Can you compete on budget gaming hardware at esports level?

Budget gaming as the name suggests can be quite affordable, but can aspiring gamers perform on a competitive level with a budget gaming setup?

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Valve CS2

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People often hear about budget systems or budget mobile devices for gaming, which are currently the most popular among gamers. These devices and hardware provide just enough power to run your favourite games on lower settings. However, the question remains, can you game on a competitive level with these devices?

To answer in short, yes, players can game on a competitive level on budget PC and mobile devices nowadays. Esports titles are usually made to run on most devices and are also free to play for a reason.

However, players will have a much harder time against those with good hardware that provides better performance. Budget devices also tend to get outdated soon.

Device hardware and software

For mobile devices, specifically Androids, people will need to do their research before making a purchase. Despite running on Android, mobile devices have different builds, as every company usually tweaks the operating system differently.

Unlike Apple devices, which have a universal operating system, different builds of the same Android version can affect performance. Players need to check out multiple aspects like overheating and game optimization alongside hardware specifications.

PC hardware is much more expensive, however, as mentioned before, most of these games are made for cheap hardware. Considering there is no bottleneck between hardware, popular esports titles like Valorant and Counter Strike can run at 100fps even with older cards like GTX 1050.

Does FPS matter?

The more FPS a device can push, the more advantage a player will have while gaming, especially in esports titles. Higher FPS provides smooth visuals that reduce the ghosting effect and help in providing input in time and hit some crucial shots.

Ghosting in CS (Source: Nvidia)
Ghosting in CS (Source: Nvidia)

Oftentimes, players think they hit the target, but in reality, they might have just missed it by a few centimetres. This often happens in PC games and most of the time it is due to low FPS. Higher FPS can also improve player reaction time.

Furthermore, reaching high FPS is also not the endpoint, as the devices should also be able to maintain the number throughout the game. A spike in FPS can cause micro stutters that are annoying in single-player games and can have huge disadvantages in an online PvP game.