If you’re looking to upgrade your mouse but you’re a little lost on what to choose, this is what you should look for in a gaming mouse and how you choose your own.
Picking the perfect gaming mouse can be hard. Do you go for one that is light and accessible? How about one covered with buttons? How much of an impact should a mouse’s DPI have on your decision? The market is flooded with excellent choices and, occasionally, technical jargon can get in the way of figuring out what works best for you.
It’s not enough to just pick up the best-looking or most expensive gaming mouse – with so many features, many with a focus on certain game types like FPS, MOBA, or MMO, there’s not really a “one-size fits all” option. That can make it tough to pick the best gaming mouse, but we’ve compiled this guide to help you find the right one for you.
If you’re looking to upgrade your rig but you’re a little lost on what to choose, this is what you should look for in a gaming mouse and how you choose your own.
- Gaming Mouse vs Regular Mouse
- Mouse Weight
- Mouse Types
- What to look for
- Is Wired or Wireless Better
- How to choose
There are plenty of differences between a gaming mouse and a regular one. Outside of the addition of RGB and some, occasionally, over-the-top aesthetic choices, they often come with far more customization options.
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They are designed to game, meaning they have more ergonomic designs to ensure your hand is comfortable for a long time. They also tend to have less resistance on both the feet and the cable, allowing faster, more efficient movement for snapping back to hit those clinical headshots.
As well as this, they tend to have a much greater range of DPI (Dots Per Inch). This essentially means they have a wider array of movements to them thanks to increased sensitivity. If a mouse comes with the option to change the DPI on the fly, it means you can change the amount of movement a flick of your wrist will achieve, allowing for more fine-tuning than a mouse that’s stuck to a set DPI.
A higher DPI tends to be a little smoother and offers more accurate movement when you have limited space. This being said, some have reported a lack of consistency, and it can take some time to adjust.
If you can get used to it, picking something with a relatively broad DPI range would work best, allowing you to tailor it on a per-game basis.
One of the major features to look for when shopping for a new gaming mouse is how much it weighs. While it’s entirely up to your own preference, a lot of FPS players use extremely lightweight products like the Logitech G Pro X Superlight or even Razer’s newer Viper V2 Pro at roughly 63 grams.
While those two are options that offer a solid outer shell, a common feature of lightweight mice is a ‘honeycomb’ shell. The HyperX Pulsefire Haste, Glorious Model O, and even Valorant Pro TenZ’s favorite, the Finalmouse Starlight-12 are some of the most popular products with this design.
If lightweight isn’t your thing, Corsair and Logitech offer high-quality products with adjustable weight options that give you the ability to find a sweet spot between roughly 121 and 139 grams, significantly heavier than the lightweight options.
There are a few main types of mice to be aware of when you’re researching your own. Mice traditionally designed for shooters tend to be much lighter and only have a few buttons. This allows for more efficient movement, whilst staying uncluttered in the most panicked moments.
Those designed for MMOs, MOBAs, or RTS tend to hide a few more buttons on the side, allowing you to double up the job of your keyboard on the fly.
At the same time, they tend to favor a style of grip that uses the palm. This allows you to place your thumb on the side to hit those buttons with ease.
There are, of course, mice that blur this line. Ambidextrous mice like the Razer Viper Ultimate tend to be a little lighter and symmetrical, fitting a few different playstyles and some mice offer the appeal of both, providing a relatively light experience with a handful of buttons to play around with.
If you like to swap between games and want the chance to experiment, a more hybrid style could be the best option for you
All of the above is worth paying attention to when doing your research. You need to pay attention to the basic shape and intent of the mouse, as well as some technical aspects like the DPI switch and capabilities.
You should also pay attention to the materials the mouse is made of, what style of feet it has on the bottom, and, of course, customer reviews. When it comes to the feet, some mice offer swappable options that are smoother on your mousepad.
Finally, consider if you want an optical or laser mouse. An optical mouse uses LED technology whereas a laser mouse uses a laser. There is obviously some nuance between the lines but lasers tend to be a little more accurate at the expense of some easiness and optical tend to be more consistent but won’t work on more reflective surfaces.
For the most part, you won’t tend to notice the difference between the two but it’s worth thinking about your setup first.
Though it wasn’t always this way, there is now little difference between wired and wireless mice in regards to latency. Most of what we will see now is dependent entirely on your preference. Wireless mice tend to be a little more malleable to a setup – not requiring extra wires and as much space.
Wired mice, however, never need to be charged and don’t tend to use as many USB slots on your rig; with one cable to charge it and one for connectivity, a lot of good wireless mice take up two slots.
If you can afford that USB space, a wireless mouse is a great choice for your setup, getting rid of any mouse drag that may come along with a wire. Some companies, like Razer and Roccat, tend to give a braided and light wire to fix most of these issues but it still takes up a little room on your desk. Wired mice tend to be more abundant on the market and a little cheaper.
The likes of Logitech offer their own proprietary wireless dongles, too, which eliminate lag and latency from wireless connections. Neither is necessarily better for gaming but both have pros and cons you should account for.
When you are choosing a gaming mouse, you should account for the following: looks, price, connectivity, feel, and selling point. As far as looks and price are concerned, this is a mouse you will likely use for some time – pick something you can afford and that has features that you’ll use to save needing to replace it in a few years’ time.
With connectivity, you should read into how it connects, what types of switches and lasers it uses and how its buttons work. If you play games on a computer with limited ports, for example, it may be worth looking for one that offers a Bluetooth option for connectivity.
Feel is possibly the most important factor out of all of the above. If you have the chance to test out some mice before you buy them, it is absolutely worth doing. Sometimes, you may really like the feel of a mouse you hadn’t even considered before, especially with a variety of different shapes and sizes.
If you can get comfortable with something, your accuracy will naturally come along with it. It is worth noting that, with a mouse, feel can really trump all else; even a lower spec mouse will work better in the hands of someone comfortable with it.
Finally, some mice have unique selling points you should be aware of. Most of the time, these are just fun extras like the Razer Viper Ultimate coming with a stand or the Marsback Zephyr Pro coming with a small fan but that little extra gimmick can be the difference between two very similar mice.
Ultimately, this is a decision that will, in some way, affect your gaming for the foreseeable future. There’s no shame in taking some time to figure out what works best for you and your setup.