So you’re looking to get a gaming mouse, either to replace the one that came with your computer or because your current one broke, where do you start? There are a lot of reasons to get a gaming mouse as they offer various features you won’t find on regular mice. The first thing people notice when they see a gaming mouse is that they have way more buttons; some even have up to 20. Most mice also allow you to change the DPI on the fly, making the tracking more or less sensitive.
Other nifty features include on-board memory to save your custom profiles and settings and take them with you wherever you go, weight kits to customize the weight to your liking and macros to record button pressed and play them back later with just one click. Not only that, there are also more niche mice that offer specialized features for certain genres like first-person shooters or MMOs.
So obviously there isn’t a catch-all mouse that fits the needs of every single gamer at once. Then what would be the best gaming mouse for you? If you do some research you’ll see that there are A LOT of brands and models out there which vary in purpose, price and quality. It would take hours to go through every single one of them to find the one for you.
Here is where I have good news for you. I’ve already done all the work for you. I’ve looked for the best gaming mouse myself, then I compiled all the results into an interactive chart with the most important specifications.
Take a look at the shortened interactive chart below.
*Click on the columns to sort the data
Want to compare even more gaming mice?
Click here to see the complete chart with over 65 of the best gaming mice!
Top 5 gaming mice
I’ve decided to make a small list of some of the best gaming mice proper, for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time searching themselves, so here follows my top 5 best gaming mouse of 2013, with a maximum of 1 one per company.
#1: Anker High Precision Laser Gaming Mouse
While it may not have the catchiest name ever, the Anker High Precision Laser Gaming Mouse is nonetheless a superb gaming mouse. The anker aims for quite a lot of features for its price tag. The sensor satisfies the needs both low and high sensitivity gamers with a maximum DPI of 8000. The total button amount is nine, all of which can be programmable individually. Not only that but it comes with a macro editor as well. Did I mention that it comes with an eight piece weight kit?
On the design side of things you can choose 16 million colors for the logo, not only that but you can make it pulsate slowly or quickly if you want. Best of all probably has to be its price, at a price tag of $40 it rivals some of the bigger companies with the features it has. So when considering its price, it’s hard not to say that the Anker is not one of the best gaming mice there is.
#2: Corsair M65
Corsair has quite a lot of mice in their Vengeance range, but the Corsair Vengeance M65(the improvement over the older M60) is the best bang for you buck. It’s designed specifically for FPS games, examples of this include a dedicated “sniper” button that temporarily lowers the DPI to get those crucial headshots. FPS gamers need to have excellent tracking and response time when playing, which is why the 8200 DPI laser sensor with a polling rate of 1ms is perfect.
The software will allow you to customize the all-important sensor even further. Aside from changing the DPI in increments of 50, you can also change its lift-off distance which is a rare feature. Another feature is that you can let the software do tests to see which mousepad works best which again you don’t see all that often. Lastly there are three different colors available: black, white and green.
#3: SteelSeries Sensei
The SteelSeries Sensei is a relatively simple looking gaming mouse, part of that is due to its ambidextrous design. Despite its basic looks the Sensei still has some tricks up its sleeve. The default CPI range covers a resolution of 1-5700, but this can be doubled, effectively giving you a maximum of 11,400 CPI! This is excellent for gamers who use multiple monitors for example. You may also record very long and complicated macros with the SteelSeries Engine software and map them to one of 8 buttons.
The logo, scroll wheel and CPI indicator’s color can all be changed individually supporting up to 16.8 million different colors. Another interesting addition is that you can upload a custom bitmap to the LCD screen on the bottom to personalize your mouse and make it easier to identify in LAN parties. The Sensei also comes with path correction, don’t worry, you can turn it off if you don’t want it. So with great customization and software, The Sensei is definitely the best gaming mouse from SteelSeries.
