Before buying a gaming mouse, determine your grip style, the types of games you play to make sure the mouse has the features you need, and the way you move your mouse around (whether in long or short motions). Then, choose a gaming mouse that feels right and has all the buttons and extra functionalities you need.
The land of mice is rife with options, but it chiefly comes down to dots-per-inch, or dpi, a misplaced term from the printing days that basically describes how sensitive the mouse is to your fine movements. The higher the number, the better at capturing them and translating them to in-game actions. Whether you’re willing to spend a little or a lot, dpi is easy to upgrade.
Here are some of our favorites when it comes to picking the right gaming mouse.
For a pittance, the Redragon M601 will open up your gaming world to the benefits of a dedicated mouse. True, a higher quality (and higher-priced) mouse will yield higher results. But if you’re dipping your toe in or simply want a better experience, this is a great place to start.
Pros: The wired M601 features a 3,200-dpi sensor for fine movements that translate to better gameplay, while an eight-piece weight-tuning set allows you to perfect your ideal handfeel. Five programmable buttons ensures a tailored experience for your game of the day, and five memory modes makes switching between games (or other users) no hassle.
Cons: While this mouse is a step up from your track pad, it nevertheless doesn’t have nearly the speed and precision of others on this list—and likely many of your opponents. While this is a beginning for a better gaming life, it’s by no means its end.
Even at a lower price point, there are still a range of performance options for the gamer who needs them. That’s where Pictek’s gaming mouse finds its home: a souped-up entry model that includes increased options—but one severe drawback.
Pros: With a maximum 7,200 dpi, this gaming mouse can allow you the precision to shoot the wings off a pixilated fly. But thanks to a toggle button, you can have a backup, slower dpi easily accessible for when slight movements aren’t as necessary. Demanding gamers will also appreciate seven programmable buttons.
Cons: Mac gamers, look elsewhere: Pictek has designed this for PC users only. In our evaluation, if it were usable with both systems, it would never be this cheap—it’s just too good for the price.
There’s a delicate push-and-pull relationship to wireless mouse options for gamers: Take away the cord, and you often lose fine movements and dpi while introducing lag. Nevertheless, fine wireless options do exist, including the Logitech G602, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t include one of the best options available.
Pros: At a max 2,500 dpi, this gaming mouse still has plenty of control with five settings, and it ensures zero lag with a 2.4 GHz wireless system. It also includes 11 programmable buttons. But one of the things that impressed us most was multiple usage modes. With a max game duration of 250 hours, it also has an endurance mode, which quadruples its battery life. This is perfect for those that want a mouse for both gaming and browsing.
Cons: While zero lag is by and large accurate, to get that zero lag, the device’s corded receiver must be super close. Also, with two AA batteries (admittedly good for around 250 hours), you add weight, which some players may not prefer.
If you’re the type that enters new-to-you areas with a certain amount of base knowledge, then you’ve probably skipped our first few options and began reading about the Razer DeathAdder Elite. The company specializes in performance products for serious gamers, making it a popular choice for a man who, while not a pro gamer, takes it seriously enough to be one.
Pros: Just reading off its stats—seven programmable buttons, a 5G optical sensor, and chroma RGB customizable lighting—does little to emphasize the precision performance of this highly specialized mouse. A whopping 16,000 dpi and a 450-per-second tracking deliver instant response and Pentagon-level accuracy.
Cons: The company has a reputation for asking a lot from its customers: “Seriously, why do I have to create a user account with Razer just to use my mouse? It’s ridiculous,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. For the private gamer, the bloat may be too much to ask.
Let’s be honest: The last thing you’re thinking about when gaming is being gentle with your equipment. The folks at Corsair get this, which is why they designed the M65 to withstand the battlefield conditions to which their delicate tech products are subjected. Behold: a product that can withstand the rigors of war.
Pros: What jumped out to us was the anodized aluminum body of the M65—a strong contrast to the ABS plastic used in most other mice. Aluminum, besides resisting tarnishing, is super rugged while staying featherlight. That protection is necessary, as under the hood rides a 18,000-dpi engine (adjustable in one-dpi increments). We also loved the Tunable Weight System, which allows the user to set the center of gravity based on preference. Bonus: A “Sniper” button allows on-demand reduction of dpi for fine movements, including zeroing in on the kill shot.
Cons: With all that metal comes added weight, and while you can adjust the dispersion of it, for some, the heft will simply be too much. But that’s reaching. Bottom line, it’s hard to find fault in this mouse, and Amazon reviewers concur.
As its name suggests, the Razer Mamba Elite is for the gamer who’s already using a lower-end gaming mouse and is ready to take the plunge into the ranks of the elite. It’s not just the stats; this mouse is trusted around the world for performance at the highest levels of e-sports. A horde of future Olympians can’t be wrong.
Pros: A lightning-fast 16,000 dpi 5G optical sensor—a necessity for elite instead of the lower-end laser sensors—and a max 450-inches-per-second capture speed allow for quick defenses and perfectly executed ambushes. Nine programmable buttons? Oh, yes. But the greatest strength is its seamless integration with the company’s keyboards, headphones, and mouse mats, which you’ll find the world over.
Cons: You have got to be a serious gamer to come close to needing this mouse’s performance. Are you that serious? If you’re just playing with your buddies from college, this is overkill.
Versatility is king with the Logitech G900, which allows you to seamlessly switch between wired and wireless play with speed and ease. That performance is available at a crazy good deal, allowing you to join the ranks of the elite without mortgaging the family farm.
Pros: Lag-free gaming either wired or wireless. A 30-hour rechargeable battery for marathon sessions and zero late-night trips to buy AAs. A 200- to 12,000-dpi optical sensor. There’s a lot to love here, without even bringing up the fact that its ambidextrous design allows lefties to use it with minimal hassle. And then there’s the price: a screaming good deal more than half off.
Cons: Macs not welcome here, as Apple compatibility is a figment of the imagination. It breaks our hearts, as this is nearly perfect. Still, if you’re a PC user, this mouse is so cheap it’s practically stealing.
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