Best gaming mouse (October 2018)

best gaming mouse

Mice are one of the most overlooked game controllers, probably in large part due to their workaday origins as boring, bland, beige PC accessories from the early days of computing. But a proper gaming mouse is the polar opposite; sleek, flashy, and precise, the mice of this current generation of hardware proliferation are more sports car than station wagon. And they're bristling with additional features and customization options (not to mention a plethora of buttons) that let you tailor them to exacting specifications; everything from interchangeable side panels to modular weights can be added or subtracted to suit your tastes, and many of the gaming mice on our list come with a suite of RGB lighting in millions of colors to make your mouse as attractive as it is functional.

The problem, then, with the huge field of possibilities now available, is choosing one that'll best suit you. Of course, if possible, we always recommend finding a display at a brick and mortar store or a hardware kiosk where they have mice out to test, and getting your hands on one in person, even if you're then going to jump back online to shop around before you buy. But that's not always possible, of course, and beyond how a model fits your hand, you'll want to compare what's under the hood. That's where we come in. We've rounded up the best gaming mice on the planet right now, and chosen a diverse group so that there's something specialized to suit every gamer's taste, and included at an a glance list of some of the best prices for each. Naturally, new mouse in hand, you'll want to check out our list of the best PC games to have something to play with it. 

best gaming mouse

1. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum

The best gaming mouse for PC

DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 11 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customization via Logitech Gaming Software, 1,000 Hz report rate, adjustable weights

Flexible featureset
Highly customizable
PC only
No left-handed option

For PC users that want quality construction, high levels of precision at an affordable price point, and plentiful customization options, Logitech’s G502 Proteus Spectrum is a contender. Five user-adjustable 3.6 gram weights allow you to make the mouse as heavy or as light as you’d like in a variety of configurations that also adjust of the mouse’s overall weight distribution. 

All 11 buttons can be programmed to your specifications, as can the mouse’s RGB LED lighting effects, via Logitech’s aptly named Gaming Software. Fear not: mouse lighting is more cosmetic than functional - but it does look cool. This software also grants access to the G502’s full range of sensor resolutions, from 200 DPI all the way up to 12,000 DPI. Granted, 12,000 DPI will be unusably high for most players who want a mouse for all occasions, but it’s nice to have the headroom to adjust when extreme accuracy is required.

2. SteelSeries Rival 600

Elite performance at startlingly competitive price

DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via SteelSeries Engine3, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8+, 350+ IPS, 96-129 grams adjustable

Incredible performance and feature-set
Remarkably low price for what’s on offer
Adjustable weight and balance
Price slightly higher than entry-level (if not by much)

The Rival 600 from the reemergent Danish gaming peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries is a tremendous mouse, the sort you’d expect to pay double the asking price or more for. Not only does it boast a very precise 12,000 DPI to match its lightning quick 350 inches-per-second speed rating (i.e. the rate at which the mouse pointer moves across the screen), but it’s packed with features that range from truly useful to attractive bells and whistles.

For anyone frustrated with drift or jerking when you lift a mouse to reposition it, the Rival 600 alleviates that problem with its brilliant depth sensor, eliminating nearly any drift any time you pick up the mouse. It also includes detachable sides into which you can slot 4 gram weights to shift the center of balance or just alter the weight to suit your preference. Comfortable design, eight zone RGB lighting, and SteelSeries’ intuitive software suite round out a mouse that you’ll feel like a thief for getting for under $100.

3. Alienware AW959

A versatile mouse with a customizable set of buttons

DPI: 100-12,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: Up to 11 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable side modules with additional buttons, RGB lighting, supports Windows 7+, 1000 Hz report rate, customizable weight (5 gram add-ons)

Extremely versatile with a bunch of customizable options
Great optical sensor and performance
Quite large, especially with the optional side modules attached

After a lengthy hiatus, Alienware has stepped back into the realm of peripherals with recent releases of a new wireless headset, keyboard, and a high quality gaming mouse. The AW959 is an attractive piece of tech designed to appeal to a broad audience. Its default setup has a slimmer profile and two side buttons, but interchangeable side panels allow you to add an additional two side buttons and a wider base to rest your hand on. The buttons in either configuration are nicely tactile, and the in the four button configuration the higher pair are pronounced so that there's no chance of accidentally pressing one from the wrong pair. They also require a firm click, so you won't trigger them just picking up or handling the mouse.

The AW959 has a great optical sensor and at 12,000 DPI is plenty precise. It also has some nice lighting features via the AlienFX software and, if you want to adjust the weight, comes with two additional 5 gram add-ons that slot neatly into the rear of the mouse. While it seems designed for gamers with larger hands, being both slightly longer and, if you have the optional side panels attached, wider than an average mouse, it's a modders dream that you can tweak to your heart's content.

best gaming mouse

4. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum

Luxury for every occasion

DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wireless 2.4Ghz, Wired USB | Buttons: 11 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via Logitech Gaming Software, supports Windows 7+, 1,000 Hz report rate, 107 grams

Ambidextrous, swappable side buttons
Wired and wireless modes
Expensive
PC only

The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is a highly configurable and versatile gaming mouse, a powerful, attractive choice for those with disposable income to burn and who demand the very best. For those that can stomach the cost of entry, or who aren’t opposed to a second mortgage to finance their top-end gaming peripherals, the G900 sets the industry standard for luxurious flexibility.

