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Consumers Guide to the Best Gaming Mouse pads
The days of the ‘one size fits all’ mousepads are gone. We may have put up with any random piece of rubber slung on our desk before, but gamers are now demanding higher quality and more features from their mousepads. It’s no longer just an accessory to sit your mouse on. Brands are dropping a whole load of new and innovative features to stay ahead of the competition, like flashy lighting and even charging ports.
Investing in a quality mousepad that meets the demands of your gaming is important to seamless gameplay. This is especially true if you’ve been upgrading your kit and have purchased a new mouse. Why then put it on a ratty old mousepad?
Type in ‘mouse pad’ to google and you’re likely to get a bit overwhelmed. There are so many out there and it can be hard to choose from a picture, especially if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. Realistically, mousepads are not going to boost your picture or sound quality, or increase your network speed, so it might seem like a waste of time and money to embark on an internet search. While it is a predominately aesthetic upgrade, it will not only make your set up look complete, but also has some functional perks as well.
Do You Really Need a Mousepad?
If you were around in the early days of computers you might remember the classic roller-ball mouse style, where the ball would get jammed or sticky with dirt and dust. Fortunately, those are totally outdated, and new technologies make mousepads less necessary than they were before. Most mice will work directly on a solid, opaque surface. That being said, if you’re using it for gaming it is easy to damage the mouse or the surface with constant use. You will need to take extra time to ensure your surface is properly cleaned and clear of dust or scratches that could cause damage to your mouse. Gamers can be pretty hard on their mice, especially when dealing with high pressure gaming. Grabbing a mouse pad could be what saves you from having to spend another $70 on a new mouse. It’s also important to note that if you are gaming on a surface that is reflective or shiny than it may cause interference and the mouse will have a hard time focusing. A consistent flow of information from the mouse to the computer will ensure a smoother gaming experience. Using any type of mousepad will provide a solid base so the flow remains uninterrupted.
What to Look for In a Mousepad
The first thing to note, as mentioned above, is that there are a variety of mice available on the market and some will not require the use of a mousepad. Surface calibration is a new generation feature of many mice these days, which will essentially automatically calibrate its feedback based on the surface you’re using. This means you can use just about any surface and the mouse should still work fine. That being said, some of the additional features can be beneficial and also just add some slickness to your setup and gameplay.
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing the mouse pad and that is the surface area, thickness, and material. Many brands make a range of sizes so that whether you have barely any desk space or a ton of it, you can find the one that will fit your needs. Something else that should be considered is a wrist rest, as most do not have one built in and don’t do much for wrist support.
The majority of mousepads will be made from cloth. It is the most comfortable option and can be easily washed as needed. Since one of the main purposes of the mousepad is to add a level of comfort to your gameplay, cloth would be our most recommended choice. That being said there are more study options made from plastic, metal or rubber. They aren’t as comfortable but will hold their shape better than the cloth option.
The size of your mousepad is about more than just the surface area you have for it, although that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Generally, you want to be able to have a full range of movement with your mouse, so you have full control while you’re gaming and don’t have to pick up the mouse and re-adjust during gameplay. As a standard, if you have a lower DPI setting than you should go for a larger mouse. If you have a high DPI than you should be fine with a smaller one.
A thicker mousepad doesn’t necessarily mean better, but it does have its benefits. A thicker pad will be better at leveling out any unevenness on your gaming surface and also provide an added layer of comfort for your arm. Thinner mousepads may be a tad cheaper but there isn’t a massive difference in price. Some people may actually prefer the streamlined look of a thinner mousepad. Here is our classification for thickness. Thin: 2mm or less, Average: 3mm-4mm, Thick: 5mm or more.
How Much Does a Mouse Pad Cost?
You can easily snag a mousepad for under $10. This will generally be just your basic cloth model. If you’re on an extreme budget, ask around and you may be able to get one free or second hand. If you’ve got a bit more to allocate towards it than generally, a standard professional grade mousepad will be about $20. The more features it has, the more it will cost, and some can run you up to $70. If you’re going for a high-end setup and want your mousepad to compliment than go for a higher end model. But you can likely get what you need for less, especially if you’re just starting out with gaming.
Should I get an RGB Mousepad?
You’ve probably seen a flashy, light-up mousepad before and thought about how it would look in your set up. Realistically, there is no functional perk to having an RGB mousepad, it’s purely for aesthetic reasons. They do look really cool and be a nice addition to your kit, especially if you’re rocking an RGB mouse and keyboard, and can complete the whole look. If you’re really into it, you can even buy all your components from one manufacturer and set them up for the colors to sync up.
