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Best Gaming Mouse: 7 wired and wireless gaming mice tested

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We've reviewed some of the best gaming mice around, and here you'll find the ones we think are worthy of your cash.

Buyer’s Guide for Gaming Mice

It’s easy to think that a gaming mouse isn’t all that complex, but these glowing hand-tanks are stuffed with tech.

That’s why it’s important to know what sort of things you should be looking for in a gaming mouse.

DPI

DPI stands for dots-per-inch. It’s one of the first things you’ll see mouse makers shouting about when they launch a new product.

It’s shorthand for how sensitive your mouse is. A high DPI means your cursor will move further relative to your hand movement. A low DPI, by contrast, will move a shorter distance.

Each gaming mouse will have a DPI range (e.g. 200 – 8,000), and the user can select a point in between that feels comfortable. A very high DPI would be something like 16,000. Most office mice will have a DPI of well below 1,000, by comparison. The majority of gamers will find 800 to 3,000 comfortable, but you can train yourself to cope with higher sensitivities over time.

The advantage of having a high DPI is that you can perform reactive actions quicker, because your cursor is moving faster. The disadvantage is that the higher sensitivity you choose, the harder the mouse is to control because the cursor is moving so quickly.

Most people won’t venture to lofty heights like 12,000, so beware of falling into the trap of assuming a high DPI equals a better mouse.

However, if you have a high-resolution (think QHD or 4K) monitor, buying a high DPI mouse can be advantageous. That’s because your cursor has more pixels to travel across, so higher DPI settings won’t seem as fast when compared to using a 1080p display.

Polling Rate

The polling rate is how often your mouse will report its position to the computer.

A high polling rate means your mouse is telling your computer where it is more often. That’s good, because it means your cursor will be more accurately reflecting your mouse movements.

However, a high polling rate also means your computer is having to work harder to understand where you mouse is, because it’s receiving more data per second.

Most high-end mice cap out at 1,000Hz, which means they’re reporting their position 1,000 times each second. Fortunately, companies like Razer and Logitech let you change polling rate on the fly, so you don’t have to settle for the maximum if you’re using a low-end computer.

It’s generally accepted that it’s hard to tell the difference between 500Hz and 1,000Hz. But you’ll definitely notice the difference between 125Hz and 1,000Hz, because the mouse will jutter a little more. That’s why polling rate is important but, as with DPI, don’t assume that a higher number is always better.

Wired vs Wireless

For the longest time, it was generally accepted that wireless gaming mice simply weren’t good enough for professional gaming.

That’s because of latency, or ‘lag’. A wireless connection is generally slower than a wired connection, due to the nature of the medium. So if a wired mouse reports to your computer in 1ms, and a wireless mouse reports to your computer in 5ms, it’s obvious that you should choose the wired device.

But thanks to advances in wireless technology, many wireless mice now claim 1ms – basically instantaneous – connections, including the Logitech G900 and Razer Mamba (2015).

As such, it’s not really fair to ward users off wireless mice anymore, at least because of latency anyway. In fact, Cloud9’s CounterStrike: Global Offensive team is using the wireless Logitech G900 in tournaments, which speaks to its speed.

But there are also other things to consider. Wireless mice tend to be heavier, due to the onboard battery. But then they’re good because you don’t have cables getting in the way.

Wired mice, on the other hand, will always be low-latency, irrespective of quality. They’re also typically lighter, generally cost less than wireless mice, and are more widely available.

These trade-offs are something you’ll have to make up your own mind on.

Number of buttons

There’s always the temptation to see a gaming mouse with 20 buttons and think: that must be better than this three-button mouse. But it’s not always so.

The amount of buttons you need depends on the sort of game you’re playing. Remember: Every additional button is another compromise to the ergonomics of the design.

For MMO players, lots of buttons is a necessity. After all, you’ll want to be assigning as many actions as possible to your mouse to maximise performance.

But someone playing CounterStrike won’t need a large number of buttons. In fact, with shooters, it’s generally better to have a minimalistic, lightweight mouse, due to the twitchy, simple nature of gameplay.

