Gaming has evolved from a hobby to a competitive sport, and gamers are constantly searching for ways to enrich the gaming experience.
One way to do that is through the use of specialized gaming chairs designed to provide comfort, support, and immersive features. One such feature on gaming chairs that has become pretty popular is the vibration or “rumble” feature, which can add an extra dimension of excitement and realism to gameplay.
But are gaming chairs that vibrate really any good, and how do they even work?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at gaming chairs with vibration capabilities and explore the benefits and drawbacks of this feature so you can decide if a vibrating gaming chair is for you.
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Do Gaming Chairs Vibrate?
Some gaming chairs come with built-in vibration or “rumble” features that can provide haptic feedback to enhance your gaming experience. These vibrations are often synchronized with in-game events, such as explosions, impacts or changes in road surface textures for racing games, to create a more immersive gaming experience.
However, not all gaming chairs have this feature, so it’s important to check a chair’s specifications before purchasing if you are specifically looking for a chair with vibration capability.
How do Vibrating Gaming Chairs Work?
Vibrating gaming chairs work by using small motors or actuators to create vibrations in specific areas of the chair. These vibrations can be synchronized with in-game actions or sound effects to enhance the gaming experience.
Many types of vibration chairs or kits work by picking up certain sound frequencies like heavy bass effects and then translating them to a rumble motor to trigger vibrations.
Typically, vibrating gaming chairs have several small motors or actuators embedded in various parts of the chair, such as the seat, backrest, and armrests. These motors are controlled by a microcontroller or other electronic device, which can adjust the intensity and frequency of the vibrations.
In some chairs, the vibrations are triggered by audio signals from the game, such as explosions or gunfire. In other chairs, the vibrations are programmed to match certain actions in the game, such as shooting and taking damage in an FPS game or accelerating or braking in a racing game.
The aim of vibrating gaming chairs is to create a more immersive gaming experience, where you can feel the action as well as see and hear it. The vibrations can also provide tactile feedback, helping you to feel more connected to the game and improve your reaction times.
It can give you an edge in a game when the rumbles instantly let you know you’re coming under fire or drifting onto the verge of the road.
The Advantages of a Gaming Chair that Vibrates
There are several advantages of a gaming chair that vibrates. A gaming chair with vibration capability can be a great investment for some gamers who want to up their level of in-game immersion.
A more Immersive Gaming Experience
One of the main advantages of a gaming chair with built-in vibration is the immersive gaming experience it provides.
The vibrations can simulate the feeling of explosions, crashes, surface textures changing under tires or other in-game events, allowing you to feel like you’re part of the action.
The rumbles can also help increase your focus by drawing your attention to the game at important times.
When you feel the vibrations, it can be an indication that you’re coming under attack or driving off-road.
These sensations can help you stay alert and engaged, making it faster to react and easier to concentrate on the game.
In addition to the vibrations, gaming chairs with this feature often come with other ergonomic features, such as adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and headrests. These features can help reduce fatigue and prevent aches and pains during long gaming sessions.
Generally, if a manufacturer is going to go into the trouble of adding vibration features to a gaming chair, you can expect them to also put a little extra effort into other features to make the chair even comfier.
Many gaming chairs that have a rumble function can also be used for other activities, such as watching TV, movies or listening to music.
The vibrations can add another dimension to these activities as well, providing a more immersive and enjoyable experience.
The Disadvantages of a Gaming Chair that Vibrates
While a gaming chair with vibration capability has many advantages, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a purchase so that you don’t waste your money.
They can be more Expensive
Because of the added expense of putting vibration capability into a gaming chair, it can be more expensive than a standard gaming chair of similar build quality.
Sometimes the added vibration functionality, depending on how the chair has been marketed, can be a significant additional investment, especially for anyone on a tight budget.
Some Require a Power Source
Gaming chairs with vibration motors often require a power source to operate the vibration feature.
This might mean that you need to have an electrical outlet nearby or use an extension cord, which can be inconvenient and potentially hazardous.
Related Article: Does A Gaming Chair Improve Your Aim? (Explained)
While the vibrations can enhance the gaming experience, they can also be distracting or even annoying for some players, especially advanced or pro players.
