The best gaming mouse pad is usually the most overlooked component in your your whole gaming set up, but it can be a crucial part of the setup for your beastly gaming PC.
While anyone of the top mouse pads makes gliding the best gaming mouse around look easy, they likely won't aid much to your in-game response times and accuracy. They sure can look fierce, however.
Today's mousepads offer more and more features than you would expect. Some are covered in RGB lighting while others offer Qi wireless charging that'll power your phone while you play Call of Duty. Most submit some form of proprietary compatibility, however, such as Logitech's Powerplay system, so be sure to check your mouse and mouse pad play nicely together first. Our list ranges from simple and functional to completely bonkers mousepads for gaming.
If you're the type of PC gamer that plays with lowered DPI and sensitivity settings—which we recommend in our guide to fps aim training—you probably give your wrist quite a workout. With the massive mouse movements required to make those precise headshots in-game, an oversized mouse pad is a necessity. Only available in soft cloth form, extended mousepads are sized to run across your desk with enough space for both your keyboard and mouse.
The MM300 is Corsair's premium line of cloth mousepads featuring a non-slip rubber base, stitched edges to prevent fraying, and a sturdy thickness of 0.12 inches (3mm). The extended version is the largest size available and designed to fit even the biggest gaming keyboards with plenty of room to spare. When combined with a compact, ten-keyless keyboard, the surface area for the mouse feels almost infinite.
Like most cloth mousepads, the MM300 Extended features a smooth, textile-weave design that ensures gliding a mouse across its surface feels like cutting through butter. We found it easy to make pinpoint attacks in our FPS testing with a hefty amount of overhead for DPI adjustments thanks to the massive surface area. Whether you like to move your mouse across the desk or just a couple of inches to make a 180 turn, Corsair's oversized mouse pad has you—and your desk—covered.
Novelkeys is well-known for its custom group buys, covering everything a PC enthusiast could desire from key switches to mousepads. It specializes in colossal desk-sized pads in a range of limited edition styles. You'll want to check out its website every so often to see the latest flavor, as it usually only runs each one for a limited time as a group buys.
The Camping mouse pad featuring a sprawling mountain range is currently gracing Jacob's PC setup and comes with a tiny tent, and campfire decal in the bottom left. That exact design is no longer available, but there are always much more accessible for you to pick up throughout the year. Most mousepads come in at an accommodating 900 x 400 x 4mm size with a rubber bottom, cloth top, and outer edge stitching to match.
Just make sure to plan if you're hoping to pick up a Novelkeys design. You will have to wait until the conclusion of the group buy before the production of your chosen mouse pad begins, after which it can be a few more months before you receive it. Due to the nature of a group buy, there can be delays along the way, too. Still, with mouse pads as well-made and gorgeous to look at as these, you can be sure they're worth the wait.
When it comes to pure speed and low tactile resistance, nothing compares to a solid, hard surface mousepad. PC gamers requiring subtle but rapid mouse movements prefer these slick, low friction surfaces that allow them to glide their mouse with ease. While it does ultimately come down to personal preference, we prefer using hard mousepads while playing RTS and MOBA type games where swift map navigation and tight mobility are crucial.
Unlike their cloth counterparts that all use very similar textiles, hard mousepads are made from a wide variety of components and blends, including aluminum, plastic, and rubber. They vary dramatically in friction, weight, and design, so there is sure to be a hard mouse pad out there that is perfect for you. For us, the simplicity and ultra-smooth surface of the Logitech G440 make it our top choice when considering speed.
At a glance, the surface of the G440 might appear to be completely smooth, but it is a polyethylene surface featuring microtextures that offer the perfect amount of resistance. The mouse pad provides just the right amount of feedback without any excess noise generated from our rapid mouse movements. Logitech seems to have found the perfect middle ground between abrasive and smooth as we were able to seamlessly move and stop our mouse with ease during intense battles.
The functionality of light up mouse pad is still going to raise some eyebrows, but Corsair's solution offers a whole lot more than just a flashy light show. It features a high-quality micro-textured finish that allows mice to easily glide across the surface without sacrificing precision during small mouse movements. The MM800 makes no compromises with a surface that rivals the quality of our top hard mouse pad, the Logitech G440.
