When picking out the best holiday gaming gifts for the gamers in your life, get your shopping started early. Console and PC games and peripherals tend to be expensive in general, making Black Friday and Cyber Monday the best time to snag a deal.
Yet it’s distinctly harder to find a gift for a PC gamer than a console gamer if you don’t know someone’s preferences. If your friend needs a PS4 controller you just buy a Sony controller; but if they need a gaming mouse or keyboard, you’ll find dozens of manufacturers in a free-for-all melee to convince you their product is the best, which can be overwhelming even for the tech-informed.
You can check out Tom’s Guide for best-of lists for whatever category of PC game or peripheral you think your PC gamer friend needs or wants. But if you’re looking for inspiration, this guide groups some of the best gaming gifts available, many of which are selling for dozens to hundreds of dollars off this holiday season. Give your thrifty loved ones the top-tier brands and fancy toys they’d never think to buy for themselves.
Razer Deathadder Elite
If you’re looking for a respected brand of mouse you know the discerning (picky) gamer in your life will like, consider the brand that has sold more than 10 million units. Currently more than half off on various sites, the Deathadder Elite comes with a comfortable grip for most hand sizes, and it performed well in a variety of game types for our reviewer. Unless you know specifically that your friend only plays one type of game, don’t give them a mouse specialized for only one type of game, when you can provide a popular mouse with all-around excellent performance.
Alternative mice to consider: If you want a wireless mouse, consider the Logitech G903, with its ambidextrous design, great performance and long battery life. Logitech is one of our favorite gaming mouse brands and we’re already seeing plenty of deals for various models.
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
Any respectable PC gamer probably already has a decent headset, so to impress them, make sure their new setup gives them an upgrade in comfort and sound by going with the latest models on the market. Our reviewer was impressed with the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition, with THX Spatial Audio for improved surround sound that let him pick up on the direction of enemy footsteps in Overwatch. Regardless of the games they play, your giftee will appreciate having an audio advantage on the competition.
The Kraken Tournament Edition is expected to be close to 50% off this holiday season, which is a great value for an incredible headset.
Alternative headsets to consider: Of all our favorite gaming headsets, keep an eye out for deals on any of the SteelSeries Arctis headsets, which consistently impress us with their comfortable design and sound quality.
Razer Firefly Chroma
With so many great mouse pads available, you can find pads built for speedy specs, or charging a specific wireless mouse, or flashy RGB patterns. But we think versatility and ergonomics will be more appreciated by the discerning PC gamer than anything else.
The Razer Firefly mouse mat is offered in both a cloth and hard edition. offers a wrist rest as an antidote to potential carpal tunnel syndrome. The cloth material is designed for slower, precise movements while the hard polycarbonate microfiber provides faster gliding; whichever one you choose, you get Razer Chroma lighting. Plus, if you buy your gamer the Razer DeathAdder Elite, you can program its internal software to calibrate its movement speed to one surface or the other.
The best mouse pad alternatives: If you want something that’s even more flashy, responsible, try the Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma mouse mat. The oversized mouse mat features Razer Chroma lighting and plenty of space for your mouse and keyboard. For a smaller option, buy them the Turtle Beach Drift for a microfiber pad we love that’ll have your mouse zipping around with ease.
Corsair K95 Platinum
Not all keyboards are created equal. For a particular type of gamer, you need keys with speed switches with a fast turnover, so your key will click and then return to its default position ready to be tapped again, as fast as your fingers can move. That’s where the Corsair K95 Platinum comes in, with its excellent Cherry MX keys.
One of our favorite keyboards is a lower-level Corsair model, but this one also comes with a set of programmable macro keys, for your gamer to perform particular tasks in-game that they couldn’t on a more compact keyboard. Plus, as of publication, this pricier keyboard is $70 off on Amazon.
Alternative keyboards to consider: The Razer Blackwidow Elite, a beautiful and ergonomic keyboard that performed well in our gaming tests. Want to go wireless? Try the Logitech G613, our pick for best wireless keyboard, currently more than half off on Newegg.
Razer Blade Pro 17
While you may just be looking for something under $50 to give a friend, you may also finally be indulging your kid and buying them the gaming laptop for which they’ve been begging you for months. Black Friday is certainly the best time to buy a great gaming laptop, but don’t just go with the biggest discount. A laptop is a big investment, and you should make sure it has the specs you need, both for gaming and for schoolwork.
For a powerful GPU and CPU, consider the Razer Blade Pro 17, one of our favorite laptops available now, gaming or otherwise. With a 9th-gen Intel i7, up to NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, up to 64 GB of RAM and up to 2 TB of storage, this powerhouse offers everything you need to run modern games and demanding apps.
Alternative gaming laptops to consider: We recently got hands-on with the Razer Blade 15, and were blown away by the keyboard: it’s the first laptop to feature optical keyboard switches, something you’ll find on a PC keyboard but never (before now) when the keyboard is built into the device itself. Using infrared sensors to register 1mm key presses much faster than a mechanical device could, the Blade 15 will let your kid have a blast with any game—and type out essays that much faster.
Or, for a more budget-minded, entry-level laptop, consider the Lenovo Legion Y7000, which offers solid specs for a reasonable price, and for which we’ve seen some good deals already this Black Friday.
Humble Monthly / Humble Choice
Unless you know your friend’s gaming tastes, and which games they already have in their various game libraries like Steam, then it’s difficult to give the gift of any one of the great PC games out right now. Especially since any game they really want that goes on sale, they’ll just buy themselves. So give them a subscription to a variety of games instead, and let them choose.
A Humble Choice subscription gives your gift recipient a choice of a variety of PC games, both old favorites and recently released titles, and lets them pick their favorites to own forever, every month. Even if they let the subscription die after a few months, you’ll still have given them several gifts without having to stress about picking the wrong ones. We recommend getting them the “Classic” plan, a special subscription that gives you ten games per month; just make sure to buy the gift before December 6th, when no new subscribers can sign up for it.
The best subscription alternative: Microsoft Game Pass for PC gives your friend access to dozens, if not hundreds, of PC titles, many of them on the same day it releases for sale. Unfortunately once the subscription ends you can’t keep any of them, but if they have a lot of free time for gaming it’s an excellent value. Or, of course, you can always just buy them a gift card to the online store of their choice.