By now, gamers know that using a gaming mouse is going to give them a leg up on the competition. Gaming mice today give you precision down to the level of individual pixels. Pack-in mice such as those from Dell and HP just aren’t nearly as precise and accurate as gaming mice with higher-quality hardware. MOBA and FPS gamers know that one misclick or missed headshot can lead to a lost match. Even if you’re not a competitive gamer and are the type of person who plays games occasionally and mainly uses their computer for other tasks, the smooth scrolling, extra buttons, and satisfying click of a gaming grade mouse is a worthwhile investment.
In this gaming mouse reviews article, we have identified the best gaming mice of this year out of the dozens of options available in our chart below. Following that, we have a selection guide for those of you interested in selecting the optimal mouse for your game. Last but not least we take a closer look at the best of the best in our review section.
Zoom Out: A Comparison Table of the 15 Best Gaming Mice
Here our the top 15 picks of this year.
|Redragon M601 Centrophorus||Optical, 2000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|Logitech G203 Prodigy||Optical, 8000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip, Palm|
|Corsair Gaming M65 Pro||Optical, 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip|
|Corsair Sabre||Optical, 10000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|SteelSeries Sensei RAW Edition||Laser, 5700 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip|
|SteelSeries Sensei 310||Optical, 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|ROCCAT Kone Pure Owl-Eye||Optical, 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip|
|Razer DeathAdder Elite||Optical, 16000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum||Optical 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip, Palm|
|Mionix Avior 8200||Laser, 8200 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|BenQ ZOWIE FK1||Optical, 3200 Max DPI||Claw|
|HyperX Pulsefire Surge||Optical, 16000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|Razer Naga Trinity MMO||Optical, 16000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip, Palm (Adjustable)|
|Logitech G903 Lightspeed||Optical, 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Palm|
|SteelSeries Rival 650||Optical, 12000 Max DPI||Claw, Fingertip|
Gaming Mouse Guide Part I: General Thoughts on Gaming Mice Performance
There are a few things you should consider before jumping on the fastest moving train at hype station. Sure, typically the best products will naturally rise above the rest, but you still need to make sure you get a mouse that is going to be comfortable. One of the best things you can do before you drop $60+ on a gaming mouse is to identify which grip you use (claw, palm or fingertips). Razer has a great guide on the different mouse grips. Most gamers use a hybrid palm and claw grip.
Additionally, for those of you on the extreme ends of the spectrum of hand size may want to take that factor into consideration when shopping. Some mice are designed for smaller hands and some for larger hands. As far as wired vs. wireless go, we favor wired. If you’re shopping for a gaming mouse, you probably care about gaming performance and reaction time, you probably want to play it safe and stick with a wired mouse. That being said, new wireless gaming mice are getting extremely responsive. You can read our debate about wired vs wireless gaming mice for more details on that age old debate.
For more information on picking out the right mouse and gaming mouse tech check out our comprehensive guide.
Gaming Mouse Guide Part II: What is a Gaming Mouse? Do I Even Need One?
A gaming mouse is a mouse that’s tailor-made for gamers, but what does that mean? Well, for starters, gaming mice offer better performance and more customization. They come with high-end sensors that are more precise and response accurately to quick hand movement. They’re also more durable, as they’re made to withstand longer and more intense periods of clicking, moving and, you guessed it, rage from gamers. A Razer gaming mouse, for example, comes with a 50 million click lifespan, and in games like League of Legends that can see you clicking up to more than 100 times per game on average, that’s incredibly valuable.
A regular mouse does not perform as well under these same conditions. The buttons aren’t as responsive nor can they withstand the same kind of mashing that those on a gaming mouse can. They’re not designed ergonomically to fit your hand so that you can game comfortably for hours on end, nor do they have the same depth of customization that you get from gaming mice software that includes features like polling rates, angle-snapping, acceleration or even regular sensitivities. This is no surprise either; the average computer user has no need for extremely high DPIs, interchangeable grips, adjustable weights or button-tension springs. Gaming is an entirely different animal.
There are different types of gaming mice for you depending on what you play as well. MMO mice come with up to 12 macro buttons on the side for if you dislike the traditional WASD 123 MMO control scheme, shooter mice allow you to preset multiple sensitivities and switch between them on the fly and others are made for people who are either left-handed, want a mix of the aforementioned qualities or are on-the-go (portable mice). What you need depends on what you play, how you play and, honestly, what feels the most comfortable for you.
