Despite Black Friday 2022’s roots as a Christmas shopping event, apparently people want to start keeping an eye on it in September? It’s 23°c outside and folks are already thinking about PC gaming deals they might want in the damp, dark, dying days of November. Hey, I’m not knocking it, and I’ll even put together this guide that early Black Friday birds might find useful. I just don’t even think of what I want for dinner later.
To be fair, there are good reasons to come prepared. One is that retailers don’t always see Black Friday as a mere Friday, nor the following Cyber Monday as a singular Monday: if it’s anything like last year, Black Friday 2022 sales will begin weeks in advance of the actual date. And even before this, some may even engage in ecommerce shenanigans, artificially inflating the prices of in-demand goodies so that they can slap on seemingly more generous discounts when peak trading time comes. The rotters.
Grumbling aside, Black Friday is genuinely one of the better times to make that PC hardware upgrade you were considering, or to replace a worn-out peripheral, or even to skip the hardware and just expand your games library. We and our pals at Eurogamer will therefore be rounding up the best Black Friday deals once they start appearing, and in the meantime, here’s all the vital info on the event – including tips on how to snag good deals and avoid rip-offs.
Black Friday 2022 dates
Black Friday 2022 is on Friday 25th November – the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the US – and its usual extension, Cyber Monday, is on Monday 28th November.
However, the vast majority of retailers will launch their early Black Friday well in advance of the 25th. There’s no traditional, set date for when these early sales kick off, but it can be weeks, if not over a month in advance – it’s certainly possible that we could start seeing discounts as early as mid-October.
Even so, Black Friday proper will always be the busiest day of the period. New deals (from megacorp and niche retailers alike) will also launch on the 25th, and some items that were on early sales could become even cheaper. Cyber Monday typically provides a good opportunity to find gear or games you may have missed, though in contrast to Black Friday’s long build-up, the deals usually dry up relatively fast after Cyber Monday concludes.
Black Friday 2022: what PC gaming deals to expect
Honestly? Pretty much everything. Games, SSDs, CPUs, motherboards, RAM, PC cases… even graphics cards are likely to see some savings, having been largely left out of Black Friday 2021 due to stock shortages and general overpricing. And it won’t just be the dreck no-one would otherwise want: previous Black Fridays have consistently produced good deals on top-quality components and peripherals. You can have a browse of our various best hardware guides, if you’d like an idea of what to watch out for.
Again, this is a good time – maybe the best time of the year, including Prime Day – to fill any gaps in your PC setup, or if you’re thinking of building a PC from scratch, to gather all the parts you’ll need for much less cash. And, while most of the best Prime Day deals were limited to Amazon’s premium Prime service, Black Friday is always a free-for-all, so you should get to choose from a wider range of retailers without needing to sign up for any subscriptions.
As for PC game deals, they likely won’t outnumber the offers on hardware, but you can still expect money off indies and AAA games alike. In 2021, GOG, Green Man Gaming, Gamesplanet, and the Ubisoft Store all ran Black Friday promotions.
Black Friday 2022: how to get the best deals
Step one: let someone else find them for you. Specifically, us lot, who’ll be co-curating focused Black Friday deals guides with the Eurogamer and Digital Foundry teams. We’ll be updating these daily, and probably several times a day on Black Friday itself, with only the best prices on components and peripherals that we know are actually good. We’ll also be highlighting particularly tasty offers with their own posts.
If you’d prefer to look for yourself, go for it: most big retailers that take part typically have a dedicated Black Friday section on their sites, so you won’t need to browse their entire inventory for the discounts. Nevertheless, you should take steps to avoid a bamboozling by the aforementioned bait-and-switch tactic, where sellers quietly raise their prices only to “lower” them for a sales event.
Dedicated price tracking websites like PriceSpy can be handy for spotting unusual adjustments, and for shopping on Amazon specifically, I highly recommend the Keepa browser extension. This pops a price tracking chart right on the listing page of every single product, so you can see at a glance if you’re actually saving money compared to previous prices.
There’s also the matter of securing more sought-after hardware before it runs out of stock. Granted, this only happens rarely in my experience, but if you want to make sure you could try adding desired items to your shopping basket before the early Black Friday deals begin in October. This won’t always bear fruits, but if the kit you’ve chosen does get deal-ified, the prices should automatically update while in your basket, and you can checkout immediately before they sell out. The downside of this, though, is that you’re essentially shopping on a retailer-by-retailer basis, whereas you’ll probably save more money on multiple purchases if you first search different sellers for the best prices.