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 buttons
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.