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The best gifts for gamers 2022 - get the perfect present

The logos of Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox
(Image credit: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft)

Finding the best gifts for gamers can be tricky, especially if you're not much of a gamer yourself. But there is a plus side. Namely, you've got a huge range of items to choose from - and some of them are very affordable indeed. 

That's because the best gaming gifts don't just include games or particularly pun-ny mugs; headsets, bonus controllers, books, toys, SSDs, and merchandise are all good options for anyone hunting down present suggestions. So long as you know what the recipient plays on, there's no shortage of options when it comes to gifts for gamers.

To get the ball rolling, we've scooped up some recommendations that span cheap and cheerful novelties to more premium presents. Seeing as that includes gifts for gamers on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, PC, and tabletop, there should be something suitable for almost everyone below. Just a quick word of warning, though: if you're hoping to surprise a loved one with a new console, be warned that PS5 restock and Xbox Series X restock deals are rare (even Nintendo Switch bundles are hard to come by). Check in with our guides for the lowdown on where - and when - to look.

Gifts for gamers - top 5

Choose Your Weapon t-shirt | From $8.86 at Amazon
The best t-shirt for gamers - If you want to keep the price down while seeking out gifts for gamers, you should start with t-shirts. This one in particular caught our eye because it's general enough to suit almost anyone no matter what they play. Just be sure to check the measurements before you hit checkout; while the listing doesn't specify whether it's unisex or not, it seems as if it might be an adult male fit.

UK price: Currently unavailable (closest UK equivalent is this 'Control Freak' t-shirt)

Gaming cookbooks | Check the range at Amazon
The best books for gamers - Unsure of what to buy for the gamer in your life? These gaming-themed cookbooks are loads of fun, offering in-universe recipes from franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and World of Warcraft. If nothing else, they're also cool curiosities.

UK price: Check prices at Amazon

PlayStation 5 heat-changing mug | $14.99 at Amazon
The best gift for PlayStation gamers - Don't know what to get someone but remember they have a PlayStation? This is probably the best present on offer. A sleek and minimalist PS5 mug, it's a cool tip of the hat to the console while also being practical. Perhaps they can use it to fuel their next late-night gaming session.

UK price: £9.99 at Amazon

Super Mario plush toy | £13.84 at Amazon
The best gift for Nintendo gamers - Want a great gift for gamers that are fans of Nintendo? Check out this official plushie. Recreating Super Mario himself in cuddly miniature, it's a cute little keepsake that should delight all ages. And if the plumber isn't their speed, you can always choose from the full Nintendo plush range at Amazon instead.

UK price: £14.99 at Amazon

Xbox heat-changing mug | $13.99 at Amazon
The best gift for Xbox gamers - Alright, so a lot of gamer mugs are clatteringly rubbish. But there are a few diamonds out there that make for thoughtful, endearing gifts. This Xbox option in particular is a real gem, especially because the color changes when hot water is added. It's classy, straightforward, and clever.

UK price: £9.99 at Amazon

Gifts for gamers - instant delivery

Left your present shopping a bit late? Going digital allows you to get gifts for gamers instantly. If you're looking for a quick fix, we'd recommend prioritizing store credit or memberships like Xbox Game Pass (not to mention streaming services such as Disney Plus).

For PlayStation gamers

PlayStation Store Gift Card | From $10 at Amazon
Store credit for the PS4 and PS5 PlayStation Store is a great gift idea thanks to a huge choice of games available on this official digital marketplace. In the USA, Amazon is the best place to buy a membership even though there are no discounts. As for the UK, CDKeys is often a better bet - many offers are actually discounted.

UK price: From £15 at Amazon

PlayStation Plus subscription (12 months) | $59.99 at Amazon
This membership allows PS4 and PS5 gamers to take games online for some multiplayer action, and it also includes a range of free games each month (plus 20 games to play on PS5 straight away). Better yet, it can simply stack on top of an existing subscription should the recipient have PS Plus already. And because most stores are simply selling a digital code for this rather than a physical product, you can get it instantly.