A pair of buttons can be mounted to either side of the G900, with the unused socket on the opposite side concealed by a nigh-seamless blank insert. This makes the device completely ambidextrous, which is a rare luxury in gaming mice regardless of price point. The G900 can also function as a wired or wireless mouse - up to a reported 32 hours of continuous wireless usage with lighting effects disabled, or 24 continuous hours with the lights on full.

Logitech claims a 1ms response time for the G900 even in wireless mode, though for tournament levels of consistency we would recommend wired usage. That wireless 1ms figure is under prime conditions, and since the G900’s wireless chip broadcasts at 2.4Ghz - the most common frequency for wireless devices - there’s a lot of potential for interference. That minor quibble aside, the G900 is a masterclass in mechanical form, function and flexibility, with a price tag to match.

best gaming mouse

5. ROCCAT Kova

An affordable, quality, option for left-handed gamers

DPI: 3,500 native, 7,500 simulated | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 10 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via ROCCAT Swarm, supports Windows 7+, 1,000 Hz report rate, 99 grams

Ambidextrous
$100-ish less than the G900
Lackluster software
No visual DPI indicator

Fear not, lefties, for there is another, much more affordable option in ambidextrous gaming mice. The ROCCAT Kova is comfortable, accurate and very capable, thanks to its unique “Smart Cast” buttons that flank each primary button for easy access. The Kova also employs ROCCAT’s “Easy-Shift+” tech, which allows users to assign both primary and secondary functions to each of the 10 programmable buttons.

The main issue with the Kova has nothing to do with its hardware, but rather its convoluted software suite, Swarm. As with Synapse and Logitech Gaming Software, Swarm allows the user to customize the Kova’s LED colors, button layout and sensor resolution. Unfortunately, Swarm’s UI is less intuitive than the competition’s and can be annoying to work with, due to confusingly labeled menu options and limited slots for game-specific profiles. 

There’s also no visual indicator on the Kova for which of your presets is active, and since the DPI toggle cycles through presets instead of allowing you to increase/decrease at will, it can be inconvenient to find exactly what you’re looking for. Beyond these shortcomings, however, the Kova is an excellent option for anyone in need of an affordable, ambidextrous gaming mouse. 

best gaming mouse

6. Corsair M65 PRO RGB

The ultimate mouse for precision and in-game snipers

DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via Corsair Utility Engine, supports Windows 7+, 1,000 Hz report rate, 115 - 135.5 grams

Adjustable weight
“Sniper” DPI thumb toggle
Wildly high DPI won’t benefit most
No left-handed version of current-gen Naga

An excellent overall gaming mouse in its own right, Corsair’s M65 PRO RGB FPS Gaming mouse really shines in the hand of an expert marksman. The 12,000 DPI optical sensor’s resolution can be adjusted on the fly using the up and down buttons below the mouse wheel, as is standard for many gaming mice, but it can also be temporarily changed to a predetermined sniping resolution by holding down the red thumb button. 

While the button is held, the M65’s optical sensor switches to whatever you’ve set as your ideal resolution for precision shots in the Corsair Utility Engine. And as soon as you release it, you’re back to whatever your most recent DPI setting was prior to taking aim. This lets the user swap from a very high, movement-centric DPI setting to an extremely low, accuracy-tuned resolution, without having to waste time cycling through all the DPI settings in-between.

Other than the standard gaming mouse qualms of being PC only and there being no left-handed model available, Corsair’s M65 PRO RGB FPS knocks it out of the park.

best gaming mouse

7. Razer Naga Chroma

Keep your entire action bar on-hand

DPI: 16,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 19 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via Razer Synapse, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8 - 10.11, 1,000 Hz report rate, 135 grams

Buttons for days 
In-game customization overlays (PC only)
Wildly high DPI won’t benefit most
No left-handed version of current-gen Naga

MMO enthusiasts that play melee classes or participate in competitive play modes often have to balance accuracy and agility, while still maintaining quick access to a laundry list of spells and abilities. Enter the Naga Chroma, Razer’s latest in its storied line of MMO-focused mice. 

In addition to Razer’s highest resolution optical sensor and the myriad customization options that the Synapse software provides, the Naga Chroma is equipped with an absurd/impressive 12 thumb buttons, for a total of 19 configurable buttons overall. That’s an entire World of Warcraft action bar’s worth of abilities and/or macros that can be activated by your thumb alone, allowing the rest of your fingers to focus on movement. Razer has also developed in-game configuration utilities for many popular MMOs, meaning you can rearrange your button configurations during a raid break without having to back out to the desktop, or play in windowed mode.