#4: Razer Deathadder 2013
The Razer Deathadder is probably the most well-known mouse made by Razer. It’s one of their more basic mice, it’s not super flashy and has just five buttons, but for what it does it’s outstanding. It’s one of the most ergonomic mouse available, it even has its own separate left hand edition as opposed to just being ambidextrous. Next to the ergonomics the other thing that made this gaming mouse what is it today is the sensor. The 6400dpi 4G optical sensor will track even the slightest of flicks with a 1 to 1 response between the mouse and the game.
The software which can be downloaded from Razer’s website will further allow you to customize your mouse. This is where you can change the DPI in five different segments, create and assign macros, turn the mouse acceleration on or off and edit the lift-off distance. The new 2013 version also added rubber side grips and more importantly upgraded its sensor significantly.
#5: Logitech G500
The Logitech G500 is one of the most popular gaming mice next to the DeathAdder. One of the things that made is the popular is the addition of a weight kit, which lets you change the weight of the mouse to your liking. The on-board memory lets you store 1 profile that you can edit in the software. Among the things you can change you’ll find polling rate, acceleration, angle snapping and separate x and y axis DPI sliders.
The scroll wheel deserves a special mention as it has two modes. There is the default mode intended for gaming which works as you would expect, but then there is also a second one which is practically frictionless intended to be used for scrolling through long webpages. Due to its size the G500 is well-suited for those with larger hands who prefer a palm-grip. Lastly it has a superb sensor supporting a resolution of up to 5700 DPI, which is a very significant improvement over the 2000 DPI that the older G5 used to have.
Top 3 best gaming mouse pads
Most people don’t care about mouse pads, after all why bother buying one if the desktop surface is good enough? While it’s true that the surface is indeed “good enough” for most people, it’s not good enough for hardcore gamers. As a gamer you want to have maximum control over the tracking. Just having a good gaming mouse isn’t enough, you need a decent mouse pad to complement it. Just like with gaming mice there are many different mouse pads made for different playing styles.
The most important factor in choosing a gaming mouse pad is the glide, which refers to the amount of friction you’ll get when moving your mouse over the surface. Hard mats offer a lot of glide whereas cloth mats have more resistance to them. The other deciding factor is the grip, which will determine how far the mouse slides after you stop moving it. To put everything in simpler terms, hard mats are recommend to those who play with low DPI and cloth mats are better for those who use higher DPI settings. So without further ado let’s take a look at some of the most reputable gaming mouse pads.
#1: Razer Vespula
The Razer Vespula has one of the most unique concepts for a gaming mouse pad. Whereas regular mouse pads make use of just one side, the Vespula uses both sides as distinct surfaces! One of the sides is called the “speed side”, this one has a lot of glide and is therefore excellent for fast paced first-person shooters. The other side is aptly titled the “control side”, which offers extreme precision with its textured surface and tactile feedback which is better suited for RTS or MOBA games.
The Razer Vespula can also be used for extended gaming sessions as the gel-filled wrist rest will prevent fatigue and promote correct posture. The size of the mouse pad is 300mm x 240mm which is just the right size for most gamers. If you want a mouse pad that covers your entire desktop you might want to take a look at the mat below.
#2: Razer Goliathus
The Razer Goliathus is more of a traditional mouse pad, its goal was to create a mat that would have a consistent glide and grip for every sensitivity and all sensors. Its name refers to the largest beetle on Earth and rightly so, as the biggest size available should easily be able to cover most of the length of your desktop with its 920mm x 294mm size.
There are three other sizes available: the Alpha edition is the normal large size for those with large hand movements, the standard size is the most versatile one at 355m x 254mm and the Omega size is excellent for gamers who don’t have a lot of room at a size of 270mm x 215mm.
#3: SteelSeries QcK
Rounding up our top 3 is the SteelSeries mouse pad QcK. Steelseries actually have quite a few mouse pads available, but the QcK series have proven themselves time and time again with their high quality cloth material and their specialized rubber base designed to withstand the more violent swipes.
