Gaming mice are the unsung heroes of PC gaming. Long gone are the days when they were just a plastic shell for a rolling ball - now these not-so-squeaky devices are the difference between a run-of-the-mill gaming session and one that makes you feel like you have a second, smaller brain in your hand with enough buttons to cater to every loadout you could possibly desire. Whether you're playing on a desktop rig or one of the best gaming laptops, a good mouse is a literal and figurative game-changer.
Mind you, deciphering all the different technological quirks of these clever little devices can be tricky. Sometimes it's as simple as just needing to know which mouse is best if you're left-handed, other times you'll find yourself wondering what DPI is (basically the mouse's sensitivity), or if you should be using a special type of mouse depending on whether you prefer Overwatch to DOTA.
If your head is already reeling, have no fear! In no time you'll find the perfect gaming mouse as we've rounded up the best ones around, taking into account price, how it feels to use, and how much you're realistically going to use all those buttons. Simply look below to find out which are the best gaming mice on the market right this second.
1. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
The best all-purpose 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
For PC users that want quality construction, very high levels of movement accuracy, relative affordability and plentiful customization options, Logitech’s G502 Proteus Spectrum is tough to beat. 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 (if unimaginatively) named Logitech Gaming Software. 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 in case your skills become that refined.
2. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
The best all-purpose gaming mouse for Mac
DPI: 10,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via Razer Synapse, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8 - 10.11, 1000 Hz report rate, 105 grams
Thanks to the multiplatform compatibility of Razer’s Synapse customization software, the DeathAdder Chroma is a great option for the Mac-only gamer, or for anyone who lives in a multi-OS household. Like the Logitech G502, the DeathAdder Chroma features comfortable ergonomics, an extremely accurate optical sensor, user-configurable lighting effects and a feature-rich software suite for usage statistics, lift-off height adjustment and novelties.
The only department in which the DeathAdder Chroma offers less than the competition is in its number of buttons -- five, vs. the G502’s 11. Realistically though, the G502’s 11 buttons are probably overkill for the average enthusiast user. It’s also worth noting that, while widely positive, Amazon reviews for the DeathAdder Chroma do make the occasional claim of microswitch/scroll wheel failure within a couple months of purchase, but these seem to be fringe cases and not the norm.
3. SteelSeries Rival 100
Affordable accuracy for affable aficionados
DPI: 2,000 native, 4,000 simulated | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via SteelSeries Engine3, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8+, 1000 Hz report rate, 120 grams
If you’re looking to up the ante without breaking the bank, SteelSeries’ Rival 100 is an excellent entry point into the world of gaming mice. While the Rival 100’s optical sensor caps out at a native resolution of 2,000 CPI (CPI and DPI are essentially interchangeable acronyms that vary by manufacturer), it’s an extremely accurate 2,000 CPI, which will still be plenty for most players. It’s also solidly built and has six programmable buttons, and its customization software is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Said software, SteelSeries Engine3, allows for the usual LED color customization and button mapping, however it does not allow for the adjustment of the Rival 100’s lift-off distance. Sensor resolution is adjustable, but only in set increments, for a total of eight preset resolution options. The highest option, 4,000 CPI, is achieved through software doubling of the sensor’s native maximum resolution of 2,000 CPI. This means that, while technically higher resolution, the 4,000 CPI setting is less accurate in practice than a sensor that is capable of 4,000 CPI natively.
Regardless, the SteelSeries Rival 100 is more than capable for most users and is definitely worth every cent.
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
The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is a highly configurable and versatile gaming mouse that, for most us at least, costs more than the memory our games are stored on. For those that can swing/stomach the cost of entry, however, the G900 sets the industry standard for luxurious flexibility.
Two side buttons can be mounted to either side of the G900, with the unused socked 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 1 ms response time for the G900 in either mode, though for tournament levels of consistency we would recommend wired usage. That wireless 1 ms 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 always the potential for interference. If millions of esports dollars aren’t on the line, then a wireless lifestyle is yours for the taking.
Overall, the G900 is a masterclass in mechanical form, function and flexibility, with a price tag to match.
5. ROCCAT Kova
The people’s ambidextrous gaming mouse
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
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 complaint lodged against the Kova has nothing to do with its hardware, but rather its reportedly 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.
6. Corsair M65 PRO RGB
Accuracy, at your discretion
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
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.
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
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. Razer Naga Hex V2
Clock on for some MOBA-time
DPI: 16,000 | Interface: Wired USB | Buttons: 14 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Customizable via Razer Synapse, supports Windows 7+ and OSX 10.8 - 10.11, 1,000 Hz report rate, 135 grams
The MOBA equivalent of the Naga Chroma above, the Hex has just had an update, delivering a mechanical thumbwheel with seven buttons. It takes a few minutes to get used to but quickly becomes intuitive and the rubberised grip speedily becomes your default thumb rest for normal day to day mouse activities as well as on the fly clickage in game.
The customisable buttons here add up to 14 and there's a stack of pre-configured profiles ready for action. Once again Razer's Synapse application shows off its true power with not only the lovely colour customisation options but with it's ease of use for configuring the Hex V2 just the way you like. You can import profiles and even link specific applications, proving once again why Razer is still at the very top of its game.
Then there's the option for 16,000 DPI which is always, quite frankly, insane but if you've got the reflexes of a hawk and the steady hand of a surgeon then the Naga Hex V2 will quite happily lead you to victory. Once again, it's all customisable in Synapse and lovely to be able to tweak things to your own personal taste. Comfortable and smooth, the mouse itself is a slick plastic blank canvas to hew into just the peripheral you want.
9. 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
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.