Gaming has evolved to be more than just a hobby in recent years, with games taking players on immersive, emotional storylines and offering high-octane, cash prize tournaments for the best of the best. As such, to an outsider, it might feel a bit daunting to try and shop for someone who considers themselves a “gamer.”
Even though it’s understandable to get a little nervous about buying the right game for the right system or picking the peripheral that stands up to the gamer in your life’s technical preferences, the fact remains that gamers actually have a wide variety of gifts they’d love to receive. Here are ten things to get the gamer in your life, broken down by the types of players they’re most likely to appeal to. That being said, if you’re shopping for someone who owns multiple systems, they’d probably be grateful to get anything on this list.
Gift Ideas for Nintendo Gamers
256 GB MicroSD Card
If you’re shopping for someone who plays a lot of games on their Switch, a Micro SD card is an absolute must-have. Especially with how many gamers are switching to downloading games instead of purchasing physical copies, it just makes sense to increase the Nintendo Switch’s internal storage. This is becoming even more important when it comes to games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which features hefty seasonal updates to download. DLC can also take up space, making an extra Micro SD card even more useful for Switch players who want the most out of each of their games.
Any sized MicroSD card will be a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch’s measly 32 GB of internal storage. Even so, considering the fact that you can find a variety of different brands of 256 GB MicroSD cards for anywhere between $20 and $40, this size is a great option for gamers and your shopping budget, effectively offering eight times as much storage. Data writing speed is just as important as capacity, so do a little bit of comparison between brands to find a nice balance of these two factors so that opening games or save data isn’t adversely affected by a slow card. Starting under $30 on Amazon.
Nintendo Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch is confusing to buy controllers for, in part, because of how many different options there are. Some people, of course, will choose to play their Switch in the handheld mode most of the time. However, if someone wants to play it on their television, they’ll have to choose between playing with both Joy-Cons in their hands, both Joy-Cons held in the controller grip, or with only a single Joy-Con held horizontally. Especially if you’ve got bigger hands, the Joy-Cons can be a bit uncomfortable to use for long gaming sessions, which is why the Pro Controller is an excellent addition to your Nintendo gear.
Although the Pro Controller looks more like a traditional console controller than the Joy-Cons, it still has some extra functionality like Amiibo support and motion controls. This ensures that you’ll still be able to get the most out of all of your games, whether you’re playing Mario Kart or trying to get a new villager to visit your island in Animal Crossing. Find it on Amazon , under $80.
Nintendo Switch Carrying Case
Nintendo designed the Switch for portability, but that doesn’t mean that your games and extra controllers are as portable as they could be. Getting a protective carrying case is thus an important accessory if you want to take your Switch and more than one game with you on the go. There are a variety of cases to consider when shopping for the Switch player on your list; however, one of the top options out there is made by RDS Industries, Inc.
RDS Industries, Inc is one of the top Nintendo-licensed manufacturers of protective cases, an important distinction when you care about the wellbeing of your console. With padded screen protection and a hardshell case design, you’ll be able to travel and play comfortably and securely. RDS Industris, Inc. also includes two separate multi-game cases with their protective carrying case, so you can bring additional games or Micro SD cards with you wherever you go. Available on Amazon for under $20.
Gift Ideas for PlayStation Gamers
BEBONCOOL PS4 Controller Charging Stand
PlayStation’s Dualshock 4 controllers are full of responsive hardware like the distinctive light bar, touchpad, and haptic feedback that help immerse gamers in the world of the game they’re playing. Even with extra battery life, however, you may find your controller losing power sooner than you’d like. Rather than wiring into your system via USB cable, a controller charging stand can help you maximize gameplay hours by keeping a second (or even third) controller charging.
Most wireless charging stations, such as the BEBONCOOL PS4 controller charger, allow you to rapidly charge your Dualshock 4 controllers in as few as just two hours. BEBONCOOL’s charging dock features two LED indicators to help you know when your controllers are fully charged, too. This means you’ll never have to worry about restarting a major boss battle in Spider-Man with a half-charged controller. Available on Amazon for $15.
Sony PlayStation Gold Black Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Although one of the pricier gifts you can buy someone with a PlayStation, Sony’s PlayStation Gold Bluetooth wireless headphones are an excellent complement to any gamer’s lineup of accessories. Designed by Sony with the express purpose of deepening the audio experience of your games, you’ll enter a whole new world of gaming thanks to the 7.1 virtual surround sound the PlayStation Gold headphones boast.
