The holiday season is almost upon us! If you haven’t bought presents for your loved ones yet, there’s no better time than now. Yet, gamers are not an easy crowd to please, especially if you don’t play much yourself. There is a huge variety of peripherals, accessories and games to choose from. So, if want to pick a better present than an impersonal gift card, we’ve compiled a list of the best gifts for gamers — whether they play on console, PC, or mobile.
The best gifts for gamers
Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new and interesting gaming gadgets launch.
Best gifts for PC gamers
PC gamers are often hobbyists — many build their own desktop computers with powerful specs and carefully picked out parts. But even if they have a more modest machine or a laptop, there are a couple of peripherals most PC gamers will appreciate — mechanical keyboards and gaming mice. They are essential for those that enjoy competitive games like first person shooters and MOBAs, and they also double up as useful and durable tools in everyday life.
HyperX Alloy FPS RGB
If you want to get your loved one a mechanical keyboard that doesn’t cost a fortune, look no further than the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB. This gaming keyboard is no toy. It is compact, portable and responsive. Better yet, it’s incredibly durable thanks to its steel frame and braided cable. It also sports a full number pad and media keys, despite its small footprint.
Of course, like most gaming peripherals, the Alloy FPS RGB has those pretty RGB lights. It comes with three preset lighting profiles, but you can create custom ones through the HyperX NGENUITY software. Building and saving macros is also an option thanks to the keyboard’s onboard memory. It offers pretty much everything a PC gamer could need. The best part? You can currently get it for less than $100, which is a total steal.
Razer is a name even non-gamers are usually familiar with. But with the huge variety of gaming products they offer, it might be hard to pick a gift if you don’t play much yourself. This is why we’ve selected the Razer Viper for our list — the best mouse for any aspiring competitive gamer. It features Razer’s own optical switches, which are not only three times as fast as their mechanical counterparts, but are also incredibly durable with a whopping lifespan of 70 million clicks.
The Razer Viper is also the brand’s lightest mouse, weighing only 69g, which makes it ideal for first person shooter games like PUBG and CS:GO. The mouse is ambidextrous too, making it a great gift for both right- and left-handed gamers. The only downside is that it’s exactly cheap at $79.99, but it’s a price worth paying for a top-of-the-line gaming mouse.
Best gifts for console gamers
Console gamers are just as enthusiastic about their hobby as PC gamers, but the gifts you can get them are quite different. There aren’t that many parts and peripherals to choose from and buying a next gen console isn’t always easy to afford. Games are another good choice, but only if you know what genres they enjoy. This is why we’ve picked a couple of accessories that will appeal to any owner of the two most popular consoles — PlayStation and Xbox.
If your friend or loved one owns a PlayStation but has already played all the big new titles, the PlayStation VR could be something new and exciting for them to try out. Virtual reality has lost a lot of its hype in recent years, but it’s still a unique and immersive experience.
The headset itself is on the heavier side at 600g, but thanks to its design, it’s comfortable to wear for extended periods. It has a 5.7-inch OLED screen with a full HD resolution and an excellent refresh rate of 120Hz. The PSVR can be used with motion controllers or with your regular PS4 DualShock. It’s easy to set up and it has an impressive library of over 500 games and experiences, including favorites like Beat Saber, Super Hot VR and Skyrim VR.
SteelSeries Arctis 9X
Does the gamer you are shopping for own an Xbox and play competitive multiplayer games? Then the SteelSeries Arctis 9X is the perfect gift. This wireless gaming headset has been specifically designed for the Xbox One. It connects to the console just like an Xbox controller — no additional dongles or base stations needed.
The Arctis 9X has a superb build quality with a sturdy aluminum frame and comfortable pads. Like any self-respecting gaming headset, it also sports a noise-cancelling retractable microphone. The sound quality is great. Surround sound supported through Windows Sonic Spatial Audio also gives Call of Duty and Fortnite players a competitive advantage. The best part? The Arctis 9X has a whopping 20-hour battery life on a single charge. It might not be cheap, but it’s certainly not a headset that will need replacing any time soon.
