MoDCribZ – Equipment & Set Up

On this page you will find information about the recommended equipment* to use when playing Dice Masters online.

A quick “CYA” disclaimer at the top here: these are recommended/suggested options from our own experiences or gathered as anecdotal feedback from around the community. We cannot guarantee that they will work with your particular set up nor are we able to offer detailed technical support in the event of an issue – there are just too many variables. These are just good ways to go to the best of our knowledge – from one fan to another.

The below buttons will take you to specific sections of the guide if there is a particular area of interest to you.

On with the guide…

*BritRollerSix.com and The Ministry of Dice are fan-made Dice Masters Content services and we are supported by our audience. When you purchase through some of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Webcams

A webcam is essential to play Dice Masters online successfully. the vast majority of the online Dice Masters play community use external USB cams that can be mounted and pointed at your play mat (more on how & what to use for mounting later). You can use embedded webcams in a laptop or monitor, but this can be more challenging to get a decent angle on for your opponent to get a fair & reasonable view of your play area in addition to seeing your own screen.

Logitech is a popular brand and used heavily by active members of the Dice Masters online play community currently. (Although they are presently a little tough to get a hold of). The more affordable, entry level camera is the Logitech C270.

Amazon Link: Logitech C270

It gives a passable image and is certainly useable, and may be a more attractive price when starting out with online play as you “dip your toe in the water”.

The better quality (and arguably the most popular) is the Logitech C920. It’s definitely pricier but provides a much clearer image that creates a better experience for your opponent. here it is on Amazon:

Amazon Link: Logitech C920

I have used both these cameras personally, and to give you a sense of the difference here is a short vid with a side-by-side comparison of each of them in action.

As you can see – the Logitech C920 offers much better clarity when it comes to aspects of play like the the faces of rolled dice and subtitles/rarity of the cards on display. That said – the Online Community is largely forgiving of slightly blurry cameras (we’d much rather you come along and play and we’ll figure out the rest) in lieu of good audio and a little commentary as you play. An upgrade to a clearer camera would only be expected as you play more and if you get further involved in the more competitive online events.

We also use the Ausdom AW615 at the MoD (this is the one Andy uses). We’re also aware of this being used by SuperK over at DM-NorthTV. This one certainly does the job, although is still a little more on the blurry side comparably.

Amazon Link: Ausdom AW615

Here is some example footage using the Ausdom for you to take a look at for an idea of its quality. this was taken during a live streamed MoD game using Jitsi Video Calling.

One other camera we are aware of in use throughout the community is the Microsoft Lifecam. We don’t have any experience of this model ourselves at the MoD, but hear its decent. You can find it here…

Amazon Link: Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000

Recently we’ve seen a new webcam hit the market that has been getting talked about and received some decent reviews. There’s a multitude of YouTube comparison videos of the AverMedia PW313 as a great alternative during these times of Logitech shortages. We haven’t tried it ourselves but it could be a solid cam to go with to get started, especially considering the more favourable price tag.

Amazon Link: AVerMedia PW313


Using Your Phone

There are a number of players who use their phone to get online for some Dice Masters play.

There are two possible solutions to using your phone that we have seen in the online play community – using the phone directly or as a webcam alternative. Both have their pros & cons, and here are some details of these two approaches…

The Phone as a Webcam

There are a number of apps & services that allow you to link your phone to your computer for use as a webcam, either through a physical USB lead or over a shared WiFi.

For a number of reasons we recommend IVCam by E2ESoft. Through a journey of testing a number of services we’ve found it to be the most reliable and user-friendly, and available across the 3 major mobile phone operating systems.

It works as follows: you download the app to your phone and the connection software on your computer.

Open both (For wireless connection your phone must be on the same WiFi network) and connect. If it doesn’t automatically connect then press the Plus button on the app on your phone…

Once connected you will see the camera view in the desktop IVCam display…

Go to your video calling software and find the Settings option that lets you select your camera input (This example is demonstrating the settings on a Jitsi video call) and choose “e2eSoft iVCam”…

And now you’ll see the iVCam as your camera input to the video calling software…

Mount your phone and get it pointed at your mat. With just a couple of additional, yet simple, steps your phone can be used as conveniently as your webcam, and its likely you’ll have a better quality camera in your phone too!


Just Using Your Phone

Some players have tried exclusively to use their phone for playing Dice Masters online, but it is not as smooth an experience as the other options described above. This is mostly from a practical perspective – while you’ll be providing a pretty decent view of your play area this way, the smaller screen on which you’ll be seeing your opponent’s view can be a bit squinty and awkward for you.

The main consideration if you want to take this approach is that many of the common video calling services require that the phone has the service’s app on the phone – you will not be able to use standard web-based links through a browser app (like google Chrome or Safari). So you will need to get these downloaded. For information on the Video Conferencing services most commonly used check out the “Video Conferencing” section of this guide.

