Budget Gaming

On a budget, a really really tight budget me too!  I love gaming and so do a lot of really poor people to add to the pain, I love PC gaming.  This can be an expensive hobby, but I have put together a nice little system to stay in the gaming and enjoy it.

Step One Get yourself a rig:  The gaming rigs we are used to seeing are behemoths, amazing gaming power houses with quad cores, dual GPUs, and more RAM than you can shake a stick at.  This is completely unnecessary!  Something hardware manufacturers don't want you to know is that most games are optimized for seriously slow machines.  This includes most of your favorite games like WOW,  The new Crysis game, and Spore will even be playable on an old machine.

If you are acquiring a new gaming machine put your money where it counts.  The CPU,RAM, and GPU.  Most motherboards have integrated everything else, and what you can't get integrated you can find laying around somewhere.  Thrift stores and garage sales are notorious for selling computers for a quarter of the price that the components in them cost.  For instance at a garage sale I bought an external USB cd burner 52 x 32 x 52 for nine dollars.  I took the case apart and it was a regular burner, I installed it and saved myself $40.  If you can afford dual core buy it, it will pay off in the long run.

Step Two Get yourself some Games:  There are a million free games especially for Linux based systems, and a whole bunch for windows based systems as well.  Google them, many other places already have lists for them.  If you want retail games on the cheap try eBay and half.com, you will find some decent prices on both of those websites.

The real gem however is target ! I know that may confuse you but their policies are strange and for some reason I constantly find good games on sale there.  In my recently acquired arsenal from target is Supreme Commander Universe at War for a paltry $12.50, Heroes 5 for $7.50, and Space Rangers 2 for $4.  Every target is different and has different games on sale at the same time, it takes a bit of canvasing but you will find great games for even better prices.  The last method is simply to play old games borrowed from friends.  Older games often lack any real DRM and that makes it easy to swap with friends and relatives. Not to mention the games will run great.  On your old broken down gaming machine

step three the internet:  The internet is the worst part of being poor, but there are ways around this also.  My first line of defense is to buy mostly single player games, but I know some people have to play online.  So anyone can easily take a laptop for gaming to any cafe, library, or neighbors wireless connection ( with their consent wink wink).  But with a desktop you can also install a wireless internet card, sometimes for under $20, and use a neighbors net ( same consenting neighbor wink wink).  I actually did this for quite some time till  I could afford my own net.  Assuming none of these are options for you, go old school with a lan party.  Get all the troops together and go to someones house with an internet connection.  Spend a couple hours getting the router going, part of the fun, and enjoy face to face interaction.

Gaming on a budget can be difficult but with a little innovation, and some good old elbow grease you can pull it off.

Any questions or suggestions email me at 10poundhammer@gmail.com

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