You may have heard that wireless gaming mice are laggy, slow, and unresponsive compared to wired gaming mice. And once upon a time, that was true. But today, you probably won't even notice a difference between wireless and wired gaming mice without that telltale braided cable. After months of testing a range of wireless gaming mice, I discovered that most of them were responsive and lag-free, but varied wildly in build quality, comfort and battery life. The best wireless gaming mouse literally lasted for months of daily use and gaming.
Even after months of rigorous testing, our main pick, the Logitech G900, is still the best wireless gaming mouse you can buy.
Wireless gaming mice have gotten a bad rap for years. They’re less responsive than wired mice, prone to lag and interruptions thanks to flaky wireless receivers. Batteries will die on you in the middle of a match. And they’re more expensive. There’s just no reason to buy one.
Except, well, not having a cord is pretty great.
Thankfully, most of that common wisdom about wireless gaming mice is now outdated. Some wireless mice are still more expensive, and poor ones could suck their batteries dry in the middle of a match or lag thanks to a poor wireless receiver. But good wireless gaming mice today perform almost indistinguishably from wired ones, without a hint of wireless lag or stutter to be found. Some wireless gaming mice even offer report rates of 1000 Hz, as fast as wired mice, though at the expense of battery life.
To test wireless gaming mice, I got my hands on current models from big names like Logitech, Razer, and Steelseries. I also scoured Amazon to find other popular wireless gaming mice, most of which are budget models.
For more on the details of how gaming mice work, and what makes a good one, check out the testing section of our best gaming mouse guide.
Testing gaming mice
I used each wireless gaming mouse for several days, getting a sense for how the mouse felt in my hand, the grip and material, and the feel of its buttons. I paid attention to battery life and how often the mouse needed to be recharged, if it was rechargeable.
For gaming, I primarily test mice with Unreal Tournament, playing many rounds of Instagib to see how my performance stacks up against other mice. I scrutinize the cursor movement and responsiveness for lag, jitter, and other issues.
I used each mouse with its wireless receiver plugged into my keyboard or sitting on my desk, giving it the best possible wireless situation to work with. I also tested them with their wireless receivers plugged into my tower a few feet away with my legs in between, increasing the opportunity for lag and interference.
I tested almost a dozen wireless gaming mice to pick out the Logitech G602 as the best. Here are some others that didn't make the cut.
Steelseries Sensei Wireless
The wired Steelseries Sensei Raw is a great ambidextrous gaming mouse: small, light, and elegantly simple. The Sensei Wireless retains the shape but is much heavier than the normal Sensei at 120 grams. It has some potentially great specs for a wireless gaming mouse--up to 8200 DPI and 1000 Hz polling rate option--but I had nothing but trouble with the Sensei Wireless. Even after updating it to the latest firmware, the Sensei Wireless frequently and consistently would hang as I was moving the cursor across my screen. This happened in and out of games every one or two minutes, which made me want to use any other mouse as soon as possible.
I think my hitching problems with the Sensei Wireless were unusual issues, but even if the mouse performed well, it would be tough to recommend. It’s far too expensive at $130, and its large, heavy charging dock doubles as an ugly desk ornament. Unfortunately, you’re going to be charging the Sensei Wireless a lot. Steelseries says it lasts 16 hours, and if I didn’t remember to put it on the charging stand when I left the office, I inevitably had the mouse run out of juice when I was using it the next day. The Sensei feels like a wired mouse that had wireless capabilities shoehorned into it, rather than being built for wireless from the ground up.
The Razer Ouroboros is another very expensive wireless gaming mouse at $130. And it looks like a premium mouse: it comes with a fancy stand so the mouse can sit upright while it’s charging. Its side pieces can be swapped out so you can comfortably grip with either left or right hand. The Ouroboros works wirelessly and switches to wired mode when it’s plugged in. Unfortunately, all this adds up to a mouse that feels like overengineered form over function.
Installing the Ouroboros’ single AA battery requires unscrewing part of the mouse with a screwdriver Razer includes in the package, sliding off the palmrest, and opening a hatch--then reassembling the entire thing. I also found that, despite fiddling with power saving sleep options in the Ouroboros’ drivers, the battery didn’t last long. Razer claims 12 hours of continuous gaming, and says you can always “hot swap” with another AA battery to keep gaming. I don’t think using a tiny screwdriver to remove a panel and access a hatch constitutes hot swapping. I regularly had the battery run out on me during regular use, even when the mouse was set to its lowest report rate of 125 Hz.
The Ouroboros can report at up to 1000 Hz, which is unusual for a wireless mouse. In practice, I couldn’t discern a difference between 500 Hz and 1000 Hz, but it’s an option some gamers will appreciate. Unfortunately, gaming with the Ourboros just never felt right to me. It’s a heavy mouse at 140 grams, and while it slides very well, it also has a very flat profile that never quite felt comfortable for me. Testing the Ouroboros in Unreal Tournament just felt off, and I performed poorly with the mouse in most of my matches. After losing half a dozen, I switched over to the Logitech G602 and immediately started winning. Best as I could tell, there was no lag or latency affecting the Ourboros, but my gaming experience just never felt good.
