The holidays are a great time to pick up gaming gear. And that gear can be anything from grips for the Nintendo Switch Lite to a comfy gaming chair to reliable headphones. It’s a hobby with a lot of ways to accessorize. Here are some of our favorites. We will be updating this guide throughout the holidays with more gear so be sure to keep checking back. We have also updated it for 2022 in order to complement our software game guide.
Skull & Co. GripCase Bundle: A Comfortable Protective Case with Replaceable Grips
These grips for the Switch Lite (not the other Switches) come in a variety of colors and provide three different pairs of grips that all come in different sizes. They provide a handy ergonomic way to grip the system in handheld mode and, since they slide off, can easily fit into most cases. And they slide off of a protective case, meaning that it also protects the system while also offering a more compact way to have grips. There’s also a more expensive version that comes with a carrying case, making this an all-around great purchase for those who want to protect their Switch and have a more comfortable way to hold it. Just be sure to buy the Lite version for the Switch Lite and the other version for the Switch OLED and regular Switch.
Satisfye Switch Pro Grips
Satisfye also makes Switch grips for both consoles that are a little cheaper . These grips are one big piece and allow for air flow behind the Switch so it doesn’t overheat and doesn’t rub against (and possibly scratch because of) the plastic, which is new to the Pro version. The Pro version comes with a few other finely tuned features like a less angled grip that should help people with smaller hands reach the buttons. And, again, make sure to grab the one that works with your Switch model.
OIVO Grip for Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite
The OIVO Switch grips are cheaper, but relatively similar, providing more comfort while playing on the go. They also include a stand in addition to slots for Switch game cartridges. One of the grips for the Switch and Switch OLED are quite big so keep that in mind. There’s also a more moderately sized Switch grip from OIZO that’s cheaper.
Switch OLED Console
Nintendo somehow made a console during a pandemic and while it isn’t the processing bump many wanted, the new screen is a decent stopgap for those who want to see the same old games pop on the bigger and better screen. The OLED panel is a big upgrade for those who love playing their Switch in handheld mode as it richer colors over its LCD predecessor. The ethernet port is a thoughtful addition, but the screen is the takeaway for those who want to spend more to get a prettier Switch.
Nintendo Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo released a new console and a new one with old games. This Game & Watch comes with The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, (which was just remade for the Switch), and the Game & Watch game Vermin. These aren’t the most well-known Zelda titles, but given how popular the series is, they’re probably worth it to some for history’s sake. These Game & Watch games are mostly nostalgic collectibles anyway instead of the best ways to play these old games. It’s also got a Zelda-themed interactable clock and timer.
On-the-go Travel Case for Nintendo Switch
The Cocar case for the Switch is rather basic, but still fulfills all the basic functions a case should have. It has pockets, room for games, a space for wires, ample room for the system, straps to keep the system in place, and a waterproof exterior. It even has a special groove for the system’s shoulder buttons so they have something to rest upon.
Carrying Case Compatible with Nintendo Lite Mini Cover Case Tempered Glass Screen Protector
This case is also similar to the previous case, but is for the Lite. It can even hold 10 games and comes with a screen protector, case, and joystick protectors. It’s all relatively cheap, too.
HexGaming Rival Hex Controller
The Hex controller is ludicrously expensive and likely not for those who just casually play. However, those who want to spend the extra cash will get a great controller as its two programmable paddles and clickier shoulder buttons and triggers make it a competitive pad. While users do lose out on the adaptive triggers, only having to press down slightly makes firing a lot faster and responsive. Being built on top of the DualSense is a smart idea, too, since it keeps the solid build quality many third-party controllers can’t compete with.
HexGaming Ultimate Controller
The Hex Ultimate Controller is a lot like the Hex Rival and has many of the same positive (and negative) qualities. But its extra back buttons might be worth it for those who want to spend more to get more. And since it’s still a DualSense at its core, it’s still got that phenomenal first-party build quality that can’t be beat.
