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The Best MMORPGS on PC in 2020- Play with Thousands of Players All Over the World

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World of Warcraft

There are people that love to sit on their couch and just play whatever is on their game consoles but there are also those that want to play with different players all over the world.

MMORPGs or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are great because you play with or against thousands of players from across the globe.

If you want to play one, you are in luck; for today, I am going to be talking about the best MMORPGs on PC in 2020.

Best MMOs on PC

1.World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

To MMO aficionados, this should come as no surprise, but for people that are not familiar with this game, World of Warcraft is the MMORPG that started it all.

This game is developed by Blizzard and because it is so successful, it has thrived for nearly two decades now since its release back in 2004.

This was a modest title back in the day and while graphics cards have improved over the years, so is its visuals.

You also get to choose a side: Horde or the Alliance. Each of the warring factions has different classes that you can choose- each of them has their own unique abilities and it is up to you which one you prefer over the other.

You get to explore vast lands in your home turf but you also have the option to invade the other faction’s lands as well.

This game is so extensive that aside from the fact that you can put as many spells and items as you want on the action bars, you also have the ability to use different add-ons and scripts to further enhance your gameplay.

Because of its extensiveness, I will highly encourage you to buy a gaming mouse specifically for MMORPGs (or those that have multiple buttons on the left side) just to map everything that you need for easy access.

Although you will be paying a monthly premium, I would say that this is indeed worth playing, especially if it is still your first time playing a game in the MMO genre.

2.Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

Fans of the Final Fantasy franchise were surprised that Square Enix has expressed its move into the MMORPG space. Final Fantasy XIV (or simply just 14) is the company’s second foray into the MMO genre and it has certainly paid off.

Originally, this game sucked. It was plagued with a lot of different issues and it was just a buggy mess that playing it is more of a chore than for enjoyment.

Thankfully, the company made huge improvements and they’ve released A Realm Reborn that fixed most of the glaring issues this game once had. I think that Square Enix couldn’t think more of a fitting title for this one.

Anyway, this game is a bit dated but that is a good thing because it only shows you that its massive community is filled with die-hard players. In fact, its community is so great that new players can ask for help and you can expect that someone will help you along the way.

What’s interesting here is that you can pretty much enjoy your character thanks to the fact that you can use every class and profession that you want. That level of extensiveness cannot be seen on any other MMORPG so I would say that Final Fantasy 14 is still one of the best even to this day.

3.Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is a pretty interesting game, to say the least. While other MMOs offer story-based missions and regular quests, this game offers public events that encourage people to team up with other players.

Of course, there are some story elements here and there, but the fact remains that you will be rewarded if you play with others.

This is an interesting dynamic that people will surely love because the purpose of this genre is to connect with other players anyway.

Guild Wars 2 just makes it so that the quest for finding other people to play with is more enjoyable than ever before.

Once you get your characters geared up, you are now primed to take advantage of the Living World updates as they come.

Choose your class, connect with other players, and have fun!

4.Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

If you want an action-packed adventure MMO, then Phantasy Star Online 2 is quite an appealing choice. It has only since been available in the US because this was exclusive in Asia for a time but you can play it now without any problems.

Anyway, what’s quite amazing about this game is its combat system. It is one of the more intricate yet adrenaline-pumping action that you cannot find in other MMOs which is why I’ve included this title on the list.

You have plenty of classes to choose from and you can unlock a new set of skills and abilities the more you progress in the game.

While this is supported in other consoles such as the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, you should play on your gaming PC to get the full experience.

5.Planetside 2

Planetside 2

Players that want to play first-person MMOs need not look further than Planetside 2. This is still considered an MMO despite what others say.

You get to choose from three different factions and what’s interesting here is that on one day, your team could be attacking the other factions and on other days, you will find yourself defending your faction’s land along with your comrades.

This game is one of those titles that put you on a constant battle against the other teams so there is no shortage of action on this one.

An interesting fact is that this game has been around for years now but as the saying goes, Planetside 2 aged like fine wine.

6.The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online

If you are a fan of Skyrim, then you definitely have to try the Elder Scrolls Online. It is from the same developer and the game pretty much feels like Skyrim, albeit with an online community to play with.

The game has received a new update that adds more cities to explore, more dungeons to uncover, and a new storyline that will surely make you glued to your seats until you unravel the mysteries of Tamriel.

If you have played Elder Scrolls games before, this one should really feel right at home. This is a great one to play, especially if you are still waiting for The Elder Scrolls 6.

7.Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars The Old Republic

There have been a lot of Star Wars games released already but none of them comes close to Star Wars: The Old Republic in terms of story and replayability.

BioWare, the game’s developer, focused more on the story elements but this is not to say that the gameplay suffers as a result- actually far from it. In fact, its combat system is one that you could expect- lightsabers, droids, you name it.

