The hardest part about finding gifts for gamers is knowing where to start. There's a continent's worth of tat out there right now, so how do you know the rubbish from the treasure?
That's where we come in. Our experts have been scouring the internet for the best gifts for gamers all year round, and this is what we've found. (We have to make our own wishlists, after all.) These aren't assortments of tacky branded plastic; everything listed below are presents we'd actually want ourselves, have been hands on with, or have the best user reviews overall. They're from respected names too, so won't be five-minute novelties that break soon after they're opened.
You'll find something to suit the person in question no matter what they play as well. Regardless of whether they're a Nintendo Switch fan, an Xbox gamer, PS5 aficionado, or a connoisseur in pen-and-paper roleplaying games, there's a gift they'll love in this guide.
Benjamin handles all of our gifting content, and has been writing about it for almost five years now. He plays everything from PS5 to Dungeons & Dragons.
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Best gifts for gamers overall
Best PS5 gift
If you've left things a little late or are simply out of ideas, this is probably your best bet. Store credit allows the recipient to buy what they want, and comes in a variety of amounts.
Best Xbox gift
Unsure of what to get the Xbox fan in your life? This is the perfect choice. Besides allowing them to get whatever they want, you can give as much or as little as you want.
Best Nintendo gift
If you're cutting it fine in the present department, you can pick up eShop gift cards at a variety of prices. The recipient can then buy whatever they want.
Best PC gift
For anyone struggling to find something a PC gamer will want, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a great choice. It's a massive library of games to play on PC, sort of like video game Netflix.
Best novelty gift
Stuck for ideas? Not to worry, these gaming-themed cookbooks should do the trick. With options for fans of Fallout, D&D, Minecraft, and beyond, there's something for everyone.
For tabletop RPGs
Does your loved one play tabletop RPGs like D&D, Pathfinder, or Mork Borg? You can never go wrong with dice. These always go down well, and you can never have enough of them.
Gifts for gamers: PlayStation
Does your loved one normally play on PS5 or PS4? Here are some stocking fillers, novelty items, and handy accessories that should tick the right boxes. For more, check out our full guide to PS5 gifts.
Under $30 / £30
There's no shortage of PS5 t-shirts, but not all of them are good. That's why we've cut to the chase with these official options that do PlayStation justice but are still surprisingly tasteful.
Not sure what to get someone, but know they have a PlayStation? This sleek and minimalist mug is probably the best 'playing it safe' present on offer.
This fun curiosity brings the console's iconic symbols to life with an atmospheric glow, and that eye-catching yet simple design will really enhance the recipient's setup.
Under $50 / £50
Best for Xmas
Wearing your finest 'ugly' Christmas sweater over the Holiday is practically mandatory these days, so why not give your loved one a jumper celebrating their console of choice?
Is your loved one a bit miffed that their PS5 doesn't match any of their other tech? This sleek and simple add-on brings it all back to black.
If you're looking for something more practical, these storage lockers are spot-on - they provide a space for controllers, games, headsets, and other accessories.
Gifts for gamers: Xbox
Trying to track down the ultimate gifts for Xbox gamers? You're in the right place, and can find a whistle-stop tour of the best presents below. For more, check out these essential Xbox gifts.
Under $30 / £30
While there isn't exactly a shortage of t-shirts based on Xbox, these would have to be our favorites. We're particularly keen on the Velocity Architecture designs.
You can never go wrong with a good old-fashioned mug, and this is the perfect choice for Xbox fans. For added novelty, it also changes color and design with heat.
As well as being well-made official merch, this looks as if it's been pulled from straight from a Twitch streamer's studio. An atmospheric addition to any setup.
Under $50 / £50
There's nothing like a cosy Christmas sweater, and this example is made by Numskull. That's one of the most respectable brands for merch, so expect comfort.
You won't struggle to find Xbox hoodies online, but from our research, you may be hard-pressed to get one that's better-rated. A top-tier gift for gamers.
Want to avoid clutter and tangled wires from accessories that were just chucked in a drawer? This is a decent solution, allowing the recipient to store all their gear in style.
