Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Gamers are not an easy crowd to please, especially if you don’t play much yourself. There’s a wide variety of peripherals, accessories, and games available, so choosing the right gift can be challenging. No worries, we’re here to help — we’ve compiled a list of the best gifts for gamers to get. Whether they play on a console, PC, or mobile, you should be able to find something for them.
The best gifts for gamers:
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’re essential for those that enjoy competitive games like first-person shooters and MOBAs, and they also double up as practical and durable tools in everyday life.
If you want to get your loved one a mechanical keyboard that doesn’t cost a fortune, look no further than the Logitech G915. After all, it avoids the dreaded Razer tax without skimping out on quality. The G915 relies on low-profile mechanical switches that offer speed and accuracy at half the height of standard switches. You can also choose between three different tactile profiles: GL Tactile, GL Linear, or GL Clicky.
Read more: The best gaming keyboards
The Logitech G915 packs up to 30 hours of game time on a single charge, with handy LEDs to remind you of the remaining juice. You can tap into LIGHTSYNC technology for next-gen RGB effects with more than 16.8 million colors to choose from.
Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed
We’re over to Razer with our mouse pick. Its portfolio has several options, 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 also incredibly durable with a lifespan of 50 million clicks.
Related: The best gaming mice you can buy
The Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed is entirely 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 excellent 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.
A new controller
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority
If your friend or loved one is lucky enough to own an Xbox Series S/X or PlayStation 5, you might be looking for a way to join the fun. Luckily, controllers are much easier to track down than either console itself. You can pick up a powerful new DualSense controller or an Xbox Core Wireless controller and add a multiplayer wrinkle to your holiday gaming.
Learn more: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X
If you really want to make things interesting, you can also customize an Xbox controller in the Xbox Design Lab, though it may take a bit longer to enjoy the results of your handiwork. Sony is also launching a few colorful DualSense options, though they’re only available for pre-order at the moment.
Does the gamer you’re 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 like an Xbox controller — no additional dongles or base stations are needed.
Read more: The 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 excellent. 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 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’s 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’re smaller than their original counterparts and have 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 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 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 retro gamers can find many indie titles like Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac, which aren’t so dissimilar to games 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. However, the truth is 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 any mobile gamer would love.
Asus ROG Phone 5s series
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
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’s an undisputed set of winners — the Asus ROG Phone 5s and 5s Pro. They’re total spec powerhouses with unbeatable performance. The ROG Phone 5s series sports an impressive 6.78-inch Full HD+ display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The best news is that many games also take full advantage of it.
The phone also offers up to a staggering 18GB of RAM and up to 512GB 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 powerful 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.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Using a touchscreen to play games is not always easy or fun. But with the Razer Kishi controller, you can turn your Android smartphone into a portable console. It’s the best and easiest to use a controller for Android. All you need to do is insert your device into the two handles — no extra software required.
Read more: The best Bluetooth gaming controllers for Android, PC, and more!
The Razer Kishi has a sturdy and ergonomic build, and it feels reminiscent of an Xbox controller layout. Reaching for the charger won’t be necessary either — it draws power through the USB-C port, and you can always charge while you play. The buttons are of good quality and quite responsive. We noticed the D-Pad could be a bit mushy at times, but it’s not too tricky to get used to.
Gaming gift cards work too
Our last gift for gamers is good for just about anyone. A gift card can go a long way towards paying for memberships like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation’s PS Plus or PS Now. If you’d prefer, you can also put your budget towards games themselves — both on PC and console. Steam hits holiday sales pretty heavily, as do Xbox and PlayStation.
All you have to do with a gift card is make sure you’re getting it for the right platform. We’ve linked a few of our favorites below.
We also have a few links to app store gift cards from Apple, Google, and Amazon, which you can use to purchase on each platform.