Gamers know that it takes more than just a practiced hand and a precise focus to dominate the server: that’s why the best gaming mouse is as precisely honed as your "StarCraft" game.
The gaming mouse comes in a few different, common formats. Competitive online shooters and eSports players gravitate toward ultralight precision models that track your blaster scope for split-second headshots or last-moment saves in the goal. MMO-heads clamber for mouse models that prioritize lots of programmable buttons and triggers that will support a whole arsenal of feats and special attacks. Many gamers will opt for more middle-of-the-road mouse builds with features like cordless precision tracking, an excellent scroll wheel, and a few customizable buttons. Vivisect your digital opponents with our picks for the best gaming mouse.
— Best Overall: Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless
— Best Wired: Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse
— Best Esports: SteelSeries Prime Wireless FPS Gaming Mouse
— Best MMO: Razer Naga Pro
— Best Budget: SteelSeries Rival 3
How We Picked the Best Gaming Mouse
We drew upon our experience as tech reviewers and avid gamers, researching numerous gaming mouse models from multiple makers. For each model we looked for a few specific criteria markers, comparing those specs against the specs of other similar models, and examining how they stack up against the competition. Finally we considered each mouse as a whole, and looked for any special features that truly elevate it.
Wired And Wireless: There isn’t a de facto better when you’re deciding whether you want a wired or wireless mouse. Wireless technology is improving constantly, and it’s already come a long way. That said, a wireless design introduces greater latency. As wireless connections go, 2.4Ghz are faster than Bluetooth, but will require a USB port while Bluetooth will not. A wireless mouse will also require charging, whereas a wireless mouse won’t: that’s why it’s important to consider how long a given mouse holds a charge. If your wireless mouse requires batteries, this can amount to a significant investment that can greatly increase the overall cost of the mouse over its product lifespan.
DPI, IPS and Sensor Business: Dots per inch (DPI) is a term that should be familiar to anyone who works in digital arts or photography. In mouse technology this measurement (also sometimes referred to as CPI or counts per inch) describes how many samples a mouse takes per inch. This is an important metric as it works with IPS (inches per second). Together these measurements describe how powerful your mouse’s sensor is. But it’s not until you add acceleration that you get the whole picture. Acceleration describes how well your mouse tracks rapid movements, meaning a mouse with high acceleration will still be there measuring with you, even as you jerk it back and forth, spastically dodging incoming fire.
Hand in hand with DPI and IPS is the type of sensor a mouse uses. A mouse with an optical sensor will generally be more precise than a mouse with a laser sensor. You also won’t run the risk of blinding the cat if your mouse gets away from the gaming desk.
Buttons and Scroll Wheel: For some games, the more buttons a mouse packs, the better. Button quality, scroll wheel functions and modes, and alternative programming are all features that can make a mouse shine, and where a mouse’s button delivery is especially exemplary we highlighted it.
Aesthetics: A quick read of the titles of gaming mouse models could convince you you’re reading a bestiary full of lethal venom spitting basilisks, or robo-kill bots. While so much of the gaming mouse market seems to base its product design on sci-fi concept art, we also included a few gaming mouse options that don’t look like robotic emissaries of intergalactic destruction. However, we made sure to include a few that did too. Many of the best gaming mice feature customizable RGB and flashy (though still ergonomic) build designs that will bring the spaceship right into your home. They also make fun gifts for gamers.
The Best Gaming Mouse of 2023: Reviews And Recommendations
— Best Overall: Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless
Why It Made The Cut: With excellent tracking and speed for a wireless mouse, 5 programmable buttons, and crowd pleasing ergonomics, it’s a truly competitive precision mouse.
— Buttons: 5
— Weight: 2.2 ounces
— DPI: 25,600
— Sensor: Optical Hero 25K
— Extremely precise DPI with max 400 IPS and solid acceleration
— 1 millisecond response times
— Sleek aesthetics
— The clicks are less satisfying than the normal G Pro
Any excellent gaming mouse will usually have one of two things: more features, or absolute precision. The Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless delivers on the latter. With a 2.2-ounce body housing one of the best mouse sensors on the market, this featherweight G Pro moves fast but still tracks like a champ.
The Superlight capitalizes on the Hero 25K sensor which offers 25,600 DPI and 400+ IPS. It’s a supercharged optical sensor that can keep up when you’re slinging your mouse around like Legolas in a knife fight. With only 1 millisecond response times, this ultra-precise wireless mouse really moves.
