The best gaming mouse breathes in erratic movements and breathes out smooth and accurate in-game motion. It's one of the primary ways you interact with your games, and the best mouse is a necessary tool for reaching your full potential. With snappy sensors and ergonomic grips, the best gaming mouse will give you that extra accuracy and bold response that can mean the difference between victory and defeat in fast-paced games like Valorant or Apex Legends.
Like a finely packed walk-in wardrobe, there's a gaming mouse to suit every occasion. We've picked through them all in order to find the best fit for you and every potential gaming situation you may find yourself in.
We've tested tons of them to find the most exquisite designs around. So, if you want to be the best, your hands deserve to wield the best gaming mouse (alongside the best gaming keyboard, obviously). And that doesn't have to cost a whole lot, either. Even the best gaming mice can super affordable these days. For example, the top of the list features an awesome gaming mouse for less than $50.
Best gaming mouse
The Razer Deathadder has an all-around fantastic shape for all sorts of grips and hand sizes, and I've spent hundreds of hours playing games, using Photoshop, and browsing the Internet with it. Despite years of iterations, Razer never messes with the Deathadder's shape. There's no reason to.
The Deathadder V2 uses a 20,000 DPI Razer Focus+ optical sensor, and while big numbers don't necessarily equate to quality, here they do. Razer's newest tech delivers flawless tracking, even if you move the mouse as fast as humanly possible.
For the majority of games and gamers, the Deathadder V2 is a fantastic mouse. Its design is simple, with two perfectly placed, generously sized thumb buttons. It also has an excellent optical mouse sensor that will work on both hard and cloth pads, and it has the ultimate body shape for a claw or hybrid claw/palm grip.
Read our full Razer Deathadder V2 review.
There are plenty of affordable gaming mice worth your money today, but few you can have complete confidence in quite like the Logitech G203 Lightsync. It's an all-around performer, delivering stable and consistent performance in a sleek package, and is absolutely the best cheap gaming mouse around today. The Logitech sensor within is rated up to 8,000 DPI, if you're interested, and it's got responsive switches throughout to ensure smooth operation.
The only significant difference between this and the G203 Prodigy that used to sit here is the inclusion of three-zone RGB lighting on the Lightsync instead of the single-zone lighting on the Prodigy. It's not a huge change, but one that looks a treat and doesn't cost extra, in theory. If you can snag a bargain deal on the G203 Prodigy, we highly recommend that you move on it while stocks last.
Read our full Logitech G203 Lightsync review.
The form and function of Razer's Naga mouse have both come a long way over the years, but it has long been the best MMO mouse for our money. And this revision of the Razer Naga Pro is the best yet: a small, comfortable mouse with a high-quality sensor and three interchangeable thumb grips, with button arrays ideal for MOBAs, MMOs, or general use.
The MOBA array is the best; it has 6 buttons laid out in two rows so that there are enough buttons to map multiple abilities, but not so many that they become an overwhelming samey blob.
This year's Naga offers an improved battery life and works with the Razer Mouse Dock (not included, sadly). The Razer Naga Pro is slightly on the small side for larger hands, with more of a squat shape than some gaming mice. It's comfortable in the relaxed grip suited to MMOs but will still do the job if you play MOBAs, shooters, or other active games.
Read our full Razer Naga Pro review.
The Ironclaw is the best mouse we've tested for gamers with larger hands. While its design encompasses a strange blend of materials, from smooth matte plastic on the buttons to the diamond print, grippy rubber sides, to the unique, wavy rubber on the scroll wheel, each performs its function brilliantly.
Instead of a single cohesive material, Corsair has designated one to suit each panel individually, which adds to the excellent overall fit of the mouse to make it feel really cozy gliding over your mouse pad. It's domed and curved to fit perfectly in the palm of right-handed gamers and is one of the best feeling mice to grip I've ever tested.
