Kotaku’s Best Gifts Of 2023 For Xbox Fans

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An Xbox sign lights up as snow falls.

Xbox is kinda cool again. Microsoft’s gaming console saw the release of some big games this year, the addition of massive new gaming studios with the acquisition of Call of Duty company Activision Blizzard, and its Netflix-like subscription service Game Pass remains one of the most killer deals in gaming. It’s a good year to be an Xbox fan, but what’s the perfect gift for them?

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As a frequent Xbox player myself, I have some ideas. Whether they love Halo Infinite’s multiplayer or checking out Game Pass for new free games every week, here are the best gift ideas for the person you know who bleeds green and isn’t above quoting Master Chief from time to time.

A Razer Kishi V2 Pro is displayed in front of neon wires.

Cloud gaming is actually good now. At least good enough that I can safely recommend that anyone who regularly plays console games should think about investing in a way to play them on the go via their phone. There are lots of different accessories that will get the job done. The Backbone One for Android and iOS remains a decent option at $100 (and is currently 30 percent off for Black Friday). Razer, however, recently released the Razer Kishi V2 Pro (Xbox Edition), and while it’s a little more expensive the rumble it comes with is a nice upgrade. It also comes with a free month of Game Pass.

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A Mega Xbo 360 kit is displayed next to the box.

The Mega Blocks Xbox 360 replica is 1,342 off-brand Lego bricks worth of 2000s nostalgia. The set includes a console, controller, and case for Halo 3 you can build by yourself or with the next generation of Xbox fans (your kids). It’s a bit pricey at $150, but the perfect showpiece for a gaming shelf or display case. Its insides even lights up and has a few interactive easter eggs.

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A racing wheel and peddles hang in mid-air.

Forza Motorsport might have been a bit content-light at launch but its fundamentals still feel incredible and there’s no better way to experience the racing sim than with an actual racing wheel and peddle. Of course, there are a lot of options and most of them depend on how much you’re willing to spend. An entry-level Thrustmaster set will run you just $130. Upgrading to a good Logitech set will take you closer to $500. And if you want to go all out a Fanatec readymade set will take you north of $700.

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A headset emits noise-cancelling waves.

Whether you’re playing games online or just want to chat over Discord with buddies while playing solo, you need a good set of headphones and a mic that won’t make you sound like a supermarket clerk on the loudspeaker circa 1995. While there are dozens of options out there, you can’t go wrong with the wired Xbox Stereo Headset at the cheaper end ($60), or the wireless option if you’re willing to spend a bit more ($100). If you want an even more lux option, however, your best bet is the Arctis Nova Pro ($350). The sound quality is great and AI-noise canceling for both headphones and mic adds an extra layer of clearness.

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Demon art hangs on a wall and makes its owner look cool.

Halo Infinite vinyl are displayed along with art of Master Chief.

A custom Elite Series 2 controller shows off pink, blue, and purple tones.

A fresh gamepad never goes to waste. Say goodbye to the bad losses and hand gunk with a clean paddle. There are a few different ways to go with that on Xbox: The Elite Series 2 ($180) with all the bells and whistles is the best experience, while the Core version in White ($120) is a more affordable option but equally solid. Or you can go the custom route and choose all of the colors and get it custom engraved via the Xbox Design Lab ($70-$200).

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Two white Xbox controllers are in a charging dock.

Xbox controllers don’t come with rechargeable batteries built in, which is great for being able to quickly swap them out, but it also means you need some extra accessories to not make gaming a pain in the ass. The Insignia side dock ($20) is cheap, lowkey, and inconspicuous. The PowerA Single and Dual Charging Stations ($55) require the controller to be docked but are a little nicer looking. Or you can always go no-frills and just get the official Xbox Play and Charge Kit USB ($40).

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Playing cards display old-timey art from Pentiment.

Master Chief is engraved on a metal cup.

When I was young I used to think branded mugs, water glasses, and other cups were just the sign of failed gift-giving. Now that I’m older I always appreciate the mix of kitsch and practicality. There are not a ton of great Xbox-inspired drinkware options, but I do have a soft spot for these laser-engraved stainless steel Master Chief tumblers. They come in 20 oz. ($30) and 30 oz. ($35) versions and the white looks especially crips. It’s no 40 oz. Stanley cup but it can house more than enough coffee or booze to finish whichever fight you’re about to start.

Bethesda's heroes look out at the stars on the game's key art.

So far we’ve talked about a lot of gift ideas and I still haven’t mentioned any actual games. Starfield is the clear front-runner. Despite plenty of issues and criticisms, Bethesda’s latest open world sci-fi RPG is still a sprawling space adventure perfect for sinking dozens of hours into for years to come. When it comes to first-party exclusives, Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Grounded, and Forza Horizon 5 are other strong contenders from 2023 and before. On the third-party blockbuster front, Diablo 4, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Street Fighter VI are also great picks.

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Art for games available on Game Pass games are displayed next to one another.

If you can’t settle on any one game to get, a new Game Pass subscription or extra months tacked onto an existing one will give someone temporary access to hundreds of new and old games at no additional cost. There’s no discount pricing so the per-month cost will be the same whether you buy a one-off or in bulk.

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Xbox controllers sit next to storage cards.

It’s not exciting or sexy, but expandable storage is something every Xbox player needs and doesn’t like to buy for themselves. Western Digital 1TB expansion cards ($150) are the best option and always come in handy. Or if price is no object you can go the Seagate route for a 2TB expansion card ($280)

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Batteries stand in a row.

Xbox players are weird, and if there’s one thing they won’t give up on it’s the utility of a spare, fully-charged pack of double AA batteries. They always come in handy whether the person just hasn’t upgraded to a rechargeable battery pack yet or the pack isn’t charged and they don’t want to wait. And if you want to get really fancy with it you can get a pack of reachable AA EBLs and the charging bay ($40).

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An Xbox gift card hangs over top of art of Xbox games.

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