Compared to other consoles, PC gaming is in a world of its own. Typically, you might be used to certain things—like a console, controller, and maybe some extra attachments, depending on what you like to play. PC gaming, however, deals with a lot more than just that. Computers are very involved and are made up of many different parts and pieces of equipment. Each part serves a specific purpose, and each purpose essentially mirrors something in a console setup.
With console gaming, the console itself is obviously the most important part of the experience, but the controller is where you get all of your action. For PC gaming, on the other hand, there isn’t necessarily a controller for that familiar experience. Instead, you’re stuck with a combination of different computer equipment to replicate—or improve upon—the experience that console gaming might have originally offered. So in place of a controller, for example, you would use the keyboard and mouse together to play.
If you’re new to PC gaming, you may be wondering why people use special equipment—like a fancy keyboard and mouse—for gaming on the computer. While you could certainly play with a normal keyboard and mouse, special gaming equipment is designed to make your experience more convenient. When it comes down to it, PC gaming equipment is just like normal PC equipment but with more customization to add to the gaming experience as a whole.
Gaming mice are, perhaps, the most misunderstood pieces of PC gaming equipment. What sets them apart from normal computer mice, and why should you invest in one? For the most part, gaming mice are still pretty similar to regular mice. A gaming mouse doesn’t have to have flashing lights and a fancy design to be of great use to a gamer, after all. In fact, you don’t really have to have many special features at all, just as long as the mouse you choose works well for what you need.
What Makes a Good Gaming Mouse
So what makes a good gaming mouse, and, again, why should you even get one? In theory, you could just play with a normal mouse, but that wouldn’t be nearly as convenient as it could be. As mentioned, gaming mice are designed to improve the PC gaming experience and make things more convenient for you as a gamer. Because of this, a “good gaming mouse” could mean a lot of things, depending on what you’re looking for.
The most basic thing to look for in a good gaming mouse is quick, precise movement and the ability to be customized to your preferences of how you like to game. This customization might include things like extra buttons or quick and easy adjustments, or they may also include more specific features like tension springs or weights in the mouse and buttons. Otherwise, you’ll need to look for things like DPI (Dots Per Inch), grip style, software, and gaming purpose.
What is DPI?
Something you’ll see talked about a lot when it comes to gaming mice is DPI. A higher DPI means a more sensitive mouse, and a lower DPI means less sensitivity. In this specification, dots are basically equivalent to pixels. So if your mouse has a DPI of 2500, your mouse pointer would move 2500 pixels across the screen for every inch you move your physical mouse.
Overall, people have put a lot of importance on mice with high DPI, but this might not really be as important as it’s been made out to be. In most cases, you won’t actually want to have a highly sensitive mouse. If you play a lot of FPS games, a low sensitivity may actually mean more accuracy in your shots. With that said, computer screens with high pixel-density may require a mouse with higher DPI, regardless of the game being played.
When it comes down to it, a mouse with around or at least 1600 DPI will be plenty good enough for gaming. With that said, it would still be a good idea to experience with different DPI specifications to see what works best for you. If higher sensitivity feels better with the way you move your mouse, then, by all means, that’s what works for you. If you go with a low DPI, however, you may want to consider picking up a wider mouse pad so you can move the mouse further on your desk.
Some mice are specifically designed for a certain type of grip style. Every individual will have their own way of gripping the mouse, but grip styles do tend to fall into one of three categories. Each grip may have its separate advantages and disadvantages depending on what type of gaming you’re playing, but it really just depends on what feels best with your hand.
First, you have the palm grip, which may be the most typical way to hold the mouse in most cases. Here, your whole palm rests on the mouse and your fingers lay flat on the buttons. Then you have the claw grip, where your palm rests on the back of the mouse and your fingers are bent like claws at the buttons. With the tip grip, your palm doesn’t touch the mouse and the tips of your fingers are the only things that touch the buttons.
Depending on which style of grip you like to use, you’ll want to look for a certain type of body design in your gaming mouse. For example, mice with wider bodies are best for gamers who use the palm grip, while shorter, lighter mice with less body area are better for gamers who use the tip grip. If you like to use the claw grip, your best choice may be a more narrow mouse with long, skinny buttons.
The software won’t necessarily be the biggest priority in finding a great gaming mouse, but it should certainly be considered. This is what will allow you to customize how your mouse works. Things like special lighting, programmable buttons, and DPI settings are all accessible in the included software. Probably the most important feature will be the ability to customize your macros for each button and to set up saved profiles for different games. Depending on what you want from your gaming mouse, you’ll want to look for one that comes with software that is easy to use and allows you to make the most out of your mouse.
