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Published May 10, 2022 6:00 PM

Every gaming PC needs a home. For most people, your desk acts as that foundation for your setup. There are so many options to choose from, including hundreds of dedicated gaming desks. A good one can live with you for years and shape your PC gaming experience with a stylish surface and helpful features like built-in USB ports, LED lighting, and extra storage. Not all gaming desks are created equal, though. Let’s talk about what’s special about the best gaming desks and how to pick the right one for you.

How we selected the best gaming desks

Over the last 17 years, I’ve set up gaming rigs using everything from folding tables to expensive solid wood standing desks. I pride myself on being able to create battlestations that are as eye-catching as they are reliable. As a member of the tech press for the last eight years—writing for sites like IGN, Reviewed, and Tom’s Hardware—I’ve had more opportunities than most to build systems and create gaming areas for friends, family, and colleagues. With all that hands-on time building and testing PC gaming setups, I’ve developed a good eye for what makes a good desk for gaming.

To make these recommendations, I did extensive research, pulling recommendations from the PC gaming community and cross-checking them with user impressions of the products and manufacturers. There is no best gaming desk for every user, but every selection in this list is at the top of its class and well worth your consideration.

Things to consider before buying a gaming desk

Before you pick out a gaming desk, or a desk with PC gaming in mind, it’s helpful to know what features to look for before you start. With so many different options to choose from, knowing what measurements and features you personally need can help you form a solid game plan to narrow down your options.

What is a gaming desk, exactly?

Gaming desks are very similar to any other kind of desk, but there are some core differences that set them apart. Where many desks feature wood grain or solid-colored finishes, gaming desks are designed to show off with bright colors, decals, and stylized metallic surfaces, like carbon fiber. It’s also more common for gaming desks to come with integrated features tailored to enhance your gaming station, including custom-fitted desk mats, headphone hangers, cupholders, and cable management solutions to keep your wires hidden. These aesthetic and utilitarian flourishes make a gaming desk; It’s all about style and convenience.

Size

The most important quality of any desk used for gaming (or work) is its surface area. Gaming desks come in all shapes and sizes, so spend some time considering how much space you’ll need. Desks come in many sizes, but a full-size desk surface typically measures out around 60 inches wide–side to side–by 30 inches deep–front to back. That’s more than enough for a full PC setup.

That said, it may also take up more space than you have in your home office, bedroom, or wherever you plan to set up your gaming rig. As with any furniture purchase, your first step should be to take some measurements and find out how much space your desk can fill. One more tip: When planning out where to put your desk, make sure there’s enough room for a gaming chair.

Knowing how your desk space fits into your home is important, but you shouldn’t stop there. Take a minute to consider everything you would like to place on the desk. Placing your gaming desktop on your desk looks flashy but can take up a significant amount of space that you may need for your mouse and mousepad, peripherals, or any number of other things you want to keep within reach. Figuring out where you plan to place the key components of your setup—PC, monitor, mouse, and keyboard, possibly a router—will you pick a gaming desk capable of realizing your vision.

Adjustability

Some desks come at a specific set height, but others feature some amount of adjustability. Certain dedicated gaming desks, in particular, feature electric motors that allow you to adjust the height of your desk on the fly so you can swap between standing and seated configurations when you want. Some also allow you to adjust the angle of the desktop, though this is less common. 

When shopping for a gaming desk, consider its specified height and how that would fit with the height of your chair. Ideal seated posture and desk layout are important to prevent muscle strain, eye strain, and repetitive stress injuries. According to the New York Times, it’s important to make sure that the desk you choose allows you to sit with your arms at a 90-degree angle for typing and that your eye level is several inches below the top edge of your monitor. Many gaming desks allow for several inches of movement up or down to find the perfect position for your body. Even desks without on-the-fly adjustability may offer some amount of adjustability during assembly.

Assembly and reliability

Few, if any, gaming desks come preassembled out of the box. Before committing to a purchase, consider whether you have the time and resources to put your desk together. Cheaper desks often take longer to assemble, as part of the savings comes from limiting the assembly being completed at the factory. Even expensive desks can have their challenges and require multiple people to complete, though.

There is no easy rule to determine whether a desk will be easy or challenging to put together. The best way to learn about the assembly process is through user reviews on retailer sites and forums. When people have an especially easy or difficult time putting a desk together, it often factors heavily into their comments. If possible, downloading the assembly guide from the manufacturer’s website can also give you a cursory understanding of what you’ll need to do.

Since desks aren’t professionally reviewed as often as gaming PCs, user reviews are also crucial for finding out whether a desk is well-made. Poor craftsmanship often becomes clear during the assembly process, and user reviews will hopefully alert you to specific red flags. Users are also quick to point out when parts of the product break or wear out early, both of which should be key factors in your decision-making process.

