There are a lot of good reasons to get a gaming mouse specifically for World of Warcraft, or MMOs in general. Unlike other genres, MMOs make heavy use of shortcuts to access various abilities and spells. Traditionally these are bound to the keyboard, but with a gaming mouse you can bind the most commonly used abilities to one of the many buttons on your mouse instead. This means that you will have more room on your keyboard for other functions.
Not only that, but all good gaming mice that market themselves as designed for MMOs have inbuilt macro capabilities. If you don’t know what macros are, they are used to bind several keyboard button presses to one of the buttons on your mouse so that you can play them back later with the click of a button. You can, for example, map a specific series of spells to one button. Other handy features you can use macros for are pet commands, combat commands and chat commands. If you want to see some cool things you can use macros for, check the resource list at the bottom of this page.
You might notice that there are some gaming mice made specifically for WOW like the one from SteelSeries, but most gaming mice that are made just for a single game are usually cash grabs that rely solely on the fact that people will buy it just because its design is based on the game’s aesthetics. For example the aforementioned mouse has problems with ergonomics, buggy behavior, not to mention the fact that it’s overpriced.
Luckily there are better options. There are gaming mice that cater especially to MMOs, the most notable features of these mice being a big keypad on the side. So here is what you’ve been waiting for, two of the best mice I found for WOW.
1. Logitech G600
The G600 looks and feels exactly like what you would expect from an MMO gaming mouse: large, heavy and with lots of buttons. In total you’ll find 20 well-placed buttons, 12 of them being on the thumbgrid.
It’s worth mentioning that the scroll wheel can be tilted left and right, which effectively adds two extra buttons. The sensor it uses is the Avago ADNS-9800, which is standard in many gaming mice. It allows for DPI up to 8200, even though I don’t think many people are ever going to go that high, especially whilst playing WOW.
The most interesting thing about this mouse, which is also its main selling point, is the G-Shift function. It’s its own separate button that, when held down, allow you to access a second layer of pre-mapped functions. This pretty much doubles the amount of buttons you have, bringing it up to a massive 40, without actually having that many buttons.
Alongside the excellent macro editor, and the pre-made button configurations from Logitech that you can access through the software, you can get quite creative with the amount of functions at your disposal. That is, after you’ve practised with it enough of course. Did I mention that it only costs around $50?
2. Roccat Kone XTD
Now some of you might be thinking: “The Roccat Kone isn’t made for MMOs! How can this be the best gaming mouse for WOW?” While it indeed doesn’t look like it would fit a game like World of Warcraft, on closer inspection you’ll find some surprising features. Counting the scroll wheel, which can also tilt left and right, you’ll find 13 buttons in total. While you might think that that’s not a lot, it actually has the same modifier button found on the G600, the only difference being that they call Easy-Shift here. So even though it doesn’t look like it has too many buttons, it actually does have 26 different buttons that you can map your macros and abilities to. But it doesn’t stop there, it has a lot of features which will be useful not just for WOW, but others games as well.
Among its many cool features you’ll find that you can customize the weight with the weight kit that comes with it, a 8200 DPI laser sensor and on-board memory which means that you can store your profiles and macros on the mouse itself without having to go through the software every time. The Kone XTD also has the most complete software I have seen for any gaming mouse.
You get 5 DPI options, the ability to change the sensitivity of the scroll wheel, sound feedback when you switch DPI or profiles, different DPI for the x and y-sensitivity and a slightly odd “achievement” feature which tracks several stats like how often you use each button and how far you’ve moved your mouse. Yes it sounds gimmicky, but it actually can be useful for checking how often you use every button and whether you should remap some things. It also has the most advanced LED options out of any mouse, but that’s just cosmetics obviously.
The Kone XTD also has presets for several games, World of Warcraft included. It even has presets for Photoshop if you’re interested. The best thing it is that it can also be used for any other games like first-person shooters, real-time strategy games or just day-to-day web browsing. The downside being that it is slightly pricier than the G600 at $79. Whether you want to spend an extra 10-20 dollars to get a better all-around gaming mouse is up to you however.