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Changing direction, shifting between weapons, pulling the trigger: A precise gaming mouse is the most important tool for a PC gamer. The problem is that are hundreds of these plastic rodents to choose from. There are big and small some with just a few buttons other with many more, and the most advanced ones are also wireless. Which one is the right gaming mouse for you? Let’s start with what matters most…
Constant settings: the brain plays with
Buying the latest and greatest gaming mouse that costs an arm and a leg won’t make you a better gamer. Sure, the better the tool, the easier the work, but what else is important?
Muscle memory is fundamental. Your hand will get used to performing the same movements over time! Movements that have been repeated more than a thousand times are internalized by the brain and will happen faster. In competitive play, even a fraction of a second can be a decisive factor. So use that!
10 million clicks, 200 miles
Gamers put these small input devices through hell: If you play three or four times a week, you can press the main buttons of a mouse up to ten million times within three to four years. And although you push the mouse only a few inches away, the Teflon feet on the underside slide for more than 200 miles across the desk during this same period!
A gaming mouse must, therefore, be robust. What else? In addition to the two main buttons and the scroll wheel, it must have at least two thumb buttons (Back and Forth) which can be reprogrammed to do something else. All these buttons must be responsive and give tactile feedback. Also useful is the “Sniper button” that temporarily shifts the sensor’s resolution to a more manageable number (from 400 to 800). In this way, you can run around using 1,600 DPI and press the sniper button every time you need to better aim at someone or something.
More DPI doesn’t mean a better gaming mice
Speaking of resolution: manufacturers like to advertise with high DPI rates — DPI stands for “dots per inch”. The higher the DPI, the more accurate the optical sensor. So more is better? No, because in practice, a higher number doesn’t mean more precision! On the contrary, if you set the resolution to about 16,000 DPI, a slight jerk of the mouse is enough to turn you around. This is counterproductive for precise controls. Depending on your taste, a resolution between 2,000 and 4,000 DPI is more than sufficient for gaming – everything more is nonsense.
The polling rate must be high
Way more important for the mouse’s accuracy is the so-called polling rate. It influences how quickly your commands arrive at the PC. At a rate of 125 Hertz, mouse data is retrieved every 8 milliseconds. For gamers, this rate should be at least 500 hertz, with 1,000 hertz being optimal.
Wireless gaming mice
Until recently, most competitive gamers preferred to use wired mice. And for a good reason: wireless connections were notoriously unstable and the polling rates were exorbitantly low. This meant a big input lag. However, this is no longer the case. If you want a more comfortable mouse, you can use a good wireless mouse without giving up performance.
Best gaming mice
Logitech G502 Lightspeed: the best
The G502 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon) is the fourth iteration of the G502. First released as the Proteus Core and then in the Proteus Spectrum version, which added the RGB backlight, the G502 was recently upgraded with a Hero sensor (16,000 DPI) granting its impeccable performance. The latest and greatest Lightspeed version is the wireless version of the Hero, but Logitech took the opportunity to delve deeper and upgrade it even more. Despite this one boasting an integrated battery, it is also lighter thanks to the internal reworked design. The G502 Lightspeed is still called the G502 since it didn’t evolve an iota in terms of design. It sports exactly the same shape and dimensions on this wireless version as on the previous ones.
It is suitable for most hands and all kinds of grips and although this is still a gaming mouse it can double as an excellent workhorse, as long as you don’t mind its rather aggressive angular design.
The G502 Lightspeed benefits from a reinforced structure with tapered edges, as well as a wheel borrowed directly from the G900 (Check on Amazon), which is perforated and therefore lighter. At the bottom, we also find two compartments that can accommodate up to 16g of additional weight and thus let you modify its center of gravity or simply its heft.
The G502 Lightspeed features 8 buttons and a scroll wheel. The two main buttons use the Omron D2FC-F-7N switches guaranteed for 50 million clicks. The side buttons are placed perfectly just above the thumb and further forward, we also find a “sniper” button allowing to use the mouse with a lower sensitivity.
Despite being wireless, the G502 is also backlit. Regardless Logitech has worked wonders with the energy management since it indicates that the mouse can operate for 48 hours with the backlight on and up to 60 hours without. And since this is the Lightspeed version it can also recharge wirelessly using the Logitech Powerplay charging mat.
The G502 Lightspeed is undoubtedly the best version of the G502. It offers the same unparalleled performance as the G502 Hero, but it is lighter and can recharge wirelessly.
Logitech G903 Lightspeed: a valid alternative
A worthy successor to the G900 (Check on Amazon), the G903 (Check on Amazon) 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) the Logitech G903 is certainly an investment, especially if you add the PowerPlay mouse pad (Check on Amazon), but this is a truly innovative product that hints at the future of wireless mice.