It does feel a bit weighty, particularly for a wireless mouse, and unfortunately doesn't offer customizable weights. While that means the Ironclaw feels just a hair more cumbersome than other, lighter wired mice.
The updated version of this Steelseries mainstay, the Sensei 310, subtly reinvented a classic mouse. It needed it. Almost everything is new except the Sensei's ambidextrous shape, and that's exactly how it should be. Thanks to a new plastic shell, the Sensei is grippier and can shrug off a sweaty palm. Steelseries is also using its own custom version of one of the best gaming sensors around, ensuring the Sensei 310 won't suffer from any tracking issues.
The Sensei 310 fits in your hand just like the old Sensei and is a great shape for either left- or right-handed gamers looking for a midsized ambidextrous mouse. That means it has a pair of identical thumb buttons on the left and the right, a common issue for ambidextrous mice—it can be far too easy to accidentally click the wrong side's buttons as you grip with your pinky. In my hours of testing the Sensei 310, that hasn't happened once.
The size and shape of the thumb buttons have been tweaked, making it easy to rock your thumb upwards to press them but keeping them out of the way of accidental pinky clicks. Anyone looking for a small, light, or ambidextrous mouse: this should be your first stop.
The Razer Viper Ultimate Wireless uses Razer's new Focus+ optical sensor that jacks the DPI all the way up to 20,000. That's the same as the Deathadder V2, but much higher than every other mouse here.
The Viper is an incredibly accurate mouse with a 650 IPS rating (how fast you can move the mouse before it loses tracking accuracy), which is a very high bar for tracking fast movements, and again higher than anything else on this list other than the Deathadder V2. The battery runs about 70 hours before needing to recharge on its cute little charging dock, making it perfect for long gaming sessions.
Despite having a good weight and feel overall, the buttons themselves feel a bit flimsy when clicked, which keeps it from being higher on the list; it's unfortunate considering the high price and all the other great tech built into the things that rival some of our top picks. That being said, the Viper Ultimate wireless is a great feeling ambidextrous gaming mouse that's insanely accurate with good battery life.
Read our full Razer Viper Ultimate wireless review.
The G Pro Wireless is peerless when it comes to cord-free pointers, packing Logitech's excellent 16,000 DPI HERO sensor and the kind of latency-free experience you'd expect from a wired mouse. It's incredibly light, sitting just over the 80g weight mark, but it doesn't feel cheap or disposable, unlike some lighter mice. Instead, it's crafted of high-quality materials and exhibits performance to match.
Logitech designed every component in the G Pro Wireless to be as light and durable as possible, including shaving down the thickness of the chassis' side walls without sacrificing composition or density. Judging from the multiple hard tumbles, the G Pro has survived from my desk; it's a very sturdy piece of kit.
It also boasts a healthy 40 hours of battery life and is customizable, with buttons on the side panels that can be removed and traded out for smooth inserts, if that's your preference. You could also pair the G Pro with Logitech's Powerplay charging mat and never worry about running out of juice again. The only real downside is the price tag: at around $120, the G Pro isn't cheap, but it can fully justify that cost with quality.
Gaming mouse FAQ
Why should I choose a gaming mouse over the average optical mouse?
For one thing, gaming mouse sensors are designed to be more responsive and accurate. With adjustable (or no) smoothing and acceleration, your aim will stay true. Gaming mice are designed to have more accessible, programmable buttons than a traditional mouse too, so you won't have to fumble around with your keyboard while you're on a stellar killstreak.
What should I look out for in a gaming mouse?
When deciding on a mouse, your priority should be finding one that's comfortable for your hand. There are countless sizes, shapes, and weights to consider. You might have the coolest-looking mouse with the most practical array of buttons, but if it's not comfortable for you, you won't be able to settle in with it. There are also plenty of ambidextrous gaming mice and gaming mice for lefties in the list, too—if the goofy stance is more your style.