UK price: £49.99 at Amazon

For Xbox gamers

Xbox Gift Card | From $10 at Amazon
Not sure what to buy a loved one? If they have an Xbox, it's worth considering this Gift Card. Allowing players to get whatever they want on the official Xbox Store, it'll keep things simple and avoid any sort of disappointment if they already have the gift you bought. Want to grab the Gift Card in the UK, on the other hand ? Head straight to Amazon - it's got the goods, with offers from £10 and up.

UK price: From £10 at Amazon

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (3 months) | $44.99 at Amazon
This is a top-tier gift for any Xbox gamer. Basically, it gives the recipient access to a massive library of 100+ games for use on Xbox consoles, PC, and mobile, not to mention multiplayer features. Because it's delivered via digital code rather than a physical card, you'll also be able to get it as soon as possible - perfect if you've left the present-buying a bit late (don't worry, we won't tell anyone). Plus, memberships will stack on top of existing subscriptions if the person in question already has Game Pass.

UK price: £32.97 at Amazon

For Nintendo gamers

Nintendo eShop Gift Card | From $5 at Amazon
If the gamer in your life has a Nintendo Switch and you'd rather let them decide what they want, you can always get them an eShop card. This gives credit to use on the official Nintendo eStore, and prices range from $5 to $99. As for the UK, you can get the eShop Gift Cards from Amazon - it has offers from £15 and up.

UK price: From £15 at Amazon

Nintendo Switch Online subscription (12 months) | $19.99 at Amazon
Looking to play against others around the world or gain access to retro games? You'll need this membership. It's aggressively cheap at $19.99 for a whole year and is very easy to use, be it for a Mario Kart tournament with family living elsewhere or trips to a friend's Animal Crossing island.

UK price: £17.99 at Amazon

For PC gamers

Steam Wallet Gift Card | From $20 at Best Buy
If the gamer in question plays on PC, the likelihood is that they use Steam. This massive platform is home to almost every PC game imaginable, so getting credit the recipient can use on whatever they fancy will help avoid any "I already had that, but thanks anyway" moments. You can buy cards up to $100 in value (meanwhile, UK users can find offers on CDKeys).

UK price: From £10 at CDKeys

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (3 months) | $44.99 at Amazon
Despite the 'Xbox' in the title, this subscription is actually compatible with PC as well. Offering players an enormous library of 100+ games, it's excellent bang for buck and is constantly being added to over time. Well worth considering if your loved one wants access to lots of games without breaking the bank.

UK price: £32.97 at Amazon

Gaming gifts - under $20 / £20

Want to keep costs down without skimping on a cool gift for gamers? The following options sit at the affordable end of the scale, and they range from fun curiosities to genuinely useful gear.

Super Mario Brothers heat-changing mug | $14.99 at Amazon
This ode to the original Super Mario Bros. games is the perfect gift for gamers who either grew up with the plumber or adore the franchise. The fact that the design changes color when hot water is added is the cherry on the cake. Not for you? Don't worry, there are plenty of gamer mugs at Amazon to check out instead.

UK price: Unavailable in the UK (the closest we found was this blockier alternative at Amazon)

PlayStation Vintage Icons t-shirt | From $14.99 at Amazon
Shopping for a PlayStation player? This is a fun, simple design that they should appreciate. If you're looking for low-cost gifts for gamers that provide maximum impact, you could do a lot worse than this.

UK price: From £19.95 at Amazon

Super Mario Mushroom light | £18.99 at Amazon
There are plenty of cool gifts for gamers out there, but few hit the spot quite like something that lights up. This replica of an in-game Mushroom (that makes Mario grow back to full size after being hit), gives off a soothing, soft red glow and has sound-effects pulled from the game. It's a fun collectible that's a good way of putting your gamer-cred on show.

UK price: £15 at Amazon

PlayStation 5 glass tumbler | $12.99 at Amazon
Here's another surprisingly classy gift for gamers: a very sleek, minimalist PlayStation 5 tumbler. With a frosted white pattern featuring the famous square, cross, triangle, and circle buttons from the PlayStation controllers, it's a cool tip of the hat to the system. However, be sure you're just handwashing it rather than putting it in the dishwasher.

