The Ultimate Guide to a Minimalistic Gaming Desk Setup

Whether you’re a pro gamer or a casual gamer, having a clean gaming setup comes with a ton of benefits. Merging the worlds of minimalism with gaming desk setups can result in some ultra-efficient and focused desks that can be great for more than gaming too.

My minimal gaming desk setup.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know to craft the perfect minimalistic gaming desk setup. If you want our general minimal desk setup tips, check out this article.

Why Your Gaming Setup Should Go Minimal

Before we get into all the methods of going minimal, let’s talk about how this can benefit us gamers in the first place.

Better Gaming Immersion

When you just have a monitor and peripherals on your desk, you don’t have much else that is begging for your attention. Unlike a cluttered desk which can have a ton of distractions.

Fewer items catching your attention means you can be more focused when gaming which results in just better immersive play.

Larger Uninterrupted Space For Peripherals

One thing all gamers can agree upon is that your mouse needs infinite space. Gamers use some of the largest mousepads and desk pads on the market because they need the surface area.

Minimal gaming setups mean you have fewer interruptions on your desk. This means you can go for as large of a desk mat as your table can fit!

Say goodbye to crashing your mouse into random items on your desk with a minimal setup.

Minimal Setups Fit on Smaller Desks

Minimalism is all about having fewer “things”. Turns out, having fewer things means you don’t use up as much space…who would’ve thought!?

If you are confined to a small desk for any reason, a minimal desk setup is still possible. It actually might be the absolute best way to set up those compact desks.

If you have a small desk, check out our articles on small desk organization and how to fit multiple monitors on small desks.

Minimal Gaming Setups Just Look Better

This is pretty subjective, but I think minimal gaming setups just look better than cluttered desk setups. If you landed on this article, you probably think so too.

Minimizing what’s on your desk can give you a huge boost in your gaming setup.

How To Hide Your Computer Tower

Going Minimal Typically is More Cost Effective

If you are on a tight budget, minimal gaming setups require the minimum capital! Only the essentials are needed here.

Big speakers, random figurines, various unused controllers on your desk, etc are all non-minimal which means you don’t have to spend the money to buy them in the first place.

These types of gaming setups are very wallet-friendly. (Besides gaming PCs, those can dig a hole in your wallet).

Now that we know why it is worth making your gaming setup minimal, let’s jump into the guide.

First, Optimize Desk Placement

When it comes to desk placement, I recommend gamers follow the same advice for all computer desk folk. Try an avoid placing your desk across from windows, and try to not have your back against the door.

That last one is just a pet peeve of mine. If I’m gaming with my headphones on, I hate being surprised when someone comes into a room.

The first one is critical if you use your desk during the day. Placing your desk and computer screen across from windows results in a super glare-y experience. This sucks for daytime gaming too.

I currently have no choice because I have my desk in my living room, and the glare is extremely annoying for a few hours in the daytime.

The Essentials For Gaming Setups

Going minimal means you stick to the essentials and avoid the unnecessary. We have to remind ourselves what is needed in a functional gaming setup. Nothing more is needed on that desk.

Here is the bare minimum for a minimal gaming desk setup. Remember, these are just the things on top of our desk.

  • Gaming monitor
  • Mechanical keyboard
  • Gaming mouse
  • Large desk mat or mousepad

99% of gamers will have the above items at their desk. Don’t think you have to stop at these four items to be minimal.

Most people can add a few items and still get away with a super clean and minimal gaming desk setup. Here are some extras that are not essential but can still result in a minimalistic gaming setup.

  • A small set of speakers
  • Laptop on a laptop stand
  • Simple plant(s)
  • Gaming headset stand
battlestation ikea alex desk setup with desk shelf

You get the gist. Easily add simple items to a barebones gaming setup without compromising the minimalistic look.

Just be sure not to place anything that is overly larger or overly distracting. Those can suck the minimal look away from your setup.

Gaming Desk Setup Accessories

We have a whole article on some cool & functional gaming accessories here.

Some people like aesthetic accessories, and others like functional accessories. I have a little bit of both. The article above specifically talks about useful accessories for gamers.

My favorites include:

  • Stream deck for shortcuts
  • XL Gaming Desk Mats
  • Headphone stands
  • Desk shelf

The key to remember here is that if you add a ton of accessories, your gaming setup will no longer be very minimal. Be very selective with your gaming accessories to keep the visual impact pretty low.

Mastering Lighting In a Gaming Setup

Lighting is one of the most important parts of any gaming setup. Most gamers I know actually game more at night than during the day. That means our desk setup lighting is running the show.

