Have a gamer on your shopping list this holiday season? If you're not a member of the gaming community yourself, it can be tricky to know what kind of gift they'll appreciate most. And while you might think going with the latest gadget on Amazon is a safe bet, you can really never know.
After all, do they already have this gadget, if they're a serious gamer, and it's really the latest and greatest? Is the device compatible with their current gaming setup? Is it even compatible with the types of games they prefer, whether that's first-person shooters, RPGs or anything else in between? Do they like classic retro games, Fortnite, Super Mario or what exactly? Do they have an Xbox One or a Gameboy? Do they like virtual reality games and have an Oculus set up?
Don't let this potentially stressful shopping situation stress you out more than it should. Go with one of the top 22 best gifts for gamers on our list — and take into consideration a few of our shopping tips — and you're sure to win a top spot in your gamer's heart.
Of course, if your gamer is lacking one of the best and newest gaming systems out right now, then, if your budget allows it, that's where you're going to want to start when it comes to gift ideas.
The all-new Xbox gaming console is seriously top tier and probably on your gamer's wishlist if they haven't purchased it already. The console supports 4K gaming with 120 frames per second, 8K HDR gaming, cloud gaming and more. The price tag is a bit hefty at $500, but this is a gift that will last your gamer for several years.
And of course, because Microsoft came out with a new Xbox this year, Sony had to do the same and unleashed its new Sony PlayStation 5. Also marked at $500, there's no price variance to take into consideration between these two game consoles, so it'll be all about your gamer's preferences (and those are preferences you'll want to pay attention to — the Xbox and PlayStation fan bases are serious stuff).
The new PlayStation 5 also supports 4K gameplay with 120 frames per second, 8K output, VR gaming and a large amount of memory and storage.
While not really new at all, the Nintendo Switch received renewed attention this year with the release of the first Animal Crossing game in years. Fans of the franchise touted the game's relaxing and calm vibes, especially during a year that wasn't relatively calm or relaxing at all.
If your gamer has had their eye on the Nintendo Switch for a while now, and you think they might enjoy games such as Animal Crossing, it could be a perfect gift. It comes at a lower price point than the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles — $350.
If your gamer is particularly an Animal Crossing fan, however, you can also buy a special Animal Crossing: New Horizons edition of the Switch for $300 that has all the capabilities of the standard console, only the exterior design reflects the game's characters and color palette.
For even more money savings, you can likewise opt for the Nintendo Switch Lite, which comes in at $200. The only difference between the regular console and the Lite? You can hook up the standard console to your television for TV play, while the Lite is only usable in the handheld format (which some gamers prefer).
Pretty positive your favorite gamer already has all the gaming systems they want (or need)? Outfit them with some accessories to make their gaming experience both more comfortable and more enjoyable.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that all computer mice are the same. The right mouse makes all the difference to a PC gamer, and you won't catch them using your old school, retro mouse that you might find with any desktop computer in your home or office.
For computer gamers, a gaming mouse is a must. This Logitech variant offers high-performance controls and superior tracking accuracy, making it a great gift.
If you're buying your gamer the new Xbox console or know they've already acquired it, give them the new wireless controller made for the console. Even if they already have one or two, as many gamers will tell you, you can always use another game controller.
And, of course, as you might've expected, PlayStation released a new wireless controller alongside the new PS5 as well. The DualSense controller is fully redesigned following the last generation of controllers.
Along the same lines, while the Nintendo Switch comes with its own built-in controls, if your gamer uses the Nintendo Switch on their TV versus the handheld device more often than not, they may find that a larger, more standard-sized controller fits their needs better. This controller is $60.
If your gamer plans on keeping their current Xbox One or PlayStation 4 consoles, they'll want to deck out their controllers with some accessories. A fun project, these LED kits will really light up their gameplay and add a bit of personality to their setups.
Iris Lynn from eXtremeRate adds, "Besides, [gaming] personalization demand is on the rise nowadays. Featuring 30+ options for soft-touch replacement shells of Joy-Con/Switch/PS4/Xbox, eXtremeRate provides design and color tones like SNES, the great wave, wood grain. For example, here are the Switch replacement shells.”
The company also features silicon cover skins for the new Xbox Series X and PS5 gaming consoles.
Okay, so you're probably wondering — what's so special about a $10 mouse pad?
And it turns out, quite a lot. This computer gaming accessory is the best-selling gaming mouse pad of all time. The unique woven cloth allows for excellent tracking, a non-slip base ensures a sturdy gaming surface and you can even buy the pad in a larger size, as a full desk cover, in case your PC gamer really runs out of room during gameplay.
From the same brand, this wireless headset offers gamers crystal clear audio and high-performance sound quality that allows gamers to pick up minute noises while they're in the midst of a game. They can also use the headset to listen to their favorite tunes while playing offline.
