The humble mouse is most people’s primary point of contact with their PC and, while joysticks and gamepads have come and gone, you’ll still find the pro PC gamers rocking the classic mouse and keyboard combo.
The mouse is the most accurate method of interacting with your games and it’s prevalence in PC gaming is the main reason cross-platform multiplay simply doesn’t happen between consoles and computers.
The gaming mouse though is not so humble a beast. You’ll find crazy-looking designs, festooned with extraneous buttons, strobing LEDs and finished with lurid colour schemes. But it’s not all style-over-content, however, different game genres require different things - MMO or MOBA folk will crave extra buttons, while FPS fans want quick reactions and maybe a sniper toggle. Comfort though is still absolutely the most important thing when it comes to choosing a gaming mouse and that all comes down to how you grip it.
Best gaming mouse
Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
Programmable Buttons: 11 | Sensor: Optical | Max DPI: 12,000 |
Connection: Wired |
Picking the absolute best gaming mouse around right now is a tall order. For a start there are some absolutely top notch mice out there and not just new ones either. There are a healthy amount of old school gaming rodents still going strong. But the Logitech G502 just about gets our award as the all-round best gaming mouse. Even if it’s just because of the glorious free-spinning scroll wheel...
The oddly-named (but then aren’t all gaming peripherals?) Proteus Core was the original super-advanced gaming mouse, and its latest refresh, the Proteus Spectrum, only builds on the former’s success by adding RGB LED lighting instead of the one-note blue.
The G502 is possibly more suited to the palm-grip than claw, but it still never feels uncomfortable in either grip. And that super-sensitive laser sensor is right up there with the best of them too. But who wants to game at 12,000 DPI? Well, no-one, I’ll give you that, but as resolutions get higher we need higher sensitivities. The big thing is that at lower DPI settings the sensor is more accurate and less jittery than a great many other laser gaming mice we’ve tested. It’s a great mouse, with a host of programmable buttons but not festooned with unnecessary distractions either.
Razer Mamba Tournament Edition
The simple aesthetic (strobing RGB LEDs notwithstanding) of the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition makes this wired laser gaming mouse one of my absolute favourites. It’s sleek, comfortable, super lightweight and incredibly accurate thanks to that Philips laser sensor. You don’t need to use it at 16,000 DPI, that breadth of sensitivity means at lower levels there’s no laser jitter.
Best wireless gaming mouse
Programmable Buttons: 9 | Sensor: Laser | Max DPI: 16,000 |
Connection: Wireless or wired |
The Razer Mamba is my favourite wireless gaming mouse, and is almost my favourite mouse full-stop. Which is saying alot considering I’ve not previously been a fan of Razer’s gaming mice. Indeed its last wireless rodent had battery life you could almost measure in minutes, input lag issues and was just generally uncomfortable.
The Razer Mamba though has a far more impressive 20 hour battery life and is easily rechargeable from its USB-attached receiver/charging unit. You can also wire it in directly and charge while you game.
There’s also no noticeable input lag and I’ve only noticed the very occasional stutters in wireless connectivity in months of use, and never in-game. It’s an expensive beast, but a really impressively responsive laser mouse with a seriously comfortable chassis for both claw and palm grips.
If battery life is a big thing the Logitech G602’s incredible long-lasting battery is just plain stunning - in ‘Performance’ mode it will last a huge 250 hours on a pair of AA batteries. The G602’s very much a palm grip mouse, and its 2,500 DPI optical sensor might put people off, but it shouldn’t - it’s a hugely accurate mouse even in fast-paced gaming.
Best FPS gaming mouse
Shogun Bros. Ballista Mk1
Programmable Buttons: 10 | Sensor: Laser | Max DPI: 8,200 |
Connection: Wired |
This old-school mouse from relatively unknown brand, Shogun Bros. is still one of my all-time favourite gaming rodents and because of its age you can pick it up for a great price right now. But don’t let its age fool you, the Ballista Mk1’s Avago laser sensor can still run up to a healthy 8,200 DPI and makes it a fantastically accurate gaming mouse.
What makes it perfectly suited to FPS gaming though is the fact the laser sensor has been offset to sit beneath the left mouse button - ostensibly under the trigger - and that slight change in design is great for twitch gaming. It’s also got easily accessible extra buttons on it which are perfect for that quick melee hit.
Corsair Vengeance M65
Corsair’s classic M65 is still a great FPS gaming mouse - with a dedicated sniper button right next to your thumb, allowing you to instantly drop the sensitivity to allow for fine grain movements when sniping. It’s also a very accurate, comfortable, affordable rodent and preferable to its sort-of-successor, the Corsair Sabre.
Best MMO or MOBA mouse
Programmable Buttons: 18 | Sensor: Laser | Max DPI: 12,000 |
Connection: Wired |
For the longest time it was all about the Razer Naga when it came to bagging a hardcore mouse for MMO or MOBA gaming. The myriad buttons arrayed on the side, begging for a thumb to caress them, are designed so that specific controls and macros can be easily accessible to your mouse hand, freeing up your keyboard claw. That’s all well and good, but with twelve tiny buttons seeing active service you need a seriously precise, dexterous thumb to be able to use the Naga effectively.
The Roccat Nyth take this basic idea but offers customisation to allow you to copy the Naga’s twelve-button design or create your own layout with different sizes of buttons to make more important commands/macros more accessible and easier to hit in the heat of battle. It’s also very precise a gaming mouse, despite its relatively large size and weight.
Razer Naga Chroma
The old Naga design still has a lot of fans and the Razer faithful will likely love the Naga Chroma update with its 16,000 DPI laser sensor and multi-coloured aesthetic. There is a less sensitive wireless version, the Naga Epic, though neither offer the same level of customisation as the Roccat rodent.
Best budget gaming mouse
Speedlink Kudos Z-9
Programmable Buttons: 8 | Sensor: Laser | Max DPI: 8,200 |
Connection: Wired |
You may know of Speedlink as purveyor of budget gaming peripherals, but with its latest batch of goodies it has really nailed the performance too. Its Torrid controller is seriously impressive and so is this excellent Kudos Z-9 gaming mouse. Like the Shogun Bros. mouse the Kudos has offset its sensor, placing it below the left mouse button, adding to its accuracy.
It’s also relatively lightweight, responsive and contains the same Avago laser sensor that has been packed into some of the best laser mice of the last few years. For the money, this is an excellent gaming rodent.
Cooler Master Xornet II
It may be cutting out a portion of its audience, but the Xornet II is a very focused gaming mouse, targeting a specific niche - the claw grip gamer. It’s one of the smallest mice around, designed to be held with the tips of your fingers. It’s also resolutely optical too, which does mean its sensitivity rating is far lower than most laser mice, but without needing hardware acceleration also means its translation of movement is accurate and reliable too.
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