The mouse features two programmable thumb buttons and a fluid, satisfying scroll wheel. It isn’t as clicky as its sister, the G Pro (a price you pay for the half ounce plus reduction in weight), but it’s still a good-feeling mouse, with a pleasing texture that doesn’t get too sweaty.
If high-speed precision is your aim, and the hefty price tag isn’t a deterrent, then look no further than the G PRO X SUPERLIGHT.
Best Wired: Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse
Why It Made The Cut: With a 20,000 DPI sensor, an attractive build, and a decent asking price, this wired option from Razer truly slays.
— Buttons: 8
— Weight: 6.38 ounces
— DPI: 20,000
— Sensor: Optical
— Excellent sensor
— Great design with appealing RGB
— Extremely quick buttons use laser technology
— Razer software comes with data privacy issues
Razer leads the pack in high-performance gaming gear that looks like it’s been designed by a Protoss engineer, and the Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse is a top pick. It’s got eight programmable buttons, a 20,000 DPI sensor, and laser-powered buttons that deliver faster click recognition than mechanical competitors.
If that sensor doesn’t sound good enough, the V2 also sports a 650 IPS speed with decent acceleration. It’s a powerful optical sensor for such an affordably priced gaming mouse, and even without the laser mechanical switches this speed would make the V2 stand out. The laser mechanical switches further sweeten the deal, offering extremely responsive click recognition that still feels good. The mouse also features a nice scroll wheel, with notched scrolling that doesn’t offer too much resistance.
This mouse does have a failing though: the clunky, proprietary Razer Synapse software is cloud-based. You’ll be prompted to log in to the cloud and create an account when you set up your Razer mouse, and while there is an offline mode for updates, drivers, and the like, you’ll have to log back in. Razer has updated Synapse with a “Guest” function that will allow you to configure the mouse without using an account, however privacy-minded users may want to do their research before they configure their mouse. Razer doesn’t have the best security track record, and if you don’t want Razer software spying on potentially everything you use the mouse for, you may want to look elsewhere. For users who already use Razer hardware, this concern is water under the bridge. But if you’re a first time Razer user it’s worth researching Razer’s privacy practices.
Best Esports: SteelSeries Prime Wireless FPS Gaming Mouse
Why It Made The Cut: With a sensor that yields 18,000 DPI with 400 IPS and an acceleration of 40G, this mouse is fast, agile, and precise.
— Buttons: 5
— Weight: 2.82 ounces
— DPI: 18,000
— Sensor: TrueMove Air Optical
— Very Light
— Excellent feeling optical switches
— Uses batteries quickly
When it’s speed and agility you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the SteelSeries Prime. A true Esports maestro of a mouse, it offers extreme precision and speed and optical magnetic switches, with minimal overall latency for a wired mouse.
In Esports there’s nothing more important than speedy responsiveness. With a sensor that yields 18,000 DPI with 400 IPS and an acceleration of 40G, the Prime has stacked specs. What this translates to on the digital battlefield is a response mouse that will follow wherever you lead, no matter if you’re skidding down escarpments in a nitrous powered four-wheeler, or stunning the competition with your immaculate kill streak.
The optical magnetic switches won’t leave you clicking in the dark either. With higher response times than traditional clicks you’ll be vaporizing rival players before their frame loads. All in all, the Prime is an excellent lightweight competition mouse. The wireless option might eat your batteries faster than some, but if that’s a concern, the wired version is a great compromise.
Best MMO: Razer Naga Pro
Why It Made The Cut: With up to 19 buttons, this gaming mouse features swappable side plates that ensure it’s ready for whatever style of play you are.
— Buttons: Up to 19
— Weight: 4.11 ounces
— DPI: 20,000
— Sensor: Focus+ Optical
— Incredibly versatile
— Great DPI
— Same privacy issues as other Razer hardware
Ok, do you like buttons? ‘Cause the Razer Naga Pro has all the buttons. With three switchable side plates, the Naga Pro has the tools to respond to the action, whatever the action calls for.
The Naga’s side plates offer up to 12 thumb triggers that can be calibrated to different in-game powers. If 12 is too many, easily switch to two- or six-button side configurations. The 12-button side plate is deeply useful for MMO players who are looking for control of lots of in-game powers. The side plate also has us speculating about its potential for content creator suites that use lots of hotkeys such as Blender. But the sideplates aren’t everything; the mouse boasts a total of up to 19 buttons in play.
