The best gaming desk can quite literally change the way you game. At its simplest, a suitable gaming desk should give you plenty of space for your keyboard, mouse, and monitor—all in a sturdy and ergonomic frame. You also have the option of standing desks now, with motorized options to jump between sitting and standing modes in a moment. Pair your dream desk with a sturdy gaming chair (opens in new tab), and your friends will marvel at your ergonomic superiority. Alternatively, match it with a treadmill and watch the weight melt away while you WoW.
Choosing a desk to suit you isn't always an easy task. Right now we reckon the best gaming desk is the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL (opens in new tab), for its overflowing feature set compared to the dozens we've tested. If that doesn't look like it's right for you, lets narrow it by your needs: are you looking to sit, stand, or both? There are benefits to spending some time on your feet (opens in new tab), so an electric standing desk, or a desk converter, might be a better fit for you.
Also, ask yourself how much real estate you need for your gaming monitors (opens in new tab). Should you take our recommendation to pop your PC on it, away from the dusty floor, you have to know if there's then going to be enough space to move your gaming mouse (opens in new tab) beside one of the best gaming keyboards (opens in new tab).
Gaming desks with cut-outs to run cables through are super handy, and there are plenty on this list with other quality-of-life features, though you'll likely pay a slight premium for the convenience. Still, it's better than going cheap and having to replace your entire desk every eight months. Some retailers offer extended warranties, too—a good investment, especially for electric desks.
The best gaming desk
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Surprisingly innovative. That's how I'll sum up the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL. I've never been one to look for much in a gaming desk—I ask only for a flat plane on which to sit my monitors, keyboard, and mouse—yet the Magnus Pro XL has so thoroughly impressed me that I'm starting to reconsider my whole opinion of what a desk should be.
I'm now firmly in the camp that a desk should be absolutely massive. The Magnus Pro XL is the largest desk I've ever used personally, having only recently found the space for such a behemoth, coming in at 177cm x 80cm. This is also the heaviest desk I've ever had to move solo by far, at 32.9kg for the desk alone. The mostly metal frame of the Magnus Pro XL, explains some of that, though it's the two included motors, one integrated into each of the legs, which add a whole lot of mass to the equation.
But that's what makes this the Magnus Pro XL: the desk's adjustable sit/stand functionality. The standard Magnus doesn't offer this. The Magnus Pro XL is capable of lifting 120kg in gross weight (87.1kg if you subtract the weight of the metal desk itself) up to a height of 125cm. It sits only 65cm off the ground at its lowest.
Another thing I've come to re-evaluate since the Magnus XL is how a desk should handle cable management. The foremost impressive thing about the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL is how sharp and clean-cut it makes your PC setup look. That's not through a lack of cables on my part, of which I have arguably too many, but for the Magnus Pro XL's clever magnetic cable management accessories and discrete cable tray. These hide my gluttony of USB, audio, and power cables out of sight.
My favourite of which is the compact cable tidy: a small block of metal with a couple of strong magnets within that securely fixes my cables in place.
Though it must be noted that these magnetic cable ties are not included within the cost of the desk itself, and instead can be purchased for $25 for a set of three or for $49 as a set of three alongside two cable management sheaths and a stack of fastening straps.
This is the thing: the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL requires some added expense to make it as sleek an experience as it should be.
The one accessory I really do think is worth investing in is the dual monitor arm. It's a single unit that clamps firmly onto the desk, between the hinged cover and the desk itself, and it offers sprawling reach for both the 28-inch and 32-inch monitors I've got in right now.
Ultimately I have to ask myself would I be happy with this desk if I'd paid that sort of sum for it? And, yes, I would. Though it is a definite luxury to be able to allocate that much of your budget to a component in no way connected to the performance of your gaming PC. The main reason I feel it worth doing is more because I feel I fit into a group of people most likely to benefit from an investment in a high quality sit/stand desk alongside an ergonomic gaming chair: those that work primarily from home.
I really am impressed with what the Magnus Pro XL offers, as it's much more than anything I had expected from a desk previously.