HexGaming Rival Pro Controller
The Hex Rival Pro controller is one step up from the Ultimate, as it has the same features, but it has an upgrade back module that is a little more ergonomic and visually pleasing.
Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller
Sony doesn’t make its own fancy controller, but Xbox does. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller is a fancy pad has customizable back paddles as well as interchangeable thumbsticks, allowing users to mix and match to their pleasure. The rechargeable battery, something that isn’t even in normal Xbox controllers, also lasts for up to 40 hours, something that is even more comfortable given the textured grips. Buttons can be remapped and saved on multiple profiles and when mixed with the hair trigger locks and aforementioned array of options, the Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller is an excellent controller for those who want the stability of a first-party controller with a ton of extra features.
Xbox Series X|S and PC Black Afterglow Wave Controller
Victrix’s Xbox controller is wired, which can be a setback, but that shortcoming has allowed this pad to be a little lower in price than most pads. It vibrates, feels nice, and works with the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Those are standard features, but its two back buttons and LED lighting give it a unique spin. Unfortunately, these can only be tweaked with an app, but regardless, it’s a great controller for those on a budget.
Get Xbox Series X|S and PC Black Afterglow Wave on Amazon
GameSir X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller
Not everyone wants to play games on their phone, but there are likely plenty of people that would remote play their console or PC from their phone. That can be hard or annoying using nothing or just a regular controller. That’s where the GameSir comes in. This shell goes around your Android phone and easily converts the device into something adjacent to a Switch, but for PC and consoles. It even has a screen shot button. Many will probably use it for Xbox Cloud gaming or emulators (it also supports Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Parsec, Liquidsky, Shadow Cloud Gaming, and Vortex) but those who want to use it on PS5 will have to look for another app on the Play Store (PSPlay seems to work, according to a few users). Just remember that this is not for iPhones.
Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller
The Backbone, however, is for iPhone users. This controller shell supports Xbox, PlayStation, Apple Arcade, and a whole host of other platforms and its ubiquity is a huge reason why it’s one of the most popular controllers for iPhone devices. The grips make it comfortable to hold. It even has a headphone jack, passthrough for a lightning cable, and an app that lets players edit their clips. Users who don’t have Game Pass also get a free month when buying a Backbone.
Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller
This is a slightly cheaper take on the Android phone controller game, but still worthy for those pinching pennies. It works Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Stadia, Amazon Luna, GeForce NOW, and Steam Link and a suite of mobile games, too. And like the other controllers here, it plugs right into the USB to provide less latency. The grips are also a big bigger, providing more ergonomic support, and even collapse into a smaller form when not around a phone.
Razer Huntsman V2 Analog Gaming Keyboard
The Razer Huntsman V2 is an expensive RGB keyboard, but it makes up for it in features. Its optical switches are quieter and more responsive with “near zero” input latency. The caps on those keys are also more durable and have a shiny finish that’s less likely to wear down. The board at the bottom also helps users rest their wrist to combat fatigue during long sessions. There’s also a media board that can easily control brightness and volume as well as a set of profiles users can set. The Huntsman V2 also comes with a tenkeyless variation which is cheaper and lacks the media controls.
Razer Huntsman Mini 60% Gaming Keyboard
But there’s also a smaller alternative for those who want a Razer keyboard, but just the keyboard. The Huntsman Mini isn’t for everyone since it lacks a ton of keys many would typically want out of a keyboard, but it is a stylish smaller keyboard with just the essentials. However, with durable keys and programmable macros, it can somewhat make up for its lack of keys. It’s even got fast optical switches that give clicky feedback when pressed. Its aluminum build and sleek look make it a decent keyboard for those who want a streamlined setup.
Monoprice Collider TKL Gaming Keyboard
Monoprice’s Collider keyboard is great for people who want an RGB keyboard with decent functionality without paying as much money. The keys are clicky and satisfying to press and it’s got a bunch of programmable macros for players to use. It’s small (because it doesn’t have the number pad), but sturdy and built for those who want a decent, inexpensive keyboard.
