Gaming laptops come to life when you're traveling and have a few hours to kill. These portable machines are designed with weight, size, battery life and performance in mind, but gaming laptops still fall short of being the "perfect" package. Luckily, there are a number of optional accessories you can pick up and pack in the bag that will offer additional functionality and improve the experience.
These are the accessories I take along with my HP Omen 15.
Razer Atheris mouse
The Atheris is Razer's excellent portable mouse. A very important accessory you absolutely must take along with any gaming laptop is a dedicated mouse. The trackpad is well enough for some casual gaming and strategy titles but you need a pointer to do any serious play. Imagine playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with a trackpad. It's possible, but you'd have to be drunk to really get any sort of satisfaction from doing so.
Sporting dual 2.4GHz and Bluetooth LE connectivity, the Atheris takes portability to a whole new level. With up to 350 hours of use on a pair of AA batteries, it's great for those who need a companion pointer while on the go. Handy specs include adjustable 7,200 DPI for enhanced precision (depending on how you prefer to have the mouse configured). Best of all, it only costs $49.99.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 headset
The SteelSeries Arctis 5 is an excellent headset, as detailed in my review. Not only is the Arctis one of the most comfortable families of headsets I've tried, the Arctis 5 is somewhat affordable (around $80) while offering 7.1 surround sound support and a bunch of features. A handy feature is how easy it is to switch from using the USB adapter for the laptop to a 3.5mm cable with my OnePlus 5.
The 40mm drivers produce some great sound, whether you're listening to some electronic dance music or battling through a bandit camp in The Witcher 3. My favorite part has to be the ski bands that can be switched out for different designs and make the headset a joy to use for hours on end.
8Bitdo SF30 controller
Not every game is created equal. Some work well with a mouse and keyboard setup, others not so much. And sometimes I feel like lying back on the hotel bed and enjoying a more relaxed session with the laptop hooked up to a TV. This is where the SF30 from 8Bitdo is an excellent purchase. Not only does this controller bring back memories of using a SNES gamepad, but it also works with pretty much anything you throw at it, including the Nintendo Switch.
If you need more reasons why you should check out this controller, see why my colleague Richard Devine loves them.
You've read through my list of favorite accessories, but I want to hear from you. What do you take with you to game on your laptop?
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.