Read our full Secretlab Magnus Pro XL review (opens in new tab).
The Flexispot EN1B (opens in new tab) may not have the catchiest name here, but it makes for an impressively sturdy, motorized adjustable desk for anyone looking to upgrade their home/gaming/office setup. And it will do it all at a reasonable price.
The Flexispot supports heights from 71cm (27.8in) up to 121cm (47.6in), which should have you covered for all comfortable sitting and standing setups. The control panel can hold three different height profiles in its memory banks and moves smoothly between them. Or you can set your height manually, with the current level shown on the three-digit display.
Of course, the main thing you want from any desk is stability. If everything is bouncing along as you type, it doesn't matter if you're sitting or standing; you're going to want to break it up. The good news is that the Flexipost is rock solid—even though I have an old screen with a flimsy stand, it doesn't move even with my most aggressive emails. When you raise and lower the desk, the smooth action instills confidence too, and it's just as sturdy at its highest position.
Construction is a straightforward task, taking just over an hour to turn the two boxes into a working, versatile desk. A few more pre-drilled holes for the control box and the central beam would have been nice, but the surface is easy enough to screw into with a bit of elbow grease.
The only downside to the whole desk is that there are no sensors to stop the motor if it hits an obstacle when it's going down, which could be expensive if your chair gets caught under it—or upsetting if it's your cat. Overall, an impressive desk for sitting and standing, for really not much cash.
It's important to note that this exact model isn't available right now, though Flexispot has a few options in the budget category to whet your appetite. We're looking to get one in for testing, asap.
First, this thing is excruciatingly heavy; I had to get help rolling the two separate boxes into the living room for unpacking. Once there, however, it took me around two hours to get it all together. After one minor cockup, a dash of assistance, and a pinch of spice, we finally got there. Now in my living room stands this beautifully rounded monstrosity, with enough desktop real estate to take on the state of Alaska.
The manual's adorable illustrations made the process streamlined, but I will say the machining quality was a little off, with some misaligned holes and parts not sitting as flush as I would've expected. The legs are sturdy, but consider the surface you're going to place the thing on carefully.
It recommends rug or carpet placement, as opposed to a hard surface floor. It has settled nicely into my thick carpet after some anxiety over precarious wobbles, but there's still a fair amount of travel when I push up to get out of my chair.
The built-in mesh hammock for cable management, however, is fantastic. And I'm no longer vexed by constantly falling off the edge of my mouse mat because the desktop's whole surface is a mouse mat. I was mesmerized by the hydrophobic surface and had to resist deliberately spilling drinks to watch the liquid ball up. The only problem was when I used a strong cleaning fluid one time, I managed to destroy the coating, so it's no longer hydrophobic. Learn from my mistake, people.
Either way, I've loved having so much desktop space all this time. So, while the engineers in my family would have been a little distressed by the setup, I am pretty enamoured with the final beast. I can fit my gaming tower up top comfortably, alongside my two monitors and the Steam Deck without it getting in the way. And there's still loads of space for coffee cups, open notebooks, shelves, speakers, mic, and even a lamp. I'd say that's a win.
The Lian Li DK-04F is the ultimate gaming desk, simply because it will essentially also be your PC and its security device too. It's going to be incredibly hard for any would-be thief to make off with your rig should it be housed inside this weighty beast. With a 1 meter width, this behemoth is the smaller sibling, too; Lian Li also makes the DK-05F, in which you can fit two discrete gaming PCs.
The desk itself is not that easy to build, however. The individual legs are super heavy, and the metal 'chassis' isn't much better. You'll need a hand making it, or maybe an engine winch.
It's classic Lian Li, too, by which I mean my fingers were striped with bloody slices once the chassis-on-legs were built. There were also some misaligned screw holes on my review sample, though that has not impacted its impressive solidity. In the end, even with a couple of monitors mounted directly on the desktop, it's a robust desktop, even at its full height.
Then there's that tempered glass top. It's frosted, which makes the included RGB strips look great when your system's fully built, but at a single button press, it can be made crystal clear so you can gaze adoringly down into your PC's insides. It's completely unnecessary, and I love it. However, it's a blessing and a curse because even the best gaming mouse (opens in new tab) will need a good mouse mat with that glass surface beneath it.
