A good gaming mouse is not only the key to comfortable, but also to successful gaming. Experienced cyber-sportsmen take the choice of a mouse with maximum seriousness, and the most well-to-do even order personal models to the shape of your hand. But what should a PC gamer looking for a gaming mouse for his PC or laptop? In our article we present the most effective tips that will explain all the details of choosing the best gaming mouse for different tasks and will not let your money go to waste.
1. Case shape
Correct ergonomics creates comfort
The shape of your mouse is the essence of comfort for extended gaming sessions. An uncomfortable mouse leads to fast hand and finger fatigue during repeated use, and provokes the development of so called “gamers’ disease”, which is accompanied by a very strong pain in the wrist. However, general wrist fatigue alone is enough to disrupt the accuracy of your movements, make your aim twitch and your fingers fail to click in time. That is why gaming manipulators are made ergonomic using anatomically shaped housing, but unfortunately there are no perfect variants.
When choosing a mouse, you should hold it in your hand for a couple of minutes in a natural working position, i.e. on a table or in a window to understand how convenient it is. A mouse with a symmetrical shape that fits both hands is good for relaxed gaming. If you prefer dynamic shooters, the best choice is an asymmetric design for a particular hand. However, it is often difficult to find mice for the left-handed, and you have to order the mouse directly through the manufacturer’s website.
As for the size, small devices are suitable only for short work with a laptop, but not for gameplay. Medium-sized devices are suitable for fans of finger grip, but the large ones are ideal for those who prefer to put their whole palm on the manipulator.
2. Weight and its adjustment
Lighter is not better
There is a common misperception that a light mouse is a good thing, but it is true only for the notebook you always carry with you. A gaming table for your computer should have a reasonably “weighty” device that is confident in your hand and does not fly aside at the first draft, interfering with the accuracy of aiming. Many experts believe that the minimum weight of a gaming mouse should be no less than 110 grams, but some professional cyber-sportsmen like gadgets much heavier. For a child, the optimum is in the range of 90-100 grams.
Partly the problem is solved by the option of weight adjustment, which is actively used in their best models, all manufacturers of “rodents. With the help of a set of weights you can choose the most convenient weight directly to your personal preferences. So the overpayment for such a function is quite reasonable and will allow adjusting the weight of the mouse to specific games or to the demands of different players, if the mouse is used by several people in turn.
3. Sensor: laser or optics?
Exploring the key sensor differences
Sensor is a key technical element, which influences the accuracy of cursor/aimer movement on the computer screen. To date, manufacturers use mainly only two types of sensors.
LED-optical (or simply LED) glows red on the “belly” of the mouse, it is universal, inexpensive and reliable in operation, but requires high-quality pad with constant cleaning of the working surface. Otherwise even a thin layer of dust can cause sensor’s breakdown, i.e. the aim in a game will start jumping and twitching, reacting inadequately to your hand movements. On the other hand, in optimal conditions simple optics ensures maximum level of positioning accuracy. And this is appreciated by many professional players, especially in the shooter genre, where even the slightest flicker of the sight can mean defeat in a firefight.
Laser sensor stands out for its ability to work on any surface, including glass, plus it consumes little power, which makes it a regular guest in the design of wireless mice. But it uses different software algorithms, which can sometimes have a negative impact on positioning accuracy, although not necessarily. This means that only high-quality laser sensors are suitable for gaming at a high level, while the cost of the “rodent” with such a sensor will be significantly higher than that of the analogue with LED-optics.
4. Key parameters of sensors
Say goodbye to the myth about the importance of great DPI
Now, let’s talk in more detail about the performance characteristics of the sensors. The key parameter is the DPI or the resolution, which defines the speed of the mouse cursor. There is a popular myth: “the more DPI – the better. Although in fact it is not so unambiguous. Where high values of optical resolution are certainly good, it is when playing on large monitors with resolution 4K and above, but even there 4000-6000 DPI is more than enough for most people. For a regular PC monitor the range of 800-3000 DPI will do, with the upper threshold suitable for the MOBA genre. But the connoisseurs of shooters are often limited by 800-1200 DPI, because this resolution allows more accurate control over the aim.
At the same time we recommend to choose a sensor with optical resolution reserve, in this case its performance in optimal for gamers ranges will be more stable. But you don’t have to be overzealous, because the actively advertised 10,000-16,000 DPI resolutions are not used in reality.
No less important is the maximum acceleration parameter, which shows how confidently the sensor of a gaming mouse will behave during sharp hand movements. As it becomes clear from researches, a human can move a hand with acceleration in the range of 20-30G, i.e. a mouse with acceleration less than 20G can hardly be considered a full-fledged gaming mouse and is suitable only for solitaire or leisurely strategies. On the other hand, many manufacturers overcharge for support of 50G acceleration, which is physically unavailable to an ordinary person, so there is no sense to overpay for this option.
5. Type of connection
Which is better: wireless or corded?
Choosing a wireless/wired mouse is a strictly individual matter. In the early days of wireless mice, they were considered mistrustful because of flaws in communication technology. Pioneers differed by fast discharging of batteries, often lost connection and frankly slowed down during data transfer, i.e. had a low response – the time during which the signal reaches the computer. This parameter is as important as the features from the previous item, because it determines the smoothness of cursor movement. In modern gaming keyboards (with or without cord) the response time is 1 ms and it is a universal standard for any genre, so any mouse with a longer response time is not suitable for gaming. Still, there are advantages and disadvantages to different types of connectivity.
