There are more people gamers than you might think. I have friends who play mobile games on their phone on their commute – they are gamers. I have friends who go for gold in competitive PC games – they are definitely gamers. Gaming isn’t limited to traditional consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch – and this can make it difficult to buy a gift for a gamer, especially if you’re not sure what their platform of choice is.
This list includes a variety of gifts that almost any gamer can appreciate. Instead of focusing on novelties such as designer clothes, we chose to focus on games themselves and the equipment that goes hand in hand with playing those games. Before buying a gift for a gamer, make sure you check with them about which devices or consoles they prefer to use so that you get them something they will actually use.
The best gifts for gamers
To choose the best gifts for gamers, we relied on a mix of hands-on testing, industry reviews and expert guidance. As a lifelong gamer and professional writer, I have personally used many of these products. We’ve added a mix of critically acclaimed games, gaming peripherals, digital gift cards and subscriptions.
“Hades” is fast-paced, action-packed fun in a Greek myth world. You play as Zagreus, son of Hades, as he tries to fight his way out of the underworld and reach Mount Olympus. Dodging your way and making your way through this vibrant, scenic area is never boring. The great art, music, characters and story make this one of the best games to gift to friends. “Hades” is available on almost every game console, as well as PC and Mac.
“Stray” puts you in the shoes — well, paws — of a stray cat living in a futuristic world without humans. Separated from your colony, you explore an eerie and strange environment with the company of a flying robot drone called B-12. The game only lasts a few hours, but it’s a lot of fun for casual and experienced gamers alike, especially since playing as a real-life cat is endlessly entertaining. “Stray” is only available digitally on PS5 and PS4 consoles, so the best option is to gift a PlayStation Store gift card to buy the game with.
“Elden Ring” is one of the biggest games of 2022, with dozens of top reviews and 10/10 ratings. It is a huge fantasy adventure where you explore a dark and immersive world in ruins. As with games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, half the fun of “Elden Ring” is the openness: you can explore every last bit of the game. But be warned: “Elden Ring” is tough as nails – beating its huge, fearsome bosses is intimidating, but rewarding.
Elden Ring is available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
Steam Gift Card
If you want to gift a video game to a PC-loving friend, but don’t know which one to buy, a Steam gift card is a great alternative. Steam is a digital PC gaming store with a library of over 50,000 games – a Steam gift card can be used towards the digital purchase of any game on the platform meaning you help the recipient buy any game, in rather than just whatever game you’ve heard of.
Xbox Game Pass Subscription
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service is essentially Netflix for video games: users pay a subscription fee and get access to hundreds of games on Xbox or PC. The service has more than 25 million subscribers and Microsoft adds new games at least once a month. Gifting a PC or Xbox gamer a three-month membership is a great way to give them hundreds of quality games.
Apple Arcade Subscription
Similar to Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service for Apple users. Users pay a monthly subscription fee and can download hundreds of different games to their iPhone, iPad or Macbook. One of the best parts of Apple Arcade is management – the games available are way better than the free or outdated games you might find in the App Store.
You can’t buy an Apple Arcade subscription for someone else, but you can gift them an Apple Gift Card that they can use to pay the $5 subscription fee.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is becoming more and more popular. Whether it’s popular D&D livestream groups like Critical Role or D&D references in Netflix’s Stranger Things, D&D is everywhere. And actually, playing D&D is easier, and much more informal than you might think. The D&D 5th Edition starter set allows any group of friends to get together and enjoy a fantasy adventure a la “Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones”. Essentially, it’s a board game mixed with group improvisation, all set in a fantasy world you’ve created.
Virtual reality is no longer science fiction, at least not in the gaming realm. Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset is the perfect introduction to virtual reality gaming: it’s a self-contained, self-contained kit that includes a headset and two controllers, all wireless. It allows you to immerse yourself in interactive games such as “Beat Saber”, “Superhot VR, “Moss” and “Walkabout Mini Golf”. Unlike other VR kits, the Quest 2 is intuitive to set up and easy to use.
The Nintendo Switch is one of our favorite portable game consoles. It has some of the most fun multiplayer games on the market, from “Mario Kart” to “Overcooked”. If the gamer in your life has an interest in Nintendo characters or gaming on the go, the Nintendo Switch would make a great gift.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
There’s a chance the person you’re shopping for already has a Nintendo Switch. If they do, they’ll probably appreciate a Switch Pro Controller, a full-fledged wireless controller that’s comfortable to use for hours on end. Unlike the Joy-Cons that come with the Switch, the Pro Controller works well for large hands and offers a more traditional feel that many gamers prefer.
Asus TUF VG27AQ Gaming Monitor
This gaming monitor is one of our favorites and offers great value for money and excellent performance. It delivers fast speeds and a responsive feel, perfect for gamers who play fast-paced competitive games like “Apex Legends” or “Overwatch 2”. At 27 inches in diameter, it’s a great fit for desks and workspaces, with adjustable height, pivot, tilt and pivot point for added ergonomic comfort.
Logitech G305 wireless gaming mouse
One of the best gaming mice, Logitech’s G305 wireless mouse is robust. It’s a simple, affordable, lightweight gaming mouse that gives any gamer on PC or Mac precise control. The Logitech Hero sensor is very fast and accurate, with a maximum DPI of 12,000 and a polling rate of 1000 Hz. It makes fast-paced games a lot easier to play compared to a traditional office mouse.
Steelseries QcK Mouse Pad
A mouse pad may seem like a basic gift, but a good one can make a world of difference to gamers playing on PC or Mac. The Steelseries QcK mouse pad has long been a favorite of mine for its low price and smooth consistency. It also comes in a wide variety of sizes.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
Many gamers enjoy meeting up with friends online through platforms like Discord and Steam. If the gamer you’re shopping for likes to chat with friends online, they may want a microphone to replace their laptop microphone, which can make voices muffled. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset delivers high quality game and microphone sound. For gamers who play online, it is an easy solution to audio and communication problems.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1, one of our favorite gaming headsets, is compatible with PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Android devices.
Razer Kiyo Pro Webcam
If the gamer you’re looking for produces video content or live streams to friends, they probably understand the importance of a good webcam. Razer’s Kiyo Pro webcam is one of the best for gamers because of its great low-light performance. It’s leagues above any built-in laptop webcam, and it’s extensively customizable through Razer’s Synapse software.
Anker 525 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K)
Gadget-heavy gamers often face charging issues – especially on the go, finding an outlet or carrying the right chargers can be a headache. Anker’s 525 Power Bank is a portable battery pack that’s great for switching smartphones, headsets, controllers, and more. It can charge all kinds of devices with its USB-A and USB-C ports. Mine has been invaluable on many train and plane journeys.
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