But, at $1,500, it's incredibly expensive, and with just a one-year warranty, that feels a little stingy too. And that's also without any of the components needed actually to build a PC into it. All told, that's a hell of a lot for a gaming desk and a lot for a PC chassis. But it is a lovely, lovely thing for the serious enthusiast.
Read our full experience with the Lian Li DK-04 (opens in new tab).
When working from home a standing desk is a seriously useful piece of kit. Not only can you use it to help give your day some variety with the sitting and then the aforementioned standing, but they also provide options in other ways. Changing the height can make it easier to fit storage like draws, or even perhaps your weirdly huge tower PC, underneath your desk. I've been sold on the standing desk life for a while now, and a carbon negative one like what the Fnatic x ChopValue (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab) Collaboration is definitely worth giving a look to.
Most of the deal with the Fnatic x ChopValue Revive Pro desk is that it's made out of recycled chopsticks. It's an eco-friendly sorta desk, you know? I love that you can see that in its finish. All the splinted different colours of wood come together to make a nice sort of butcherblock styled top but with a lot more interest.
When purchasing the desk you can choose what logos you want to have emblazoned on your chop top. It comes with ChopValue and Fnatic logos embedded into the wood, as well as a count of how many chopsticks were used at the far left of the desk. At the front to the right is a special spot, just for you to make your own mark. Mine is fittingly branded with the PC Gamer logo, and it looks far cooler than I expected.
In use, the tougher feeling desktop adds a nice boost of confidence, so I don't worry about moving things around so much. I've tried to scratch it to no avail, which is definitely nicer than accidentally causing damage. The desk controls for raising and lowering the table top is almost identical to most standing desk models and allows for your up down, and programmable levels of customisation. This is all a fairly standard affair from what I've seen and works as expected.
Though I'm going to say that one of the other standing desks I have plenty of experience with, the Vari Electric Standing Desk (opens in new tab), beats out the Fnatic x ChopValue Revive desk when it comes to price. The Pro ChopValue desk model I'm reviewing has a desktop that measures 65cm x 117.5cm for $1,075 USD. That's a little bit smaller than the similar Vari model which is sub-$1,000. That's not a huge price difference, but it's still noticeable. And for those of us in Australia that price difference gets much higher with the Vari about half the price of a ChopValue option.
The Vari was also a bit easier to put together than the Fnatic x ChopValue Revive standing desks as it came mostly prebuilt with just the legs and table top separate. The Fnatic took a bit longer to piece together, but its parts were easier to wield thanks to being in smaller chunks. The top of the Revive was also packed ultra securely with many layers to buffer against damage. I dented the Vari desktop moving a monitor on its veneer, but haven't had that issue yet with the Revive. This is important given half of what you're paying for in these desks is their lovely customisable desktop.
But the hardest part of this desk, aside from its sturdy top and metal legs, has to be the price. With most of us out here just trying to survive capitalism, this desk isn't the best bang for buck for all consumers. But if you've got the cash there's a great initiative here behind this very good desk, plus a few noticeable quality boosts in there too. It just depends on how much more you're paying for those improvements in your region as to whether or not it's worth sticking to the chop.
Read our full Fnatic X Chopvalue Revive Pro review (opens in new tab).
The Autonomous site says the SmartDesk Core (opens in new tab) was "Bought by 2,100+ Microsoft employees". That's almost 10% of the company, if my calculations are correct. And whether there's an entire floor at Microsoft headquarters rocking these babies, or a large chunk of the hivemind decided to go for the same desk for their home offices, I figured there's got to be something in it.
The a medium size version retails at $499, though the wood look will set you back a little more with the white oak and walnut worktop options coming in at $549. Though even the wood look at 53 x 29 inches its big for the price, and the images on the site really don't do it justice. There's a great deal of real-estate here, more than enough for a couple of gaming monitors and my mid-tower PC.
There are a good few options to mix and match the worktop and desk frame, though the UK options are a little more limited.
