MSI Clutch GM31 review: "A nippy lightweight gaming mouse that won't break the bank"

MSI Clutch GM31
(Image: © Future)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

The MSI Clutch GM31 is a nippy lightweight gaming mouse that won't break the bank. Dropping away from the $100 / £100+ price points of typical fps-first pointers and favoring the everyday player over the ultra-competitive is a good look here, with the costs saved in sensor and chassis materials returned in quality of life improvements like wireless charging right out of the box.

Pros

  • +

    Wireless charging dock included

  • +

    Excellent value for money

  • +

    Feels great in the hand

Cons

  • -

    Cheaper plastic chassis

  • -

    Low-quality sensor

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Lightweight first-person shooter-oriented gaming mice aren't difficult to find, but quality pointers with wireless charging (and a dock in the box) at under $70 / £60 are even more elusive. Enter the MSI Clutch GM31, priced at a very reasonable $69.99. The slimline gaming mouse offers everything a fast-paced action player might need, a 73g form factor, finger-tip-friendly main clicker length, and super snappy switches. In essence, the Clutch GM31 Lightweight Wireless (to use its full name) takes the chunkier GM30 in a new, sleeker direction, and in our weeks of testing, it's hit the nail on the affordably priced head. If you don't want to blow $150 / £150 on the Razer Viper V2 Pro, this is where you need to be looking. 

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Key Specs
Price$69.99 / £59.99
Connection2.4GHz / wired (USB-C)
ShapeRight-handed
Buttons6
DPI12,000
IPSRow 5 - Cell 1
SwitchesOmron
Weight73g

Design

MSI Clutch GM31

(Image credit: Future)

The Clutch GM31 carries the long, skinny design of many fps-first mice, packing a smaller footprint but still excellent grip and hold thanks to the slightly domed back and rubber textured grips running along each side. Such a form factor feels excellent under the hand, and with that low weight and wireless connection it's easy to fling this little rodent across the desktop and still maintain all the control you need. My smaller hands fit perfectly into the sloping, contoured sides, and settled well into the longer clickers and optimally placed scroll wheel, however those with larger hands may struggle to squeeze onboard. 

The lower price point does make itself known in the cheaper-feeling plastic exterior, the thin material and smooth feel don't exude the luxury of a more expensive device. You're spending in different areas, though, and the build materials don't feel particularly clammy or slippery during longer sessions. 

MSI Clutch GM31 wireless charging

(Image credit: Future)

The whole mouse is also designed to easily click into the included wireless charging dock, with a cutout and two magnetic contacts underneath the main body hooking neatly into the desk piece. Slipping the GM31 into its bed for the night after a long day of work and play was always satisfying, and the bounceable contacts felt durable with little wobble when connected.

Elsewhere, you'll find the obligatory two programmable buttons running along the left side of the main body, placed neatly above the thumb. You're also keeping the RGB MSI logo of the previous GM41 model at the slope of the main hump as well.

Features

The MSI Clutch GM31 packs a considerable feature list for its price point, but none of those features run particularly deep. Looking at the spec sheet, for example, it shouldn't be forgotten that this is a $70 wireless gaming mouse (with wireless charging in the box, a feature often sold as an extra accessory in Razer mouse models), lightweight form factor, and excellent battery life. Those are all elements of a much more premium device, fetching well over $100 / £100. That's why it's easy to forgive the older PixArt PAW-3310 sensor and lower mid-range 12,000 DPI. That's a downgrade from the previous GM41 model, sacrificing a little tracking performance to keep costs low. And yet... you can still play games with it. 

MSI Clutch GM31 side

(Image credit: Future)

With DPIs rising and marketing departments think-tanking longer and more pretentious names for sensors, high-end gaming mice often boast speeds and tracking accuracy levels that the everyday player just doesn't need. It's difficult to save yourself from the spec sheet trap, but the MSI Clutch GM31 proves that value is more often found in overall experience rather than numbers in a spreadsheet. I rarely move beyond around 3K DPI, even on gaming mice boasting ten times that dots per inch tracking.

Similarly, the Omron mechanical switches buffering each main clicker feel just as snappy and satisfying as they ever did, and the 1,000Hz response time felt smooth and stable to boot.

Yes, the MSI Center still feels a little creaky, it crashed twice on me during my initial preset setup, for example. However, you've got the freedom to configure each of the five programmable buttons as well as your RGB settings here, as well as three onboard profiles to store them on.

Performance

While not offering the laser-fast speeds of a more expensive mouse, the MSI Clutch GM31 managed to pack some strong performance for its price. That less powerful sensor is going to show its face if you're a competitive player, but the Clutch isn't for those eSports moments. As an everyday workhorse for my Rise of the Tomb Raider achievement hunting and slow progress in Apex Legends, it offered all the comfort, speed, and accuracy I needed. 

Battery life is a little harder to judge - the ease of the wireless dock meant I never ran the full battery down unless I was actively testing. In my week of abstinence from the joys of simply hanging things up to charge, I was surprised by the long-lasting juice under the hood. With RGB on, I was able to keep things moving for about four or five days at a time, running through an eight-hour workday and a couple of light play hours in the evenings. 

Should you buy the MSI Clutch GM31?

MSI Clutch GM31

(Image credit: Future)

The MSI Clutch GM31 offers excellent value for money for the everyday player looking for something a little special with their pointer. Wireless charging and a cordless form factor go a long way to making this $69.99 pointer feel premium, and at its core, you're still getting a trustworthy lightweight gaming mouse to fling around an fps arena with ease. Those after a more competitive edge won't be satisfied with this older sensor and smooth plastic chassis, however, and would be far better suited to a Razer Viper V2 Pro, or the previous generation Razer Viper Ultimate if looking to save some cash. 

How we tested the MSI Clutch GM31

I used the MSI Clutch GM31 over the course of four weeks, alongside the Razer Naga V2 Pro, for daily work and play. In that time, I primarily stress-tested the lightweight fps-first form factor in Apex Legends, but also in more action-oriented titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3. My general everyday play centred around The Sims 4 and Cities Skylines. For more information on how we test gaming mice, be sure to check out the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy

We're also rounding up all the best left-handed gaming mouse options if you're after something a little more ambidextrous, as well as the best gaming mouse pad for extra control and stability. If you're kitting out your whole setup, we'd also recommend checking out the best gaming keyboards on the market as well. 

More info

Available platformsHardware, PC
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Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.