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Holiday Gamer Gift Guide 2013

With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to start making your shopping lists (and checking them twice)! Once you've eliminated the naughty from the nice gamers on your list, you're going to want to start breaking that list out by gamer profiles.

We've all got those friends: The First Person-Shooters. The MMORPG Maven.  The Utility Gamer.  They all have unique personalities and different gaming accessories are likely to top their holiday wish-list.

Accessories can make all the difference in PC gaming. Different gaming genres have varying demands from gamers, and certain accessories are necessary to meet these demands. Below are a few you’ll need if you want to make the gamers in your life happy this holiday season. We've listed some gift ideas for you out by gamer persona. All you have to do is match 'em up to the gamers on your holiday shopping list and bust out the wrapping paper! Happy holiday shopping!

For the Utility Gamer:

This is the gamer who lives to play anything and everything. They are equally at home playing an MMORPG as they a full-throttle sports game. While these gamers are easy to please, the trick is to be sure to get them a useful accessory that they don't already have. Here are a few of our picks:

Headsets: One of the most important accessories to have when gaming is a solid headset. For starters, many PC games have an online multiplayer component, and communication is vital to success. Many gaming headsets now include 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound, giving you phenomenal sound quality without disturbing your neighbors or roommates. Depending on preference, there are several wired or wireless headsets that will add that extra audio punch to gameplay:

Mouse pads: A no brainer, but one that must be addressed, regardless. Many PC games require quick, smooth, and accurate movements to succeed. Don’t skimp on a good mouse pad. For a gamer, that mouse pad with the picture of puppies on it isn’t going to cut it. Step your gift-giving game up and get them a mouse pad that will ensure they won’t miss a shot (or a spell, etc.). Both the SteelSeries QcK Heavy and RatPadz XT are solid mouse pad options.

HD Monitor: Another no brainer, but a high quality monitor with a high resolution is an absolute must for games to truly look their best. Here are two of our recommendations for a snagging a top-notch gaming monitor: 1080p monitors are the standard for HD gaming, but many manufacturers are rolling out ultra-sharp, 4k-resolution monitors. Note: You'll need a powerful gaming desktop or laptop to truly harness the beauty of one of those.

For the First-Person Shooter:

When it comes to this gamer, it's all about perspective…. And firepower. Gaming peripherals that give them a competitive edge and lightning-fast response will top FPS aficionados list for new toys. Here are some gift ideas for the FPS gamer in your life:

Mechanical Keyboard: Mechanical keyboards are a must for FPS players. For starters, they are far more responsive than standard keyboards, and each button has its own, dedicated switch that clicks when pressed down. This may not sound like much, but when you’re double- and triple-tapping keys on a mechanical keyboard versus a standard one, you’ll quickly feel the difference. Check out the Corsair Vengeance K70 as a top-notch mechanical keyboard option.

Mouse with Adjustable DPI/Weight: Accuracy is king in FPS games. Every PC gamer will tell you that FPS games can only be played with a mouse and keyboard. To truly ensure that gamer on your list will be able to max out their mouse’s potential, give them one that includes adjustable dpi or weights. This will help them customize their mouse’s accuracy to best suit their gaming needs. Some will need a lighter mouse for enhance the speed of their turns, while others will need one with added weight to slow down and improve their accuracy. Either way, their K:D ratio will improve with a better mouse. (Thanks, Santa!) The Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse just might fit the bill.

For the MMORPG Mavens:

If the gamer on your list lives and breathes orcs, mages, spells, and campaigns, you've got an MMORPG maven on your list. Gaming accessories that speak to spells and potions – and how to rattle them off with just the touch of a button – are guaranteed to bring a smile to this gamer's face. Here are some gift ideas for this gamer that you'll want to add to your shopping list:

MMORPG Keyboard: Much like FPS players need a good gaming keyboard, so too do MMORPG players. The needs of an MMORPG player are different, though. They need a keyboard with additional buttons (wait, 101 buttons aren’t enough?!). Keyboards with dedicated hotkeys for your favorite spells will ensure you’re consistently on top of the DPS charts. Once again, the Corsair Vengeance – this time, its K90 model – tops the list for a quality MMORPG keyboard.

MMORPG Mouse: So you’re telling me 18 additional keys are still not enough? For the most hardcore MMORPG mavens, a mouse with additional hotkey shortcuts is an absolute must. Add this to your new keyboard and you’ll have literally every attack, spell, and potion right at your fingertips.

For the Top Gun and/or Speed Fiend:

From flight simulators to racing and sports games, Top Guns, Speed Fiends, and Sportsters are the gamers who love a good ol' fashioned burst of adrenaline fuel injected into their gameplay. While each certainly falls into their own distinct category, there is some overlap among these gamers in terms of peripherals that can help them "enhance their performance." Here's our top pick for gifts for these gamers. 

Additional monitors: This is one that could be useful in just about any genre, but it really shines in flight sims and racing games. With additional monitors, you’ll feel a true sense of immersion that just one monitor cannot achieve. Games like racers and flight simulators work best due to their availability of a “cockpit view.” I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the BenQ XL Series.

Controller: The collective PC gamer world has caught its breath after being told to use a controller, but sports and racing game enthusiasts truly understand why. When it comes to these games, speed and accurate controls are an absolute must. Using a nice, ergonomic controller will help these gamers ensure that passes always hit their intended targets, that they never miss another swing, and that they'll  be able to take those sharp turns with ease.

Do you have any additional suggestions for the perfect holiday gift for the gamers on your list? Let us know in the comment section below!

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