Gaming mice are a dime a dozen, and you can stroll into a shop and pick up something that will suffice. If you want to improve your standing online and with your friends, it may be time to consider buying the best gaming mouse.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Mouse
Before you can settle on the perfect gaming mouse for your favorite games, there are several areas you need to consider. Going in cold can result in buyer’s remorse or cause your K/D ratio to plummet if you make a bad choice.
What types of games do you play?
The term “gamer” is broad is it covers people that spend thousands on their graphics cards and folks that just want to play Stardew Valley or Terraria. Before you can look for the best gaming mouse, you have to consider what type of gamer you are. Needless to say, if you prefer first-person shooters, you’ll want a mouse capable of making those no scope headshots easier.
Gamers that prefer titles like WoW or EVE may require a different style while a hardcore could need something more universal. You may also want to consider checking out the best gaming keyboards as a mouse is only half the battle if you play certain titles.
Types of Mice
- FPS – When precision and reaction times are key, you’ll want a mouse geared towards FPS games or shooters. Thankfully, there are no shortage of options considering the popularity of the genre. The areas to focus on for these types of games would be DPI, weight and special features like ExactAim.
- MMO – Simply put, a good MMO mouse is going to have plenty of extra buttons. It can have a DPI just as high as mice built for gamers, but you won’t get far without buttons. Some models even allow you to customize the side panels to better suit your needs.
- Customizable – As the name implies, this type of gaming mouse allows you to set things up the way you see fit. You can increase or adjust the weight, set the side panels or even adjust the pitch on the palm rest. It’s ideal for gamers that want to take full advantage of their mouse, regardless of the games they play.
- All-purpose – This is the category where most “casual” gamers will want to look at these mice won’t limit your overall productivity. An excellent all-purpose mouse that can be used for casual gaming should have a solid DPI rate and be comfortable in hand. It should also be a step above a regular mouse when it comes to performance and price.
Once you figure out the type of mouse that fits your needs, it’s time to think about the sensors. While trackballs are definitely out, most gamers will find themselves stuck between optical or laser. Both will get the job done although there are some major differences between the two. Thankfully, DPI isn’t an issue with either style although still important for gamers. High DPI is always good, but it doesn’t need to dictate the type of mouse you buy.
Laser – Laser mice use a system called VCSEL or vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diode. They are accurate and will work on a wide variety of surfaces, so you can game on a bedspread if you’re a laptop gamer or even on slick surfaces. The only downside is with accuracy as they can be “too accurate” at times resulting in jitter during slower movements.
Optical – An optical gaming mouse uses LED light, and is more accurate than a laser but won’t work on several types of surfaces. They need a non-reflective surface or mouse pad – something that shouldn’t be an issue for most gamers. All the best gaming mouse pads are built for speed, not reflections.
Wired vs. Wireless Gaming Mice
Whereas choosing a sensor style is relatively simple, there are more areas to dwell on between wired and wireless mice. Due to their wireless nature, a cheap cordless mouse may be slower than a wired one. The best wireless mice can hang with their corded counterparts, however, and the most folks won’t notice any lag at all.
While they may be just as speedy, wireless mice need batteries and can be more expensive than a wired mouse. There are advantages and disadvantages to both styles, but technology has considerably decreased the gap between modern wired and wireless mice.
Design and Comfort
Manufacturers have gotten wilder with their designs over the past decade, but a mouse is still a mouse at the end of the day. That means no matter how cool it looks, it needs to perform and not drag you down during gameplay. The first step to comfort is choosing a mouse that suits your lead hand whether you are a righty or a lefty – ambidextrous models aside.
How well a mouse is made is tied directly to the price more often than not, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Unless you are prone to fits of rage, you probably don’t need a mouse with a metal frame. Thick plastic is tough, and almost every switch is rated for 50,000 clicks these days.
Weight is far more important, and a mouse with removable weights allows you to alter the heft at will. RGB lighting is more common on gaming mice than weights, and while it doesn’t affect your comfort or speed, it can be a double-edged sword.