UK price: £7.99 at Amazon

I Paused my Game to be Here t-shirt | $14.99 at Amazon
As with gamer mugs, t-shirts can be a bit hit-and-miss on the whole... but there are some great options out there if you take the time to look. Buried beneath the tees with questionable slogans is this one, and it's a fun option as a gift for gamers (particularly because it comes with fits for men, women, and children). Want a broader range to choose from? Browse the different gaming t-shirts available at Amazon.

UK price: While it's not exactly the same, this is the closest UK equivalent we could find at Amazon

Lego Minecraft The Creeper Ambush | $9.99 at Amazon
Looking for something cheap and cheerful that you can get the Minecraft fan in your life? This is a really cool novelty that offers a slice of the video game for display or as a toy, making it perfect for all ages.

UK price: £8.99 at Amazon

PlayStation Gold Controller mug | $15.99 at Amazon
While this is definitely an acquired taste (it is very shiny), it's an inspired novelty gift for the avid PlayStation gamer. Make sure they handwash it after use, though - mugs like this often don't play well with dishwashers, and they can cause the paint to peel. If that sounds like too much of a faff, check for more mug options at Amazon.

UK price: The gold version's unavailable in the UK, but you can get the same mug in black at Amazon

Checkpoint: How Video Games Power Up Minds, Kick Ass, and Save Lives | $15.92 at Amazon
GamesRadar's very own Joe Donnelly (our Features Writer) wrote a book about the positive power of video games before he joined us, and it's an affirming read that challenges common narratives of the medium being harmful. Although we understand any hesitance because we're recommending a colleague's work, positive reviews from the likes of BBC Scotland demonstrate how poignant it can be.

UK: £5.01 at Amazon

Animal Crossing heat-changing | $13.99 at Amazon
While gaming mugs can be a bit hit and miss, this one is just awesome. Weaving a cheerful pattern from the Animal Crossing franchise (which we've been obsessed with since the latest game came out last year), it's an adorable slam-dunk for any fans.

UK price: £11.99 at Amazon

Haxtec Antique Iron D&D Metal Dice| $19.99 at Amazon
One thing every D&D gamer needs is more dice. They're like socks; you can never have enough of them. While metal dice are a dime a dozen online, these are some of our favorites. They have a great heft to them and are very good-looking (almost as if they've been pulled out of a ye olde treasure chest). Go careful when rolling these on a softwood table though, as they'll potentially leave a mark.

UK price: £14.99 at Amazon

Choose Your Weapon t-shirt | From $8.86 at Amazon
Keen to get a gift for gamers that's more than a five-minute novelty? This t-shirt is a fun, nostalgia-filled present the recipient should get plenty of use out of. Just double-check the sizing before hitting checkout; the listing doesn't specify whether it's a unisex fit or not, but the description makes it sound like it's for adult men. For a broader look at what's available, browse the full range at Amazon.

UK price: Currently unavailable (the closest equivalent is this 'Control Freak' t-shirt at Amazon)

Minecraft Creeper glass tumbler | $12.99 at Amazon
Got a Minecraft-obsessed fan at home? This is a spot-on gift for gamers that will really suit them. Recreating the design of the classic (and literally explosive) Creeper baddie on a 414ml glass, it's a cheap but very cool present. As always, though, be careful when washing this one - a trip through the dishwasher will often strip off the paint.

UK price: £9.09 at Amazon

Super Mario plush toy | £13.84 at Amazon
If in doubt, go for a Super Mario plushie. For Nintendo fans, this esteemed mascot is likely to be behind many of their fondest memories, so a soft toy version of the hero will always go down well. Prefer to see what else is out there? Browse the full Nintendo plush range at Amazon.

UK price: £14.99 at Amazon

PlayStation 5 heat-changing mug | $14.99 at Amazon
We've got a lot of time for this particular gift for gamers; besides having a cool heat-changing effect that brings the iconic PlayStation pattern into focus, it's pretty subtle so far as gaming mugs go. As always, though, this is strictly handwash only. If that doesn't suit you, be sure to have a browse through the other gamer mugs at Amazon.

