Need to buy a new gaming mouse? Read this article! It will be the best decision you make today!
You don’t need a gaming mouse to play games. You can just stick with the free mouse that came with your system. High-tech gear won’t make you any better at Solitaire, you know. But chances are, you won’t only be playing Solitaire and Minesweeper on your computer. If that’s the case, having a specialized mouse for gaming will generally improve your experience in every aspect; and they look awesome. When you’re busy destroying your opponents, you’ll feel a lot better doing so with a mouse that flashes 15-million colours than one that still uses a trackball.
What’s the difference between a gaming mouse and a regular mouse?
If you’re new to buying gaming mice, then you definitely have thought about this question. Truth be told, a gaming mouse isn’t all that different from a regular mouse. They don’t have any special powers that give you tremendous advantages. You won’t instantly turn into Faker just because you buy one.
The main difference a gaming mouse has over an ordinary one is the increased quality of the sensor and the added ability to customize (and it also inflates your ego a little). Secondary details include the number of extra clickables, the shape of the mouse itself, and the accessories manufacturers cram in to make the mouse look pretty.
Most often, gaming mice are wired to decrease the “input lag”, something gamers used as an excuse when they lose way back when. This may be true back when trackball mice ruled the Earth, but in the modern era where technology has so greatly advanced, the difference between a wired and wireless mouse cannot be noticed. Because there isn’t. Even if there were, you’d need to have a 6th sense to notice.
Which grip do I have?
Most people have a grip that fits into 3 major categories: The Palm grip, Tip grip, and Claw grip. These are not the names of ancient martial art techniques, but are how most people hold their mice.
The Palm grip is the most commonly used in the world, since it’s the most comfortable and seemingly natural. Your fingers and palm rest on the mouse, allowing for the most points of contact and support. Mice which are longer, wider, and with a steeper back are usually designed for this grip type.
The Claw type grip is just as it sounds. Your palm rests on the mouse while the tips of your fingers are aligned towards the main buttons. Mice made for this style are shorter with a slimmer chassis. I unconsciously use this grip when I’m trying to play Soldier in Overwatch or dying in League of Legends.
People that are accustomed to the Tip grip use only the tip of their fingers to hold the mouse. They can move the mouse at terribly fast speeds with seemingly superhuman control. Mice best suited for the grip type are very light, and can be long or short.
Specific grips are better suited towards certain types of games, but that doesn’t mean you should change your grip with every genre. The most important thing is whatever feels the most comfortable and allows you to play at your best.
The Different Types of Gaming Mice
With the evolution of games, manufacturers find themselves forcing to adapt gaming peripherals with the constantly changing market. As games started to distinguish themselves into specific categories, gaming mice split accordingly. The placement of buttons and their base design specify which type of game that mouse was engineered towards. Make note that just because a mouse was designed to play one type of game doesn’t mean it can’t play others.
And now, to unveil the types of mice:
The house mouse (Mus musculus) has a characteristically small, pointed snout, with little round ears, and a long naked or almost naked tail. They mainly live in — I’m just kidding, we don’t sell mice at NCIX. Well, we do, but not the kind that can be alive. Are machines considered alive if they revolt against their creators?
These gaming mice are suitable for every type of game from First Person Shooters (FPS) to Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO). They come in all shapes and sizes with varying designs depending on what the manufacturer believes is the best form for equal performance in all genres of games.
Usually, all purpose gaming mice will include a couple of extra buttons; one or two next to the thumb, and the rest scattered around. They’ll also have nifty little features like (pseudo) infinite scrolling. What I’m describing so happens to be the most popular all-purpose gaming mouse right now: the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum. I personally own this mouse and am not biased in any way.
Other non-biased examples are the Razer Mamba and Corsair Sabre.
MMO, RPG, and MOBA Mice
What do all 3 genres have in common? They all require copious amounts of button mashing fueled by the flames of your eternal rage. And as you ultimately fail, the smashing gets stronger and more erratic, causing slips and accidental presses, resulting in more failure. It is an infinite cycle of toxicity that will not end until you give up League of Legends. What I’m trying to say is, these genres are big on buttons.
All these games are built on an emphasis of mechanical skill; the deeper your knowledge and the quicker you can apply it, the better you are at the game. It is because of this that the MOBA mouse was created with all its clickable glory. Gamers with custom-bound skills/items/messages will discover a great convenience never experienced before when using a MOBA mouse. Imagine being able to spam “GG EZ” with one easily reachable button.
Examples of MOBA/MMO mice include the Razer Naga Hex V2, the ridiculous 12-button gridded Corsair Scimitar, and the SteelSeries Rival 500. Unfortunately, I must admit that my old Razer Naga Hex is most useful at playing League of Legends than the Logitech G502.
