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So, you’re building the ultimate gaming computer set up. You’ll likely consider high-spec graphics cards, monitors and sound equipment first. Though gaming mice may not be on the top of your list, they are a huge component of creating the best gaming experience.
A mouse is no longer just a mouse anymore. With emerging technology today, peripherals are not only necessary, but they have tons of cool and helpful features. These features can be a massive help when playing fast-moving, high stakes games, where speed and accuracy are critical.
Depending on your preferred type of gameplay or game genre, there’s a mouse on the market for you. Whether you’re a lefty or a righty or have small or large hands, there will be a model that fits your needs. With so many options available, picking one can be daunting. If you don’t know where to start, our guide will help you decide which mouse will be the perfect addition to your gaming kit.
Before we dive into exact models of gaming mice, it’s crucial to establish some ground rules. There are factors to consider before you buy, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need. This info will allow you to make a properly informed decision. The first factor to consider is your gaming style.
Determine Your Gaming Style
Before you can decide on a gaming mouse, you must first know what you need. Mice have many different features that suit specific gaming styles. These features will add comfort and efficiency to your gaming experience.
To determine your gaming style, you’ll want to consider what types of games you typically play. Computer games divide into three main categories.
- First Person Shooter
- Massive Multiplayer Online
- Real-Time Strategy
Though many people dabble in all kinds of games, they tend to lean to one of the three categories. Determining which style you log the most hours in which be the first step to finding a mouse that suits that type of game.
The reason this is important is that each type of game can benefit from different features. If you are playing a First-Person Shooter, you will need a mouse with extreme precision and control. That won’t matter as much for Massive Multiplayer Online games. Click speed is also essential in FPS and RTS.
For MMO gaming, the addition of extra buttons can be beneficial for assigning macros. This feature wouldn’t be necessary for FPS.
Determine Your Mouse Sensitivity
Once you’ve established the types of games you tend to lean to; you’ll want to asses how you move your mouse. It may not seem important, but each individual develops a way of maneuvering their mouse that is unique.
Pay attention to your movements next time you’re playing your favorite games. Do you move your mouse quickly and in short strokes? Or are your motions longer and smoother? Your mouse movement style will help determine which level of sensitivity you are and will affect your choice of features.
Some features that are dependent on your sensitivity level are lift-off distance, DPI and the best sensor type. Saying that Windows does usually allow you to alter your mouse sensitivity in the settings of your computer. But it’s always a good idea to get a mouse that best suits your movement type anyway.
Those who are high sensitivity tend to make short and quick wrist movements with their mouse. The total distance the mouse travels is much less and would benefit from a DPI range of 1000 or more.
If you find yourself alternating between quick wrist movements and more prolonged arm movements, than you may be medium sensitivity. Medium sensitivity players would be best with a DPI between 400 and 1000.
Low sensitivity players use longer, smoother mouse movements. These tend to involve the movement of the whole arm, not just the wrist. This results in more distance travelled and higher speeds. These types of players would benefit most from a DPI range between 400 and 800.
Determine Your Grip Style
Have you ever noticed how you grip your mouse? Most people wouldn’t pay attention to it or consider that others do so differently. There are different styles of mice available for your specific gripping style. Choosing a mouse that is properly-suited to your grip style will ensure the highest level of comfort. Typically, everyone fits into 1 of 3 grip styles. These are fingertip, claw or palm grip.
Fingertip grip is when only your fingers are used to control the mouse. It means that the central part of your hand doesn’t rest onto the mouse. This type of grip is suitable for quick and agile mouse movement. Those who use a fingertip grip will be most comfortable using a small and light mouse body.
Claw grip uses your whole hand to grip the mouse, but with a unique finger position. The first two fingers don’t rest flat but maintain an active and arched position. It is the perfect position for power as it allows for precision clicking. It’s also a good grip for a quick mouse glide. Those with a claw grip will prefer a more substantial, full-bodied mouse.
