Over the last couple of weeks, we put out our gift guides for both the PlayStation gamer and the Xbox fan. This week we are turning our attention to the best group of gamers around – PC gamers. Finding that special gift for your PC gamer is going to be rough this year. At the top of their list is probably something you can’t find – one of the new graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD. That still leaves you with a myriad of options that are probably cheaper, but now you have to sort through a pile of tech and hardware to find the perfect gift. While when picking out PC accessories the old saying, “You get what you paid for” is often true, it isn’t always the case. No matter what your budget, we’ve gathered up a list of gamer gear that will bring a smile to any PC gamer on your list.
MMO Or FPS Mouse
To a regular human, the choice of a mouse may not matter. To a hardcore gamer, though, having the right mouse can be the difference between a win or a loss. If your gamer is into competitive first-person shooters or battle royale games then they are going to need a completely different mouse than someone who needs extra buttons on their mouse for, say, an MMORPG.
- FPS Mouse – Like their favorite weapon in-game, each gamer is always on the search for the perfect mouse. Steelseries has a wide range of FPS mice, and their Rival 3 is a great budget mouse at $29.99. Razer also has a large selection, and their $69.99 Deathadder has been a top choice for years, although Logitech fans would tell you the cheaper Logitech G502 Hero is a better choice.
- MMO Mouse – There are a bunch of MMO mice out there, but I’ll stick with what I know. In my experience, both the Razer Naga Trinity and the Corsair Scimitar Pro are great choices. At $79.99 (on sale for $49.99 at Best Buy at the time of publishing), the Scimitar Pro has 12 side buttons along with 5 on the top of the mouse. The side buttons are on a slider that can be positioned to your liking, and each button can be programmed to a single keypress or to run a macro. This gives great flexibility in programming the mouse to match up to whatever game your MMOer plays. The Razer Naga Trinity will cost you an extra $20 over the Scimitar’s price but comes with 3 interchangeable side plates that allow your gamer to switch between 2, 7, and 12 side buttons.
Yes, you heard me right. Nothing beats your ice-cold beverage of choice during a long gaming session and your gamer will be super happy to have a few cans or bottles on hand so they don’t have to get up during the middle of a big fight to grab a fresh drink. A big fridge like the Xbox fridge isn’t necessary, something as small as the 6-pack fridge linked above can be found for under $40.
We’ve mentioned the game subscription services that Sony and Microsoft have for their consoles, and PC gaming is no different. In fact, you have even more options available for PC than the single choice each console brand has:
Xbox Game Pass For PC – Sure it says Xbox but there’s an option for PC gamers as well. At $10 per month, you get access to a large library of popular games, including day-one access to any Xbox Games Studios title. Or step up to Ultimate for $15/mo and get the Game Pass across both your PC and Xbox One or Series X. With new games added every month, Xbox Game Pass for PC is truly the Christmas gift that keeps on giving all year long.
Ubisoft Plus – If your gamer is a Ubisoft fan, then Ubisoft Plus is a good alternative to Microsoft’s Game Pass. Assassin’s Creed, The Division 2, the Anno series, and many more titles will be at your gamer’s fingertips. As an added bonus, Ubisoft Plus members can try out Amazon’s Luna streaming service for free while it is in Beta and take their favorite Ubi games on the road.
EA Play – Similar to Ubisoft +, EA Play grants you a rotating playlist containing many EA games. Sports and Star Wars fans are sure to like this service, with the Basic plan costing just $4.99 per month.
If your gamer is ready to cut the cord then there are some easy gift choices when it comes to wireless accessories. When it comes to peripherals gamers can be very brand loyal so the first thing you’ll want to do is check their current setup and look to see if their keyboard, mouse, and headset are all the same brand – Corsair, Logitech, and Razer are some of the most popular brands. If they are all the same brand you are best off sticking to that brand. Otherwise, you can go with whatever you think looks the coolest. Don’t expect to get off cheap here, though, as gaming peripherals already come at a premium price, and going wireless will take even more green.
If your gamer is always complaining about not having enough space to move their mouse around, finding a tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard under the tree may be just what the doctor ordered. The 10-key pad may be great for entering data into a spreadsheet but, for gaming, it’s just wasted space. Just like the tip for wireless accessories, make sure you are getting your gamer’s brand of choice. If the brand doesn’t matter, check out the budget-conscious Redragon K552 ($38.99), the mid-tier Razer BlackWidow V3 ($99.99), or the high-end Logitech G915 ($249.99). Or, if you are looking for an ultra-compact design, you can cut off even more keys and go with the 60% Gaming Keyboard – Razer Huntsman Mini for $119.99.
