When you’re planning your gaming setup, everything needs to be considered. Furniture, peripherals, and your PC (or console) lay down the foundation of your battlestation, but there is another essential element that needs to be considered. An element that can make or break the outcome of all the hard work and money you sunk into it, aesthetic wise.
That element is Color Scheme. While lot’s people tend to prioritize the functionality of their setup, many would agree that the aesthetic component is important as well if you want to ensure that the look and general atmosphere fits your ideals. We will use the concept of Color Theory to assist you on this endeavor.
What is Color Theory?
Color Theory is a broad term that encompasses the way that combinations of colors are structured, and the optical impact it has on humans. Colors are subjective, and color theory helps to define the near infinite ways that they can be mixed and matched to form aesthetically pleasing visuals. There are branches of color theory such as warm vs. cool, complementary, monochromatic and so on. While this isn’t meant to be a crash course on every little aspect, there are certainly a few key concepts that can be applied to your gaming setup which will be discussed below.
For the purposes of picking a color scheme for your setup, a commonly used and age-old supplement in deciding which colors harmonize with one another is the Color Wheel. You will find that this is the most practical approach in determining an appropriate color scheme for your Battlestation.
A Note on Accent Colors and Base Colors
A quick note before we dive into the specifics of choosing your color(s). Normally, Battlestations have lots of black or white involved as the ‘base’ color of the setup, with accent colors that can be used almost anywhere. These accent colors are usually what I’m referring to in the discussion below, which can be used in RGB lighting, accessories, art, trinkets and so on. You won’t see many people with bright blue desks in their gaming setup, or monitors with green plastic instead of the typical black or white plastic for example. Desks, Monitors, Keyboards and Mice will typically be either black or white.
It should be kept in mind that your accent colors can be as pervasive or subtle as you’d like, but almost every setup will usually need monochrome black and/or white colors as a starting point to look good. Personally, white is a favorite color of mine to supplement with accent colors, but any black/white base will look great. Of course, nobody is stopping you from using a combination of black, white and grey as a base in addition to accent colors as well!
The Color Wheel, and how to Apply it to Your Battlestation
The Color Wheel is a relatively simple concept. The idea is that given a spectrum of color mapped onto a circle, it is able to display the relationship of two or more colors which should be aesthetically pleasing when used together. In the image above, you can see that the red and neon blue colors are opposite to one another. This combination of colors (emphasized on the right side of the image) is utilizing the concept of complementary colors. This color scheme can form the basis for aesthetically pleasing accent colors in an otherwise bland gaming setup.
You can see in /u/Spicymochi’s setup above, they elected for a predominantly white and black setup as their base colors, utilizing neon red and green as accent colors. If you scroll up and take a quick glance at the color wheel, you can see that bright red and green are very close to being opposite to one another. Whether this individual intended to or not, he directly utilized color theory in his setup which certainly helped to aid in the nice visuals. I only wish that I could un-see their blue wrist support pad.
Monochromatic means ‘One Color’, or many shades of one color. As you can see in the color wheel above, the emphasized orange color has been split into various shades of itself. Any of which can be used together in accenting a Battlestation. This concept can work especially well for those who would prefer to use a favorite color of theirs to accent their setup.
You can see that the above setup is based around the color purple, which is accented nearly everywhere. The keyboard with reddish-purple, the purple ram sticks in his PC, his background image, and of course the RGB helping to illuminate the entire setup in purple from the back. While not every single color is the exact same shade of purple, the entire setup still looks very good since according to color theory, different shades of the same color work well together.
Warm and Cool Colors
Warm and Cool colors are divided as indicated above. While this might be a less traditional way of choosing colors for your setup, there is a psychology behind it that might be of interest to you.
Warm Colors, as shown on the right hand side of the color wheel, consist of oranges, reds, yellows and combinations of such colors. From a psychological standpoint, they tend to invoke feelings of heat, warmth, and coziness in a room. From what I’ve seen on /r/battlestations, this tends to be a more popular set of colors than those on the ‘cool’ side. The image for a purple battlestation used in the Monochromatic section of this post is an example of what a warm setup looks like.
Cool Colors on the left hand side of the color wheel above, consist of blues and greens and combinations of them. These tend to feel opposite to that of warm colors, meaning a slightly isoloating, less comforting color. That’s not to say that using light blue as your accent color will make you feel cold and isolated while you’re indulging in gaming or other activities, but the science trends towards making you feel that way to some degree, even if it’s hardly noticeable.
You can see in /u/Henriqueok20’s setup above that they elected for a ‘Cool’ color scheme, with the blue RGB back light behind their desk. While they could have used ‘Cooler’ background images for their PC while not in use, it’s likely they won’t be visible either way when they are actually using their Battlestation.
Do I need Accent Colors?
Not all Battlestations need to have accent colors to look great. It is common for people to solely utilize base colors in their setup if they’re not a fan of using RGB.
You can see above that /u/Sincronyze elects to avoid all RBG and instead goes for a simple white and black style setup. The desk appears to be made of wood. While it technically does have a brown-ish color, it is a subtle enough color where I consider it to be more of a base color than an accent.
Resources for picking your Own Accent Colors
While doing research for this article, I came across a couple useful tools that can be used in picking a color scheme for your own setup.
Canva.com has an excellent tool utilizing the color wheel which you can find Here. It includes information about color theory, all sort of color combinations, and the tool allows you to pick whichever color you’d like for which it will provide recommendations for complements across the different types of combinations discussed above and more. You might notice that the color wheel images I used in this post came from Canva.
There are an infinite number of color combinations you can use in your gaming setup to make it look the best it can possibly be. Color theory is a very powerful concept which can be applied to anything creative, including Battlestations. There is no clear-cut answer in helping you with your color scheme selection, since it is inherently a subjective topic. But that’s the magic of your Battlestation, it’s Your Battlestation. You can do whatever you like with it! As long as you enjoy the colors you wind up with, that’s all that matters.
Color theory is no more than a tool you can use to help you identify colors that harmonize well together. I hope that the information in this blog post has given you the guidance you need to help make this important, often expensive decision on how you want your Battlestation to appear.
If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to email me at YourBattlestationBlog@gmail.com.