More people are gamers than you think. I have friends who play mobile games on their phones during their morning commute – they are gamers. I have friends who are going for gold in competitive PC games – they are most definitely gamers. Gaming isn’t limited to traditional consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch – and that can make it difficult to buy a gift for a gamer, especially if you’re unsure of their platform of choice. .
This list includes a variety of freebies that almost any gamer can enjoy. Instead of focusing on novelty items like branded apparel, we’ve chosen to focus on the games themselves and the gear that goes along with those games. Before buying a gift for a gamer, just be sure to check with them which devices or consoles they prefer to use so you get 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 advice. As a longtime gamer and professional writer, I have personally used many of these products. We’ve included a mix of critically acclaimed games, gaming peripherals, digital gift cards and subscriptions.
“Hades” is fast-paced, action-packed entertainment in a mythical Greek world. You play as Zagreus, son of Hades, as he attempts to fight his way out of the underworld and reach Mount Olympus. Dodging and smashing your way through this vivid, painterly setting never gets old. The amazing art, music, characters, and story make this one of the best games to gift to friends. “Hades” is available on almost all game consoles as well as PC and Mac.
“Stray” puts you in the shoes – well, the paws – of a stray cat living in a futuristic world without human beings. Separated from your colony, you explore a mysterious and strange setting in the company of a flying robotic drone named B-12. The game is only a few hours long, but it’s very enjoyable for casual and veteran gamers, mainly because playing as a realistic cat is endlessly entertaining. “Stray” is only available digitally on PS5 and PS4 consoles, so gift a PlayStation Store Gift Card buying the game with is your best option.
“Elden Ring” is one of the biggest games of 2022, with dozens of best reviews and rating 10/10. It’s a massive fantasy adventure where you explore a dark and immersive world in ruins. Similar to games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildhalf the fun of ‘Elden Ring’ is its openness: you can explore every last bit of the game. But be warned: ‘Elden Ring’ is tough as nails – defeating its massive, fearsome bosses is daunting, yet rewarding.
Elden Ring is available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
If you want to gift a video game to a PC-loving friend but aren’t sure which one to buy, a Steam gift card is a good alternative. Steam is a pc digital game showcase with a library of over 50,000 games – a Steam Gift Card can be used for the digital purchase of any game on the platform, meaning you’ll help the recipient purchase the game of their choice, instead of any game you’ve heard of.
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service is essentially Netflix for video games: users pay for a subscription and have 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. Giving a PC or Xbox gamer a three-month subscription is a great way to get them hundreds of great games.
Similar to Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service for Apple users. Users pay a monthly subscription and can download hundreds of different games to their iPhone, iPad or Macbook. One of the best parts of Apple Arcade is the curation – the games available are far better than the free or dated games you might find on the App Store.
You can’t buy an Apple Arcade subscription for someone else, but you can give them an Apple Gift Card that they can use to pay the $5 subscription fee.
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is experiencing a rise in popularity. From popular D&D livestream groups like Critical Role to D&D references in Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” D&D is everywhere. And in fact, playing D&D is easier and much more laid back than you might think. With the D&D 5th Edition Starter Set, any group of friends can come together and experience a fantastic adventure a la “Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones”. It’s essentially a board game mixed with group improvisation, all set in a fantasy world of your own making.
Virtual reality is no longer science fiction, at least in the realm of games. Meta’s Quest 2 VR Headset is the perfect introduction to virtual reality gaming: it’s a self-contained, self-contained kit containing a headset and two controllers, all wireless. With it, you can immerse yourself in interactive games like “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 handheld game consoles. It offers some of the funniest multiplayer games around, from “Mario Kart” to “Overcooked”. If the gamer in your life is interested in Nintendo characters or gaming on the go, the Nintendo Switch would make a great gift.
It’s possible that 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 included with the Switch, the Pro Controller works well for larger hands and offers a more traditional feel that many gamers prefer.
This gaming monitor is one of our favorites, offering great value and great performance. It offers fast speeds and a responsive feel, perfect for gamers playing 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, swivel, tilt, and swivel for added ergonomic comfort.
One of the best gaming mice, Logitech’s G305 Wireless Mouse is loyal. It’s a simple, affordable, and lightweight gaming mouse that offers precise control for any PC or Mac gamer. The Logitech Hero sensor is very fast and accurate, with a maximum DPI of 12,000 and a polling rate of 1,000 Hz. It makes fast-paced games much easier to play compared to a traditional desktop mouse.
A mouse pad may seem like a basic gift, but a good mouse pad can make all the difference for gamers who play on PC or Mac. The Steelseries QcK Mouse Pad is a longtime favorite of mine due to its low price and smooth consistency. It also comes in a wide variety of sizes.
Many gamers enjoy meeting up with friends online through platforms like Discord and Steam. If the gamer you’re shopping for enjoys chatting with friends online, they may want a mic to replace their laptop’s microphone, which can drown out voices. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset delivers quality gaming and microphone audio. For gamers playing online, it’s an easy solution to audio and communication issues.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1, one of our favorite gaming headsets, is compatible with PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Android devices.
If the gamer you’re shopping 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 due to its excellent low-light performance. It’s leagues above any built-in laptop webcam, and it’s extensively customizable thanks to Razer’s Synapse software.
Gamers with lots of gadgets often face charging issues – especially on the go, finding an outlet or bringing the right chargers can be a hassle. Anker’s 525 Power Bank is an ideal portable battery for powering up smartphones, headsets, controllers and more. It can charge devices of all kinds thanks to its USB-A and USB-C ports. Mine has been invaluable on many train and plane trips.