The game is a bit dated but you will be happy to know that it is still constantly getting a stream of updates for you to enjoy.

8.Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online

In the early days of World of Warcraft, players are encouraged to grind and spend countless hours just to make their characters stronger than others. While the said game has certainly dialed down its grindiness, the next one is a game that you can safely spend countless hours into.

Black Desert Online is one of the most popular MMOs. It is developed by a Korean gaming company but everything in the game is in English so there shouldn’t be any problems with the in-game dialogue.

If you are looking for a story-based MMO, this is not it. What this game has to offer is its amazing character customization and the fact that it has plenty of activities that you can enjoy.

There are some professions that you can learn and although it takes quite a long time to master, it is definitely rewarding.

In terms of graphics, it is not as great as the others but it is still good nonetheless. Because this is an open-world game, it is important that you have a competitive gaming CPU to ensure a smooth experience.

9.Blade and Soul

Blade and Soul

In some aspects, you could mistake this game for Black Desert Online but Blade and Soul is a pretty good game in its own right.

While its launch is mired with a lot of different issues, those were ironed out as the game developer released subsequent patches fixing these things.

This is more of an action-packed MMO based on Ancient China so you can expect the use of magic, fists, swords, and some martial arts as well.

A lot of players actually love its PVP so if you want to battle it out against other players, this is one of the games that you should play.

10.Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online

Are you a fan of J.R.R Tolkien’s novels/ if so, Lord of the Rings Online should be right up your alley.

You get to become either a Hobbit, Human, Dwarf, or Elf and if you want to know more about the gameplay, just think of The Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft combined.

There are a lot of quests that you can complete and there is also some lore when you complete some story missions as well.

While this game is free to play, the DLCs are not so you will have to spend some money to download them. Still, I would recommend that you do so, especially if you are a fan of the franchise.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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The Best MMORPGS on PC in 2020- Play with Thousands of Players All Over the World

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World of Warcraft

There are people that love to sit on their couch and just play whatever is on their game consoles but there are also those that want to play with different players all over the world.

MMORPGs or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are great because you play with or against thousands of players from across the globe.

If you want to play one, you are in luck; for today, I am going to be talking about the best MMORPGs on PC in 2020.

Best MMOs on PC

1.World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

To MMO aficionados, this should come as no surprise, but for people that are not familiar with this game, World of Warcraft is the MMORPG that started it all.

This game is developed by Blizzard and because it is so successful, it has thrived for nearly two decades now since its release back in 2004.

This was a modest title back in the day and while graphics cards have improved over the years, so is its visuals.

You also get to choose a side: Horde or the Alliance. Each of the warring factions has different classes that you can choose- each of them has their own unique abilities and it is up to you which one you prefer over the other.

You get to explore vast lands in your home turf but you also have the option to invade the other faction’s lands as well.

This game is so extensive that aside from the fact that you can put as many spells and items as you want on the action bars, you also have the ability to use different add-ons and scripts to further enhance your gameplay.

Because of its extensiveness, I will highly encourage you to buy a gaming mouse specifically for MMORPGs (or those that have multiple buttons on the left side) just to map everything that you need for easy access.

Although you will be paying a monthly premium, I would say that this is indeed worth playing, especially if it is still your first time playing a game in the MMO genre.

2.Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

Fans of the Final Fantasy franchise were surprised that Square Enix has expressed its move into the MMORPG space. Final Fantasy XIV (or simply just 14) is the company’s second foray into the MMO genre and it has certainly paid off.

Originally, this game sucked. It was plagued with a lot of different issues and it was just a buggy mess that playing it is more of a chore than for enjoyment.

Thankfully, the company made huge improvements and they’ve released A Realm Reborn that fixed most of the glaring issues this game once had. I think that Square Enix couldn’t think more of a fitting title for this one.

Anyway, this game is a bit dated but that is a good thing because it only shows you that its massive community is filled with die-hard players. In fact, its community is so great that new players can ask for help and you can expect that someone will help you along the way.

What’s interesting here is that you can pretty much enjoy your character thanks to the fact that you can use every class and profession that you want. That level of extensiveness cannot be seen on any other MMORPG so I would say that Final Fantasy 14 is still one of the best even to this day.

3.Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is a pretty interesting game, to say the least. While other MMOs offer story-based missions and regular quests, this game offers public events that encourage people to team up with other players.

Of course, there are some story elements here and there, but the fact remains that you will be rewarded if you play with others.

This is an interesting dynamic that people will surely love because the purpose of this genre is to connect with other players anyway.

Guild Wars 2 just makes it so that the quest for finding other people to play with is more enjoyable than ever before.

Once you get your characters geared up, you are now primed to take advantage of the Living World updates as they come.

Choose your class, connect with other players, and have fun!

4.Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

If you want an action-packed adventure MMO, then Phantasy Star Online 2 is quite an appealing choice. It has only since been available in the US because this was exclusive in Asia for a time but you can play it now without any problems.

