How To: Setting Up Your Vehicle for Gaming

How To's

Going on a long road trip and want to add some quality entertainment for your passengers or kids? Or, do you just want a great setup in your vehicle to entertain regardless of the distance? Setting up your vehicle to play video games is easier today than it ever has been. And with the growing quality of video games, you'll want to match it with a quality video and gaming entertainment center in your vehicle.

Gaming in the car with Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo and more

Bringing a real gaming system into the car and hooking it up to play your games was a challenging thing to do just a decade ago. But today there's a variety of options and tech to get your vehicle setup to play games with relative ease.

If you want to bring your gaming console to play in your car, you have (generally) two options:

  1. Vehicle Without a Video Input – Some cars come stock with video inputs built in, some don't. For those who don't you'll need to set your vehicle up to watch video. Once your vehicle has the equipment to watch movies and connect to a game console, you'll need to get power to your gaming console. If your car has a plug built-in, then you're set. If not, there's a number of options for power inverters in order to bring 12v power to your car to hook your console up to. Some require wiring and some simply plug into your cigarette lighter.
  2. Vehicle With a Video Input – Well, if your vehicle already has the capability to watch video, odds are it has an input to connect your game console. It just a matter of finding out whether or not it does. To find out, check your vehicle's owner manual in the multimedia section to find out if and where the video inputs are. If it doesn't have an input, you'll need to find out what adapters you need in order to make it compatible with a video input.But even if your vehicle has a video input from the factory, you'll need power for your game console. If it doesn't come with a built-in power inverter, you'll need to find one.

So, say you have video and power for your game console. What do you do about internet? No one likes to be limited to campaign mode. And many games require internet for certain features, so having internet in your car is paramount to a great gaming experience. There's a couple options that you have for internet while in the car:

  • Cell Phone Hot Spot – Using your cellphone hotspot COULD work, but unless you have a 4G/LTE network it's pointless. Make sure that you have your phone plugged in while using it, and that you have an unlimited plan because game consoles can pull a lot of data and drain your battery. Answering a phone call, or listening to music on your phone while using it as a hot spot could also impact the quality of gaming.
  • Dedicated Hot Spot – There are many options for a mobile dedicated hot spot. Nearly every wireless provider has one. Getting a dedicated hot spot device and plan is the optimal internet option for gaming in your car. It'll guarantee no phone call interruptions or slowage from browsing on your phone or playing music.