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Best Gaming Mouse

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Logitech G900 17

Let us help you spend your money wisely with our best gaming mouse guide

The gaming mouse market is jam-packed with devices, which makes it tough for consumers to separate the good from the bad.

But whatever genre you play – MMO, MOBA, RPG, and FPS, to name a few – you’ll need the right mouse to suit your anagram of choice.

We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best gaming mice out there, ticking the right boxes across a range of price points.

But if you’re looking for a new gaming mouse, you’ll need to know a few things first.

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.

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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