Buying a gaming PC for a 11 year old or a teenager is no easy task if you don't understand what the terminology means, or what system specification they need to play their favourite games. It doesn't actually matter what age the recipient is, but I remember a colleague told me they wanted to buy a gaming PC for their 13 year old son, who was currently playing games on the (seemingly inadequate) family computer.
The first question I asked was "Which games do they play?". Unfortunately, "A shooting game where people fly," was not very helpful, so I put together a few questions to help me create a system specification that would meet the parents' budget and the gaming needs of a near-teenager. Their son ended up with their dream PC for Christmas (shooting things and flying), and the parents were over the moon. You'll be pleased to know I've replicated these easy to follow questions in this article, and added in some extra help from our experts here at CCL.
Regardless of age or gaming preference, buying a gaming PC as a gift this Christmas may feel like you are out of your depth, but this handy guide should help. If you are still unsure, we've also got some final tips that will make your life much easier.
Who Is This Guide For?
The guide has been designed for a parent or guardian who is looking to buy a first PC for a gamer. They may be an 11 year old, a teenager, or a young adult - but this guide will help you choose the right PC regardless of their age.
We are assuming you have no technical knowledge or experience with computers or PC gaming, so we'll refrain from using any technical jargon, too.
Where To Start?
The very first question is - which games do they want to play? This small amount of research will answer every other question for you, and help you decide which PC specification fits. The needs of an FPS gamer are considerably different from that of a driving games fan, so this is where we start.
To make our way through the guide, we just need to know a few things...
Step 1: Which Games Do They Want To Play?
Right now, the gamer you are buying for is probably itching to play one or more games on the infographic below, or are making do with the family computer that is struggling to meet their needs. Whilst you may not understand what "I'M LAGGING!!" or "My FPS terrible!" means, it can mean the difference between ranking in an Apex Legends tournament or achieving a Victory Royale in Fortnite. Important stuff to a teenager, right?
The following infographic is not exhaustive, and there are some crossovers, but it will help to understand which gaming PC specification you need. Some games can be run on lower spec computers, but for the best experience (and a reduced amount of moaning about lag & freezing) it is always best to go with a little higher than the minimum recommended specification. For example, Minecraft can be run on a budget, mid-tier or high-end gaming PC, but the experience is different across the specs. Once the player begins creating large structures and playing multiplayer, there is an increased pressure on the PC, and performance can dwindle.
We have included the most popular categories of game right now in December 2021, and these are - E-Sports, Variety Gaming, RPG (Role Playing Games) and AAA Gaming. If you don't see the game they want to play in this list, don't worry. There's an easy way to check which PC you need for any game. We'll get into that a little further into the article.
Still Need Help?
Didn't see the game they want to play in our infographic? Don't know which PC is best? That's ok! Rule number one is "Don't Panic!"
If you still need assistance, simply click here for help deciding which PC is most suitable.
Step 2: Recommended Budget, Mid-Tier and High-End PCs
The second step is choosing the PC itself. You know which games they want to play, and you're ready to select the gaming PC of their dreams!
All of these PCs are available for delivery before Christmas, and you can check our Christmas and New Year delivery cut-off dates here.
CCL Recommended Budget Gaming PC