Palm grip also uses the whole hand to grip the mouse. The difference is that all fingers will be making full contact with the mouse. All parts of your hand and fingers will lie flat onto the mouse. This style of grip gives the most controlled mouse glide, but not as fast. If you use the palm grip, then you’ll need a heavy mouse with an ergonomic design.
Now that you’ve established your style, we can start to look at the mice themselves. There are many different specifications that you’ll want to understand when you’re looking at different options. It involves some technical stuff, so we’ll explain a few of the terms first before we get into the details.
Glossary: Mouse Related Terms
Angle Snapping – Angle snapping is a function that automatically alters your mouse movements to make them more precise. As humans, we aren’t perfect, nor will we make exact lines when we move our mouse. Angle snapping will make our imperfect lines, straight. While it may be useful for drawing a line, it’s not great for gaming. It means that the movements you make with your mouse will not necessarily replicate in-game. That, in turn, denotes loss of control. This function can usually be disabled.
Acceleration – Acceleration occurs in some mice and makes the cursor move at the same speed that you move your mouse. This factor can be good or bad. If you move your mouse slower, across the same amount of space, your cursor will go slower, therefore not taking you the same distance. I could be useful if used correctly, but it’s a bit unpredictable.
DPI – DPI means dots per inch. You may also see it written as CPI or counts per inch. For this article, we will be using DPI. DPI is used to measure how many times the sensor will scan the surface per inch that you move your mouse. If the DPI is higher, it means your mouse is more sensitive. The higher the sensitivity, the less distance you need to move your mouse to make movements on your computer.
Jitter – Jitter is when your mouse cannot read the tracking surface. This fluctuation will cause a miscommunication between the mouse and the computer and result in irregular cursor movements. You’ll tend to notice this in the higher sensitivity mice, or ones with a high DPI. It’s not ideal, especially when gaming, as it can lead to loss of control in-game. An accidental friendly fire could be disastrous in an FPS.
Lift-Off Distance – LOD refers to how high off the surface your mouse needs to be before the sensor is unable to track the movements. If the lift-off distance is low, then it means if you lift your mouse, then your cursor will stay where it is. It could be a beneficial feature for those who tend towards long mouse movements. They’ll likely need to reset their hand position often and won’t want their cursor position effected.
Malfunction Rate – The malfunction rate will determine how quickly you can move your mouse around before it can’t keep up. Typically, all decent mice will be able to track movements that are slow and fluid accurately. But as soon as you start whizzing the mouse around your mouse pad, many will struggle to register the information. While gaming, you can’t afford mistakes. Your mouse must be capable of accurately tracking movements, even at high speeds.
How Is A Gaming Mouse Different from a Regular Mouse?
A gaming mouse does not necessarily have tons of flashy lights or buttons. They can sometimes look the same as your regular daily mouse but have some higher specs.
Generally, you’ll want to look out for mice with a high-level sensor, which will give you added control and precision. You’ll also want to keep an eye for personalized customization options. These two characteristics are what will give your gaming experience that much needed boost.
The more expensive you go, the more extra features you will get. Some of these include extra buttons, adjustable speed and sensitivity options, extended cable length and more.
Gaming Mouse Types
Gaming mice come in a variety of different types. These types are tailored to your gaming style, as we talked about above. It includes a combination of factors such as your preferred type of games and other individual needs, like if you’ll be gaming on the go. Your grip style will also be a factor, but most overall types will have options for each grip style. Here are the five main types of gaming mice you can expect to find on the market.
1. MMO / MOBA Mouse
These mice have specific designs for those who typically play MMO style games. They will feature extra buttons that can be customized and programmed to different macros. Whether you’re a classic MMO gamer, like World of Warcraft, or love the MOBA style, like Dota 2, you’ll benefit from this type of mouse.
Both styles of games involve the use of particular skills. Though you don’t need them at all times, it’s essential to be able to use these skills quickly when required. Having hotkeys for these skills will save time during gameplay. It may take some time to set up the mouse buttons, but once done, it will be hugely efficient.
This type of mouse can have up to 12 programmable buttons for thumb use alone.
Examples of an MMO mouse would be Logitech G600 or the Roccat Nyth.
