The PC Gamer Holiday Gift Guide

Apparel

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Myst Sweater & Strapback Hat (opens in new tab)

$39 sweater from Fangamer (opens in new tab)
$19 hat from Fangamer (opens in new tab)

Would you like everyone you know to understand that you have mastered the island beyond the last page of a book? Would you like to subtly remind others that you have been gaming for longer than they’ve been alive, on computers less than half as powerful as a smartphone? Here, then, are the ultimate duo of sweater and fashionable hat. Plus, it’s chilly in the winter. Not as chilly as the relationship between Atrus’ sons though. Heyoooooo.

Hitman Beanie (opens in new tab)

$17 from GameLegends (opens in new tab)

We love a subtle bit of game merch. You love it when your shiny, bald head isn’t on display at all times, signaling you as a definite assassin who’s going to murder one particular target at all costs, but hopefully as subtly as possible. This beanie with a tastefully sized logo is a win-win situation for everyone, isn’t it, Agent?

Into the Breach Shirt (opens in new tab)

$24 from Fangamer (opens in new tab)

Only some have the disposition required to abandon their own timeline in favor of another, seeking redemption for the human race by taking on the alien bugs which seek nothing short of our total annihilation. This shirt marks you as one of those people. One who knows how to destroy those who oppose them with ruthless efficiency, scything down alien invaders with razor sharp tactics and plans which cannot, will not, contain even a single flaw. The puzzle of how to save mankind is not easy to solve, the decision to buy this shirt is very easy.

Fantasy Class Shirts (opens in new tab)

$24 from Gametee (opens in new tab)

Gametee does immaculately designed shirts, but these ones displaying the classic fantasy gaming classes are some of the absolute best they’ve done in a while. They come in Wizard (opens in new tab), Paladin (opens in new tab), Rogue (opens in new tab), Druid (opens in new tab), Barbarian (opens in new tab), Bard (opens in new tab), Cleric (opens in new tab), and Warlock (opens in new tab) flavors. (Of course, there’s also a separate one for The Dungeon Master (opens in new tab).) What did the Sorcerer and Fighter do to be excluded from this lineup? Shh. We don’t talk about the Sorcerer and Fighter. 

Mimic Necklace (opens in new tab)

$33 from ThinkGeek (opens in new tab)

The monster that everyone loves to hate, the dread Mimic, immortalized here around your neck in all its mouthy glory forever. This is one of the best Mimic sculpts there is, based on the many-eyed D&D miniatures version of the critter, and second in Mimic design power rankings only to the Dark Souls mimic. Here’s the questions, though: Can a mimic pretend to be a statue of a mimic? Can a mimic pretend to be a dead mimic? Can a mimic pretend to be a dead adventurer? Anyways, these are the questions that keep me up at night.

Official Merch

Space Marines Hoodies (opens in new tab)

$45 from Gametee (opens in new tab)

Games Workshop’s licensing policy might lead to games of questionable quality, but these Warhammer 40,000-inspired space marine hoodies from Gametee are incredibly rad. They come in Ultramarine, Black Templar, and Blood Angel flavors with subtle variation depending on which faction of the Emperor’s children you pledge loyalty to. They’re the next best thing to radically altering your body via geneseed implants and extensive surgery.

Vault 76 Onesie (opens in new tab)

$60 from Bethesda (opens in new tab)

Sure, you could actually get a real jumpsuit and sit at your computer pretending to be a vault survivor, but that wouldn’t be particularly comfortable. After all, the artificial materials must chafe after a while… well, you’re just better off with this. This being a metallic-gold-fronted Fallout 76 inspired Vault 76 onesie. It’s comfy! It’s warm! It’s perfect for a marathon wasteland survival binge! We’ve already discussed why being warm is important in this list, so I won’t remind you.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Spartan Snapback (opens in new tab)

$19 from Ubisoft (opens in new tab)

Odyssey is an Assassin’s Creed game that’s going to be remembered for years to come, ranging in scope and story so far from the series’ roots that it’s barely recognizable but for the stabbing. Remind your friends and family at all times how much stabbing you’ve done by donning this sassy snapback with Alexios and Kassandra’s spartan insignia stitched on the front and an embossed helm on the side. It’s a good look, and much more subtle than a funny pointed hood.

Overwatch LEGO (opens in new tab)

$25 Bastion exclusive from Blizzard (opens in new tab)

$15-90 from LEGO (opens in new tab)

A match made in heaven for many, Overwatch and Lego is a really solid sell this year. Available right now is the exclusive Bastion set from Blizzard. But, to be honest, an order for any of the sets coming next year is one of those great delayed gifts that builds in anticipation and shows up in the mail as a box of pure fun. Assuming, of course, that the postal service’s team stays on the payload.

Dark Souls Onion Knight Figurine (opens in new tab)

$30 from Fangamer (opens in new tab)

Mmm… mmmm. Mm! Oh-hoh! Ahh, where did you come from? I was just considering here… well, more thinking about… what would be the perfect gift for the Dark Souls lover in your life? I’m in quite a pickle. Can you think of anything, anything at all?

Reading

Fallout: The Vault Dweller’s Cookbook (opens in new tab)

$35 from Bethesda (opens in new tab)

Ever wondered just how Yum Yum Deviled Eggs taste? What the consistency of BlamCo Mac & Cheese is? How to properly, authentically recreate the taste of deathclaw at home? Here’s a cookbook of Fallout-inspired food that probably tastes better than anything you can find out in the wastes of post-nuclear America, though it’ll still give you the same thrills. Truthfully, though, I just wish I knew precisely what was in Cram.