We have a dedicated article on how to set up LED lighting at any desk. A well-lit desk setup will result in less eye strain and even level up the aesthetics of your gaming desk.

Consider Monitor Light Bars

My favorite main light source for a minimal desk is a monitor light bar. If you haven’t heard of these, we have a dedicated article on the purpose of monitor light bars.

screenbar halo light bar low shot

Basically, these lights sit on top of your monitor and block the light from hitting your monitor. The result is a desk lamp that produces zero screen glare.

It also takes up zero desk space because it sits on your monitor. The result is a very well-lit desk space with a super minimal footprint. I’ve used a bunch of light bars in the past and put reviews of the best light bars here.

I am currently using the BenQ Screenbar Halo (Screenbar Halo Review). It is the flagship lightbar on the market right now and does a ton of things other light bars can’t.

The BenQ Halo Screenbar has the largest light spread and even includes a rear bias light! This can help with eye strain dramatically.

In our article: Do Light Bars Actually Reduce Eye Strain, we talk about how the Halo is pretty much the only one with the real capability. This is due to the integrated bias light “Halo”.

screenbar halo rear light 12

Add Bias Lighting To Your Gaming Setup!

Bias lighting is the key to spending long hours at your desk when the sun goes down. Staring at a bright monitor with no other light source is horrible for your eyes.

Bias lighting is basically a light source behind your monitor that illuminates the wall behind your desk. This usually spreads light all over the wall, thus giving your eyes a more evenly lit environment.

screenbar halo lighting mode 2
No bias lighting, bad for eyes.
screenbar halo light bar govee bias
With bias lighting, easier on the eyes.

In the image on the right with bias lighting, I use two Govee Light Bars. Here’s what they look like behind my monitor. You can see I also have an LED strip behind my desk.

Govee Light Bar Placement
Govee Smart LED Light Bars
  • 16 Million Colors
  • Included brackets make setup easy
  • Smooth and even lighting
  • Feature packed mobile app
  • Works with smart assistants
  • Has a Stream Deck Plugin!
  • 8ft max distance between bars
  • RGB is not as bright as white settings
  • Occasional wireless control issues
Check Price on Amazon

If you want to use a simple LED strip, I recommend spacing your desk an inch or two from the wall. This way the light diffuses and looks more continuous. Most gamers I’ve seen have an RGB LED strip somewhere!

The key to making your lighting look minimal is to ensure it is as low key as possible. You don’t want to see anything distracting with your LEDs for the sake of the minimal gaming look.

Hide The Ugly Stuff

All of us everyday folk already have a ton of electronics. Gamers probably have a bit more.

There are special mechanical keyboard cables, some gamers use only wired peripherals for minimum latency, you have controllers charging, a fully hooked up gaming PC… the list goes on.

You might also have more “stuff” in general. Whether that’s multiple gaming consoles with different controllers, or multiple keyboards and wireless gaming mice for your PC.

For the sake of minimalism, we need to hide all the ugly stuff. Let’s dive into the ugly stuff for a second.

Cable Manage

No minimal gaming desk setup will look minimal if all those cables are visible. Cable management is key to any minimal desk.

I have dedicated articles on how to hide monitor cables and how to hide all cables on your desk in general. These guides generally tell you do do the following:

  1. Mount your power strip under your desk.
  2. Group cables that travel together
  3. Conceal groups of cables with split cable sheathing (link below)
  4. Tie down excess cable to cable managment rack.
Split Cable Management Sleeving

This black wire loom is split and easy to load wires. They come in a large range of diameters and lengths depending on how many cables you need to manage. It groups your individual cables and wraps them in this aesthetically pleasing mesh wrap.

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Follow these cable management tips and hide those groups of cables along your monitor stand and desk. Soon enough, you’ll have a cable-less gaming desk setup that will look super clean and minimalistic.

Organize Your Gear

If you have a ton of gaming related gear, minimalism doesnt mean you have to get rid of them. You can just get organized instead. Not everything has to live on your desk.

Get a minimal set of drawers or a some kind of storage system and get organized with your gear! In our guide on how to best organize drawers, we talk about how you can make your life way easier and efficient with a thoughtful approach to organization.

I currently have a IKEA Alex desk setup as my gaming desk, and the dual ALEX drawers make it easy to not have much on my desk.

Minimalist Gaming Setup Inspo

Now for the fun part. Some solid battlestation examples for your minimal gaming setup inspiration! Check out the following desk setups from users on Reddit.

I love looking at r/battlestations and r/workspaces for fresh desk setup inspiration. There are a lot of minimal gaming setup fans out there as part of these communities. Here are a couple minimal gaming setup examples:

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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