THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS A GOOD MOUSE
The mouse is undeniably the most important tool in a gamers arsenal, and today there is more choice than ever. Gaming mice can vary in weight, response times, grips, button customisation, user profiles and DPI!
There’s no right answer when it comes to picking a gaming mouse, and it’s important to find the kit that works for you. Some options are important, some are nice to have and some are just for show, but everyone will have their own priorities. Do you need a heavy mouse for FPS but a quicker, lighter touch for an RTS? Then a mouse with adjustable weights might be useful for you, or maybe on-the-go DPI adjustment is what you need. Do lighting options and extra buttons just get in your way? Or do you like the option to personalise your mouse?
WHAT TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
DPI – DOTS PER INCH
The “dots per inch”, or DPI, is literally how many pixels your mouse cursor can travel across the screen when you move the mouse one inch. So a higher DPI means faster movement across the screen with less physical effort. DPI is different from sensitivity sliders as sensitivity will just make the cursor move faster, making mouse movement less smooth and jumpier, whereas higher DPI will be faster, but will remain smooth. You should always prioritise getting the right DPI setting for you and have a lower sensitivity, making your mouse movements smoother and more accurate.
A high DPI can be a good thing for some games, but it’s not always an advantage and sometimes needs to be scaled back or changed when switching between games. This is because sometimes you don’t want to be able to move the cursor across the screen so quickly as a lighter, more accurate touch is needed. What’s important is having a choice to customise or increase the DPI, it’s not simply a case of the higher the DPI, the better.
The polling rate of a mouse is how often the mouse communicates with the computer. A polling rate of 125Hz means that the mouse cursor can be updated at a speed of once every 8 milliseconds. A high standard for top end gaming mice is around 1000Hz (1 millisecond).
The mice listed here also allow for a small amount of lift. That being if you raise the mouse slightly from the surface, movements can still be read, usually up to a few millimetres. This might not sound like much, but this helps most people more than they will know, as without realising it, many people often lift their mouse sometimes, just by a few millimetres, which may be the reason you’re missing those one deags in CSGO or messing up your last hitting in League. Also although each company differs in their exact implementation, gaming mice have special, soft glide feet / bottom surfaces that allow for smooth, unrestricted gliding of the mouse across a surface. These are all factors to take we’ve taken into consideration when compiling this list of the best gaming mice around at the moment for you.
Lot’s of games can make great use of having extra, programmable buttons. Sometimes these buttons have special functions, like “sniper” buttons that reduce the DPI whilst held, to allow for small, precise movements to land accurate headshots. Most mice that have extra buttons will place them along the thumb rest or in the middle near the scroll wheel. It’s not uncommon to have buttons that can change the DPI on the go.
Obviously finding a mouse that is comfortable for you is massively important, and often very difficult to do without testing every one out. To make this as painless as possible, make sure that the mouse first of all fits your correct hand, as some mice are for left or right handed users only. These mice tend to be a bit more ergonomic, in that they match to the contours of your hand, but there are ambidextrous mice that are just as comfortable. The material the mouse is made of and the positioning of any programmable buttons will also contribute to how comfortable the mouse is to use for you.
WIRED OR WIRELESS?
Some people will argue that the differences between wired and wireless mice is very small and insignificant these days, but there is still a difference. This is ProGamesTech, so all of the mice we list in “the best” articles are all wired. There are slight speed and performance gains to be made from having wired mice when gaming. However if a wireless mouse is important to you, as you have other things you need to use it for, then check out our list of LINK the best wireless mouse options for gaming!
Some mice offer the ability to add and remove small weights, usually via a compartment at the bottom. This can have a dramatic affect on how the mouse feels and performs. Some people like a weightier mouse as it feels very solid and precise and some prefer a lighter mouse that they can flick around. Having customisable weights allows for these scenarios and everything in between.
OUR LIST OF THE BEST MICE
Below is our list of suggested gaming mice. Although each has their own strengths and weaknesses, these will all meet a minimum standard for gaming and are often used by professionals. We’ve assembled these specific mice as they are the newest, best and most popular so far in 2015, so there’s no need to trawl through 25 pages and compare each and every mouse from every company and try to figure out which reviews are reliable.
|Gaming Mouse||Maximum DPI||Macro Buttons||Sensor||Adjustable Weights||Average Review||Price|
Mionix Naos 8200
Razer Death Adder
CM Sentinel Advance 2
Corsair Vengeance M65
Roccat Kova a[+]
Measuring 7 x 12.7 x 4.4 cm and weighting 104 grams, it’s a comfortable fit for any sized hand and is considered a pretty medium sized mouse. It’s ergonomic design means it sits very comfortably in your hand, with the click-able Razer scroll wheel in-between the two main buttons, and an extra two that rest underneath the thumb. There are subtle grooves on the left and right main buttons, and a slight elevation on the left side where the palm sits. This comes together to make the mouse incredibly comfortable to use and keep a precise grip on, and is even mirrored for lefties!
