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GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy - our approach to testing and recommending products

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(Image credit: Future)

We at GamesRadar aim to deliver personal, jargon-free, buying advice for the most desirable gaming tech and hardware with a relentless focus on value - and won't recommend anything we wouldn't use ourselves. We won't, and don't, tow the PR line or recommend tech just because it is new or expensive.

We are a multiformat games website with experts in everything from console hard drives to board games, and PC components to gaming headsets. Whether you're looking for the best-value Nintendo Switch bundles, the most-responsive racing wheels, or a great deal on a set of spare controllers, then we’ve got you covered.

At its core, our ethos is to provide honest and helpful recommendations, based on our own personal experience living with the items we test. This helps us get straight to the best products for your setup and needs. We will only recommend gaming hardware that we would use ourselves. Relentlessly focused on delivering value for money and constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest in gaming hardware, we curate buying guides that not only surface the products that are actually worth your time but also bring you the best prices on the web. You'll see the latest prices pop up in different ways across all our guides, reviews, and hardware news and deals articles; they might look slightly different, but you can have confidence in the fact that they are working purely to serve you with the latest, lowest prices on tech.

We know high-end hardware is expensive, and wouldn’t recommend anything we haven’t extensively tested - or wouldn’t buy - ourselves. We use expert writers and freelancers - from trusted brands including TechRadar, PCGamer, Trusted Reviews, and many more - to tell you exactly what you want to know about a product and strive to answer every question you have. 

At its core, our ethos is to provide honest and helpful recommendations, based on our own personal experience living with the items we test. 

Razer Kaira X for PlayStation

(Image credit: Future)

GamesRadar+’s Hardware Coverage Is…

  • Guided by Personal Experience: We only recommend hardware we’ve tested and would use ourselves for our own enjoyment.
  • Straight-talking and jargon-free: No one is born knowing how to install an SSD drive, precisely what HDR is, or what upcoming RAM speeds mean - we cut through the noise and lay it out simply and clearly. If Grandma wants to buy the latest graphics card, we can help her.
  • Relentlessly focused on value: Our automated deal and price-finding tech digs out all the best discounts on the web and our deal-hunters are always nosing out a bargain to save you cash on your next piece of kit.

GamesRadar+’s Hardware Coverage Is NOT…

  • Cherrypicking the most expensive tech: The best products are not always the most expensive or flashiest, and we know that budgets can't be stretched. That’s why the top-recommended product in our buying guides will always be what we consider to be the best for the majority of consumers.
  • Fed purely by manufacturers and PRs: We know the latest and biggest releases from the big names, but we also scour the web and the world for those off the beaten track ensuring that we select the items we test and present to you. 
  • A 'one and done' approach: We keep lots of products for a long time, and our guides are filled with new and not-so-new products to give a wide view of what's available - and how our top picks hold up over time. The newest items aren't always the best, and we keep using products to ensure that our guides reflect the items available.

Our recommendations

As well as describing products and analysing them fully in reviews, you'll also see badges appear on the most highly rated products and bits of tech we see. These badges come in two forms: Editor's Choice, and Highly Recommended. You can see how they look below, as well as a brief description of them

Review badges

(Image credit: Future)

There is no higher praise than a five-star score and an Editor's Choice. The top score and exclusive badge is reserved for those products that are superior to almost all others in their area, and offer something that is truly experience enhancing or transformative. 

But this doesn't mean absolute perfection. In the same way that there may never be a genuinely perfect game, there is also never a perfect product, but a five-star score means it is of the highest quality and one of the finest bits of tech in its field. 

Review badges

(Image credit: Future)

The Highly Recommended badge is applied to all products that receive a very high score. This badge identifies the products that, while there might be a few caveats, we'd have no hesitation in recommending to our readers, or our friends and family. After the supreme, top-tier products, all that receive a Highly Recommended badge are some of the cream of the crop in their areas, and will boost your gaming and home tech experience brilliantly.

How does GamesRadar+ test hardware?

No single item that crosses our desk is ever guaranteed to make it into our buying guides or come out with a glowing review, and we put all tech through a slew of testing methods to ensure we know the product inside out and can give a fair and detailed judgement on it. To extend this,  our core and contributing team personally see, handle, test, and live with a vast, vast majority of all the gear in every single one of our buying guides and lists. 

You can read how we test some particular products through the links below, and we'll be adding to this as we develop. These processes mean you see exactly how we work to give you some of the clearest, most helpful, and most revealing data and insights when you're looking for the best products to accentuate your gaming setup. 

As we expand our coverage we will continue to keep this article updated with details on how we cover everything from new and exciting areas of gaming and lifestyle tech, to those more niche hobbies that are waiting to be discovered.

I'm the Commissioning Editor for Hardware at GamesRadar+ and have been here since late 2018. I'm also a writer on games and have had work published over the last five years or so at the likes of Eurogamer, RPS, PCGN, and more. Day to day, I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer, so I do that in my spare time. I'm also an expert on the virtual landscapes and environments of games and love to write about them too, including in an upcoming book on the topic!

With contributions from