Types of Gaming Mice
Depending on what types of games you normally play on the PC, you’ll likely need a specific type of mouse. The two main types are shooter-style and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) or MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Each type is designed with its designated game in mind to make playing that game more convenient. For example, shooter-style mice would have a special “sniper” button for use in FPS (First Person Shooter) games, while MMO and MOBA mice would have many buttons to be used for special skills and combo attacks or spells.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that you don’t necessarily have to use any mouse type on its specific designated gaming genre. You could use a shooter-style mouse for an MMO game, just as you could use an MMO mouse on an FPS game. In the end, the only thing that matters is that the mouse works for how you like to play and that you find it comfortable for your personal preferences. Other than that, you can really use whatever kind of mouse you want.
The Best Budget Gaming Mouse
Gaming mice do tend to be the least expensive of the PC gaming equipment bunch but don’t let that fool you. Just as you can find plenty of great mice for a budget price, you’ll also still find plenty of fancier mice for over $100—sometimes even close to $200. Just like with anything else, the more expensive mice are more likely to have features that go above and beyond to improve your gaming experience, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a solid mouse for under $50.
A lot of gamers are on a budget, and that can feel pretty discouraging sometimes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the big prices and fancy designs, but don’t let that keep you from scanning the market. There are a lot of different options out there, so all you need to know is what you want out of a gaming mouse.
Because there are so many different types of gaming mice, the best budget one would be pretty hard to determine. Each type is designed to excel in a specific area, so choosing between the two for the best one would be like comparing apples to oranges. They may both be gaming mice, but they’re significantly different when it comes down to it.
If all you’re looking for is a good deal, though, you may just want to look at a hybrid, multi-purpose mouse, instead. There are plenty of these on the less expensive side, and they’re designed to be good for any type of gaming. This means that you won’t have to worry about having a second mouse for other games, and you’ll get more use out of your mouse, overall.
- Up to 250 hours of battery life
- Power-saving, high-accuracy Delta Zero sensor technology
- Lag-free gaming-grade wireless, Performance and Endurance modes maximize battery life
- Long-life buttons rated to 20 million clicks, 11 programmable buttons
Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5
Logitech is a pretty well-known brand—known for their quality, especially, and the G602 certainly doesn’t go against their reputation. It may not be the perfect mouse for everybody, but, overall, it gives you the great, solid quality of a high-end gaming mouse for a much lower price. (You can get it on Amazon for just under $40.) There are a few disadvantages to using this mouse, but the many advantages seem to outweigh them in most cases.
Some of the most notable and praise-worthy features delivered by the Logitech G602 are high-end precision and a decent amount of programmable buttons to be used during gameplay. The mouse is wireless, which may be a turn-off for some—especially since there is no rechargeable or wired version, but the battery life is fantastic and the DPI falls between 250 and 2500, making it pretty good for any basic gaming needs. Plus, it connects via the Logitech G-Series Receiver and has a polling rate of 500 per second to minimize any lag you may experience with other wireless mice.
The buttons are also pretty sturdy with mechanical switches that should be good for at least 20 million clicks. The six programmable buttons on the side of the mouse sit above the thumb rest and all have raised faces, which makes it a lot easier to tell them apart when you’re not looking at them during gameplay. There are also two extra buttons on the front of the mouse that allow you to quickly adjust your DPI settings.
As mentioned, the battery life of the Logitech G602 has been highly praised. In fact, you may be surprised by just how much this mouse can do off two AA batteries. The best part is that the G602 is actually able to run on either one or two AA batteries. One battery gives around 125 hours of use, and two batteries give around 250 hours. You don’t even really have to turn the battery off between sessions, either, because it switches into a hibernation mode to stretch out the battery life. With this hibernation mode, the mouse could easily last more than a month without ever being turned off.
Overall, the Logitech G602 performs well and has given a lot of people something to think about thanks to its shocking efficiency as a wireless gaming mouse. The build may be a bit plain compared to other, fancier mice, but it has a simple elegance with matte black plastic, glossy trim, and a textured rubber palm rest. This mouse easily competes with more expensive gaming mice—even wired ones, to some degree. If you’re looking for a good deal and a versatile mouse, the Logitech G602 would definitely be a good one to consider.
Of course, a hybrid gaming mouse may not be best for everyone, especially if you typically only play a certain type of game or prefer the way a certain type of mouse works. Depending on what you want out of your mouse, a more specific type may definitely be a better choice. You’ll mostly see mice targeted toward either FPS or MMO games. FPS or shooter-style mice are better for games like Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, etc. Then MMO or MOBA mice are better for games like World of Warcraft, Age of Empires, or League of Legends.
