Pre-built gaming PCs are the most convenient (and safest) option for esports gamers not wanting to take the plunge into DIY. They’re put together by experts, run flawlessly straight out of the box, and typically come with a warranty and all the essential software. Many companies that manufacture pre-built gaming PCs also provide flexible payment options.
Today, we’ve rounded up the best – and most reputable – pre-built gaming PCs on the market right now. From total powerhouses that can run triple-A titles effortlessly at 4k, to low-cost models that are easy to upgrade, there’s sure to be a rig below that suits your needs and budget.
How Did We Pick the Best Pre-built Gaming PC?
We picked our top choices based on several considerations, including hardware components, cooling, chassis, ports, and storage.
- GPU: Stick to a pre-built PC with a latest-gen AMD or Nvidia GPU; most modern games are graphically-demanding and need a lot of power to run at high frame rates
- Processor: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake chips and the AMD Ryzen 5000 series are some of the most powerful CPUs available on the market right now. They pack multiple cores and high clock speeds, both of which will ensure a smooth gaming experience.
- RAM: While 8GB of RAM will suffice for low-spec esports titles like League of Legends, you’ll need at least 16GB of RAM if you’re hoping to run triple-A titles at max specs. And if you also want to battle it out in 4K? 32GB of RAM should be the bare minimum.
- Storage: Most PC games are around 20 to 50GB in file size, though there are some that can run over 100GB. Considering this, you’ll need at least 500GB of onboard storage. You should also make sure the primary drive type is a solid state drive; SSDs run much faster and more efficiently than HDDs.
- Cooling: It’s no secret that pre-built gaming PCs have a reputation for running hot, so you need to ensure the manufacturer hasn’t skimped out on cooling if they’ve loaded the chassis with beefy components. The main two types of cooling are air and liquid, with each being better suited to certain needs, budgets, and hardware.
- Ports: The PC should come with all the necessary ports for your gaming peripherals, including USB slots, a HDMI port, DisplayPort, audio jack, and ethernet port.
- Chassis: There are three main chassis sizes – full towers, mid towers, and mini towers – each with their own pros and cons. Mid-towers are ideal for most gamers because they don’t take up a huge amount of space but are still large enough to support virtually all the hardware you could ever want
We also took into account brand reputation, whether the products are available worldwide, and upgradability. Some rigs allow you to tinker around inside and update your hardware if needed, while with others this isn’t a possibility because of the build or warranty.
The Best Pre-built PC for Competitive Gaming: Alienware Aurora R13
Alienware, Dell’s own dedicated premium gaming brand, lives up to its sci-fi name. Its pre-built PCs and laptops truly feel out of this world, sporting innovative features, futuristic designs, and ultra-powerful components. Alienware also stock a range of gamechanging peripherals, including monitors with lightning-fast refresh rates, tactile, mechanical keyboards, and stereo headsets.
While pricey, Alienware has excellent customer service and support. A 12-month warranty is included with virtually all their products, and you can fork out extra for accidental damage coverage and a 4-year premium warranty. Alienware even offers options for at home repairs and installation.
Sleek, bold, and laden with customizable RGB lighting, the Alienware Aurora R13 is definitely one of the most attractive pre-built gaming PCs on the market. However, the rig isn’t all looks and no substance. Inside its surprisingly slim, durable chassis is a 12th gen Intel Core processor, up to 128GB of RAM, and a 1 to 2TB SSD. It even accommodates killer GPUs like the RTX 3090 Ti. The device is powerful enough to support a 4k gaming monitor, and runs power-hungry esports titles effortlessly at max settings. Unlike many other pre-built gaming PCs, the Alienware Aurora R13 also comes with a dedicated keyboard and mouse set, allowing you to instantly jump into the action as soon as you take it out of the box.
Sadly, likely due to the overblown specs and weak CPU cooler, the Aurora R13 does run hot. With that said, you’ll only really feel the heat if you put the rig through the likes of heavy video editing or rendering. The Alienware Aurora R13 provides plenty of configuration options and can be upgraded easily, though you’ll have to purchase the parts from Dell’s official website to not void your warranty.
The Second Best Pre-built Gaming PC: Corsair One i300
Corsair is one of the most trusted names among PC enthusiasts and esports players. They manufacture various peripherals, PC components, and gaming devices, all of which have been hailed for their reliability and unrivaled build quality. The company has even developed gear for pro esports streamers, like the Elgato Stream Deck. Most Corsair products are backed by a 2-year warranty.
Corsair has won several awards for its high-performance gaming products over the years, and has also teamed up with top-tier esports organizations like Invictus Gaming, Dignitas, Berlin International Gaming, and Team Secret.
