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Being bedridden is not fun and it can get boring pretty quickly, especially for a gamer. Game consoles and handheld consoles are definitely the best options when it comes to this but there are multiple ways how to set up your bed gaming station.

Don’t miss the list of recommended video games at the end of this post!

The Easiest Ways To Play Video Games While Bedridden

Whether you’re sick, just had surgery or are stuck in bed for a long period of time, here are some tips how to make the most of it and not get too bored.

Handheld Consoles

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch/Nintendo Switch Lite is the best when it comes to ease of use while bedridden. You don’t need anything extra but you can connect your Switch to a TV if you prefer.

If you find that the Joy-Cons are not comfortable after a while of playing, Nintendo also makes the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. It resembles the Xbox controller and if you’re familiar with the Xbox one, the Pro controller will feel very similar and you can get more playtime without your hands cramping up.

The Pro controller can also be used for Switch Lite. It doesn’t have an audio jack, so you can’t use headphones or a mic. You can use Nintendo Switch Pro controller also with PC Steam games.

Gaming While Bedridden

Steam Deck

Steam Deck is an alternative to Nintento Switch if you are used to PC games. You have your entire Steam game library available in a portable handheld.

Not only that, if you switch your Steam Deck to a Desktop Mode, you can use it like you would any other PC – you can listen to music, browse the internet, communicate via Discord, install apps etc.

With the multi-use USB-C port and a HDMI adapter you can connect your Steam Deck to a monitor or a TV and play on a big screen. Then you can basically use any controller (including Xbox, PlayStation, Switch Pro/Joy-Cons) and also any USB controllers (usually requires an adapter).

While the Steam Deck is definitely larger and heavier than the Switch, the controls are much more comfortable.

Video Game Consoles

This is the second best option and probably the most comfortable one. All you need is an Xbox, Playstation or other consoles like Wii, a TV or a monitor and you’re all set.

If you’ve never held a controller before, it can be a bit clunky and feel heavy at first but you get used to it pretty quickly.

On Xbox, you can get an Xbox GamePass. It’s a subscription service which grants you access to over 400 of games without needing to pay for them. If you don’t like a game, you can just move on to another.

The advantage of Xbox is the backwards compatibility and with Game Pass you can enjoy backward compatible games made for all previous Xboxes. There are thousands of older games that you can play. Only the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes Live Gold, so you can enjoy online multiplayer as well.

Similarly you can choose the PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Premium to enjoy Playstation games.

Whether you choose the Game Pass or PS Plus (or both!), they will for sure keep you occupied for hours. Plus you get to try new games that you maybe wouldn’t have bought before.

Gaming While Bedridden

Laptop Stands & Lapdesks

If you play video games on a laptop or a Macbook, a laptop stand that you can adjust to your needs is essential. A lot of laptop stands or lap desks aren’t height adjustable and that can cause pain in the shoulders and wrists.

The Duronic ergonomic laptop stand is a good option because it’s very adjustable, so you can put it into the most comfortable position for you to use. It has venitlation holes and a tray with a lip edge to keep you device from slipping off. The laptop shouldn’t be more than 16″.

You can also use it for a tablet or an iPad, especially if you enjoy mobile games.

Duronic ergonomic laptop stand

The brand Nerdytec makes cool lapdesks Couchmaster® for a variety of devices. The Couchmaster® for a laptop is called Cybot and it can fit a 17″ laptop and a mouse. It consists of two foam armrests and a lap desk tray.

The parts are not attached to each other, so you don’t have to worry about fitting in. There are pockets for accesories, mouse and whatever you want to put in them, including snacks.

Nerdytec has a Couchmaster® also for the PC players. For a keyboard and a mouse there’s the Cycon2. It comes in two colors, black and grey. It has a cable management system and 6x USB 3.0 ports. On one of the foam armrests you have two useful pockets. If you prefer, you can also purchase only the lap desk tray.

You can use the Couchmaster® in bed, on a sofa or even an armchair. You can check the price on Amazon or visit the official website.

Overbed Table

Height-adjustable overbed tables are great in medical settings but also at home when you’re bedridden. If you have a bed that has a little bit of space under it, you can wheel an overbed table quite easily.

Then you can use a desk mount to fix a monitor to the table, just make sure the table is sturdy enough to support everything. You can also use an overbed table with a laptop.

Some single-monitor desk mounts to consider:

You can also opt for a full-width overbed table (pictured above), which doesn’t require space under the bed. You simply wheel the table to where you need it. It has a lot of space, comes with a keyboard tray and a tray for your PC case. Plus it can be used as a regular desk too!

Mobile Workstation

Mobile workstation is a great choice if you have a PC. It can hold your tower and also double as an extra shelf or two for things you might need at hand. Plus it can be simply wheeled way.

Some already come with a monitor arm that you can adjust but you can buy a workstation without an arm and just install one yourself. The workstation needs to be sturdy enough to support your monitor.

Check out the list above for a good selection of monitor mounts.

Other Ideas

If you feel like you’d like to game in bed in the long term, check out the cool solution that Brett from UFD Tech did for his bedroom!

How To Get Comfortable?

Sitting in bed without a proper support can hurt your back. My mom is a great example – she doesn’t have a tall headboard, so when she watched TV, she often complained about pain in the neck and shoulder area.

That’s why I decided to get her a bed back rest to prop her up in bed. Ever since then her pain and aches disappeared and she finds it really comfortable. I like that it can be adjusted, so you can choose what kind of tilt is the most comfortable for you.