2. Shooter Mouse
Shooter mice, as the name suggests, are designed with shooting games in mind. They look more similar to a typical computer mouse but with a few tweaks. Some will contain a few thumb buttons, which can be used for firing and changing weapons. An extra button is useful as well for melee/throwing grenades, depending on the exact game you’re playing.
This type of mouse is generally easy to use and only requires three fingers to control the functions. Some may even come equipped with buttons to control the DPI based on what you’re doing in-game, like making a sniper shot.
Examples of shooter mice would be Logitech G402 model and SteelSeries Rival 300.
3. Dual-handed Mouse
A dual-handed mouse is one that you can use with either the right or left hand. It’s especially useful for those who are left-handed, as many mainstream mice don’t cater to them. These mice tend to be symmetrical in design.
They may not be as comfortable, as they cannot be ergonomically designed to fit a specific hand. But ambidextrous mice are easy to use. If they do have buttons, they will be on both sides, so you can choose which side to use. The buttons that are not in use can be disabled.
Examples of dual-handed mice are SteelSeries Sensei or Logitech G900.
4. Hybrid Mouse
A hybrid mouse is one that has been designed to be compatible with all types of gaming. These all-around options are great if you like to play a variety of different styles of games. The design isn’t specific to one game type; therefore, they won’t be ‘the best’ at anything.
Hybrids will usually feature more buttons than a shooter mouse, but less than an MMO specific mouse.
Examples of hybrid mice are the Razer Naga Hex V2 or the Logitech G602.
5. Mobile Mouse
A mobile mouse is best suited to gamers who are playing on laptops or in multiple locations. If you want the flexibility to play anywhere, then you’ll want a mouse that is lightweight and portable. While they may not have all the fancy buttons, they can still do the job.
This type of mouse is especially useful for those who use a fingertip grip. Even if you’re on a PC, a mobile mouse can be a good option if that is your grip style. That is because it’s easy to move around and control with little contact.
Examples of mobile mice are the MadCatz RAT M or the Razer Orochi.
Within all the mouse types, you’ll see multiple options. Let’s have a look at the difference between a few of them, so you have a better idea about the strengths and weaknesses.
Wired Vs. Wireless
Now that the technology for a wireless mouse is there, why would you ever want to deal with an annoying wire?
The truth is, that although the wire may be bulky, it usually delivers higher quality output. The communication between your mouse and computer can be quickly interrupted when dealing with a wireless mouse. That will result in lag, which is a gamers ultimate nightmare. Even a slight delay in reaction time can lead to frustrating results when playing most games.
With technology continually advancing, it is possible to find a wireless mouse with almost no lag. But if you want consistency, wired mice will win in this category.
Secondly, wireless mice use battery power. The batteries can add additional weight to the body of the mouse. It also means the batteries can die at any moment. You can find ones that charge via USB, and therefore you can use the mouse wired up or not. So, these may be a good middle ground option if you hate wires.
Some wireless mice claim to have incredibly quick wireless connections. Though that may well be true, there will be a much higher price tag attached to it.
Laser Sensor Vs. Optical Sensor
Gaming mice come with one of three types of sensors; laser, optical or infrared.
The sensor you’re most likely to see is the laser sensor. This type of sensor works effectively on most surface types. This factor makes it a versatile option as you can use in straight on a desk surface, mousepad or even on your couch.
The issue with these is that they usually have a higher LOD. It means if you lift your mouse, it will still track the movements and move the cursor. It can be annoying if you need to reset your mouse or move it back to the center of your mousepad. It’s not ideal since the result will be movement in-game, which can have you lose your spot, or make unexpected movements.
Optical sensors are best suited for matte mousepads or surfaces. Since they use infrared light to track movements, any glossy surfaces can reflect it and confuse the sensor. When used on the correct surface, they tend to read better overall.
They also have a lower LOD than those with a laser sensor. That means it eliminates any problems when needing to reposition your mouse. It’s vital for gamers, so you’ll often see them opting for an optical sensor.
Additional Factors to Consider
There are a few other things to consider when purchasing a gaming mouse. These come down to comfortability and personal preferences.
