Gaming Chairs: The Ultimate Guide
We’re experts at sitting for extended periods of time here in the GameCrate offices, and that makes us pretty passionate about our chairs.
But many people don’t think about what they’re sitting on. It’s the forgotten part of the PC set-up, though it’s arguably the one that has the most profound impact on your health.
When I talk about chairs (as I often do), the first thing most people say is, “It’s a chair. If it doesn’t break when I sit in it, it’s fine.”
To which I say, “Ummm….no.”
There are countless elements that go into designing a chair, and a million small things that set them apart. Comfort is key, but build quality, mobility, flexibility, and a plethora of options all separate a "just fine" chair from one you never want to leave.
To help you find the perfect chair for your needs, we’ve gathered some of the most popular gaming chairs in our studio for an exhaustive roundup. It wasn’t easy, and we had to do a LOT of sitting, but it was worth it. We're willing to make the sacrifice and sit around all day if it will benefit you.
By the way, I'm 6'1 for reference.
What are you looking for?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of brand comparison, let’s talk a little but about the features you should consider before purchasing a gaming chair.
First of all, we’re primarily focused on PC gaming chairs here, which is to say the bucket seat variety. That means they have castors (or wheels), racing-style bucket seats, adjustable arm rests, and usually optional lumbar and head support cushions.
Many of these chairs share a fairly similar basic form, but there are pronounced differences that are worthy of careful consideration.
These are the features you want to pay attention to when picking a gaming chair.
Transformation, ergonomics, whatever you call it: being able to adjust your chair is critical to making sure you have the ideal sitting experience. What’s adjustable obviously depends on the chair, but factors like whether it can elevate, whether it can recline, and whether the armrests are adjustable can profoundly impact comfort. Finding the chair with the right adjustability features for your particular preferences is a must.
If you’re super keen on being able to adjust just about everything, check out the ultra premium Triigger Line 350 office chair.
The elevation options of your chair is usually controlled by a compressed gas cylinder. Almost every office or gaming chair has this functionality that allows you to raise or lower the seat area of your chair.
Depending on your height, this can be really important. It’s no fun to have your legs dangling off the floor if you’re on the shorter side, and equally unpleasant to have your knees bashing on your table if you’re of the taller persuasion.
For a great example of a standard gas-lift, check out the Vertagear S-Line SL4000.
This is important, and often overlooked. Being able to adjust where your arms rest on the...armrests can greatly reduce wrist strain and increase comfort levels. Gaming chairs typically offer more adjustment options in this department than standard office chairs, and that's one of the main features that actually makes these chairs better for gamers.
The noblechairs ICON Series line demonstrates what these “4D” armrests are capable of.
Being able to place your backrest at any angle you desire is critical. Keep it up if you want tight posture, or kick it back to recline and relax (often to a full lay-flat position without tipping over). Being able to choose between these two options, and every angle in between, makes all the difference.
Thermaltake’s line of e-sports gaming chairs are a perfect showcase for how important this flexibility can be.
You spend a lot of time and money on your setup, and you want to make sure your chair adds to that. These chairs are available in a vast array of styles, colors, and materials, and finding one that is both comfortable and visually appealing should be a priority. No reason you can’t have it all!
There are some very distinct designs out there, you’re sure to find one that matches your style. Chairs like the DXRacer USA Special Edition for when you’re feeling the old red, white, and blue.
Do you like leather? Pleather? PVC? All different construction options provide strengths and weaknesses. If you’re living somewhere hot, leather might get sticky, whereas somewhere cold, leather might hold heat better.
Internally, most of these chairs are constructed from similar padded foam, but there are variations in firmness that should be contemplated before purchase.
Be sure to read our individual reviews for more details about some of the chairs we’re going to discuss.
Now, let’s get into it!
DXRacer is one of the oldest gaming chair brands, one of the biggest, and is often credited with bringing this racecar style of gaming chair to the forefront of the industry.
DXRacer, as the name implies, actually got their start manufacturing chairs for race cars, and brought that same feel and aesthetic to the gaming industry.
They have a massive product line that spans a huge variety of price ranges and looks. They’re also big in the world of e-sports, and if you’re a fan of these competitions, you’ve no doubt seen their chairs featured.
DXRacer has a staggering selection of products of all shapes and sizes, including the Classic Series, which is a rather large, sturdy seat designed for those of us that are big and/or tall.
Check out this review of the DXRacer OH/RV001/NO for additional info about their more standardized designs.
The N Seat Pro 600 Gaming Chair is one of my personal favorites.
One thing that stands out about the N Seat Pro 600 is the way the lumbar support pillow is attached. Usually you pull the small straps through the area where the back support and seat come together, and pull the other side through the holes near the top so you can buckle them behind the chair.
Here, you pull out the textured support on the higher part of the chair, reach in somewhat blindly, and buckle it back there. This allows the pillow to move more freely, while also eliminating unsightly straps.
At $400, this is right in the mid-range price wise. You can read a full review of the N Seat Pro 600 Gaming Chair here.
This is an interesting one. At $250, it’s on the more affordable side of the market, which is not a huge surprise given this is Nitro’s domain.
The E220 Evo has a particularly prominent opening in the back rest, which people will either love or hate. It’s one of the more heavily styled chairs we've had the opportunity to test.
