The 11 Best Gifts for PC Gamers to Buy in 2021 | Digital Trends
PC gamers. If you’ve shopped for them before, you already know how difficult tracking down the best gifts for PC gamers can be. Fickle and opinionated, PC gamers are normally up to date on the latest devices and know what they like, which can make shopping much more difficult than it needs to be.
We rounded up 11 gifts that PC gamers would be delighted to find under the tree. Naturally, PC gamers have different needs and prefer different brands for peripherals, so we split our guide into two sections. Our top five recommendations work for any PC gamer, while our bottom six are our personal favorites in different categories. If you want to pick up a keyboard, mouse, or something similar, we recommend checking to see what the PC gamer in your life needs before pulling the trigger.
A Steam gift card
If you don’t know what to buy for the PC gamer in your life, pick up a Steam gift card. The holiday season is flanked by two massive Steam sales every year: The autumn sale, which arrives around Black Friday, and the winter sale, which usually spans the last week of December and first week of January.
Steam if the largest marketplace for PC games, and the platform has made a name for itself with its massive sales. What we don’t recommend is buying a PC game as a gift. Most PC games are only available digitally through Steam, and you’ll generally spend more elsewhere. $50 might only buy a single PC game at a retailer. A $50 Steam gift card, though, can often buy three games or more.
Corsair MM700 RGB extended mouse pad
The Corsair MM700 makes the most mundane PC peripheral exciting again. It’s an extended mouse pad that can hold a mouse and keyboard at the same time, and it features RGB lighting around the edge that players can sync with the rest of their components. There are other RGB mouse pads that are cheaper, but none that deliver on the quality Corsair offers.
Although the lighting is the main draw of the Corsair MM700, it’s a great mouse pad in its own right. It’s 4mm thick, which is perfect for most setups, and it includes two USB ports so gamers can plug in their mouse and keyboard without a mess of cables. A mouse pad may not normally get a PC gamer excited, but the Corsair MM700 will.
Xbox Game Pass
What’s better than a few PC games? Over 300 PC games. Xbox Game Pass may carry the Xbox name, but it works across consoles and PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes the PC version, which will unlock somewhere between 300 and 350 games automatically. It’s a subscription service, so your PC gamer will have to keep up with it. The monthly price is worth it, though.
Game Pass has a lot of games, but more than that, it has a lot of good games. Full-priced, $60 games arrive on the service almost every month, and there’s a massive backlog of titles for players to dig into. We recommend a three-month gift card because it carries a solid discount. That said, you can pick up a single month as well.
Velcro cable ties
Although not the most exciting gift, most PC gamers can appreciate a tidy battle station. We’re fans of the Velcro Brand One-Wrap cable ties for cleaning up messy cables. They come in a variety of colors so your PC gamer can match the color with the rest of their rig, and they make tidying up loose cables a breeze.
When building a gaming PC, there’s a lot of focus on the cable management inside the PC, while the cables on the outside are usually forgotten about. Any PC gamer can tell you that they have a dozen or more cables running to and from their PC, and a couple of reusable cable ties can turn that bird’s nest into clean cable runs.
Compressed air duster
Like cable ties, compressed air may not seem exciting, but it’s essential for any PC gamer. Dust is the plague that all PC gamers are trying to avoid, and that requires regular cleanings. Instead of an endless pile of Dust-Off, we recommend picking up a reusable compressed air duster that gamers can use for years to come.
The one we chose is wireless and comes with a long, thin nozzle. That’s great for poking into the crevasses of the PC and blowing out dust, crumbs, and pet hair from a keyboard.
Logitech G915 TKL keyboard
It’s expensive, but the Logitech G915 TKL is a marvel of a keyboard. In our Logitech G915 TKL review, we called it the gaming version of Apple’s Magic Keyboard, and that’s a fitting description. While other gaming keyboards are big and loud, the G915 TKL has an understated design that looks great in a RGB-ridden battle station and a home office alike.
The keyboard comes in a few varieties depending on the mechanical key switch. As is the case with all of the PC components and peripherals we’re recommending, you should ask the PC gamer you’re shopping for what key switch they prefer. As long as the switch is right, the Logitech G915 is easily one of the best gaming keyboards around.
WD_BLACK SN850 1TB NVMe SSD
More storage space is never a bad thing, especially as the size of games continues to grow. Although standard hard drives offer more storage for a lower price, the best SSDs, such as the WD_BLACK SN850, are much faster. That means two things: Faster install times and faster loading times.
We highly recommend asking before picking up this hard drive, though. You’ll want to make sure that your PC gamer can install it in their PC and that they have a space to slot it in. This drive uses the PCIe 4.0 connection standard, too, which is much faster than the previous version. That said, some PCs don’t support the standard, so it’s best to double check.
Steelseries Arctis Pro headset
We crowned the Steelseries Arctis Pro as the best gaming headset on the market three years ago, and that hasn’t changed. It comes in wired and wireless versions, both of which support a higher range of frequencies than what you’d normally find on a gaming headset. That allows players to pick up on the smallest details, which can make all of the difference in a heated firefight.
If it’s in your price range, we’d recommend picking up the wireless version. It comes with two batteries to keep the headset constantly topped off, and it includes a receiver with a suite of sound-tweaking controls. Most importantly, the wireless Steelseries Arctis Pro supports Bluetooth, allowing players to use the headset while gaming or listening to music on the bus.
Scuf Instinct Pro controller
Keyboard and mouse is the way to go for PC gamers, but there are some games that just work better on a controller. You shouldn’t just pick up any old controller, though. The Scuf Instinct Pro is the perfect complement to a keyboard and mouse, and although it’s expensive, the price is worth it.
The key difference between the Instinct Pro and other controllers is the addition of four back buttons. PC gamers are used to using all of their fingers to play games, but standard controllers only take advantage of thumbs and index fingers. The extra back buttons allow the PC gamer in your life to use all of their fingers, making the transition from keyboard and mouse much more comfortable.
Corsair Sabre RGB Pro wireless mouse
Corsair is a titan in the world of PC peripherals, and the Sabre RGB Pro shows why. It’s a wireless gaming mouse that manages to outclass the competition in specs while undercutting on price. It’s the full package, which is why we awarded it a rare Editors’ Choice award in our Corsair Sabre RGB Pro Wireless review.
Although cheaper than the competition, the Sabre RGB Pro is still around $100. If you’re on a tighter budget, we recommend looking at wired options. Corsair offers a wired version of the Sabre Pro for around $50, and theis an excellent alternative for around the same price.
Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QNR
If you’re looking for something a little more expensive, the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QNR is for you. It’s one of the best gaming monitors you can buy right now, fit with the latest technologies from graphics card giant Nvidia and a refresh rate that helps games run as smoothly as they can.
It’s a little expensive for a Full HD monitor, but the PG259QNR is pricey for a reason. It can produce more images each second, making it perfect for competitive games like Valorant, League of Legends, and Overwatch. As with all of our peripheral choices, though, we recommend asking if this is something the PC gamer in your life needs.
Infamously hard to shop for
PC gamers are difficult to shop for. We’re a highly opinionated bunch, and with so many great options on the market, it’s not as easy as picking up something from a buying guide and calling it a day. If you don’t know what to buy, ask. Ask what brands they prefer, what peripherals they need for their setup, and what type of device they’re looking for.
If you’d rather keep your gift a surprise, the best course of action is to pick up a Steam gift card or Xbox Game Pass subscription. There isn’t a PC gamer out there that would be disappointed to see extra Steam credit or access to hundreds of games in their stocking.