If you’re saving up to buy a new graphics card or you want a bigger, better monitor, one date should be marked in your calendar: Black Friday. The ‘day’ of deals (which confusingly lasts for at least a week) is a great time to upgrade your current rig, or splash out on some shiny pay day peripherals.
From the deals to look out for to tips on where to browse, here’s everything you need to know about the bargain bonanza.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the US, and since the 1950s it’s been the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping period. Retailers, both online and physical, offer some of their best deals on Black Friday, and will often cut their prices in the weeks leading up to the day.
The phenomenon started in the US but has spread to the UK in recent years. On both sides of the pond there’s deals on games, graphics cards, headsets, mice (the click-y ones, not the squeaky ones) and monitors: you name it, you can buy it cheap.
It’s also spawned Cyber Monday, which happens three days after Black Friday and is reserved for purely online deals.
When is Black Friday 2017?
This year, Black Friday falls on 24th November. Expect retailers to open earlier and close later than usual. Online, stores will typically start their deals on Thursday, giving you more than 24 hours to snap up the bargains.
Some will offer deals in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and the month following it, too. For example, last year Amazon started its sale a week early and ended it on December 22 – a full 35 days of deals – and GOG launched its sale a couple of days early and closed it on Saturday.
If you don’t get your fix on the day itself, Cyber Monday is just three days later, on 27th November.
What should we expect from Black Friday 2017?
If you want to go in-store, then be prepared to queue and fight your way through some very angry people. In the past few years online sales have dominated the day, and most of the good deals for PC gaming can be found from your desktop.
There will be the inevitable game sales on GOG, Green Man Gaming and Steam (Steam’s Autumn Sale coincides with Black Friday), but the juiciest discounts are on PC components and peripherals.
Don’t expect to pick up a GTX 1070 for half price, but you’ll typically get the best prices you’ll be able to get all year, with anywhere between 10% and 30% off big ticket items like graphics cards and monitors.
Right now, there’s almost no information as to what exactly is going to be on offer, but it’s difficult to pull any surprises because so many items are on sale. Basically, if you want a particular product, you should be able to find somewhere selling it cheap. Last year everything from a Steam Link to a HTC Vive was available at a cut price, so expect the same here.
The best way to approach Black Friday is to let other people do the hard work for you: PC gaming websites (like, I don’t know, this one) will summarise the best deals to save you time trawling through links.
Shopping tips for Black Friday 2017
There are some excellent game deals on Black Friday, but the prices are often comparable to sales at other points in the year, such as the Steam Summer Sale. If there’s a game that you really want then it’s worth keeping an eye on Steam, GOG, and Green Man Gaming – but it’s in the hardware sales that you’ll find the real bargains.
It’s probably the best time of year to make your mega hardware purchase. Both Nvidia and AMD cards will be heavily discounted, as they have been over the last few years. Look out for cards in Nvidia’s GTX 10 series (1070, 1080, etc), as well as the AMD Raedon 400 and 500 series. Read our previous coverage to find the best graphics cards to buy.
There are going to be a LOT of monitors on offer, so make sure you shop around. I’ve had the same screen for the last five years, so I’ll be looking for something in the £100-200 range, but you’ll be covered no matter your budget. Here’s what you need to read in preparation.
Lastly, it could be the perfect time to pick up that SSD you’ve always been on the fence about. I’m a convert: my PC boots up double quick and keeps in-game loading screens short. They’re getting cheap, too (£50/$65 will get you something sufficient) and there will be lots to choose from on Black Friday, so read Jeremy’s thoughts on cheap SSDs before deciding which one to plump for.
Where to find Black Friday deals
The best sites for deals are found below.
- Overclockers UK
- John Lewis
- Green Man Gaming