Need to buy a gift for a gamer but don’t know where to start?
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for gamers. Sure, there are expensive options they’re bound to get excited about. But there are just as many budget-friendly gifts and inexpensive games they’re likely to love.
It helps if you know what games, consoles, or style of gaming they like. Even if you don’t, you can still wing it with some universally fun gift ideas, so fear not.
Regardless of your budget, there’s a gift out there that’s perfect for the gamer in your life. These 28 gift ideas ensure you always score points when giving to gamers!
Best Gifts for Gamers Under $50
It’s amazing what’s available for under $50 these days.
Forget going into debt over gifts. If you’re looking to buy within a budget, try these affordable gift ideas for gamers.
1. EA Access 12-Month Subscription
Electronic Arts, better known as EA, is one of the largest brands in the gaming industry. They’ve produced megahits like Mass Effect, Battlefield, Madden NFL, Need for Speed, Spore, and The Sims.
And they’ve embraced the subscription business model of renting access to their games by the month rather than selling them individually. Think of it as Netflix for video games.
Fortunately, the EA Access plan is extremely affordable. A full year’s subscription is well under $50 total.
Member gamers also get early access to new games before they go on sale to the general public, plus a 10% discount on any games they decide to purchase. It makes for a well-rounded, low-cost gift option for the serious gamer on your list.
2. Handheld Retro Game Console Phone Case
An iPhone case that looks like a Game Boy is cool enough. But what if it actually works like one, allowing you to play games directly on the phone case itself?
This retro game console phone case comes with 36 classic video games, including Super Mario Bros., Galaga, and Bomberman. They come in sizes for all iPhone versions, and the case console’s internal battery offers up to five hours of playtime.
And it’s shockingly inexpensive to boot. As in, inexpensive enough to earn its price tag as a conversation piece alone, much less the hours of fun it will doubtlessly provide.
3. FreezerBoy Dry-Erase Whiteboard Refrigerator Magnets
Speaking of Game Boys, wouldn’t it be fun if your refrigerator looked like one?
Well, not your refrigerator. But your gaming enthusiast pal will get a kick out of the FreezerBoy refrigerator magnet kit.
Beyond just the magnets for the buttons and directional controller, the “screen” functions as a dry-erase board. And let’s be honest. We all need one of those to keep ourselves organized, even in today’s digital world.
4. Copper Compression Gloves
Among the health risks gamers face are carpal tunnel syndrome and early-onset arthritis from repeated micro-movements, per Cleveland Clinic. Treatment includes wearing copper-threaded compression gloves, which are designed to reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow.
Copper Heal compression gloves feature a high copper content at an affordable price. And they’re fingerless, leaving a gamer’s fingers free to blur across their keyboard or controller.
5. Extended Gaming Mouse Pad
There are also health risks associated with spending so much time with your hands at a mouse and keyboard. So gamers need all the physical support they can get.
The VicTsing extended gaming mouse pad is over 31 inches wide, so it sits underneath both the keyboard and the mouse. That lets gamers rest their wrists on it while typing and keeps both wrists level while they use the mouse.
The nonslip base holds it secure, even during the wildest mouse or joystick gyrations. And just as important, it has a water-resistant coating so spilled liquids bead and slide right off it.
6. Gaming Mouse
Your standard computer mouse comes with two buttons and a wheel. That doesn’t cut it for gaming.
While it’s possible to spend upward of $150 or more on a gaming mouse, most of the same tech specs are available for a fraction of that cost. The PicTek wired gaming mouse offers five different settings for dots per inch (dpi) levels, so gamers can adjust the mouse’s spatial sensitivity to meet their needs. At the highest level, it offers a sharp 7200 dpi.
Similarly, the polling rate is also adjustable to four settings ranging from 125 to 1,000 hertz (Hz). For nontechies, polling rate refers to how many times the mouse reports its position to the computer for another measure of sensitivity and precision. Each gamer has their own preferences and needs and will appreciate the flexibility to adjust mouse sensitivity.
PicTek’s gaming mouse also comes with eight programmable buttons and a fire button in an ergonomic and sweat-resistant design. Plus, it looks cool, with a full RGB color backlit trim that glows in the dark.
7. Gaming Keyboard
A standard-issue keyboard is for newbs.