I bought one locally but you can also find one on Amazon. If you don’t have a padded headboard, make sure to put a pillow between your headboard and the back rest.

Also bear in mind that due to the construction, the back rest will push you further down the bed, so make sure your bed is long enough! 🙂

Can I Play VR Games While Bedridden?

If you can sit up in bed comfortably, VR games can be a great way to pass the time. If you’re sick or injured I’d probably avoid any strenuous movements and instead focus on some chill VR games.

Some people prefer and do play VR games while sitting down. However, not all games support it due to tracking issues. On Steam you can select from a ‘Seated’ category to help you with picking up a game.

Here are some chill VR games that you can play while bedridden:

  • Moss VR – you help a little mouse named Quill on her adventures (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index)
  • SculptrVR – you can create 3D worlds and landscapes (Oculus Quest/Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality)
  • Puzzling Places – 3D puzzles of real locations, each puzzle can have from 25 to 400 pieces (Oculus Quest/2, PlayStation VR)
  • Real VR Fishing – realistic VR fishing, multiplayer included (Oculus Quest/Rift)
  • Aircar – exploration game where you fly an aircar through futuristic city, needs a controller (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index)
  • Daedalus (Oculus Quest/2) – puzzle game with flying mechanics
  • Nature Treks VR – you can explore various environments, find animals and even create your own landscapes (Oculus Quest/2/Rift/Go, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index)
  • Google Earth VR – Not quite a game but entertaining none the less. Explore the whole Earth. (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index)
  • SpaceEngine – in this 1:1 scale universe simulator you can explore the vastness of space (PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality)
  • Darknet – become a hacker and steal data before you can get detected (Oculus Rift, Valve Index, HTC Vive)
  • Color Space – virtual coloring book (Oculus Quest/Rift)

Note that some of the games above also come in “normal” mode and don’t require a VR headset.

There are plenty of free to play VR games on Steam, so give some of them a try and see what you like! There are over 300 games that are free to play and support seated mode.

Gaming while bedridden

Can I Play Video Games Lying Down?

If you can’t sit for a prolonged time after a surgery or a back injury, lying down flat on your back is your only option. Unfortunately, this quite limits the games that you can play. If you can at least prop your head and shoulders up, it’s a bit easier but not everyone can do that.

You could play with a Switch, Steam Deck, tablet or your phone above your head but your arms would quickly get tired . And who hasn’t dropped their phone on their head while lying in bed? Having a Switch or a Steam Deck fall on your face is the last thing you need when you’re recovering.

Lying down without being propped up limits your vertical field of view. That might make it more difficult to watch any screen across the room and you’d likely strain the muscles in your back.

The best way to play video games while lying down is to have your monitor on a movable mount that can be rotated and pivoted above your head.

Projector

A projector that can be used for the ceiling is a good option, though bear in mind there is definitely some delay between the input and the projector.

As such, a projector isn’t really the best option when it comes to fast paced and competetive video games like multiplayer FPS shooters and similar. Such games need less than 15ms input lag.

A good ceiling projector is the portable BenQ GV30. However, the input lag is around 51ms at 1080p resolution and 60Hz.

One of the disadvantages about using a projector is that you need to watch it either in dim light or a very dark room. Your ceiling should be smooth for the best possible experience.

Ceiling Monitor Mount

A ceiling monitor mount is a good option but you have to choose one with articulated arm and the ability to tilt the screen so that you can see it comfortably from your prone position.

Wall Monitor Mount

There are a few types of wall monitor mounts. Overhead wall monitor mounts are widely used in the medical field and thanks to the handle, you can position it however you want.

Both adjustable ceiling and wall monitor mounts are quite pricey though.

Bedside Monitor Mount

As I mentioned above, you can have an overbed table or a mobile workstation next to your bed. Attaching a monitor mount that allows for horizontal adjustment is a good option.

Another way is to have an adjustable monitor mount which can be fixed to a mobile pole.

Gaming While Bedridden

VR Headset

VR headset is an option while laying down, though it’s probably not the most comfortable one due to the weight of the headset. It’s better to use something like a VR cover, so the headset isn’t pressing too much into your face.

The problem with VR headset while lying prone is that not a lot of games can be played this way. You could try some of the VR games I suggested above. Not every game from this list will be suitable for this position though.

What Are The Best Games To Play While Bedridden?

The best video games to play while bedridden are RPG titles. With quests and explorations you can spend hours immersing yourself into their world.

I listed some cool games below. Depending on your playstyle (main quest, main quest + extras, 100% completionist, speed run, leisure), it can take you more or less than the averages below.

  • Final Fantasy XIV – 115 hours on average for the main story, 3627 hours on leisure
  • Witcher 3 GOTY – main quest takes about 56 hours on average
  • Skyrim – main story and extras take about 117 hours on average
  • Fallout 4 GOTY – main story + extras average around 117 hours
  • The Last Of Us / The Last Of Us 2 – main story takes about 18 hours / 29 hours on average
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – leisure playstyle can go up to 181 hours on average
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – 93 hours on average for main quest + extras

(source)

Other games to pass the time:

  • Minecraft
  • Terraria
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mass Effect trilogy
  • Metal Gear Solid series
  • Dark Souls, Bloodborne
  • Sid Meyer’s Civilization
  • Factorio
  • GTA V
  • Rocket league
  • Sims 4
  • Simulator games – Farming Simulator, Euro Truck Simulator, etc.
  • Unpacking

Conclusion

The best way to play video games are handheld consoles like Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck and, of course, classic game consoles like Xbox or PlayStation. Even with PC you can make it work, you will need just a little bit more supplies.




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