Zoom In: A Closer Look at our Top 5 Gaming Mice Picks
Although any of those options in our overview chart are an excellent choice for gaming, we identified four that we think go above and beyond the call of clicking duty.
1. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
The G502 Proteus Spectrum isn’t Logitech’s latest and greatest mouse, but it does still use one of the finest optical sensors on the market (PMW3366). Furthermore, it is significantly marked down this year, so much so it tops our picks list. Logitech has decades of experience in the peripheral market, and they bring it all to bear with the G502 Proteus Core ($79.99, on sale for $69.99 as of this writing). The highlight of this model is the Delta Zero technology used for the sensor, which means that mouse acceleration at the hardware level is nonexistent unless you turn it on yourself. That’s an issue many gamers encounter when trying to find a mouse without any amount of acceleration even when the feature is toggled off—a simple issue, which can create significant obstacles for the aspiring gamer in developing consistency.
The weight of the mouse is tunable, with a set of weights in the box and a compartment for them in the bottom of the mouse. Heavy or light, you can tweak the mouse to feel just right. With the Logitech Gaming Software package, you can customize any of the mouse’s eleven buttons to perform any action or macro you can think of, in addition to tuning the mouse to your particular gaming surface. Modify your mouse’s DPI (otherwise known as sensor resolution) to match the needs of the games you play, and set buttons to toggle between different DPI settings on the fly. Even scrolling gets a boost, with a dual-mode hyperfast scroll wheel that you can switch between free spinning and incremental modes on the fly. Game smarter, and harder, with Logitech.
Logitech G502 Snapshot:
- Best for claw and palm grips
- Weight: 4.3 ounces / 121 grams
- Size: 5.2”/132mm (Length) x 2.95” / 75mm (Width) x 1.57” / 40mm (Height)
- Tunable weights included
- 32-bit ARM microprocessor, 1000 Hz report rate
- Optical Hero Sensor up to 16,000 DPI
- 11 programmable buttons
- Lightsync RGB ready
2. ROCCAT KONE Pure Performance
The Kone is a sleek, beautifully designed black gaming mouse. It is a smaller-sized mouse and is an excellent option for finger tip and claw grip gamers. The Kone Pure has received a lot of praise for its comfortable, ergonomic design. The thumb groove is perfectly crafted and the steeply-angled mouse sides allow your pinky and ring fingers to get just the right grip. The mouse features up to 8200 DPI, with Omron’s switch technology for the two main left and right clicks. It offers gamers 2 extra buttons on the left side, a mouse wheel, and another two extra buttons below the wheel that are all fully programmable.
The software is pretty cool, and fairly similar to Razer’s Synapse software, but it is slightly bloated with stat tracking and achievements. A loud, gravelly voice will growl at you every now and again, informing you when you “level up” after extended use of the mouse. It will likely scare the bejeesus out of you until disabled. But those are truly minor complaints, overall the software is powerful and gets the job done. It also allows profile customization. This is nice if you’re a fan of different genres, allowing you to set up an “RTS” profile and FPS profile for example.
A quick thing to note is that the ROCCAT Kone XTD is a slightly larger version (4.3 ounces instead of 3.2) of the Pure. The hardware is the same, aside from a few extra nifty lighting features. The XTD also comes with customizable weights.
- Best for claw and finger tip grips, or claw/palm hybrid grip
- Weight: 3.2 ounces / 90 grams
- Size: 4.9”/126mm (Length) x 2.7” / 68mm (Width) x 1.5” / 39mm (Height)
- Designed for right hand, ergonomic thumb groove
- Omron Switches
- Laser Sensor up to 8200dpi
- 5 extra buttons
- 1 lighting zone
3. SteelSeries Sensei Laser RAW Edition
‘Bow to the master.’ The Sensei is hands down one of the best laser sensor mice on the market. The laser sensor goes up to 5,670 DPI. This mouse has 2 left side buttons and two right side buttons which is more than enough to cover any useful commands you’d rather have on your mouse than your keyboard. It has two different finish options: glossy or rubber options. We prefer the rubber coating, it feels wonderful and guards against moisture build-up.
