Whether you’ve painstakingly built a gaming PC from the ground up or you're using your laptop, your PC gaming experience is considerably enhanced when you have the right gaming mouse.
Gaming mice are often better at relaying your mouse’s movement to your PC and may feature ergonomic designs and additional buttons to improve your experience further.
If you’re thinking of splurging on a new gaming mouse, it’s essential to understand which models are the best and what makes them stand out from the pack.
Not having a wire to worry about while gaming can be convenient, but it’s essential to consider a few things before choosing between a wired or wireless mouse. Many gaming mouse companies heavily invest in their wireless technology, so latency isn’t often an issue.
Still, the added batteries will impact the mouse’s weight, and it can be frustrating if your gaming mouse dies during a session. Some wireless mice have compatible mouse pads that charge them wirelessly, eliminating the possibility of a mid-session battery emergency.
A wired gaming mouse may sound old-fashioned by today’s standards, but they can have less latency than wired mice, they don’t require batteries and many feature anti-tangle cords.
Colorful LED lights are a great way to spice your gaming rig up a bit. If you love tricking out your gaming setup with bright lights, don’t fear, gaming mice often feature brightly lit buttons and logos.
Some gaming mice might have optional software upgrades that will improve their features. When comparing different gaming mice, make sure you consider the available upgrades. Many gaming mice are also compatible with third-party drivers that can further improve performance and unlock new features.
Polling rate is how many times per second the mouse relays its location to the PC. The higher polling rates will equate to more in-game speed, precision and accuracy. A good gaming mouse should have a polling rate of at least around 1,000 Hz, although some competitive gamers prefer upwards of 8,000 Hz.
Another factor to consider is dots per inch, which effectively measures how many pixels you can move your cursor by dragging your mouse one inch. Most gamers will be satisfied with 10,000 DPI, but if you want even more speed and sensitivity, you may want to consider a mouse with 20,000 DPI or more.
One of the hallmark features of a gaming mouse is its programmable buttons. You can program these buttons to trigger in-game commands that might otherwise be troublesome to activate.
When shopping for a new gaming mouse, it’s good to consider the games you play and think about how many commands you might want to program to your mouse. This will give you an idea of how many programmable buttons your mouse should have.
Some high-end gaming mice come with small weights that you can use to make your device heavier or lighter. Many hardcore gamers have specific preferences regarding how heavy a mouse should be, and removable weights make it easy to find out what works best for you. If you often find yourself overshooting your target and having to correct your aim, adding more weights to your mouse might help you shoot more precisely.
A wired gaming mouse can cost anywhere from $25-$60, whereas a wireless mouse with low latency features may cost $120 or more.
A. There may be specific third-party software that allows you to import custom button settings, but generally, you have to reprogram your settings on different devices.
A. Technically, no, but a capable mousepad can further improve your gaming experience. Many gaming mousepads are designed with anti-slip rubber or even adhesive and may have slick surfaces that allow you to point and aim quickly.
What you need to know: This is a highly customizable gaming mouse at a reasonable price point.
What you’ll love: The mouse features 11 customizable buttons, adjustable weights that allow you to add up to 3.6 grams of weight to your device and the main buttons feature adjustable spring tension. The G502 HERO boasts an impressive 25,600 DPI.
What you should consider: Some users noted double clicking issues.
What you need to know: This is a high-end gaming mouse built with competitive players in mind.
What you’ll love: It has an impressive 25,600 DPI, and the G Pro Wireless is surprisingly light for a wireless gaming mouse. It also has thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse.
What you should consider: There are only four programmable buttons.
What you need to know: This is a stylish mouse pad with RGB lights designed to improve precision.
What you’ll love: It includes a convenient wire caddy that helps you keep your chords under control and customizable RGB lighting. The micro-textured surface enhances pixel tracking.
What you should consider: This is an expensive mouse pad.
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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.