Long gone are the days when a computer mouse was viewed solely as a work tool to be used at the office strictly for work purposes. Today, the gaming mouse is a mainstay in every PC gamer’s arsenal.
In fact, it is difficult to imagine a computer game that does not depend on a mouse in some way, shape, or form. But as a gamer, you don’t need just any regular old mouse. Hardcore or professional gamers know the struggle: the regular mouse you use at the office will get you killed by gamers less skillful than you. Fast.
You need something with extra special features if you want to be taken seriously or survive in the virtual world of PC gaming. You’re going to need a mouse that is specifically built with your needs in mind, a mouse specifically built for gamers.
The average gaming mouse stands a cut above any regular mouse and gives you a fighting chance at survival. The best gaming mice, on the other hand, can take your skills to a whole new level and leave you playing with a flair you didn’t know you possessed.
What is a Gaming Mouse?
A gaming mouse is a mouse designed specifically for excelling at computer games. While your average mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel, a gaming mouse can have anywhere from 6 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.
Long story short, as a gamer, once you make the switch to gaming mice, there’s no going back. Period.
12 of the Best Gaming Mice 2020: Reviews & Recommendations
There are several gaming mouse brands to choose from, some of them well known, and others that are just starting out. Each of these have something to offer the gaming community in some way, and so sometimes it can be difficult to choose which to go for, especially if you’re not already partial to one particular brand.
The aim of this list is to identify the cream of the crop as far as gaming mice are concerned. Any gaming mouse on this list will leave you one step ahead of the competition when playing with friends or strangers online.
And to add further value, this list rounds off with a comprehensive buying guide that tells you all you need to know and keep in mind when shopping for a gaming mouse.
Best Budget Gaming Mice Under $50
The Steelseries Sensei 310 comes across as an updated version of the classic mouse you are already used to. It comes with an ambidextrous shape, and offers great grip due to the quality of plastic used. Gamers who sweat on their palms during gaming will certainly appreciate the added grip this mouse offers.
This mouse is on the smaller end of the size scale, and would easily fit into your hand. The ambidextrous shape ensures that whether you are a right-handed player or a left-handed player, it shouldn’t be a problem when handling this gaming mouse during gameplay. The only downside to this is the fact that there are two identical thumb buttons on either side of the device, and you could accidentally click the wrong side’s button with your pinky during gameplay.
Now, the Steelseries Sensei 310 is a budget gaming mouse, but that doesn’t mean it does not deliver where it matters the most, which is performance. The manufacturers used their own custom gaming sensors that mimics some of the best performing software on the market to ensure that there would be no tracking issues while the mouse is being used.
So you can expect adequate performance from this mouse, which can elevate your gameplay much better than most other budget gaming mice. Also, this mouse is lightweight (weighing about 92 grams) and very small in size, so you it won’t clutter your gaming station if you decide to buy it. If you are taking your first steps into the world of gaming mice and would like to acquaint yourself with what they can offer before really investing in one, then the Steelseries Sensei 310 is a good place to start.
The Razer Deathadder is a budget mouse that does not feel like one. The hardware is designed for all sorts of hand sizes and comes with enough grips to make extended gameplay feel like a breeze rather than a chore and burden on your hands.
This body shape aspect is one that Razer seems to have found the formula for when it comes to the different Deathadders, and hence they rarely change. While some critics might point this out, gamers all over the world have to admit that Razer’s shape works. And if that is the case then why change it?
The Razer Deathadder uses an optical sensor that is capable of 16,000 dots per inch which is impressive and can seriously up your precision game. But that’s not what makes this optical sensor special. This sensor used in the Deathadder Elite is one that is based on the PMW-3389 developed by Pixart and Logitech.
Why is this important? Well, the PMW-3389 is one of the most celebrated mouse sensors, capable of 99.4% resolution accuracy, and which also has a 450 inches per second rating—that’s how fast you have to move the mouse before it loses its accuracy tracking.
The implementation of this technology or similar technology into the Razer Deathadder Elite means that you get a gaming mouse that can keep up with the fastest games and the sharpest turns without loss of accuracy and precision at any point.
You can get this mouse for less than $50, but it remains one that most gamers will drool over for its outrageous performance stats and outstanding ergonomics. You get enough space for your thumbs, as well as a sensor that works well on both hard and soft mouse pads.
The Logitech G203 Lightsync is where pocket-friendly price and confidence meet. There are many affordable gaming mice available on the market today, but very few instill confidence in performance as much as the Logitech G203 Lightsync.
