Now that the turkey is long gone, it’s time to think about what to buy the PC gamers in your life for the holidays. It’s not necessarily an easy task.
That rings especially true when it comes to the dizzying array of PC gaming accessories from which to choose. Not to mention, the person for whom you’re shopping likely has most of the major titles that were released in 2015. Whatever the case, we peered through the mountains of accessories and games to help narrow down the choices. Here’s a look at seven holiday gift ideas for the PC gamer.
Logitech G633/G933 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset $149.99-$199.99
If the gamer you’re shopping for is in the market for a gaming headset, consider the G633 from Logitech, one of the best on the market for the price. The USB wired headset comes with support for Dolby and DTS surround sound and delivers clean audio without distortion across a wide sound spectrum -- from the rumbling bass of explosions to the treble of in-game voices and music. On the outside, the headset sports customizable LED accent lights and foam earcups for those long gaming sessions. When the earcups get dirty, they can easily be removed for cleaning.
The built-in mic comes with an adjustable boom and folds back into the headset when not in use. The headset can also be used for listening to audio from two sources -- such as a smartphone, via its 3.5 mm jack. If the gamer for whom you’re shopping prefers to ditch the cords, Logitech also sells the G933, which comes with all the features of the G633, but uses a USB dongle to wirelessly connect to a computer or, if you prefer, a Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.
Mad Catz RAT Pro X Gaming Mouse $199.99
Customization can be key to almost any gaming PC setup and the mouse is no exception. Shoppers can pick up a decent mouse on the cheap, but if they want the ability to control nearly all aspects of a mouse, the RAT Pro X may be the right fit. At first glance it wouldn’t be surprising if you mistook it for a prop that made its way off the set of “Transformers.” But upon closer inspection, gamers will find that it was designed to offer as many customization options as possible. Just about everything can be tweaked in the RAT, such as the grips, palm rests and scroll wheel. Even the sensor can be swapped out based on preferences between optical and laser technology. While some may see this as overkill, the level of customization available on the Rat Pro X enables gamers to create their idea of the "perfect mouse."
Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard $159.99
Corsair is well known when it comes to mechanical keyboards, which have become a near-essential in PC gaming. While the keyboard's clicky keys can be great for long hours of fighting off rivals in “Heroes of the Storm” or battling against the Galactic Empire in “Star Wars: Battlefront,” they’re also very noisy. That’s an area Corsair hopes to improve on with its Strafe RGB keyboard. Under each key is a “Cherry MX Silent” switch, which helps reduce the keyboard noise when you’re mashing away during an intense play session. On the outside, Corsair’s Strafe can be customized with millions of backlight colors and can control music playback with its built-in multimedia keys.
Razer DeathAdder Classic USB Mouse $69.99
While customization is a great feature to have, sometimes gamers just want a simple mouse that they can rely on for accurate button presses and movements. With a 10,000 dots-per-inch (DPI) optical sensor, the DeathAdder can give gamers better accuracy for well under $100. The mouse can also change its sensitivity on-the-fly and its lighting can be customized with 16.8 million color choices.
Mad Catz FREQ 9 Wireless Bluetooth Surround Headset $159.99
Gamers who have a PC with Bluetooth support can go completely wireless with the Mad Catz FREQ 9 wireless headset. No special software is needed. Just connect it via Bluetooth to your computer and go. The headset comes with a number of features such as metal construction, a built-in mic, active noise cancellation, surround sound and a 3.5 mm headphone jack to fall back to in case there isn’t a Bluetooth connection available. Mad Catz claims the FREQ 9 can last for about 20 hours before it needs a recharge.
“Fallout Anthology” $49.99
It’s very likely that the PC gamer for whom you’re shopping is also investing tons of hours into playing “Fallout 4,” the latest addition to Bethesda Softworks’ survival role-playing game series. So that’s probably not on their gift list. Get them the “Fallout Anthology” instead. It includes PC versions of “Fallout,” “Fallout 2,” “Fallout Tactics,” “Fallout New Vegas” and “Fallout 3.” The collection comes in a display case that resembles the mini-nuke found within the game series, complete with sound effects.
Steam Gift Card $20-$100
If all else fails, pick up a Steam gift card. PC gamers often play a wide variety of games so it can be difficult to find a title they don’t already own. Cards can be purchased in denominations of $20, $50 and $100. The stored value can then be used to purchase games through the Steam digital distribution service, which often has holiday sales through December.