Wired mice are said to be more stable, because no other signal source can interfere with the transmission of data over the cable, especially if the cable has a shielded braid. In addition, such a mouse will never suddenly “fall asleep”, because it is powered from the PC. On the other hand, the cord can get tangled, caught in corners or other gadgets on your computer desk, interfering with your comfortable gaming.
Wireless “rodents”, on the other hand, are more mobile, which is especially important if you play on a laptop. And it is not only about the ability to move the mouse anywhere on the table. No cable eliminates unnecessary “twitching” of the mouse arm from the energy transmitted back to the mouse from the cable when you move/twist it. This means smoother control of cursor movement. On the downside of a wireless gadget: the risk of sudden battery discharge, the possibility of communication failures and a higher price.
6. Additional buttons
Do you need extra “push buttons”?
Gaming mice differ from office mice by the additional buttons: at least the DPI switch and a couple of side buttons (only the cheapest mice have them). When deciding which mouse to choose, you should take into consideration the peculiarities of your favorite game. For popular projects with little functionality (GTA V, World of Tanks, etc.) is enough the minimum set of three buttons and the wheel, connoisseurs shooters should have a look at the models that have a couple of additional “clicks” for, for example, a quick reload the weapon or grenade throwing. Most of all depend on buttons MOBA and MMORPG games, where advanced gamers often write their own macros or just set the performance of any spells on the additional buttons.
Do not forget about the quality of the buttons, they should not spoil the ergonomics and usability of the manipulator. It is a good idea to press the keys, check their tactile feedback and accuracy: sniffing, jamming, crackling, and chattering indicates poor build quality and guaranteed problems during the gaming session: at the right moment the key will not get pressed, will click twice, or will work by accidentally hitting it. The latter is a common problem for those who bought a mouse with a large number of buttons to play ordinary shooters, and then in the heat of online battles accidentally hit the wrong keys.
Button life is also important for the gamer’s mouse, which is indicated in the mouse specifications by the millions of clicks the key has to withstand during operation. Models with a life of less than 20 million clicks cannot be considered as a gaming mouse.
7. Fine-tuning options
Full control over your rodent
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, for MOBA and MMORPG genres it is very important to have additional buttons for programming your own commands. Consequently, the mouse should support this option, and the more options to fine-tune your macros, the better. Mice are set up with the help of special software, which has its own form for each manufacturer. In general, all developers offer approximately the same set of features, although expensive models can have a slightly higher number, and some manufacturers offer access to the top options only for a fee. It is better to find out before you buy, otherwise you will be disappointed and get the “rodent” that does not meet your needs.
In addition, some models of gaming mice are equipped with built-in memory for recording user profiles. This allows you to use the mouse on another computer or notebook without having to reconfigure it. If you are planning to play only on your personal PC at home, it is not necessary to overpay for this option.
8. Case Material
The mouse should not escape from the palm of your hand.
Hot gaming involves a lot of jerky movements that can cause your mouse to slip from your hand while you are sweating. Even small slips and a simple “wiggle” of the mouse under your palm leads to a decrease in accuracy of target positioning and uneven button presses, and that can lead to another defeat in the online battle. To solve this problem, the manufacturers use several ways.
Anti-slip coating is the most common and inexpensive method. Basically, it is painting ordinary plastic with different “rough” sprays, often rubberized. They perfectly hold the mouse in your hand, but, depending on the quality, they tend to rub off and lose their original properties.
Soft-touch plastic is more expensive, but its structure does the job of anti-slip on its own, although the surface can also flatten over time.
Rubber overlays make the “rodent” as expensive as possible, but are more effective in their purpose. Some manufacturers even include spare or removable elements to fine-tune the look to the player’s needs. The only disadvantage of overlays is that they can peel off.
Note that in recent years manufacturers often combine all three methods, especially in the top models, so it becomes easier to choose: take the one that fits well in your hand. But you should not forget that any sticking to the palm coating collects dirt, grease and dust, so you need to clean the mouse regularly.
Bright lights – good or not?
Often, when asked what kind of gaming mouse to choose, some gamers look at cute models with bright backlights. But they are not always useful and nice. The fact is that there are different backlights. Normal LEDs, shining just for beauty or to highlight the manufacturer’s logo, do not give exactly no advantage in the game. Even if there is an opportunity to choose from millions of colors. If you buy a “Christmas tree”, then only with the option of light display settings. Most often it is about the mode of the sensor, ie, its optical resolution. With it you can determine at a glance what value is set at the moment, and quickly switch to the right one, if the situation or style of play demands it.
10. Best Brands
Who is the market leader in gaming mice for computers?
The gaming mouse market is quite saturated, which often makes it difficult for an average person to decide which mouse to buy. And it is not so much the number of different models as the list of manufacturers that have learned to attract attention with their bright designs, colorful advertising and plenty of features. And yet in this diversity there are companies that occupy firmly high positions in sales ratings and have the support of professional players who appreciate the quality of their products.
One of the key leaders is Logitech, which produces budget mice, as well as professional mice for eSports. This Swiss company has an excellent reputation and often becomes a pioneer in the introduction of advanced technical developments.