This mouse has so many things going for it that it can be described as an all-round winner—deservedly so. At this rock bottom price, Logitech have provided a gaming mouse from which you can expect consistent performance and quality game control within slick packaging. Your response rate is going to feel noticeably higher with the 8000 dots per inch and several response switches that come with this mouse.
The fact that this mouse comes with the classic mouse design, featuring only six buttons will be a plus for many gamers who prioritize function over any bells and whistles and would rather stick with what they know. If you’re feeling adventurous, however, you can customize each button using Logitech Ghub software.
And you don’t have to worry about loose buttons while you play the PC games you love. The main buttons of the Logitech G203Lightsync are bouncy, tensioned using durable metal springs for performance, reliability, and better feel. This crisp, clean, clicking is a highlight which you would enjoy further as precision improves.
Mid-Range Gaming Mice Under $100
The last entry on our list is a wireless mouse, but the Razer Deathadder V2 is not. There are a few things that every wired gaming mouse needs to get right in order to be considered great including being comfortable enough to be handled for hours on end, easily understandable buttons, and also great overall performance.
The Razer Deathadder V2 meets all these requirements and more.
In fact, this gaming mouse comes with over-the-top precision and control that leaves you with the impression that the mouse itself is an extension of your hand. And this is important for games that require a lot of precision like first-person shooters.
The mouse’s design is ergonomic and provides a lot of support for your palm at any time during gameplay. Because the design ensures that you use your index finger to left click and your middle finger to right click, you gain enough space on the right side of your hand so that your other fingers don’t end up hanging in mid-air at the edge of the mouse pad. Anybody who’s felt that ache and awkwardness that comes from having fingers dangling over the edge of their mouse pad will know the importance of this feature.
Apart from ergonomics, however, the Razer Deathadder scores high in terms of performance and functionality.
For example, the Razer Deathadder V2 features the Focus Plus optical sensor with 20,000 dots per inch (DPI) and up to 650 inches of travel per second. This signals world class precision at your fingertips while playing games. In addition to that, you can customize these DPI settings to your liking using a set of buttons that lie beside the scroll wheel. You can even make different profiles, each with their own DPI settings, and then switch with ease as need be. This is a useful feature, if you intend sharing the mouse with others.
If you are looking for a wired mouse that is great to the touch, performs excellently, offers supreme precision, and is user friendly, all at a great price, then you need not look beyond the Razer Deathadder V2.
If you’re a gamer with large hands, then you’re going to love the Corsair Ironclaw RGB. Every inch of this gaming mouse’s design is aimed at ensuring proper function as well as to ease grip. The hardware is built using a blend of materials, including smooth matte plastic for the buttons, as well as diamond print on the sides, grippy rubber sides for added grip, and wavy rubber on the scroll wheel. Each part is designed and produced to look and feel unique, while all work perfectly when brought together under your palm.
And this adds to the overall feel and grip strength that one has when operating this mouth. This mouse will glide across the mousepad like an extension of your arm. Its domed, nicely curved hardware will easily fit into palms that are larger than the average making it easy for such gamers to up their game without having to experience friction between their fingertips and the mouse pad.
Now, given the size and design, the Corsair Ironclaw can seem a little bit heavier than other computer mice, even though it is a wireless mouse and does not require its own batteries. But instead of taking away from the gaming experience, this extra weight merely reminds whoever is in control that a lot of thought went into creating this device so that it would be ergonomically perfect for those gamers for whom it was designed.
The RGB lighting is a significant feature, slick, and subtle, and you can customize that as well as other features of the unit of the mouse using the iCue software.
This is one of the top choices you can make for a gaming mouse as far as comfort is concerned. It’s just as cozy to the touch as the Razer DeathAdder V2—more so in the minds of some people.
Just like the Razer Deathadder V2, the BenQ Zowie comes with an ergonomic slope that offers your hand a gentle surface on which to lie while you go after villains and compete with your friends on PC. It provides a generous amount of berth to accommodate your thumb, which helps your overall grip and eases sudden movements, making it easier to master and maintain control during gameplay.
This mouse achieves all these without giving way to unnecessary frills. As if in compensation, the manufacturers provide this mouse in different sizes so that if you prefer them slightly larger or smaller you don’t have to feel left out.
In terms of performance and function, the BenQ Zowie EC2 maintains the same no frills ideology that is evident in its design, but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in any way when compared to other similarly priced gaming mice.
You can find four main buttons, two on the corners to go along with the two main buttons. There is also a scroll wheel that changes color according to the dots per inch setting you choose for yourself using one of the side buttons. And the ease with which you can adjust the DPI setting is typical of other features with this mouse.
