There’s never a bad time to give a gift, especially for the gamer in your life. 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 you 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.
Razer Huntsman tournament edition
If you want to get your loved one a mechanical keyboard that doesn’t cost a fortune, look no further than the Razer Huntsman tournament edition. After all, Razer is one of the top gaming peripherals companies for a good reason. The Huntsman relies on powerful Razer Linear Optical switches and durable aluminum construction to withstand the toughest gaming marathons. It has a USB-C cable that’s completely detachable to save space on the go.
Like most gaming keyboards worth their salt, the Huntsman tournament edition rocks Razer Chroma for 16.8 million colors of customization across each key. Razer HyperShift allows for all of your keys and combinations to be customized for complex tasks.
Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed
We’re right back to Razer with our mouse pick. There are several options in the company’s portfolio, but we’ve chosen the Basilisk X for its HyperSpeed technology. It boasts speeds 25% greater than other wireless mice, according to Razer — which should make it a top pick for any 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 lifespan of 50 million clicks.
Related: The best gaming mice you can buy
The Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed is completely wireless with 450-hour battery life, making it ideal for first-person shooter games like PUBG and CS:GO. The mouse isn’t ambidextrous, though, so make sure you’re grabbing the correct layout.
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 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 some hype in recent years, but it’s still a unique and immersive experience.
The headset itself is on the heavier side at 600g, but it’s comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to its design. It has a 5.7-inch OLED screen with a Full HD resolution and an excellent refresh rate of 120Hz. You can use the PSVR with motion controllers or with your regular PS4 DualShock. It’s easy to set up and 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 and Xbox Series X. It connects to the console just like an Xbox controller — no additional dongles or base stations needed.
Read more: Best Bluetooth headphones
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 and 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.
NES Classic/SEGA Genesis Mini
Console manufacturers have capitalized on the nostalgia trends of recent years. Now, there is an easy way to enjoy many old classics without spending exorbitant sums on eBay. Both Nintendo and SEGA offer mini versions of their classic consoles in the NES Classic and the SEGA Genesis Mini. 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 SEGA Genesis Mini packs even more games, with 42 nostalgic SEGA titles. You’ll find all of your Sonic favorites, along with classics like Street Fighter 2, Tetris, and Earthworm Jim. This makes both of these offerings are a must-have for any retro gaming enthusiast. The 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 the 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 you can play with friends.
Better yet, the Switch Lite is a cheaper version of the already great Nintendo Switch console. This means that retro gamers can find many indie titles like Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac, which 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 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 mobile gaming is not just Candy Crush and Clash Royale anymore. 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 5
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 5. It is a total spec powerhouse with unbeatable performance. The ROG Phone 5 sports a remarkable 6.78-inch Full HD+ display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The best news is that there many games that take advantage of it too.
The phone also offers up to a staggering 16GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage on the base model — 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 888 processor and a massive 6,000mAh battery. Best of all, it’s future-proof thanks to its 5G capability and a triple rear camera highlighted by a 64MP shooter.
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 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 to 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.