all the ins and outs of battlestations from an expert point of view
For any teenager, their room is their refuge, a redoubt where they can show themselves as they are: wallpapering every inch of fabric with images of their musical idol, the movie they like the most or the team of their life. However, as the years go by – and maturity lurks inexorably – it is common to lose those sanctuaries to oneselfEither because you have to deal with changes on a regular basis, lack of space or simply because your tastes have changed and are not so defined.
However, for many there is always something left and when there is a passion it accompanies you for a lifetime. In a totally inverse way, when you start to settle in the place you will call home for at least a while, it is not uncommon to see those small temples that remind of times gone by return, although perhaps with better taste than a Superpop poster with four strips of grungy tape. A music lover can place a record player and his collection of LPs; a lover of literature fill bookshelves and libraries, and video game lovers create a station more own of the future that of the beginning of the XXI century.
Why have a battlestation?
Of course there are levels, as in any type of hobby, surely there are rooms suitable for music – and many other hobbies – that can rival what we are going to reel in this article, but there is no doubt that a battlestation – also called Well-equipped gaming room- can surprise anyone. The best is that no monstrous space and normal rooms are needed, with the necessary advice, they can make you feel in a kind of futuristic utopia, or almost.
The origins of the word date back to 2008, but it was not until a year later that the sub-forum dedicated exclusively to it began on Reddit. The world-famous page was a meeting point for lovers of technology and innovation. In practice, anyone has a battlestation at home, in absolute terms it is a desk with the classic components: a computer tower, mouse, keyboard, monitor … But the reality is that today the concept has evolved into authentic battle stations.
At Engadget we have contacted Ryan Schlecht, an expert from the specialized website PCBattlestations.com, who has helped us better understand the ins and outs of a world that at first glance can seem as impressive as it is overwhelming. Schlecht started his first foray into the subject more than seven years ago -After a life dedicated to videogames- and since then he has not stopped learning and experimenting with it. It is not only about spending huge amounts of money, but also take advantage of all the elements at our disposal to be able to get the most out of it and not ruin ourselves in the process of creating a gaming room.
But … what’s so special about building something like this? Well, beyond mere personal satisfaction, they may not offer any tangible advantage. Sure, the look is flawless, but only until you pile a couple of glasses on the desk and snack plate. The reality is that the main reason for having one is the mere fact that take your hobby of computers and technology one step further.
It may be that for many this is an expense, that they can work perfectly with a standard desk, the yellow light of a normal lamp and your 40 euro chair that squeaks when you put all your weight on your back. And the truth is that yes, but each one carries his hobbies as he can and whoever spends 1000 euros on a mobile does not spend them on a 4K monitor, and vice versa. Also, even if it may not seem like it, it is not necessary to remortgage the house.
Schlecht explains that it is not necessary to invest a life savings to build a battlestation: “It is very easy to spend a lot of money, but you can build a cheap one and still look good and work perfectly.” Evidently, the higher your budget, the better computer you can have, more lights, a mechanical keyboard, an adjustable table, a mouse… However, Schlecht insists on remembering that once the battlestation is finished, all its components can be changed in case the user wants to improve it. A perpetual contract is not being signed.
Design and lighting: closer to Blade Runner
One of the things that most impresses about a battlestation is its fusion between harmony and future: the feeling of entering a space in which everything flows accompanied by mystical lights more typical of Blade Runner than a room in Malasaña. Without a doubt, these are the two most distinctive elements of a gaming room: design and lighting.
First of all it is important to define what type of space we plan to build since there are many possible types. On the one hand, you can opt for a minimalist structure, where the right elements appear; but on the other hand, there is also room for those who love collectible figures, funkos and other items that can decorate a battlestation. Although the decision is entirely up to everyone’s taste, Schlecht prefers little saturated spaces.
“If there are too many things it can be distracting. Sometimes less is more”
“My favorite style is a clean battlestation that has a monotone color gamut and a medium amount of RGB lights. By clean I mean that the entire desk is not littered with things, nor the walls or the room. If there are too many things it can be distracting. Sometimes less is more, ”says Schlecht.