Accessories

One of the things that distinguish a “gaming desk” from universal designs is a bevy of integrated features and included accessories that many players buy second-hand to add to their setup. Many gaming desks come with attachable hooks for headphones and cup holders. Others feature RGB lighting built into the desk frame, custom-cut mouse pad surfaces, and integrated cable management. It’s less common, but an especially luxe gaming desk may come with monitor stands or additional storage. 

While many of these extras may seem superficial since you can purchase them separately, getting a desk with these elements included will save you some time and may save you money. It also ensures that your accessories fit and match your desk, which isn’t always the case if you buy them after the fact. That said, you can get most of them elsewhere, so you shouldn’t pick a desk with flashy accessories over one that perfectly fits you and your space.

The best gaming desks: Reviews & Recommendations

Unlike most gaming-focused gear, the world of gaming desks doesn’t have an established set of trusted manufacturers. They come in countless shapes and sizes, and prices range from cheap to exorbitantly expensive. Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to pick a gaming desk on your own. To help you get started, take a look at our current favorites.

Best overall: Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk

Secretlab

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Why it made the cut: The Secretlab Magnus blends high-quality craftsmanship, style, and an innovative design to deliver class-leading quality.

Specs

  • Price: $549
  • Desktop dimensions: 59 x 28 inches (Width x Depth)
  • Height: 29 inches 
  • Special features: RGB lighting, cable management, magnetic accessory kits (sold separately)

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Very stylish
  • Effective cable management system included 
  • Plentiful options for desktop customization

Cons

  • Desk mat not included
  • Accessory kits cost extra

The Secretlab Magnus sets the standard for the modern gaming desk. It features an exceptionally sleek style with its dark, gunmetal body, but takes that a step further with an RGB strip hidden in its real cable tray. With a durable steel frame, this desk is sturdy enough to hold over 200 pounds of gaming equipment. Even with a decked-out gaming PC and massive monitor, you’ll never need to worry about it wobbling or collapsing.

Apart from its understated aesthetic and strong build quality, the Magnus desk has a uniquely attractive key feature–Modular upgrades that magnetically latch on to the desk’s steel frame. The magnetic “ecosystem” of attachments runs the gamut from cable anchors and sheaths to headphone hangers to a magnetic desk mat.

Those upgrades are also Magnus’ biggest flaw: All of these upgrades are optional add-ons that heap onto the Magnus’s already high price tag. The basic Magnus, for $549, includes the basic frame and a cable management tray. The other attachments cost between $13-$79 apiece. Even the basic Magnus is a really nice, solid, gaming desk, but taking full advantage of its features requires a serious spend.

Best computer desk: Cooler Master GD160 ARGB

Cooler Master

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Why it made the cut: The Cooler Master GD160 RGB brings standing desks and gaming desks together in a stylish and functional package 

Specs

  • Price: $899
  • Desktop dimensions: 63 x 30 inches (Width x Depth)
  • Height: 25.6 – 51.4 inches
  • Special features: RGB lighting, USB charging port, cable management, motorized adjustment for sitting/standing

Pros

  • Wide surface area
  • Front and rear RGB
  • Cable management
  • Full height adjustment

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Complicated assembly

The Cooler Master GD160 ARGB brings a full range of features to play, including RGB lighting, a USB charging port, and the ability to adjust from seated to standing and back on the fly. Its dual-motor provides fast and quiet lifting power up to 220 pounds while reducing wear and tear that builds on a standard standing desk motor. Short of laying on the desk, you’ll never have to second guess whether you’re overloading the frame.

Cooler Master’s signature purple accents are immediately eye-catching, but it’s the desk’s integrated RGB lighting that really steals the show. Customizable front and rear lighting elements shine throughout your gaming room, lighting up the wall behind your desk. An included cable management tray keeps your cables hidden and set up tidy. It lacks some of the smaller flourishes, like a headphone hanger and cup holder, but features an extra useful perk: a USB-A port behind the control pad to charge your phone.

It’s an exceptional desk but it has an exceptionally high price to match: $899. The GD160 ARGB is expensive, even compared to other standing desks. On top of that, the standing desk mechanics make this a tough build. If you’re willing to spend the money and have a friend to help you put it together, though, it has the perks to satisfy players who invest.

Best converter: VIVO Extra Wide Corner Height Adjustable 38-inch Stand-up Desk Converter 

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: Add this simple monitor stand to any desk to incorporate standing desk functionality on a budget.