Best gifts for retro gamers
Retro gamers are hard to please. Some just enjoy playing the occasional 80s/90s game, while others are stringent collectors. However, hunting down cartridges or old consoles at flea markets has gotten more expensive and challenging in recent years thanks to a nostalgia epidemic. So, what are the best gifts for the retro gamers in your life? Here are a couple of options that are sure to be received well.
Console manufacturers have capitalized on the nostalgia trends of recent years. Now there is an easy way to enjoy many of the old classics without spending exorbitant amounts of money on eBay. Both Nintendo and Sony offer mini versions of their classic consoles in the NES, SNES and PlayStation Classic. They are smaller than their original counterparts and come with plenty of preinstalled games.
On the NES Mini Classic, you will find 30 well-known titles, including Super Mario, Metroid, the original Legend of Zelda and more. The PlayStation Classic and the SNES Mini, on the other hand, offer 20 preinstalled games, including Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country (SNES) and Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation). All of these mini consoles are also super easy to set up and use — just plug them into your TV with an HMDI cable and travel back in time.
Nintendo Switch Lite
With the rise of powerful smartphones, portable consoles are few and far between. But one console that is sure to bring back Gameboy memories is the Nintendo Switch Lite. What makes it a great gift for a retro gamer? Many of us who enjoy 80s and 90s classic games are adults with little spare time, so being able to play our old favorites on the go is a great perk. And you can do exactly that on the Nintendo Switch Lite thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online service. The subscription gives gamers access to more than 60 NES and SNES titles, which can be played with friends.
Better yet, the Switch Lite is a cheaper version of the already great Nintendo Switch console. This means retro gamers can find a ton of indie titles like Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac that are not so dissimilar to games that they might have enjoyed back in the day. The Nintendo Switch Lite also comes in multiple fun colors, is compact, and has a great battery life. There isn’t much more you can ask for.
Best gifts for mobile gamers
Mobile gaming is often perceived as less serious than its PC and console counterparts. The truth is, however, that in recent years mobile gaming is not just Candy Crush and Clash Royale. Many competitive and demanding games are added to Google Play daily. But what do you get a mobile gamer besides a Play Store gift card? Here are two gifts that any mobile gamer would love.
Asus ROG Phone 2
If budget is not a concern, the best gift for a mobile gamer is without a doubt a gaming phone. More and more of them have appeared on the market in recent years, but there is an undisputed winner — the Asus ROG Phone 2. It is a total spec powerhouse with unbeatable performance. The ROG Phone 2 sports the first of its kind AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The best news is that there many games that take advantage of it too.
The phone also offers a staggering 12GB of RAM and either 256, 512 or 1TB of storage — ideal for any gamer that plays big and spec-demanding games like PUBG Mobile or the Asphalt series games. All of this is topped off with the latest Snapdragon 855 Plus processor and a massive 6,000mAh battery. The Asus ROG Phone 2 even has a more than decent dual rear camera and a 24MP selfie sensor, making it not just a great gaming phone, but a great phone overall. You can’t go wrong with this one for Christmas.
SteelSeries Stratus Duo
Using a touchscreen to play games is not always easy or fun. But with the SteelSeries Stratus Duo controller you can basically turn your Android smartphone into a portable console. It’s the best and easiest to use controller for Android. All you need to do is pair to your device — no additional software or configuration is required.
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo also has a sturdy and ergonomic build, making it comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. Reaching for the charger won’t be necessary either, thanks 20+ hours of battery life. The buttons are of good quality and quite responsive. The only downside is that you need to purchase the SmartGrip smartphone clamp separately, but at $9.99, it’s worth the investment. The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is also compatible with Windows, Steam and Oculus VR headsets, making it incredibly versatile and a great gift for PC gamers too.
These are our picks for the best gifts for gamers! We hope our recommendations help your loved ones get their game on this holiday season!