1. Mouse shape and size: You will want to choose a shape and size mouse that suits your hand. If you have larger hands, get a larger mouse. The shape and size should also be selected based on your grip style. If you lean towards a palm grip, you will be most comfortable with a larger mouse.
2. Mouse weight: Gaming mice vary from extremely lightweight to heavy-bodied. The one you should choose will depend again on your gaming style and how you tend to move your mouse. You can even get mice with weighted plates that you can add or remove based on your ideal weight.
What is the best gaming mouse?
The reality is, what is best for one person will not be best for the other. All the above factors need to be determined and considered to choose the one best suited to your personal needs.
The combination of comfortability, technical specs, and additional features will allow you to reach your highest gaming potential.
With all the above factors in mind, we’ve reviewed 10 of the best gaming mice on the market. This well-rounded list features mice of different sizes, types and price points to be inclusive of all kinds of gamers. So, in no particular order, here are our top 10 choices of best gaming mouse on the market.
Best Gaming Mouse – Reviews
1. Razer Naga Trinity – The Best Gaming Mouse for MMOs
We’re going to start our list with the best gaming mouse on the market for those who play MMOs. While many options on the market feature macro buttons, this brand has it down. It addresses the needs of an MMO or strategy gamer in a customizable and funky design.
There’s a whopping total of 19 programmable macro buttons for ultimate customization. It has three interchangeable side panels, which allow you to choose from 2, 7 or 12 thumb-controlled buttons. That leaves your other fingers open to handle the mouse movement.
It has the highest spec optical sensor, which tracks 16,000 DPI.
They have included the ability to configure mouse setting in-game for several big-named MMO games. It allows you to change the configuration of your buttons right in the game without having to exit each time.
- Tons of buttons. 19, to be exact.
- Fully customizable
- In-game configuration
The Razer Naga Trinity is hands down the top pick for the MMO and strategy game-players out there.
2. Corsair M65 Pro RGB – The Best Gaming Mouse for FPS
Don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten the First-Person Shooter fans. If you’re into computer gaming, you’re likely familiar with Corsair. They lead the pack when it comes to peripherals, and their gaming mice are no exception. Their M65 Pro is the perfect mouse for playing FPS style games and comes at a reasonable price.
For FPS games in general, you’ll want a lighter mouse. Using a lightweight mouse allows it to glide seamlessly, which is hugely beneficial in FPS. This mouse features removable weighting plates, so you can add and remove as needed. Though its design is for FPS players, it can still be used for other types of games as well. It’s got an optical sensor, so it is excellent for when you need to reset your mouse position quickly. It won’t move your cursor erratically.
It also features buttons that allow you to change the DPI level based on your needs and has cool RGB features. You can change the mouse lighting through their software, iCUE, which takes a bit of time to learn.
- High-quality materials
- Weight adjustment options
- DPI adjustment
- CUE software can be a bit confusing to learn at first.
For FPS gamers, the M65 Pro RGB from Corsair is our top pick for the best gaming mouse.
3. Corsair Ironclaw RGB – The Best Gaming Mouse for Big Hands
Next is another model from Corsair, but this one is for those who tend towards a palm grip or have larger hands.
Of all the gaming mice on the market, the Ironclaw is the most well suited to larger hands and offers the best comfortability. In general, regardless of hand size, this mouse is just a comfortable fit all around. The ergonomics are on point for right-handed gamers.
The body of the mouse is composed of multiple different parts. The sides are composed of rubber, which gives a sturdy grip. The main body is diamond printed with seven buttons total, and it also has a scroll wheel. Since it’s not one solid frame, the design is more ergonomic.
It has RGB features as well, controlled by the iCUE software, for some fun light customization. The software also allows you to recalibrate the mouse based on the mousepad or gaming surface you’re using.
As the name implies, the Ironclaw is on the heavy side. It doesn’t have the option to remove any weight, so you have to deal with it as is. Besides just being heavy, it is also a giant mouse in general. But for those with larger hands, this is what you want.