Art & Arcana: A Visual History (opens in new tab)

$34 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

An absolutely stunning dive into the history of fantasy gaming through the art of Dungeons & Dragons, Art & Arcana takes you back through the years with writing and commentary by some of the absolute best gaming historians there are. It shows you how the game that inspired it all grew from simple budgets and art drawn by friends in basements to sprawling, hand-painted fantasy art that defined the genre. It’s indisputably the most comprehensive history of fantasy visual art ever made and a must-own for any gaming history or fantasy art fan.

The Broken Earth Trilogy (opens in new tab)

$25 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Readers of nerdy novels should drop everything and read these, if they haven’t. They’re an absolute tour-de-force by author N.K. Jemisin. They’re the only novels to ever win the Hugo award for best novel three years in a row, one for each in the trilogy. Seriously, these are going to affect fantasy and sci-fi writing for years to come—read them, gift them, know them. They even come in a slipcase.

Boss Fight Books (opens in new tab)

$15 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Boss Fight has one of the most interesting and unique projects in games writing there is. These are little exposes on a single game, each having an author look through and really talk about a game in an interesting way. Some of them are personal works about the game and the author’s place in the world, others are development breakdowns by the game’s creators It’s hard to pin down a single one as best, but I can recommend them generally and a few specifically. Particularly the Spelunky (opens in new tab), World of Warcraft (opens in new tab), and Shovel Knight (opens in new tab) books. You can check out their full catalog on their website

Dungeons & Dragons Books (opens in new tab)

$105 for the Core Rulebooks Gift Set from Amazon (opens in new tab)

$30 for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist from Amazon (opens in new tab)

$30 for Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Dungeons & Dragons is selling more than ever, if you haven’t heard, and the 5th Edition is as good a place as any to start playing it, and it’s now cheaper than ever with the core rulebook gift sets that’ll save you a solid $75 on the basics for getting started with the game. This year’s newest adventures, Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage, are pretty good entry points too. Dragon Heist starts out with a sprawling city-wide mission focused on interesting and weird characters to roleplay with. Dungeon of the Mad Mage expands that into crawling beneath that city in search of loot and glory.

A PC Gamer Subscription (opens in new tab)

$24.00 from My Favorite Magazines (opens in new tab)

Get our 116-page magazine sent to your door every month, and read original features, reviews, retro stuff and more. We're one of the longest-running games magazines in the world, and it's a cool thing to have arrive in the post, alongside the usual bills and pizza menus. We think it’s pretty neat.

Luxury Goods

Tokidoki x Overwatch Backpack (opens in new tab)

$100 from Blizzard (opens in new tab)

Tokidoki’s twee character designs are absolutely in for urban nerd fashion right now… as is Overwatch. Thus, we have this: A gloriously detailed panorama of Overwatch splashed across an entire backpack. For when you absolutely, positively have to both wear a backpack, there’s only one way to do it and show off your nerd cred at the same time.

Cook & Becker Art Prints (opens in new tab)

$100+ from Cook & Becker (opens in new tab)

Cook & Becker produce pretty much indisputably the highest quality prints of concept artwork from video games that you can find. If you want game stuff on your walls that’s not cheap posters and can’t shell out for the literal original paintings, these are the people to go to. For example, check out this glorious Cyberpunk 2077 print (opens in new tab). How about this Soul of Cinder from Dark Souls 3 (opens in new tab). They produce artwork from Arenanet, Arkane, Atlus, Bethesda, Bioware, Bungie, Capcom, CD Projekt Red, Cyan, Dice, From Software, Konami, League of Geeks, Level-5, Naughty Dog, Ready at Dawn, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Vlambeer, and more. 

Liberty Prime Statue (opens in new tab)

$100 from ThinkGeek (opens in new tab)

For when you absolutely, positively need to crush every Communist in the room.

Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab)

$300 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

When you’re at home you’re able to play games on your PC. However, we have it on good authority that there are times you are not able to be at home. Here is the best object to own in those circumstances, with great first and third party exclusives, as well as some pretty good translations of PC Games like Diablo 3. The Switch is an excellent way to make long plane, train, and car trips vanish into the distance.

Acer Predator X27 Gaming Monitor (opens in new tab)

$1,700 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

If money is truly no object, and you want the absolute best gaming monitor you can buy, Acer's Predator X27 fits the bill. It offers outstanding picture quality with a 27-inch IPS panel, 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, G-Sync, and HDR. For those counting at home, that's pretty much every feature we look for when evaluating gaming monitors. It's a beauty to behold, and the perfect monitor to pair with an RTX 2080 Ti-powered gaming PC.

Actually Going to West Virginia (opens in new tab)

$500 on the cheap (opens in new tab) or.. Well, way more (opens in new tab).

Whatever your opinion of it, you’re dead inside if you’re not inspired by the lovely natural scenes and places featured in Fallout 76 and/or in love with its John Denver cover theme song. So, go to the actual place. Spend a couple nights at the Greenbrier Resort, AKA the Whitesprings, where congress had their actual fallout shelter (opens in new tab). Go see the lovely gold Charleston Capitol Building in person. Drive over the New River Gorge bridge. Visit Cranberry Bog, err, sorry, Cranberry Glades (opens in new tab). Check out the Noclip documentary (opens in new tab) for an idea of how lovely the state really is. The cool thing is that if you’re a camper you can do this one on the cheap—the state is dotted with lovely mountain camping sites and national parks. 

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.