- 12000 DPI high-accuracy sensor
- Aircraft-grade aluminum structure
- Advanced weight tuning system
- Surface calibration tuning utility
- Optimized sniper button positioning
- Harness the Power of CUE
Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5
Corsair doesn’t have a lot of gaming mice in their lineup, but the M65 Pro RGB certainly makes up for that. Targeted toward right-handed FPS players who love to use the palm grip while they play, this mouse is a tank that delivers great performance and sturdy design with the added feature of RGB lighting. The RGB lighting may not do a whole lot for improving your gaming performance, but it’s a nice way to get yourself into the zone and sync up your aesthetic with any other hardware you may have.
One cool feature offered by the M65 Pro is the ability to customize its weight. You have the choice of securing three weight to the bottom panel of the mouse, increasing the weight from 115 grams to 135.5 grams, which is pretty hefty. No matter the weight you choose, though, the mouse should still move easily thanks to the five glide pads on the bottom panel. The mouse itself is long and short and the height can’t be adjusted, which is why this is probably a better choice for gamers who prefer the palm grip.
There are eight programmable buttons on the M65 Pro—including a left and right button, a clickable scroll wheel, up and down buttons for DPI settings, and three thumb buttons on the side. There’s also a sniper button which can double to lower the DPI settings if held down. Speaking of DPI, the M65 Pro is pretty sensitive at 12000 DPI, and you can customize these settings starting as low as 100 DPI, depending on your preferences.
Overall, the Corsair M65 Pro RGB is a steal for its price and is perfect for FPS gamers who want a highly customizable mouse when it comes to performance. It moves smoothly and responds accurately, which is ultimately essential for getting that perfect shot. It even succeeds in the RTS genre, if you’re into that, as well. In the end, though, the M65 Pro is perfect for gamers who love games like Counter-Strike or Overwatch, and it definitely won’t disappoint in those genres.
- 6 programmable buttons
- On the fly DPI switching
- Metal spring left/right button tensioning system
- 1-millisecond report
- High-Speed Clicking
- Full Speed USB
Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5
Logitech’s G302 Daedalus Prime may have been designed specifically with MOBA games—like League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients—in mind, but it could still do just as well for MMO games. For the most part, though, this mouse is perfect if you typically spend most of your time playing games in this genre. Overall, the design is sleek and the performance is fantastic, even with a few issues here and there.
The G302 Daedalus Prime doesn’t put much of a focus on programmable buttons, but that’s mostly because gamers who play MOBA games won’t likely be using them too often. There are six buttons overall—a left and right button, the (clickable) scroll wheel, a button in the middle of the mouse for DPI settings—which can go from 240 to 4000 DPI, and two thumb buttons on the left. This may not be enough for some gamers, but it’s a decent setup for gaming that mostly relies on keyboard usage or mouse movement and left or right clicking.
Overall, the Daedalus Prime is a simple mouse designed for MMO or MOBA games and the gamers who love them. If you’re looking for something without all the bells and whistles that can help you focus in on your game, this could definitely be a good choice. And for under $50, the performance is undeniably good.
Luckily for choosy gamers everywhere, there are plenty of options for great gaming mice out on the market, regardless of your budget. You’ll probably see a lot of similarities in features across each model, but each mouse will likely have something special to bring to the table. Remember that the right gaming mouse for you might not be what everyone else has deemed as the best gaming mouse, so test out your options and look around before making a decision. Sometimes the most unexpected mouse could be the underdog you need.
- Pixart 3310 sensor and four DPI presets provide extreme accuracy for FPS games
- Comfortable ergonomic mouse design with slip-resistant grip
- Lightweight 95G FPS mouse with optimal weight distribution
- Six-button mouse featuring ultra-responsive Omron switches
- Extra-large mouse skates for smooth movement
Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5
HyperX is mostly known for their great gaming headsets, but they’ve recently started to expand their line to include keyboards and mice, as well. The Pulsefire FPS may be its debut mouse, but it certainly delivers the same quality we’ve come to expect from the rest of the company’s products. The design may be eerily similar to Razer’s DeathAdder model, but its performance packs a good enough punch that the apparent tribute is easily forgivable by most.