Razer Basilisk Ultimate: ergonomic alternative
Razer’s famous Basilisk model (Check on Amazon) is back with an Ultimate version (Check on Amazon) that aims to be the best wireless mouse on the gaming market! This is a convincing alternative to Logitech’s G502 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon) but demands a significant investment.
Similar to the Viper, Razer developed two “Ultimate” gaming mice in order to beat Logitech, which has dominated this segment for some time now.
The Basilisk Ultimate has many things in common with the Viper but sports a more elaborate design, a couple of additional features, and of course different ergonomics since it is only for right-handed users.
In addition to its generous thumb rest, the Basilisk also features a multi-directional variable resistance scrolling wheel, something that we would have liked to see on the Viper. Although it does not fully disengage, it is clear that Razer has produced a good alternative to Logitech’s solution.
The two thumb buttons are accompanied by a magnetically removable metal trigger. Positioned perfectly, it can be used as a Sniper button, to temporarily reduce the sensor’s sensitivity for a more accurate aim.
On paper, the Razer Basilisk Ultimate beats the G502 Lightspeed. This is truly the “Ultimate” wireless gaming mouse! The only thing holding it back is its price, which is far too high for most gamers.
Razer Naga Trinity: best gaming mouse for MOBA and MMO
The famous Razer Naga exists in three versions. The first named the Naga Chroma (Check on Amazon) [or Epic Chroma in its wireless version (Check on Amazon)] 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) 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 and slash type of games. Aware that most gamers play a wide variety of titles, Razer introduced the Naga Trinity (Check on Amazon), 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.
Razer Basilisk V2: best mid-range gaming mouse
For example, the Basilisk V2 has a removable sniper button that is easy to reach. But perhaps the best feature here is the scroll wheel which has adjustable friction. For the rest, this mouse has most of the features that are found in the more expensive Basilisk Ultimate (Check on Amazon), Razer’s wireless version of this mouse.
It features 11 programmable buttons and up to five different levels of sensitivity. In addition, it has Razer’s SpeedFlex cable, which boasts incredible flexibility and minimal resistance.
This is a solid mouse at a reasonable price and the best choice if you’re looking for a mid-range gaming mouse.
Razer DeathAdder V2: best gaming mouse for most people
The Razer Deathadder (Check on Amazon) is a simple mouse, but don’t be fooled, this is one of the best gaming mice out there. It seemed like an impossible task for Razer, but the DeathAdder V2 (Check on Amazon) manages to improve on the DeathAdder Elite (Check on Amazon).
It sports an incredibly simple form, which Razer has not touched since most gamers love the way their hand rests naturally on it.
The V2 version features the Focus+ optical sensor, the most accurate sensor on Razer’s arsenal, with a maximum sensitivity of 20,000 DPI and capable to track movements up to 650 IPS. In addition, it features Razer’s optomechanical switches under the two main buttons, that have a response time of just 0.2ms and a duration of 70 million clicks. It is also fairly light, thus reducing hand and wrist fatigue, while the SpeedFlex cable does not hinder movement.
In short, the Razer DeathAdder V2 is a simple gaming mouse that focuses on quality and performance and not on unnecessary bells and whistles. A must-have!
SteelSeries Rival 3: best budget gaming mouse
After I tested the SteelSeries Rival 3, I gasped when I found out how much it costs. (Check on Amazon) is what you usually pay for a cheap no-brand gaming mouse and not for a quality peripheral. It sports a basic design but adds RGB lighting and a high-performance sensor.
The Rival 3 has a maximum sensitivity of 8,500 DPI, can track up to a speed of 300 inches per second (IPS) and a maximum acceleration of 35G. Again, considering its price, it’s a theft.
Its outstanding feature, however, is its incredibly lightweight: just 2.7 ounces. SteelSeries argues that this is a big deal for eSports gamers. But even if you’re not a competitive player, the Rival 3 is a comfortable and well-designed mouse with many more features than you would expect for the price.
Unfortunately, the side buttons are placed flush with the body and the scroll wheel has a rather low profile. All of this can bother some people. If you are one of them, you can opt for the Logitech G203 (Check on Amazon), which has a similar design and performance, but also more pronounced buttons.
Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE: best all-round gaming mouse
The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE (Check on Amazon) proves that you don’t need to pay more than $100 to get the best all-round gaming mouse.
It sports an ergonomic build with the back arched at the top and a textured grip that fits perfectly to the hand and makes it very comfortable during long playing sessions. Its design is less angular and aggressive than the Logitech G502 Lightspeed, so it could also go unnoticed as an office mouse. It also offers a generous number of programmable buttons and RGB lighting. The result is a highly functional and eye-pleasing gaming mouse.