Unlike other gaming mice which would require you to install a companion software in order to change settings, the BenQ Zowie EC2 simply requires you to click buttons in a particular sequence for each change.
For its simplicity and comfort, in addition to its affordability, functionalities and features, the BenQ Zowie is worth taking a look at, whether you are a serious gamer or just a casual one looking for something reliable to use.
The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE may not be the best gaming mouse in the world, but when you use it, it’s going to feel like it is. Ergonomically, its design is top-notch, second to none with its high arch that makes it comfortable for endless hours of use. There are almost no angles found throughout the surface, making this mouse fit like a glove.
And it’s got a few features that rival even the best mice from industry leaders like Logitech while costing less at the same time.
The Corsair Dark Core offers USB-C charging and also supports Qi wireless charging. So you can switch from 2.4GHz wireless charging mode done by its USB dongle or by Bluetooth. You no longer have to be restricted by the length of your power cable.
There is also a magnetic wing included that snaps out on the right side and supports your pinky finger and ring finger. Coupled with the textured grip around the thumbs and the smooth PTFE feet, this magnetic wing makes for some smooth gliding and control across the mouse pad.
All in all, comparing features and ergonomics, the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE stands out as one of the most reliable PC gaming mice you could possibly get for less than $100.
So, what do you do when you realize you don’t have sufficient budget to go to that high-end restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to? You go to a closely related, yet inexpensive joint, that’s what. The same reasoning applies for many people who go for the Logitech G502 Hero.
Logitech is perhaps the best gaming mouse manufacturer in the world, and the Logitech G502 Lightspeed is considered by some to be the best gaming mouse in the world for several reasons. However, it comes at a premium, costing well over $100. That’s pro level type hardware.
So many casual gamers and enthusiasts settle for the less pricey G502 Hero which offers a lot of the perks that come with the G502 Lightspeed, albeit built with lower quality materials. It’s important to understand that lower quality materials don’t mean that this mouse will be falling apart under your palms after one hard session of fortnight. It just means it will feel different in your hand.
By purchasing the Logitech G502 Hero, you get the best of both worlds: top performance powered by world class optical sensors and adjustable weights as found in the Lightspeed, and also a budget friendly price.
We live in a right-handed world, and the majority of gaming product manufacturers bear witness to this by creating products that cater to a majority right-handed audience. But some manufacturers try to balance things up with ambidextrous gaming devices like BenQ Zowie FK2.
The BenQ Zowie FK2 is a great option for both right-handed and left-handed players, and it stands out even among other reliable ambidextrous gaming mice on the market. This is mainly because it manages to occupy that sweet spot where low price and high performance meet.
Similar to the EC2 gaming mouse we have already listed, the FK2 does not complicate things by requiring an installed driver in order to adjust settings. All you need do is punch the necessary buttons in the right sequence to adjust stuff like DPI and others to your liking.
Like a few other ambidextrous mice, this gaming mouse may not feel the most comfortable in your hands because it doesn’t cater specifically to your hand. But if you are left-handed or don’t mind the relatively straight-pointing mouse, you should have no problems elevating your gaming experience with this.
Best Pro Gaming Mice
This is a premium mouse from one of the best known computer mouse brands in the world. The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is a great for gamers period — and it doesn’t matter whether you are knowledgeable about what makes a great gaming mouse or a complete noob who has no idea where to start.
It is comfortable to hold and control, packed with gaming centric features, and has high speed and response times, despite the fact that it is wireless. With the Logitech G502, you will not feel at a disadvantage against players using wired mice.
Some of the best features that Logitech puts into its regular mice and its gaming mice are incorporated into the G502 to make it special. For example, the main buttons have a nice bounce to them when you click. And they click easily, no matter how you hold the mouse.
There is also a quick-release button which is common in other regular Logitech mice. Tapping this button frees the scroll wheel to scroll to the bottom whenever you pull it. Without this button, the scroll wheel would simply stagger from page to page as you would normally expect it to. This might seem like a small feature to some, but it becomes important when you need to rapidly scroll through inventory or options while in the midst of a fast-paced game.
Other features include the Hero 16K sensor that can process 16000 dots-per-inch (DPI) and over 400 inches per second, with a 1000Hz report rate, all of which indicate some of the highest precision levels one can expect from a gaming mouse.
The inclusion of 16g of additional weight to the mouse is also worth mentioning, because this affects the way the mouse glides and moves under your hand. Mouse weight is strictly a matter of preference, of course, but the flexibility that the Logitech G502 affords you in being able to vary the weight is very rare among gaming mice.