For example, most advanced Battlefield players find that vibrations mess with their aim and tracking of targets. Pros will usually turn off vibrations on their controller, chair and every other peripheral that rumbles.
Some people just prefer a more simple, traditional gaming chair without any additional features.
Wear, Tear and Maintenance
Any piece of equipment that has additional moving parts is going to require more maintenance, be more likely to break and be more expensive to repair or replace.
Gaming chairs with vibration capability have more moving parts and electronic components than standard chairs, which means they may require more maintenance and upkeep over time.
Some gaming chairs with built-in rumble features may not be compatible with all gaming systems or consoles, especially if you bought a cheap one from overseas. This could limit your options if you switch between different gaming platforms.
Related Article: Are Gaming Chairs Good For Long Hours? (And Which One Is Best)
How to choose a Gaming Chair that Vibrates
Choosing a gaming chair with vibration capabilities can be a great way to enhance your gaming experience, but it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing a gaming chair that vibrates.
The most important thing when choosing a gaming chair is that you get one that’s right for your body size.
You’re not going to be able to try out all of the gaming chairs that interest you, but you can go on to the Vertagear website and use their online configurator where you can input your height and weight to find the best gaming chairs for your body type.
Consider what features you want in a gaming chair, in addition to the vibration. Do you want adjustable armrests or a reclining function? Do you want a chair on wheels?
For example, The X Rocker Pro Series 2.1 is an excellent vibrating gaming chair but it’s not on wheels so if you need a set of wheels to zoom around your desk this chair won’t be the one for you.
There are other considerations too. If you have lower back problems, you may need a chair with additional lumbar support. These features will add to the comfort and functionality of your chair.
Gaming chairs with a vibration function can be more expensive than standard gaming chairs, so it’s important to set a budget and choose a chair that fits within your price range.
Look for a gaming chair that’s sturdy and well-built, with durable materials and a strong frame. This will ensure that the chair can withstand regular use over time.
If at all possible, go to a store and take the time to sit in a gaming chair before you buy it. It just might not feel right for you.
User Reviews and Reddit
Check user reviews and ratings for the gaming chair you’re considering to see what other gamers have to say about its vibration capabilities, comfort, and overall performance.
Check Reddit Especially. Do a Google search for any gaming chair you’re thinking of buying with Reddit at the end of the search. This will throw up all the Reddit threads about the chair and you should find a few honest opinions about it.
Ensure the gaming chair you choose is compatible with your gaming system or console.
Some chairs are designed specifically for consoles, while others are designed for PC gaming.
It might be tempting to buy an unbranded chair for a fraction of the price but that chair will soon start speaking and be very unlikely to stand the test of time.
Look for reputable brands that have a track record of producing high-quality gaming chairs with vibration capabilities. Check online reviews, Reddit and customer feedback to get an idea of the reliability and durability of the chair you’re considering.
Make sure the gaming chair you choose comes with a warranty to protect your investment and give you peace of mind. Think about the length of the warranty period, the types of damages covered, and the process for filing a claim.
Look for a warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship, as well as damages caused by regular use. Consider warranties that offer complimentary repairs or replacements, or reimbursements for repair costs. Some warranties also offer additional perks such as free shipping or extended coverage. Be sure to read the warranty terms and conditions carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.
A gaming chair with vibration capability should also be comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. When you’re looking for a comfortable gaming chair, consider the chair’s ergonomic features, such as adjustable armrests and backrests, lumbar support, and a headrest.
Look for chairs made from high-quality materials that are breathable, durable, and comfortable to sit in for long periods. Consider the size and weight capacity of the chair to ensure a proper fit for your body type.
Look for chairs with a swivel base and smooth-rolling casters for easy movement. Finally, consider the overall design and style of the chair to ensure it matches your preferences and gaming setup.
Not all gaming chairs with vibration capabilities are created equal. Look for chairs with adjustable vibration settings, so you can control the intensity of the vibration.
You should also consider the location of the vibration motors and how they are positioned to ensure that you will feel the vibrations in the right places.
By considering these factors, you can choose a gaming chair with vibration capability that fits your needs and preferences, and provides an immersive and comfortable gaming experience.