It is worth pointing out that this mouse is also much more convenient than the Logitech G502 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon) despite offering almost the same functionalities.
It can charge, for example, via a USB-C cable or using any Qi charging pad. It can connect to the PC via Bluetooth or the included 2.4GHz USB dongle (conveniently stored under its removable magnetic wing). Gamers will want to use the latter for a faster (1ms) connection, but it’s nice to have the option.
Another useful feature is the removable magnetic wing (mentioned earlier), which sticks on the right side to allow you to rest your pinky finger.
This mouse boasts a fast and precise 18,000 DPI sensor and it lets you switch between three main DPI modes on the fly (the modes can be customized via Corsair’s software).
The high-performing Omron switches provide a lightning response while the thumb buttons are easily accessible. Using Corsair’s iCue software you can customize everything from the 8 programmable buttons to the nine RGB zones.
The only reason the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro lost the crown of “best gaming mouse” to the Logitech G502 Lightspeed, is because it doesn’t have a dedicated sniper button (you can turn one of the other buttons into one though), its battery life, while decent, can’t reach the G502’s excellent autonomy [this isn’t an issue if you use it in conjunction with Corsair’s MM1000 Qi wireless charging mat (Check on Amazon)] and its scroll wheel is not designed for productivity (unlike the G502’s excellent dual-mode scroll wheel).
While you can find a cheaper or a more premium wireless gaming mouse, the Dark Core RGB Pro SE is the perfect compromise between the two.
Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless: best cheap wireless gaming mouse
Most gamers want a gaming mouse that delivers a solid performance at a reasonable price and the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless (Check on Amazon) offers the perfect performance/price ratio.
It contains an impressive 10,000 DPI sensor which is extremely responsive and very accurate. In addition to the 2.4GHz dongle, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless can also be paired via Bluetooth, so you can use it with tablets, smartphones, and streaming devices.
With the lights turned off and in Bluetooth mode, you can get up to 60 hours of battery life. And even with all the bells and whistles turned on the mouse can last for a couple of days and you can even recharge it via cable while playing.
The ergonomics, unfortunately, favor right-handed users, but at this price and with this performance, there’s not much else to complain about.
Corsair Ironclaw RGB: best gaming mouse for users with large hands
The Corsair Ironclaw RGB is a wired mouse that bets everything on versatility and performance and a price tag of (Check on Amazon).
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 it 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: the most stylish
The Pulsefire mouse series from HyperX is enhanced by a new and more upscale version, the Surge (Check on Amazon). 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 symmetrical 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 use, the agility of the Pulsefire Surge combined with the accuracy of its sensor makes it suitable for fast-paced games. If you love FPS titles and are right-handed buy it without a second thought.
Logitech G502 Hero: best wired gaming mouse
If the wireless Logitech G502 Lightspeed (Check on Amazon) is overpriced for you, you might want to consider the wired version, the Logitech G502 Hero (Check on Amazon). Actually, it’s pretty much the same mouse. That fact makes it almost as good, although some may have a problem with its braided cable a little too thick and the plastic on the scroll wheel that is a little slippery.
This is according to us the best wired gaming mouse. It’s big, ergonomic, and customizable. It has an aggressively angular design but is extremely comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
It has five 3.6 gram repositionable weights, a maximum sensitivity of 16,000 DPI, and 11 buttons. Thanks to the Logitech G Hub, it’s easy to set up different profiles for each game you play. Even the RGB lights on board the Logitech G502 Hero are customizable.
It doesn’t offer the freedom of a wireless gaming mouse, but this is the worthy successor to the excellent Logitech G502 (Check on Amazon), available at a very competitive price.
SteelSeries Sensei Ten: a valid alternative
The SteelSeries Sensei Ten (Check on Amazon) is a mouse that adapts well to any type of grip and that thanks to its symmetrical design can also be used by left-handers.
The TrueMove Pro sensor, one of the best sensors in this list, ensures optimal accuracy and renders the Ten one of the best gaming mouse, period.
The Sensei Ten is capable of impressive acceleration and deceleration with spot-on precision and all-around outstanding performance.
The Tilt Tracking technology means that the mouse will not falter even when you lift it up to reposition it!
It also sports 8 programmable buttons and a complete customization software that will allow you to adapt the Sensei Ten to your every need.
This gaming mouse is a must for anyone looking for a fast, lightweight and comfortable device.