There are many other customizable features and quirks that come together to make the Logitech G502 Lightspeed one of the best gaming mice you can invest in. This is a gaming mouse that will put you ahead of the majority of players out there, in terms of speed, ease of movement, precision, ease of use, and reliability.
Razer’s Naga gaming mouse has developed and changed over the years, sometimes in fits and starts. But the Naga Trinity seems to be the best so far, a sign of a work in progress that is finally finished.
The Naga Trinity is a relatively small, comfortable mouse that is equipped with a powerful sensor and three interchangeable thumb grips with swathes of buttons meant specifically for playing MMOs, MOBAs, and other PC games.
MOBA players are going to love the seven-button array provided just around their thumb for their gaming pleasure. There are several buttons that make it easy to map several abilities, but the manufacturers haven’t made these too many to become overwhelming.
There are 12 buttons assigned for playing MMO games, and although this might feel a little too much for regular gamers, MMO specialists live for those sorts of arrangements. You have an entire number pad under your fingers under this arrangement.
Despite the high number of buttons, the Naga Trinity is pretty solid from a structural point of view. The side panels snap and lock into place with the help of powerful magnets that prevent wiggling while gaming. This gaming mouse also offers a comfortable palm grip and a small area where you can rest your pinky.
This gaming mouse has enough features on offer to satisfy many a gaming fan, no matter what your preferences are.
Manufacturers and fans alike tout the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse as the most precise gaming mouse on the market and one of the best choices for professional gamers.
That claim is as easy to back up than to refute as this gaming mouse comes with a lot of eye-opening statistics. These include:
- 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
As if the above weren’t enough to leave the competition in the dust, the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition Chroma Ergonomic Gaming Mouse is built to be compatible with the Razer Synapse software service.
This compatibility is an advantage because it enables the cloud service to automatically update your gaming mouse with new drivers whenever they become available. You never have to worry about your gaming mouse becoming obsolete and taking your gaming level down with it.
This is truly a gaming mouse for the pros.
What to Look For When Buying a Gaming Mouse
When you decide to purchase a gaming mouse, there are few considerations you want to keep in mind so you buy something that works for you. These are:
- Laser or Optical Sensor: Each of these comes with their pros and cons, and the gaming world is split right in the middle over which is more suitable.
- Dots per Inch (DPI): This is a feature which all mice have. The higher the figure, the less you have to move the mouse to move the cursor through a specific distance.
- Weight: Weight has a huge impact on how you manipulate your gaming mouse and play games.
- Wired or Wireless: Wireless technology has just about caught up with wired technology, and you will no longer be laughed off the server for choosing the latter.
- Right or Left Handed: Go for a gaming mouse that is made with your dominant hand in mind.
- Claw Grip or Palm Grip: A claw grip allows you to pull the mouse deeper into your hand so your fingertips have more control. A palm grip on the other hand allows you to place your entire palm on top of the mouse during play.
- Lights: Some gamers prefer lights, preferably those that match their keyboards, while others find lights a little overbearing.
- Cost: Features that come with gaming mice will change as price brackets change.
Let’s go into a little more detail with these points:
Laser Sensor or Optical Sensor?
This is a question that has traditionally split the gaming world right in the middle. Optical gaming mice have usually had the upper hand because they offered a more reactive sensor and gaming experience, as well as suffered less lag than one would encounter in a laser mouse.
But that is no longer the case: laser technology has bridged the gap over the years and now there is a growing number of people within the gaming community who believe that laser technology can finally have its day, especially when it comes to lag.
Certain manufacturers even use laser tech in their flagship products and tout a lag free experience as one of the major selling points.
Dots per Inch (DPI)
Dot per inch is a significant feature, no matter the mouse you are going in for. Whether your mouse is meant for the office or for competing against rival gamers online, the performance of your mouse will be affected by the DPI.
Basically, the higher the DPI rating for your mouse, the less you will have to move the mouse in order to transfer the on-screen cursor from point A to point B across the screen.
For the greatest feeling of control, while using your gaming mouse, you want to go no lower than 800 DPI when purchasing a gaming mouse. This is a worst case scenario; lots of top end gaming mice promise 10 and 20 times that rating. This allows you to make rapid, quick fire movements at high speed that are sure to leave you one or two steps ahead of whoever it is you’re playing against.
At the same time, many gaming mice allow you to customize this figure to your liking, so that you play with several DPI that work with different PC games or settle on the one that agrees with your play style the most.
The weight of your mouse can impact your game significantly, especially when it comes to speed and longevity of play. Unfortunately, most gaming mice weigh what they weigh and there’s nothing you can do about it. So you want to consider this factor carefully when trying to make a purchase.