We’d also recommend that you use headphones with a mic (most phones come with this included nowadays) to ensure you can hear, and be heard, effectively.


Audio

Arguably – good audio is perhaps more important than the most awesome-est, highest-of-all resolution cameras. There is some info on good audio in a general sense in the “Expectations & Etiquette” section of the guide, but here are some pointers on the equipment you could use.

There are a number of ways to approach audio. You might find that the integrated microphone on your webcam or the microphone/speakers on your computer are fit for purpose, but if you are looking for something a little more though then here are some suggestions…

Headsets

The most straight forward, “plug & play” approach is to use a HEADSET. Pop it in your USB or 3.5mm jack and you’re good to go.

A popular brand of headset is Plantronics, although a little more on the pricier side. I used a Plantronics Blackwire C500 Series for quite some time and it proved reliable and clear throughout. That model is no longer available, but they have many more besides, and here is the closest alternative:

Amazon Link: Plantronics Headset C500 Series

Headsets designed for the video game demographic may also be something worth considering – they are designed to offer much more comfort for extended use and offer good fidelity of sound. If you’re planning on getting a lot of massive Dice Masters sessions in online, or are participating in more lengthier organised tournaments, you may want to consider this option, although you start to see the cost become less budget-friendly as you look at higher specifications. I use the Razer Kraken sometimes (although after a while the over-ear padding makes my ears VERY hot LOL). It’s available in different colours too – I went with the fetching White/Silver design…

Amazon Link: Razer Kraken Headset

One thing to be mindful of with this option is that not all computers & laptops can input audio from the mic through a 3.5mm port (which many gaming headsets are) so you might need to check the spec of your machine before trying to use this option. One workaround to this is to use a USB adapter like this one…

Amazon Link: USB to 3.5mm Jack Audio Adapter

I’ve not used this myself (my laptop accepts 3.5mm audio input) but I’ve heard it works and appears well reviewed on Amazon.


USB Microphones

If your headset is just for audio output then one option is to use an external USB microphone. Many come with a simple desk stand you can use, or can be attached to an adjustable desk mounted arm, and offer excellent quality audio for those you are playing.

USB Microphone solutions can be pretty pricey, but there are few on the lower end of the cost scale that offer more than sufficient quality for playing online. Here are some I have used personally in the past…

Amazon Link: Blue Yeti Snowball

Amazon Link: Amazon Basics Mini Mic

Amazon Link: Fifine K669

Amazon Link: Rode NT-USB Mini

All were great. My least favourite was the Blue Yeti Snowball; I found the size & shape a little unwieldy and the sound quality wasn’t where I wanted it to be (admittedly for the podcast, its perfectly serviceable for game play). My favourite to-date has been the Fifine. I would have used the Rode for longer but it wasn’t mine and had to give it back (and couldn’t afford my own at the time).

This is likely a little further than you need/may want to go for online play, but may be something to consider if you want to record your game play in the future.


Camera Mounts

There is a wide array of approaches to mounting webcams to offer a good line-of-sight image for your opponent. Getting a good overhead view of your play area will be enormously appreciated by your online opponent to make the play experience as seamless as it can be.

Here are some known methods of mounting your camera to get the best view possible of your Dice Masters play mat…

Gooseneck Flexi-arm

One of the most popular options to mounting your camera is a simple gooseneck flexi-arm. Many can be clipped to the edge of a desk or table and angled to offer the best view.

They are pretty cost effective and can be found on Amazon for between £10-20. They can vary a little in terms of options and you’ll need to shop around for a suitable length, weight capacity, desk bracket, and device holder to suit your particular needs.

I have a cheap one that I have used, which is this one…

The flexi-arm is a bit rigid and it’s a bit plastic-y, but it does the job. Andy uses one too and with just a little persistence and the patience to make minor adjustments here & there for the best view it can work out pretty well. The specific arm we use doesn’t seem to be available anymore but here is the nearest I could find…

Amazon Link: Phot-R Flex Arm

Having a look around it appears as though the quality and standard of these arms have improved in the few years since I purchased mine. This one is well reviewed and appears to be a bit fancier/spec’d out…

Amazon Link: Gooseneck Phone Holder


DIY Mount

If you’ve got a little bit of craft talent then you can make your own. Reg over at the DMNorth site gives a great tutorial on the steps to building a DIY stand and offers a budget-friendly approach to getting good angles on your play area…

DMNorth – Reg’s Craft Corner: DIY Camera Mount

It obviously takes a little more work than buying something “off the shelf”, but if you’ve seen Reg’s camera view of his play area then you’ll know that it is most definitely an excellent way to go towards creating the best experience for your opponent.