The best gaming mouse will have lighting controls and all allow you to tweak the settings through software. The software itself can be a mixed bag, and where the lighting is placed is critical as well. If your hand covers up the lighting, it can be a pointless feature and one that lure you away from a better option.
13 Best Gaming Mice to Buy in 2018
Precision and Speed
Razer made their name by selling great gaming gear, and the Basilisk is no exception. It’s a fan favorite and an excellent choice for fans of FPS games due to a sweet price point and its overall accuracy.
This durable mouse is built for speed and longevity. The mechanical switches are good for 50 million clicks, and it can hit speeds up to 450 inches per second. It has an optical sensor rated at 16,000 DPI and is quite comfortable thanks to the weight and rubberized side grips. Nobody is going to complain about the lighting or the company’s slick software suite.
While the fact that it’s wired may turn some gamers away, the Razer Basilisk is definitely among the top gaming mice on the market. It will increase your prowess in shooters and makes a fine all-around mouse as well.
- Chroma RGB Lighting
- 5G Optical Sensor
- 7 Programmable Buttons
- Removable Multi-function paddle
- Right-handed only
- Software is rough around the edges
A Mouse that’s Easy on the Eyes
Gaming gear is made to look good, especially if you’re a professional or hardcore gamer. The ROCCAT Kone AIMO is one of the sleekest gaming mice around, and its performance is quite impressive with a polling rate of 1000Hz and a 1ms response time.
ROCCAT managed to make a device that’s quick and very easy on the eyes. The mouse has an Owl-Eye optical sensor with 250ips motion detection speeds and 50g acceleration. It will fly and is comfortable in hand during long gaming sessions into the wee hours of the morning. As darkness closes in, you will appreciate the RGBA dual light guides and smart lighting system.
If you want a mouse that looks just as good as your neon-infused rig, the ROCCAT Kone AIMO is the right choice for you. It has enough buttons for shooters or MMOs and is available in three different colors with Black, Grey, and White.
- AIMO Intelligent Lighting System
- Ergonomic Tri-button setup
- 512kB onboard storage w/ ARM Cortex-M0
- 130 grams
- Not as modular as similar models
The Best FPS Gaming Mouse
Corsair is a company always in the running for the best gaming mouse title, and the M65 Pro RGB is a recent contender in that area. It’s another optical unit with a high DPI although that’s far from the only feature that stands out.
This mouse has a “sniper button” which allows you to set the DPI to suit the situation. Headshots will be easier thanks to the adjustable rates and eight buttons that give you easy access to your gear or commands on the fly. Corsair made this mouse tunable as well, so you can adjust the weight and find your perfect center.
Build-quality is another feature well worth a look on the M65 Pro. It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it light and sturdy. As you’d expect, it comes with a nifty RGB lighting system which is fully customizable through their CUE software.
- 12,000 DPI
- Aluminum Frame
- Large Glide Pads
- Adjustable Weight
- Sniper Button
- Lighting system could be better
- No Love for Lefties
Speed In Either Hand
Not everyone needs customizable side panels or a gaming mouse that looks like it comes from the future. Razer took a simple approach for the design of the Lancehead Tournament Edition mouse but did not skimp on the tech specs.
This mouse has a whopping 16,000 DPI and has true tracking of 450 inches per second. It’s a “5G” mouse with 50g acceleration so speed will not be an issue with the Lancehead. It’s durable, but still looks good thanks to the company’s Chroma Lighting system which can hit 16.8 million hues. Their software is also nothing to scoff at.
The Lancehead is an affordable gaming mouse with a quick sensor and plenty of pizazz. While it may be a bit simple for some consumers tastes, gamers with a quick trigger finger will like the speed. It’s also an ideal gaming mouse for beginners due to its ease of use.
- High-speed sensor
- Chroma Lighting
- Ambidextrous Design
- Side buttons can feel stiff
The Best Logitech Gaming Mouse
Logitech is one of the more prolific names in the world of computer mice, and they have done well with gamers. The Logitech Proteus Spectrum is one of the more customizable mice we’ve come across, and one that will not break the bank.
