Video games are one of the most universal hobbies. You don’t have to identify as a gamer or fit some stereotype; we probably all know someone who enjoys playing.
When you consider someone enough of a video game fan to look at an article about “gifts for gamers,” you need to keep in mind that not all gamers are created equal. And thus, neither are the gifts for video gamers. Let’s try to narrow down what they might like best.
What to Consider When Considering Gamer Gifts
The devil is in the details when choosing the best gifts for gamers.
Colorful new keycaps for a mechanical keyboard could be an awesome gift for a PC gamer — not so much for someone who plays on a console. What if you pre-order a brand new special edition box set of a game only to find out they actually play the other title in this genre?
Try using this checklist to see if you have adequate information:
- Do they play on a PC or a console? Which console? What kind of hardware do they use (i.e., mechanical keyboard, wired or wireless controllers)?
- What games are their favorites, either by title/franchise or genre?
- Can you think of anything they’ve complained about in relation to gaming? (If it’s a preventable problem, like back pain or eye strain or their controller sticking, this gives you a lead!)
- Do they have, or express any interest in, video game-related merchandise? (Think stuffed animals or figurines of characters, clothing or accessories, novelty items, which can be another lead for what gifts to look at.)
If you’ve got all this covered, it’ll be hard to go wrong.
Video game gifts offer a whole world of niche, thoughtful options. But you’ve got to know your gamer before you buy it. The more specific the gift you want to get, the more sure you should be of the details. When in doubt, either get more info or just opt for something a little simpler instead. We’ve got a few non-specific options for you below!
But don’t worry too much about it! If you care for each other, they’ll appreciate the gesture behind your gift, even if it’s not quite what they had in mind.
21 Gift Ideas for Gamers
Games and Hardware
This will only work for PC gamers who use Steam, but honestly, that includes a whole lot of people! When you just aren’t sure what game would be best, give a gamer free rein to run around the digital video game candy store.
Do you know a gamer with console envy? Maybe they wish they had a Nintendo Switch but can’t justify buying their own? Do them a solid. You can even pick up a retro console for gamers who simply love games past.
Co-op games often rely on verbal communication, so a headset with a decent microphone is key and makes everyone’s experience better. If the gamer in question lives with you, a good headset might also be a gift to yourself. We’ve included a list of options from PC Gamer above, but there are plenty of others where that came from.
The new frontier of gaming is definitely VR. It isn’t for everyone, but maybe you’ve heard your gamer take a keen interest. Although this is a particularly expensive purchase, it may be well worth it for the right person — and there are a couple of cheaper options as well.
Gaming chairs are usually considered gifts for PC gamers, but their comfort and ergonomics can benefit anyone! Why game from the couch or the bed when you can game while sitting in a battle station? Feel free to use that line in a card to the gift recipient.
The actual science of computer glasses is kind of dubious, but no one can deny the real power of a placebo, especially one as fashionable as these. These only make sense for someone who doesn’t normally wear vision correcting glasses, of course.
Who says neck pillows are just for flights? This offering from Cabeau is the cream of the crop, providing support without any sweaty overheating. A neck pillow for gaming might encourage players to sit back a little, but it keeps your head and neck straight even if you’re leaning forward.
Our hands and wrists already handle a lot of stress day-to-day. The small, repetitive movements of gaming increase that strain even more. Dedicated wrist support bands or full fingerless compression gloves can help with aches, cramping, and tension.
The Fun Stuff
From stuffed plush and little figures to posters, mugs, blankets, and clothes — the Pokemon Center online store has something to satisfy any Pokemon player. They aren’t the only ones selling adorable Pokemon merch either.
If you have some of your own video game knowledge or a good understanding of what your particular gamer likes, there are some amazing deep cuts and iconic looks here. Insert Coin makes it a little easier to narrow down with a “shop by game” option, too.
A cute little video game pin is a great statement piece for jackets and bags, or perfect for any gamer who also likes to collect ‘em. We’ve linked a general search for video game pins, but you can also narrow it down by the specific game or character.
Surprise them with a new little buddy modeled after one of their favorite video game characters. Not everyone is a Funko fan, so if you’re buying them their first one, make sure they’d enjoy the company.
When the day is done, and it’s time for your gamer to dock their Apple Watch, they can do it with a smile when you get them this little stylized desk stand. It is made of silicone and looks like a classic Game Boy system.
Perfect for a gaming den or especially whimsical living room — these wall-mounted cabinets are made to go up on either side of the TV, transforming into a giant simulacrum of a Nintendo Switch system. The seller makes them to order in custom colors and sizing.
A cute novelty for the gamer who won’t stop talking about the time they spent 50 bucks in an arcade, got the top three high scores and made the names ASS all three times. Constructed with a sturdy diecast metal surround, it says, “25¢ insert coin to play.”
In a glorious mashup of whimsical interior decorating and retro gaming style, this item can cover any flat rocker-style/paddle-style light switch.
The Nerdier Stuff
Legend of Zelda fans should love this tome detailing the history of the fantasy kingdom, which also features some full-color art. Perhaps best of all, there are other editions in the series, so it can totally be the start of a wonderful little collection.
This oft-recommended book is an in-depth look at “the stories behind how video games are made.” If the gamer you’re thinking of has an interest in the industry and game development, be sure to get them a copy. Amazon has some other similar stories listed as related titles, too.
What could be better? Overwatch, a rocket ship, and LEGO blocks. Even if your gamer only had a passing interest in Overwatch, they might still fall in love with this fun 730-piece set! And if they are a dedicated “Overwatcher,” there are a couple of character-based sets as well.
Amazon has plenty to choose from just in a general search, usually around 1000 pieces and printed with beautiful finished images. Some of our favorite options feature The Witcher 3, various Zelda entries, and Super Mario Odyssey. Be sure to search around for specific games to get more relevant results, though.
The holidays can be a great time to splurge on the more expensive items here, but there are plenty of choices for almost any gifting occasion. Unique gifts for gamers make fun, thoughtful purchases for birthdays or just to say, “I’m thinking of you and wanted to get you something as awesome as you.”