Picture the scene. You’re creeping through an eerily deserted corridor, assault rifle tightly gripped. Underfoot the metallic grates of an unknown military installation clank as your weight passes over them. You lean forward as you near a lift and reach for the call button. A few seconds later, the doors open; you are confronted with a squad of heavily armed mercenaries. You’re about to dive for cover – but a twinge of pain runs down your back and you drop your controller.
It’s the curse of every gamer. Discomfort, striking at the most inopportune moment. The more engrossing the game, the more you’ll want to ignore your body’s call for a break. And if you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair, the greater the pain. The answer could be a properly designed gamer’s chair, packing all sorts of features aimed at helping you relax. That said a much cheaper alternative could be a comfy chair-bed picked up from ebay.co.uk – when you get tired after your nine-hour marathon, simply unfold it and hit the hay.
As with most things, the feature list of any gamer’s chair is largely dictated by the depth you are willing to delve into your wallet. Here are a few things to consider before your next mission behind enemy lines.
Put your back into it
In the middle of a tense firefight or no-quarter-given match, the chances are you’re not going to give your posture a second thought. In fact probably the only time you’ll pay any attention to it is when you suddenly realise you can barely move thanks to backache, and by that point the last thing you are going to want to do is sit hunched in front of your PlayStation 4 any longer.
A chair with built-in orthopaedic support will let you play in total comfort and prolong your gaming session by helping you sit in a healthy position. A great example is the BoomChair Stealth B2. Not only does it feature a high-backed design with a headrest and Bluetooth technology so you can stream your game’s audio through the chair’s built-in speakers, it also looks like it belongs on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.
Feel the force
It’s all very well feeling a controller vibrate in your hands as you take damage in a game, but what if your entire chair jolted with every bullet? In this IGN article, the X Rocker Pro emerges as arguably the best gaming chair your money can buy, thanks in no small part to its impressive force feedback motors. Added to that is an impressive, self-contained sound set-up: four speakers and a sub-woofer add real volume to the good vibrations.
Full of beans?
They may not feature speakers, wireless support or vibration functions, but a beanbag could be the perfect laidback alternative to a gaming chair. Sumo beanbags are some of the best around – Geekosystem.com calls the Sway 2.0 beanbag “firm, supportive” and “more like an actual chair” – and the company promises its seats are rip-proof.
In the driving seat
If you’re a racing game fanatic, something like the GameRacer Elite Racing Simulator Chair might be just what you need. Closely mimicking the design of the simulator chairs many professional racing drivers use to practise, the chair itself is designed to hold you in place even as you lean into corners, while most brands of pedal and steering wheel can be attached to the sturdy metal frame.