Shopping for a gamer sounds like it should be easy, but getting them the right gift can be a bit more complicated than you think. The good news: there’s so much to choose from. The bad news: there’s so much to choose from.
It’s even worse when you consider all the different kinds of gamers out there. From those who pledge allegiance to the PC master race to Nintendo purists and everything in between, it isn’t easy finding just the right gift to add to their setup. But if you nail it, you won’t find anyone more grateful than a gamer.
When shopping for a gamer, first determine your desired price point. For most, you’ll be able to grab a couple games under $100 and call it a day. Accessories like controllers and charging docks are another great mid-range price point. The next step up will be things like gaming consoles or a gaming laptop, which will run you a couple hundred. If you’re looking to go all out and treat the gamer in your life to an epic gift, a brand new PC rig and setup could clock in at around $4,000.
We’re here to help you get some ideas for the gamer in your life. We’ve found some of the best gifts, including some of the hottest games of 2018, consoles, accessories, and more. Here are our picks:
Xbox One X
PlayStation 4 Pro
The PlayStation 4 Pro is a more powerful iteration than its predecessor, resulting in better, faster performance across the board. It’s most evident in the visuals, with many games getting a boost in general, while some are even capable of playing in glorious 4K. While the original PS4 can handle the PSVR, the Pro was designed with VR in mind. That way, if the gamer in your life wants to start dipping their toes into the VR pool, they’ll have a place to start.
To the delight of ’90s kids everywhere, Nintendo released the SNES Classic last year. The system comes pre-installed with 21 of the best games available, like Super Punch Out, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario World. The system comes with two retro controllers included so your favorite gamer can challenge all their friends — one at a time, that is.
Blue light blocking glasses
Staring at a screen for hours on end isn’t good for any gamer’s eyes. Gunnar Optiks Intercept glasses help in cutting down the strain caused by blue light, thus helping to reduce headaches, eye fatigue, and potential sleep problems caused by too much screen time. The Optiks can even be used in other settings, like at the office.
Corsair gaming keyboard
Corsair gaming mouse pad
The hard mat is a low-friction pad that won’t impede any movement. In fact, the gamer in your life might start noticing some faster movement on the screen from the texture surfaced. And because of the material, it will last far longer than any other soft material pad. And if they’re in need of an extra USB port, the MM800 has a pass through built-in, just in case.
Nintendo Switch Pro controller
Nintendo figured some people might not be on board with the Joy-Cons, which is why there’s the Pro Controller. This is the controller built for traditionalist gamers. If their gaming history includes Xbox or PlayStation, they’ll be happy with familiar layout. It’s wireless too, so they won’t have to be tethered to the system for it to work.
Xbox One Elite controller
Finding better ways to play isn’t just limited to game design, but also hardware. Sure, the out-of-the-box controller for an Xbox One works fine, but you can’t tune the settings or swap out the joysticks if you’re unhappy with it. Upgrade your gamer to the Xbox One Elite Controller and they can. They can swap the sticks, the d-pad, and adjust button/trigger sensitivity for faster response. Word to the wise: the small parts can be easy to lose if they’re not kept in the included travel case.
Logitech gaming mouse
The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum is everything a gamer could want out of their mouse. The optical sensor will accurately pick up the mouse’s movement for more precise in-game responses. The DPI can be adjusted for faster or slower response, depending on preference. And for everyone who likes their hot keys, the G502 has 11 programmable buttons available to play with. No need to fumble all over the keyboard to activate an ability in Overwatch.
Portable hard drive
Since most games have to be installed on console and PC, extra space is hugely important. The WD 4TB My Passport is an easy recommendation, providing enough space that your gamer won’t even need to think about it. And with 4TB, there certainly won’t be any worry about space for a long time. With the My Passport, they’ll get extra security encryption, putting them at far less risk of having saved data hacked than most external hard drives.
A stellar gaming chair
Sony 65-inch 4K TV
In order to enjoy their Xbox One X properly, your gamer will need a good 4K TV. One of the best, hands down, is the Sony 65-inch X900F. Since Sony is behind PlayStation, it only makes sense their TVs would be ideal gaming TVs. The picture is going to be gorgeous, but thanks to low input lag and a high refresh rate, they’ll enjoy smooth and snappy gaming on all their games. (And at 65 inches, movies won’t look half bad either.)
Acer Predator Triton 700
If your gamer wants to enjoy Battlefield V on the go, they’ll need some power packed under the hood. The Acer Predator Triton 700 is the laptop to get if you want desktop power in a mobile package. With an overclocked Intel Core i7-7700HQ and 32GB of RAM here’s plenty of speed to ensure fast performance for all their gaming needs. And with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, they’ll enjoy games with some of the most demanding visuals out there.
The CYBERPOWERPC tower proves you don’t have to build a desktop to enjoy the best that PC gaming has to offer. It sports an overclocked Intel Core i7-8700 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 240GB SSD, so the speeds are going to be excellent. With a 1TB HDD, your gamer won’t have to worry about storage either. And then there’s the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, which will display games in all their graphical glory.
Samsung QLED monitor
Samsung hasn’t been shy about incorporating these designs into their PC equipment, resulting in the 2018 28-inch QLED Monitor. This means PC gamers will be able to enjoy the highest quality 4K Samsung has to offer. And with a slim design, it won’t take up much room on the desk, either, which is perfect when you consider just how big some gaming components can be (especially on PC).
‘Red Dead Redemption 2’
If your gamer needs to scratch that superhero itch, pick up Spider-Man, exclusively on PS4. The new game puts players in the role of Peter Parker in his early 20s, trying to balance adulthood with his life as Spider-Man. From stopping crime to helping Aunt May, the game shows just how hard the life of a superhero can be.
‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’
Every character you could imagine is available for gameplay, from series mainstays like Captain Falcon to one-offs like Solid Snake. Your gamer will enjoy all the stages, music, trophies, and modes that make for the biggest Smash yet.
‘Forza Horizon 4’
Ever dream of driving the English coast in a new Bugatti? If the gamer in your life has, then this game is for them. Forza Horizon 4 allows fans to have that experience from the comfort of their couch. The newest entry takes the Horizon festival to England and will let players explore the English countryside with over 400 available cars. Terrain won’t be the only thing affecting car choice, though. The world will have a more dynamic weather system that changes the world itself, based on the season.
‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’
‘God of War’
‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must fix a mistake she made that could very well lead to the end of the world. It drops her into South America and continues her battle against Trinity’s plans for world domination. While all the action and puzzle-solving from the previous games are back, Shadow also places a bigger emphasis on stealth. Players will be able to use the jungles to escape from enemies by hiding in brush or using mud to blend in.
‘Mega Man 11’
‘Destiny 2: Forsaken’
After a long year, Destiny 2 is back in big fashion with the new expansion. Forsaken sends guardians to a new explorable space, the Tangled Shore, to hunt down those responsible for killing friend and fellow guardian, Cayde-6. This will lead to The Dreaming City, Destiny’s first dedicated endgame space. Then there’s Gambit, the new mode that pits two teams of four in a race to summon a Primeval to kill. Expect new perks, random gear rolls, new supers, and so much more.