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As a gamer, you decided to trash your old mouse and replace it with a gaming one? Great decision, a gaming mouse can offer you performance and functionalities that your traditional mouse never could. And who said that in order to buy one of the best gaming mice you had to spend an arm and a leg?
As always if you want the very best then the expense is quite substantial, but nowadays there are several companies able to offer good quality gaming mice at a budget price. At the end of the page we will offer you a list of the best gaming mice you can buy, but first, let us teach you what you need to know before purchasing your new favorite gaming accessory.
First off you need to know some definitions, such as DPI, grip and learn about certain features that distinguish the gaming mice from productivity ones. Let’s get started!
How to choose the best gaming mouse for you
There are some features to consider when choosing a gaming mouse, but first, you have to determine the type of your grip. Gaming mice often have a very specific form factor that usually fits one or more types of grip. So we start right away by evaluating the differences between claw grip, palm grip, and fingertip grip.
Palm Grip is the standard grip used by most gamers. It consists of placing your fingers on the two main buttons and resting the palm of your hand on the mouse’s body. In this case, larger mice with a larger body are more preferable.
The Fingertip Grip (or Tip grip) is a rare grip used by some gamers. They place only the index, middle and ring fingertips on the mouse buttons (including the middle one), while the palm hovers above the mouse. The thumb and small fingertips are placed on the sides of the mouse and aid in moving it.
Halfway between Palm grip and Tip grip is the Claw grip, which is also a popular type. These last two grip types can be used with more compact mice: the Claw grip is called this since the fingers form a claw around the mouse.
A gaming mouse usually boasts higher performance than traditional models, precisely because gamers need to make lightning-fast and extremely precise movements. So here are some tips for figures to look out when reading a spec sheet.
Sensitivity represents the mouse’s sensor ability to detect motion. A quality sensor can perceive even the smallest and extremely fast movements: if it supports high sensitivity — which is measured in DPI — the mouse is capable of moving the pointer without needing too much space on the desk.
The same behavior is reflected in video games. Not always, you will need all this speed. Indeed, in many cases, it will be necessary to carry out precise, rather than rapid movements. That’s why many gaming mice implement a key that can change the sensitivity on the fly.
With a low sensitivity (500 DPI) the cursor will move very slowly; a high sensitivity (2500 DPI or more) will have the opposite effect. The best gaming mice can support a DPI of over 10000.
Note: the polling rate is also important. It is measured in Hz and represents the number of times the mouse returns its position to the computer. A high value may decrease latency, but it uses more CPU resources, which, if it is not up to the task, can cause the opposite effect.
Optical or laser sensor?
Among gamers, there is an open debate on the subject: is it better to use an optical or a laser sensor? I don’t feel like recommending one technology over the other, as a higher sensitivity is more important than the type of technology used to achieve it.
In today’s models, moreover, it is often possible to calibrate the device according to the surface they will be used onto thus any disadvantages of one technology over the other do not even matter.
Number of keys
An important feature is the number of keys. Several gaming mice have more buttons than a traditional one, but how many should there be? There is no absolute answer, as it depends on the type of games you prefer.
FPS (First Person Shooter) lovers prefer a mouse with the ability to change the sensitivity on the fly (as I explained before) or with a dedicated “sniper” button that lowers the sensitivity in order to improve aiming accuracy.
If you prefer MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games, such as World of Warcraft, or MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, like League of Legends, I recommend a mouse with a large number of keys. There are some that have more than 10, and they are perfect for this kind of game.
There are also customizable mice. They usually cost more but you can adapt them to any type of grip or game, by changing the shape of the shell or the number of buttons. If you play all kinds of games these are the best kind of mice for you.
Gamers are usually very demanding in terms of speed and performance. A minimum delay in the pointing system (input lag) can make the difference between a win or a loss, which is why gaming mice usually interface with the computer via a cable.
Wireless ones are of course more comfortable, but they could have a bigger input lag (which will be almost completely imperceptible by most of us).
RGB and software
There are also other features to consider when buying a gaming mouse. Many of these have an RGB LED system that offers a more aggressive look. Unlike keyboards, LEDs are completely useless on mice in terms of functionality, they are just beautiful to see.
The lighting system can often be customized via companion software installed on the computer. This software also serves to further customize the mouse’s sensitivity, macros, or feedback.
Which gaming mouse is the best?
Now that you know all these basic notions, let’s find together the best gaming mouse for you.
