November 24, 2022 8:00 AM
Image Credit: Scuf Gaming
It can be intimidating to find the right gift for the esports fan in your life, especially if you’re not one yourself. Worry not, we’ve got you covered. No matter what your platform of choice is to climb the ladder or your budget, here are some ideas to add to your shopping list this holiday season.
Gaming PC Building services: NZXT Starter PC
Price: $949+ on NZXT
To build or to buy, that is the question. While PC enthusiasts might steer you towards building one, I’d recommend buying something pre-built for a gift. NZXT makes the process as painless as possible.
The Foundation series might be the ticket if you plan on upgrading components, but otherwise the Starter Series is a strong pick for gamers who are just starting out. While the basic starter PC is a solid choice, upgrading the to the Starter Plus will get you an upgraded graphics card.
Mouse: Glorious Gaming – Model O
There are four key factors to look for when shopping for a mouse for competitive gaming: light weight, a wired connection, button arrangements and, of course, style.
The Model O is a great all-around pick. The honey comb design is the star, both adding to the form factor and cutting down weight. At just 67 grams, it’s no wonder that Glorious Gaming is particularly popular with FPS fans.
For the MMO or MOBA player in your life, you may want to consider the Model I which has additional programmable buttons.
At the time of writing, the mouse is on sale on Amazon, but if style is a major factor it might be worth ordering from Glorious directly. The company website has additional customization options (for a fee) like an additional cable in your player’s favorite color.
Keyboard: Higround – Basecamp 65
Price: $135+ on Higround
Compared to other gaming keyboards, Higround’s offerings are meant to be statement pieces. Sure they have the RBGs we all know and love, but the limited branding and flashy keycaps are the stars. It’s part of the reason why esports organization and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves bought the manufacturer in 2021.
Higround is influenced by streetwear and sneaker brands both in terms of style and sales practices. The company frequently releases drops and capsule collections in limited quantities.
While the Basecamp keyboard isn’t explicitly designed for experts and modders, there are features for them. The keyboards come with the tools necessary to swap out keys and switches as you see fit.
Mechanical keyboards do have the reputation of being loud, but fear not. Higround’s silicone dampening helps the keyboard feel weighty and cuts down on the sound.
One major downside is that the keyboard doesn’t come with a wrist rest.
Wrist Rest: HyperX – Wrist Rest + Mouse Rest
Whether you’re sitting at a desk for work or gaming, it’s important to make your set up as ergonomic as possible. Wrist pain is both extremely common and no fun. Especially for aspiring pros, it’s important to take preventative steps.
One of the easiest (and cost effective) ways to do this is through a wrist rest. HyperX makes a great product both for your keyboard and your mouse. If you’re only going to get one, I’d recommend the keyboard option, but it depends on your playstyle.
The keyboard rest comes in different sizes so be sure to pick the one that works best for your setup.
Console controllers: Scuf Gaming
Price: $230 on Amazon for Xbox
Scuf gaming is legendary in console-based FPS titles. Scuf controllers are highly customizable for both aesthetics and performance. The sticks can be swapped out for different styles to maximize precision and comfort. They’re performance products designed for dedicated players — perfect for an aspiring pro.
For esports fans, Scuf also does plenty of creator-branded products. FaZe Clan and Optic gaming fans can find controllers with team branding.
While Scuf’s Xbox products are available on Amazon, PlayStation users should check out Scuf Gaming. There are also additional customization options available for both platforms too.
Arcade Stick: Mayflash – Universal Arcade Fighting Stick F500
Price: $88 on Amazon
For certain fighting game fans, arcade sticks are a must have. They allow players to use an arcade button layout which can be a more optimal set up for some — or just nostalgic to others.
A fight stick can be a great gift if a player wants try out a new way to play their favorite fighting games. The Mayflash F500 is a great starter option. The stick works across consoles and PC — though PS5 players will need to purchase an additional adapter.
Even better for some — the F500 is highly customizable. You can replace the buttons, sticks and graphics with just a screw driver. Players can use the F500 as a platform to build from if they end up falling in love with it.
Mobile Controller: Razer – Kishi
Price: $44 $99 on Amazon
Mobile gaming and mobile esports are growing. If the gamer in your life prefers mobile but would love the precision input of a console, Razer has you covered with their Kishi controller. The device attaches to your phone via USB, removing the latency issues wireless controllers might have.
The controller is compatible with the leading cloud gaming services, including Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and more.
Kishi has models for both Android and iOS, but be sure to order the right one!
Headset: SteelSeries – Arctis 7P+
Price: $150 on Amazon
While the Arctis 7P+ is a bit more expensive than some other gaming headphones, this is a wise long term investment. This is my personal headset of choice and after more than a year of using it, I’m still in love.
The headset is relatively comfortable, but is still secure. With a 30 hour battery life, you rarely have to charge it. The noise cancelling works well and the pass-through audio option is great if you’re not looking for total isolation.
With headphones, I prefer a wireless option for those breaks inbetween matches or meetings. You will need a USB-C port to connect the Bluetooth dongle (or a USB-A port plus the included converter). Additionally, Xbox players will have to look elsewhere.
Overall, the Arctis 7P+ holds up as both a strong gaming option and for work as well.
Blue Light Glasses: Zenni Gaming
Price: $24+ from Zenni Optical
Just like wrists, gamers need to think about protecting their eyes as well. Blue light glasses can help reduce eye strain for some and they make an affordable gift for the esports fan in your life.
Zenni works with several esports organizations including the Call of Duty League and the Golden Guardians to make sure their glasses are tested by the pros.
While glasses are a very personal choice, Zenni’s virtual try on feature will help you find the right fit. Some frames are available for prescriptions too.