Whatever their preference, this headset stands apart as one of the best options on the market.
Related: The 9 Best Wireless Earbuds of 2020
Just as gamers aren't going to want to use a traditional computer mouse for their gaming, most gamers prefer a gaming keyboard to the conventional variant. This colorful, backlit option can be used for everyday work too.
Overall, it includes those additional features that matter most to gamers, such as a high level of accuracy and an ergonomic, wrist-friendly design.
Of course, you can't have any fun as a gamer unless you have some games. Here are a few of the top picks for gift-giving this year.
The Assassin's Creed franchise is at it again, with the newest installment of its history-based series. This time, players enjoy a Viking setting as they travel back in time to the 9th century, where they take on the role of a Viking raider fighting against the English Saxons.
WoW fans are in luck this year with this new expansion that just came out in November. If you really want to treat your gamer, you can buy them the game's collector's edition, which includes extras like a soundtrack, book, mousepad and more.
Watch Dogs is another franchise that continues to deliver back with its third installment, Watch Dogs Legion. This time, players are in a futuristic London setting, and the highly immersive gameplay offers a gorgeous level of detail.
For the family-friendly gamer, the Just Dance franchise gets you up and moving with friends and family, dancing to the past year's greatest pop hits. This installment features 40 different songs with individual choreography for each.
If you also buy your gamer a subscription to the game's greater catalogue, they'll have access to hundreds of more dances.
For Final Fantasy fans, this game is a must-buy. Even if it is a remake, reviews say that the game goes much deeper into the original storyline, allowing fans of the classic to dive deep into the gameplay experience.
Only available on PlayStation consoles, The Last of Us Part II came out earlier in the year, but it's still a good pick for anyone that enjoys a video game with plenty of storytelling. The immersive narrative makes watching each scene play out just as enjoyable as the actual gameplay.
Each gaming console comes with its own online pass that allows you to access more new and classic games, online communities and a wider range of features. These online passes are generally sold monthly or annually via a gift card, and so your gamer will always need a new one. Find out what console they use most, and get them a pass as a nice stocking stuffer.
Related: Xbox Game Pass [Reviewed]
Other Gaming-Adjacent Items
There are plenty of cool gifts that your gamer will like that aren't necessarily 100% for gaming only. Check out a few of these cool gaming-adjacent gifts that the entire family will likely love, gamer or not.
This affordable gift is essentially a strip of LED lights that comes with an adhesive backing that sticks to anything, though it's meant to attach to the back of either your television or desktop computer monitor.
You can set the lights to 15 different colors and 10 different brightness levels. It's the perfect little touch of ambiance for any entertainment room or gaming setup.
If your gamer is a busy adult, they — like the rest of us — probably have difficulty fitting in all of their hobbies and priorities into one day. Let your gamer accomplish two tasks at once — gaming and exercising — with this under-desk bike pedal exerciser. At just over $100, it can easily sit under a desk or in front of a couch. It allows for a good workout while enjoying a game.
Related: Cubii Under Desk Elliptical Review
All that staring at a screen — especially if you have a gamer who already stares at a screen all day for work — can be hard on the eyes. This pair blocks up to 99% of blue light and reduces glare for less eye strain.
Plus, if you wear them ahead of going to bed, users report a better, more restful sleep.
For a monthly surprise for your gamer or geek, go with a subscription box designed with gamers in mind. LootCrate offers several cool options, including subscription boxes for gaming in general and subscription boxes focusing on specific games, like The Elder Scrolls, Destiny and Fallout. Each package includes high-quality, surprise gifts.
Many gamers have built audiences for themselves, live-streaming games to a watchful fanbase. If that's something your gamer is into, make sure they have the best gear for it, with this webcam that offers a few extra features, such as smart autofocus and enhanced exposure.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Gift for Your Gamer
Before you jump at any of the cool-looking gifts in our gift guide, though, you'll want to ask your gamer (or one of their close friends) a few questions that will clue you into whether or not a gift is a good fit.
- What kind of gaming console do they have (or want)?
- What types of games do they prefer? Shooters? Story-heavy games? Family-friendly games?
- What type of gear do they already own?
- Is there any particular gear they've been eyeing over the last few months?
Ask the right questions and you'll be sure to buy your gamer a gift that they'll love.
You might also like: The 7 Best Computer Monitors [For Work & For Play]
22 Gift Your Gamer Will Love:
- Microsoft Xbox Series X
- Sony PlayStation 5
- Nintendo Switch
- Logitech G502 HERO
- Xbox Wireless Controller
- PlayStation Wireless Controller
- Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- eXtremeRate DIY Kits for PS4, Switch and Xbox Controllers
- SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad
- SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
- Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Just Dance 2021
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- The Last of Us Part II
- Luminoodle TV Backlight
- YOSUDA Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser
- Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- A LootCrate Subscription
- A StreamCam