8 holiday gift ideas that will make gamers of all types happy

One of the daunting challenges when buying gifts for gamers are the scores of options and the equal number of uncertainties. Dozens of games have been released in the past year and it’s tough to know which ones are good or if a player has one already.

Moving beyond releases, gift-givers can turn to peripherals that have become popular over the past few years. Headsets or controllers are usually good offerings but choosing the right one can be difficult. If you’re not familiar with all gaming, here are gift ideas tailored for all types players whether they focus on console, PC or mobile gaming.

“Deathloop” pits Colt Vaught against Julianna Blake as they fight amid time loop that keeps both at an island full of mad scientists and mentally unstable creatives. (Bethesda) Bethesda

THE PERFECT GAMES FOR …
First-person shooter fans: “Deathloop” is one of the best games to come out all year and combines Arkane Studios’ signature sandbox gameplay with an engrossing and original story about the protagonist Colt Vahn being stuck in a time loop on an island full of the most inane and pretentious villains on the planet. Think of it as a “Groundhog Day” with a heavy dose of “Diehard” action. The only caveat before picking up this title is that it’s exclusively for the PlayStation 5, which is a machine that’s hard to come by, and PC. Price: $59.99

Nintendo Switch owners: “Monster Hunter Rise” streamlines this Capcom franchise’s signature gameplay and makes it more accessible than ever before. If the gamer is a fan of cooperative titles and action-heavy combat, this is the release that will satisfy for hours as players explore the game’s impressive depth. Price: $59.99

Xbox or PC players: Xbox Games Pass will be the gift that keeps on giving. Microsoft’s “Netflix”-style service gives players access to a plethora of projects, and over the past year, the company has been making it more attractive with the likes of “Psychonauts 2,” “Forza Horizon 5” and the upcoming “Halo Infinite.” Best of all, the service offers gaming via the cloud, which lets players access games on a wide range of devices. They can also pick it up on their Xbox or PC as well. Price: $14.99 per month for Ultimate or $119.99 for 12 month membership

Immerse Gaming is software that uses artificial intelligence and neural networks to create a personalized preset for players. (Immerse Gaming) 

THE PERFECT EXTRA FOR …
… The competitive PC gamer who seemingly has everything: Immerse Gaming is a subscription software that’s designed to give players an edge in online shooters. The service uses AI and machine learning to create a personal preset based on a photograph of a player’s ear. It essentially brings Head Related Transfer Function to the masses using that technology. The result is a feature comparable to Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing but turned up to 11 because the software is custom-crafted to a headset and a player’s ear. That makes it more powerful. Before picking it up, make sure you pick the flavor for the right headset. Price: $14.99 for an annual subscription

Astro Gaming collaborated with Timbuk2 to create a line of gaming-focused bags — the CS03 Crossbody Sling, left, and the BP35 Gaming Backpack. (Astro Gaming) 

THE BEST BAG FOR …
“Pokemon Go” players: The Timbuk2 x Astro Gaming CS03 is the perfect bag for video game adventures outdoors. If players are out for Community Day or Pokemon Go Fest, they’ll need to carry batteries, power cords and other important items. A fanny pack could do but this crossbody sling works much better. It’s made of durable and water resistant materials and features nice design touches, such as a magnetically closing pocket. It’s also technically designed to hold a Nintendo Switch if players need to trade pocket monsters in “Pokemon Brilliant Diamond” or “Pokemon Shining Pearl.” The design and quality makes this video game-centric bag better than most out there. Price: $79.99.

The HyperX CloudX Singer Core wireless headset lacks some features that its rivals have but it excels at battery life and comfort. (HyperX) 

AN AFFORDABLE HEADSET FOR …
Xbox Series X|S players: The HyperX CloudX Stinger Core may not be the best device of its kind out there, but it’s certainly one of the best values for what it does. This wireless headset connects directly to Microsoft’s consoles and offers the signature HyperX comfort. It’s a headset that players can wear for hours without feeling any soreness or pain. Add in 17 hours of battery life and players have a device that’s perfect for marathon sessions on stream. It’s a solid choice for players looking for no-frills wireless device. Price: $99.99

The EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid are earbuds built for gaming. They work on the PlayStation 5, Nintendo switch and smartphone. (EPOS) 

THE BEST WIRELESS HEADSET FOR …
… Gamers who want versatility: The EPOS GTW 270 is likely the direction gaming headsets will go in the next few years. Over-the-ear headsets are best in a bubble but the convenience and utility of the earbuds are ideal for the wireless world. These earbuds do a good job of isolating players with great sound, but the fact that this device can be used inside or outside the living room is what sets it apart. Think of it as a gamer version of the Apple AirPods with an emphasis on minimizing audio lag and a decent focus on chat. Price: $199

The Victrix Gambit Dual Core Tournament Controller features 14 swappable component and a carrying case. That’s a lot of value for the price. (Performance Designed Products) 

THE CONTROLLER WITH MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK FOR …
… Competitive Xbox gamers: The Victrix Gambit Dual Core Tournament Controller has all the features one would expect from an elite-style peripheral. It has paddles in the back so that players won’t have to take their thumbs off the analog sticks. It has adjustable trigger stop positions for quick firing. It has 14 swappable components that let players customize the controller to their liking. The wired controller even has its own carrying case. Best of all, its Dual Core technology creates quick input processing giving players an edge in fighting games, shooters and other competitive games. In other words, if a Victrix player and an opponent both hit a button at the same time, the Victrix will likely register with the console sooner than the rival. That gives it fantastic responsiveness. It’s one of my favorite devices this year because of the value. Price: $99.

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