The best gaming gear for graduates


Another school year over, and another batch of high school and college grads let loose in the world. They’ve worked hard for years to get to this point, so why not reward them with the tools to play well? We’ve assembled a list of favorites that will improve your grad’s game, with a few gadgets that can pull double-duty at their new jobs, too.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Whatever career your grad chooses to pursue, chances are they may spend a lot of time in front of a camera in our new hybrid work world. You can help them look their best with this easy-to-use and affordable USB light from Logitech. The flattering soft light will impress co-workers and livestream audiences alike, while its small size means they can take it anywhere. And your grad will appreciate its ease-of-use and variety of customization options available in its app, ensuring they’ll always look their best on camera.

$50 at Amazon

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8Bitdo

No matter if they have a console, PC or mobile device, one thing the gamer in your life can always use is a good gamepad. And, no matter what device they play on, 8BitDo has them covered with its Pro 2 controller. It works with Windows and PC, iOS and Android and even the Nintendo Switch. And, thanks to its plethora of buttons, can handle all manner of games, from old school classics to the latest AAA titles.

$50 at Amazon

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

With exams and papers all wrapped up and now behind them, your grad probably has a lot more time on their hands. If you’re trying their hand at game streaming, you can start them off right with this fully-featured control panel from Elgato that makes it easy to adjust audio and video settings, control their lighting rig and trigger on-screen graphics. Its buttons can also be repurposed for things like video editing and calls, so it has its place in their work setup as well.

$130 at Amazon

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SteelSeries

Your grad will never have to worry about whether they’re muted during their next video call with the SteelSeries Alias, as it displays a very noticeable red “X” on its front on those cases. But that’s not the only cool feature that this mic has to boast – it’s also easy to set up for programs like Discord and Zoom, and it sounds fantastic. This is one “gaming” accessory that’ll get a lot of use during both playthroughs and work conference calls

$150 at Amazon

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Razer

A dock isn’t the most exciting gift, but this model from Razer will be great for the gamer in your life, and it’ll grab their attention with its RGB lighting. Your grad will appreciate how practical it is, too, thanks to its three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, four Thunderbolt 4 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a 3.5 mm audio combo jack and a UHS-II SD card slot. It’s a Swiss-Army-knife accessory that will help them efficiently use all their computer accessories in the most stylish way possible.

$330 at Razer

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Corsair

When it comes gaming keyboards, Corsair has a ton of popular options that many of us at Engadget love, though admittedly they’re usually pretty big and loud. The K100 Air remedies the standard complaints about mechanical keyboards thanks to its ultra-thin frame and low-profile keys, while keeping beloved features like dedicated media keys and RGB lighting. And, thanks to its 50 hours of battery life, your gamer won’t need to plug it in often.

$230 at Amazon

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SteelSeries

Sure, your grad’s laptop comes with a trackpad or maybe even a touchscreen, but even in the year 2024, it’s best to use a mouse when it’s time to focus and get things done. They’ll appreciate the Aerox 3 Wireless’ light weight when competing in tough gaming matches, as well as the mouse’s ability to use 2.4GHz for the fastest connection. It uses Bluetooth, too, making it a great option for gaming laptops and other devices as well. And those holes? Don’t worry, they won’t interfere with the Aerox 3’s IP54 water resistance rating.

$75 at Amazon

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Razer

If your gamer is always on the move or often switches between devices like consoles, PC and mobile, then a good wireless headset is the way to go. Razer’s Barracuda is perfect for the task thanks to its choices of Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity, and its simple design and variety of colors means it can complement most outfits or gaming setups, too. All this adds up to a headset that is built to be taken anywhere and everywhere, and don’t worry – it sounds and feels amazing too.

$80 at Walmart

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Square Enix

The last few months of school can be a real grind, between homework and papers and exams. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel – not just a diploma, but also some free time to finally kick back and relax. And what better way to settle down and reconnect with pop culture than to kick back with one of the year’s hottest games? Final Fantasy VII Rebirth on the PlayStation 5 is a remake of a cherished classic, so your grad might find it a welcome throwback to a childhood memory or an exciting introduction to a monumental chapter of video game history.

$70 at Amazon

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Capcom

If your new grad is planning to study law, then they’ll certainly find the adventures of rookie attorney Apollo Justice to be a blast on their Nintendo Switch. Sure, the real legal system is nothing like the one in the game – you don’t get the benefit of psychic powers to interrogate witnesses, for example – but the investigation and cross-examination mechanics will keep gamers riveted, even if they’re not planning to be a lawyer. And with three complete games included in the package, there’s plenty of content to keep grads busy while they’re looking for work.

$47 at Amazon



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