At first glance, the gamer in your life seems like the easiest person to buy for – just get them a game. And then Christmas draws closer and you realise there are a lot of games. And they already have a lot of games. And hardware is incredibly expensive but they also have most of that anyway. So where does that leave you? Panic buying a 4K TV they probably don’t need, that’s where.
Before it gets to that stage, let us help you. From key accessories, to thoughtful subscriptions, to fun tie-in merchandise, there are so many gaming gifts out there that aren’t actually games. We’ve picked out a wide range of options that will suit stockings big and small and coin purses full and empty.
HyperX Cloud Revolver S
Fantastic performance at a reasonable price
Whether the gamer in your life loves playing online with others or they simply enjoy playing their games at a volume the neighbors can’t bear, a headset is always a much appreciated gift.
Whether they’re on PC, Xbox or PlayStation, we recommend the HyperX Cloud Revolver S. With this headset you’re getting high-end and well-rounded stereo sound for a mid-range price. Though slightly on the chunky side, the headset looks good and has a reasonably understated and stylish finish. The Dolby 7.1 surround sound is the cherry on top, particularly for those that enjoy first-person shooters as it’ll make it possible to pin-point off-camera enemies.
As far as the microphone is concerned, it’s noise-cancelling so all communication should be crystal clear. Even better, it’s also detachable so these headphones can even be used away from the PC or console.
Logitech G413 Carbon
Sleek, cheap and responsive
When it comes to PC gaming, a good keyboard is essential for victory – even the most adept gaming hands need the right keyboard to support them. Conveniently for Christmas, they’re around the right shape to fit neatly inside a large stocking. Less conveniently, they can cost an incredible amount.
For a keyboard that performs well and doesn’t break the bank, we suggest the Logitech G413 Carbon. This is a study magnesium alloy-framed keyboard with a refined, pared down design. With its lighting-fast actuation point of 1.5mm combined with Logitech’s quiet and excellent mechanical Romer-G switches it stands out as one of the best affordable options on the market.
Our guide to the best gaming keyboards contains all our top recommendations in the area.
A leather-clad beauty
Now that games are getting longer and more involved than ever, a comfortable gaming chair is a must for those extended play sessions.
If you’re looking for one to gift, you pretty much can’t go wrong with the Epic line from Noblechairs – in the Game of Thrones, this is the throne of games. While some gaming chairs opt for gaudy colors and plastic finishes, the Epic chair offers something a little more luxurious with detailed embroidery, comfortable high-density foam, and real leather.
For any vegans, there’s also a vegan-friendly faux leather option which looks just as good and actually costs less.
If you're looking for chairs at different price points, our guide to the best gaming chairs has everything you need.
SNES Classic Mini
A plug-and-play classic
Want to take a gamer back to the Christmas mornings of old? Consider buying them a SNES Classic Mini. Where the NES Classic was the gift of choice last year, the SNES is taking its place.
You don’t need to worry about any Christmas morning set up woes, either. This console comes pre-loaded with 21 classic SNES games including Super Metroid and the never-before-released Star Fox 2 and as it plugs straight into your TV you can get started with minimal mess and no fuss.
As was the case with the NES console before it, stock has been somewhat hard to come by with the SNES Classic. We'd advise that you keep an eye on stock and not to purchase it for inflated re-sell prices – bear in mind its initial selling point was £79/$79.
Xbox Design Lab controller – prices starting from £69.99/$79.99
Although we’re not at a stage where there are more color options for game controllers than ever before, none of them feel particularly special. Sure you can pick up your favorite block color, but chances are you’ll quickly come across someone that’s done the exact same thing and it goes back to just being any other controller.
To make things a little more special when they pick up their controller for a long day of play on Boxing Day, why not get the gamer in your life a custom controller?
Xbox gamers are lucky in that they have Microsoft’s dedicated Design Lab where it’s possible to design an Xbox controller using more than a billion color combinations. We can take you through how to use the store step-by-step. These controllers will also work on PC with the purchase of a USB adapter (sold separately).