For the expert it is necessary be clear about what colors we want to use for the room: “A color scheme is important because it helps everything to interrelate better.” In fact, the possibilities are endless and there are many who advocate establishing a theme. Schlecht gives an example of a “Stormtrooper” type battlestation (what we have known here as the Star Wars clone troopers) and emphasizes that there the need would be for everything to have a meaning in black and white: “From the table, the chair, the computer, its components, the desktop background, the keyboard, the mouse, the decoration…”. “After that, if you want you can give it a different note of color with RGB lights,” he explains.
Once again, there is nothing written about tastes. Schlecht has known cases where they have chosen to remove RGB lights entirely, while others buy meters and meters as on request. “The important thing is what you like. I like that there is lighting behind the monitor, the table and the PC ”, he insists. On the other hand, he considers that each one should look for something that shows his personality “something unique” that differentiates him from others.
A world of light and color, but also of cables
Although there may be different styles, there is a common practice in every self-respecting battlestation and it is the absence of cables, rather, the apparent absence of cables. If anyone gathers the courage to look under his desk, he is most likely to find a mass of black and white snakes piling into a shapeless mass that would arouse the ire of every order-minded.
Above all, this happens when what we have is a desktop computer, something extremely common in a gaming room, since a powerful computer assembled by parts is much cheaper than buying a laptop focused on video games. Furthermore, orthodox purists would throw themselves at your neck for such an affront to human dignity.
“Your main objective is to hide all the cables in the best possible way”
In a battlestation it is not about hiding the miseries in any way under a solid board, it seeks to optimize space and design to achieve a pristine appearance. To achieve this, Schlecht recommends some of the most common options to face the daunting task. “Your main objective is to hide all the cables in the best possible way,” he says.
One of the essentials is to get yourself with Velcro straps to be able to gather and handle large sets of cables more easily. In addition, we can put those cables inside rails or tracks attached to the desk table itself. -There is a wide range of colors so that they do not clash- and thus be able to hide them. “I use a cable channel on my own wall to hide the ones that come out of the monitor and I painted it the same color as the partition,” he explains.
All these tips will allow you to have more legroom under your desk, but also a clear conscience when you vacuum the area. In addition, since there are fewer cables in contact with the ground, the probability that they accumulate dust is lower.
Where to start a battlestation?
As in any good hobby worth its salt, it is impossible to know where to start, the internet is a meadow absolutely full of information in which it is easy to get lost and in which finding a good source often seems extremely difficult, especially if we are neophytes in the matter.
Of course, Schlecht urges you to visit his website, a sanctuary dedicated to Battlestations, but he also recommends visiting some forums such as Reddit focused entirely on these types of rooms, which also has a very active community. Watching, talking, commenting and discussing is always something that enriches a hobby, but in one as visual as this, borrowing a few ideas can be a great idea to start from a solid base. In the end, this is about being original, yes, but those of us who lack the distribution of creativity also have the right not to live in the stubbornness of our mediocrity.
However, if you have never entered the world of computers, in Engadget we have a wide selection of articles focused on the assembly and selection of parts to configure one to suit you. Actually, the cost will depend on what you want to spend when creating the beast that will decorate your battlestation, but the possibilities are many: from 500 euros to 4,500.
As mentioned before, the price range that you can spend on a battlestation can be very wide. Without going any further, inside the keyboards you can get a mechanical one from 35 euros (Even less if you opt for a membrane one, for example), but you can also spend more than 200. You may not need a 4K or 2K monitor and a Full HD 144hz can more than comply. The same could be said of the mouse, a Razer DeathAdder gives very good performance for just over 60 euros. Evidently, adding and adding the budget you can easily go to a couple of thousand euros, but gaming computers and all its world have never been a cheap hobby.
“Plants add a decoration point that can enhance the look of your battlestation, no matter if they are real or fake”
Within the decoration, Schlecht has already told us that he prefers an austere design, but that does not necessarily mean that everything has to be empty. “Plants add a decorative point that can enhance the look of your battlestation, no matter if they are real or fake,” says the expert. However, as we have mentioned, you can choose to decorate the shelves with figures of all kinds, fill the walls with framed posters or place the guitar that we bought with all the enthusiasm to learn and that we never amortize.
Although Schlecht advocates a specific type of design, he has emphasized and insisted that each battlestation has to represent the person who owns it: “The most important thing is to decorate it with things that you like and go according to your personality, just that way you will make your gaming room look unique ”. The truth is that, although we have greater or lesser creative capacity, we all have our particular tastes and -as in those tender adolescent years- the important thing is to be comfortable in our space, regardless of what others think.