If you play a variety of genres, a versatile mouse with between five and 12 buttons is probably for you.

Logitech G900 7

Key features:

  • 12,000 DPI 5G laser sensor
  • Weighs 107g
  • 1,000Hz polling rate
  • 1ms response time
  • 9 reprogrammable buttons
  • 30-hour battery life
The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is at the very top end of Logitech's wireless gaming mouse line-up. From a technology standpoint, the G900 is unparallelled as far as wirelessmice are concerned, and its design, too, is as slick as they come.
 
The performance – in terms of tracking, latency, and connectivity – is simply superior to the Razer Mamba (2015), although not by a long way. We'd still argue that the Mamba sits a little more naturally in the hand if you're a righty, but Logitech wins out on hardware overall.
 
The Logitech G900 is the best gaming mouse we've ever used, and while £135 is a massive premium to pay, if you're after the best-in-class for gaming mice, you can't go wrong.
 
Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £134.99

At time of review the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum was available for £134.99.
Razer Mamba 27

Key features:

  • 16,000 DPI 5G laser sensor
  • Click Force technology
  • 1,000Hz Ultrapolling
  • 1ms response time
  • 9 reprogrammable buttons
If you’re worried about buying a wireless gaming mouse over a wired rival, don’t be. The Razer Mamba has such tight performance that you won’t notice a difference – plus you can use it with a wired connection too.
 
It’s one the best wireless gaming mice available today, if you’re willing to fork out a hefty £140 for such a premium.
 
But, if you do, you’ll get a responsive, well designed mouse with tonnes of top notch features that make the Mamba an absolute delight to use.
 
Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £134.99 | Overclockers.co.uk from £134.99

At time of review the Razer Mamba was available for £139.99.
Cougar 700M

Key features:

  • Aluminium construction
  • Adjustable heel plate
  • 8,200 DPI laser sensor
  • 8 reprogrammable buttons
 
The Cougar 700M is a well-built gaming mouse with excellent performance and tonnes of features.
 
Its adjustability allows you to create the perfect mouse for your grip of choice, all with some nice ergonomic features.
 
We particularly like the DPI indicator that consists of four LEDs to indicate each of the four reprogrammable settings.
 
The Cougar 700M features a 8200DPI ADNES-9800 laser sensor, 30G maximum acceleration, 150ips tracking speed and an adjustable lift height.
 
Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £50 | Overclockers.co.uk from £55.99

At time of review the Cougar 700M was available for £68.
Logitech G602 15

Key features:

  • 250-2500 DPI sensitivity
  • 500Hz polling
  • 11 reprogrammable buttons
  • 2ms response rate
 
Although the DPI isn’t spectacular, the Logitech G602 is a solid wireless gaming mouse for a reasonable price.
 
It’s a well-designed mouse that feels comfortable to use, regardless of what you’re doing – work or play.
 
There’s 11 reprogrammable buttons, all of which are well-placed and it’s even got a rather respectable 500Hz polling rate, which is just what you need.
 
This wireless mouse gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £59.99


At time of review the Logitech G602 Gaming Mouse was available for £79.99.
QPad 8K Pro Gaming Laser Mouse

Key features:

  • 200 – 8,200CPI sensitivity
  • 150ips acceleration
  • Two RGB lighting zones
  • 7 reprogrammable buttons
  • 73MHz ARM processor
If you’re looking for a mouse with a wide, splayed design for a palm grip, the best currently on the market is the QPad 8K Pro Gaming Laser Mouse. It’s comfortable and easy to use.
 
It delivers the performance feature set you’d expect from a mouse of this price, complete with 200 – 8,200CPI sensitivity and 160IPS acceleration.
 
The 8K Pro even has two areas of RGB lighting, so you can make its plain black design a little more snazzy.
 
Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £60 | Overclockers.co.uk from £49.99

At time of review the QPad 8K Pro Gaming Laser Mouse was available for £60.
Logitech G303 18

Key features:

  • 200 – 12,000 dpi sensitivity
  • 3 onboard profiles
  • 32-bit microcontroller
  • 40G acceleration
  • 1000Hz responsiveness
  • 6 reprogrammable buttons
 
Logitech has a great track record of creating reliable, high performing gaming mice, and the G303 is an excellent wired mouse.
 
