If you’re looking for a gift for a board gamer, it can be tricky. You want to get them a board game, but you don’t want to buy them one they already have! So what can you get them instead? As a board gamer myself, here are some gift ideas that I’d love and my board gamer friends would love too!
Upgrades for any board game
Upgrading board games is a special treat for any board game enthusiast. It’s like treating yourself to that luxury item that you don’t really need, but you really want!
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While there are specific upgrades for some board games, others don’t have them. The upgrade ideas here can be used across any game and make very cool gifts for board gamers.
One of my most used board game upgrades is a set of metal coins. So many board games use coins but they are usually made from cardboard so you don’t get the same tactile feel.
I use the metal coin upgrade for Scythe. Because they have denominations on them, 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, they can easily be used for any game with currency.
The manufacturer of these coins (Stonemaier) is known in the board game community for the incredible quality of their game components so you’ll not be disappointed. And the board game nerd in your life will get that satisfying ‘clink!’ of metal and weight of coins in their hand!
2. Board game bag
Bulky square boxes like board games are not the easiest to transport. A regular backpack just won’t cut it. So what can a board game nerd use to take their games to friend’s houses? Enter the board game backpack!
The ultimate in board game backpacks is the Geek On! backpack on Amazon. It’s designed specifically with board gamers in mind. It has strengthened straps and frame, it’s weatherproof, and it’s all lushly padded to protect the games. The space inside is surprisingly big too. It can even fit the Gloomhaven box inside! If you to get someone a board game backpack as a gift then this is the best out there.
Another good alternative is a Cajon bag on Amazon. Made to transport cajons (a square box that’s used like a drum) it’s square shape is perfect for board game boxes. They usually have straps for carrying as a backpack and they have a handle on the top too for the board game enthusiast transporting games in and out of the car.
Speaking of cars, if the board games just need to be transported easily from house to vehicle and back again, then this parachute bag on Amazon can work really well. They are larger than cajon bags so can easily carry board games with larger boxes. They have a robust military style to them and the handles are strengthened so they can take the weight of several games.
3. Dice tower
Scrambling around on the floor picking up dice that have rolled under furniture is no fun. Board gamers want to play games, not get covered in dust retrieving dice! Luckily, dice towers and dice trays are here to save the day!
With a dice tower, you throw the dice in the top and hear a wonderful clatter as they tumble down and out into a little tray at the bottom. They are a great way to make sure those dice are properly rolled and stop those players who want to drop dice instead of roll them!
Dice towers come in all kinds of shapes, colours and styles. I particularly like this Steampunk style dice tower on Etsy. The quality is fantastic and best of all it folds away for easy storage when it’s not being used! Such a unique gift!
4. Dice tray
Like a dice tower, but more of, well, a tray! You roll your dice into the dice tray so they can’t keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ forever and fall off the table! There are so many cool dice trays available. The one I have is lined with a plush velvet feel baize and the sides pop up or down so we can store it flat in a drawer when it’s not being used.
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You can grab a dice tray like mine on Amazon.
5. Gaming mat
Gaming mats are a wonderful way to improve the gaming experience of any board gamer. They are available in so many different colours, styles and sizes there is a mat out there for everyone. While you can get gaming mats in the style of specific games, you can just as easily get ones with incredible art work on them to be used for any game!
I especially love the playmats from InkedGaming on Amazon. They are water-resistant, machine washable (for those inevitable food and drink spills) and rubber backed so they won’t slide around the table.
Yes, there are board game themed coasters! In fact, there is one coaster design in particular that’s very popular and would fit in in any home. The meeple coasters! The mixed design of these meeples is simple and stylish and will bring a touch of board game chic to any home. Check out the different meeple coaster designs on Etsy.
What do you need to put on the meeple coasters? Board game mugs of course! There are loads to choose from on Etsy designed by talented board game lovers. I especially love this sarcastic board game mug on Etsy which I can imagine several of my board game friends saying!
Some board gamers like to get their gamer fuel from soda of bluffing confidence from harder beverages! That’s where these awesome glasses come in.
They are etched with Settlers of Catan designs on Etsy so there’s no question what they are all about.
One of the great things about board games is that they can be played at home and that easily leads gamers to start decorating their games room with board game art!
Some of the best board game posters I’ve seen are by Meeple Design on Etsy. They take the main concept from a board game and turn it into beautiful themed art prints. All you need to know is the name of a board game your friend loves and you can get them the poster for it!
If you don’t want to get them a poster for a specific game, you could always get a poster that applies to all games. Like this word cloud poster on Etsy that features words that only board gamers understand and it looks really cool too. You can choose the size and colour of it too!
If you want to send a small gift in the mail, or just need a little extra, stickers and decals are a perfect choice! Lightweight, inexpensive and available in cool designs your board game friend can put them on anything they want! The stickers above are from the Geeky Goodies Shop on Etsy.
Meeple clothes and accessories
The meeple is the icon of the board game community. When a board gamer sees someone wearing a meeple, they know they are a board gamer too! The clothes and accessories in this section feature lots of adorable little meeples.
If the person you have in mind is more into patches than stickers then these meeple patches on Etsy are pretty sweet. Especially if your board game nerd plays as blue or red!
Pretty much everyone has a use for a shirt! Super soft and always comfortable, shirts are a great way for someone to show off their interests and personality to the world!
There are loads and loads to choose from so here are just a couple of my favourites. SideQuestSupply on Etsy has lots of board game and nerdy shirts available. I especially like their retro style flying meeples shirt. It’s available in loads of colours.