CyberPower EC750G Battery Backup
PCs aren’t cheap and all it can take to destroy thousands of dollars of hardware is a power surge. If all your gamer has protecting their PC is a simple power strip it might not be enough to save it from a nearby lightning strike or other power surges. Show them how much you love them and their gaming rig by gifting them an Uninterruptible Power Supply. Not only do they protect anything plugged in from a power surge, but a UPS also gives your gamer a few minutes to save any mission-critical data and power down safely in the case of a power outage.
The $80 CyberPower EC750G is a fairly cheap option to protect your gamer’s hardware and comes with a 3-year warranty and $100,000 connected equipment guarantee. There are smaller and larger options available but the 750VA/450W battery comes with 6 battery backup and surge-protected outlets and 6 surge-only outlets, enough to protect your PC and other hardware in a pinch. There are even 3 ECO controlled outlets that will shut off power to other peripherals when it detects the computer is off or in sleep mode.
Streamer Beginner Setup – Microphone And Webcam
If your gamer is always begging for the hardware to start their streaming career, then this holiday season may be the time to finally give in and get them the basics. Professional streamers can put thousands of dollars into the hardware and lighting for their studios but you can kick off your budding influencer’s dream with just a microphone and camera.
The Blue Yeti Nano is a great starter mic that will only set you back a single Benjamin. You could go cheaper with the Blue Snowball iCE ($49.99) or Hyper X SoloCast ($59.99), but the Yeti Nano has that iconic streamer look to give your gamer that extra bit of confidence they need to pull off the perfect stream.
There are also tons of options when it comes to webcams but I am going to suggest a couple of Logitech cams. With 720p resolution and a very basic feature set, the Logitech HD Webcam C310 is a great budget buy at just $36.49. If you are looking for a 1080p camera, then stepping up to the C922 Pro will set you back $99.99.
I was on the hunt for a new desk a few months ago so I decided to take a look at gaming desks for the fun of it. It turns out that they really aren’t any more expensive than their more utilitarian counterparts. Most of them are on the gaudy side and didn’t really match what I was looking for. However, there are some less flashy options out there as well:
Mr. Ironstone 45” Gaming Desk – On the Budget side of things, the Mr. Ironstone 45″ Gaming Desk is reasonably priced at $109.99. I bought this desk a few months ago and I have to say it would make a great gift for someone who doesn’t want the flashy gaming look. At 45” wide it’s big enough to hold two monitors but still small enough to fit in a tight space. It’s also 29” deep, leaving plenty of room to push the keyboard and mouse back to give enough room for the kids to do their homework. It is a cinch to put together and way sturdier than it looks. It doesn’t come with a full-sized mouse pad, though that can be considered a pro or a con. And although I didn’t buy it for the included cup holder or headphones hanger both accessories have come in handy.
AuAg 60” Gaming Desk – If you are wanting more space for all your gear, then stepping into the $150-$200 price range will get you something like the $189 AuAg Gaming Desk. The steel frame and T-shaped legs of this 60” wide desk are ultra sturdy and capable of holding up to 330lbs, making this beast of a desk big enough to showcase your gamer’s PC next to just about any monitor setup you can think of.
Eureka Ergonomic Z60 Gaming Desk or E-Win RGB Gaming Desk – It won’t ship in time for a Christmas reveal but if your gamer demands everything they own comes with RGB lighting then the $255, 60” wide, Eureka Z60 is worth the wait. Or, if you absolutely need it by Christmas and you’re willing to pay the $399 price (currently 20% off the regular $499 price), you can go all-in with the gaming bling of the 48” wide E-Win RGB Gaming Desk. Both desks have a carbon fiber textured surface, side RGB lighting, and other aesthetics that will have any gamer not only playing good but looking good too.
If you’re grabbing a new desk for your gamer, why stop there – add a gaming chair to complete the look. Entry-level gaming chairs don’t cost any more than a decent office chair, and their ergonomic designs are comfortable to boot. Something like the GTRacing Pro I reviewed (and still use daily) can be had for less than $200. You could also take a step up to a chair like the popular Secretlab OMEGA, on sale right now for $379, or go crazy with the NAPA Leather Edition for $649!