Boom Stand

I have a lot of space either side of the table I use to play so often use a floor standing Boom Stand with an arm extended out over the top of my play area. It is a re-purposed microphone stand with a thread adapter over the 3/8″ screw and an attachable clamp to hold my Logitech C920. You can see it in use on the embedded MoDCribZ video over on this guide’s homepage, but can see it here in this photo…

These are fairly cheap to get your hands on and offer quite a solid overhead view of the play area, so I’d recommend this if you need/can accommodate a floor standing solution. Mine was an old Microphone boom stand from my misspent youthful days as a rock star, and here is the closest I could find to my model on Amazon (This one even comes with a grip clamp already)…

Amazon Link: Ohuhu Tripod Stand Boom


Desk Mounted Arm

Another solution for getting a good overhead view of your play area is to use a desk mounted arm. Like the Boom Stand above these are often designed for use with microphones, but can easily be modified with thread adapters and cheap clamps or brackets to hold a webcam.

I’ve not used one of these myself for a webcam, but I have used one for a USB mic, so can at least attest to their ease of use and range of options available. you can see mine, with the mic on the end, just peeking in on this pic here…

Secret MoDPDM Prize

The model I used for my mic was this one…

Amazon Link: InnoGear Stand Set

There are loads on the market though, you can def shop around for one that suits your needs.


Thread Adapter Advice

Just a quick note about the “Thread Adapter” I’ve mentioned a number of times. these are small screw adapters that can change the screw size of a mount to accommodate different equipment.

Most webcams, if “mount ready” with a screw mount, have a 1/4 female thread (although not all, so please check), but many of the above solutions have a 3/4 male thread.

To solve this I have used little adapters to change the mount, like these…

Those are all female adapters, note that it may be the male adapter that you require.

You can get these pretty cheap and there are even multi-packs on Amazon so you’ll be ready for any eventuality. Here’s an example set from Amazon…

Amazon Link: Thread Adapters


Light Up Your Play Area

9 times out of 10 a good beam of light on your play mat will help with image quality – many webcams do not respond well to low lighting so some extra light can go a long way.

Try to play in a well lit area of your home if possible, but if you can’t you may want to consider adding some lamps or lights to your play area.

There are some relatively inexpensive solutions you can you to help with light challenges when playing online…

USB Desk Lamps

If you have watched the MoDCribZ example video on the homepage you will see that I have used a simple, cheap USB lamp to illuminate my play mat. These are handy for a couple of reasons: they are powered by computer, they are generally compact for limited space, and they are low so can minimise too much shadowing.

This is the exact model that I use…

Amazon Link: Desk Lamp

It has a decent battery life (although I tend to plug it in all the time), the flexible arm is useful and has 3 pre-set intensities of light. It’s served me very well for sometime now and I use it almost every time I play.


Ring Lights

A suggestion from Twitter (thanks “JustAnotherDiceMaster”) – using a ring light may be the way to go.

It provides a nice even distribution of light across the play area and has the added advantage of being useful for your future career as a TikTok make up instructor as well.

Here’s a pretty cheap example…

Amazon Link: Homesuit Ringlight


Other Accessories

There are a couple of other accessories you will often see used by seasoned online players to help the online Dice Masters play experience. These are mostly to help visibility and efforts to keep everything “on camera”.

Here’s one or two that we recommend at the MoD…

Dice Tower

Dice Towers are a broadly popular way to bling up your game of Dice Masters anyway, but there are especially useful for online play as they make sure your dice rolls remain in full view “on camera” and prevent any “off camera” spillage.

If you’ve ever watched any of the Ministry of Dice’s live game play on our YouTube channel you will see that we both use Dice Towers to keep things tight & controlled on the play mat.

There are many, MANY towers out on the marketplace, but the specific one I use is the e-Raptor you can find on Amazon here…

Amazon Link: e-Raptor Dice Tower

I’ve had it for years and it has served me well. It can be easily taken apart and put back together for transport and has weathered many a journey just chucked into a bag.


Dice Tray

Another way of keeping things nice & controlled on camera is to use a dice tray. A number of online Dice Masters players will slide one into view over the Reserve Pool area on their turn and roll into it under the full view of the lens.

Once again there are may available on the marketplace and you can shop around for something that suits your tastes but largely we suspect you’ll be looking for something compact and that will travel well for use in face-to-face play as well.

Here’s a link to a company local to me that I’ve had a relationship with for years that do compact dice trays with interesting designs (who, incidentally, make my face-masks as well. Me & my boy have matching Batman ones from these guys. Wear masks folks!)…

All Rolled Up

I’ve also seen a similar one in use by friend of the site “TheangryViking”. (Hi Jacoby!) He uses a square design that is similar to this one on Amazon…

Amazon Link: Double Sided Dice Tray

These look pretty smart and have the foldable design with the pop-stud corners too.