It’s not the flashiest, or packed with the top notch features, but it does have a minimalist design, superb sensitivity scale and a polling rate that goes all the way up to 1,000Hz.
 
This is a well-built, high-performance mouse that won’t ever let you down.

Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £64 | Currys.co.uk from £49.99

At time of review the Logitech G303 Gaming Mouse was available for £49.99
Right view of Naos QG
Key features:
  • 12,000dpi sensor
  • 1,000Hz polling rate
  • Heartrate monitor

Looking past the exceptional gimmick of having a heat rate monitor, this Mionix Naos QG is a decent mouse in its own right. With an excellent sensor and a great build, there's a lot to like here.

And then there's that heartrate monitor. If you want to see which games make you the most stressed, or perhaps train yourself to keep calm when you're the last one alive in a game of CS:GO, it could be a genuinely useful feature. If not, it's still a bit of fun makes the Naos QG stand out among gaming mice.

The only real downside here is its price. There are better-value mice available without heartrate monitors, after all. But if you want something a bit different, the Naos QG is excellent fun.

At the time of review the Mionix Naos QG was available for £110

John

November 24, 2015, 3:56 pm

Anyone know if any of these mice DON'T have loud clicky buttons?

MikkaMakkaMoo

November 24, 2015, 5:22 pm

I have used a QPad 5K Pro mouse for the past 2-3 years, and the buttons are audible but quiet in my opinion, certainly not something I notice (even without any audio emanating from my speakers). The main reason I chose it though was because of the rests for the ring and little fingers, as I started to get RSI in those fingers with my old Logitech gaming mouse.

Jeeshman

February 3, 2016, 5:21 pm

I'm happy the Logitech G602 got referenced here. It's hands down the best mouse I've ever used. It's highly programmable, you can adjust sensitivity on the fly, and it's extremely comfortable. I find sites usually don't mention the G602 because they think wireless mice won't cut it, gaming-wise. But Logitech has been making wireless gaming mice for over a decade, and it shows with the G602--I've never experienced any lag or stutter.

The other benefit to the G602 is that, unlike other wireless gaming mice, it uses regular AA batteries, and they last a very long time. I use rechargeable AA's which don't last as long as standard batteries, but they still last several months before they need to be recharged.

Mark Stanbrook

March 31, 2016, 5:38 pm

The best mouse is the one that's comfortable to use. I've trashed a RAT 5 as the least comfortable mouse in history (for me). Moved from a Naga MMO to Naga Hex as there's a considerable size and shape difference. Binned an Abyssus. Binned a Steelseries MMO mouse.

Stores would be well served to sell you a try-before-you-buy mouse which you can return in 7 days for the real thing or a refund. Well, no, stores wouldn't be, but our hands and wallets would!

Eddie Smithers

April 4, 2016, 10:53 pm

No Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum? I'm surprised.

Don Raggo

June 29, 2016, 11:48 pm

I still love my Logitech G5, I've had it for just over 7 years and with millions of clicks, and at least 250Km of movement, the ONLY thing to mess up is mouse wheel scroll, my left and right mouse wheel clicks are still hardy, all buttons are still as responsive as the day I bought it, the lift off distance is still half an inch, the software is superb ( after updates ) and it works on material and wooden desktop mats, I so wanna get another but the prices seem to fluctuate wildly... I'm probably gonna get a G402 next ( I never used the weights for my G5, so I don't need the G502 )...

Mr Discreet

August 19, 2016, 5:47 pm

Sponsored by Logitech? I'll stick to my Gamdias mouse, best mouse I have ever owned; definitely buying again if it should ever stop working. Over 7500hrs in an MMO, reprogrammable buttons, weight adjustment, size adjustment, lighting effects (if you're into that); and even keeps track of how many times you have pressed certain buttons. Plus god knows how many hours in other games.

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