Though you can just grab a basic mousepad from your local store and make do with that, there are some functional and esthetically pleasing models on the market that can be a great addition to your set up. If you’re a gamer and want to optimize your gaming experience, investing in a decent mousepad is essential to completing your kit.
Taking into account all the above factors, we’ve reviewed and chosen our top 10 picks of gaming mousepads, covering both esthetic, functionality and cost.
1. Logitech G440
If you’re interested in rocking a hard surface mousepad then the Logitech G440 would be our top pick. Its hard top is made from micro-textured plastic with a rubber base to prevent it from sliding. What you sacrifice in comfort, you gain back in function as it is low friction and offers a perfectly balanced resistance against the mouse. The perk of this being designed with a micro-textured top is that it’s not too abrasive but also not too smooth. A mousepad that is too slick means you will struggle to stop it from sliding around. If it’s too abrasive, you will struggle to move your cursor seamlessly. Since this model has found a balance between the two it means you gain added control for games that require you to react fast.
In terms of size, it’s on the bigger side, measuring 340mm by 279mm. so make sure you’ve got the desk space. If you do, then it’s great as you won’t ever need to worry about adjusting your mouse on a surface area of that size. It falls into our medium thickness category at around 3.5mm.
The price is a bit high on this product, but the composition is high quality and durable so you can be sure it will last you a long time. It also offers stable, consistent gameplay even at different DPI levels.
It has no flashy designs or in your face branding, nor does it have any lighting specs. Its low profile will not detract from the rest of your set up and fit in seamlessly.
- Low resistance
- Classic design, not in your face
- Sturdy, rubber bottom
2. Steel Series QcK
If you’re on a budget but still after a quality mousepad to add to your gaming set up this one is going to be the right choice. It is super basic but does what you need it to do.
It’s made from out of cloth, with a high thread count to keep your mouse moving smoothly. The base if rubber so it won’t slide around when you’re in the heat of the moment during a gaming session.
The Steel Series QcK measures 320mm by 270mm in width and depth, so it’s an average sized pad. It’s also pretty thin at only 2mm thick, so it won’t provide a lot of comfort, but it still does the job.
Where it wins is in the price. It is the best budget option that we could find available on the market. It doesn’t have any special features, but the brand does have some upgraded versions available if you’ve got a bit more to spend.
- High-thread count cloth surface for less resistance
- Extremely basic model
3. Corsair MM600
This unique, double-sided mouse pad is a versatile and good quality. It’s made of aluminum, with plastic surfaces, so it’s incredibly durable and you know you can keep it for years to come without it ripping or tearing.
It covers a large surface area, 352mm by 272mm, so you’ve got a good-sized playing area. The thickness is great for the price, at 5mm. This absorbs impact and also is good for leveling your surface area out.
It comes at a decent, mid-range price-point. Basically, what you would expect for a professional model. But with the added versatility of it being dual sided, you actually get more bang for your buck. Both sides provide low-friction options for seamless gameplay. To keep the mousepad in place, there are solid rubber stoppers on each of the 4 corners to prevent sliding.
- Large surface area
- Made from sturdy aluminum
- Not got anywhere to feed a USB cord through
4. Cooler Master MP510
Cooler Master is a well known and trusted brand within the gaming community. They not only do mousepads but produce almost everything to build your computer plus all the fun accessories to go with it.
This mouse pad is made from durable Cordura fabric which is basically a super fabric. It totally repels liquid so any spills will wipe right off. This also prevents it from staining or soaking in anything that will leave a smell behind. The material will not rip or fray so it will last for a long time.
A great feature of this mousepad is that it comes in a couple of different sizes. This way, even if you game on a smaller desk, you can still find a mousepad that will fit. The size options start small and go up to 900mm by 400mm.
Regardless of surface size, they are all 3mm thick, which is an average thickness for a mousepad.
Some cool things about buying from Cooler Master are that because they produce so much if you get all your peripherals from them, you can have a matching set! The mousepad also features the Cooler Master logo which glows in the dark, and anything glow in the dark is awesome.
- Multiple sizes available
- Cool, glow in the dark logo
- No flashy lights
5. Roccat Hiro+
The Roccat Hiro+ mousepad has been designed to provide increased control and accuracy with your mouse. The surface of the pad is made from vulcanized silicone, which doesn’t allow your mouse to slide erratically. It’s got a non-slip base, so it won’t move around on your desk.
It measures 305mm by 205mm in size and 2.5mm thick. It’s on the thinner side compared to other models of a similar price point but has some neat features.
The mousepad has a waterproof coating to protect from liquid damage. It is very easy to clean and remove dirt or mess. It also has rounded corners for a slicker appearance.
