While it's easy focus your time, money and attention on hardware and the latest titles, it can also pay to invest in a comfortable chair to support you during those lengthy gaming sessions.
Even affordable models are a substantial step up from your average office chair, with many featuring proper back support, height adjustment options and enviable designs that bring some color to your gaming space.
Whether you're looking for an all-out leather-bound beauty that makes you feel like an F1 champ, or a more modest plush spinner, we've spent days, weeks and even months testing the gaming chairs below to make sure they're a great fit for you.
- Also consider one of the best gaming keyboards of 2016
1. noblechairs Epic Real Leather
A leather-clad beauty
Dimensions: 84 x 38 x 70 cm (W × D × H) | Seat height: (Minimum to maximum: 131 - 141 cm | Maximum load: 180 kg
The king of gaming chairs, noblechairs' flagship Epic Real Leather lives up to its name, as it is both epic and is mostly made of real (rather than faux) leather. If you're looking for a no-compromises gaming throne that looks, feels and even smells expensive, this is it.
From the cross-thatched embroidery adorning the lower back position to the red logo on the seat, it's the fine details that will make you want to drag strangers walking past outside into your home just to show it off.
This fine piece of German engineering is surprisingly quick and easy to set up considering the trouble we had putting some of the other chairs on this list together, which is owed to its quality parts and solid construction from top to bottom.
Just be very careful not to put your hands anywhere near the metal seat mechanism before the back rest is attached, as one accidental press of that lever and it's capable of slicing off a finger or two. Read the instructions thoroughly, folks.
Once set up, the chair is a dream to sit on. A combination of durable leather, a sturdy metal frame and high-density cold foam upholstery all add to its comfort levels, whether you're sat bolt upright or reclining back at its full 14-degree position.
If we have any complaints, they're directed at its polyutherane arm rests which feel a little substandard considering the premium quality found everywhere else. Oh, and make sure your room is big enough to give the Epic Real Leather room to breathe – this sizeable gaming chair isn't suitable for cubicle-sized dens.
2. Vertagear Racing Series S-Line SL4000
A striking white chair that might not stay white for long
Dimensions: 54 × 53 × 140 to 149.9 cm (W × D × H) | Seat height: (Minimum to maximum): 30 - 49 cm | Maximum load: 155 kg
The white and blue edition of Vertagear’s Racing Series S-Line SL4000 Gaming Chair is definitely one of the more striking chairs we’ve had the pleasure of testing.
In fact, it’s now become a common occurrence for people walking through the office to comment on it, and to ask whether its occupant has won some sort of prize.
During the setup of the chair, finding a screw hole within the chair’s back was something of a challenge, and lead to the whole process taking around an hour, but once the chair was together it feels sturdy and well made, and is comfortable to sit in for long periods.
It certainly looks nice when you first get it set up as well, but you’re going to have to be prepared to clean it regularly if you want its white leather to stay white over time, since this chair is a magnet for dirt.
But if you’re prepared to pay the price for a sleek white chair, the SL4000 from Vertagear is a great option.
3. noblechairs Epic
Pure faux leather luxury
Dimensions: 54 × 56 × 131 to 141 cm (W × D × H - minimum and maximum) | Seat height: 49 - 59 cm (minimum to maximum) | Maximum load: 180 kg
The Epic Gaming Chair from noblechairs is the best choice for the classier gamer. It features a faux leather covering inspired by car seats combining both comfort and a high-end look to make one of the best gaming chairs money can buy. It looks low-key and the black design is far more elegant than some of the other brightly colored options on this list.
While it’s a leather design, it’s 100% vegan friendly so anyone can buy this chair and use it for their gaming on a daily basis. Even those of a larger height will find the Epic Gaming chair a comfortable seat while gaming for long periods of time and the fully adjustable height and position will allow you to sit back and relax while also being ready to strike in those decisive gaming moments.
4. Vertagear Racing Series P-Line PL6000
Comfortable accommodation for the larger gamer
Dimensions: 53 x 58 x 127 - 137 cm (W × D × H - minimum to maximum) | Seat height: 50 - 60 cm (minimum to maximum) | Maximum load: 200 kg
For those looking for some extra space in their seating arrangement the Vertagear Racing Series PL6000 is a must-have.
Specially designed to provide both added width and height, it’s a delight for those with larger frames with a solid base and impressive range of movement.
The wheelbase is smooth and responsive on both carpet and hard floors, while the adjustable headrest provides additional comfort for the neck. One week point to the design comes in the form of the lumbar pillow, which doesn’t have a proper way of attaching over the rear of the chair, which means it sits right at the base of your spine.
Assembly wasn’t relatively straightforward, but we’d advise that it’s a two-person job - so grab your co-op buddy for some real life two player action.
5. Nitro Concepts C80 Pure Series
Smart-looking, comfy but a right pain to put together
Dimensions: 50 × 50 117 - 124 cm (W x D x H) | Seat height: (minimum to maximum): 47 - 54 cm | Maximum load: 120kg
The C80 Pure Series Gaming Chair is a great-looking, comfy gaming chair that could easily double up as an office chair. It looks more expensive than it actually is - this is all because of some decent design flourishes. For instance, the look of the C80 has been inspired by a racing car seat but instead of leather it uses polyurethane.
And so as not to max the price out by using carbon, a carbon ‘look’ has been created. The chair is sturdy, though it lacks precision in the adjustments it offers. But it’s comfy and breathable too - thanks to the use of ‘moulded cold foam’ - allowing for long hours of gaming without discomfort. A word of warning: assembly nearly had us tearing our hair out. It’s definitely a two-person job.
Or three, if you can rope another friend in to set fire to the instructions. We ended up ignoring the accompanying guide and putting it together using our own judgement. This added time but at least it meant the chair was built and not destined for the scrapheap.