Last-second gifts for PC gamers

The holiday season is upon us, and soon—like, very soon—families and friends will gather around to share holiday cheer and give gifts to one another. Our holiday gift guide has plenty of great options for the PC gamer in your life, but if you need a few more ideas, here's what the PC Gamer staff hopes to find in our stockings this year.

Codenames 

$15 from Amazon

Whenever I'm traveling home to Michigan for Christmas, I need board games I can play with a variety of people. Something that can be easily explained to aunt Debbie, whose last tabletop experience was Monopoly, but also be entertaining to my cousin, who plays competitive Netrunner. Codenames is cheap enough to buy on a whim, can be set up and explained in five minutes, and can accommodate a big or small number of players (ideally six or eight) of varying skill and attention span. 

Some other quick and cheap picks that fit this category: Blokus, Saboteur, Hanabi. —Evan Lahti

The Movie Art of Syd Mead 

$30 from Amazon

There are hundreds of art books from the history of games and film I'd be happy to have on display on my coffee table, and they make for easy gift ideas. One released this year is the art of Syd Mead, who's created some iconic sci-fi imagery in his day, like Blade Runner's Spinner and Tron's lightcycles. 250+ pages of his concept art is enough to pore over for weeks. I'd also take Film Posters of the Russian Avant-Garde if you're feeling generous. —Wes Fenlon

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set

$25 from Amazon

My nephew, who I suspect has been watching Stranger Things, suddenly wants to get into Dungeons and Dragons. Despite our 21 year age difference, I'm in the same boat: having ignored D&D and games like Pathfinder for most of my life, I've been loving both playing and DMing over the past year, in my dining room as well as remotely in Tabletop Simulator. For kids who are new to the game, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is probably your best bet as their introduction, as it includes some premade characters and character building is the most complicated aspect for beginners. (Though expect to have to help them and their friends here and there.) For adults who already play tabletop roleplaying games, there are tons of cool accessories that make great gifts, such as just about anything from Wyrmwood or a set of spell cards for their chosen class if they play D&D. —Tyler Wilde

Razer Ornata keyboard + Logitech G903 wireless mouse

$80 at Razerzone
$140 at Newegg

I love getting new tech at Christmas. This year during Black Friday I bought (and am now recouping the cost from family) a 1070-equipped ASUS gaming laptop, which will be under the tree on the 25th. If you're still looking for stuff for the PC gamer you love—which hey, may well be you—then here are a couple of peripherals I've loved using in 2017. The Razer Ornata keyboard is absolutely brilliant if, like me, you need to type and play almost equally. I wasn't convinced by the idea of mecha-membranes until my fingers came to rest on the Ornata. The keys combine the crisp, responsiveness of a mechanical board with the more plush travel of a membrane. I like it so much I've switched out my work and home keyboards, and so has my other half. Amazon also sells a Destiny 2-branded version for an extra 30 bucks, but even I'm not minded to give Bungie more money.

More expensive still, but arguably even more luxe, is Logitech's superb G903 mouse. I sit next to Wes who does a lot of our mouse testing, so am lucky to get his cast offs to try. But I can't see me switching this little beauty out for a long time. Again, I had assumed that wireless would bring compromises in terms of latency or the occasional dropped connection, but I've experienced nothing of the sort. Paired with the wireless charging mousemat ($100), the ease of use and comfort makes going back to a wire mouse feel like a trip back to some fog-shrouded nightmare wire world. I exaggerate. But not much. —Tim Clark

Antlion Modmic 5

$70 at Amazon 

Finding the perfect headset that provides both comfort and audio quality can be difficult. Now try to find one that also has a great microphone and your choices become even more limited, and sometimes you don't want to bother with the headset part, as you just need a good microphone. Enter the Modmic 5, which improves on the Modmic 4 that Tuan really loves, with a dual-mic capsule and the option to flip between omnidirectional and unidirectional modes. There are better headsets if you want the full package, but if you just want a good quality microphone that you can use with an existing headset, or perhaps even on its own, the Modmic is a great option. It won't break the bank, and you can take it with you if/when you upgrade to better headphones. —Jarred Walton

Samsung 850 Evo + Steam Gift Card

Not sure what to get the PC gamer in your life? The age-old practice of gifting cold hard cash is always a safe bet. In this case, make sure your giftee knows that money is earmarked for play by giving a Steam Gift Card, available digitally direct from Valve or, for that wrapped-present touch, physically via Newegg. As a bonus, give your favorite gamer some fresh storage to store all those shiny new gigabytes—the Samsung 850 EVO (our favorite SSD for gaming) remains an excellent buy at $140 for 500GB. —Bo Moore

$32 at Amazon

If you missed the Black Friday (or was it Cyber Monday?) sale on the Steam Link, keep your wallets peeled for the next one. Usually priced at $50, it had dropped to $5, but it's actually worth it even at full price (here it is at Amazon for $32). I got one earlier this year and it really does work remarkably well for streaming games from your PC to your TV. I tend to only do it with party games like the Jackbox Party pack, but it's also great for just about any game that is better with a controller, or even just streaming anything from your desktop. —Chris Livingston

Metal Gear Solid V action figure

Man, what I want for Christmas is a great big pile of Funko pops—kidding! Anyone who gets me those is off my Christmas card list. I'm considering writing a sci-fi novel where abandoned Funko pops are repurposed as low income housing in the far future. You'll be able to buy it on Kindle soon for $0.65. I like the idea of good toys based on games, but they're sadly rare, and usually you're stuck with bobble-headed ones which do the characters no justice at all. I'd love some good Dishonored figures, for example, but it's not going to happen. Square Enix's Play Arts Kai line tends to throw out some good (if a bit too expensive) ones, though. This figure of Snake from MGSV looks ace. I'd put this on my bookshelf, next to the many graphic novels and three actual novels that make up my book collection. —Samuel Roberts 

PC Gamer Subscription 

PC Gamer Magazine subscriptions are discounted for the holidays! So there's no better time than now to grab the latest issue and gain access to exclusive reviews, interviews, and other goodies. It's the perfect present for you and your loved ones. 

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