Gift Guides

Bad gaming gift ideas you should avoid | Gift Guide

People think that it is easy to come up with gift ideas for a gamer, but the job is actually way harder if you care at all about the person you’re shopping for. Sure, it’s very easy to get some generic nerdy gift… and then see it silently make its way into the trash after the holidays. So if you aren’t perfectly familiar with the game or games your special someone likes, here are a few things you should avoid (and some examples of things to go for instead).

Exceptions apply, please read carefully.


Trust me, we have enough mugs as is, and unless it’s really unique and connected to a specific game we love, then it will just act as a dust collector.

However, if you want to give a gamer something that they can use every day and be reminded of you, then you can get them a travel mug. These are much more easy to use while gaming, don’t spill nearly as much if you knock them over, and they keep drinks hot really well. The latter is a huge plus if the person you’re gifting to loves tea or coffee.

This one is simple, has a straw and is generally really useful. I’d be much happier drinking out of this while gaming than out of a mug.

Minecraft themed anything

Unless the gamer you are trying to find gift ideas for is really into Minecraft, this won’t end well. I have personally gotten way more things with Steve on it than I’d like to, and have seen others in the same situation. Minecraft themed stuff is really not relatable for everyone in the gaming community, but it sure is sold that way. The abundance of Minecraft and Fortnite themed stuff out there can make you believe those are the only games anyone cares about.

If you are looking for something that is much more relevant to the average gamer, then you gotta go with Mario. The Mario games are iconic and beloved, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like them. A mouse pad like this one is the perfect gift if you want something universal, but still fun. It’s great to have an extra mouse pad around.

Gaming gear

I’m talking about headphones, keyboards, mice, microphones, even chairs. Unless the person you are gifting is actually having problems with a specific part of their gaming gear, then you just shouldn’t waste your money. It’s likely that they already have a model that they prefer, and the one you want to gift them will just sit in a corner and collect dust for a few months at least.

But if you really want to enhance their gaming experience, the best way to go about it is by giving them a better component for their PC. For this you will need to know what they already have, so make sure you ask them. However, if you know for a fact that they don’t have the latest models and are looking for a faster build, it’s a safe bet to go for a processor.

An AMD Ryzen 5 3600X is a great pick at the moment. It’s fairly pricey, but for a very good reason. It’s excellent for newer games and will be able to handle most next generation games as well.

Statues and figures

Or Funko pops, while we are at it. These things are very popular with a certain group of people… and completely meaningless for everyone else. Unless the specific gamer you are gifting to is into having these small figurines around their home, I don’t recommend getting them one.

My alternative idea is a bit niche, and it only applies if your giftee games on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, or Nintendo Switch. If they do, you can get them an Amiibo. A wedding style Mario, to be more exact. It can be used in-game as well, so they won’t only act as decoration. Most people also don’t already have this specific Amiibo, so it’s also a safe pick for people building a collection.


I personally love my gaming themed plushies, but only because I am still a child at heart. I know way too many people who have received these kinds of plushies and immediately shoved them in a corner or given them to their dog. Make sure the giftee actually wants something like this.

Want a safer idea? A shirt like this is the perfect replacement for a plushie. It’s age appropriate for everyone and is really relevant in times like this.

Video games

You didn’t think this one would be here, huh? I know, it sounds like a clickbait title: “Gamers don’t want video games.” What I truly mean by this is that we don’t want new random games that someone else picked out for us. It’s likely that the person you are gifting already has plenty of unplayed games that they haven’t gotten to yet, and yours will just be another drop in the sea.

If you want us to have a new gaming experience by “allowing” us to play something else, then just buy us a Steam gift card. These give us all the freedom to get our own games, which is what most people really want.

And so I hope this list of gift ideas makes your gift shopping experience a little easier, and your giftee happier. Stick around for more gaming content, and don’t forget to check out our other gift guides!

[This article contains affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to SQUAD.]
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Heidi Caedere

I'm a writer, and I love to create articles around games. What I love even more is playing the games themselves. League of Legends and Stardew Valley are my jam.
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