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Video games are now so popular, chances are that you have someone close to you that spends a lot of time playing them. If you’re a non-gamer, the idea of coming up with gamer gift ideas is probably pretty scary. It doesn’t have to be, with just a few good rules of thumb you can make any gamer smile!
Although there are hundreds of video games released every year, there are simple patterns you can make use of to figure out what’s good and what’s not. Take each of these decisions to heart and you’ll be a lucky gamer’s hero.
So the next time the holidays or a birthday comes around, you can do away with that sense of dread. Instead, you’ll be known as the cool gaming gift giver. Now who doesn’t want that?
There are a few thing we have to go over to get the perfect gamer gift ideas:
- What machine are we buying for?
- What price should we aim for?
- Digital or retail games?
- What genres does our gamer like?
- Where can we find out if a game is any good?
- When is it OK to buy a used game?
- What’s out there besides games?
So let’s go over these points in more detail.
Know the Machine
The first thing you need to know is what your gamer plays on. Any game you buy has to run on their system. Do they play on a PC, a console or a handheld console?
If they play on a console you have to make sure you know which one! A game meant for the Playstation 3 will not run on the Playstation 4. If you aren’t sure you need to get this critical info first.
For PC gamers things are a little bit more complicated. If you don’t know whether the person who your gamer gift ideas are meant for has a good gaming PC, an alternative may be in order. If they are also a console gamer, that’s always the safer choice.
Video game prices are a good indicator of their quality. In the USA top quality, big-budget releases are almost always priced at $60. The exact number varies from country to country, but most top titles are priced the same.
You can use this fact both as a way to budget and as a rough way to know if you’re buying a quality product.
While buying games as digital downloads is becoming more and more popular, if you’re buying a game for someone else I’d recommend buying an actual boxed copy.
First of all, you actually have something to wrap up and present to them. Secondly, retail copies of games can be returned or exchanged easily.
You have to keep in mind that boxed PC games can’t be traded or returned if they’ve been opened because their keys can only be redeemed once.
Alternatively, just getting a gift card for their favorite gaming service is a safe choice. You can get code cards in a store or print out the email when you buy them digitally. Just buy the right voucher for the right service.
Get Genre Savvy
Most gamers have one or two genres that they like most of all. For example, they may like racing simulators, first-person shooters or role-playing games.
So you just need two easy facts: what is your gamer friend’s favorite genre and what did they already buy this year?
Everyone’s A Critic
There is just no excuse for buying someone a bad gaming gift these days. Every game gets reviewed by someone and sites like Metacritic Gaming are a one-stop solution to know how well a game is regarded. You can even look up those reviews in the store itself using your smartphone.
Don’t Buy Used!
Gamers on a budget can always turn to used games, but it’s not a very classy gift. Besides, any digital codes that come with a game can only be used once. So used copies are stripped of any extra downloads.
The only time it’s OK to buy a used game is if it’s out of production and you know your gamer gift recipient is looking for it. Then you are about to hit gold with your gamer gift ideas.
Make It Special
The perfect gamer gift is something gamer would want but probably wouldn’t buy with their own money. Special and limited editions are that sort of guilty pleasure.
Yes, they are more expensive than the regular edition of a game, but they come with unique extras like statues and posters. This means that even if they already own the standard edition of the game, they’ll still appreciate owning the special edition. Especially if it comes with merchandise.
Speaking of which, that brings up another idea…
Just Buy Merch Instead
Gaming is a hobby that has a lot more to it than just games. If you know what franchises your gamer-gift recipient likes, why not just buy some merchandise instead?
Statues, posters, messenger bags, t-shirts and more are out there. It doesn’t even matter if it’s merchandise from an older game, cool merch is always cool.
If you’ve exhausted all the other options and you’re still coming up empty, the last resort could be to, you know, ask. Gamers like nothing more than to talk about their hobby.
So take five minutes to ask your gamer gift target what they’re playing at the moment. Most importantly, ask them what they are looking forward to playing.
Don’t Panic About Gamer Gift Ideas!
For non-gamers, the world of gaming can seem complicated and obscure. Buying a game for a gamer is a lot like buying a movie for a movie buff. As long as you have a good idea of what they like in general and do a little research, you’ll be fine.
The most important thing to remember is not to panic. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all the options. Narrow things down systematically until you only have a few equally good options left.
Then just roll the dice or flip a coin to make that final decision. At this point, there’s not really much that can go wrong. Now all you have to do is wrap up those great gamer gift ideas.