Gamers need extremely responsive, mechanical keyboards that accurately register multiple buttons hit simultaneously for complex commands. Try the Flagpower mechanical gaming keyboard, which offers all of the above plus blue switches for tactile feedback and up to 20% faster key actuation. It features an ergonomic design with an upward tilt for easy handling.
And like the PicTek gaming mouse, it offers rainbow backlighting, which the lucky gamer on your list can program in any pattern they like.
8. Nintendo Switch Accessory Bundle
If your gamer has a Nintendo Switch, there’s no shortage of accessories for it.
Luckily, you don’t need to pick them out yourself. Just pick up this 21-in-1 Ultimate Accessory Bundle for the Switch to cover all the bases.
It includes a travel carrying case and over a dozen accessories, including a tempered glass screen protector, silicone grips, a charging station, steering wheels, and tennis rackets.
9. Paladone PlayStation Metal Drink Coasters
The grown-up gamer on your list probably enjoys a beverage while they play their favorite games.
If they’re also a PlayStation lover, they’ll get a kick out of this set of four Paladone PlayStation metal drink coasters, each designed to look like the four classic PlayStation controller buttons. Despite the chic metal tops, the bottoms are made of cork so they won’t scratch the coffee table.
They’re undeniably nerdy but also undeniably fun and quirky.
10. Pac-Man Connect & Play Remote
The best technology is the most accessible technology. For less hardcore gamers who enjoy the occasional timewaster or throwback gaming with friends, pick up a Pac-Man Connect & Play Remote.
It’s a remote control that literally plugs into your TV’s white and yellow AV jacks. It lets you play 12 classic arcade games, including Pac-Man, Bosconian, Galaxian, Mappy, Super Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug.
The price is also low enough to make a fun white elephant gift or instant party piece, adding to the appeal.
Best Gifts for Gamers From $51 – $100
At the next price point up, you can go beyond the basics and choose from a wider array of gifts. Try these gift ideas out if you’re looking to spend between $51 and $100 on your gamer.
11. Blue Light-Blocking Eyewear
Extended screen usage does a number on your eyes. From excessive UV exposure and vision damage to insomnia, gamers’ eyes need protection.
Swanwick’s blue light-blocking computer glasses, also known as Swannies, provide both UV protection and blue light blocking to prevent insomnia, eye strain, and other harmful effects of extended screen use. They come in multiple sizes and, according to Swanwick, “look cooler” than alternative blue light-blocking glasses, although the latter remains open to interpretation.
As a nice additional selling point, they’re made from acetate rather than petroleum-based plastics. That makes them light, durable, and environmentally friendly.
If your recipient wears prescription glasses, try this pair of fit-over blue light-blocking glasses from ElementsActive as an alternative.
12. Xbox Game Pass: 6-Month Membership
If your gamer loves their Xbox, consider buying them a six-month Xbox Game Pass subscription.
They’ll get unlimited access to over 100 Xbox games and same-day access when new games release. It works on either the Xbox One console or over a PC running Windows 10 and includes both Xbox One games and Xbox 360 games.
Not only does it let members try new games without having to buy them, but it also lets them binge-play a game for a week and then never touch it again with no guilt over blowing money on buying it.
13. Gaming Headset
Many gamers spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming headset. But the average gamer doesn’t need top-of-the-line noise-canceling headphones to enjoy their favorite games.
The Razer Kraken gaming headset is a comfortable, high-fidelity headset. The microphone arm retracts, and the mic itself offers noise canceling to reduce ambient sound.
The bauxite aluminum frame keeps the headset lightweight and durable and won’t leave their head aching. All in all, it’s hard to beat at this price point.
14. Gaming Desk
Even the best home office desk makes a terrible gaming desk.
The Atlantic Gaming Desk offers an elevated monitor shelf capable of supporting a monitor up to 32 inches.
To help prevent spills while gamers are frantically maneuvering the controls, it has a cup holder that attaches to the front leg. It also has a headset hook on the side for a VR or audio headset. One rear stand holds slim accessories like games and controllers, while another serves as a charging stand for mobile devices.
Two small wings at the rear support surround-sound speakers. And a wire management system leads wires out of the way to a tucked power strip support underneath.
15. Sega Genesis Mini
Everyone who was a kid in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s remembers the Sega Genesis. It was home to favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, Castlevania, Virtua Fighter, Mega Man, and Street Fighter II.
You can play them all again on the Sega Genesis Mini. It comes preloaded with all those games and dozens more, for 42 classic games in all. To work with modern TVs, it uses an HDMI cable rather than old-school AV cables.
