Best Gaming Mouse 2017: 9 wired and wireless mice for gamers

What’s the best gaming mouse? We run you through the best mice we’ve reviewed recently, from budget wired mice to premium wireless models. Plus, we offer our humble advice on how to choose your perfect mouse.

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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.

RGB lighting

Gaming mice aren’t just about performance, though, with seemingly every gaming mouse now coming equipped with multi-coloured lighting that can be adjusted to suit the player’s preference.
It’s worth paying attention to how many individually lit zones the mouse has, since this will determine the size and scope for RGB customisation. If you want to synchronise lighting effects between other peripherals, you’ll need to buy into the same brand ecosystem.

Score

Key features

  • 16,000 DPI laser sensor
  • Wired and wireless connectivity
  • 1ms response time
  • 9 programmable buttons
  • Weight: 107g
  • Review price: £135

Our Favourite Wireless Mouse

The G900 is a thoroughbred gaming mouse that ditches wires in favour of wireless communication. Its ambidextrous design fits wonderfully in the hand, and the lack of any cord makes navigation a breeze. The Chaos Spectrum also incorporates Logitech’s clever infinite scroll wheel, which allows you to navigate web pages faster than ever – and with two additional programmable buttons on each side, the G900 is a rather flexible desk companion.

For us, it’s all about performance however; and here the G900 offers smooth and accurate tracking across games of all genres. Performing flick-shots has never been easier, and thanks to the included wired cable, you won’t need to worry about down-time either.

If you’re in the market for a wireless mouse, the G900 should be at top of your list.

Read the full Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum review

Score

Key features:

  • 6000 DPI optical sensor
  • 1000hz polling rate
  • Single zone RGB lighting
  • Weight: 85g
  • Review price: £30

The best budget gaming mouse

Thirty pounds doesn’t always get you a lot when it comes to peripherals, but the Corsair Harpoon is an exception. It’s one of the lightest mice we’ve come across, with a light and nimble shape that excels in titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The rubber finish is super-grippy, and each of the six buttons can be reprogrammed. Tracking performance is surprisingly accurate for a budget-friendly mouse too, with the 6000 DPI sensor allowing for precision in games that demand it.

While it’s certainly the baby of Corsair’s range, the Harpoon neatly lights up with a small helping of RGB lighting too, and can be synchronised with any other Corsair RGB product you already own.

It isn’t the most feature-rich mouse in this list, but the Corsair Harpoon excels in every area that counts.

Read the full Corsair Harpoon review

Score

Key features:

  • 6000 DPI optical sensor
  • Reactive OLED screen
  • Vibration feedback
  • Weight: 135g
  • Review price: £90

A superb eSports mouse

The SteelSeries Rival 700 isn’t your average gaming mouse. While you’ll find an accurate 16,000 DPI sensor, a comfortable design and RGB lighting, the Rival is actually equipped with a vibrating motor and OLED screen. This allows the Rival 700 to integrate with games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, providing feedback to the user that may otherwise go unnoticed.

While the selection of games supported is limited, the vibrating alerts can really help keep you in the loop in intense encounters. In fact, of the devices we’ve tested to date, the Rival 700 is our favourite mouse for Counter-Strike.

If you play one of the supported games and crave slick performance then the Rival 700 is an excellent choice.

Read the full SteelSeries Rival 700 review

Score

Key features:

  • 12,000 DPI optical sensor
  • ‘Sniper’ DPI lowering button
  • Weight adjustment
  • Weight: 115g-136g
  • Review price: £62

A terrific mouse for FPS titles

The Corsair M65 is one of the best gaming mice you can buy, and with a DPI lowering thumb button, it’s aimed at those with a taste for first-person shooters. If you’re the sort of player that carefully lines up that long-range headshot, having a quick and easy way to adjust the sensitivity will prove useful.

It’s great in all other applications, too, with smooth and reliable tracking across the board, and a shape that fit in our hands very nicely indeed. You can even adjust an array of weights for a more tailored experience. There are three zones of RGB lighting that shine bright and vividly, with effects that can be synced across the vast library of Corsair peripherals.

