The best Christmas gift ideas for PC gamers

Buying gifts for gamers can be a really tricky thing especially if they’re like us and already own everything thanks to the last Steam sale. Luckily there’s plenty of other gift you can pick out for your friends and loved ones beyond just games. 

Whether it’s a new graphics cards, processor and other components, a new peripheral or a whole new gaming laptop, these are some presents sure to enhance their experience and up their gamer cred.

1. Lenovo Ideacentre Y900

A no fuss gaming desktop

Expansive upgradability
Tool-less design
Inaccessible cable management
A tad pricey

A gaming desktop is the best and most affordable way of getting into gaming especially if you can build it on yourself. Of course, not everyone might be into the DIY route. Luckily, though, there are some solid options for those who just want a system to bring home and getting running in a few minutes. The Lenovo Ideacenter Y900 is easily one of the gaming desktops that best splits the difference between ready to go gaming and easy upgradability down the line.

2. Asus ROG Strix GL502

Gaming laptop perfection

Rocks Full HD gaming
Deliciously vibrant screen
Poor battery life

Okay, not everyone has the space for a gaming desktop and let’s be real, you’re tired of seeing your friend play only CS:GO and League of Legends on a MacBook Pro. Good news is Nvidia’s latest 10-series graphics cards have virtually eliminated the performance gap between gaming laptops and desktops. The Asus ROG Strix GL502 in particular offers all the gaming prowess you need to play the latest titles with booming speakers and one of the best Full HD displays around.

3. Oculus Rift + Touch

The best way to leave this reality

Best VR games
Growing list of movies and apps
Expensive to get in

Virtual reality graduated this year from being the new gadget on the block to a quickly maturing medium. Just as well the Oculus Rift feels more like a complete package next to the HTC Vive now that the Touch Controllers are finally here.

4. Samsung CFG70 gaming monitor

An affordable and impressive curved display

Unique, flexible display stand
Impressively vibrant and contrast-y
AMD FreeSync only

Samsung has seriously and literally doubled down on gaming monitors this year CFG70 series curved displays. Available in 24- and 27-inch screen sizes, these screens are designed for competitive gaming with a rate up to 144hz and a virtually instantaneous 1ms response time. What’s more these screens are enhanced by quantum dot technology to display 125% of the sRGB spectrum and greater contrast.

5. Nvidia GTX 1080

The best graphics card for gaming

Great all round performance
Classy design

Everyone eyes Nvidia’s top graphics card with an almost lustful desire and so that’s exactly why it’s one of the best gifts you can give this holiday. Whether you favorite gamer needs a graphics card upgrade or a second one card to complement their current setup, the Nvidia GTX 1080 is one of the most powerful GPUs for gaming. Yes, the Nvidia GTX Titan X trumps it in every way, but let’s be serious here, they would have to be a really, really good friend and you’re probably saving up this purchase for yourself…

6. Intel Core i7-6700K

Hardy processing power for any task

Great for overclocking
Faster and lower energy draw
Not that much faster than last gen

Well if you’re going to give your bestie one of the best GPUs on the market, they’re going to need a top of the line processor to go with it. This quad-core processor will make easy work out of real time strategy games and anything else that requires serious number crunching. Plus it’s one most flexible chips when it comes to overclocking to the max. What about the Intel Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E? Shhhhh, again save that for yourself...

7. Astro A50 Wireless

A wireless gaming headset you can comfortably wear for hours

Full-bodied Dolby 7.1 Surround sound
Supremely comfortable
Finnicky charging cradle

Gaming requires a decent set of cans. Luckily, Astro has been at the top of the chain since its founding and this year released a new A50 wireless headset. This is hands down the most comfortable and best sounding gaming headset around. It also a  breeze to use with a recharging cradle and amp controls integrated directly into the headset for tweaking audio levels on the fly.

8. HyperX Alloy FPS

Solid and no-nonsense gaming keyboard

Compact, solid frame
Affordably priced
Only red backlighting

Every gamer need a trusty keyboard and there’s not quite as sturdily built as the all metal HyperX Alloy FPS. This frameless keyboard is small in size but huge on tactile feedback thanks to some increasingly rare Cherry Blue key switches. What’s more, it’s compact enough to tote to LAN events and it even comes with a carrying bag to do so.

9. Razer DeathAdder Elite

Comfy and laser accurate gaming mouse

Comfortable grip
Overly familiar design

Razer makes some of the most comfortable and responsive gaming mice on the market and the new DeathAdder Elite is about the closest thing to perfection you’ll find (if you’re right-handed that is). The peripheral maker claims it offers 'True tracking' at 450 inches-per-second and a resolution accuracy of 99.4%. Translation: you can move this thing around with the precision of a fine tuned laser and it's pretty comfy to boot.

10. Valve Steam Controller

Valve's reinvented gamepad for PC gaming

Completely customizable
Haptic feedback touchpads
Not functional for every genre

Before you scoff at controllers from your mouse and keyboard throne, they can actually better racing and fighting games as well as other genres. The Steam Controller is particularly interesting as it strikes a midpoint between your traditional gamepad and mouse-like precision. This is thanks to its two circular touchpads being more sensitive than thumb sticks on other controllers while offering complete customizability for them and every other button.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.