It has a 4G 6400 dpi optical sensor, a polling rate of the standard 1000Hz and a 7 foot long. cable The Razer Synapse driver software can be downloaded from the Razer website and used to manage the mouses features. From here it’s possible to create different user profiles, and save the best DPI settings and assigning macros to the custom buttons for each game. The software can even provide you with heatmaps and click tracking, showing you visual representations of how you use the mouse.
The Kova has 400, 800, 1600 or 3200 dpi sensor capabilities, and the standard 1000Hz polling time. It comes with a driver package which allows the creation of profiles, where the DPI, button functions and macros can be set. These can be automated to switch when certain games are started, but using these automatic settings switcher programs are notorious for having trouble with games that are launched through launch programs such as Steam.
The Kova has a special button branded as ‘EasyShift’, which acts like a shift key on the keyboard, giving an alternate (still programmable) function for each button. The Kova has a few frills, such as a button that allow you to switch between saved profiles, and the Kova will give audio feedback to let you know that the changes have been made. There is also LED lighting for up to seven different colours, including the ability to personalise colour rotation and effects per user profile, via the driver package. The Kova is nicely ergonomic raising up in the center, with special grip areas designed to easily give you a firm hold and increase precision. But it is symmetrical, so if you prefer your mouse to curve in and contour with your thumb, this may not be the best choice for you. At 12.7 x 6.4 x 4.4 cm it’s a fraction smaller than the DeathAdder and is slightly lighter at 91 grams. The cable for this mouse is 2 meters long.
The Naga is Razers wired MMO gaming mouse, and includes twelve individual, mechanical buttons on the thumb side of the mouse. These are numbered from 1 to 12 and can be programmed to mimic any key or macro set of commands, intended to give easier access to commands in MMORPG games. The buttons are easy to tap and there’s never a question of “did that actually press?”.
This newer Naga version is a huge step up over the previous, which although incredibly different and outlandish, was a little awkward and cumbersome to use properly. The usual multi-directional Razer scroll wheel and driver software package are present, but the software includes a full ‘MMO Configurator’, designed to help you setup the keys easily. It has the standard 1000Hz polling rate and can be set to a high of 8200 dpi.
There is a model for lefties where everything’s the same, just mirrored.
The Naga is obviously marketed as an MMO mouse, but its host of buttons can be applicable to many games that use hotkeys, macros or have ability casting. Gamers find uses for this mouse in Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite etc. At 12.4 x 7.5 x 4.3 cm and 136 grams, the Naga is (obviously) a little bigger and heavier than the average.
The Sensei is fast becoming a staple wired mouse like the DeathAdder by Razer. It has the required 1000Hz polling time and has an impressive 1 to 5700 Adjustable DPI which can actually be doubled using the onboard processor to an incredibly 11400 DPI. There are a total of eight fully programmable buttons in the middle and on the sides of the device, which is symmetrical so suitable for use in either hand.
The wheel, the DPI indicator and the logo on the back can all be fully customised to light up in millions of different colours for different situations and different configurable user profiles. The Sensei is going to be a long lasting, very reliable and accurate mouse, with just enough customisability and extra buttons. This mouse is definitely one of the top picks in this list.
The Zowie FK1 and newer FK2 are both here because the FK2 is just a smaller version of the FK1, everything else is the same. So if you have smaller hands, or prefer more of a claw hold on your mouse, the FK1 is for you. The FK1 measures 6.7 x 12.8 x 3.7 cm and weighs 249 grams, whereas the FK2 slims down to 6.4 x 12.4 x 3.6 and 200 grams, making it still a fairly heavy mouse.
Zowie aren’t huge and are pretty specialist compared to some companies. They always aim to produce specific, quality products over trying to become the go to choice for your every gaming need. That ends up in some products really shining through, which has lead to the Zowie FK series has gained a lot of popularity recently. The mouse has the standard 1000Hz polling rate and is adjustable between 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 dpi. It’s a symmetrical, ambidextrous mouse so can suitable for left and right handed players, with two “thumb” buttons on either side.
