Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means, right? It’s giving gifts to your loved ones and receiving another pair of soc—gifts as well! As the title suggests though, this list is going to focus on gamers and gaming side of things.
If you know a gamer whether it’d be your friend, relative, or a significant other, it’s essential you understand their hobbies, know what kind of things they like or don’t. It’s easier to break down everything and make the right and informed decisions this way.
Honey’s Anime is going to list down 10 things gamers want for Christmas. From new video games, gaming chairs, monitors to peripherals, these are the things most gamers may want for the holidays. If you are not familiar with gaming or is unsure on what to do, don’t worry—we will show you some pointers and suggestions on what things you need to buy to cater the type of gamer you’re gifting. So let’s begin!
10. Subscription Renewal
One of the drawbacks of modern gaming consoles is you can’t play online with other people without a monthly subscription. Fortunately, the monthly subscriptions for PSN or Xbox Live are not expensive for gamers who are still studying for school or has a part-time job. Other benefits of having a subscription are early access to betas, you get to try out new games they give away monthly and do some social interactions outside gaming sessions. Or maybe you’re paying for a subscription to keep playing MMOs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV.
Gifting gamers a one-year subscription to any of the services they use is a great gift and they’ll also thank you for it because you saved them some cash! The only drawback is the lack of a surprise when gifting it because only subscription owners have access to their accounts.
9. Gift/Cash cards
One of the common pitfalls of gifting a gamer some gifts is you'll either end up buying things you thought gamers want, like giving them a box of "gamer fuel" Doritos and Mountain Dew or end up buying games they already own, like Bad Rats: the Rats’ Revenge. The safest route is to gift them some gift or cash cards.
Platforms like Steam, PSN, XBL, Nintendo, etc., put out massive sales on Christmas Eve, so giving them, say, a $50 or $100 gift card is a great way for your gamer friend to buy a ton of games, or maybe buy some in-game items like an armor set in Dota 2, a silly taunt emote in Team Fortress 2, or some clothing in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. Or maybe get some unfair advantages by buying some loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2—NAH! Tough luck there, EA!
This entry is mainly for PC gamers for their battle stations culture. Reddit has an entire subreddit dedicated to such culture (https://www.reddit.com/r/battlestations/)—personalizing your desktop setup—and we advise you check out the hundreds of photos posted on each and everyone’s unique setup. From multi-monitors setup with pulsating LED lights lined around the table, or to a more conservative desktop with satellite speakers made of high-quality wood, connected to a retro-looking DAC (digital to analog converter), each battle station is unique to each individual. If your friend is trying to build one, help him out by picking the right colored table, the right LED lights, matching desktop lamps, and the right chair.
Apart from gaming, we spend a lot of our time in front of the PC because it’s used for everything else from working online, researching for a project, programming, and so many more. If a gamer wants to stay glued to their chair, then why not make their desktop a bit more moody, comfortable and not look like a slave worker’s workbench?
Apparels ranging from printed t-shirts, themed glasses, bags, and caps, are one of the more easier gifts to give to a gamer since they’re practical things in everyday life. For starters, gift them a few printed t-shirts featuring popular modern video games like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Rayman to the classics like Super Mario, Metroid, Sonic, and heck, even Gex!
However, the best ones are the unofficial t-shirts that mix and poke fun at video characters with popular cultural references. You could gift them a bag designed for carrying laptops, phones, tablets and gaming accessories. There are a ton of bag options, but if you want your lucky gamer to stand out, you could get one of those Razer-branded bags. Or maybe gift them a custom-printed t-shirt featuring their favorite video game character, or their video game waifu. The sky’s the limit!
6. OSTs and Singles (Physical CDs)
We know, the compact disc is ancient with its low capacity, but it’s still a reliable technology for storing music. We also have reliable platforms for music like iTunes and Spotify, but nothing beats owning the actual CDs. The feel of the plastic case, the smell of the freshly opened booklet, the prismatic reflection of the CD, you can’t get these from something that is essentially made of 0s and 1s.
What kind of CDs we’re talking about? Any OSTs your gamer friend might like. For example, if your gamer friend likes heavy metal, the DOOM 2016 soundtrack with its blood-pumping industrial metal sound should do the trick. Or if your gamer friend prefers a more orchestral feel, then The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild OST is perfect.