UK price: £9.99 at Amazon

The Game Console: A History in Photographs | $17.99 at Amazon
Want to give a loved one a walk down memory lane? This coffee table book features pages of snaps and facts showing the journey from Atari to Xbox. Crammed with info and a breakdown of what made these systems tick, it's a great choice for fans of retro gaming systems.

UK price: £14.88 at Amazon

Dungeons & Dragons Phunny Plush toys | From $14.99 at Kidrobot
If the gamer in question loves Dungeons & Dragons books (also known as D&D), these very cute soft toys are a superb choice. Besides recreating some of the most iconic creatures from the game, these plushies are really well made; we went hands-on with some and their quality (from downy fur to some posable limbs) impressed us.

UK price: Currently unavailable

Xbox heat-changing mug | $13.99 at Amazon
If you know that your loved one has an Xbox, this heat-changing mug should be of interest as an affordable, easy-to-get-hold-of gift for gamers. It's a fairly subtle option, too; it's not tacky or over the top with its design.

UK price: £9.99 at Amazon

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels | $15.99 at Amazon
Besides being a well-known games journalist and reporter, Jason Schreier is famous for shining a spotlight on industry issues - and he puts that know-how to good use with this tome detailing the development process behind beloved games like Dragon Age or Destiny.

UK: £9.29 at Amazon

Gifts for gamers - under $50 / £50

Stretch the budget a little and you can start to get your hands on more substantial gifts for gamers like themed sweaters or plush toys. Although they're more expensive, these presents are definitely worth the increased cost.

Christmas sweaters | Browse the range at Amazon
'Ugly' Christmas sweaters are all the rage now, though we don't really understand how they got that name; many of them are awesome. You can get options ranging from Fallout to Crash Bandicoot, so there's plenty to choose from. Numskull in particular is one to watch - it's made some standout designs that really hold up well.

UK: Browse the range at Amazon

Gaming cookbooks | Check the range at Amazon
If you're struggling for ideas, these gaming-themed cookbooks are a lot of fun and may just save your bacon this Christmas. Based on in-universe dishes you can find in franchises from Fallout to World of Warcraft, these are fun and practical gifts that are a little bit different.

UK price: Check prices at Amazon

Pikachu plush toy | $24.99 at Amazon
Here they are - the myth, the legend, the face of Pokemon as we know it. This Pikachu plush is all kinds of adorable, so it'll go down very well with any fans of the franchise.
UK price: Check price at Amazon

Official PlayStation Console ugly Christmas sweater | From $39.59 at Amazon
'Ugly' Christmas sweaters have become something of a grand tradition, and few of the gaming examples we've seen live up to this one (its design is amazing, the fit's unisex, and it should last for a while). If the recipient is a PlayStation fan, it'll quickly become a favorite.

UK price: £32.99 at Amazon

The Witcher book series | Check deals at Amazon
You may have seen the TV series making waves over on Netflix, but the series actually started creating buzz as a video game series a few years back. Because they're sequels to the novels, getting a loved one the original Witcher books series is a great gift at any time of year.

UK price: Check prices at Amazon

Nintendo Game and Watch | $49.99 at Amazon
Want to give the gamer in your life the ultimate retro console? This option from Nintendo comes with Super Mario Bros pre-installed, not to mention the tricky Lost Levels pack that fans will love. While this one's available pretty much everywhere (including Walmart and Best Buy), you can also get a Legend of Zelda version if you're lucky - it's often out of stock.

UK price: £48.66 at Amazon

Charmander plush toy | $21.99 at Amazon
As one of the original starter Pokemon in versions Red and Blue, Charmander holds a special place in the hearts of many Poke-veterans. This plush captures the little fire lizard perfectly, making it an excellent gift for gamers.
UK price: £17.06 at Amazon

Gifts for gamers - up to $100 / £100

Happy to push the boat out and get the ultimate gift for gamers? These are the premium options we'd recommend on every platform, from PlayStation 5 to Nintendo Switch. Cool merch is also highlighted below, including the best Lego sets (such as Super Mario).