SteelSeries has covered all the bases with this mouse. After taking input from Pro Gamers, SteelSeries added a DPI high / low preset switch below the mouse wheel. It’s full of features such as the 4 adjustable SteelSeries “ExactTech” settings. ExactTech includes four different settings allowing you to fine tune lift distance, sensititvty (CPI), mouse deceleration for improved headshot precision, and mouse acceleration for high speed mouse movement.
The Sensei Standard Edition is a bulked up, original version of the Sensei. It has a few more features the key one being a enhanced max DPI of 11,400. That is overkill for most people, unless you have superhuman abilities mousing at 11,400 DPI is going to hurt your game, its just too damn fast. It’s a bit more expensive, but still great bang for you’re buck. If you’re looking for the best laser gaming mouse on the market, this is the one.
- Best for finger tip and claw grips
- Weight: 3.5 ounces / 100 grams
- Size: 4.9”/126mm (Length) x 2.7” / 68mm (Width) x 1.5” / 39mm (Height)
- Ambidextrous Shape
- Lazer Sensor
- Omrom Switches
- 6 extra buttons
- 3 lighting zones
4. Razer DeathAdder Elite
Remember what we said about best products naturally becoming the most popular? The DeathAdder is one of the most popular gaming mice of all time. Some people like to claim its better for FPS or for RTS, the bottom line is that the DeathAdder a great all-around mouse for any genre. The latest version of the mouse packs a 16,000 5G DPI optical sensor. The click force actuation of the two main mouse buttons is extremely low, making it easy and even a little fun to spam clicks.
The notched mouse successfully toes the difficult balance for a gaming mouse by offering a large wheel that’s easy to scroll, but supplements this with a notched design which promotes accurate scrolling (such as through weapon menus in a FPS when selecting the right weapon is critical). The two thumb buttons on the left side are large as well, making them easily accessible during clutch moments.
Razer’s Synapse software allows gamers to make custom profiles and store them in the cloud. This will keep your firmware and drivers up to date so you never have to worry about them. It’s also your one-stop-shop for fine tuning: lighting, surface-calibration, X-axis and Y-axis DPI settings, and more can all be managed with the software. It comes in a one-size-fits-all curved design, conforming to most hand sizes just fine.
The new Elite version comes with rubber textured side grips, promoting full control mousing even under high twitch conditions. It has two thumb buttons and an updated mouse wheel. Additionally, DPI buttons have been added near the wheel to adjust sensitivity on the fly. Simple and ergonomically designed, Razer’s latest edition of one of the all time greats is a force to be reckoned with. Quite frankly, Razer is tip toing on perfection with this one, and we aren’t sure if Razer could make any tweaks or changes that wouldn’t throw off this finely balanced rodent.
- Best for palm and claw grips
- Weight: 3.7 ounces / 105 grams
- Size: 5.0”/127mm (Length) x 2.8″ / 70mm (Width) x 1.7” / 44mm (Height)
- Offered in a left handed version
- Optical Sensor
- Omrom Switches
- 5 Independently programmable buttons
- 2 lighting zones
5. Logitech G203 Prodigy
For budget shoppers, you can’t go wrong with the G203. For aspiring pros the 203 is the first price tier in Logitech’s ultra popular G Series. The 8,000 DPI sensor and 6 customize-able buttons are usually more than enough even in competitive MOBA and FPS settings. This mouse follows in the footsteps of the Logitech G100 Gaming Mouse, one of the most popular mice of all time.
The simple lines and basic body aren’t a showstopper by any means, but it doesn’t look cheap either. Believe it or not, you also get custom lighting at this price point, a full RGB mouse with 16.8 million color combinations. This mouse employs Logitech’s advanced button tensioning — reducing the force you need to click the left and right mouse buttons.
By stepping up from the ultra cheap $10 mice on Amazon, you’ll get the Logitech polish. Reliable build quality, driver software, and a battle-tested shape carried over from the G100.
Logitech G203 Prodigy Snapshot:
- Best for fingertip and claw grips
- Weight: 3.0 ounces / 85 grams
- Size: 4.6”/117mm (Length) x 2.45″ / 62mm (Width) x 1.5” / 38mm (Height)
- 8,000 max DPI Optical Sensor
- Omrom Switches
- 6 Independently programmable buttons
- 2 lighting zones