The Naga is bulkier than most mice on this list at 4.11 ounces, but it’s still precise with a 20,000 DPI sensor. And with a bluetooth or 2.4Ghz connection, it won’t leave you hanging. All together, if fidgety agility gaming isn’t your chief prerogative, the Naga is about as good as it gets. However, it should be noted that like the DeathAdder V2, the Naga also requires Razer’s bulky Synapse software, which comes with some privacy issues. See more about Razer’s Synapse software above.
Best Budget: SteelSeries Rival 3
Why It Made The Cut: With a premium sensor, customizable IPS, acceleration, and RGB, this budget mouse feels high-end.
— Buttons: 6
— Weight: 2.7 ounces (without cable)
— DPI: 8,500 / 300 IPS
— Sensor: Optical
— Capable software package allows deep customization
— Customizable RGB design
— Power cord is cheap rubber
For a lower cost than most of its competitors, the SteelSeries Rival 3 still provides quality. It features a powerful sensor, deep customization, and an attractive design.
With the software package included, the Rival 3 allows you to tweak almost everything about how the mouse functions. Want to adjust DPI, IPS, acceleration rate, or angle snapping? Done. Time to adjust the RGB settings? Right on. This is a mouse that will tailor to your needs, and with six buttons it’s as interactive as you could hope for as well.
This mouse feels and looks great, but it’s potentially marred by its rubber cord, which isn’t as pleasing to the eye as it could be. That said, overall it’s a great deal. While 8,500 DPI doesn’t come close to the 25,600 DPI boasted by our best overall pick, for those of us who don’t need that ultimate competitive edge afforded by a true competition grade mouse (or don’t want to afford it) the SteelSeries Rival 3 will still do a great job — and for a fraction of the price.
Things to Consider When Buying a Gaming Mouse
Agility: Features are fun. However, when doing battle there are those among us who choose the rapier and those who choose the long sword. Extra features like many buttons or side scroll wheels add weight to a mouse. Generally a good gaming mouse prioritizes either lightweight precision or lots of buttons and special features. These extra buttons are often helpful for games like MMO’s, while fast paced Esports or FPS games might benefit from light twitchy mouses with super low latency and high DPI, acceleration, etc. It’s important to figure out which you need before you buy.
Dedicated Gaming or Hybrid: Some gaming mice do a good job in game but might prove annoying for all-day use on the job. If your gaming mouse is also a productivity mouse it’s important to remember this when strategizing what you need. If you’ll be taking the mouse into the office you may not want strobing RGB or a 12-button side piece that accidentally triggers commands on your laptop.
DPI: While great DPI, IPS, and acceleration, etc. will translate to precise movements that allow you to get those surprising goals and headshots, an extremely powerful gaming mouse that has all the best features will also cost you. Other factors like a poor internet connection can render extreme mouse speeds irrelevant. It’s up to you to decide if you need to prioritize a gaming mouse that’s stacked in the specs.
Q: What is the best gaming mouse?
The Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless is the best gaming mouse for its combination of super-high DPI, IPS, and acceleration with 1ms response times. It’s a powerful, lightweight Esports mouse that feels great all day.
Q: Is a gaming mouse really better?
Gaming mice offer premium features, like extremely nuanced sensors that respond to jerky and fast movements, multiple mappable buttons, and lightweight builds. While these mice aren’t necessarily better for daily productivity use, they offer lots of extremely useful game features that can give you the edge, especially in competitive environments.
Q: What mouse do pro gamers use?
Pro gamers use lots of different mice, but a good pro-gamer quality mouse is the Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless with its super detailed sensor and lightweight build. It’s a mouse that can truly keep up with the competition.
Q: Are laser or optical sensors better for a gaming mouse?
Optical sensors are generally more precise and faster than laser sensors. All of the mice we feature on this list use optical sensors.
If you’re looking for a premium gaming mouse that can keep up with fast-paced gaming, the Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT Wireless is our choice for best overall. However, if you want a mouse that can keep up with your stacked MMO skill tree, the Razer Naga Pro packs an incredible amount of versatility into its 19 possible programmable buttons. Whatever your gaming needs, there’s a gaming mouse out there for you.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.
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