Razer DeathAdder Elite: the essential gaming mouse
The Deathadder Elite (Check on Amazon) is one of Razer’s historic gaming mice and one of the most popular “mice” among professional FPS and MOBA gamers. Its best feature is the sweet design that adapts perfectly to the “palm grip” type and makes it one of the most comfortable mice on the market. This new version of the OG Deathadder has the same ergonomic design as its predecessor, accommodates your hand perfectly, and sees the addition of two new buttons underneath the mouse wheel that can change the DPI “on the fly”.
This gaming mouse features a 100-16,000 DPI optical sensor, 1,000 Hz polling rate and two side buttons. The fiber cable is 6.5 feet long.
The DeathAdder Elite also comes with Razer’s excellent key and macro-management software. In addition, it is one of the few gaming mice that it’s also available in a left-handed version.
The Elite does not have some more advanced features such as a free-rotating scroll wheel, but all the basic stuff that it executes at near perfection makes this the best mouse at this price range.
Razer Viper: best gaming mouse for eSports
There are many reasons why the Razer Viper (Check on Amazon) is our favorite gaming mouse for eSports. It is very light (69g), has an ambidextrous design, a 16,000 DPI sensor with five DPI levels, and Razer Chroma lighting.
It also features Razer’s optical switches, rated for 70 million clicks, that offer almost instant click response time and 8 independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons. It also comes with Razer’s SpeedFlex cable and features a 1,000Hz Ultrapolling.
If you want a gaming mouse that can give you that extra competitive edge, you’ve found it here.
Razer Viper Ultimate: the fastest
The Razer Viper Ultimate (Check on Amazon) is more than a wireless version of the wired model. Among other things, Razer has made the surface rougher so that the mouse is even more grippy in the hand. At 74 grams, the Viper Ultimate is also a true lightweight and glides effortlessly over the mouse pad.
The PixArt PMW-3389 optical sensor of the wired version has been replaced by the PMW-3399 Focus+ sensor with Motion Sync (for a more stable wireless connection), Intelligent Tracking (for automatic sensor calibration), and Asymmetric Lift (the lift-off distance can be adjusted separately for the lifting and repositioning of the mouse). This sensor’s sensitivity can ramp up to 20,000 DPI. In games, the new sensor convinces with high precision and reliably tracks even the fastest movements (650 IPS).
Powered by Razer’s new Hyper-Speed data transfer technology (advertised as 25% faster than the competition and in practice equally fast to Logitech’s Lightspeed technology), the Viper Ultimate connects to the PC via a 2.4GHz nano receiver.
The built-in battery can last up to 70 hours with the lights turned off. A full charging cycle completes in around three hours.
The Viper Ultimate is also the first mouse that uses optical switches on its two main buttons, which are more durable (70 million clicks) and equally efficient to the traditional ones, giving it an extremely fast click response time. It is also a mouse with good ergonomics, a symmetrical design that can accommodate both right and left-handers and features two additional buttons on each side (that can be deactivated if they get in the way).
We are also delighted to find a docking station for quick and easy charging.
Common to all Razer devices, the Synapse software has evolved well and allows you to configure the Viper Ultimate. You can change the function of each button and you can even program a secondary function for each one, thanks to Razer’s Hypershift technology.
The Viper Ultimate beats Logitech’s G Pro Wireless in terms of weight and comfort and is on par in terms of performance. The G Pro Wireless, however, features slightly more sensitive main buttons and thus retains the title of the best wireless gaming mouse.
SteelSeries Sensei 310: best for lefties
The Sensei 310 (Check on Amazon) is SteelSeries’ famous ambidextrous mouse. It is the same as the Rival 310 which is reserved for right-handers. The Sensei 310 features a revised design that is more suitable for a fingertip grip and is just as pleasant to use for right-handers too. The two main buttons respond perfectly, aided by their Omron switches guaranteed for 50 million clicks. Each side also accommodates two buttons that are easily accessible with the thumb and placed perfectly to avoid involuntary clicks with the ring and pinky fingers.
Although the overall design is very sober, SteelSeries gave the Sensei a backlit logo and wheel. It can thus light up in different ways and even react to events in games.
The TrueMove 3 optical sensor comes from SteelSeries’ collaboration with PixArt and was specifically designed for eSports. It can reach 12,000 DPI and guarantees 1:1 tracking up to 3,500 DPI.
The SteelSeries Engine 3 software allows you to configure all buttons and associate macros to them. The settings can also be saved in profiles that can be associated with different applications and activate automatically.
All in all the Sensei 310 is a very good mouse that will suit both right and left-handers.
Logitech G Pro Wireless: best wireless gaming mouse
The Logitech G Pro Wireless (Check on Amazon) 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 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 a response rate 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 mat. Nevertheless, it is simply the best wireless mouse on the market today!
Also read: Gaming Mouse Buying Guide