These days, a computer mouse is an essential part of your computer setup; in fact, it’s hard to name a modern computer game that doesn’t use the mouse in some way, shape or form. If you’re a hardcore gamer, your average computer mouse just isn’t going to cut it: To hang with the big dogs, you’re going to need a mouse built specifically for gaming. Gaming mice will help take your skills to the next level, giving you the abilities you need right at your fingertips.
What Is a Gaming Mouse?
No matter what genre they excel at, all eSports gaming professionals have one thing in common: a gaming mouse. Simply put, a gaming mouse is a mouse designed specifically for computer games. While your average mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel, a gaming mouse can have anywhere from six to 20 buttons, adjustable on-the-fly scrolling speeds, an ergonomic design and even specialized software so you can tailor your mouse to specific games. Once you use a gaming mouse, you’ll never go back to a standard mouse again.
Advantages of a Gaming Mouse
We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on why a gaming mouse is superior to a regular mouse, so let’s take a more in-depth look at why a gaming mouse is a must-own product for any serious gamer.
The first thing you’ll likely notice about a gaming mouse is the feel of it. Gaming mice feature an ergonomic design that helps offset the cramps and pain that frequently come with using a mouse for an extended period. In fact, many companies claim that gaming mice can help reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome!
In addition to an ergonomic design, gaming mice are made with durable, high-quality materials that can prolong their life up to four times as long as an average mouse. Also, many gaming mice come with components that are quieter than your average mouse; in other words, this means that you’ll barely be able to hear your mouse clicks, which is a huge plus for gamers who love games like Diablo III or League of Legends.
The second thing that is immediately apparent is the number of buttons on a gaming mouse. You’ve still got the standard left and right mouse buttons along with a scrolling wheel, but most gaming mice also include buttons along the side and top of the mouse. These buttons enable you to assign actions that are typically reserved for a keyboard directly to your mouse; while your competition is fumbling with their keyboard in Heroes of the Storm, you’re just one click away from unleashing your ultimate attack.
One button that will likely stand out, especially if this is your first gaming mouse, is the DPI switch. This set of buttons will enable you to change the sensitivity of your mouse scrolling instantly while in-game, which is perfect for FPS fanatics. For example, if you’ve just grabbed a sniper rifle, you can use a low DPI setting to get precise headshots, then increase the DPI setting to a faster speed after switching to an assault rifle. You’ll immediately notice an improvement in your aim from the first moment you use the DPI switch.
Like most gaming keyboards, the majority of gaming mice come with software that enables you to customize nearly every facet of the device. While your average mouse directly acts the same across all games, a gaming mouse can morph itself into just what you need using the mouse’s custom software. For example, when using the included software, you can customize the buttons on your mouse, create macros and even assign unique profiles to individual games.
Size and Weight Are Important
Unlike your average computer mouse, gaming mice don’t subscribe to the “one size fits all” approach. When viewing the multitude of gaming mice out there, you’ll notice a plethora of sizes and weights. Getting the right size for your mouse is important; if your mouse is too small, it will be uncomfortable to use, and if your mouse is too large, you’ll have trouble hitting all the buttons. You’ll also want to avoid gaming mice that feature abstract shapes, odd button placements and sharp edges. Remember that you’re going to use your gaming mouse often so choose one that looks comfortable.
When it comes to weight, different gamers prefer different sizes: Some players may prefer a heavier mouse that glides slower while some gamers may prefer a lighter mouse so that they can make quick movements. The best option when it comes to weight is to choose a gaming mouse that features adjustable weights. This way, you can customize the weight to your exact specifications.
How Many Buttons Do I Need?
The phrase “the more, the merrier” doesn’t necessarily translate to gaming mice; while you may think having more buttons is beneficial for every genre of gaming, you’ll just end up paying extra money for buttons you may never use.
If your gaming niche is primarily first-person shooters, you won’t need a lot of extra buttons. Many professional eSports players use and recommend a gaming mouse with around seven buttons counting the DPI switch. However, if you’re a MOBA or MMO player, you’re going to need as many buttons as possible due to those games having a wealth of abilities at your fingertips.
Wired or Wireless Mouse?
No matter what computer accessory you buy, you’ll likely end up wrestling with the age-old debate of wired versus wireless. Regarding gaming mice, whether you choose a wired or wireless gaming mouse will come down to personal preference.
While wireless technology is almost as good as wired technology, in terms of a gaming mouse it’s better to go wired if you’re planning on being serious about the games you play. Though you can count the delay in wireless technology in the fractions of seconds, for serious gamers even a fraction of a second can mean the difference between victory and defeat. However, if you’re looking for a gaming mouse and have no aspirations of ever playing games in a competitive format, then ditching the wires and opting for a cleaner desk is the way to go.
What is the Best Response Time?
