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How to Start Cozy PC Gaming on a Budget

If you love playing cozy video games, there's plenty of reasons to consider getting a personal computer. Typically, games come out sooner on PC than for consoles like the Playstation and Nintendo Switch. And tons of indie cozy games release on Steam and never end up on the Nintendo Switch store. Games on Steam are typically less expensive than on consoles, and during their seasonal sales, you can get full price games for as little as $2.

I think PC influencers on Instagram and Tiktok make it seem unreasonably expensive to start gaming on a computer. Can you spend $5000 on a computer and $1800 on a monitor? Absolutely. You can also spend $400 and get a handheld Steam Deck that will play all the cozy games you find on Steam. I'm going to break down the 3 main ways to start playing PC games and some pros and cons for each!

  • Get a PC tower and a monitor. This is probably the most common way you've seen PC setups online. It's also the most expensive because you'll need a computer tower, a monitor, and depending on what kind of monitor you buy, speakers as well. The main pro to buying a full PC setup is performance. A lot of streamers with expensive PC setups are playing online games like Valorant, Apex Legends, World of Warcraft, and other online games where the frame rate matters a lot. This option also gives you the biggest screen to play on, if that's important to you. The way I made my PC setup affordable was through Best Buy's financing option. I was able buy my PC setup for $0 that day and pay $120 a month for a year to pay it off. But if you are not going to play any online games and just want to play cute, relaxing, cozy games, there are definitely cheaper options.

My PC setup!

Here's everything I have for my desktop setup! I am linking everything through Amazon because that's who I have affiliate marketing through, but just a reminder that you can finance through Best Buy or with an Amazon Visa! I appreciate your support for my content creation!

  • Buy a gaming laptop. If you're already thinking, "Well I already have a laptop," just hold that thought. Unfortunately, a Macbook or a standard laptop you used for writing papers in college isn't going to run most games because the core processor is different. If you do a quick search for gaming laptops, you'll find some that are still thousands and thousands of dollars, and that's because performance gaming laptops have the same processors that are in PC towers. There are a lot of pros to a gaming laptop - they're portable, they will run online games at a performance level, and they're basically the PC tower, monitor, and speakers all packed into one. The Acer Nitro gaming laptop that we have for traveling has the same core processor as my PC tower, and is about the same price. But you skip the cost of buying a monitor and speaker system. The downsides to a laptop is mostly that they can overheat, and have less storage than a computer tower.

  • Buy a handheld computer console. If you just want to start PC gaming to play cozy games, this where I would start. Companies are starting to come out with handheld computer consoles. It basically works like a Nintendo Switch, but you have access to the Steam store and library, where new cozy indie games come out much more often and for cheaper than on the Switch. The pros to a handheld computer include that it's the most affordable option and most portable. There is a Logitech Handheld on sale right now for $300, and a Steam Deck is normally $400 full price. The con is mostly game performance for certain games, but you're not really going to run into that problem with cozy games. You're also limited to a smaller screen, but if you enjoy using a Nintendo Switch, this will be right up your alley.

Whether you are looking for a performance-level PC setup or an affordable handheld for cozy gaming, there's an option that fits your needs! You can start PC gaming for as little as $300 with the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Console, or finance a computer like I did if you know that gaming is a major part of your life. There are new games coming out every week on Steam that will never make it to the Nintendo Switch. Here are a few of my favorite cozy Steam games! If you end up getting a PC setup, let me know how it goes in the comments!

  • Strange Horticulture - a plant shop management/mystery game

  • The Little Witch in the Woods - a potion crafting/story-based game

  • Fabledom - A village building and management game

  • Coffee Talk - A barista and story-based game

  • Lakeburg Legacies - A village management and matchmaking game

  • The Sims 4 - Get the Cottagecore pack and Horse Ranch pack for a cottage/farming experience!

  • Dinkum - Similar to Animal Crossing but set in Australia

  • Kynseed - A farming sim similar to Stardew Valley

  • Coral Island - A farming sim set on a tropical island

  • The Wandering Village - A crafting and village building game

The Wandering Village, available on Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC

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