Futuristic is the first word to come to mind with the G502 Proteus Spectrum. The design allows you to fine-tune the weight up to 3.6grams while the RGB lighting system lets you set the mood. Need buttons for your favorite MMORPG? It has 11 of them which you can set in seconds to suit your needs. Tech specs for mouse include a DPI of 12,000 (five settings), a 32-bit ARM microprocessor, and a report rate of 1ms.
This budget-friendly mouse has features you won’t find on other models and is stylish while a bit larger than other models. It’s certainly an option for the best gaming mouse, and a reliable choice you can count on during long gaming sessions.
- Tuning Weights
- Great Software
- 12,000 DPI
- Right-handed only & Grip style
- Lighting could be better
Affordable and Ambidextrous
BenQ makes plenty of tech, and the company has produced some solid gear in the gaming department as well. The BenQ ZOWIE FK1 is a gaming mouse that caught our eye, and it’s a great option regardless of your handedness.
Whether you’re a leftie or a righty, the BenQ ZOWIE FK1 feels good in the hand. It’s built with the “claw grip” in mind and has thumb buttons on either side. The mouse has a lift-off distance of 1.5 ~ 1.8mm, and an adjustable report rate of 125, 500 or 1000Hz. As for the DPI, it’s not as high as other gaming mice with a max of 3200, and the settings are somewhat limited outside of that at 400, 800 and 1600.
This one is a bit basic compared to high-end models, but performs admirably and has a nice price point. You can pick the ZOWIE FK1 up in two different sizes as well if you have larger hands with 124mm x 64mm x 36mm or 128mm x 67mm x 37mm.
- Multiple Sizes
- Basic compared to competitors
- DPI Switch
- No lighting effects
A Quick and Colorful Choice
Good lighting can set the mood. It also looks extremely cool, and it’s hard to find a mouse that can outdo the HyperX Pulsefire Surge when it comes to the “wow” factor.
This sleek optical mouse has a unique 360-degree RGB lighting system that can put on quite the show. That lighting is customizable through their NGENUITY software, which also allows you to tweak the DPI. The DPI range is between 100 – 16,000 so it is safe to say there is a setting for everyone regardless of the genre of game.
The only knock on this mouse has nothing to do with performance as the HyperX Pulsefire Surge will not let you down in that department. The software still has room to grow however as the customization process could be more straightforward.
- 360-degree RBG Lighting
- Six Programmable Buttons
- 16,000 DPI
- Large Skates
- Side button placement
- Subpar software
- Only 3 DPI presets
The Best Gaming Mouse under $30
Logitech has produced more mice than most manufacturers, which means they have a product for everyone. That includes gamers just getting started, which is where optical solutions like the Logitech G203 Prodigy come into play.
The G203 is on the opposite end of the equation with pricing when compared to the Pulsefire Surge, but don’t let the price fool you. It still sports 6 customizable buttons and an RGB lighting system to go along with a handy button which allows you to switch DPI settings quickly. The sensor can hit 8000 DPI on the high end or drop down to as low as 200.
Logitech gave gamers a pleasant surprise with the G203 Prodigy, and it’s a nice alternative to the classic G Pro. It’s also an excellent option for the best budget gaming mouse and available in two different colors with solid Black or White.
- Great price
- RGB lighting
- Comfortable for different grips
- Good software
- Lower DPI
- Scroll wheel needs improvement
A Great Gaming Mouse for eSports
SteelSeries recently decided to upgrade the popular Sensei lineup with the Sensei 310. It’s another ambidextrous mouse that is comfortable in either hand and even comes in cheaper than the last generation despite improvements.
The design of this mouse makes it easy to use in either hand whether your left or right is dominant. There are thumb buttons on either side and 8 buttons overall. You can set up those buttons or adjust the DPI through the SteelSeries Engine 3 program. The optical TrueMove3 sensor features advanced jitter reduction and 1-to-1 tracking with 12,000 CPI and 350 IPS. It is definitely solid under the hood.