The Corsair One i300 isn’t exactly cheap, but if you want an ultra-powerful gaming pc that’ll fit snugly practically anywhere? It delivers on all fronts. Despite its 12-liter size, it can house a latest-gen AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processor, a top-end RTX 3080 GPU, and up to 64GB of RAM. The Corsair One i300 has a simple but attractive design, and the chassis is durable and solid. It doesn’t sacrifice on ports either; you have all the essentials (and more), including multiple USB ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, an Ethernet port, DisplayPorts, and HDMI connector. It also runs quieter than most pre-built gaming PCs on the market.
The Corsair One i300 is compact and powerful, but its portability does come at a price: you’re only able to upgrade the storage and RAM. Some configurations are also only available in certain parts of the world.
Best Cheap Pre-built Gaming PC for Esports: HP Omen 25L
HP, a Fortune 500 multinational tech company, sells a range of computers, laptops, printers, and peripherals, and caters to an even wider range of consumers – students, office workers, programmers, to name a few. Unsurprisingly, HP hasn’t left out us gamers in their quest to dominate every corner of the market. The company has a dedicated esports brand called Omen which produces all kinds of gameplay-enhancing products. Omen laptops and pre-built PCs also tend to be reasonably priced despite their powerful specs, making them a great option for gamers on a budget. Most of HP’s products come with a 1 or 2 year limited warranty.
The HP Omen 25L doesn’t boast the flashiest design, but it does offer high specs at a price very few competitors can match. The base config is insanely affordable and powerful enough to hit at least 70FPS in indie games or esports titles like Rocket League. It also works well with 144HZ monitors and has a respectable amount of ports. Where the Omen 25L really shines though is its ease of upgradability. You can customize and upgrade virtually every component, thanks to its size, off-the-shelf parts, and the fact that you can open the chassis without any tools.
The Outlier: Asus ROG Strix GA15
Established in 1989, ASUS has been introducing the world (and gamers) to innovative tech for decades; they created the first ever 360HZ display and made overclocking hardware accessible and safe for the average consumer. Their dedicated esports products are powerful, affordably-priced, and have been used by professional players and teams across the globe. They also look great too, with sleek designs and flashy RGB lighting.
ASUS ships globally and offers monthly payment options in most places of the world. Their products are typically backed by a 1 year warranty.
The ASUS ROG Strix GA15 is a mid-range gaming pc that supports up to a RTX 3070 GPU, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, and 64GB DDR4 memory. The ROG Strix can deliver high-end frame rates without any stuttering or lag, and its chassis has an attractive, edgy design. This rig is particularly ideal for frequent LAN party goers, thanks to its convenient built-in handle and dedicated headphone hook.
The ASUS ROG Strix is equipped with plenty of software to help you get the best performance from your games, and you can also personalize the case’s RGB lighting and sync it up to other ASUS peripherals via Aura Sync. Although the ASUS ROG Strix is jam-packed with nifty features and software, it is prone to overheating and often becomes loud under heavy load. Despite this, you’re not likely to run into throttling issues unless you’re battling it out in graphically-demanding titles for hours on end.
How Long Does a Pre-built Gaming PC Last?
Most pre-built gaming PCs last for 3 to 5 years, though the exact time varies on usage, care, and components. A PC that packs top of the range hardware will have no problem running newly-released titles for the next few years, especially if the cooling is adequate and the chassis is kept free of dust. Unsurprisingly, lifespan is also affected by upgradeability; a pre-built gaming PC is going to last a lot longer if you’re able to update its parts throughout the years.
You can improve the lifespan of your pre-built gaming PC by cleaning it every few months, keeping the software and hardware updated, and investing in security measures to protect it from malware and viruses. You should also ensure the PC is kept in a cool, well-ventilated environment.
Which Peripherals and Components Would You Need Additionally?
While some pre-built PCs come with essential gaming peripherals like a keyboard and mouse set, most don’t. The peripherals you’ll need ultimately depends on the kinds of games you play and how much money you intend to spend. For example, if you play MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2, you’ll need to invest in a tactile, mechanical keyboard with fast response times. However, a gaming controller, which allows for smoother, more fluid movements, is a better option if you’re into sports games. With that in mind, here are some of the peripherals that we would recommend, sorted by importance:
Essential Peripherals to Enjoy the Games in Full
- A reputable mechanical gaming keyboard. A mechanical keyboard is the ultimate weapon of choice for a PC gamer; the keys, when fitted with high-quality switches like Cherry MXs, are tactile, durable, and insanely accurate. There are tons of reputable mechanical keyboard brands out there, with big names like Corsair and SteelSteries at the forefront. Mechanical keyboards also come in a range of different sizes to suit your needs. For more details, here’s our guide on gaming keyboards.
- A high DPI gaming mouse paired with a good quality mouse pad. A gaming mouse should be precise, offer a vast DPI range (ideally 400 to 16,000), and feel comfortable to hold. You can find out more about gaming mice, and all the factors you need to consider when purchasing one – such as the sensor, build, macros, and grip type – in our dedicated guide. Don’t forget to also invest in a good quality mouse pad as well. The mouse pad should be sturdy and provide a smooth, frictionless surface.