Though Sony doesn’t offer the same service in-house, PS4 players don’t have to miss out as third parties such as Custom Controllers and Controller Shop offer completely customization Xbox One and PS4 controllers that will allow you to choose their favorite color, or a pattern featuring their favorite pop-culture characters. You can even throw a message or their gamer tag on there to make it extra personal. Prices start from £69.99 or $79.99.
Lootcrate subscription – prices starting from £28/$39.95
Can’t narrow your gift selection down to just one thing? Don’t worry, there’s actually a single gift that can pack in a handful of gaming goodies – a LootCrate subscription. These boxes are delivered every month, containing a range of cool gaming collectibles and clothing.
Each box has an overall content value which outstrips the price you pay for it, and thanks to the themes that change every month you can be sure they’ll get something new and exciting each time. It’s completely up to you how long you wish the subscription to go on for – there’s a one-time option or you can sign up for three, six, and 12 month plans.
Simply pick the box and subscription plan you want, the gender and T-shirt size of the recipient and let Lootcrate know where you need it to send your gift. Then sit back and take the praise.
Gaming magazine subscription @ My Favourite Magazines
If you think they’d rather read about their favorite games than collect memorabilia related to them you could purchase a year-long magazine subscription.
Physical publications have become something of a luxury treat and on My Favourite Magazines it’s possible to purchase subscriptions to a wide range of gaming publications including Edge, PC Gamer, Official PlayStation and Official Xbox.
You can chose between physical and digital subscriptions (or get a bundle that includes both) so that they can read about all their favorite games in their favorite publications each month in the way that suits them best.
[Disclaimer: These magazines are produced by Future Publishing, which also owns and operates TechRadar]
Unisex Pokemon Starter T-Shirt - £22/$25 @ InsertCoin
It's a point of contention – what was your go-to starter Pokemon in the Kanto region? Water-type Squirtle, fire-type Charmander, or grass-type Bulbasaur? If you know a Pokemon fan, you can show just how well you know them with a T-shirt emblazoned with their favorite starter. These unisex T-shirts from InsertCoin run in sizes XS to 3XL.
Unisex Destiny 2 Raid hoodie – £45/$51 @ InsertCoin
Have you barely seen your giftee since Destiny 2 was released? Show them you care with a Destiny 2 Raid hoodie. This is an understated design that will be immediately recognizable to other fans without the need for any overt Destiny 2 text.
There isn’t really any better time to receive a hoodie than the freezing cold middle of winter. Even better when it’s related to your favorite game.
Insert Coin is an online store that offers a range of apparel inspired by a wide array of games consoles and franchises and ships them internationally. If you’re not sure exactly what they’d like, you can always pick up some gift vouchers.
Rapture tin sign – £14.99 (around $20) @ GameTee
One for any BioShock fans out there, this will bring the wonder of undersea Rapture to any home without the less pleasant Big Daddies and civil war ruin.
Nuka Cola tin sign – £14.99 (around $20) @ GameTee
Rapture not your post-apocalyptic bag? Why not think about a Fallout aesthetic? A subtle nod to the Fallout drink of choice, Nuke Cola, this sign is an understated nod to a beloved game world.
When it comes to gaming merchandise, subtle probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind but it is actually possible to find gaming-inspired home decor that won’t make your eyes bleed. Created by GameTee, the tin signs above offer subtle nods to gaming tropes and franchises. There are many more signs in this vein as well as some lovely framed prints for art that’s a little more classic and candles to bring your favorite game world to life. Warm Skyrim sweetrolls anyone?
Crash Bandicoot mug – £13.99 @ PlayStation Gear
Sure, it goes against all natural instincts to drink from something marked TNT but for Crash Bandicoot fans this is a treat.
Donkey Kong Barrel mug – $5.99 @ GameStop
Are they a bit like Donkey Kong before they get their morning coffee? Then this mug is the perfect gift. It's on offer at GameStop just now too, down from $11.97.
A mug is the perfect stocking filler and it’s a great option for those problematic Secret Santa rounds too. Relatively cost but highly useful, you’re guaranteed picking the right one will bring a smile to any gamer’s face and brighten their morning coffee.
If you’re not sure where to pick one up, the official store pages for Nintendo and PlayStation are a good start. Xbox is sometimes a little more difficult but retailers such as Game, GameStop and Amazon are likely to fill the gaps.