It took me an hour to put together by myself, and the instructions weren't worded all that well—asking me to simply get it in the "proper position"—and the illustrations didn't help at all, so I had to really pause to think about which holes went where. The alignment wasn't as accurate as I would have liked either, but despite some of the screws having gone in at a slight angle it's now finally together and stands mightily in my spare room.
Thing is sturdy, and can take the weight of a big ass PC, as well as a full grown adult (don't get any ideas).
I can't fault it for material quality, either. The vinyl that covers the warp-proof MDF is thick and not easily picked off, and the frame is sturdy even on thick carpet. And although the cable management is limited to some easy release cable ties, there are some shiny covered holes for routing cables through the desktop on either side.
The Walnut top is polished to perfection, the corners have a gorgeous curve to them, and the edge is rounded just enough that it doesn't feel sharp to rest your wrists on.
Overall the SmartDesk Core is a super sleek and stylish desk that's pushed the luxury $1,450 BDI Stance off the top as the best luxury desk thanks to it's incredible price point. For a desk that's less than half the price for a much larger model, even with the fancy walnut wood top, I'm willing to overlook some holes in the featureset.
And yet, the SmartDesk Core manages to match the Stance at every level, only without the premium price tag. Sure, there's no collision detection on the medium model like the cheaper Flexispot EN1B has, but I'd certainly pay the asking price for a gorgeous premium standing desk.
Read our full SmartDesk Core review (opens in new tab).
You may not want to replace your office furniture completely—or even be able to if it's not yours—which makes a converter, such as VariDesk's Pro Plus range, a great option. The Pro Plus is available in different sizes, can sit atop most desktops, and immediately allows you to switch from sitting to standing.
It's also one of the simplest ways to get yourself a standing desk; it requires no setup and doesn't impact the desktop you place it on. The VariDesk Pro Plus comes ready to roll straight out of the box. All you need to do is put it on top of your current desk, and you're good to go. You'll need some strength to get it there as this thing is not light.
Though, once it's set up, that's not an issue and means it's an impressively sturdy solution at each of its 11-height settings. We've been able to run a pair of monitors on the top section with the extended lower section ideal for a mouse and keyboard. Okay, it's not ideal for a mouse because the surface does not play nice with most sensors. We had to jury rig our shaped mouse mat to get a decent experience, but the two-tier stepping still makes for an excellent desktop.
The VariDesk isn't motorized, but it uses a spring-loaded mechanism with twin handles to make it easy to move from sitting to standing quickly. The action is smooth and doesn't require tremendous force to shift, even when multiple monitors and peripherals sit on top of it.
Best gaming desk FAQ
What is the best size for a gaming desk?
There are multiple sizes of gaming desk, mostly going up to around 60 x 30 inches, with 40 x 30 inches another popular size. Which you prefer will largely depend on how much space you have available and how many monitors you are looking to stand atop it.
Is a gaming desk worth it?
That depends on what you class as a 'gaming desk.' Indeed, it's worth having a dedicated desk upon which to have your monitor and keyboard and mouse, from an ergonomic point of view at the very least. Balancing your kit on top of a chest of drawers where you can't get your feet under is terrible for your posture and sitting at a dining room table isn't going to help either.
But specific gaming desks can be helpful in that they may have cable routing for your peripherals and power leads and may even have an entire mouse mat surface across it. RGB on a gaming desk? Now, that's probably not worth it.
Do I need a sitting/standing desk?
There has been a lot of talk recently about how our increasingly sedentary lifestyle can harm our health. And if you sit down for much of your working day and then sit down to enjoy your favorite games for hours on end in the evening, then chances are that you're not going to be moving around that much, which is bad.
But that doesn't necessarily mean you need a standing desk because purely standing all day and night isn't good for you either. Movement is the key thing, so even if you have a sitting desk, you can remain healthy by regularly shifting position and getting up out of your seat often.
A desk that can transition between both is ideal, as that will offer the benefits of both and encourage you to move between sitting and standing throughout the day. And they don't have to be ridiculously expensive either.