Gifts for gamers: Nintendo
Searching for presents that'll delight a fan of the Nintendo Switch? No problem - we've put together a hit-list of the best accessories and stocking-fillers that should do the trick. For a more comprehensive run-down, see our guide to the best Nintendo Switch gifts.
Under $30 / £30
As well as being cheap, these delightful blind-boosters get you a random Super Mario character and scene per pack... so the recipient probably won't have it already.
Super Mario and Nintendo are synonymous, so an atmospheric light based on the series will probably go down quite well with anyone that plays on the Switch.
Under $50 / £50
Best for Xmas
It's a grand tradition these days to break out your ugliest sweater for the Holiday Season, and it just so happens that you can get one from Nintendo.
Best for winter
If it's cold outside and your loved one just wants to stay in all snuggled up on the sofa playing Switch, get them an oodie. Seriously, they'll thank you.
Regardless of whether you're buying for a kid or an adult, this is a really fun little present - it allows you to create your own Super Mario level in real life.
Gifts for gamers: Tabletop
Trying to find some presents for fans of tabletop RPGs like D&D? Don't worry, we've gone ahead and done it for you. For a more comprehensive list, check in with our D&D gifts guide.
Here's a great gift for tabletop RPG gamers that never fails; dice. Speaking from experience, players can never have enough of these... and the fact that this particular set can glow in the dark makes them one of the cooler novelty presents on this list.
You can't beat a classic mug, and this one - shaped like an enormous 20-sided dice, used in many tabletop RPGs - should fit in well at the gaming table.
These soft toys are adorable takes on D&D's best-known monsters, so they're ideal gifts for gamers who like to play Dungeons and Dragons. We've been hands-on with the first wave and can vouch for them as desk buddies.
Themed cookbooks are a solid novelty present, at the best of times, but this D&D version is better than we'd expected. It's crammed with delightful recipes from that tabletop world, yes, but it's also got options based on the game's fantasy species.
It can be tricky to picture where your character is during combat in D&D, so this pack of reusable icons is a real help. It's also a clever system - the stickers can be stuck onto plastic pucks, peeled off, and returned to the sticker sheet good as new and without damaging them.
This is a companion piece to the creatures case listed above, and it's equally good in terms of bringing your D&D encounters to life. Modular tiles snap together to create the basic scene, and reusable stickers can then be put down onto them for any scenery you need.
How to choose gifts for gamers
The first and most important part of choosing gifts for gamers is working out what the recipient plays on. Are they a PS5 gamer? Do they prefer Xbox? Is Nintendo Switch their console of choice, or are they into tabletop RPGs? Once that's out of the way, you can hone in on potential presents.
You'll be able to find specific advice per platform below.
PS5 / Xbox / Nintendo Switch gamers
- Licensed merch (mugs, t-shirts, etc) is the safe option
- Avoid games unless you know what they have
- Our guides will help you choose the best accessories
If the person in question is a console gamer (e.g. they play on one of the systems listed above), you've probably got the easiest job. Want to play it safe and avoid doubling up on something they already have? Not to worry, there's loads of merch for each of those brands. As an example, giftware company Paladone makes everything from PlayStation mugs to storage solutions for Xbox gear. Similarly, well-known manufacturers like Numskull and Merchoid create what are arguably the best gaming-themed Christmas sweaters on the market. Want an easy present? Get one of those jumpers.
These options are also a lot safer than games or, to a certain extent, accessories. Unless you live with the person in question and know what they already own (or have an idea of what they're looking for), opting for novelties like these is safer. The chances of your loved one having that exact mug, t-shirt, or collectible is slim.
Know that they want a new headset, controller, or accessory, on the other hand? We spend every week reviewing the latest tech, and have plenty of thoughts on what you should keep an eye out for on each platform.
Do they play on PlayStation? Be sure to check out our guide to the best PS5 accessories. It dishes out details on must-have gear, including the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro headset (our favorite overall) and Backbone One mobile controller.
Meanwhile, gamers on Nintendo's platform shouldn't miss the best Nintendo Switch accessories. This feature goes into depth about gear including and beyond official Nintendo tech, discussing why the Genki dock or Pro Controller are so worth your time.