- Durable silicone composition
- Steady and balanced control of mice
- A bit pricey considering no RGB features
6. Razer Sphex v2
Sometimes, a thicker mousepad isn’t better. If you’re looking for a streamlined mousepad that doesn’t obstruct your surface than the Razer Sphex might be a winner. It’s made from polycarbonate, which is extremely sturdy and has great compatibility with laser mice, meaning that your mouse will react quicker.
Its size is 355mm by 254mm, so about average in terms of surface coverage. Where it differs is in thickness. The mousepad sits .5mm thick, so it’s so thin it barely sticks off the desk. Many like the look of this and find it easier to use.
It comes at a great price point and has a really cool and futuristic multi-color design. It has no RGB lighting, but you almost don’t need it with its vibrant esthetic. If you have a smaller desk surface, this mousepad is also available in a smaller size.
- Extremely thin and sleek
- Doesn’t obstruct your gaming surface
- Not as comfortable as thicker mats
7. MSI Thunderstorm
If you’re a hardcore gamer and looking for a mousepad that represents that, then this is it. The MSI Thunderstorm sounds as savage as it is and is made completely of sturdy aluminum. It’s double sided so you can either use the fully aluminum side or if that’s too much, you can use the textured cloth surface integrated to the other side.
It is an average sized mousepad, 320mm by 225mm, so it will fit most standard desktops. It’s only 2mm thick, but its heavy-duty composition offers an even gaming surface.
The price is standard and worth it for some of its added features. It is built in an L shape, which ergonomically fits around your keyboard, like Tetris on your desk. It uses rubber stoppers on the corners to prevent it from sliding and has a textured surface that gives perfectly balanced control of your mouse.
- Heavy duty and durable
- The aluminum surface is uncomfortable and cold
8. Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris
Finally, an RGB mousepad makes our list. For any serious gamer whose equally as serious about their gaming setup, it’s got to be an RGB mousepad. While splurge on cool looking, RGB equipment but then get a basic mousepad? Go big or go home with this funky mousepad.
It has two surface options, either cloth or micro-textured, depending on what you prefer and require for your gaming. Micro-texture will improve your control, but cloth is more comfortable and will help you move seamlessly.
It’s 350mm by 260mm and has a nice, cushion thickness at 5mm for extra comfort.
The cost, as expected, is higher for this top-end model but you’re paying for the features. It’s got the incredible esthetics that come with the RGB lighting, which is lit through a wired connection. Though this isn’t ideal, it also has a USB pass through port so you can charge your mouse while you game. Of course, what this means is you’re limited as to where you can put it, as it needs that wired connection to run.
- Customizable, RGB lighting
- USB pass through port
- Powered through a wire so you have limited movability
9. Asus ROG Scabbard
If you’re the type that likes everything BIG, then we’ve got you covered. This mousepad is the largest we could find and gives you a huge range of motion with your mouse. It can even fit your other peripherals like your keyboard and your laptop itself.
It’s got a Sheath woven surface, which provides optimal control and the base is a non-slip rubber, so you know it’s going to stay in place.
It measures a whopping 900mm by 400mm and is average thickness at 3mm.
A fun feature, although probably unnecessary, is that it has even been temperature tested to -30 degrees. We don’t know how useful this is, but hey, you never know. It’s also scratch-resistant and splash proof as well.
- Huge surface coverage
- Has been thoroughly tested (almost too thoroughly if that’s possible)
- So large that many would consider it impractical
10. Logitech G Powerplay
This innovatively designed mousepad is changing the game and providing a multi-functioning feature that will allow you to keep gaming for hours and hours. The Powerplay also functions as a wireless charging pad. The base uses electromagnetic resonance which turns the whole surface into a wireless charger.
It comes with both hard top and cloth pads, so you can change them depending on what is most comfortable for you or the type of game you are playing.
It measures 320mm by 275mm and is only 2mm thick. This is quite unique for a pad with such power, as others can tend to be quite bulky.
Where price is concerned, it will cost you. It is the costliest model on our list, running you about $80. This is to be expected as the functionality is worth the cost. You will just need to make sure you’ve got a compatible Powerplay compatible mouse in order to use the pad. The only downside is the mousepad is wired and may limit where you can have it placed.
- Wireless charging for your mouse while you game. Never use batteries again
- Interchangeable hard and soft surfaces
The Final Word
Though it may seem trivial, a good gaming mousepad is a great way to round off your whole system set up. It can streamline your desktop and bring an added level of comfort and control to your gameplay. Even at the higher level, a basic, good quality mousepad won’t break the bank, and you can always splurge out if you want some additional features like RGB lighting or wireless charging. Our 10 picks are a good place to start and give you some well-rounded options to choose from, regardless of your gaming style and requirements.