When it comes to gaming mice, don’t settle for anything less than a 1ms response time or 1000Hz polling rate. Response time and polling rates directly correlate to how quickly an action appears onscreen; while the difference in milliseconds seems small on paper, it can have a huge impact when playing a game. For example, in a first-person shooter such as Overwatch, a player using a gaming mouse with a 1ms response time is always going to get the kill over a player who has a mouse with an 8ms response time, even when both players fire at the same time. In fact, with an 8ms response time on your mouse, you’ll be dead even before your mouse click registers in the game. While a 2ms response time is still suitable, aim for 1ms if possible.
How Important Is Brand?
Whether it’s a gaming mouse or television, the brand is usually one of the defining factors of any electronic purchase. Many individuals choose to buy gaming mice from high-profile manufacturers, such as Razer or Logitech, over smaller manufacturers they may not know. While the well-known manufacturers often include proprietary features in their gaming mice, don’t discount the smaller manufacturers, especially if you’re on a budget! You’ll often find gaming mice that are just as good as those from the major players for only a fraction of the price. However, keep in mind that if a price is too good to be true, it most likely is; in other words, don’t buy a mouse that claims its a gaming mouse but sells for under $10. Chances are good you’ll get what you pay for in the form of a substandard mouse.
12 of the Best Gaming Mice
Now that you know what to look for when it comes to buying gaming mice, here are 12 of the best gaming mice on the market. These gaming mice represent some of the best products available today from a range of manufacturers; no matter which gaming mouse you buy, you can rest assured that you will dominate the competition with any of these products.
Budget Gaming Mice (Under $50)
A low price doesn’t necessarily mean a cheap product, as the Redragon M601 CENTROPHORUS-2000 DPI Gaming Mouse proves. This gaming mouse features six buttons, perfect for FPS gamers, and an adjustable weight, meaning you can fine-tune it to your exact specifications. The Teflon feet ensure that this gaming mouse glides smoothly across any surface while remaining durable while the braided fiber cable is made of a high-strength material that helps prevent fraying. The Redragon M601 CENTROPHORUS-2000 DPI Gaming Mouse supports not only newer operating systems, such as Windows 10, but also legacy operating systems, including Windows XP and Vista. If you’re a gamer on a budget but still want a high-quality gaming mouse, you can’t go wrong with the Redragon M601 CENTROPHORUS-2000 DPI Gaming Mouse.
Sentey isn’t a household name but the Sentey GS-3901 Lumenata Pro Gaming Mouse packs in just as many features as a gaming mouse from any major manufacturer. This ergonomic gaming mouse packs in 11 programmable buttons, a USB 2.0 gold-plated connector and multiple LED colors all in one sleek shell. The Sentey GS-3901 Lumenata Pro Gaming Mouse also features a DPI switch, letting you change the sensitivity of your mouse with the click of a button. The Omron micro switches used in the construction of this mouse provide firm but quiet clicks while the four-way scrolling lets you nail any target with supreme accuracy. With nine macro buttons and five profiles, the Sentey GS-3901 Lumenata Pro Gaming Mouse is perfect for MMO and FPS gamers alike.
While Razer is primarily known for their high-end gaming mice, the Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse is one of the company’s entry-level gaming mice. However, just because Razer prices this mouse at a low cost doesn’t mean it skimps on the high-quality features that Razer is known for. Razer boasts that the 8200dpi 4G laser sensor found within this mouse is so precise that you’ll have no problem picking off your virtual targets from miles away in any FPS game. The side buttons on this mouse let you quickly activate special abilities while your opponents fumble with their keyboard, giving you the advantage you need in any competitive environment. The buttons are also hyper-responsive, meaning that your actions reflect on the screen the minute you press a button. The Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse is an ambidextrous mouse, meaning that you can use it either your left or right hand. With features like these, it’s easy to see why the Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse is the preferred mouse of eSports professionals across the world, including Steven “Korok” Ashworth of Team Liquid fame!
At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the E-Mihi G50 Optical Wired Professional Mechanical Game Mouse for a Transformers toy rather than a gaming mouse, as its aeronautic titanium alloy gives it a robotic feel. This gaming mouse features 10 programmable buttons and a DPI switch that lets you switch between five different DPI settings, from 500 all the way to 4,000. Not only can you program macros into this mouse but it also includes features like the Precision Aim button to give you an edge no matter what genre of game you’re playing. Not only can you customize the weight of this mouse but you can use the included tools to customize the mouse’s size, such as increasing the width of the palm rest.
Gamers looking for a heavier mouse should check out the EUASOO Z-7900 4000 DPI Metal Base MMO/FPS High Precision Optical Gaming Mouse. This mouse’s aluminum base gives it more substantial feel, perfect for gamers who love wielding the sniper rifle in first-person shooters. The EUASOO Z-7900 4000 DPI Metal Base MMO/FPS High Precision Optical Gaming Mouse also features 13 programmable buttons, the ability to store up to five profiles, an LED light that can display up to 16 million color combinations and a contoured, ergonomic body. With support for operating systems up to Windows 10, the EUASOO Z-7900 4000 DPI Metal Base MMO/FPS High Precision Optical Gaming Mouse is an excellent choice for both casual and hardcore gamers alike.