Razer Naga Trinity: the best for MOBA and MMO
The famous Razer Naga exists in three versions. The first named the Naga Chroma (Check on Amazon.com) [or Epic Chroma in its wireless version (Check on Amazon.com)] offers 12 buttons under the thumb and is thus particularly suitable for MMO games. The second one, was called Naga Hex V2 (Check on Amazon.com) and reduced the number of buttons to 7 and arranged them in a circle around the thumb. It was perfect for the more modern MOBA or hack’n slash type of games. Aware that most gamers play a wide variety of titles, Razer introduced the Naga Trinity (Check on Amazon.com), a modular mouse designed to fit all gaming genres.
Trinity is both a classic Naga Chroma and a Naga Hex V2. But wait there is more. Trinity also benefits from the latest “5G” optical sensor introduced with the DeathAdder Elite and adds a third mode with just two buttons.
In terms of design, the Trinity follows the lines of the Naga. It sports a fairly compact shape, with a well rounded back and a certain width to better support the ring finger.
You can rest your hand on the mouse (Palm Grip), for added comfort. However, it is still possible to opt for a slightly more aggressive grip type (Claw or Fingertip), since the mouse isn’t that long (119 mm) and you can take advantage of its elastomer inserts on the sides.
Although not a lightweight (120g), it does not seem heavy either, and its 3 large PTFE pads ensure smooth gliding.
The left side is interchangeable and the different pieces are securely held in place by magnets. The build quality is up to Razer standards and all the buttons are very reactive and have a satisfactory click.
Regarding the other buttons, we appreciate the good responsiveness of the two clicks, which are of course mechanical, while the other two, behind the wheel, change the sensitivity of the mouse. The scroll wheel, is very well balanced, not too hard, not too soft and allows for horizontal scrolling.
The PMW3389 optical sensor manufactured by PixArt can support a speed up to 11.43m/s, and acceleration of 50G. Its sensitivity can reach 16,000 DPI, which is more than enough, even for 4K multi-screen use.
The Naga Trinity is an excellent modular mouse, very versatile and particularly interesting for gamers that enjoy a wide variety of titles.
Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless: wireless and affordable
The original wired version (Check on Amazon.com) received glowing reviews. The Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless (Check on Amazon.com) came two years later and sports a new sensor.
The design, shape, and materials remained the same. The build quality is excellent despite an all-plastic construction and the use of a matte rough plastic on top. It has the advantage of being anti-slip, but not very pleasant under the fingers.
The dimensions remain the same also (111.5×68.3×40.4mm) – this is a relatively compact mouse and weighs only a couple of grams more in its wireless version (101g vs. 99g). It is ideal for a Claw or Fingertip grip unless you have really small hands, then you can also use a palm grip.
It feels really comfortable but is designed for right-handed users, its hull is tilted to the right to better fit the shape of the hand. We also appreciate the generous elastomer inserts that prevent the fingers from sliding off. They are also convenient for lifting the mouse and reposition it when we use a low sensitivity.
The two main buttons have a very welcome groove to accommodate the fingers. These are very reactive Omron switches guaranteed for a minimum of 50 million clicks.
The Harpoon also offers two thumb buttons on its left side. They are rather small and not easy to activate in the heat of the moment, especially if you have big fingers and since they are positioned very close to one another.
A fifth button finds its place behind the scroll wheel and shifts between the different sensitivities.
In terms of autonomy, the Harpoon RGB Wireless does pretty well with up to 30 hours with the backlight activated, and double that in Energy Saving mode.
The new Pixart PMW3325 sensor is a tad faster on paper than the old one. Its maximum sensitivity reaches 5,000 DPI which is more than enough even for an Ultra HD display.
Using the included USB dongle we didn’t notice any performance issues compared to wired mode. The connection was always stable and the latency was imperceptible. This is however not the case in Bluetooth mode, which is good only for office use since this time around there is lag.
Despite a significantly higher price, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is as good as its wired counterpart. It has good performance and a very good price/quality ratio.
Logitech G Pro Wireless: the best
The Logitech G Pro Wireless (Check on Amazon.com) is the best wireless mouse on the market!
Developed with the aid of fifty professional gamers, the G Pro Wireless is the successor of the G Pro (Check on Amazon.com) released 3 years ago.