Specs

  • Price: $219.99
  • Desktop dimensions: 37.5 x 18 inches (Length x Depth)
  • Height: 4.8-20 inches
  • Special features: 33-pound lift assist

Pros

  • Spacious enough for two monitors
  • Lift assistance makes adjustments fast and easy
  • Keyboard tray preserves desk space
  • Limited assembly

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Doesn’t look great

If you’re interested in trying a standing desk but don’t want to buy a whole new piece of furniture, a monitor stand like the VIVO Extra Wide Desk Converter can help you get the best of both worlds on your current desk. The 37.5- x 18-inch surface is large enough to hold two monitors, with plenty of room for pictures, chargers, and other essentials. Once it’s in place, a lever triggers a pneumatic piston to easily raise or lower its spacious surface up to 20 inches above the surface of your desk. With only a few minutes of assembly, you’ll be able to find the perfect position for your gaming rig and stay competitive even when it’s time to stand up and stretch your legs. 

Want to make things even easier? VIVO also sells a larger, motorized version for only $50 more. Since it’s an add-on for an existing desk, rather than a new piece of furniture, we feel that the pneumatic version will make more sense for most people. To get the full experience with a motorized standing desk, there’s no substitute for a desk designed for that purpose from the ground up.

Best L-shaped desk: ODK L-Shaped Gaming Desk 

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The ODK L-Shaped Gaming Desk combines two desks into one, and comes with extra accessories.

Specs

  • Price: $179.00
  • Dimensions: 47 x 59 inches (Length x Depth)
  • Height: 29.83 inches
  • Special features: Spacious surface area, headphone hanger, monitor riser, and additional storage cubby included

Pros

  • Huge surface area
  • Sturdy metal frame
  • Added storage
  • Useful accessories
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Lacks gaming flair
  • Challenging assembly
  • No cable management

ODK’s L-Shaped Gaming Desk offers outstanding value, whether you’re a gamer or just in need of a massive corner desk. It combines two surfaces: a long surface for your traditional PC setup and a shorter right side where you can put your computer tower, game consoles, or have a secondary space for other things. It doesn’t scream “gamer,” but has plenty of functional benefits for PC players.

In addition to its expansive surface area, the ODK gaming desk comes with a bunch of accessories that enhance its functionality, including a moveable monitor stand, an iron headphone hook, and an attachable storage bin for controllers and cables. This is a desk that isn’t just about added space, it’s about creating functional space.

At $118.99, this desk borders on shockingly cheap; in part, that’s because ODK isn’t a well-known brand. That said, this desk has earned glowing reviews from users, who praise its durability, overall quality, and value. It has also attracted some negative feedback as well, namely that it is not easy to assemble.

If you like the design of the OKL, but want a little bit more color and extra “gaming” flair, the Bestier L-Shaped Gaming Computer Desk features a similar frame, plus features like LED lighting and a cup holder, for a slightly pricier $189.

Best standing desk: Eureka Ergonomic 62-inch Standing Desk

EUREKA ERGONOMIC

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Eureka Ergonomic Standing Desk has a huge surface and gaming-first features.

Specs

  • Price: $475.99
  • Dimensions: 27 x 62 inches (Length x Depth)
  • Height: 29.92 – 48.43 inches
  • Special features: Wide surface area, dual headphone hanger, cup holder, custom desk mat

Pros

  • Well priced for size and features
  • Included accessories designed around gaming
  • Extra desk space compared to most gaming desks
  • Aggressive aesthetics 

Cons

  • Complicated assembly 
  • Limited height range
  • Limited RGB settings

If you’re looking for an exceptionally large standing desk designed for gaming at a surprisingly reasonable price, we have something you need to see. At 62 x 28 inches, the Eureka Ergonomic 65-inch Standing desk is wide enough to comfortably seat two people for side-by-side co-op. If you’re more interested in solo play, that extra space makes room for speakers, a tower, a big-screen gaming monitor, or multiple displays to truly make a showpiece battlestation. Knowing that you’re likely to have extra wires with the larger desk surface, Eureka has included two cable grommets that lead to an included cable management tray to keep the desk looking clean and tidy.  

Along the left and right sides, you’ll find a headphone hanger and cup holder, as well as customizable LED strips so you can position your own lighting elements. There’s also a rack to hold your favorite games and a pair of controllers, which also doubles as a USB hub. Topping it all off, there’s a custom-fit desk pad that spans the entire desk surface without blocking the two wire grommets. Little details like that really make this desk feel like it’s designed specifically for PC gaming.

The standing functionality really feels like icing on the cake. Using the included control pad, the entire desk can raise up to 48 inches or lower to 30 inches for standard seating height. That’s a smaller range than other gaming desks with standing adjustability, including the Cooler Master GD160 ARGB. Standing desk maker Autonomous has found that the average standing desk height for 5’11” users is 44 inches. Likewise, a standard desk for a user around this height is roughly 30 inches. That means you may need a taller chair to use this desk sitting down.