- Extremely comfortable
- Great for large hands
- Heavy and bulky
- No weight adjustment options
If you are continually struggling to find a mouse that comfortably fits your larger hands, than look no further. The Ironclaw is an excellent option for those who use the palm grip, or whose hands are on the bigger side.
4. Razer DeathAdder Chroma – The Best Budget Gaming Mouse
Though the name sounds fancy, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma is on the basic side of the gaming mouse spectrum. When Razer launched, the original DeathAdder mouse gamers fell in love. They’ve brought it back, with the same general design, but with the addition of some cool RGB features. The best part is, it won’t break the bank.
You control their patented Chroma RGB system through the Synapse 2.0 software. It allows multiple customization options when it comes to RGB, claiming up to 16.8 million color options. It even has heat tracking for if you want to monitor your gameplay. The optical sensor has an output of 10,000 DPI, but you can lower that if you want to.
It’s pretty similar to the original design, and that is the reason the price is kept down. It’s got rubber side-grips, for additional control and two extra thumb buttons.
- Chroma RGB lighting
- Easy to use and thorough software
- Basic design
- No fancy features
If you’re looking to upgrade your regular computer mouse, but don’t want to spend a ton, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma is an excellent pick for you.
5. SteelSeries Rival 700 – The Most Innovative Gaming Mouse
Steel Series is famous in the sports-related gaming community. Specifically, the Rival series has become very reputable due to its large number of innovative features.
The Rival 700 is known for its OLED display. It’s the only gaming mouse that has this feature, and it’s a fun one! The display can show many different things, including score updates, setting, and even specialized GIFs.
The sensor can be switched between optical and laser if you buy it separately. The optical sensor can give up to 16,000 DPI output and the laser up to 8,000. The DPI is fully adjustable. It also has a vibrate feature, which adds an immersive level to the design.
It is a versatile mouse, not excelling in any gaming type in particular, but useful for all of them. The RGB lighting is also top of the line. That’s reflected in the price, which is a bit expensive.
Where it disappoints is that although it has many alteration options, it is not ambidextrous. Therefore, it cannot be used by those who are left-handed.
- An OLED screen with fun and unique displays
- Alteration and customization options
- Can use a laser or optical sensor
- RGB lighting
- Not ambidextrous
For a gaming mouse with some fresh and customizable features, the Rival 700 from SteelSeries is an innovative option.
6. SteelSeries Sensei 310 – The Best Gaming Mouse for Ambidextrous Use
For those who are ambidextrous or left-handed, we haven’t forgotten about you! Following on from our last pick from SteelSeries is another model from them. This time, they cater to those who are left-handed as well. Their Sensei model has always been ambidextrous, but this version has some new updates to the design.
It is symmetrical, with thumb buttons on both sides, so that you can use it with either hand. Sometimes, ambidextrous mouse buttons are ill-placed. They don’t take into account that if your pinky rests over the side, it may click on the alternate, unused thumb buttons. The Sensei 310 combats that problem, having them located slightly forward. It means they are reachable by the thumb but won’t get clicked by your pinky.
It’s lightweight, making it easy to move and glide. It’s composed of grippy material, so you have full control, even after hours of gameplay.
- High-functioning grip
- Small bodied
If you’re left-handed or want the flexibility to use either hand, the Sensei 310 will give you everything you need.
7. Corsair Scimitar RGB – Best Gaming Mouse with Programmable Buttons
Yet another Corsair model to hit our list. This one has a ton of programmable buttons, making it perfect for MMO or MOBA gamers. There are 17 buttons in total that can be used for macros to ensure your skills are accessible to use when you need them.
This mouse is adjustable based on the size of your hand. The body itself will suit those with larger grips, and you can adjust the slider to fit your reach. The kit will come with a screwdriver for making alterations as needed for optimal comfort.
Its sensor is a Pixart ADNS 3988 optical sensor, which is one of the best you can get. You can adjust the DPI based on your ideal sensitivity, but it can support up to 12,000 DPI. The RGB lighting is customizable through its software, the Corsair Utility Engine. The software is also used to assign macros to all the keys.