Razer Naga Epic Chroma
After spending time using the Razer Naga Epic Chroma as my day-to-day mouse, I came away feeling the same way I did about the wired version: it’s a good mouse for gamers who want a *ton* of thumb buttons, but not ideally suited to much else. It’s a bit short and squat, and its 12 thumb buttons are tough to distinguish in the midst of an intense game. Based on its body shape, it’s built for a flatter, more relaxed grip suited to MMOs, but I wouldn’t recommend it to MOBA or shooter players.
The wireless Naga Epic uses a sensor that scales up to 8200 DPI, and like the Ouroboros the Naga can handle a report rate of 1000 Hz. That’s a nice perk that most wireless gaming mice don’t offer, though it’s a bigger drain on battery life than 500 Hz for a latency reduction that most of us will never notice.
Mad Catz R.A.T. 9
The Mad Catz R.A.T. 9 is a confusing mouse. It’s almost impossible to recommend on price alone, at $130. But some thoughtful aspects of its design help justify that price: two rechargeable batteries that can be swapped out in a handful of seconds, an extensible palm rest that helps fit the mouse to your hand, and some other smart engineering choices, like the tool used to adjust the mouse fitting into the design (something Razer should take note of for the Ouroboros). But then there are the issues: a power button so mushy it’s hard to tell if it’s on or off, a battery compartment that seems to click into place before it actually does. I thought my R.A.T. 9 was a dud for nearly an hour, but the battery apparently wasn’t quite all the way in place. The R.A.T. 9’s driver software is also lacking some key information like the report rate.
The glossy model quickly collects finger grease, so I’d recommend the matte R.A.T. 9 over the glossy version. But it’s tough for me to recommend either due to the price and another unfortunate aspect of the mouse: its sensor. The Philips Twin-Eye sensor is notoriously finicky, and on my black cloth pad at home it exhibited some annoying spurious motion (aka jitter) when I lightly touched the mouse. Laser sensors are better suited to hard pads, and I thankfully didn’t encounter the same issue on the white surface of my desk. If you get a R.A.T. 9, you’ll have to be prepared to find a mousepad that works well with its picky sensor. The R.A.T. 9 is a cool mouse, but it doesn’t make sense to buy over a mouse with better battery life, a more reliable sensor, and better software that costs nearly one third the price.
E-Blue Mazer Type R
There’s a confusing mess of E-Blue mice on Amazon, with slight differences between models that are hard to pin down. They all use the same body shape, with varieties of plastic material and sensors. The Type R, which I used, is surprisingly great for $21. It has four DPI options, 500/1000/1750/2500, a pair of well-positioned thumb buttons, and a large scroll wheel that feels good for everyday web browsing and general use.
The Type R is a fairly heavy 140 grams with two AA batteries, and it’s definitely not a premium mouse. While the scroll wheel feels good, it’s only faintly notched, making precise scrolling in intense games difficult. It uses a glossy plastic that easily collects finger grease, and of course there’s no specialized driver software to go along with the mouse. If you don’t like the DPI options, you’ll have to adjust sensitivity in-game. While gaming, I preferred the feel of the lighter, slightly smaller E-Blue Cobra, which is an even cheaper mouse. Both lack the features of more expensive gaming mice—software, smart power management, more finely-tuned body designs and better plastics—but for $21, it’s a far better mouse than I expected.
MPOW Dragon Slayer
One of many cheap, seemingly direct-from-China wireless gaming mice on Amazon, the Dragon Slayer is surprisingly decent for $25. Its sensor supports 1000/1600/2400/4000 DPI steps, the click feedback feels good, and it even has a switch to adjust report rate from 250 to 500 Hz. Great features for a budget mouse, but I never got used to the Dragon Slayer while gaming. It has a very wide body and a button next to left-click with a terrible mushy click action.
The MPOW Dragon Slayer is overall similar to the E-Blue Mazer Type R. If you like a pinky rest and a wider mouse, the Dragon Slayer is the one for you. But if you prefer a smaller, thinner mouse, I recommend the cheaper Cobra.
Easterntimestech Redragon M620
This mouse feels every bit as cheap as it is. Rattly, brittle plastic that seems like it’ll break if you squeeze just a bit too hard. The grips don’t feel good, and neither does the mouse wheel. It also has no lights, no indication of your DPI step, no on/off button. Considering you get all those things with the E-Blue Cobra, which costs $5 more, there’s no reason to consider the M620.
Easterntimes Tech X-08
This mouse has, quite simply, the worst click feel of any mouse I’ve ever used or touched. It’s disgustingly soft and rubbery. It’s so bad it often doesn’t feel like it’s clicking, even though it does. I think. To its credit, the 2.4GHz wireless seems to be working fine, and the grips on the sides are decent, but quickly feel oily. This is a mouse that functions, but the only reason to buy it is to appreciate how much better every other mouse you’ve ever touched actually is. Touching the X-08 is like watching Transformers 4 and realizing that, yes, these movies actually can get worse, and you’ll miss your old gaming mouse the way you miss Shia LaBeouf and his stupid parents. You didn’t know a movie could make you miss Shia LaBeouf, but at least his movies had some soul.
This mouse sucks, but it’s still not quite as bad as Transformers 4.
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