For players who spend a lot of time gaming online with friends, but don’t like fumbling around with a microphone that juts out from the headset, the hidden, noise-canceling microphone is a welcome feature of Sony’s sleek headphone design. Indeed, style and comfort are just as much a selling point of these headphones as audio quality, helping to solidify them as the go-to headset for serious PlayStation players. Plus, if the gift recipient has their own PlayStation VR setup, these wireless headphones fit over the VR headset to comfortably immerse you in a whole other world of VR experiences. Available for $150, on Amazon.
PlayStation Plus Membership
PlayStation Plus subscribers get a host of benefits, including online multiplayer. It’s pretty much a given that if you own a PlayStation 4, you likely subscribe to PlayStation Plus. After all, who wouldn’t subscribe to a monthly service that offers access to some of the best titles the system has to offer? With a lineup featuring popular games like Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, and Street Fighter V, there’s plenty offered to PlayStation Plus subscribers to make it worth the cost.
That being said, recurring charges can be a bit of a drag, so consider gifting a few months (or a year) of a PlayStation Plus membership to help save the gamer you’re shopping for some money. A 12-month subscription to the service is only $60/year, so you’re literally gifting a year’s worth of thrilling PlayStation titles when you give someone the gift of PlayStation Plus.
Gift Ideas for Xbox Gamers
Controllers are one of the most important peripherals a gamer uses, but that doesn’t always translate to the most exciting gift. Thankfully, if the person you’re shopping for is a big fan of the Xbox, there’s a solution to that problem. Does the Xbox player in your life have a favorite color or sports team? The Xbox Design Lab (which, it should be noted, is currently undergoing maintenance until 2021 as Microsoft roles out more features for the platform) lets you create a customized controller perfect for any gamer. Especially if you want to give something more personalized, getting a customized controller is a great way to give a gift that balances sentimentality with functionality.
Even if you don’t know the first thing about Microsoft’s console, the ordering process via the Xbox Design Lab website is straightforward and fun. Offering a wide variety of color choices, texture options, and Bluetooth support, you’ll be able to craft the perfect birthday or holiday gift that matches your gift recipient’s personality. Just make sure to tuck this gift idea away for when their website is back up and running!
Xbox Digital Giftcard
Let’s face it: gift cards might be frowned upon as a lazy gift, but sometimes they’re the ideal thing to give someone. After all, it’s hard to know what sorts of games your gift recipient does and doesn’t have. Buying a gift card ultimately helps point them in the direction you’re already considering without putting as much pressure on you to find the “right” game.
Since an Xbox digital gift card can be bought in values of $10, $20, $25, $50, and $100, they’re perfect for main gifts, birthday cards, stocking stuffers, and everything in between. An Xbox gift card offers gamers a few different options to consider when it comes to spending it, too. They can be used on additional DLC like outfits and maps as well as the latest games, TV, and music. Thanks to the fact that the Xbox is an all-around media center, when you give an Xbox gift card to someone, you aren’t just giving the gift of gaming; you’re giving the gift of entertainment.
Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X Stereo Gaming Headset
If you’re shopping for someone who does a lot of gaming online with friends, the right gaming headset can be crucial to getting maximum enjoyment from a game. Beyond letting them chat with friends around the world, a gaming headset also lets them execute missions in shooters like Halo and Overwatch much more easily. This is where Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Recon 50X stereo gaming headset can be a major benefit.
For starters, Turtle Beach’s headset is lightweight, boasting comfortable use even for extended gameplay sessions. An adjustable microphone lets you speak with other players; however, if you’re interested in just using the headset as a pair of headphones you can easily remove the microphone to keep it out of the way. With large ear cups and speakers, you’ll hear every thrilling sound with these headphones, making them ideal for serious gamers who want a solid headset for their Xbox One or Xbox Series X. Availbale on Amazon starting at $29.95.
Gift Ideas for PC Gamers
Redragon S101 Wired RGB Backlit Gaming Bundle
Part of PC gaming comes down to aesthetics as much as it does the tactile feedback a certain keyboard and mouse provide for the player. That’s where a gaming bundle like Redragon’s S101 Wired RGB backlit keyboard, mouse, headset, and gaming mouse pad can offer you incredible value and functionality when shopping for a PC gamer.
The two stars of this bundle are the backlit keyboard, which is engineered for endurance and longevity, and the mouse, which features side grips and buttons for comfort and ease of use. If you don’t already have a headset, the included Redragon GARUDA headphones will do the trick; however, there are probably better headsets you can buy if you’re really interested in superior sound and microphone quality. Many gamers actually neglect a larger sized mouse pad for gaming, which can create frustrations during more intense gameplay sessions, so the included pad is likely to impress any gamer on your shopping list. Available on Amazon starting at $40.