LIke every good mouse pad it comes in various sizes, the QcK+ is the largest size available at 450mm x 400mm, whereas SteelSeries Qck Mini is ideal for smaller surfaces with its 250mm x 210mm size. It also comes in three colors: black, red and blue.
Buyer’s guide for gaming mice
So what are the things you should be looking for when searching for the best gaming mouse? That depends on your preference and the kind of of games you play. Some brands have an MMO mouse with more buttons and macros to support complex hotkeys. Then there are FPS mice that have a dedicated button that lowers the DPI for when you’re going for headshots. There are a whole multitude of gaming mice that cater to different playstyles. I’ll give a couple of basic points you should be aware of below.
Wired vs Wireless mouse
While you might think that a wireless mouse seems like the next step up, many gamers dislike wired mice because they are a bit more delayed than corded mice. So if you want to buy a cordless mouse, be sure to check the user reviews to see if there is a big problem with lag, alongside the battery life of course. Most wired mice are also more expensive, so know well whether you really want to invest that extra bit of money for the wireless capabilities.
If you want the best of both worlds, know that the best wireless gaming mice allow you to plug the cable in so that you can use it as a wired version, quite handy that. You can check out my top 5 best gaming mice to get you started.
Low or high DPI?
Honestly this is down to preference. Some gamers like to play with over 3000 using very small movements, others like to use their entire surface using only about 800 DPI or even lower. Lower DPI is useful for when you need absolute accuracy such as when you’re sniping whereas higher DPI works better when selecting units on the other side of the screen.
The best gaming mouse is one that would work well on both low and high DPI settings as opposed to one that tracks well with low but not high DPI. The size of your monitor also plays a role in choosing your DPI, if you use a dual monitor system or just have one really big one having high DPI will definitely help you. The way you hold your mouse also plays a part in this (check below).
Palm, Claw, or Fingertip grip?
- Palm grip: This is the most common way of holding a mouse. Your entire palm lies flat on the mouse.
- Claw grip: Like the palm grip but characterized by arched fingers (in the shape of a claw).
- Fingertip grip: The entire mouse is held with just your fingertips, the palm doesn’t touch the mouse.
Palm grip is associated with lower DPI whereas due to the fact that you have more control over the mouse. On the other hand claw and fingertip grips are better suited towards a twitch style of play. If you use a palm grip be sure to look for mice that are large enough. Smaller mice work well with the claw and fingertip style since you’re not resting your entire hand on it.
The best gaming mouse is one that works with two or all three styles as opposed to one, there are mice that offer different versions specialized for each style or have modular parts that cater towards a specific style like the R.A.T. 9.
Optical vs laser mouse
Most people assume that laser tracking is more superior just because it’s newer, but that’s not always the case. Nowadays it’s relatively rare for a company to release a gaming mouse with an optical sensor, but know that some gaming mice that use laser tracking can be particular about the type of surface, they can jitter around on certain types of mousepads. That’s not to say that all laser mice are garbage by default, laser tracking technology is getting better, most of the time they are indeed superior to optical mice, but just be sure to check the reviews and see if people are complaining about the mouse not tracking well (something that of course you should be doing anyways.)
What about the software?
Of course you’ll also need the ability to customize your mouse to your liking. To facilitate this most gaming mice have onboard memories in which you can store profiles that keep your settings. You’ll need to be able to change the DPI to something your comfortable with for one (practically every mouse supports this). Then the software also needs to allow you to rebind the buttons, preferably even allowing combinations hotkeys like CTRL+A for example.
The best gaming mouse for MMOs needs to include a full-fledged macro editor. Lastly there are less common features such as acceleration and angle snapping (also known as mouse prediction). If the mouse has one of these two features you should need to have the ability to turn them off. They make tracking less accurate which is obviously a bad thing if you’re looking for precision.
Lastly I want to share some general resources that might further help you make your decision.