By 2021, the number of gamers in the world is expected to rise to over 2.7 billion. It’s safe to say that gaming is no longer the niche hobby it was once perceived to be. There are few people left in the developed world who don’t play at least some form of video game, so gaming is here to stay. Whether you’re a gamer or someone you know is, the chances are there’s someone in your life who loves video games.
When special occasions roll around, it can be hard to decide what exactly to buy for a gamer. In some ways, they’re very easy to buy for; after all, gaming paraphernalia is everywhere, right? True, but gamers don’t like every game, and it’s not easy to know whether you’re picking up the right gift or not. Worry not – we’re here to help. Here are ten perfect gifts for the gamer in your life (even if that’s you!)
1. A personalised mug
Gamers and coffee go hand-in-hand; after all, how else are you going to keep yourself awake during that marathon session? A good gamer needs a great mug, and what better way to store hot beverages than with a high-quality photo mug? You can put whatever picture you like on the mug, so find out your gamer’s favourite title and print an iconic piece of art from that game on the mug. Alternately, print a piece of art you’ve drawn yourself if you’re lucky enough to be talented in that area.
2. Store credit of their choice
There is, or should be, no shame in asking people what they want for an occasion. This goes double for gamers; it’s not easy to know which consoles or platforms people game on, so picking the right one is crucial. With that said, gaming is increasingly download-only nowadays, so opting for credit from stores like Steam, the PlayStation Store, or the Nintendo Switch eShop is always a solid bet. With that credit, they can buy whatever game or piece of DLC they like!
3. A game
It might sound obvious, but sometimes the obvious gifts are the best ones. Listen to the gamer in your life talk about games and see what kind of titles they’re most excited for. When the holiday season rolls around, or it’s time for their birthday, check the stores for sales. There’s no shame in doing so; gaming sales are extremely common, especially on platforms like Steam, which also has a gifting feature. Store cards are a great idea, but there’s no substitute for a well-chosen game.
4. A new console
This one is strictly for those for whom money is no object. If you find yourself coming into money, why not go all-out and splash out on a new console for the gamer in your life? The Nintendo Switch is the perfect option for a gamer who already has a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One. If your gamer is PC-only and you trust your tech knowledge, think about components you could buy them as an upgrade. This is a tricky area, so it’s only for advanced gift-buyers!
5. External storage
Every gamer runs into this quandary at some point during their life: I want to play lots of games, but I only have limited storage space to keep all my data. You could be the answer to that problem. External hard drives for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One don’t have to cost the earth, and although they’re not all good for storing games, you will find many of them are excellent for keeping save files and other data on. PC-wise, a solid-state drive is an absolute must-have, so if the gamer in your life doesn’t have one yet, start there.
Every gamer always needs more peripherals. If the gamer plays mostly on PC, this is a no-brainer; upgrading their keyboard or mouse is where you should start, and if they recently got a new keyboard or mouse, try the speakers, headset, or monitors. Console-wise, things get a little bit trickier, but the good news is that there are still lots of low-cost options. Controller charging bays, extra cables, and headsets are all great options; failing that, all gamers could always use an extra controller.
7. Headphones and audio equipment
Gaming is an immersive medium. Playing video games on a less-than-stellar audiovisual setup is not ideal, so if your gamer still finds themselves listening to the footsteps of Resident Evil 2’s Mr. X through tinny TV speakers, it’s time to upgrade. Of course, a full home entertainment system is ideal, but if you don’t have the time, money, or space to do that, headphones will be fine. Even cheaper sets can massively enhance your gaming experience.
8. A retro mini-console
There’s a real boom going on right now in the world of retro mini-consoles. Essentially, these are small devices manufactured by companies like Nintendo and Sega that will allow you to play retro games from back in the day without the need for the original hardware. That means games like Ghouls’n’Ghosts, Super Mario World, and Sonic the Hedgehog are available to check out without needing an original SNES or Mega Drive. An excellent idea if your gamer is a retro-head.
9. A gaming chair
This one goes for PC gamers mostly, but console gamers could also benefit from it. If you’re using a standard office chair for PC gaming, you could be doing serious damage to yourself over time. It’s important to get yourself a chair with proper lower back support that will sustain you over lengthy gaming sessions. There are many options available on the market, so finding the right one can be tricky. Talk to the gamer in your life and see what kind of chair they’d favour.
10. Gaming clothing
There are two kinds of gaming clothing in this storied world of ours: clothing that merely presents slogans and video game titles, and clothing that was clearly made by actual gamers. If it’s not already clear, you should opt for the second kind. Sites like Redbubble and Insert Coin are excellent places to start; they usually offer clothing that’s been designed by gamers, for gamers, meaning the clothes you’re buying will make your gamer proud to wear them out and about.