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Best Gaming Mice

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 7 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 162 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best gaming mice

    Last Updated December 2018

    If you’re a hardcore PC gamer – or you think you may become one – you probably already know that a gaming mouse is an indispensable weapon for your arsenal. Whether you need additional buttons to make it through a gnarly first-person shooter campaign or you just want to brighten up your gaming space with a colorful, light-up mouse, it’s helpful to be aware of the most important gaming mouse features. This shopping guide can help.

    At Best Reviews, we’re committed to providing our readers with accurate, unbiased reviews of the most relevant products on the market. We never accept compensation for product reviews, and we only test products that we’ve paid for with our own money.

    If you’re interested in learning more about our favorite gaming mice on today’s market, skip on up to the top of this page to investigate our product list. For additional information on gaming mice – features, prices, and tips – please continue reading.

    Any mouse can “claim” to be a gaming mouse. As you’re shopping, make sure to rule out any standard, three-button mice masquerading as gaming mice.

    Customizing your gaming mouse

    Customization is often cited as the most common reason PC gamers buy mice, and for good reason: by mapping each mouse button to specific functionality, players are able to be more effective in their favorite games.

    When it comes to perfecting and personalizing your gaming mouse, button customization is definitely the fan favorite. But these aren’t the only settings gamers love to customize. Some gaming mice include the following options as well.

    LED lights

    Gamers love to dress up their gaming computers, desks, and monitors with LED lights, so why not let the gaming mouse get in on the fun? Some mice light up in user-defined colors, and some slowly pulse a light to give the impression that the mouse is actually “breathing.”

    Weights

    Every gamer has their own preferences about how heavy or firm a mouse should be. Some high-end gaming mice include small weights you can insert in the mouse to customize its weight.

    Ergonomic styling

    Gaming for hours on end can be rough on the wrists. Because of this, some gaming mice are designed in such a way that your hand position causes less strain. Even if you buy a gaming mouse that is ergonomically shaped, it’s still a good idea to buy a wrist rest for your mouse pad to reduce the risk of long-term injury.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Gaming mice are user-friendly for left-handed people. Most gaming mice allow users to easily customize the buttons to a left-handed orientation if desired.

    Gaming mouse software

    Most computer mice are plug-and-play, meaning you can take them to just about any machine (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and expect the same basic functionality of pointing and clicking.

    And while gaming mice might be considered plug-and-play because they behave this way, the best parts of a gaming mouse lie in its extended features. Customizations and extra features do require software, and that software is almost always Windows-only.

    More to the point, the majority of computer games are Windows-only, so it makes sense that most gaming mice applications are Windows-only.

    As you’re shopping for gaming mice, check the specifications to make sure you have the right operating system for the gaming mouse you buy.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you are a Mac gamer or Linux fanatic, you will either have to find a Mac-friendly gaming mouse (difficult, but not impossible), search for compatible third-party applications, or in some cases, spend time in the operating system manually mapping each mouse button click to your taste.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Many gaming mice measure sensitivity through a “dots-per-inch” metric, which refers to the number of screen pixels the mouse can travel when moved a single inch. Gaming mice that feature a high DPI are more sensitive – a good thing for most gamers. Basic, non-gaming mice usually have a DPI of 1,600.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Connectivity

    When it comes to hooking up your gaming mouse to your computer, there are two types of connectivity to be aware of.

    Wireless

    The vast majority of gaming mice are wireless. Wireless mice typically rely on a USB dongle that attaches to your computer, and they communicate wirelessly with the dongle over a unique frequency. Because they’re so portable (and ubiquitous), wireless mice are incredibly popular. Just don’t forget that you’ll need to supply the batteries, typically AA or AAA.

    Wired

    Wired gaming mice are exactly as they sound: they have all the features of their wireless cousins, but they connect to your computer with a permanently attached USB cable. While wired anything may feel like the Stone Age, wired mice often boast lower lag times than wireless mice, giving some computer gamers that split-second edge they crave.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some gamers use their middle finger on the left-hand mouse button instead of their index finger. This allows the ring finger to take a more active role and the index finger to trigger specific buttons on the side of the mouse.