The Pulsefire FPS uses the Pixart 3310 sensor and has a maximum 3200 DPI, but you can use the button on top of the mouse to switch between other presets for 400 DPI, 800 DPI, and 1600 DPI. The advantages or disadvantages of this feature come down to personal preferences, but there are some things to note. Because the Pulsefire doesn’t come with software that can customize your DPI settings, it uses an old system of a color-coded LED light in the middle of the mouse that tells you which setting you’ve chosen—white for 400 DPI, red for 800 DPI, blue for 1600 DPI, and yellow for 3200 DPI. So unless you always use the 800 DPI preset, the LED light will be a sharp contrast against the rest of the mouse’s red lighting.
In the end, HyperX’s new Pulsefire FPS is pretty adequate for a debut mouse. It’s not particularly game-changing, but it’s definitely not anything bad, either. If you’re looking for something simple on a budget, the Pulsefire is safely bare-bones with five buttons and a light-weight build. It’s a decent choice for FPS players who don’t want anything too fancy, ultimately.
- 5 Adjustable CPI & 2 Polling Rate
- Strong Durability & Long Working Distance
- Maximum Hand-Feeling
- Extremely Low Power Consumption
- Wide Compatibility
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5
Maybe you’re tired of all the bells and whistles and you just want a simple, nearly “normal” mouse to game with. Well, you’re in luck—the VicTsing MM057 is exactly that. The MM057 is essentially the most basic you can get with a gaming mouse, which is still good for a lot of gamers. It’s a wireless mouse that gets the job done and succeeds at bringing things back to basics.
There aren’t any programmable buttons, but it does have a right and left button, a clickable scroll wheel, a CPI—stands for “Counts Per Inch”, similar to DPI—button to switch between presets, and back and forward buttons on the left side. The DPI can be switched between 800, 1200, 1600, 2000, and 2400, which is a pretty standard range compared to other budget gaming mice. It also lets you switch between two different polling rates to further adjust the mouse’s sensitivity.
For just about $10 on Amazon, the VicTsing MM057 might as well be the perfect budget gaming mouse for people who just want something that works. There’s nothing fancy about it, pretty much whatsoever. In fact, it might as well just be a slightly better office mouse. If all you’re looking for a simple mouse that performs well and costs the least amount possible, this is the mouse for you.
Bonus: Budget Left-Handed Gaming Mouse
If you’re a left-handed gamer, you’ve probably felt at least a little bit of pain at some point while searching for a good gaming mouse. Most gaming mice are typically designed with only right-handed gamers in mind, which could end up leaving you with a pretty uncomfortable mouse. A lot of left-handed gamers end up compromising and learning how to deal with right-handed mice, but there’s still hope. Plenty of great brands have designed either left-handed or ambidextrous gaming mice that left-handed gamers can use without having to compromise the way they play.
- Nine programmable controls
- Symmetrical compact shape
- Gaming-grade optical sensor
- Three onboard memory profiles
- Easy configuration software
Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5
The G300s is an ambidextrous mouse that could be a great choice for left-handed gamers to look into. With that said, it is a bit small, so left-handed gamers with larger hands may need to look elsewhere—unless you’re a fan of a pretty tight claw or tip grip. On that note, though, it has been noted in some reviews that it’s primarily designed for the palm grip, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, the G300s has a solid build, decent weight, and is pretty easy to use and configure.
The Logitech G300s is generally marketed as a good mouse for FPS games or general computer use. It may not be as great as other gaming mice, but it’s a good place to start, especially if you’re just looking for a mouse to fit your left hand. The buttons are durable and are each good up to around 10 million clicks, which is a bit less than even some other budget gaming mice offer. There are nine programmable buttons on the mouse, and you can save three different gaming profiles that are automatically recognized and changed to when the associated game is opened.
The mouse uses an optical sensor that offers between 250 and 2500 DPI—pretty standard for other budget gaming mice in its category. Lag is quite minimal with the G300s, though, with a notable polling rate of one per millisecond or one thousand every second. This is pretty fast in comparison to other similar gaming mice. Overall, it’s not spectacular but it certainly isn’t the worst mouse ever by any means.
For just around $20 on Amazon with generally great reviews and an average of at least a four- out of five-star customer rating, the G300s could be a great option for left-handed gamers on a budget to consider. If you are left-handed, keep in mind that there are actually plenty of options out there for you. You just have to know what to look for. Try searching for ambidextrous gaming mice to see what else is available.
Throughout the market, you’re likely to find a lot of gaming mice that are basically the same. Brands know what gamers want, and that usually ends up including a pretty similar batch of features. Of course, each model approaches these features in a slightly different way. A lot of times, the best mouse for you will come down to the design and how it feels moving in your hand. Remember that it only matters how you like it, and you can use whatever kind of mouse you want, just as long as it does well for you.