Razer Basilisk V3 Customizable Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
The Razer Basilisk V3 is a great wired mouse and is relatively more expensive, but it’s got the extra features to back it up. It has a grand total of 11 programmable buttons, a multi-function trigger, Razer’s “best-in-class sensor,” a profile switcher on the bottom, a hyperscroll tilt wheel, and an ergonomic design on the left side.
Razer DeathAdder v2 Gaming Mouse
The DeathAdder is like the Basilisk in that is a wired Razer mouse, but less expensive. It has some of the same features as the Basilisk, but less so. The DeathAdder has eight programmable buttons, fast mechanical switches, RGB lighting, a rubber grip, and a drag-free cord. It’s not Razer’s premiere wired mouse, but it’s still a quality mouse that will likely be more than sufficient for many.
Monoprice SYMMETRE II Pro FPS Gaming Mouse
Similarly to the Monoprice keyboard, Monoprice’s Symmetre II Pro mouse has many great features at a lower cost. RGB lights, eight programmable buttons, adjustable weight, and customizable profiles are all simple features that work well here. It is basic and effective.
Razer Viper Ultimate Hyperspeed Lightest Wireless Gaming Mouse
Most hardcore users probably want a wired mouse, which makes sense. However, Razer’s Viper Ultimate is a decent wireless mouse to pick. Razer claims it is 25% faster than other wireless mouse, making it a standout among wireless mice. It also has a rubber grip, eight programmable buttons, gaming grade mouse wheel, and a whole suite of color options.
WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD
The PS5 finally has given users the ability to upgrade its internal storage, which explains why the WD_BLACK 1TB SN850 NVMe Internal Gaming SSD is so hard to find. These are incredibly quick drives and come in 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variants. Some have heatsinks and some don’t so be careful. Regardless, they are relatively easy to install and offer fast speeds that may be worth the price. External drives are cheaper, but slower and more of a hassle. Internal drives like this are at a premium, but are exponentially faster and more convenient. Just be sure to grab a heatsink (listed below) if you get an SSD without one.
Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S
And while PS5 users have choices with their hard drives, Xbox Series X|S users aren’t quite as lucky. But that also makes the decision that much easier since there is less to choose from and they can be a bit more expensive because of that. However, these are small and easy to use, which probably helps justify the price. There’s currently only a 1 TB internal drive, but Xbox is releasing 512 GB and 1 TB variations in early December.
Seagate Desktop 8TB External Hard Drive HDD
The Seagate Storage Expansion allows users to play their games immediately, but some would probably want a big drive that can store games for later. That is what the Seagate Game Drive Hub is for. This massive 8 TB drive can’t directly play Xbox Series X|S or PS5 games, but can store a ton of them in cold storage. The PS5 and Xbox can’t currently support an external drive over 8 TB so this is about as big as users can currently go for now. That said, it can feel slow when compared to SSDs so it should just be used for storing games and not playing old games via backwards compatibility.
WD_BLACK P10 Game Drive
WD_Black’s P10 drives are a solid middle ground for those who don’t want a huge hard drive, but don’t want to spend extra for the speed of an SSD. WD_Black’s drives are all sturdy, sleek, relatively quick, and comes in all sorts of sizes. While these can store PS5 and Xbox Series X|S games, they work extremely well for playing older games through backwards compatibility.
WD_BLACK D30 Game Drive SSD
However, WD_Black does have faster external SSDs for those who want faster transfer speeds and load times in older titles. The D30 is a halfway point to the P50 in the next section. These SSDs (not HDDs like the last batch) boast 900 MB per second transfer speeds that take some of the waiting out of transferring titles back and forth (in addition to load times when playing back compat titles straight from the drive). It’s a physically smaller drive, but still has the same solid build quality of other WD_Black drives.
WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD
The P40 is an SSD that doesn’t fit internally into the console, but it is for those who want to spend a little bit less for storage space. And while WD_Black has other SSDs, the P40 is very small and thin, making it better for those who want to take it to other places or hide it more easily in their entertainment center. PC players can even customize the light on it.
WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD
The thin P50 drives are even faster than the D30s as they transfer at 2,000 MB per second, which is over twice as fast. These are more expensive and still can’t directly play PS5 and Xbox Series X|S games, but they’re faster and similarly built well like the other drives. Again, just keep in mind that these drives are very expensive and are only probably worth it for those who are dead set on faster, smaller drives no matter the price.
SanDisk microSDXC Card, Licensed for Nintendo Switch
Switch memory card may not seem as exciting when placed by the drives for the other consoles, but Nintendo’s system still deserves some storage. While there are many to choose from, the officially licensed Nintendo ones stick out because of their designs. Each tier has a different franchise on them that goes from The Legend of Zelda Tri-Force to the Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros. to the Super Star from Super Mario Bros. to, finally, the leaf logo in Animal Crossing: A New Leaf. These are more expensive than most memory cards of similar sizes, but you’re really paying for the tie-in.
Samsung Electronics Evo Select
For those that don’t want to pay extra for a card they’ll barely see, standard cards like Samsung’s Electronics Evo Selects will do. They’re basic, but get the job done for a better price at nearly the same speed.
ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Wired Headset
Astro has a wide swath of great headsets and the Astro A40s are still are the most basic and rock-solid ones out there. They’re versatile, working on anything with a 3.5mm cord, customizable, can work with and without a microphone, and comfortable. The pleather ear cups also provide insulation and great sound and make this a worthy headset for most people.
ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset
The Astro A50s have many of the same qualities as the A40s, but it’s wireless, which explains the significantly higher price. But it’s all for convenience as the headphones have a deceptively long range. The 15-hour rechargeable battery is also a plus, but sadly you can’t just plug in a 3.5mm wire and use them as wired headphones. Regardless, they have excellent sound, an app that lets users finetune the options, and a mod kit that lets users buy more parts to customize different parts of it. It’s even great for streamers because of the mixamp it comes with.
ASTRO Gaming A20 Wireless Headset Gen 2
The A20 headphones have the wireless capabilities of the A50, but are significantly cheaper and are made primarily for consoles. Many headsets are locked to a specific console, but Astro has thought ahead and made the headsets agnostic — it’s just the dongle that is locked to the system. This means that users can buy any headset and then just pick up another $19.99 dongle for the other console. They have a 15-foot range and sustain for about 15 hours before needing to be recharged (which is handled through a USB-C port). With a mic, different EQ settings, and solid sound, the A20s will also likely satisfy most users.
SteelSeries Arctis 3
Not everyone may want Astro gear, which is fine because Arctis is another great choice for many of the same reasons. There are a few different versions of the Arctis for different budgets and slightly different uses.
The Arctis 3 is the cheapest, but “cheap” is relative. These sleek and comfortable headphones with a variety of platforms because of their 3.5mm headphone jack. They’re basic, but basic gets the job done and they’re incredible at their price.
SteelSeries Arctis 5
The Arctis 5 is a slight step from the Arctis 3 and made primarily for PC gaming, given its RGB qualities. Of course, it will work with most other platforms since it has a 3.5mm headphone jack with an in-line mix dial that lets players control the game and chat audio right then and there. It’s also got a great mic, which works well with apps like Discord.
SteelSeries Arctis 7
The Arctis 7 is a significant jump in price because it is wireless. It has many of the same qualities as the other headsets — comfortability, quality sound, great mic, sleek look — but also comes with X v2.0 surround sound so it’s worth it for those who want to cut cords. Just be aware that it has a dongle.
SteelSeries Arctis 7+
The Arctis 7+ is, as its name implies, an upgrade to the regular 7. This means it is the same in many of the previously mentioned ways. But it has an updated dongle and stronger battery, USB-C support, and even has 3D audio support on the PS5. They’re small changes, but worthy for those who can track this one down.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro
The Arctis Pro is for those who thought that the other Arctis headsets were not enough and the hefty price reflects that. They do come with two 10-hour batteries (which might be good to some people and bad to others) and the price jump doesn’t make them that much better than the other headsets, but they’re still a decent pair for those who have the cash and want a mixamp, too.