There are two major differences between Corsair's MM800 and competing RGB mousepads. First, the MM800 features a USB pass-through port that can be used to plug in your mouse or a flash drive conveniently. The second difference is that the MM800 uses a whopping 15 LEDs, which we found to be much brighter than Razer's Firefly HyperFlux.
Using Corsair's revamped iCUE software, you can easily create your advanced lighting profiles for the MM800 or choose from a large sample of preset modes. RGB profiles from other Corsair products will automatically spill over to your mouse pad with ease. You can also download user shared profiles from Corsair's website.
If you're like us, you've probably ditched the idea of wireless mice for serious gaming long ago. They came with a handful of issues, including poor latency, having to replace batteries mid-battle, or demanding that you plug a cable in to charge just when you least want to. Whatever the case was, the wireless freedom became hardly worth the trouble.
The Hyperflux system also eliminates the need for a battery inside the mouse, allowing Razer to bring the Mamba Hyperflux down to a shocking 3.4oz (96 grams). This makes it the lightest wireless gaming mouse by a significant margin. Combine that with its untethered freedom, and the mouse truly feels like an extension of your hand. The only downside is that you can't use the wireless mode without the mouse pad. However, you can take the micro-USB cord from the pad to plug in the Mamba and use it on the go.
For those with wireless charging phones, Corsair's MM1000 can also be considered here. Since it uses the Qi standard for wireless charging, you can simply place your phone in the corner to keep it charged while you game. On the other hand, if you have the budget for it, Razer's Hyperflux is our top choice for its performance and sleek RGB lighting. Pair it with one of our best wireless gaming mouse options, and you're laughing.
The most affordable and common type of mouse pad is the classic cloth one. They are primarily made of rubber composites with synthetic fabrics woven together to create a dense foamy structure with a soft top. Designed to provide a smooth, consistent, and durable surface, cloth mousepads are preferred by gamers requiring pin-point accuracy with little friction. Most FPS professionals prefer large cloth surfaces, as they make large sweeping motions with low DPI mice.
Some peripheral makers (Roccat included) parade their logos across mouse pad surfaces, so we appreciate the subtle approach the Taito Control takes. The stitched blue edges prevent fraying and provide a nice accent color that makes the mouse pad stand out without drawing too much attention away from the mouse on top.
Unlike other manufacturers that create a variety of sizes for their cloth mouse pad, Roccat has opted for a middle-of-the-road approach with the Taito Control. Its generous 15.7 x 12.6 in (400 x 320 mm) area puts it slightly above competitors' "medium" size but comfortably below their "large" or "oversized" options. This makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of gamers. The Taito Control is also thicker and heavier than most of its competitors, making it our top pick for both comfort and durability.
The Gigantus V2 offers several different sizes from 14 inches to a ridiculously large 47 inches. It's enough to cover most desk surfaces, which are great for gamers who play with big sweeping gestures. You can even customize your mousepad with the logo from your favorite esports team or competitive shooter.
This soft surface type mouse pad performs pretty well. Though, if you usually use hard surface mats, it may take some getting used to. The lack of any side stitching could affect its durability down the road, but performance-wise, the Gigantus V2 is still an impressive
Another added benefit of Razer's giant mousepad is that the underside can second as a green screen for pets. Weird how Razer doesn't mention that in any of their marketing material.
How we test mouse pads
It's not easy assigning value to a piece of cloth, but someone's got to do it. When we receive a new mouse pad to test, we do what we do best: Play lots and lots of PC games.
Once we've got a feel for how a particular mouse pad feels underhand, we play a couple more games to get a feel for things. After that, if we like how it looks and if it is built to last rigorous gaming, it gets a thumbs up from us. If not, it's a thumbs down, and it's tossed on the great mouse pad fire raging since '85.
That being said, it's nearly impossible to mess up a mouse pad, even an old book makes a solid substitute, so there's rarely a bad word to be had or a pad to be ritualistically burnt. Massive price tags and needless functionality will see a few occasionally sent to the naughty corner, however.