10 great gifts for every gamer this holiday season

A few ideas for the video game fan on your list.

I have a confession to make. I love buying gifts for people. Birthdays, Secret Santa, weddings, you name it, I look forward to the challenge! And the reason is that I used to be an absolutely terrible gift giver. I once gave a grown man a box of tea bags and a USB bracelet that ended up being too small to fit around his wrist.

I’m still embarrassed by these gifts, but I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve been on my gift-giving game ever since. Now I’m here to help you! You’re already moving in the right direction by pinpointing a favorite hobby. Here are 10 gift ideas to get you thinking about the gamer in your life.

1. Gaming Chairs

Gaming can be very hard on the back if you have the wrong chair. Sitting in one position for hours hurts, but gaming chairs are made with this in mind. Many of them come with lumbar support and neck pillows to get the proper spinal curve. Also, they can be adjusted to get the best angle on the screen. There are plenty of chairs to choose from, and the price range is just as varied.

Secretlab chairs are high quality and the price reflects it. They have great reviews, a few options that take height and weight into consideration, and there are opportunities for designs beyond just black or gray. You can also find chairs with great reviews for half the price though. For example, this Nokaxus gaming chair has great reviews and would be a big improvement over a typical swivel chair.

2. Backbone

The Backbone is a great gift for the multi-tasking gamer. While it isn’t a console itself, it enables your phone to become your on-the-go gaming device. The Backbone uses your phone’s power instead of batteries, and it doesn’t store any games. Instead, players access their cloud library on Steam, PlayStation, or Game Pass to pick up where they left off.

Because you need strong service for uninterrupted gaming, it may not be the best for the daily commute. But when you need to walk away from your console or computer, it’s a great way to get back in the game. You can read Destructoid’s Backbone tech review for more information on this nifty device!

Backbone controller hardware

3. Beyond the Console

While the person on your list may have all of the games and consoles they need, helping them invest in quality gaming peripherals can be a fantastic gift. Gaming peripherals are things like headsets, keyboards, and mousepads. In this case, you really do get what you pay for. So even if your gamer already has a mouse and keyboard, they may not have the good stuff.

The Logitech MX Master 3S mouse is ergonomically built, fast, precise, and easily connected to multiple devices. It also has a reputation for lasting a long time. Mouse speed and precision are really important while PC gaming, so a good mouse is well appreciated.

Similarly, the keyboard can get worn out quickly with key combos and hours and hours of use. There are a ton of choices for gaming keyboards, but it will all depend on your budget. The Razer Turret wireless keyboard and mouse combo is pretty cool with the retractable, magnetic mouse pad, but you can also try out the Razer Huntsman V2 Optical keyboard. Just read reviews and look specifically for gaming keyboards. They are usually built to be quieter and more resistant to being worn out.

4. Steam Deck

On the higher end of gaming gifts, the Steam Deck is a very generous gift. The handheld console just became readily available to purchase in 2022, but the reviews have been positive. Having a Steam Deck is like having a Nintendo Switch, but bigger and with pretty much your entire Steam library on the go. There are three price tiers based on storage space, with the cheapest being $399 at the time of writing. It’s great for gamers with hectic schedules.

5. Games (But the easy way)

If you know what games are on your friend or family member’s wishlist, then buying a $60 game makes sense. But instead of taking a gamble, buy the gift of games the easy way: gift cards. Steam frequently has huge sales on games. Instead of buying a specific title that your recipient may already have, the Steam gift card can be saved to take advantage of sales, dumping a bunch of games into the cart for great prices. You can find physical cards at Best Buy, Target, and more, but you can also purchase digital gift cards to send directly through Steam.

A Game Pass subscription is another great way to gift multiple games. Game Pass is a cloud-based subscription service for Xbox console and PC gamers. You can buy a Game Pass gift card from places like Best Buy, Target, and GameStop for a certain number of months. During that time, players will have unlimited access to the game catalog and even opportunities to play new games the day they are released.

6. LEGO

LEGO is not just for kids. It’s more popular than ever, and there’s really a lot to choose from. Video game characters, like Pikachu, are fun for any age. This Bowser LEGO set is perfect for Super Mario fans. There are even LEGO sets that aren’t based on any particular characters, but just the act of gaming. This Nintendo Entertainment System Building Kit is perfect for those lifelong gamers looking to be a little nostalgic. It’s hard to go wrong here because, if nothing else, it’s just a fun activity.

7. Christmas Sweaters

The “ugly” Christmas sweater has come roaring back, but it really isn’t ugly anymore. Holiday sweaters have now become a way to be funny or showcase your nerdy interests at Christmas parties. So treat your favorite gaming nerd to a cool sweater that they can wear every December!

This Halo-themed sweater is the perfect amount of too much. It says “Happy Halo-days,” and boy, do I  love a good pun. On the other hand, this Skyrim sweater from Jamestees is so pretty, I would probably wear it all winter.

Skyrim Dragon Ugly Christmas Sweater

 

8. Cookbooks

For gamers with an interest in cooking, entertainment cookbooks are a fun gift idea. The recipes are usually accompanied by stunning pictures of all the food you may or may not end up making. The dishes will usually tie into the game in some way, so some of them can be pretty funny. For example, the Fallout Cookbook will guide you through “radiation-free” deviled eggs and the “Desert Salad” from Fallout: Las Vegas.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the God of War Cookbook. This collection of recipes and game art is as serious and detailed as the game. The recipes are divided by the nine realms with a bonus “in-between realm” for various spice mixtures. Even if you never end up making any of it, it’s still lovely to look at.

9. Artwork and Artbooks

In the same theme of choosing aesthetic over utilitarian gifts, artwork and art books are fantastic. Try to find out what games they like the aesthetic for the most and then searching on sites like Etsy or Redbubble. These two sites in particular usually have nice wall art pieces.  For example, these Elden Ring canvas pieces on Etsy would look really nice above the couch.

In a similar vein are art books. These tomes are generally full of beautiful illustrations and behind the scenes info. They make beautiful additions to bookshelves or make a great coffee table book. You can find an art book for most popular games online and at bookstores. The Final Fantasy Ultimate Archive has multiple volumes. And The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Creating a Champion has hundreds of pages of designs, interviews, historical info, and even sketches from Takumi Wada!

10. Around the House

Subtly adding video game references to your everyday life is so satisfying. I love making adulting nerdy. When you start going down the internet rabbit hole, you will start seeing little things that are useful around the house but 100% gamer-approved. Like this Zelda key holder on Etsy carved out of wood! You can attach your keys to the rings and not only have a place to store your keys but also have a cute keychain when you’re on the go.

Coffee mugs and bar glasses are another solid way to bring the games to daily life. It’s also really easy to find video game-themed mugs and glasses. Etsy will have some of the more unique items, like this hefty Witcher medallion mug. But you can find plenty of cheaper options online or in stores like Target.

Witcher Medallion Geralt Witcher Mug Gamer Birthday Gifts image 1

Of course, these suggestions here are just that. Suggestions. So use them as a jumping-off point or as a quick grab guide. But whatever you end up giving, it’s always the thought that counts. If you pay attention to the people you love and make a personal link between them and the gifts, odds are you will make them happy this holiday season.

Related: The 15 best gifts for Dungeons & Dragons fans on The Mary Sue

Sam Arthurs
Sam joined Destructoid as a Freelance Writer in December 2022. She is a fan of narrative games, like The Wolf Among US, and creepy Metroidvanias. When she isn't playing or writing about video games, she reads and writes horror stories.