Christmas is, quite literally, right around the corner, or right behind the last one depending on when you’re reading this. Whichever one may apply, I’m sure that many people are scrambling to find gifts for family and friends. With that, I’d like to offer my assistance to anyone with that Nintendo fanatic in their life. So if you’re out shopping and don’t know what to get for them, here’s a bit of inspiration, with nine great gifts that should please a Nintendo fan this holiday season.
With Christmas being so close, this list will be focusing on accessories and other items that you should be able to find in most physical stores, so anyone reading this can find them in time for the holidays (or shortly after if they have to find a late gift). So don’t expect a full Nintendo Switch Lite or something crazy from Amazon on this list. Also, games won’t be here either because, unless you wanted to get one a bit cheaper at retailers, you can easily buy one from the online eShop.
I’d also like this list to be usable any year, so recent games will just become obsolete as time goes on. I’ll also try to stay within a reasonable price limit so that any gift you might be interested in buying doesn’t completely burn your wallets on short notice (and in case you’re wondering, I just went with nine rather than the usual 10 because I liked how it sounded better… nine Nintendo gifts). Anyways, let’s get started.
1. Custom Lapel Pins
Custom lapel pins are perfect and special gifts for a Nintendo fan. The custom lapel pins from GSJJ are of good quality at nice prices.
Nowadays, people put lapel pins everywhere as decoration or to accessorize outfits. They can attach lapel pins to their clothes, bags, or even shoes.
Super Mario and the Princess Peach are the most popular ones to design. If you know all the characters they like, you can also design a series of characters in Nintendo world for them as a collection. Who doesn’t want to display their favorite characters from the Mushroom Kingdom?
You can find various shapes, colors, or other elements from the GSJJ online design system. The lapel pins you design will look vivid and almost the same as the characters in the Nintendo games.
2. Pro Controller (Wired, ≈$20; Wireless, $30-$40)
It’s more likely than not that, when you’re talking with someone about Nintendo, the topic of “Joy-Con drift” will pop up somehow. Due to how the controllers are structured, it’s painfully easy for the two-in-one Nintendo Switch controllers’ control sticks to function as properly as a dust collector. Chances are extremely high that someone you know, or you, have gone through the same thing.
While this doesn’t fix the issue, you can help them deal with it a bit better by giving them an extra controller to use. Unfortunately the Joy-Cons come at a hefty price (even more than a fully priced Switch game), so the next best thing is a Pro Controller. It’s a Nintendo Switch controller that’s structured like the traditional controller of other consoles.
They come in various prices, but you should find cheaper Pro Controllers of good quality at GameStop for $30-$40. But be mindful of whether the controller you’re getting is wired or wireless, because chances are whoever you’re buying this for doesn’t have the right tools to play with a wired controller on a Nintendo Switch Lite. If you’re sure they’re able to use a wired controller though, try to go for that since they usually go for around $20. It’s a very easy gift that does a whole lot for who you’re getting it for. While we’re on the topic of controllers though, let’s move on to the next gift idea.
3. Controller Charging Docks (≈$20)
If someone with a Nintendo Switch does have multiple Joy-Cons or Pro Controllers already, they could be having difficulty with keeping them all charged. Joy-Cons naturally charge when connected to a docked or charging Nintendo Switch system; this allows only one Joy-Con pair to be charged at a time, so it can be troublesome for Switch owners that like to play with multiple people to keep all their controllers ready to be used.
Wireless Pro Controllers aren’t much different either, unless they’re battery powered; they have it easier with being able to charge when connected to a power outlet or any power source with a USB port (which the Nintendo Switch dock has three of), but if you have to ever use these for anything else, what can you do then?
That’s where controller charging docks come into play. In exchange for one USB port or power outlet, several controllers can be charged at a time. I even use one of these myself, specifically the Atrix Joy-Con charger. It can charge two Joy-Con pairs in exchange for one USB port, so you can plug the charging dock right next to your Switch.
It even glows red as it’s charging, changing to a green glow when it’s done, so you’ll know when they’re ready to be used. Some chargers like these also come with the ability to charge at least one Pro Controller, and they tend to come at a price of around $20 or lower. So if you know anyone with several Nintendo Switch controllers, they could probably use one of these. Here’s another item that they could probably use as well.
4. Traveling Case ($10-20) or Messenger Bag ($20-$40)
This next one is a great gift for a simple problem. If you know that Nintendo Switch owner that likes to travel a lot, they’re going to need something to keep their system safe and close. Being a portable system, it’s possible to lose a Switch system like you would a phone. It’s also possible for a Switch to simply get damaged in various ways, such as it getting dropped or having things drop on it…also like a phone.
Luckily, a Switch traveling case solves those problems. Being able to hold the handheld Switch, the case alleviates a lot of the issues that come with taking the system out of the house by keeping it safe and sealed when you don’t need to use it. They also come in many different sizes and designs for $10-$20 at GameStop.
Personally, I’d recommend you go the extra mile and buy a messenger bag, since they not only usually come with a traveling case inside to store a Switch, but they also have enough room to house another pair of Joy-Cons or Pro Controller, the Switch Dock and charger, the HDMI port cable, and more. They can be found for $30-$40 at Walmart and in many different designs and sizes, all with the above capabilities, and it’s made leaving my house so much easier. Let’s move on to another method of storage someone could use.