The armrests on the E220 Evo are not adjustable, which could be a minus for some. Unlike the rest of these chairs, the armrests are attached to the back of the chair instead of the seat.
It also doesn’t have the ability to adjust the backrest to the same degree as the competition. For someone who doesn’t care about armrest adjustment or reclining, the price point on the Nitro is certainly a compelling feature, and it’s a super comfortable chair overall.
You can read a full review of the E220 Evo here.
The Clutch Chairz Throttle Series Echo THE99BR Gaming Chair is geared toward the higher end of the price spectrum. The version we tested out was black and red, always a good match, and it's been well reviewed.
This is a chair designed for bigger people. It’s a large, sturdy seat perfect for those who want plenty of room and the stability that goes along with it.
At $469, this is very much an example of getting what you pay for. If you want a big, comfortable throne, the Throttle Series is a great place to start.
Clutch makes plenty of other chairs too, you can check them out here.
Maybe you want to class up the joint with the noblechairs Epic series. I use one of these chairs in the office to this day because I enjoyed reviewing it so much. It has similar features to the rest, excuted at a very high level. The armrests are adjustable, the stitching is top drawer, and the pillows are super comfy. Also, they have a unique, luxurious aesthetic that really sets them apart.
These chairs look fantastic, constructed with PU imitation leather, fine stitching, and subtle color accents. If you want to spend a bit more and really feel like a baller, you can upgrade to REAL leather in a variety of color combinations for a hundred extra dollars.
These would be perfect for an office environment, but they make excellent gaming chairs too. For those of you who like to work and play, I highly recommend the noblechair Epic series. You can pick up the version I enjoyed so much for $439 here.
RapidX sets itself apart with unique styling, and the way it enthusiastically embraces the racing origins of these bucket seat style chairs.
You’ve still got plenty of color options, and all the features you’d expect at this point, but the checkered print styling adds a stylistic flair that can compliment your setup.
These RapidX gaming chairs feel just about right for $349 – the middle of the pack. The colors are a standout for this chair line, so if racing patterns are your thing, you’ll want to pay attention to these options. For more understated looks, the black and white Ferrino is one of our favorites around here.
Vertagear is one of the biggest gaming chair companies, and their vast selection is ample evidence of that. Vertagear has a style for just about everyone: short, tall, large, or small, and in pretty much every combo of colors you can imagine.
I’m a particular fan of the all-black Vertagear PL6000, which epitomizes everything we like about this style of gaming seat. Comfort is king with the PL6000.
If you’re looking to spend a little less, the Vertagear SL2000 retains a lot of the great features, and the SL4000 is a nice middle ground.
One thing that sets Vertagear apart is they don’t only make racing-style gaming chairs, they also have a line of premium office chairs.
The Triiger line starts at $600, so we’re firmly in premium territory here, but they’re also immensely comfortable, and have a build quality that is reflective of the higher price point.
Check them out, and take a look at a full review for more detailed coverage.
GT Omega is known for their stellar build quality, and also having some very feature rich options available.
We were particular fans of the ever-so-comfy GT Omega Pro XL in blue and black. All of the stitching is strong, and feels like it will last a long time with normal use. We liked that GT Omega went with sturdier hydraulics over pneumatics for the lift assembly. Many pneumatic chairs tend to eventually sink over time, whereas hydraulic lifts typically stay elevated longer. The various levers for adjustment feel responsive, which is doubly impressive considering how many points of adjustment this chair offers.
Wait, wait, there's more!
For those of you peripheral loyalists, there’s some exciting options out there for you as well.
Cougar, Corsair, and Aorus (among others) have their own gaming chairs, and they’re heavily branded. If you want logo consistency between your mouse, keyboard, and headset, these might be the way to go.
We’ve covered a lot of the big brands to know already, but there are plenty more that are worthy of consideration. A particularly interesting brand is Respawn, and their large variety of products includes some compelling designs that should be hitting the market soon.
A word on health
A high quality, comfortable chair is absolutely vital to maintaining your health during long gaming or work sessions, but there are other steps you can take to stay healthy.
The most important bit of advice is to get up and move around. I know, I know, the last thing you want to do in the middle of killing orcs or mining craft is stand up and walk around, but it’s worth it. This can help tremendously with lower back and leg problems, and requires very little effort. Take a lap around the house, or even your room every once in awhile.
You need to take care of your poor eyeballs as well. Stare off into the distance to stretch your eyes whenever you can, out of a window if possible. Remember, healthy eyes mean a healthy KDR. I’m sure I’ve heard an optometrist say that somewhere.
The final thing to keep in mind is posture. Yes, you want to be comfortable, but slouching around can be difficult on your body, and good posture will keep you rolling in loot boxes. One nice thing about almost all of these chairs is you can lock them in place at just about any angle, so you can find the posture that feels right, and keep it there.
Game (and Sit) On!
There’s no getting around the fact that there are a lot of gaming chairs on the market, and many of them share similar features. That being said, every brand has its own distinct features, and the price options ensure there’s a perfect fit out there for your body and your wallet.
Not EVERY brand is represented here, but hopefully this coverage has given you a better sense of what you’re looking for.
Make sure to read some of the linked reviews, and let us know some of your favorite gaming chairs in the comments.