For many mobile gamers, a satisfying game session requires nothing more than a tablet or a phone. You boot up your most currently addictive app, play for a few minutes, then get back to your daily affairs.
For some, however, there’s more to the experience. Physical joysticks. A quality headset. Extended batteries. If someone you love fits that bill (including yourself), consider the following gift list of mobile gaming gear.
Gametel Mobile Controller
There are a number of phone-friendly gamepads out there, but few cater to the classic gamer like this one from Gametel. Its simple design includes a d-pad, four face buttons, and a button each for “start” and “select.” Veteran gamers might recognize its similarity to the NES and Sega Master controllers of old. It handles emulations of games from that era just as well. It connects via Bluetooth to both Android and iOS devices, though Windows 8 users report differing levels of success. When the controller’s 9-hour battery life gives out, players can charge the controller with a micro USB cable (not included). It’s on sale via Amazon for $29.99.
SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Gaming Headset
The Siberia V2 headset from SteelSeries is comfortable, beautiful, and, most importantly of all, designed for optimal sound quality. It comes in more than 10 different colors, including black, white, green, pink, and purple, and all of them are modern and stylish. One of SteelSeries’ signature features is a retractable microphone, which is a very convenient option for when players don’t need to use it. The Siberia V2’s best feature, though, is that it can be used for both mobile and PC gaming. The set unfortunately doesn’t support Xbox or PlayStation compatibility out of the box, but it can be done with some clever finagling. It’s currently on sale via Amazon for $79.99-$119.99, depending on color.
RAVPower Wireless Charging Pad
If you’ve ever been addicted to a mobile game, then you understand how demanding they can be on batteries. Plugging and unplugging your device from a charger is tedious, so some companies are beginning to utilize wireless charging technology. RAVPower currently has one of the best wireless charging pads out on the market, and it comes at an affordable price of $39.99 (for comparison’s sake, Apple sells new lightning USB chargers for around $50). It’s about the size of a Samsung Galaxy S4 and works straight out of the box for many popular phones and tablets. iDevice users, however, will need a compatible cover to make it work, like this one.
Jackery Portable Backup Battery
As far as I’m concerned, this small orange device is magical. Deemed “the world’s smallest external rechargeable battery,” the Jackery portable mini gives you extra juice when you need it. Charge it at home, bring it along with you in your pocket or backpack, then plug it into your tablet or smart phone to charge it. It can be used anywhere, no outlet required, and four small lights clearly indicate how much battery power is left. It’s full price is listed at $69.99, but it can often be found on Amazon for as low as $20.
Apple Store/Google Play Gift Cards
When in doubt, let the person receiving your gift decide. Picking up a gift card from the Google Play or Apple stores is quick, easy, and provides an essential part of mobile gaming — games. Splurging on $4.99+ apps can sometimes feel excessive, but gift cards help relieve that pain by designating where money can be spent. Pro tip: gifting something small like a gift card is multitudes less frustrating than wrapping a real present.