5. SD Card ($20-40)
If they’ve taken the previously mentioned route of buying a game from the eShop in the past, it’s safe to assume your friend or family member ran into the problem of not having enough space to download the games that were bought. This is very common for anyone that has to rely on their Switch’s system memory, which houses only 32 GB of storage (the OLED model holds 64 GB but that isn’t much better). Even for people that strictly buy physical copies of games, this is an issue in the form of updates, save data, downloadable content, and even videos and screenshots.
An easy fix for this would be to get them a micro SD card. They can simply plug it into their Switch console and, just like that, they’ll have much more storage to download games and take silly pictures. The prices can vary depending on how much GB of storage the SD card holds as well as the brand. If you want to be safe, you should stick with the SanDisk SD cards with the Nintendo packaging on them, as well as the 128 GB cards. They’re reliable and have a great amount of extra space at a very reasonable price of $20-$30.
If you have more money to throw away though, you can go with the 256 GB micro SD card for around $40. Whichever one you go with, it’s safe to say whoever you’re buying this for will be safe from storage issues for a very long time. They could put that extra storage to use with some new games, such as…
Nope, I said games wouldn’t be on this list and it has to stay that way. That would’ve been a great segue into the next item on the list if it was a game though. However, while games can’t be on this list…
6. Nintendo Gift Cards ($20-$50)
Money to buy games can be. We’re past the problem-solving gifts, so from here on out, gifts on the list will be more about enhancing the Nintendo fan experience. There’s not many better ways to start than with getting gift cards for that friend or family member. Nintendo gift cards can come in several different types, but we’re only going to focus on two: eShop gift cards and Nintendo Switch Online gift cards.
The eShop gift cards can be used to buy new games, downloadable content for eligible games, or some more time with the Nintendo Switch Online service. They come in $5, $10, $20, $35, $50, $70, and $100 cards so you have a lot of options to choose from. But the $35 or $50 card would be best if you can manage them, since most high-quality games come within that price range.
As for the Nintendo Switch Online gift cards, which allow users to access the online service with additional benefits, they come in codes for one month for $3.99, three months for $7.99, and a whole year for $19.99 (or $34.99 if you want a family membership, which can support the online service for up to 8 different Nintendo accounts).
The yearly subscription is easily the best deal here, with the only problem being if the person you’re buying this for doesn’t use the Switch much at all. There’s also the Nintendo Switch Online+ Expansion Pack but, for your sake and the sake of who you’re shopping for, we don’t need to talk about that. Let’s switch into a gift that blends the digital and physical line.
7. amiibo ($10-$60)
Yes, the “A” in amiibo is always lowercase for some reason. Nintendo is often weird like that. Naming capitalization aside, an amiibo is also a great gift. They’re small figurines that, when placed on a Joy-Con (or Pro Controller with amiibo functionality), benefit the gameplay of whoever’s using them in various ways. They come in many different forms and prices, ranging from around $10 to $60 in several stores.
The best advice I can really give is to make sure whoever you’re buying this for has a game that’s compatible with the amiibo you plan on getting them. Most amiibo work across all games, but they’re meant to benefit a select few. So if you plan on buying it for them, it’d be best to ask them what games they have, then ask an employee if they have any compatible amiibo for said games. Or whoever you’re buying this for could be a collector who’d be happy either way. Nonetheless, it’s a cool gift idea.
8. Clothing ($10-$40)
The rest of the entries will probably be shorter from here on out. If you’re that person that loves to buy socks or sweaters as Christmas gifts, why not go the extra mile and make them socks or sweaters that a Nintendo fan will surely love?
GameStop is packed with many clothing items. So ask an employee to show you the Nintendo clothes and pick out one that you think would make a nice gift. Maybe even buy a Tanooki Mario hat while you’re there. On the topic of clothing, how about some clothes for the game system?
9. Nintendo Switch Skins ($10-40)
A Nintendo Switch owner can probably get tired of seeing the plain design of their system and controllers. While this has never been a problem for me personally, I can understand why a Switch owner would want a Switch that looks more personal. If you know that’s how whoever you’re shopping for is feeling, then why not get them a skin case?
They’re easy to apply and come in different themes which, unlike clothes, don’t need to be Nintendo-related to please a Nintendo fan since they can be placed on the dock, system and Joy-Cons. You could find galaxy skins or pandas for them to slap onto their hardware. They come at a price range of $10-$40 in stores, typically the $35 range in GameStop. So if you plan on helping them personalize their system, let’s see if we can add personality to your Nintendo fan’s living space.
10. Nintendo Blanket/Plush Throw ($10-$30)
Plush throws are an amazing gift, especially if they’re designed after a Nintendo franchise whoever you’re shopping for will love. Basically, plush throws or blanket throws are blankets that are more meant to serve an aesthetic purpose than provide warmth or sleep in, though they could work that way as well.
I got a great one as a gift with the three original starter Pokémon and Pikachu on it, but there are more out there that are themed after the likes of Mario, Zelda and, though this isn’t specifically Nintendo related, Minecraft. You can find them in Walmart but they’re in several places and are usually sold between $10 and $30.
There you have it, nine gifts for Nintendo fans in your life. Whatever year it is, these gifts should satisfy any Nintendo Switch owner or Nintendo fan out there. Hopefully this list makes your holiday shopping a bit easier. Let me know what you went with, or if you have any other ideas. And to everyone reading, I hope you stay safe shopping, and that you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!