Unfortunately, those custom in-game utilities are only available on the PC, but the rest of the Naga Chroma’s capabilities function without issue on the Mac. Don’t get too excited about that optical sensor though - 16,000 DPI is an absurdly high resolution that only the most controlled, surgeon-like mouseketeers will be able to use even halfway capably.

The lack of a left-handed model is a bummer, considering the 2014 series of Naga came in both right and left-handed flavors, but overall the Naga Chroma is an exceptional choice for anyone who needs performance, accuracy, and instant access to 12+ different functions.

8. HyperX Pulsefire Surge

Simple elegance that will suit almost any hand

DPI: Adjustable up to 16,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 6 | Features: Customizable via NGenuity, 1,000 Hz report rate, 100 grams

Fits comfortably in almost any hand
Precise and customizable
Software can be finicky

HyperX has been making strong moves into the PC peripheral space since their first forays in the headset space, and the Surge proves that they’ve learned a lot of important lessons about feature design and production values along the way. The Surge combines simple elegance in its basic, curved design—one that suits almost any hand with little or no adjustment to your mousing grip—with advanced aesthetics, best illustrated by its ring of bold RGB lighting. It’s very comfortable to use over lengthy sessions, and the two thumb buttons are an easy reach and feel satisfyingly clicky and responsive. That said, if you’re frequently picking up the mouse to set it aside or to move the cord out of the way, it’s easy to accidentally trigger one of those side buttons, though it almost never happens during normal usage. 

The Surge is a great entry in Pulsefire’s hardware lineup and a pleasure to use; comfortable, responsive, and intuitive, with handy little touches like an onscreen display that indicates when you change the DPI setting (which ranges all the way up to an ultra-sensitive 16,000). Though the software suite can be a little finnicky, it’s also a great tool for setting individual profiles for any game that calls for custom button configurations, and is intuitive to use. It rounds out a fantastic mouse that’s quickly leapfrogged a lot of its competition.

best gaming mouse

9. SteelSeries Sensei 310

A great all-rounder

DPI: 100-12000, 100 CPI Increments | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 8 | Features: Customizable via SteelSeries engine software, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8+, 1,000 Hz report rate, 92.1 grams

Ambidextrous
Designed for comfort
Slightly larger overall, may be a challenge for smaller hands
Sturdy with weight distributed towards the back

The Sensei is a larger, slightly more upmarket product from SteelSeries, a mouse with a concave profile significantly different than most of its contemporaries. With an ambidextrous design, rubber grips, and buttons on both the right and left side, it fits the hand well and is an excellent choice for gamers regardless of handedness. It comes with a robust software package that allows for full customization of each button and an intuitive suite of options for macro design. While not a particularly heavy mouse, the feel of the Sensei is very pleasant if you’re familiar with the feather-light, cheap plastic mice that are mass produced by PC manufacturers, but weight is shifted a bit towards the back in a way that feels slightly off when you’re rapidly pushing it around in an FPS or MOBA. 

The buttons are clicky and responsive in a very satisfying way, though the slightly wider than average gap between them feels odd and unnecessary. The middle mouse button on the wheel is firm and responsive, though the wheel spin is a bit loose, which can be either a bane or boon depending on the game in question. It’s fantastic for quickly zooming in quickly in an RTS or strategy game, but for setting scope distance or similar functions a clickier spin would be preferable. Regardless, if you’re looking for something solid and substantial that feels and performs great, the Sensei is an excellent choice.

10. Roccat Kone Aimo

The best PC gaming mouse for bigger hands

DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 3 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customisable using Roccat Swarm software, compatible with PC only, 512KB on-board macro memory, 1ms response time

Incredibly comfortable to use over long periods of time
Adjustable lift-off distance
Software is excellent
Only three customisable buttons, which may be an issue for some
Right-handed only

If you’re cursed/blessed with big hands, getting a PC gaming mouse that’s comfortable but also functional can be a bit of an issue. You can often be left pressing multiple of those tiny macro buttons with your oversized fingers in the heat of a moment, which isn’t ideal for anyone. But fear not, your fellow big-handed friend is here for you and the Roccat Kone Aimo is the way to go. The Aimo’s smooth, curved design (and lovely matte finish) almost moulds to a bigger palm, with your thumb fitting neatly into a special groove where all the Aimo’s additional buttons live. And those buttons are part of the appeal. The long button at the bottom is known as the Easy Shift+ (but is labelled T3) and actually lets you assign macro shortcuts for specific games - there are preset profiles for 43 games including Overwatch, GTA 5, League of Legends and CS:GO. In-game the buttons below the scroll-wheel even let you switch between five different profiles for ultimate button flexibility. It’s not always clear which you’ve got enable unless you turn on the ridiculous audio feedback though. 

It does also come with an excellent sensor and adjustable lift-off distance, if you’re one of those gamers who finds it easier to pick your mouse up for speed. The colour customisation is lovely too, but not so in your face that you’ll be lighting up the entire room with your rainbow power. 

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