First Person Shooters Mice
A mouse used for shooting games needs to be light. That is probably the most important and pretty much the only aspect that needs to be changed from an ordinary mouse. At most, 2 buttons can be added for quick grenade selection and melee. If you think about it, that’s all you use when playing first person or third person shooter games. Every time you run out of mouse pad you need to “reset” your mouse by lifting it and replacing it onto the mat. That’s pretty hard to do if your mouse weighs 50 pounds. While no mouse actually weighs more than an pound, the point is a gamer can still be greatly affected by slight differences.
In my personal experience, a lighter mouse gives less strain to the wrist and hands, and allows greater freedom of movement. If you must know, I’ve hit THE most insane shots in CS:GO using the Logitech G502 with all weights removed. That’s right, the G502 has removable weights.
Some famous examples of FPS mice are the Razer DeathAdder, Corsair Vengeance M65, and the SteelSeries Rival 300.
Real Time Strategy Mice
There isn’t really any gaming mouse optimized for real time strategy games. I mean, has there even been a game that made headlines in the past decade aside from StarCraft II? It’s a fact that nobody plays Age of Empires competitively. The problem with RTS games is the emphasis on keyboard macro skills more so than mouse-clicking — any person can right click a thousand times, but your average joe can’t micro-manage an entire Protoss army.
In my experience, gamers can use any mouse for real time strategy games, mostly because all the mouse does is drag boxes and right click, with the occasional left. Of course, maybe you’ll find a useful function for your mouse buttons that I don’t know about, and that’s perfectly fine. As stated before, I believe any kind of mouse can play RTS games and the choice is up to you. Although, if you must have a recommendation from me, then I suggest you buy an all-purpose mouse light on the extra clickables. Something like the Logitech G403 would work fine. Or you can disregard my advice and get the Logitech G502.
Laser vs Optical
This ageless debate over which sensor is superior won’t be ending anytime soon. For those who are unfamiliar, gamers have been at each other’s figurative throats over which type of sensor is better on a gaming mouse. Laser worshipers say their sensor are better because it’s more accurate when tracking and is more versatile on different surfaces, while Optical fanatics claim theirs doesn’t track when the mouse is lifted so it is more reliable. They’re both right and none of their arguments matter because for the casual gamer, you will not notice the difference. For you pro gamers out there, this might affect tournament play, so you should read a little about the topic; the rest of you shouldn’t bother.
Just a side note, the Logitech G502 has the best (optical) gaming mouse sensor on the market.
Ahh DPI, this thing of gaming mice that you’ve heard so much about. It stands for Dots Per Inch, which essentially is how sensitive the sensor on the mouse is. The higher the DPI, the greater the cursor moves corresponding to your own. For example, if you had a ridiculous 12000 DPI on your Logitech G502 mouse, twitching the mouse a millimeter would throw the cursor across the screen and hit the other end of the monitor. Most gamers use between 400 – 8000 DPI depending on the game they’re playing. A lower DPI is better for shooters while a higher DPI is essential for MOBAs. Depending on your setting, you’ll most likely need to adjust the in-game mouse sensitivity accordingly. Lower the in-game sensitivity to compensate for higher DPIs and vice versa. Please don’t use 12000 DPI — in-game sensitivity can’t go below 0.
Nothing justifies spending $100+ on a computer mouse like bright flashing lights. Specifically, 15-million colors of flashing lights. These days, all gaming mice has some sort of illumination or another. They definitely won’t improve your game in any way, but instead helps sync up your gaming profiles and collaborate with various other glowing peripherals to light up your gaming area. At least that’s what I tell myself.
You’ll need to access the appropriate customization software to change lighting settings. They are usually provided by the company and can be downloaded through their website. Logitech has their ingeniously named Logitech Gaming Software, Corsair with their Corsair Utility Engine, and Razer proudly presenting their somewhat infamous Razer Synapse. Manufacturer gaming software have all you need to tweak your lighting, set and select game profiles, sync compatible devices, and much more.
My G502 changes colours every 3 seconds.
As previously stated very briefly somewhere, weight can affect the way you play games. Too light and the mouse won’t feel right. Too heavy and you might find it hard to move. With every new mouse, you’ll have to spend time adjusting to the weight. Which is why some mice like the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum has removable weights that allow you to fine-tune the feel of your mouse.
Ultimately, it’s about preference
There is no “best gaming mouse” out there. There are certainly better mice than others, but what you think is a gift from the heavens may face scrutiny from another person. Although I’ve sorted the gaming mice into categories, truth be told, they really aren’t any “categories” at all. As stated in large bold letters above, in the end it’s about preference. If you want to play a MOBA with a trackball mouse, then go for it. If your dream was to invent a French Baguette sniper rifle to play Overwatch’s Widowmaker, then I believe in you. And if you succumbed to my brainwashing and decided to buy a Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum, then you have made the correct choice. Again, no bias.
The best gaming mouse is whichever feels the best in your hands. So, don’t worry about ignoring my suggestions — my feelings will be hurt, but they don’t matter if it means you can be happy with the gaming mouse you chose.
Like this article? Then click here to read our (my) guide about picking the right keyboard!