Mid-range Gaming Mice (Under $100)
With awards from esteemed gaming outlets such as IGN, you know that the UtechSmart Venus 16400 DPI High Precision Laser MMO Gaming Mouse is one amazing mouse before you even pick it up. This gaming mouse includes many of the same features you’d find on your average gaming mouse, including a 1000Hz polling rate, 30G acceleration and a 100-150in/s cursor speed. However, where this mouse truly shines is with its 19 customizable buttons. Attached to the side of this gaming mouse is a keypad, giving you quick access to 12 buttons right at the tip of your finger; for MMO gamers, this means that you can quickly access 12 of your skills in seconds. In addition, you can assign macros to all 19 buttons on this mouse. If you’re serious about MMO games, then this is a must-own gaming mouse.
The Corsair Gaming M65 PRO RGB FPS Gaming Mouse is one of the most customizable gaming mice on the market today. The mouse’s aircraft-grade aluminum structure is lightweight, but gamers looking for a bit more weight can use the included weights to bulk up their mouse. Not only can you reprogram the buttons on this mouse but you can also calibrate the sensor to match your playing surface. The on-the-fly DPI switching lets you adjust the sensitivity of this mouse in-game at the press of the button while the included software enables you to create unique macros and profiles for each game you own. In fact, you can even customize the mouse’s LED backlight to create a color combination not seen on any other gaming mouse. If you’re looking for a durable gaming mouse that you can tinker with to your heart’s content, then look no further than the Corsair Gaming M65 PRO RGB FPS Gaming Mouse.
Logitech is a household name when it comes to gaming mice, with the Logitech G300s Optical Gaming Mouse being one of the company’s most well-known products. This ergonomic mouse features a comfortable design that will ensure your hand remains free of pain even after hours of intense gaming. The ambidextrous design lets you use this mouse with either your left or right hand, with the mouse’s nine buttons in easy reach no matter which hand you use. Not only can this mouse save up to three different gaming profiles, but it assigns each profile its own color, so you know which one you’re using just by looking at the mouse. The included software is easy to use and is as simple as dragging and dropping commands. The gaming-grade optical sensor on the Logitech G300s Optical Gaming Mouse lets it conform to a variety of surfaces while the durable material in this mouse will last for up to 10 million clicks. With the Logitech G300s Optical Gaming Mouse, Logitech proves why they are one of the best gaming mice manufacturers in the business today.
With a 10,000 DPI optical sensor, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma Multi-Color Ergonomic Gaming Mouse is one of the fastest gaming mice around. Not only can this mouse move at blistering speeds but the optical sensor can work on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal and even glass! The ergonomic shape of the mouse combined with the rubber side grips allows you to get a comfortable, tight grip: It’s no surprise that eSports professionals across the globe prefer this gaming mouse. The Razer DeathAdder Chroma Multi-Color Ergonomic Gaming Mouse is not just precise but will also help you increase your skills; the included software will track a variety of statistics, including your accuracy. If you also have a Razer keyboard, this gaming mouse uses inter-device color synchronization to sync your Razer keyboard and mouse automatically to the same color.
Premium Gaming Mice
If you’re looking for one of the best gaming mice that money can buy, then look no further than the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse. This gaming mouse gives hardcore gamers the customization options they need, including the ability to customize the weight of the mouse, where the center of balance is, and calibrating the sensor for the particular surface the mouse rests on. The customization doesn’t stop there, as the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse also features 11 programmable buttons, a DPI switch with five different speed settings and the ability to assign complex macros to a single button. Whether it’s switching weapons in a game or just scrolling on a website, Logitech designed this mouse’s scroll wheel with speed in mind. Not only does this mouse work with a PC but it’s also designed to work with a Mac as well. When you want to be the best, you need the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse.
Razer claims that the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse is not only the most precise gaming mouse on the market today but also one of the best choices for competitive gamers. It’s a bold claim, but after one look at the statistics of this gaming mouse, it’s easy to see why Razer makes this claim. The Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse features:
- Adjustable DPI up to a maximum speed of 16,000
- An ergonomic design with textured rubber grips
- A tilt-click scroll wheel
- Nine programmable buttons
- Customizable LED lighting
In addition, the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse also includes compatibility with the Razer Synapse software service. This cloud service will automatically update your Razer gaming mouse with new drivers the minute they are available, ensuring that your gaming mouse is always running the most up-to-date software. When you’re ready to play with the pros, a gaming mouse like the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse is a necessity.