Peripheral manufacturers have really upped their game in the past few years, and we're seeing some pretty intense competition for the best gaming mouse crown. Check into any comments section of any best-of list or buying guide like this one, and you'll see some, let's call it very vocal, support for any number of models and makers. To sort the wheat from the chaff we've looked at a frankly mind-boggling number of mice, thoroughly tested and analyzed them, and featured the cream of the crop here (yes, I realize I'm mixing metaphors).
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The DeathAdder Elite is one of our top picks with good reason. It's got a fantastic sensor, fits the hand well, and take a no frills approach to gaming mouse design that keeps the price from ballooning out of control. For $20 off, it's an easy recommend.
So, this list in hand, how do you pick out the best gaming mouse for you? While some of it is, of course, subjective, you definitely want a high precision mouse regardless of your personal taste. That means a pointer with a relatively high CPI (ideally one that can be adjusted in small increments), and a sniper button is also a nice addition, letting you toggle the CPI way down so you can line up the perfect headshot without the reticle skipping wildly all over the place. A high IPS (inch-per-second) rating is also key; it's a measurement of how fast you can move the mouse before it loses track of you and the cursor starts freaking out. Beyond that, it's largely about aesthetics, features (like extra programmable buttons or wireless charging mats), and how much you love pulsing rainbows of RGB light.
The revival of a genuine classic and the best overall gaming mouse
CPI: 16,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customization via Logitech Hub, 1,000 Hz report rate
The original Logitech MX518 is one of the best regarded gaming mice the company has ever produced, but since its launch way back in 2005, mouse technology has come a long way. Logitech decided to gulf that broad divide and refresh the legendary design with a bundle of new hardware, packed into the same, beautiful chassis that has served so well for nearly 15 years, and the result is one of the best gaming mice I've gotten my hands on.
The new MX518 replaces the aging 1,800 CPI sensor with Logitech's cutting edge HERO unit, rated at a ridiculously accurate 16,000 CPI for incredible precision. And while it retains most of the original's form factor and exterior design, it has replaced the distressed metallic look with a slick looking Nightfall finish, giving the understated aesthetics a touch of elegance. It's incredibly comfortable, high performance, and a perfect fit for both frenetic gamers and dedicated office workers.
2. Razer Deathadder Elite
The best mouse for shooters
CPI: 16,000 | Sensor: Optical | Interface: USB | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: Right handed | Weight: 105 g (0.23 lbs)
The Razer Deathadder is one of the most pleasantly shaped non-ergonomic mice available. It fits the hand and is suitable for any grip style, whether you're a palm or grip adherent. Even better, it packs an extremely precise 16,000 CPI sensor that I've never encountered tracking issues with, the PMW-3389 from Pixart. It's also got an extremely high 450 IPS rating, so feel free to fling it across your mousing surface at speed.
While it's not bristling with additional buttons, the two generously sized thumb buttons are well placed and distinct, so you needn't worry about accidentally actuating the wrong one in the middle of a heated firefight in Rage 2. It's a fairly simple, understated pointer that's focused more on quality and performance than overblown RGB lighting or gimmicks.
3. ROCCAT Kova
An affordable, quality option for left-handed gamers
CPI: 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
Fear not, lefties, for there is a great, very 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 CPI 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.
The best mouse for larger hands
CPI: 18,000 | Sensor: Optical | Interface: USB | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via iCue, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8+, 1,000 Hz report rate, RGB lighting, 105 grams
Corsair's brand new Ironclaw, announced at this year's CES conference, is a fantastic, wide form factor mouse that's perfect for gamers with larger hands, though it's not so big that it overwhelms even the petite-handed. It's built of a variety of different materials, tailored to suit each independent panel of the mouse, from grippy diamond pattern rubber on the sides to the smooth matte plastic of the central panel and main buttons.
It's also incredibly precise at up to 18,000 CPI and with a tolerance of 400 IPS, so throwing it around even at high speeds won't cause it to lose tracking. And it's packed with thoughtful features, from the tasteful RGB lighting behind the logo, CPI indicator, and scroll wheel to the surface calibration tool in the iCue software suite. It's also got a nice reinforced, braided USB cable and some slick plastic feet for durability and ease of use. It's incredibly comfortable to hold and use and specced to perform in a league with the very best - definitely our top choice for a slightly larger mouse.
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5. Alienware AW959
A versatile mouse with a customizable set of buttons
CPI: 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)
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 CPI 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.
6. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
A luxury mouse for gamers with an expansive budget
CPI: 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
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 find it at a deep discount during one of the frequent sales), 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.
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7. Logitech MX Vertical
An ergonomic mouse for the ultimate in comfort
CPI: 4,000 | Interface: Wireless, USB-A to USB-C charging | Buttons: 4 | Ergonomic: Yes | Features: Neutral posture ergonomic design, four month battery life, supports Windows 7+, 1,000 Hz report rate, 115 - 135.5 grams
If comfort is your main concern, there's no better option than Logitech's Vertical MX. Its ergonomic form factor is designed to reduce muscle strain and let you rest your hand on it in a cozy, neutral position, so you can use it for hours on end with virtually no strain. While it's 4,000 CPI optical sensor isn't the best in class, it's still very precise - above 3,000 CPI any mouse is likely to start feeling a bit too twitchy and hyperactive anyway, except in very specific use cases. For marathon sessions of Civilization or Total War, or any situation where you'll be holding your mouse for hours at a time, the MX Vertical is a great go-to.
Connectivity and battery life are another selling point. The MX Vertical is wireless but can be paired through Bluetooth or through the included Logitech Unifying Receiver/USB-A to USB-C cable, and the advertised battery life on a full charge is a ridiculous four months. Even a quick one minute charge will yield up to three hours of battery life, so you'll never be stuck having to wire it up to jump into a long gaming session.
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8. Razer Naga Chroma
The best mouse for MMOs and strategy games, festooned with buttons
CPI: 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
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 CPI 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.
9. Razer Mamba Wireless
The best wireless mouse
CPI: 16,000 | Interface: Wireless via dongle or wired USB | Buttons: 9 | Features: RGB logo and scrollwheel, 1,000 Hz report rate, 96 grams
Razer's Mamba Wireless is the new pinnacle of their peripherals offering, a superb gaming mouse that's ridiculously precise, comfortable to use, and well designed both functionally and aesthetically.
At 16,000 CPI and 450 IPS, the Mamba will keep up with even the most demanding tasks in gaming, from precision sniping to whipping the camera around in Fortnite. I awarded it a near perfect four and a half stars in my review, and only marked it down slightly because of the odd look of the rubberized grips on the side panel. I'm not a huge fan of Razer's seemingly prerequisite RGB lighting, but its appearance here is relatively low-key: only the logo and two strips alongside the scroll wheel are lit-up. And for a wireless mouse, it's remarkably light, coming in around 106g, so it's easy to push around atop its slick plastic feet. As I said in my review, sliding it across a rigid mouse pad was like slipping silk across glass. Of course, it can be used wired as well, though you'll hardly need to, with its nearly 50 hours of battery life and brisk charging speed.
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The best, big mouse for gamers that play everything
CPI: 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, 130 grams
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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