In the last few years, most gaming mice have also adopted very high DPI sensors (or, more accurately: CPI), so even a budget mouse will likely perform well. Most of these sensors can handle extremely high DPI counts at up to 20,000 DPI when realistically, you'll play on a much lower sensitivity—generally under 2,000 DPI. The consensus is not to worry about that number too much. Instead, concentrate on finding a mouse with the ideal shape and weight, and obviously, one that'll match your stylish set-up.
Pro gamers generally recommend lighter, more straightforward mice with few buttons to get in the way. Lighter mice won't fatigue your wrist and can easily glide across the mouse pad at high speeds. Anything below 100 grams is often ideal for competitive mice. But something has to be said about how powerful you feel at the helm of a nice heavy mouse.
How do we test gaming mice?
We've used enough gaming mice to have a good feel for build quality, button placement, and shape. Our opinions on those aspects of mouse design are naturally subjective, but they’re also well-informed. The tricky part of testing gaming mice is analyzing the other part of the equation: tracking performance, jitter, angle snapping, acceleration, and perfect control speed, and determining how each of those issues affects the experience of using a mouse.
For that, applications such as Mouse Tester come in handy. We use this software to see if we could spot any glaring issues with the mice we used. In every gaming mouse we tested, though, angle snapping and acceleration were disabled in the mouse drivers by default (though a mouse can still exhibit acceleration from issues with the sensor itself) and never encountered any glaring performance issues.
Gaming mouse jargon buster
Grip refers to how you hold the mouse. The most common grips are palm, claw, and fingertip. Here's a good example of how each grip works.
CPI stands for counts per inch, or how many times the mouse sensor will read its tracking surface, aka your mousepad, for every inch it’s moved. This is commonly referred to as DPI, but CPI is a more accurate term. The lower the CPI, the further you have to move the mouse to move the cursor on the screen.
Jitter refers to an inaccuracy in a mouse sensor reading the surface it’s tracking. Jitter often occurs at higher mouse movement speeds or higher CPIs. Jitter can make your cursor jump erratically, and even slight jitter could wreck a shot in an FPS or make you misclick on a unit in an RTS.
Angle snapping, also called prediction, takes data from a mouse sensor and modifies the output to create smoother movements. For example, if you try to draw a horizontal line with your mouse, it won’t be perfect—you’ll make some subtle curves in the line, especially at higher sensitivities. Angle snapping smooths out those curves and gives you a straight line instead. This is generally bad because it means your cursor movements won’t match your hand’s movements 1:1, and angle snapping will not be useful in most games. Thankfully, almost all gaming mice have angle snapping disabled by default.
Acceleration is probably the most reviled, most scrutinized issue with gaming mouse sensors. When a mouse sensor exhibits acceleration, your cursor will move faster the faster you move the mouse; this is often considered bad because moving the mouse slowly six inches across a mousepad will move the cursor differently than moving the mouse rapidly same distance. This introduces variability that can be hard to predict.
Perfect control speed, or malfunction rate, refers to the speed at which the mouse can be moved while still tracking accurately. Most gaming mice will track extremely accurately when moved at slow speeds, but low CPI players will often move their mice large distances across the mousepads at very high speeds. At high speeds, especially at high CPIs, not all mouse sensors can retain their tracking accuracy. The point at which the sensors stop tracking accurately will differ between CPI levels.
IPS measures inches per second and the effective maximum tracking speed of any given sensor is rated too. Not to be confused with the gaming monitor panel type by the same name, the higher the IPS of any given mouse, the better it can keep up with high-speed movement and maintain accuracy.
Lift-off distance is still a popular metric in mouse enthusiast circles, though it does not affect most gamers. LOD refers to the height a mouse has to be raised before the sensor stops tracking its surface. Some gamers prefer a mouse with a very low lift-off distance because they play at very low sensitivity and often have to lift their mouse off the pad to "reset" it in a position where they can continue swiping. With a low LOD, the cursor will not be moved erratically when the mouse is lifted.