Lego Super Mario starter set | $59.99 at Amazon
Got a Nintendo fan in the house? The best Lego Mario kits will be a delight, particularly this Starter Set. Besides offering an interactive Mario figure that reacts to obstacles within the box, it also provides everything needed to create a full Lego course to play through.

UK price: $49.99 at Amazon

For PlayStation gamers

DualSense PS5 controller | Check deals at Amazon
Yes, the PS5 comes with one of these controllers in the box. But more are always handy, particularly if you want to gift one of the alternate colors (like black and red) or allow the recipient to enjoy some split-screen gaming.

UK: Check price at Amazon

Sony DualSense Charging Station | $59.95 $49.95 at Amazon
The DualSense charging station has been difficult to get your hands on over the last year, so many PS5 gamers have been making do with cables. However, it's a must-have accessory that many have slept on recently, making it a solid choice for gifting this year.

UK: Check prices at Amazon

Razer Barracuda X gaming headset | $99.99 $79.99 at Amazon
The Razer Barracuda X is not only a high quality headset at a great price, but thanks to that simple USB-C plug and play connection it's perfect for Nintendo Switch, PS5 and PC players. Plus, there's excellent value for money built in here, with fantastic sound and a comfortable design.

UK: £99.99 £69.99 at Amazon

PS5 HD Camera | $59.99 at Amazon
Know someone who wants to kickstart their streaming career? The PS5 HD camera is an official accessory that launched alongside the console last year. It easily plugs into the PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition and captures all your gameplay ready for streaming on a range of services.

UK: £51.25 £44.99 at Amazon

PS5 Pulse 3D headset | $99 at Amazon
If you've got a PS5 fan in your life, the official Pulse 3D headset is an excellent gift option. The classic black and white model originally launched alongside the console, but was difficult to find in its first few months. You'll find plenty of stock at Amazon right now though.

UK: Check price at Amazon

For Xbox gamers

Xbox Series X controller | $59.99 $49.99 at Microsoft
Want to let the Xbox fan in your family customise their gaming setup? You can get bonus controllers with a huge variety of color options on the Series X console, so they're the perfect gift for gamers that usually play Xbox. Just remember, these run on AA batteries so grabbing a few spare ones isn't a bad idea.

UK: Check price at Amazon

Razer Kishi | $79.99 at Amazon
This clever controller connects to your phone and, once you've downloaded the Xbox app, allows users to play Xbox games using nothing but the internet and an Xbox Game Pass membership. That makes it a great gift for gamers who don't want to shell out for a Series X console or play on the go a lot - as we pointed out in our Razer Kishi review, it excels in both instances. However, bear in mind that there are two versions (the Android and iPhone models). Be sure to pick up the right one!

UK: £79.99 at Amazon

For Nintendo gamers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller | £69.98 at Amazon
For those who prefer a more traditional gaming experience, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a must-have. Besides being more precise, it has a classic layout, excellent comfort, and a design that's to die for. While you can get third-party options, none can hold a candle to this official version. Check out our Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review for more details.

UK: £49.99 at Amazon

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons | $79.99 at Best Buy
There's a range of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con color designs available at Best Buy right now, excellent news if you're buying for a Nintendo Switch fan that seems to have it all. This is one of the best gifts for gamers because of the customization options that arise from having different Joy-Con controllers at your disposal. Plus, they'll have plenty of multiplayer options in their arsenal as well.

UK: £74.99 £58.99 at Amazon

Ring Fit Adventure | $79.99 $68.99 at Amazon
More than a few of us haven't been able to hit the gym recently, so this handy offering from Nintendo is the ideal gift for gamers who want to get moving again. It doesn't often drop down in price, so be sure to check it out while it's discounted at Amazon!

UK: Check for deals at Amazon

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit | $90 at Amazon
If the Nintendo Switch fan in your life has already rinsed Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, this AR Home Circuit peripheral can get them back on the race track. We were seeing lower prices during last month's sales, but you'll still find stock available at Amazon.

UK: £85.26 £79.99 at Amazon

Want some more present ideas? You can drop in on our guide to the best Star Wars gifts or check out these ultimate Disney gifts.

Benjamin Abbott
Benjamin Abbott

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I have been writing about games in one form or another since 2012 and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.