Corsair creates a range of different peripherals, including keyboards. That means you can sync your devices up, so they have the same RGB lighting.
- High-quality sensor
- 17 programmable buttons
- Sync all your Corsair peripherals
- A bit large for some
- If you don’t need that many buttons, they maybe get in the way
For an MMO or MOBA style gamer, this mouse offers a huge variety of programmable buttons. Its high-quality sensor is one of the best you can get on the market today. If you’re a Corsair fan, this mouse makes a great addition to the peripheral kit.
8. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum – The Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
When considering purchasing a mouse, Logitech is the first name that comes to mind. They are the pioneers in the peripherals world and have many well-made gaming mice available. Their G900 Chaos Spectrum is the best wireless gaming mouse you can get. Though there are others out there from the likes of Razer and Asus that are good quality, Logitech is our pick.
It offers the ability to customize the DPI between 200 and 12,000, which is impressive for a wireless mouse. It comes with a wire so that it can be used wired up or wireless, your choice.
It has cool RGB lighting controlled by Logitechs’ user-friendly software. Another convenient feature is its symmetrical design, which means lefties can also use it. It even has a few programmable buttons as well.
The power of this wireless mouse puts it at the top of the pack. But great power comes at a high price.
- Powerful for a wireless mouse
- User-friendly software
- No charging docks
Though wired mice are always guaranteed to deliver the most accuracy, having a wireless option is essential. Many like to game on the go. Or maybe they aren’t a fan of having cords get in the way. If you’re after a wireless mouse, there’s no better option than the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum.
9. Asus ROG Spatha – Best Investment Gaming Mouse
Here we have a second option of a wireless mouse. This Republic of Gamers model design is for the gamers’ benefit. It’s expensive, but this investment piece is well worth the price if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spend.
Sturdy magnesium alloy makes up the build. It has a heavy-duty design that can sync up with your other Asus components like keyboards or motherboards, as long as they are Asus brand.
It features 12 buttons, all programmable, and customizable through their Armoury computer software. Since it’s wireless, you’d expect a bit of lag, but the Spartha has none. It can be used with the wire as well if you are worried about inconsistency.
It has a maximum DPI of 8,200 and has a comfortable and ergonomic design.
- Heavy-duty composition
- 12 programmable buttons
- Sync the RGB lighting to other components
- Pretty much the most expensive computer mouse you can buy
- The opposite of lightweight. It may be too heavy for some users
If you’re looking for the best that money can buy, and money is no object, then go all out with the Asus ROG Spartha. It breaks the input-lag stereotype of wireless mice and has a load of great gaming features.
10. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum – Best Revamped Gaming Mouse
We round off our top 10 with another gaming mouse from Logitech, the G502 Proteus Spectrum. Mostly, it’s the same as their previous Proteus core model but the addition of RGB lighting. The fact that it’s primarily unchanged is not a bad thing. The original model provides all the features you need at an affordable price point.
The DPI output can go up to 12,000 but can go as low as 200. It’s got high sensitivity on 12,000 DPI and good quality tracking output. The sensor itself is a 16K HERO sensor, which is high spec. It is also much more lightweight than other mice of a similar type. There are also 11 programmable buttons on the mouse, so you can use them however you like.
It has a comfortable and ergonomic design, so you can play for hours without your hand cramping up. It can even be charged via the Logitech PowerPlay charging mat for wireless charging. All this, for a fraction of what you’d typically pay for a gaming mouse.
- Customizable DPI, from 200 to 12,000
- Great value for money
- Can charge wirelessly through the PowerPlay mat
- Not ambidextrous
For a well-rounded, revamped version of a classic gaming mouse, the Logitech G502 delivers some great features and a reasonable price.
Finding the perfect gaming mouse for you can take your gameplay to a whole new level. There is a ton of factors to consider, but taking the time to make an informed decision will have huge benefits. Whether you’re an MMO gamer or prefer FPS, there’s a gaming mouse out there with your name on it. Now you know what to look for and have an idea of some of the options out there. Go out and get gaming!