Online gaming has become a serious business over the past few years, with titles like Fortnite and Minecraft boasting millions of fans. And while the computer itself is the main component, the star of the show is undoubtedly the mouse – whilst almost any model could be considered a gaming mouse, those designed specifically don’t just look different, they perform differently.
We’ve compiled a buying guide to answer all your questions about DPI, wired and wireless, optical and laser, and palm or hand grip. After that, we’ll share our picks from Amazon and Argos, from affordable budget options under £50 to all singing and dancing ergonomic mice from Logitech, Razer and SteelSeries. Moreover, we have partnered with video game blogger Benjamin Titmus for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver you the best information.
Benjamin is a writer of fiction and occasional video-game reviewer. He gained his MA in English Literature from Birmingham City University, where he was the editor for The Student Anthology. Though his main enjoyments are reading, writing, music and gaming, he has time for anything that tickles his fancy.
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Benjamin is a writer of fiction and occasional video-game reviewer. He gained his MA in English Literature from Birmingham City University, where he was the editor for The Student Anthology. Though his main enjoyments are reading, writing, music and gaming, he has time for anything that tickles his fancy. Learn more about him and his blogs from here.
This may seem obvious, but it's certainly worth mentioning. If you're one of our left-handed friends, your options are going to be more limited as the vast majority are built with right-handers in mind.
However, the good news is that there are plenty of ambidextrous designs out there, so we'd suggest picking up one of these instead of forcing yourself to play right-handed. As for right-handers, you can choose whichever mouse best fits your requirements.
When buying a mouse, you need to consider if you'd prefer one that has an optical or laser sensor. They both work in the same way, that is, by shining light on a surface and then measuring the reflection to provide tracking.
Laser sensors are rarer, but their big advantage is that they can work on almost any surface. While historically it would be fair to say that laser mice tend to lag, that's not so common anymore due to better technology. However, there is still a stigma attached to lasers, and this has often seen gamers steer towards optical sensors instead.
Optical mice will require you to have a dedicated mouse mat as this is the surface they excel on. When used on mats, they are considered to have a faster and more reactive sensor, so you'll have more accuracy in games that require quick reflexes. Also, they're less likely to have latency issues.
What exactly is DPI? Well, it stands for dots per inch and is essentially a measurement used to understand the sensitivity of a mouse. In short, the higher the DPI rating of your mouse, the less you have to move the cursor on the screen to travel any distance.
Gaming mice come with crazy-high DPI ratings nowadays, well above the 20,000 mark, in fact. While this sounds good, it can lead to you to the mouse being too sensitive when gaming, but each model should always offer the option of customisation. Most gamers favour those between 4000 – 16000 DPI, although this will depend on whether you have fast or slow hand movements.
So, we'd suggest taking all of the above into consideration and sticking to somewhere between these figures. It’s worth noting that the average user won’t notice much beyond 1,000 DPI (a figure that all mouses surpass). Also, a lot of mouses come with an adjustable DPI function, meaning you can select the resolution that suits your style of gaming best.
No matter how fast your reactions are, you need teamwork when gaming, so consider picking up a budget gaming headset!
Palm grip is the 'usual' way of holding a mouse. This method tends to be more comfortable for most people and is often considered more accurate as you can use the mouse with a thrust of the wrist.
If this sounds like your usual style, then we would recommend picking up a mouse that is on the larger and heavier side, for example, one that weighs over 100 grams. This will result in a satisfying, weighty feel when using a wider arm movement.
A claw grip is when the mouse is held by the fingertips, and supported by the side of the hand. When playing like this, gamers seem to almost lift the mouse around the mouse mat. There are some ergonomic benefits to holding a mouse in this way, especially when gaming.
This technique is favoured by those who like precise and quick movements. If you identify with this style, you’ll want to look for a mouse that is smaller and lighter so that it can be moved about with ease. We recommend somewhere between 60 and 100 grams would be best suited to this grip type.
Last, but certainly not least, a rather debatable topic – wired vs wireless. It goes without saying that wireless styles are good for reducing the clutter on your gaming desk, as well as giving you the option of more manoeuvrability.
The big issue with wireless, however, is lag, and while admittedly it isn’t nearly as common in newer mice, it does still happen. They’re also reliant on charging or batteries which could leave you stranded at just the wrong moment.
If you can keep things tidy, wired mice are best if you’re on a budget as they’re often cheaper, mainly because they require less technology. They also don’t require batteries or charging – simply plug in and play, and you’ll be good until you’ve either worn it down, or you’ve bought a new computer.
Keep your desk neat and tidy by avoiding clutter with a wireless keyboard!
Click to purchase
A Super-Lightweight Mouse for the Sharpshooters
Possibly the Best Budget Gaming Mouse on the Market
Pulsefire FPS Pro
A Wallet-Friendly Model That Doesn't Skimp on Specs
Basilisk X Hyperspeed
An Excellent Mid-Tier Wireless Option
Kain 120 Aimo
For Those Who Want a Heavy Click
Our Left-Handed Pick With a Premium Sensor
Possibly the Comfiest Mouse Around
A Simple Plug-In and Play Gaming Mouse
Customisable Design Lets You Keep up With the Latest Technology
MX Vertical Ergonomic
An Excellent Ergonomic Option That'll Preserve the Wrists
Claiming to be the lightest eSports gaming mouse around (and we've no reason to argue), the Viper from Razer is made for all the sharpshooters out there who rely on speed to keep them on top. It's built with 16K DPI, and an optical sensor that's capable of competing right at the top level.