Even for a standing desk, this Eureka desk requires a lot of time to build. Nothing with this desk comes pre-assembled, even the desktop. You’ll need to do everything from bolting together both halves of the desk to piecing together the frame, connecting the wires, and screwing on the accessories. Given all this desk offers, however, the end result is worth the extra effort upfront.

Best budget desk: SEVEN WARRIOR Gaming Desk

SEVEN WARRIOR

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: This affordable desk offers a lot for little, providing ample space, attractive aesthetics, and plentiful accessories. 

Specs

  • Price: $159.99
  • Dimensions: 55 x 24 inches (Length x Width)
  • Height: 29.5 inches
  • Special features: Full-size waterproof desk mat, dual headphone hanger, cupholder, game and controller rack

Pros

  • Lots of included accessories
  • Sturdy steel frame capable of holding 250 pounds
  • Enough space for most gaming setups
  • Carbon fiber texture

Cons

  • Desktop comes in two pieces 
  • Inconsistent quality control
  • No cable management tray

SEVEN WARRIOR may not be a brand you’ve heard of before but it’s made a splash in the affordable gaming desk space. And this desk is a prime example of why. At $159 (or a slightly higher $179.99 on Amazon), it offers a great balance of features and functionality for a very affordable price.

Available in 44-, 55-, and 60-inch surface sizes, you can find a size that fits your space. The desk is finished with a waterproof carbon fiber texture and includes a size-matched waterproof desk mat, making spills easy to clean up. At 24-inches deep, it’s on the shallow side, but still gives you plenty of room for a full gaming PC setup. Two cable grommets allow you to route wires out of sight, but you’ll need to bring your own cable runner if you care to keep things tidy underneath the desktop. SEVEN WARRIOR also throws in a cup holder, dual headphone hanger, and a combination game and controller rack that doubles as a USB hub.

The vast majority of reviews on this desk are overwhelmingly positive. Customers routinely remark on its easy setup and durability. When users are unhappy, though, it’s always for one reason–inconsistent quality control. Many users have reported that their desks came with misaligned parts or, worse, were missing pieces entirely. Sadly, this is not an uncommon story with cheaper, lesser-known furniture brands. If the price is right, make sure to double-check all the parts before putting the desk together.

FAQs

Q: How much do gaming desks cost?

Gaming desks can vary from cost-effective to quite expensive, depending on the manufacturer and included features. You can find a simple, fixed-height desk for under $100. Larger, sturdier desks with lots of features can cost upwards of $1,000. Generally speaking, more expensive gaming desks tend to be larger, sturdier, and will wear less over time. Very expensive desks may also include advanced functions like motorized height adjustment.

Q: Is a gaming desk worth it?

The differences between a dedicated gaming desk and any other desk are pretty small. Gaming desks often come with integrated features that PC gamers often buy as separate accessories, like headphone hooks and RGB lighting. And, like other “gaming” products, a gaming desk typically features a flashy, eye-catching aesthetic. They usually come in bright colors, with decals and logos.

Given that, picking a gaming desk versus another option comes down to taste. If you want your gaming space to lean into that very specific style that matches the gaming aesthetics of PC components and peripherals, a gaming desk makes a lot of sense. Likewise, few desks outside the gaming world have built-in gaming-focused features like RGB lighting, mousepads, and integrated USB ports. 

That said, many gamers may be better off with a standard desk. Keep in mind that you can get most of the common features for gaming desks, such as headphone hangers, cup holders, mousepads, and cable management trays, as attachable accessories. You don’t need a gaming desk to build a killer PC gaming setup.

Q: What is the best size for a gaming desk?

Many full-size gaming desks typically measure around 30 x 60 inches (Length x width). We would recommend a mid-size or large desk for a PC gaming setup—48 x 24 inches or larger. This ensures you have enough space to place one or more monitors, and comfortably use a mouse and keyboard without feeling cramped. 

Unlike other gaming accessories, there is no one “best size” gaming desk that will work for everyone. As a result, gaming desks (and desks in general) come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Before settling on a purchase, consider exactly what you plan to place on it. Here are some questions to consider before deciding on the right size for you:

– Will your computer tower be on the desktop or on the floor? 
– How big is the monitor you will be using? 
– How much space will you need to move your mouse?
– What else would you also like to place on your desk?

Answering these questions and measuring out the dimensions of your PC, monitor, and peripherals will give you a good idea of what a comfortable width would be.

Final thoughts on the best gaming desks

Choosing the right gaming desk can be, forgive the pun, game-changing. A good desk draws you in and makes you want to spend time using it. It becomes a highlight of the room and puts your gaming station center-stage. Finding the right choice can be intimidating when there are so many options to choose from, but taking the time to select the best choice is well worth the investment.