Anyway, what’s quite amazing about this game is its combat system. It is one of the more intricate yet adrenaline-pumping action that you cannot find in other MMOs which is why I’ve included this title on the list.

You have plenty of classes to choose from and you can unlock a new set of skills and abilities the more you progress in the game.

While this is supported in other consoles such as the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, you should play on your gaming PC to get the full experience.

5.Planetside 2

Planetside 2

Players that want to play first-person MMOs need not look further than Planetside 2. This is still considered an MMO despite what others say.

You get to choose from three different factions and what’s interesting here is that on one day, your team could be attacking the other factions and on other days, you will find yourself defending your faction’s land along with your comrades.

This game is one of those titles that put you on a constant battle against the other teams so there is no shortage of action on this one.

An interesting fact is that this game has been around for years now but as the saying goes, Planetside 2 aged like fine wine.

6.The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online

If you are a fan of Skyrim, then you definitely have to try the Elder Scrolls Online. It is from the same developer and the game pretty much feels like Skyrim, albeit with an online community to play with.

The game has received a new update that adds more cities to explore, more dungeons to uncover, and a new storyline that will surely make you glued to your seats until you unravel the mysteries of Tamriel.

If you have played Elder Scrolls games before, this one should really feel right at home. This is a great one to play, especially if you are still waiting for The Elder Scrolls 6.

7.Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars The Old Republic

There have been a lot of Star Wars games released already but none of them comes close to Star Wars: The Old Republic in terms of story and replayability.

BioWare, the game’s developer, focused more on the story elements but this is not to say that the gameplay suffers as a result- actually far from it. In fact, its combat system is one that you could expect- lightsabers, droids, you name it.

The game is a bit dated but you will be happy to know that it is still constantly getting a stream of updates for you to enjoy.

8.Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online

In the early days of World of Warcraft, players are encouraged to grind and spend countless hours just to make their characters stronger than others. While the said game has certainly dialed down its grindiness, the next one is a game that you can safely spend countless hours into.

Black Desert Online is one of the most popular MMOs. It is developed by a Korean gaming company but everything in the game is in English so there shouldn’t be any problems with the in-game dialogue.

If you are looking for a story-based MMO, this is not it. What this game has to offer is its amazing character customization and the fact that it has plenty of activities that you can enjoy.

There are some professions that you can learn and although it takes quite a long time to master, it is definitely rewarding.

In terms of graphics, it is not as great as the others but it is still good nonetheless. Because this is an open-world game, it is important that you have a competitive gaming CPU to ensure a smooth experience.

9.Blade and Soul

Blade and Soul

In some aspects, you could mistake this game for Black Desert Online but Blade and Soul is a pretty good game in its own right.

While its launch is mired with a lot of different issues, those were ironed out as the game developer released subsequent patches fixing these things.

This is more of an action-packed MMO based on Ancient China so you can expect the use of magic, fists, swords, and some martial arts as well.

A lot of players actually love its PVP so if you want to battle it out against other players, this is one of the games that you should play.

10.Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online

Are you a fan of J.R.R Tolkien’s novels/ if so, Lord of the Rings Online should be right up your alley.

You get to become either a Hobbit, Human, Dwarf, or Elf and if you want to know more about the gameplay, just think of The Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft combined.

There are a lot of quests that you can complete and there is also some lore when you complete some story missions as well.

While this game is free to play, the DLCs are not so you will have to spend some money to download them. Still, I would recommend that you do so, especially if you are a fan of the franchise.

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Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service

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Amazon Luna

It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.

Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.

Channel-based Platform

Amazon Luna Platform

Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.

Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.

Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.

It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).

That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).

With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.

Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.

Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.

1080p and 4K Gaming

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.

Cross-Platform Support

Amazon Luna Cross-Platform

Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.

Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.

You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.

NVIDIA Hardware Use

According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.

That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).

Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.

Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites

Amazon Luna Controller

Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.

The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.

This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.

New Controller with Alexa Support

Amazon Luna Controller 2

Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.

What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.

According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.

Conclusion

Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.

Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99

If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.

Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500

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Acer Nitro XV340CK Review

Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.

Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.

Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively. 

Design

Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.

The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.

Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.

It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.

I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.

The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.

For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.

The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.

Display

Acer Nitro XV340CK Review 2020

The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.

You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.

Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.

However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.

It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.

I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.

Performance

Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.

Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.

How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.

It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.

This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Verdict

With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.

Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.

Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

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HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review

As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.

In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.

Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.

Design

The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.

I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.

Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.

There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.

This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup. 

While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.

All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.

The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.

Audio Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S Review 2020

There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.

That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.

I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.

Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.

As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.

Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.

Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.

Microphone Quality

HyperX Cloud Stinger S

There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.

Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.

The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.

Verdict

For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.

I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.

I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.

Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.

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