Other than being lightweight in build, the switches on this mouse are also super-swift, allowing you to register button presses faster than any of your adversaries. Built with everybody in mind due to an ambidextrous design, and the fact that it's durable with brilliant functions, this takes our top spot!
You'll come across loads of no-brand budget gaming mice online that are decent, but we think it's worth pumping in that extra couple of quid for a brand you can trust. Enter the Logitech G203, which is cheap enough to be considered budget, but with the reliable quality you come to expect from a big brand.
It has an ambidextrous build that's ideally suited to claw grips, and while not using Logitech's best sensor, the mercury optical one used is good enough that most gamers won't notice the difference at all. On top of this, it has a very respectable 8K DPI rating, so unless you need a crazy high DPI this is a very respectable mouse.
This mouse looks the part, feels the part and most importantly can perform to the required standards for a very reasonable price. It moves well across surfaces and has well-placed textured areas on the right and left, that help to get a secure grip even when things get stressful.
Additionally, the buttons are responsive and consistent and though the lower price mean the materials may not be as good as some, this shouldn't affect most gamers. And unlike many budget options, it has the full-scale RGB colouring that appears on the scroll wheel and the HyperX logo on top.
A brilliant mid-tier gaming mouse, this wireless offering from Razor allows for up to 450 hours of gameplay from one charge – which is just massive! It also has a 16K DPI rating that ensures precise swipes of the mouse, and very user-friendly software for complete control of customisation.
Moreover, it has a fantastic tactile scroll that helps with the selection of in-game options – think weapons, abilities etc. But, what sets this tactile scroll apart is the choice of exactly how tactile you want it, as there is a tension dial beneath the dice so you can get it just right. Pretty neat if you ask us.
On the hunt for a mouse that has that 'mechanical' feel? Look no further than this mouse from Roccat. They use their own Titan Click technology, so the buttons have a heavy touch to them, and while you could be forgiven for thinking this makes them slow, this is not the case.
On top of this, the mouse comes with up to 16K DPI, and a fully customisable 16.8 million choices of RGB lighting. In essence, Roccat have designed a comfortable and ergonomic mouse that allows for hours and hours of gameplay without strains or fatigue.
Our first offering for our left-handed brothers and sisters, the Sensei 310 is built to be used by either paw, in either grip. It comes with an optical sensor that was engineered to play eSports, making it very fast but also surprisingly natural. Additionally, it comes with the full 16.8 million colours available via RGB lighting.
The buttons have durable 50 million click switches and a comforting tactile feel. One issue is that the cable provided with this mouse isn't as durable as the mouse itself, knowing to split after a lot of use. So if you play slower games, like Minecraft, this may be better suited than fast-paced, action-everywhere FPS or MOBA's.
Known in gaming circles as one of the comfiest mice on the market for all different grip types, it's fitting that with every reincarnation of the Deathadder series, Razer never change the shape – there's no need. Plus, it has one of the best sensors out there, which was developed by Pixart and offers an impressive 99.4% accuracy.
As you can see from the image, this product has been bought over 10 million times, which is a massive testament to how much gamers love it. The only dispute is, you'll probably only get 18-24 months out of it, which for the price is not bad at all. However, if you're looking for a longer-term pal we think there are better options.
Next, this simple straightforward plug-in and play mouse. Just bang in the USB wireless adapter, turn the mouse on and you'll be off. It has up to 60 hours of playing time and a very respectable 10K DPI. Additionally, it's one of the lightest mice in our ranking, allowing for longer gaming time and less fatigue when playing.
You can pick this model up in either a wired or wireless version – we've gone with the wireless for variety, but the wired version is about half the price! Something worth noting is that many reviewers have had issues with the middle button becoming stuck, which can lead to issues when in play.
If you're looking for a mouse that has great balance and classy performance, then this SteelSeries offers just that. It comes with an optical sensor and expressive RGB lighting so you can get the look you want. The best bit though? It's all modular, with extra parts to add and 265 different weight configurations.
You can get 10 hours of battery life after a quick charge, of 15 minutes, meaning that you won't be interpreted. The only real downside is that it's fairly pricey when compared with other gaming mice on our list so this is one for serious gamers.
First up, this slightly odd, but supremely comfortable 'vertical' mouse. The design is based on the shape of the hand when you're going in for a handshake, so it's pretty neutral with no strain, even during mammoth sessions. Able to be used wireless or when plugged in, it also has an insane battery life: from a 3-minute charge you'll get an entire day of use!
The downside? Well, it's certainly going to take some getting used to. Plus, it doesn't have the highest DPI rating, and if that's something you're looking for then this isn't going to cut it. Furthermore, it's the most expensive mouse on our list.
No. 3：HyperX｜Pulsefire FPS Pro
No. 4：Razer｜Basilisk X Hyperspeed
No. 5：Roccat｜Kain 120 Aimo
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