The Elgato Wave:1 is an excellent mic because of the quality of mic, but also because of its software. It lets players split their audio up in one easy-to-use program. The mic is also sleek and sounds excellent and seemingly made for streamers with all of its different options, which makes sense for an Elgato product.
Razer Seiren V2 Pro Professional-Grade USB Microphone
The Razer Seiren V2 Pro Professional-Grade USB Microphone is one of Razer’s better microphones and that’s not just because of its sound. It’s good enough for multiple types of people who want it for simple chatting, online work meetings, and even streaming or podcasting and its relatively small size means it won’t take up much space. Razer’s Synapse software even allows users to tweak their settings, which isn’t always common with this type of microphone. The Stream Mixer portion is particularly helpful for streamers since it gives users total control over each individual of the microphone, audio output, and what the audience hears. Synapse even comes with a suite of modules for Alexa for voice commands and Chroma to allow for synced colors across devices, making for a tiny mic that has a lot of function packed in.
The HyperX QuadCast is a solid mic and is aimed more toward the gaming crowd because of its RGB setup. It’s popular and likely mostly for that aesthetic reason. While it does have a decent set of features comparable to the other mics like its shock mount, the look is probably what will be the deciding factor for most people.
Nanoleaf Shape Lights
Nanoleaf lights are on the expensive side, but undeniably pretty and customizable through the app. They can be placed in multiple different setups and users can even buy expansion packs for their more elaborate designs. There are also a few different shapes like hexagons, squares, and triangles, which come down to personal taste and price ranges. They can all even be synced to music and the hexagons and squares can react to touch, which makes them feel more lively. The hexagons and squares have more functionality, but are more expensive so it’s up to users to decide if price or a wider feature set is more important. The different shapes can also be linked together if buyers want to splurge and buy multiple sets.
Govee Glide RGBIC Smart Wall Light
Nanoleaf lights are very expensive which automatically locks some users out of using them. Govee’s lights are a decent alternative at a much lower price. The pieces can change colors (and move to music, too) and can be assembled in any which way. They are slightly limited since they are only straight lines, but the customizability is still there.
Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2 PCIe Capture Card 4K60 HDR10
Elgato is mostly known for its capture kits and the Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2 is one of the best the company has. As long as your motherboard supports it, it hooks right into the computer so there’s no external part to hook up to. This keeps the setup a little less cluttered. And since it has zero-lag passthrough and can capture 4K at 60 frames per second with HDR10, this is a relatively well future-proofed card.
Elgato HD60 S+ Capture Card 1080p60 HDR10
4K and internal cards aren’t for everyone so the HD60 S+ is still a good get. It’s exponentially more portable since it isn’t in the computer and can still capture HDR10 at 60 frames per second. It is still at 1080p so it isn’t completely future-proofed, but it is way cheaper and for those who don’t want 4K just yet.
The Creative Gene: How books, movies, and music inspired the creator of Death Stranding and Metal Gear Solid
Hideo Kojima is an eccentric creator that seemingly loves to talk about movies and other art as much as video games. This fascination with all sorts of media led him to write his book titled “The Creative Gene.” This essay compilation gives an look into Kojima’s mind and how he became who he is.
Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Legendary CEO
Satoru Iwata is similarly legendary in the gaming industry, but in a different way. Iwata used to hold “Ask Iwata” interviews and this book compiles those segments along with conversations with other Nintendo greats like Shigeru Miyamoto and EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi. The man’s games touched many so this peek into his philosophy is worth reading for anyone who has even a passing interest in video games.
Control Freak: My Epic Adventure Making Video Games
Game developers don’t seem to write memoirs that often, which makes Gears of War Lead Designer Cliff Bleszinski’s stick out. In it, he talks about his successes and failures in the industry and even recounts some of the trauma he’s suffered and how that has