CD singles of Western games are a bit rarer, but they are common in Japan-based games like JRPGs. Voice actors tend to have CD singles featuring insert songs found within the games they voiced in. Sometimes there are even drama CDs that contains some side content for the games’ stories. Unfortunately, these types of CDs are exclusive in Japan and are unlikely to get translated, but if you manage to get some, they’ll be a rare and valuable collection to whoever you give them to.
5. PC Upgrades
Technology is advancing at a very fast rate that is hard to keep up. Games get more realistic, more complex, power-hungry, eat a lot of storage space, so in order to keep up, a PC gamer must invest in upgrades to make their computers last for another 5-8 years. NO, it’s not true PC gaming requires annual upgrades to play the latest games. It’s a myth. A mid-range gaming PC from 2010 can still handle every game in 2017 with customized graphics settings, and can even compete with gaming consoles. Though if you feel like your computer is struggling to handle certain games, or want games to run in 4K, or want to see games at the highest graphical settings possible, then and upgrading is the way to go.
Unfortunately, 2017 and perhaps the first quarter of 2018 is not the good time to upgrade. Graphics cards and memory sticks prices have skyrocketed thanks to the recent boom in cryptocurrency mining. But if you really want to gift a gamer a more modern video card, you better be prepared to shell out a lot of money. Other cheaper option is to browse for refurbished parts. They’re used, yeah, but from the right seller, these parts will look good as new and perform as new as well.
There are a lot to consider when picking the right parts because there are many brands to choose from. Some brands specialize in cooling, while others are good at overclocking and so on. We suggest you ask a few more people for advice and read some reviews online. Lastly, before you start ordering a new SSD, or a brand new video card, or a new CPU, be sure to ask your soon-to-be-lucky gamer friend what type of brands they prefer. Are they on the Red Team (AMD)? Green Team (Nvidia)? Blue Team (Intel)? But if they’re okay with any brand, then, hey, you got more options!
4. Gaming Peripherals
The venerable controllers, mice, and keyboards are gamer’s primary tools when interacting with the gaming world, each having their own strengths and weakness. Take cars, for example. There are certain types of vehicles suited for specific tasks, so if you wanna go fast and drive around a race track, then you obviously need a sports car. This logic also applies to gaming, and the better the tools, the better the experience.
Gaming mice have powerful sensors for accurate aiming, has extra buttons so you can map more commands, the shape is designed for ease of use and is more durable than a typical computer mouse. The same thing can be said for keyboards with the mechanical kinds that are very popular with gamers. These mechanical gaming keyboards have switches instead of a rubber membrane, so they feel more tactile and durable like a typewriter. Some of these gaming keyboards have extra macro keys for gamers to use like quick access to menus, execute a chain of commands in one press of the key, and so on.
Also, certain variants of gaming keyboards have a LED lighting system to illuminate the keys and you can customize the colors to your liking. Certain games and certain brands of keyboards change the color scheme of your keyboard to match the games you are playing. For example, Razer’s Chroma software automatically changes the colors of the keys when you play Overwatch. Now, some say this is just a gimmick, but it’s a neat gimmick and it does improve your gaming experience.
Apart from controllers, mice, and keyboards, a good pair of headphones is a good pick as a gift to a gamer. Gaming headphones and headsets (the ones with a mic), aren’t as sound accurate and durable as studio headphones, but these are specifically designed for gaming with an emphasis on looks, booming bass, and positional audio. And they’re cheaper too. But if you have $1000 to spare, then go get them a pair of open back Sennheiser headphones, or something.
Lastly, there are some exotic gaming peripherals like a gaming keypads, VR headsets, or controllers with flaps at the back for more versatility. Whichever the case, there are a ton of options in this category and they’re perfect for any gamer who wants to enjoy games while not using “normie” tools.
So far the majority of the entries we mentioned are about furniture, computer parts, and peripherals. There is nothing wrong with recommending them, but these are just, well, tools--pieces of equipment, and they’re disposable. You’re going to upgrade to a new video card eventually, or get a new table because your new room is too small for the old one, or buy a new gaming mouse because the old one is double-clicking and no longer accurate. If you want to gift a gamer that is memorable and will last a lifetime, then gift them some gaming-related memorabilia.