- Wired headset with a good quality microphone. A wired headset is vital while gaming – it helps immerse you in the action and allows you to hear your opponent’s every move. The best wired headsets are comfortable to wear for lengthy periods, offer gamechanging audio quality, and come with software that lets you customize the sound to suit your tastes (and games). The headset should also be equipped with a killer microphone, especially if you play team-based games like League of Legends and Overwatch. You can check out our recommendations for gaming wired headsets here.
- Controller. A controller is a great option if you’re into sports games and jrpg’s because it allows for smoother and more fluid movements. When choosing a gaming controller, ensure that it’s tactile, durable, and comfortable to hold. We recently covered one whole article dedicated to gaming controllers, so check it out here: Best Esports Controller for PC Gaming.
- Mouse bungee for those fond of wired mice. It’s no debate that a wired gaming mouse offers better response times than a wireless mouse. However, this comes at a price: you’re stuck with an excessively long cable that drags, takes up space, and easily gets tangled. Luckily, there’s a quick and easy solution to this issue – simply invest in a mouse bungee. This peripheral keeps your cable securely in place while protecting it against tangles and kinks. It also ensures your cable won’t drag or snag on any other peripheral (like your monitor or mousepad) and throw you off your aim. Check out our personal mouse bungee recommendations here.
- A racing wheel. A racing wheel might not be the cheapest peripheral out there, but if you’re a diehard fan of racing games? You shouldn’t settle for less. It takes your gameplay to a whole other level of immersion while giving you complete control. If you want to learn more, have a read of our in-depth guide on gaming racing wheels.
Nice to have things that you should take a look at, but are not essential:
- Gaming Glasses. Playing games for hours on end can leave your eyes feeling strained, dry, and tired – gaming glasses are designed to help alleviate these symptoms. You can find out more about how they work, as well as the top gaming glasses on the market, in our dedicated guide.
- Gaming Chair. Back pain is a common health problem among esports players, and it’s not a surprise why. It’s hard to maintain an optimal posture for lengthy periods, especially when you’re focused on taking down enemy after enemy. Fortunately, there are plenty of high-quality ergonomic chairs that can help you maintain good posture, with Herman Miller’s chairs being the best of the best. We’ve created an entire article on the best gaming chairs, which you can find here.
- Gaming Desk. Gaming desks are spacious and tailored with esports players in mind. Most are height adjustable – allowing you to position your monitor at your eye level – and built to handle the weight of beefy peripherals. Some gaming desks are also equipped with RGB lighting and built-in mousepads. For further details, here’s our guide on gaming desks.
- Gaming Speakers. A headset offers the most immersive experience, but gaming speakers are still ideal for those who want to blast it loud without destroying their eardrums in the process. Speakers are also a great alternative if you find wearing a headset for long periods uncomfortable. You can find our recommendations for gaming speakers here.
- Monitor Light. A monitor light is a peripheral that connects to the top of your display. It’s designed to keep your gaming setup bright without causing glare and taking up valuable desk space. You can learn more about this unique peripheral here.
- Better Modem. There’s nothing more tilting than an unreliable connection while gaming – the lag spikes, stuttering, and frequent disconnects can seriously throw you off your game and wreck your chances of winning. Investing in a high-quality modem can help ensure your connection stays stable at all times (and make infuriating lag spikes a thing of the past). Here’s our personal suggestions.
- Gaming Keypad. A gaming keypad isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a dedicated esports player that wants to gain a competitive edge in virtually every way possible? It’s a worthy peripheral for your battlestation. For those not familiar, a gaming keypad is essentially a new take on the standard keyboard. Its keys are positioned in a more ergonomic layout to allow for faster and more accurate keystrokes. We have an entire guide on gaming keypads, so make sure to have a browse if this is something you’re interested in.
- Stream Deck. The Stream Deck is a compact control panel designed with professional (and aspiring) streamers in mind. It makes live streaming effortless with programmable buttons that can perform actions like switching scenes, saving gameplay clips, and playing sound effects. The stream deck is easy to use and comes in a range of sizes.
- Streaming Gear. Aside from the Stream Deck, there’s plenty of other peripherals you should consider as a streamer, including a high-quality microphone, pop filter, and webcam. We cover all the gear in our dedicated streaming guide here.
A pre-built gaming PC might be more expensive than assembling your own PC from scratch, but it’s convenient, safer, and typically comes with excellent customer support. Most pre-built gaming PCs are also backed by a 1 to 3 year warranty.
With the right pre-built gaming PC – and all the necessary peripherals – you’re sure to become an unbeatable esports player (well, if you can use the gear to its full potential).