The G502 has a 1000Hz polling rate is there, and the dpi customisation option is between 200 and 12,000. The size is fairly standard at 13.2 x 7.5 x 4 cm and weighing in at 121 grams. It is a very ergonomically designed mouse, with a raised center, sloped outside and thumb rest and buttons on the inside. There is no left hand alternative version of this mouse, although lots of primarily left handed people can use right handed mice without issue. Logitech G is Logitech’s e-sports orientated sub-brand that has a growing range of these black and blue styled peripherals, and now sponsors teams like Cloud 9 gaming.
There are five 3.6 gram weights that can be swapped in and out, and positioned in different places in the mouse to adjust the weight and balance of the mouse. There are a total of eleven programmable buttons on the G502, including the ability to set profiles and macros, and even on-mouse DPI quick switching buttons. Another great feature is the ability to swap the mouse wheel between incredibly fast scrolling or precise small click scrolling. A braided cable, mechanical buttons and rubber grips complete this mouse and make it an incredibly well rounded and reliable, precise tool that is good value for money.
The G303 is another of the best of Logitechs G series gaming mice. Logitech focused on performance and durability with this 1000Hz wired mouse, keeping the design simpler than some other models in the same series. The G303 houses six programmable buttons, each configurable with macros and assignable to different user profiles, but there’s also controls to quick-swap between different dpi’s, ranging from 200 to 12000. The modest RGB lighting is fully programmable and includes “breathing” and sleep mode options. It’s an average size, measuring 11.6 x 6.6 x 3.8 cm and weighing 122 grams.
There are two buttons on the thumb edge, making the mouse not perfectly symmetrical and not ideal for every left handed user.
Corsair’s M65 is a solid, 1000Hz, fast paced mouse that can run up to 8200 dpi. One of the features that supposedly makes this mouse perfect for FPS is Corsair’s “Sniper” button. Pressing this will essentially just lower the dpi and allow you to make smaller adjustments when zoomed in with a range weapon. It’s potentially quite useful for FPS gaming but has its applications in many genres, but can easily be completely reprogrammed to any other button or macro just like any other programmable button. Onboard buttons allow quick changing between different pre-set profiles, so you can swap from a MOBA to an FPS setup with one click and without the need to load up the driver software every time.
The M65, unlike it’s Corsair’s cheaper offerings, has underneath its smooth finish, a light, aluminium chassis. This makes it a slightly heavier mouse, but means it’s also highly durable. It’s 20 x 6.8 x 28 cm and 340 grams, but has three adjustable weight slots on the bottom of the mouse if you find it a little too heavy. The M65 is available in black, military green or white.
The Sentinel Advance 2 is a classic from CM Storm, which is the gaming and e-sports division of the popular manufacturer; Coolermaster. The 1000Hz Advance 2 is a relatively tall thin, very ergonomic mouse that fits perfectly with the contours of your hand (your right hand only), and is a very comfortable weight at 136 grams. There is a small clip on the bottom with five 4.5 gram weights in that can really make a difference when you play around with the amount and positioning of them.
The button just past the scroll wheel switches between profiles, which changes the colour of the light and the LED display shows the dpi settings of that profile. The two buttons in front of the mouse wheel cycle the dpi settings up and down through the options of 200, 1500, 3200 and 8200. The mouse allows you to easily swap between a higher dpi in Starcraft 2 to a slower, more accurate dpi for CSGO. The cord on this mouse is a thick, durable braided cable.
Mionix may not be a company many are aware of but their increasingly popular range now features the great value for money ‘Naos 8200’. As the name suggests, the laser sensor in the Naos can go up to 8200 dpi and it runs at a 1000Hz polling rate. This is another mouse that is specifically has a right handed ergonomic design, with seven fully programmable buttons and customisable LED lighting around the side and top buttons and the scroll wheel. The usual onboard profile switching is present and a quality 2 meter long braided cable.
The mouse is a solid 150 grams and measures 17.8 x 6 x 22 cm, there’s no adjustable weight options, but at a very middle ground weight it doesn’t really need it. For a relatively new mouse, it’s very hard to find any negative reviews of the Naos, as everyone seems to love it. The Naos definitely focuses on solid performance and clean, minimalistic good looks.
- High DPI options
- In depth customisation & profiles
- One of the most well known and reliable mice
- Subtle lighting
- Won’t break the bank
- Few extra buttons
- No adjustable weights
- Twelve extra macro buttons
- High DPI options
- Full colour & pattern customisation
- Subtle lighting
- Slightly more expensive
- Some may not like that many extra buttons