How to shop for the gamer in your life

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Unless the gamer in your life has asked for a specific game, it’s best to avoid buying these as gifts because you may not know what they already have and what types of games they like.

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Which is the best gamer to shop?

The current graphics card shortage might be a headache for PC gamers and anybody looking to nab a Playstation 5 console. Still, it shouldn’t prevent you from shopping for the gamer in your life, especially if you’re looking to buy them a gaming-adjacent gift. 

Still, it can be tough to shop for gamers. Buying games or consoles is a minefield if you don’t know what they want and when you aren’t well-versed in gaming culture, it’s hard to know what else will appeal. Luckily, you can find plenty of fantastic gifts for gamers to suit all budgets.

Tips on how to shop for gamers

Find out their gaming platform of choice

Before you get started, check which consoles the gamer in your life uses or if they’re an avid PC gamer. Finding out their preferred gaming platform will help you out when buying gifts. It’s no good buying a PS5 game for someone who only games on Xbox, but it can also help when picking out some gaming-adjacent gifts. 

Avoid duplicate items 

Although it seems like it would be easy to buy for gamers since there must be all kinds of games they want, this is easier said than done, unless you know every game that the person you’re buying for already owns. Even if you share a home with the gamer in your life and think you might be able to sneak a peek at their game library, many consoles now give users the option to download games. This means they might still own a particular game even if they don’t have the corresponding game disc or cartridge.

Consider your budget

When shopping for the gamer in your life, think about how much you want to spend. Your budget is likely to differ depending on your relationship to them. For instance, you might have a budget of a few hundred dollars for a spouse or a child, while those buying for a friend or looking for a Secret Santa gift for a coworker probably want to spend $10-$20. If you want to stay up to date on the latest deals, sign up for the BestReviews email newsletter

Types of gifts for gamers

Games and consoles

Although it can be tough to buy games and consoles for gamers if you don’t know what they want, they’re a great option if you get it right. For instance, if the person you’re buying for has been longing for the new PS5 console, they’ll be delighted to receive it as a holiday gift. If in doubt, you can also opt for vouchers to buy games or game passes for the relevant console.

Practical gifts for gamers

Practical gifts for gamers consist of anything that could be useful while gaming, including headsets, gaming chairs, glasses that block blue light and caddies that hang over the arm of a chair to hold drinks and snacks. 

Apparel for gamers

Some gamers like to show off their love of gaming out in the real world, making gaming apparel a fantastic choice. You can find shirts, hoodies, baseball caps and even socks featuring popular video game characters or logos. Just make sure you choose characters that the gamer in your life enjoys. 

Decorative gifts for gamers

Decorative items for gamers include figures, lights, mugs, blankets and anything else that you can use to decorate bedrooms, game rooms and other parts of the home to signal the recipient’s love of gaming. 

Best gifts for gamers

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

This is an excellent choice for the Xbox fan you don’t know what to buy. This pass gives the recipient access to over 100 high-quality games for one or three months, plus access to Xbox Live Gold.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2

The ultimate in immersive gaming, the Oculus Quest 2 is a virtual reality gaming platform complete with a headset and controller. It works with Steam PC games and Oculus-compatible VR games.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Paladone The Legend of Zelda Triforce Night Light

Paladone The Legend of Zelda Triforce Night Light

A fun decor piece for “Legend of Zelda” fans, this night light features the iconic Triforce design. It feels sturdy and well made and has the bonus of projecting the Hyrule crest onto a wall or ceiling.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Fifth Sun Nintendo Donkey Kong 8-Bit Side Scroll Graphic T-Shirt

Fifth Sun Nintendo Donkey Kong 8-Bit Side Scroll Graphic T-Shirt

Nintendo Stans and fans of retro arcade gaming will love this Donkey Kong t-shirt. It’s officially licensed and available in a wide range of sizes to suit most adults and kids.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit 

Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit 

An excellent gift for the Switch gamer in your life, particularly if they’re fond of “Mario Kart.” This clever bit of kit allows users to make a “Mario Kart” course in their own home and watch it come to life on the screen via their Switch console thanks to augmented reality technology.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses

If the gamer in your life complains of eye strain, these blue-light-blocking glasses are the gift they didn’t know they needed. Not only do they minimize eye strain, but they can also help reduce insomnia in gamers who find it hard to get to sleep after a late-night gaming session.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sega Genesis Mini

Sega Genesis Mini

Retro gaming fans will go wild for this updated version of the original 1988 Sega Genesis console. It comes preloaded with 42 classic Sega games, including “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Ecco the Dolphin,” “Toe Jam and Earl,” “Castlevania: Bloodlines” and “Earthworm Jim.” 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Paladone Playstation Icons Light

Paladone Playstation Icons Light

Fans of Playstation will love these lights featuring the Playstation button icons. They make excellent game room decor and even feature a color-phasing mode and a music-reactive mode.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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