Finally, fans of Microsoft's system will be well served by our explainer on the best Xbox Series X accessories. It explains why we're so keen on add-ons like the Venom rechargeable battery pack (meaning you never have to use AAs again) and the Gamesir G7, a more affordable controller alternative.
- Dice are always a good shout
- Player aides tend to go down well
- Wargamers usually need new brushes
Honestly, pen-and-paper adventurers can never have enough dice. Trust me on this. Their eyes will widen and they'll give out a big "ooooo" at the sight of pretty, unusual, or inventive rollers. Case in point: most of the players from our GamesRadar+ game get thoroughly distracted when new ones are brought out (our 'ducky dice' with mini ducks suspended in the middle are always popular).
It's the same with wargaming, to be honest. Themed or official Warhammer dice are always cool, and no-one can have enough paint brushes. Those things are always getting busted up.
Basically? Player aids – no matter what they are – usually go down well. Character journals, spell cards, trackers, or cool paraphernalia (normally from the likes of Etsy) come highly recommended.
If you know it and want extra points, you can make their character in miniature on Hero Forge as well. They'll love you forever. Similarly, commissioning art of their adventurer would be beyond cool.
Gifts for gamers: FAQ
What to buy if you're a gamer
It can be tricky to find good gifts for gamers, but don't panic; we have some tips. To start with, it's always a good idea to look at merch based on what they play (e.g. PS5, Xbox, Switch) because they're unlikely to have it already. This includes everything from mugs to 'ugly' Christmas sweaters, so the chances of them owning the present in question is low.
That's why we'd advise against choosing games or accessories. Unless you know for certain what they do and don't have, there's a good chance they own - or have something similar to - the item you're hoping to get. That can put a real damper on things.
If you ask us, the best merch companies right now are Paladone (which creates gifts such as lighting and cups modelled after each major gaming platform), Merchoid, and Numskull. While the latter two have plenty of other goodies to offer, they're perhaps best known for their top-tier Christmas jumpers.
What should a gamer get?
The answer to this question will obviously vary from person to person, but we'd always recommend presents that will enhance your loved one's gaming experience. Although we're wary of gifting games or accessories because there's a chance the recipient already owns them, finding out what they have in their setup can leave you with some great options. Do they have a headset, for example? If not, it's definitely worth prioritising one. This provides a more immersive experience that really elevates gameplay, particularly with RPGs such as Baldur's Gate or shooters like Call of Duty. Actually, we'd argue that it's an essential purchase.
Here are some more specific recommendations. Just make sure to check whether the recipient already has these!
- PS5: For players on Sony's system or those about to be given it, we'd highly recommend the Pulse 3D headset thanks to its fantastic three-dimensional audio. An alternate faceplate (like a black set) is also a good idea, because it allows for the console to fit in with the rest of a setup. As for games, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is probably one of 2023's best so comes highly recommended for anyone that doesn't already have it. Similarly, Baldur's Gate 3 is a must-have for fans of adventure games.
- Nintendo Switch: If you're buying for a Switch owner or someone that's about to get one, be sure to grab a Pro Controller or third-party equivalent from the likes of PowerA. These are more traditional handsets and make a world of difference in games you'll be spending a long time with; they're far more comfortable. Headsets (e.g. the excellent Razer Barracuda X) also come highly recommended, because the Switch is perfect for on-the-go-gaming or curling up with in bed. As for games, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is always a good shout for anyone new to the system, as is the single or multiplayer marvel of Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
- Xbox: Are you shopping for an Xbox owner, or someone who's getting one very soon? A headset like the official Xbox Wireless Headset is a good idea, because it provides a much more immersive experience. Xbox Game Pass needs to be on your list as well. This is essentially Netflix for video games, and it's phenomenally good value for money. We haven't bought a 'new' Xbox game in ages as a result.
- Tabletop gamers: If your loved one adores pen-and-paper RPGs like D&D or Call of Cthulhu, dice are always a great shout. (You can never have enough of these, especially if they're pretty.) Gaming aids like adventure notebooks and spell-slot trackers also come highly recommended.