Or how about this, ‘My other job is designing board games’ shirt by the Geeky Goodies Shop on Etsy for the board game designer in your life?
Depending on the season for your gift you may want to get a baseball cap. I love this tiny epic meeple cap on Etsy with a little meeple on it holding an adorable little sword!
If it’s a cold season gift you’re looking for beanie hat like this one with an adorable little meeple on the front.
14. Baby clothes
Raising the next generation of board gamers is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. You can make that job more fun with some adorable board gamer baby clothes!
This meeple baby onesie on Etsy is so cute!
There are loads of crafters on Etsy that make earrings for board gamers. These cut glass meeple earrings come in loads of colours and are on sterling silver hooks (useful for those with a nickel allergy!). They are super high quality and will be worn by your board game fan for years to come.
In a soft sateen fabric, this meeple lanyard on Etsy would be comfortable to wear all day. I guess it should come with a warning that the wearer may want to play board games all day too!
If you’re buying for a traditional formal shirt wearer, then these meeple cufflinks on Etsy are a great option. You could go for understated and traditional like silver and gold, or choose a colour that will totally pop!
The same talented maker behind the glass meeple earrings also creates these meeple necklaces. Available in loads of different meeple colours, with a choice of chain styles and lengths, they are so pretty and can be customized to make the perfect gift for your loved one.
A keychain is a great gift for hanging on zippers and bags as well as keys. I like this simple, yet robust-looking wooden meeple keychain at Etsy. It’s in a neutral wood colour, so whichever meeple colour your board gamer likes to play, it’ll go down well!
20. Tote bag
Board gamers need something to put their games in when they buy them from their friendly local games stores, right? Well, how about this board game print tote bag on Etsy. With a custom printed fabric with board game icons like dice, pencils, cards, tokens and meeples it’s a unique gift for any board gamer.
A unique board game gift
If you really, really want to get them a game and you want to be 100% sure you aren’t buying a board game they already have, then there is a solution!
You can get them a Keyforge deck or two. Every deck is completely unique so they definitely won’t already have it!
If you aren’t sure if they already have some Keyforge decks, then get them two decks so they can play against someone else right away. All the different decks in the series e.g. Call of the Archons, Age of Ascension and Worlds Collide all work together so you can buy whichever you want.
Check out Keyforge decks at Amazon.
22. Tabletop Gaming magazine
Tabletop Gaming magazine is (in my opinion) the best board game industry magazine out there. It features interviews with game designers, showcases up and coming games and highlights cool Kickstarters. A subscription to Tabletop Gaming would be a gift appreciated by any board gamer!
Printed editions are published in the UK, but you can buy them digital editions as a gift from Pocketmags and they’ll provide you with a gift code you can give to your board game fan.
You can choose to get them a subscription to just one copy, three copies or an entire year and choose the date you want it to start from.
They can then read the magazine digitally wherever they are on their phone, ipad or loads of other devices.
If your loved one is in the UK and would prefer the physical version you can get that for a slightly higher subscription price directly from the publisher at tabletopgamingmagazine.co.uk.
23. Board game cafe gift card
I love going to the board game cafe with friends to try out new games and see if I want to get them for myself. If there’s a board game cafe near your board game enthusiast, then definitely consider getting them a gift card for there. It’s such a wonderful gift!
If you’re not familiar with board game cafes yourself, then check out my article all about board game cafes.
24. Escape Room gift card
All my board gamer friends also love doing escape rooms. You enter a themed room full of puzzles and usually have about an hour to solve all the puzzles and escape! The puzzles might be decoding messages, finding and completing jigsaws for clues, or listening to hidden messages in audio recordings.
I’ve completed about 10 escape rooms now in various cities by different companies and they have all been great fun!
See if there’s an escape room near your board gamer, they usually offer gift cards.
25. CluedUpp game ticket
Another live-action game I’ve enjoyed with board gamer friends is CluedUpp. It’s like Clue in that you’re a detective and you need to solve a mystery, but you complete it using an app while walking around your city.
CluedUpp doesn’t have a gift card scheme but you could buy your board game fan a team ticket to a CluedUpp event near you (and they may even invite you to be a team member!)
For more details on CluedUpp, check out my full CluedUpp review.
26. Amazon gift card
Amazon sell loads of board games! With an Amazon gift card, they can buy themselves a game that they’ve been after for a while and you don’t need to worry about buying them a game they’ve already got!
A board game they really want
27. Ask them for a list
So not technically a gift idea, but this worked out a treat for my family and friends this year.
For my birthday, I knew my friends would want to get me board games because they know I love games. So I wrote down a bunch of board games I wanted and separated them into different price categories. My boyfriend then started a WhatsApp group with my friends and family and shared the list so they could say whether they were interested in buying a game for me for my birthday.
The group chatted among themselves about which board game they wanted to get me and make sure that no-one was buying the same games as gifts!
People could choose if they wanted to take part or not, choose their budget, and which game they wanted to get.
They were happy because they knew they were getting me something I really wanted, and I was happy because I knew I was getting games that I loved and because I didn’t know what they’d choose the games I got were still a surprise!
Conclusion – Gifts for board gamers
Hopefully, this list has inspired you to get the perfect gift for the board game fans in your life! Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, a wedding or just because you want to spoil them!
And to wrap up the perfect board gamer gift there’s nothing better than this meeple-themed gift wrap!