That said, there are gaming mice like the Logitech G502 Lightspeed and the Logitech G502 Hero that come with adjustable weights. These sort of mice enable you to fine-tune your weight so that you never have to worry if you prefer heavy over light or vice versa.
Wired or Wireless?
Playing PC games with a wireless mouse used to be a running joke among the PC gaming community. Wireless mice were slow and not responsive enough to meet up with the demands of high speed, high reactive gaming. They were a sure way to get left in the dust, because no matter how quick your reflexes and gaming wrist are, they are all for naught if you don’t have the hardware to keep up.
Those days are firmly in the past now, however. Slow, non-responsive wireless mice are a thing of the past, and presently there is a wide range of wireless mice out there that would make a convert of even the most demanding skeptics in the gaming community.
As you would expect, wireless mice tend to be pricier than their wired counterparts, in general, because of all the wireless components. So you want to consider that when weighing your options.
If having free range of motion is important to you, then go for wireless mice. If not, you can put yourself on a leash the length of your wired mouse cable. Either way, you probably never have to worry about lag and performance.
Right-Handed or Left-Handed?
There’s not much to say here: go for the mouse that is built with your dominant hand in mind. Right-handed people should go for right-handed gaming mice when purchasing, while left-handed people should go for left-handed gaming mice when purchasing.
Ambidextrous gaming mice are available on the market that cater to both left and right handed individuals, and they are a great option to consider if you expect to be sharing your gaming mouse with individuals who do not have the same dominant hand as you.
Claw Grip or Palm Grip?
A claw grip gaming mouse has a different shape from a palm grip gaming mouse, and you would want to know the difference and your preference before choosing a mouse to buy.
Claw grips allow the gamer to shape their hands into the shape of a claw, in order to position the mouse at the base or the rear of their palm. This position allows the gamer to hold and control the mouse entirely with their fingertips while stabilizing it with the indent of the palm to allow the mouse remain stable if lifted.
Claw grip gaming mice tend to have long bodies and low heights.
Claw grips are favored by gamers who foresee that they would be making precise, quick movements during gameplay. Movement in this case usually comprises of moving the fingers and pulling the mouse between the fingertips to execute precise movements using minimal motion. It’s a setup that is popular with a huge part of the gaming community, but it is not without its downsides.
The claw grip does tend to feel unnatural as compared to the more natural palm grip. If you choose to go with a claw grip for the first time, expect to have to invest a few man hours before you can become fully comfortable with its unique offerings.
The fine-tuning movements that are required for claw grip mice could also take their toll on your fingertips until you have properly become accustomed to using one.
For the palm grip, little or no introduction is necessary as this has been the standard across the board for a while now. You place your entire palm on the top of the mouse in order to control it. You control it by squeezing the heel and thumb of your hand in order to provide the pressure necessary to control the mouse.
Your fingers are left free enough to click any buttons that need to be clicked in order carry out actions on the screen. You can actually use any part of your fingers rather than the tips as in the claw grip.
This grip is suitable for gaming mice that have a low profile and bodies that match the shape of a cupped palm. The main advantage of this grip is that it affords you the gamer a very high IPS (inches-per-second) rate as you move the mouse around primarily from your wrist.
It is also very comfortable, feeling completely natural and exerts no unnatural pressure on your wrist, forearm, or hand. However, movements tend to be less precise than in claw grip devices since fingers are capable of finer movements that wrists and forearms.
To stand out, gaming mouse manufacturers endow their devices with a lot of bells and whistles. Like lights, for example. Depending on your personal preference, you may or may not find these overwhelming, so you want to ask yourself what you want before purchasing a gaming mouse.
If you would want a blue underglow that matches the rest of your computer aesthetics, you can go for a gaming mouse that promises that. If you would rather not have everywhere looking shiny and a bit too much, then go for a more mellowed down gaming mouse.
Don’t forget that having many glowing lights could potentially become a source of sleep deprivation when you put your computer to sleep without turning it off at night.
Price should weigh in a lot in your decision to buy a gaming mouse. Gaming mice in different price brackets (Under $50, Under $100, and Over $100) usually come with different expectations and features.
Basically, the more expensive a gaming mouse is, the more features you can expect. Pro gamers may want to go for the very best that fall in the $100-$150 range, but casual gamers can easily have all their needs met with the gaming mice that fall within the mid-range of $50-$100
At the end of the day, your choice will depend on your personal preference. You might weigh all the advantages and disadvantages in order to zero in on the perfect gaming mouse for you, but ultimately, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and you should go for the one that catches your fancy. After all, you’re going to be using it to play the games you love for a long time.