Having the best gaming mouse can give you the edge you need to eke out a victory in fast-paced games like Valorant or Apex Legends. Much like outfits, there's a gaming mouse for every occasion, and we've tried them all in order to find the best fit for you. Think of us as your rodent tailors. Actually, scratch that. Anyway, there are heaps of options when it comes to mice—nearly one for every genre. So we went away and tested a whole click of mice, to find the most exquisite breeds to complement your gaming prowess.
Why choose a gaming mouse over your average optical mouse? For one, the sensors on a gaming mouse are designed to be more responsive and accurate, with little to no smoothing, or acceleration, to throw off your aim. They're 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. If you want to be the best, your hands deserve to be wield the best gaming mouse (alongside the best gaming keyboard, obviously).
So, first things first, so you really need to find a mouse that's comfortable. There are countless sizes, shapes, and weights, so find one that's best for you. 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 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 are capable of 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 general 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 are easy to 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. So, we have some recommendations for those, too.
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. It's design is simple where there's no need for frills, with two perfectly placed, generously sized thumb buttons. I 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 the 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 within a sleek package. 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.
You might notice it's similar to the G203 Prodigy that occupied this same space before it. It's almost identical in every way. The only significant difference between the two is the inclusion of three-zone RGB lighting on the Lightsync, as opposed to 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 the full Logitech G203 Lightsync review.
The Ironclaw is the best mouse we've tested for gamers with larger hands. While it's 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 that doesn't require a discrete battery, and unfortunately doesn't offer customisable weights. While that means the Ironclaw feels just a hair more cumbersome than other, lighter wired mice, it also makes the mouse feel more significant and substantial.
The form and function of Razer's Naga mouse has come a long way over the years. It's latest version, the Naga Trinity, 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, offering seven buttons in a circle around your thumb. There are enough buttons to map multiple abilities, but not so many that they become an overwhelming samey blob. The 12 button array, designed for MMOs, has that problem for me, but anyone who wants a whole number pad under their thumb will appreciate the option.
The Naga Trinity's side panels snap into place with strong magnets that don't wiggle at all when gaming. Otherwise, the Naga Trinity is the same as the Naga Hex before it, with a comfortable palm grip shape that includes a small pinky rest. The Naga Tirinity is a bit 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 any other active games.
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, 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; pretty 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 a good battery life.
Read our full Razer Viper Ultimate Wireless review.
Comfort is one of the most important factors in choosing any mouse, gaming or otherwise, and the Logitech MX Vertical is best-in-class. It's ergonomic design allows you to comfortably rest your hand in a neutral position, meaning you'll experience virtually no strain, even across marathon sessions.
Its top DPI setting (4,000) doesn't compare with some of the other gaming mice on this list, but it's still extremely precise, with a quality laser sensor that provides all the precision you're ever likely to need. You can also unplug it from your machine and run it wirelessly with virtually no input lag, and it's got a killer battery life—just three minutes of charging time will net around an entire day of use.
If you're not hung up on high DPI setting (and you really don't need to be—just turn up the sensitivity), the MX Vertical is an awesome mouse that feels like a luxury. Its unique form factor is eye-catching and pleasantly curved, without relying on RGB gimmick lighting for its aesthetic appeal.
Read our full Logitech MX Vertical review.
The original G502 has long been a classic, a favourite in circles that prize durability, accuracy, and high performance from their pointers. This refresh not only honours that legacy but actually improves upon it, with iterative but substantive changes that elevate a beloved classic to dizzying new heights.
Now packing Logitech's reliable 16K Hero sensor, and with a 7 gram reduction in weight over its predecessor, the G502 Lightspeed is also forward-looking by way of it's compatibility with the PowerPlay charging mat. The mat not only charges the mouse on the fly but will actually recognise it and pair it with your PC without requiring the use of a USB dongle.
The G502 is also host to a number of other small quality of life features like modular weights that can be added or removed to find the perfect hand feel, and a scroll wheel that can be locked to toggle through steps or unlocked to spin freely. It's one of the best wireless mice on the market, and priced accordingly, but if you have the cash to spare, the G502 is worth every penny.
Read our full Logitech G502 Lightspeed 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. Sitting just over the 80g weight mark, it's incredibly light, but unlike some lighter mice, doesn't feel cheap or disposable. 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's able to fully justify that cost with quality.
Testing 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 affect the experience of using a mouse.
What do all those terms mean? Here are some basic definitions that will help you understand why each of these terms are important issues.
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 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 with the goal of creating 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 isn’t going to 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, that means that your cursor will move faster the faster you move the mouse; this is often considered bad, because it means moving the mouse slowly six inches across a mousepad will move the cursor a different distance than moving the mouse rapidly the 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, and especially at high CPIs, not all mouse sensors are able to retain their tracking accuracy. The point at which the sensors stops tracking accurately will differ between CPI levels.
IPS is a measure of inches per second, and the effective maximum tracking speed any given sensor is rated to. The higher the IPS of any given mouse, the better it can keep up with high-speed movement, and therefore maintain accuracy.
Lift-off distance is still a popular metric in mouse enthusiast circles, though it's not one that affects 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 a 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 isn't going to be moved erratically when the mouse is lifted up.
We used a piece of software called MouseTester 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 that comes from issues with the sensor itself) and never encountered any glaring performance issues.