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Father's Day gaming gifts for the badass dad

Because all work and no play makes dad a dull boy.

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LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
3 min read
Oculus quest
Sarah Tew/CNET

Like mom, dad's given up a lot of life-respawning time to spawn little humans, as well as playing Fortnite with them when he's more of a Forza Horizon 4 guy. Thank him for the sacrifices by helping him get back into his own gaming groove -- or feed his battle royale addiction now that you've created that monster.

At a loss as to what will thrill him? Here are some suggestions to get you started, no matter how little -- or how much -- you want to spend. 

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While the app library for Oculus' new headset is small, it's the best wireless option available -- perfect for remaining untangled in a small living room or den. But it provides an immersive VR experience with great controls and full positional tracking -- no phone, PC or game console, and costs $400, which isn't bad. If he's more PC-inclined, the pricey $200 Razer Nari Ultimate (see at Best Buy) headset for PC or PS4 adds state-of-the-art haptic feedback for wholly immersive gameplay.

Read full review.

For snatching moments between carpools or meetings, get him a portable console: the Nintendo Switch. If that's too expensive a gift at $300, a controller designed to work with a phone is a lot more affordable and still gives an edge when jumping into a quick battle royale. The $50 SteelSeries Nimbus (see at Amazon) is good for iPhone devotees, while the $60 Stratus Duo (see at Amazon) goes with a Galaxy -- or any other Android phone or Windows PC. 

Read full review.

If dad shares his gaming space with mom, clutter is the enemy -- and if there are no wires, it's easier to swap peripherals if he's a claw and she's a fingertip or if he's on the mechanical-switch team and she plays membrane. Logitech's sub-$100 each wireless mouse and mechanical keyboard (see at Amazon) play way above their price. And the $126 Arctis 7 wireless headset (see at Amazon) is one of the best around without being the most expensive one, too.

Read our Logitech G903 Wireless Gaming Mouse preview.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Dad may deserve a high-powered gaming laptop like the Alienware Area-51m (see at Alienware), but family budgets tend not to stretch that far. If price is a problem, think about the 17-inch Lenovo Legion Y740, which packs a surprising amount of power, including Nvidia RTX graphics and a fast ninth-generation Intel processor, into a relatively reasonably priced system. Or try the less expensive 15-inch model if he needs something more travel-friendly. If your budget only stretches to accessories, the Aukey KM-G6 (see at Amazon) is a terrific-feeling mechanical keyboard (I'm typing on it right now) with RGB lighting that costs less than $35. The Logitech G300s (see at Amazon) is a highly rated wired mouse for only $20 that's good for the righty or lefty.

Read full review.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer's gaming gear is almost uniformly great, if pricey, and doesn't go overboard on the gaming bling. The $1,500 Blade 15 has the minimalist aesthetic to look at home in a sea of MacBooks, but is ready for mayhem after a long day at work. And the laptops are fast, despite being thin and relatively light.

Read full review.

When you're in that demon-killing mood, you should be able to frag with the best of them. Help your dad overcome the frustration of using mainstream game controllers with Microsoft's $100 Xbox Adaptive Controller. It maps all the typical controller functions to a design that requires less coordination to operate. While it works with an Xbox console, it also works with PC games.

Read preview.

Father's Day: Clever smart home gadgets your dad will actually love

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