Despite its apparent sobriety with its minimalist design, the Logitech G Pro Wireless is a true weapon in the hands of a professional gamer. Ergonomic, ambidextrous, ultralight (80g), with a very sensitive sensor and reduced latency.
Totally symmetrical, the G Pro Wireless offers a pleasant grip even if not a perfect one. It sports 4 removable and programmable buttons, two on each side. The notched scroll wheel is solid and precise, but it doesn’t offer a horizontal scrolling.
The highlight of the G Pro is its HERO (High-Efficiency Rated Optical) 16K optical sensor, which can reach 16,000 DPI. Designed by Logitech engineers, it is perhaps the best sensor in the world today, with its flawless precision and 1:1 tracking.
The Lightspeed wireless connection technology is also the best in the business today with an input lag of 1ms.
The 240mAh battery grants it a maximum autonomy of 60 hours (with the lights turned off) and 48 hours with the RGB LED activated.
The Logitech G Pro Wireless demands a heavy price, especially if you want to pair it with a PowerPlay mouse pad (Check on Amazon.com). Nevertheless, it is simply the best wireless mouse on the market today!
Logitech G903: a valid alternative
A worthy successor to the G900 (Check on Amazon.com), the G903 (Check on Amazon.com) follows suit with an ergonomic and ambidextrous design, which will delight the left-handers.
The optical sensor is the tried and true PixArt PMW366, which provides great precision and responsiveness, with a maximum acceleration of 40G and a maximum tracking speed of 400 IPS (inches per second), and a range of 200 to 12,000 DPI.
And of course, the G903 also benefits from Logitech’s Lightspeed technology. It promises connectivity similar to a wired device, with no signal loss and no latency.
Its autonomy can reach the 32 hours of continuous use provided that we disable the lighting (24 hours with RGB turned on).
Costing (Check on Amazon.com) the Logitech G903 is certainly an investment, especially if you add the PowerPlay mouse pad (Check on Amazon.com), but this is a truly innovative product that hints at the future of wireless mice.
Corsair Ironclaw RGB: best for FPS and MOBA
The Corsair Ironclaw RGB is a wired mouse that bets everything on versatility and performance and a price tag of (Check on Amazon.com).
Claiming to bridge the gap between FPS and MOBA mice, Corsair offers a very precise and comfortable mouse, that can fit most hands but is perfect for those with big palms. If you have a small to medium “paw” your only solution is to use a Palm grip.
By being so big the Ironclaw is also very comfortable to the user, especially since its size doesn’t interfere with its good maneuverability.
It sports Omron switches and an ultra-precise optical sensor (Pixart PMW3391). It also has 7 programmable buttons (via the excellent iCUE software) and three DPI profiles that can be changed on the fly.
The only drawback is the scroll wheel that turns out to be somewhat imprecise…
Nevertheless, Corsair has managed to design a very comfortable mouse, especially for those with larger hands. It is also versatile, perfect for those looking for a mouse with good handling and sensor accuracy. In short, it delivers in its promise to bridge the FPS and MOBA world together in one mouse.
HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB: the most affordable
The Pulsefire mouse series from HyperX is enhanced by a new and more upscale version, the Surge (Check on Amazon.com). With its ambidextrous design and advanced optical sensor, it will appeal to many gamers looking for a powerful tool.
The Pulsefire Surge falls into the category of “almost ambidextrous” mice. Ambidextrous, thanks to its perfectly symmetrical shape, “almost”, since it sports thumb buttons only on the left side.
Despite a fairly simple form, it is pleasant in hand thanks to well thought out curves: the main buttons are slightly concave and the curved sides facilitate handling; for a symmetrically mouse, this comes as a surprise. The quality is paramount, with a pleasant matt coating and elastomer inserts on the sides. The PTFE pads also grant an excellent slide.
It is designed for a Fingertip grip or a Hybrid one during more mundane activities.
HyperX chose Omron switches for the main buttons. The side buttons are a little more flexible but remain sufficiently responsive. Another button is located behind the wheel and is used to change the sensitivity (5 configurable steps).
The Pulsefire Surge uses PixArt’s latest optical sensor, the PMW3389. This is even more advanced than the widely used PMW3360. It can reach 16,000 DPI, although as we explained time and time again you will not need it.
In uee, the agility of the Pulsefire Surge combined with the accuracy of its sensor make it suitable for fast-paced games. If you love FPS titles and are right-handed buy it without a second thought.
Also read: BEST GAMING MICE
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