And yes, it includes two controllers as well.
16. Nintendo NES Classic Mini
Don’t think Nintendo’s sleeping on the nostalgia market opportunities. They offer a similar miniaturized version of the original NES console preloaded with 30 classic Nintendo games.
It comes with games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy, Pac-Man, Dr. Mario, and Mega Man. Like the Sega Genesis Mini, it connects via HDMI, although it only comes with one classic controller.
For anyone who grew up playing these games, the allure is tough to resist.
17. Phone Gaming Controller
Smartphone games have come a long way since 2007 and include many games that are just more fun with a traditional video game controller rather than swiping on a touchscreen.
For those games, get an iPhone user the PXN Speedy iOS gaming controller. It includes the familiar four-button layout on the right, with a joystick, directional pad, dual top buttons, and dual triggers. To make playing easier, it features a mount to secure the phone above the controller.
For an Android user, check out the KYAMRC wireless gamepad instead. It has similar features and functionality.
Best Gifts for Gamers From $101 – $250
Looking to spend more on an awesome gaming gift? In this range, you can buy gifts that use more recent cutting-edge technology. But the more you spend, the more important it is to confirm the gift is appropriate for your recipient’s needs.
Try these ideas to light up a gaming enthusiast’s face.
18. Nintendo Switch Lite
For all Nintendo’s nostalgic value among millennials and Gen Xers, they haven’t faded from the limelight among younger generations either. They continue to release new platforms and new games and to please new consumers.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is a standalone handheld gaming device with a built-in screen. It comes with all the traditional trappings, including a joystick, directional pad, and buttons. It’s pocket-size for easy travel, which makes it a parent’s best friend on long road trips or flights.
As the name suggests, it’s the smaller, cheaper, lighter version of the Nintendo Switch.
19. Virtual Reality Headset
It’s amazing how affordable VR headsets have become.
For a low-cost option, check out the Oculus Go. It comes with built-in audio and vivid optics and synchronizes with other VR devices so multiple players can interact in the same game. Over Wi-Fi, it streams directly from services like Netflix and Hulu and, of course, connects for live gaming with other players anywhere in the world.
It comes with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of built-in storage for your recipient to take content with them on the go, though you’ll pay extra for more storage.
All in all, the Oculus Go makes for an excellent entry-level option for VR. But if you’re willing to spend a little more on a more experienced gamer, opt for the pricier Oculus Quest, which is specially designed for gaming. It comes with two controllers and tracks movement without any additional devices.
20. Noise-Canceling Headphones
One of the joys of gaming is the sense of immersion in the world created by your game. That sense of being in the game is ruined by external noises, like yelling neighbors or heavy traffic.
Give your gamer the gift of better sound isolation in their gaming world of choice with a set of noise-canceling headphones. Price points for noise-canceling headphones range from under $100 to over $400, so you have plenty of flexibility on budget. But if you’re looking for a quality budget buy, try the Bose QuietComfort 25. They offer outstanding sound, all-day comfort, and robust noise-canceling technology.
21. Gaming Monitor
Your standard laptop screen or home office monitor just isn’t up to snuff for gaming. Since gamers crave immersion, in the absence of VR, that means a large screen.
The ViewSonic XG2402 provides a 24-inch monitor in full HD (1080p) designed specifically for gaming. It employs AMD FreeSync technology for extra-smooth image motion on top of its already impressive 144 Hz refresh rate. And you don’t have to worry about compatibility, as it supports both PCs and Macs.
It also provides black stabilization controls with 22 customizable levels of processing and displaying different shades of black. That helps gamers see better than their competitors in dark scenes.
22. Gaming Chair
If you’re not a gamer, you probably didn’t realize gaming chairs were a thing.
To illustrate what they are and why they matter, consider the X Rocker Pro Series H3 gaming chair. It includes four speakers, audio force modulation technology – which uses both the chair’s frame and hollow spaces inside to magnify sound – and power subwoofers built into the chair for full immersion.
As if those subwoofers didn’t pack enough vibration, the X Rocker Pro also includes a series of vibration motors synced to the audio bass. The gamer literally feels every bass sound rumble across the chair.
Because gamers sit for many hours on end, it’s also ergonomically designed for lumbar and neck support. Health and safety first, right?
For joint gaming sessions among friends, multiple X Rocker Pro chairs can connect to the same game with different settings. And when it’s time to shut down for normal bodily functions like eating and sleeping, the chair folds away for easy storage.
