add new elements to certain games on PC, such as Skyrim or GTA. Modding not only allows you to make the game your own, but some games allow you to share and enjoy mods with others. Some consoles incorporate a level of modding to certain games, but not nearly at the same level as on PC.
4. EXCLUSIVE GAMES
Some games are exclusive to consoles but there are more PC exclusive titles than most consoles. It is now more accessible and easier than ever to create your own game so there are thousands of indie games available to download on the internet.
In addition, many indie games are PC exclusives due to the high costs of porting games to console. Games that are not exclusive still benefit from being on PC since most distributors offer special discounts to encourage PC game sales.
5. NO ONLINE SERVICE PAYMENTS
If you want to play with others online on a console, it usually requires a membership for online services through that console in addition to the cost of your internet service provider. Consoles need to be connected to the internet either by WiFi or Ethernet, but to access online services such as multiplayer games, a subscription to their services is required. These online service payments can cost anywhere from $20 to $120 a year depending on which console you play on.
The only thing you need to access multiplayer online games on PC is an internet connection. So, all you're paying for is service through your ISP, cutting out the cost of a console company's online services.
6. CONTROLLER FREEDOM
The majority of controllers used for consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation work for PC games whether they are wireless or not, giving you more options when choosing what to use. Consoles usually restrict you to their own proprietary controllers and approved third-party models.
PC gamers primarily use mouse and keyboard, especially when it comes to FPS games since it delivers more accuracy and precision. Competitive esports players often play using mouse and keyboard over gaming controllers. That said, many PC games let you use console controllers (or even approximations of them) just fine, giving you the freedom of choice on how you play your favorite titles.
7. PERIPHERALS AND ADD-ONS
Playing on PC gives you a wide variety of gaming peripherals to choose from in your mouse, keyboard, monitors, and more. Some players prefer to game with keyboard and mouse while others like to use game pads, joysticks, or maybe racing wheels. Whatever your game of choice, you can match your input device to make your gaming experience more pleasurable.
With PC and GPU advancements, PCs give you more freedom in monitor choice for high frame rate gaming and to adjust graphics settings. Audio and Bluetooth/wireless headphones are another plus to PC gaming as you are not limited to specific headphone solutions like consoles. PC gaming also allows for virtual reality with the use of special equipment that connects to your computer.
Consoles generally only have slight variations on the same controller layout, your screen, and headset. Any other peripherals and add-ons usually depend on the game you're playing.
8. BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY
The majority of consoles lack backwards compatibility and, unless you own the original console, you won’t be able to play older games on newer systems. Gaming computers have the benefit of being built upon a PC operating system, meaning many games produced for PC will be playable on any future system. This isn't always the case as some older games (like, early 90s old) won't work on newer hardware.
Emulation also breathes new life into PC gaming as you can access older titles and play them on PC with your choice of peripherals. Just make sure you know the ambiguous legal issues concerning emulation before you start downloading that old SNES game ROM.
While gaming consoles are cheaper than many gaming computer options, it is important to factor in additional costs associated with consoles including monthly or yearly online subscription passes and more expensive games.
Gaming PCs cost more up front at a range of $1,000 to $3,000. While consoles get priced at $400-600, the cost over lifetime for PCs is much better. Consoles can be expensive or impossible to repair and when a new one releases every 5-7 years, the older ones become irrelevant and unable to play newer games. Games that are available on all platforms are often cheaper on PC; A newly released game that costs $70 on PS5 may cost $40-60 on PC during release. PC games also go on sale frequently since distributors are competing for sales while console games remain the same price for longer.
The difference in cost adds up over time and can end up being more expensive through consoles in the long run. Gaming PCs last 7-10 years but the hardware can get upgraded over time to last longer. Consoles last an average of 5 years and have replacing them entirely as their only "upgrade" option.
Another advantage to gaming on PC over console is the option to be more specific with which parts and components you choose to improve your experience rather than waiting for the release of a pro version of a console just to have a better screen or speed.
10. EVERYDAY USE
Beyond gaming, a PC can be used for more than just gaming like work and school. Not only will it perform your usual tasks like checking email, writing documents, browsing the web, but it will do these tasks very well. Other tasks you can take advantage of a high performance machine are; video editing, photo editing, autocad & design applications. PCs can be used for work, school, and communication purposes making them worth the investment.
Console Gamers Have Few Advantages Over PC Gamers
Console gamers in the past decade have had a significant price advantage over gaming PCs. With an initial price of $500 for the latest consoles, the barrier to entry for the average gamer is much lower than high-end PC hardware.
In addition, Sony, Nintendo, and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft are all known for their “console exclusive” marketing, which means it sometimes takes years for certain game titles to get put onto platforms like PC and runs worse than on console.
What’s more, consoles provide a sort of “cohesive” gaming experience for all users. Playing on PC means likely playing with or against others with better hardware which could put you at a disadvantage. Consoles are more-or-less homogenous in their capability within their own ecosystem; as in, Playstation-to-Playstation, Xbox-to-Xbox, or Switch-to-Switch. This means gamers have a more level playing field in online games on consoles.
Altogether, if you're willing to pay less on the front end for a more cookie-cutter gaming experience with no pursuit for detail or performance; consoles may be the right choice for you.
Final Thoughts on Why PC Gaming is Better Than Console
Overall, gaming on a PC is generally better than on a console for various reasons.
Both PC gaming and playing on consoles have their distinct pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to your budget and the experience you are looking for. The initial cost of a PC is more expensive than a console, but the benefits favor PC gaming. Whether you are on a budget or looking to have the ultimate setup, there are many tiers in which you can choose for your gaming PC, ranging from budget to enthusiast.
Written By Ginni Correa
Edited By William Wilson