Best Buy has figured out the best way for you to beat the bots to an RTX 3080 Ti FE

Best Buy store front
(Image credit: Flickr (via Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine))
Audio player loading…

The fix for bots snapping up stock of the latest graphics cards: simply don't sell them online. At least that appears to be Best Buy's answer to the ongoing tussle between man and machine for cutting-edge tech; for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab) launch, Best Buy will be only selling Founders Edition cards in-store.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab): the top chips from Intel and AMD
Best graphics card (opens in new tab): your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming (opens in new tab): get into the game ahead of the rest

"Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card will have limited quantities available on Thursday, June 3, at select Best Buy stores only," the company outlines in a post. (opens in new tab)

Instead of shifting stock online, and risk bots bypassing the queues, Best Buy will hand out tickets to customers in queue from 7:30 am local time. Customers with a ticket will then be able to exchange it for an RTX 3080 Ti come 9 am local time. 

Back to the old school.

Each store will only distribute as many tickets as they have RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards, meaning those who receive them will be guaranteed a card. And only one per customer.

These are the cities and stores which will be stocking the RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition:

(Image credit: Best Buy)

It's certainly one way to ensure bots don't get their robo-mitts on brand new GPUs, although it may be a bit of a pain for those who live far away from the participating stores hoping to snap up a Founders Edition. There are custom cards available today from other retailers online, at least. These will be available from 6 am PT / 2 pm BST / 3pm CET today.

Who would have thought we'd be back to in-store only purchases in 2021, but when there's a global chip shortage raging on, it is certainly one way to keep at least a few customers happy.

Here are some tips on where to buy an RTX 3080 Ti today.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.