These items range from toys, action figures, figurines, replicas of objects found in the games like emblems, swords, shields, guns, busts, etc., or even banners and trophies. This type of gift is great for display in rooms, behind glass cases or in cabinets beside your collection of games and other merchandise. What’s so special about memorabilia is they will not degrade due to use or get outdated. These items will last forever and to look at them will spark old memories—recalling the days have gone by, and perhaps remember who gave them to you.
As usual, go talk to your gamer friend for any signs of what things they want. Do they want a figurine of the Soul of Cinder from Dark Souls 3? Some toys of Overwatch characters? A replica lightsaber from Star Wars? Or a dakimakura? The stealthier you do it, the bigger the surprise!
Oh and if your gamer friend loves video games with dragons in them, like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and want a couple of dragon dildos for Christmas… Chances are they were half-serious. Good luck buying them!
2. Video Game Consoles, Smartphones, and Gaming PCs
A gamer’s experience is only limited to the number of systems they own, and while there is versatility of the PC platform, you can’t get to play exclusive games from gaming consoles. At least not for a while. Bayonetta 1 was console-exclusive, but it got ported over to PC years later. However, Bayonetta 2 and the upcoming Bayonetta 3 are currently exclusive to Nintendo’s systems with no signs of the company letting go of the rights.
If you love Bayonetta and want to play its sequels, you need to buy a Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. Not only that, you get to play Nintendo’s mainstay games like Super Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Xenoblade. JRPGs and other Japan-based games made the PS4 their home and the Xbox One series of consoles have the Halo games, Gears of Wars and Forza Motorsport. Mobile games on smartphones and tablets, while not as complex as games from other platforms, have their audience, especially in Japan with tons of mobile games centered around popular anime series and Japanese idols.
Now, which one of these platforms is the best? The answer is none. Each platform has their own community and games, so whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed gaming experiences you have never before. But one thing is for certain though, a gaming console or a smartphone are great gifts to gamers who want more games to experience while meeting new friends. Of course, a seasoned gamer has their preferences, so listen well to what you want for Christmas.
1. Video Games
Why do gamers want new gaming consoles, want the best gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, controllers, monitors, comfy chairs, etc.? They want to have the best experience possible on their games. So in order to do that, well, obviously, you need video games! Be it an open-world game, puzzle game, fighting game, horror game, or a platformer, there is a game out there for every type of gamer. And of course, gifting a game will make any eager gamer very happy.
We already mentioned the gift/cash cards, but it’s just a safe option if you’re not sure what to buy, or it’s for someone who wants to buy some in-game items. Gifting a game a gamer specifically wants, be it digital or physical, is much more personal. Gamers, much like anime fans, are dedicated people who are so invested in a hobby some people find weird, hard to understand and sometimes stigmatized. Having someone who understands and support their hobby helps and supports a long-lasting relationship.
So what do you do when picking games? First things first, is ask them (duh!). But if you want a stealthier approach, try to pick up clues when they talk to you about gaming news during conversations and check their social media while you’re at it. Or better yet, check their wish lists in their gamer profiles. For example, Steam lets you add games on a wishlist for everyone to see. Once you picked your video game, pair it with a second game, or its OST CD, or other trinkets. Do that, and you have yourself one very happy gamer for Christmas.
And these are the top 10 things gamers want for Christmas. Video gaming is a hobby for everyone from all walks of life. Some prefer playing on the go, some prefer their PC, while some want to play using physical discs on consoles. However, every gamer has one thing in common: they want to play more video games. Gifting a game is one thing, gifting them something to improve their experience or have something to reminisce about their past adventures is another. Yes, gamers are spoiled, but so is everyone else. It wouldn’t hurt to let them indulge that feeling, especially on Christmas Eve. Spoil them to heart’s content! Christmas—the time of spending—only happens once a year! Twice a year if you count Black Friday on Thanksgiving… *ahem*
Did this list help with your purchasing decisions? Or do you agree with our list? If you’ve got anything to share, please tell us by leaving a comment below!