If you want an excellent mouse for first-person shooters – and have no quarrel with wires – then look no further than the Corsair M65 Pro.

Read the full Corsair M65 Pro RGB review

Score

Key features:

  • 16,000dpi sensor
  • 10 customisable side buttons
  • 4-zone RGB lighting
  • Weight: 147g
  • Review price: £80

So many buttons…

If you play a lot of games that require complex button presses, then you should consider buying a mouse that reduces the strain. Corsair’s Scimitar Pro is a device that’s geared towards MMO and MOBA players, since it  houses 12 customisable buttons beneath your left thumb – making it incredibly easy to activate weapon combos without taking your hand off your movement keys.

It isn’t just a one-trick pony, though, with its 16,000 DPI sensor allowing for pinpoint accuracy, and a shape that slots neatly under your hand. If RGB is your thing, you’ll also be pleased to find four zones of customisable lighting.

Most won’t need such a generous number of buttons, but those who learn to utilise the Scimitar Pro will find themselves very happy campers indeed.

Read the full Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB review

Score

Key features:

  • 12,000dpi sensor
  • 1000Hz polling rate
  • Aura Sync RGB
  • Swappable switches & cables
  • Weight: 110g
  • Review price: £80

The best RoG mouse

In the market for a wired gaming mouse that does it all? Then you should check out the Gladius II – Asus’ flagship wired mouse.

There’s a lot to like here, with a slick 12,000 DPI sensor that excels in all scenarios – and, arguably, the best-looking RGB implementation on any mouse. Like Corsair’s M65, you’ll find a DPI-lowering toggle button; however, the build quality appears better here, with replaceable switches and cables aiding customisability and longevity.

It’s a little on the expensive side for a wired mouse, but the Gladius II offers gamers an extremely compelling package.

Read the full Asus ROG Gladius II review

Score

Key features:

  • 12,000dpi sensor
  • 1000Hz polling rate
  • RGB lighting
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Weight: 109g
  • Review price: £110

A mouse with a heartrate sensor

Have you ever been disappointed to find that your mouse doesn’t monitor your beating heart? Us neither. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea, as Mionix proves with the Naos QG.

The device monitors heart rate and ‘galvanic skin response’, with real-time statistics overlaid in-game and stored long-term through Mionix’s software. It enables you to accurately monitor your body’s reaction to certain titles, which could be useful if you’re trying to reduce stress levels, for instance.

It doesn’t offer the best value with an RRP exceeding £100, but it’s remarkably comfortable to use, with tracking performance up there with some of the best. This makes it highly suitable for fast-paced twitch-shooters and MOBAs.

If you’re after something a little different, the Naos QG is certainly worthy of consideration.

Read the full Mionix Naos QG review

Logitech G602

8 of 9

Score

Key features:

  • 250-2500 DPI sensitivity
  • 500Hz polling
  • 11 programmable buttons
  • 2ms response rate
  • Weight: 107g
  • Review price: £60

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 whether you’re using for work or play.

It features 11 programmable buttons, all of which are well-placed and it even has a rather respectable 500Hz polling rate, which is just what you need.

The Logitech G602 wireless mouse certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Read the full Logitech G602 review

Score

Key features:

  • 16,000dpi sensor
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Weight: 110g
  • RGB lighting
  • Review price: £140

Ambidextrous ultra-premium wireless mouse

The Razer Lancehead is by far the priciest mouse on this list, but it gets a lot right. It’s a beautiful piece of grown-up design with enough buttons for most needs. RGB lighting is unsurprisingly on the list of features, as is a massive 16,000dpi sensor.

We were mostly very pleased with its performance, although we’d definitely recommend keeping the USB receiver as close to the mouse as possible, as we had a few signal hiccoughs in during our testing time. Nothing crazy, but enough for us to reach for the provided extension cable.

Software is decent, and you can setup macros to your heart’s content.

All in all, this is a top-notch premium mouse, but certainly not the best value on this list.

Read the full Razer Lancehead review

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