Best Gifts for Gamers Over $250
If you’re looking to spend more and buy that high-end gift your recipient can’t stop talking about, here are a few final ideas at the high end of the spectrum. At this price point, you find the top-tier gaming consoles and even some classic standup arcade games that qualify as decor just as much as gaming equipment.
Keep the receipt, though, in case the gamer needs to make an exchange or return!
23. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch offers two options for playing: either connected to a TV like a traditional console or on the go with a small mobile screen. When you go mobile, the controllers physically attach to either side of the device.
It’s truly an innovative hybrid design.
Surprisingly, the Switch has become a go-to platform for indie games as well, which broadens the appeal for those who like playing nontraditional games. And for anyone fond of original NES games, an inexpensive yearly subscription offers access to an extensive catalog of classics, like Super Mario Bros., Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda.
While not a video game or accessory per se, many gamers enjoy drones because, well, they’re fun to fly! And piloting a drone works similarly to piloting flights in video games.
They range in price from under $50 to over $3,000, so choose the drone that best fits your budget and the recipient’s taste. There are drones that appeal to a wide variety of people, like racing drones, selfie drones, professional videography drones, and toy drones. Racing drones like the UVify OOri appeal to many gamers. Alternatively, the DJI Spark is a camera and selfie drone you control through hand gestures.
25. Xbox One X
The Xbox One X is both powerful and versatile. It has roughly 40% more processing strength than competing consoles and a graphical display of Ultra HD 4K for crystal-clear visuals. It also lets gamers play games from previous Xbox generations and streams video from sources like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. It even plays Blu-ray discs.
Its fast connectivity enables gamers to play multiplayer games with friends or competitors anywhere in the world.
And with the Xbox Game Pass subscription (see No. 12 above), gamers can enjoy unlimited access to over 100 games.
26. Sony PlayStation 4 Pro
Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Xbox remains their popular PlayStation console, and Sony PlayStation 4 Pro lives up to previous models’ accolades.
The specs are similar to the Xbox One X: 4K Ultra HD resolution, the ability to stream videos over popular platforms like Netflix, and the ability to watch disc videos like DVDs. It doesn’t play 4K Blu-ray discs, but the industry has largely moved away from physical video discs.
And like Xbox, PlayStation excels at multiplayer games, connecting players from all over the world. Some gamers prefer one console or the other, but many gamers enjoy both, so ask your recipient before shelling out the money.
27. 12-in-1 Standup Classic Arcade Cabinet
What do you give the gamer who has everything – including a lot of unused space in their apartment?
A classic standup arcade game, of course. Ideally, one that offers multiple games, like the Arcade1Up 12-in-1 cabinet.
It takes up a little less space than a traditional arcade game, scaled at three-quarter size. It also sits lower to the ground for seated play, although it comes with a riser to prop it up to standing height.
As for games, it comes with Asteroids, Centipede, Major Havoc, Missile Command, Lunar Lander, Crystal Castles, Tempest, Millipede, Gravitar, Liberator, and Asteroids Deluxe.
If nothing else, it makes for a great conversation piece.
28. Head-to-Head Gaming Table
For another classic arcade option, check out the Arcade1Up Pac-Man 8-in-1 head-to-head gaming table.
Unlike the vertical screen of a single-player arcade game, the display on this classic game sits flat, so two players can play head-to-head. It comes with eight games total, including multiple iterations of Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug.
If your gaming friend is more of a Street Fighter II fan, opt for the Street Fighter table instead.
Whichever version you choose, the gaming table is just as much a piece of furniture as it is a video game, so make sure the person you’re giving it to has both the space and the desire for a classic arcade table in their home before springing for it.
When shopping for gamers, there’s no shortage of gift options at any price point. But every gamer has their favorite game types, consoles, and style of play, so ask probing questions to help determine what they like.
Don’t be afraid to introduce them to offline games, either. That could mean tabletop games and party games or perhaps family board games. There are also niche games, like games for foodies and games about money management.
Just be sure you put what they want first and give them a gift they’ll actually like. And when in doubt, spend less rather than more. That will help you avoid straining your gift-giving budget and ensure you don’t waste money on something they’re still learning, such as VR gaming, or something that turns out to be more powerful than they need, such as expensive noise-canceling headphones.
What gifts have the gamers in your life loved? What are you thinking about giving them next?