While there are a few areas that could use some adjustments, the SteelSeries Sensei 310 is an excellent choice for eSports enthusiasts. It’s perfect for both the palm and grip styles and available in four different colors including a rubberized Black.
- Silicone Grips
- RGB Lighting
- Solid Performance for the Price
- Limited DPI settings
- May be uncomfortable for some
The Best Gaming Mouse under $50
Razer’s gaming mice are always popular among the eSports crowd, and the DeathAdder Elite is no exception. It’s responsive whether you’re going for a kill or collecting resources, and sports a high-speed sensor with incredible accuracy.
The Razer DeathAdder Elite is fast thanks to a 5G optical sensor rated at 16,000 DPI. Its accuracy is said to be 99.4% which is noteworthy when precision and speed are key. From the clicky mechanical switches to the RGB lighting system, this gaming mouse ticks all the right boxes.
Razer has billed this mouse as the “World’s Most Precise Sensor” and it is highly recommended for casual and hardcore gamers. It’s also a great all-around option regardless of the titles you play and won’t break the bank.
- Great software
- Quick DPI switching
- 7 Programmable Buttons
- Lighting effects are partially covered
- Not a big upgrade from the previous version
A Wireless Wonder
When compared to the G502 and the G302, the Lightspeed G903 Gaming mouse is at the top food chain for Logitech. It’s one of their more expensive offerings, but for good reason as it has some features you generally don’t find all in one package.
This is another customizable mouse, but one that can be used by both left and right-handed gamers. There are configurable buttons on both sides of the device which sports the advanced PMW3366 optical sensor rated at 200 – 12,000 DPI. Other tech specs include a speed of 400 IPS, 1ms wireless latency, and 11 buttons which you can set any way you’d like.
Another cool perk of the Logitech G903 Lightspeed is its charging system. The mouse is compatible with the POWERPLAY charging mat which doubles as your mouse pad.
- Wireless Charging System
- Great Speed & Accuracy
- RGB Lighting
The Best MMO Gaming Mouse
While most of the top-selling gaming mice are built for shooters, this one is geared towards MMORPG fans. If you need more buttons than other gamers, you’ll dig what Razer has done with the Naga Trinity and its various side plates.
Panels aside, the Razer Naga Trinity is a capable gaming mouse on its own. With an optical sensor rated at 16,000 DPI, it’s fast and will liven up the night with its RGB lighting. It will work well with FPS games, but when it’s time to venture off to into your favorite RPG, there are 3 different panels to choose from. The Naga Trinity comes with a 2, 7, and 12-button panels although lefties are out of luck with this one.
Whether you need 19 programmable buttons or just a handful for Overwatch, this mouse doesn’t disappoint. Color options are limited to Black, but there are three variants of this mouse available with the Epic Chroma and Hex V2.
- 3 swappable side panels
- Accurate 16,000 DPI sensor
- Razer Chroma
- 19 programmable buttons
- Can be tricky for beginners
- Side buttons can feel stiff
A Great All-Around Option
The Corsair Dark Core SE is a great option for gamers that have a strong disdain for cords but need something accurate with a high DPI. In this case, you’ll get 16,000 DPI from the optical sensor, and it has some interesting features on board as well.
If you like to load up profiles and game on the go, you will dig the onboard storage on the Dark Core SE. It also comes with not one, but two contoured side grips and can be juiced back up from any Qi wireless charging pad. The battery is rated for 24-hours, it comes with 9 programmable buttons and has switches rated at 50 million clicks like all good gaming mice.
Corsair’s mouse may not be the fanciest to make the cut, but it performs as advertised and sports some slick features under the hood. We also like the fact you can adjust the steps in 1 DPI increments, which allows for increased precision on different types of surfaces.
- 3-zone backlighting
- Qi wireless charging (universal)
- 16,000 DPI
- Swappable side panels
- Design won’t suit certain grips
- Scroll wheel could be better