    Gaming mice prices

    The price range for gaming mice is surprisingly wide: gaming mice can cost anywhere between $12 and $200.

    • $10 to $49

    In this lower price range, expect to see a mix of impostors and solid performers. If the $10 to $49 window best fits your budget, take a moment to define how many additional mouse buttons you’ll need; many lower-end models skimp and only offer two or three more locations to click.

    • $50 to $75

    This price range is full of the most intense gaming mice available. If you’re looking to customize exactly how much pressure you need to put on each button, or if you want a mouse with an LED light that can color-coordinate with whatever game you’re playing, look in this price range, as you’ll need something a bit better than entry-level.

    • $76 to $200

    Some gaming mice carry retail prices in this wide upper range, although they are admittedly few and far between. A pricey gaming mouse may mean you’re getting the latest and greatest technology. It may also mean the retailer is overcharging you. When pitted against similar mice in the $50 to $75 range, it may be hard to justify spending this much.

    EXPERT TIP

    A mouse is only as effective as its mousepad. Any mouse you purchase will need a smooth, non-reflective surface to work properly. When purchasing a gaming mouse, buy at least one mouse pad if you don’t have one already.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    Before purchasing a gaming mouse, consider these tips.

    • Keep track of how you customize your gaming mouse for each game. Every computer game is different, and you’ll likely need to create custom button-mappings for each title. When you finish customizing each button for a particular game, keep records of your decisions either by exporting your settings in the gaming mouse software or keeping your own notes manually.

    • Get to know the bonus features of your mouse. Gaming hardware manufacturers frequently try to one-up one another by including unique features. Read your gaming mouse manual carefully to learn what extra functionality is included. For example, you may be able to hold a button down in a shooting game for a “rapid-fire” effect.

    • Buy a gaming mouse that matches the size of your hand. Not every mouse will be a great fit for your hand. For example, some gaming mice are specifically designed for larger hands. When you first get a new gaming mouse, spend some time determining if you’ve purchased the right size. You should be able to press every button easily without having to stretch any fingers.

    • For a high-end gaming mouse, check for third-party driver compatibility. Some third-party drivers can improve mouse performance and enable new features.

    • Make sure the gaming mouse you select has an adequate warranty. Gaming mice are designed to withstand a lot of abuse, but they can still falter after hundreds of hours of play. Buying a good warranty will save you the expense of having to buy frequent replacements.

    • Some of the best gaming mice are sold only as bundle with gaming keyboards. As you’re shopping for a gaming mouse, include the word “bundle” in your search terms to see available gaming mice you may have missed.

    With gaming mice, brand matters. Big brand names like Razer, Corsair, Thermaltake, or Logitech are popular among gamers. If you find a gaming mouse brand you’ve never heard of, be wary, and research the company history and reputation thoroughly.

    FAQ

    Q. Can I use a gaming mouse for purposes beyond computer gaming?
    A.
    Yes. By default, all gaming mice have “plug-and-play” functionality and can move the cursor, left-click, and right-click on any computer. However, most gaming mice require software to enable any non-basic features, and that software is almost always Windows-based.

    Q. How heavy are gaming mice?
    A.
    Most gaming mice are quite light and weigh less than an ounce. Keep in mind, however, that some mouse batteries (such as AAs, which weigh about a half-ounce each) will increase the overall weight of the mouse.

    Q. Can I program my gaming mouse preferences on a Windows machine and then move the mouse to another computer and keep my settings?
    A.
    When you save your gaming mouse customization settings, they don’t get saved to the mouse itself; they get saved to the local computer. Unfortunately, any customizations you make to your gaming mouse from a specific computer will remain on that computer and will not be portable to another machine.

    Q. Can I use a gaming mouse on a video game console like an Xbox One, PS4, or Nintendo Switch?
    A.
    No. Gaming mice are designed to work with computers and not with video game consoles.

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