Best Mouse for Gaming – The Ultimate Guide
Finding the right gaming mouse for you can be a downright daunting task. There are so many manufacturers and models out there that it can be incredibly hard to find out what’s right for you. We at ProSettings try to help you with that search by offering in-depth gear reviews made by knowledgeable gamers, as well as up-to-date lists on what the professionals in our analyzed games are using.
For this list we’ve bundled our data along with our expertise; we’ll give you a list of the most used mice by professional gamers across all of our analyzed games, and we’ll also give you a curated list with some other options you can consider, no matter what type of game(s) you like to play. We start this article off with some introductory information, but if you want to you can skip right ahead to our lists.
What makes a mouse good for gaming?
The gaming mouse. It’s easily the most popular peripheral out there. It’s one of the first pieces of kit that people invest in when they decide to build a serious gaming setup, and it makes sense too. Your mouse should be an extension of you in the game world; it should effortlessly translate whatever you’re doing on your desk to the game with pinpoint precision. You can be the most gifted aimer in the world, but if you’re playing with a mouse that does not translate that aim with the same precision you will miss shots, rounds, and games.
That’s why, in order for a mouse to even be considered as a good gaming mouse, it should have a flawless sensor. A flawless sensor in this case means that there is no prediction, smoothing, acceleration, or jittering. You’ll want the sensor to move your cursor exactly the way you’re moving your mouse on your pad, imperfections and all. You can read more about this technical stuff in our library.
The cool thing (or bad thing, if you’re asking your wallet) about mice is that so much of it comes down to personal preference. Things like build quality, durability, button performance, cable flexibility, and so on can all be judged objectively, but as far as shape, weight, size, coating, button tensioning, and features go it’s all up to personal opinion.
Obviously there are limits to everything; you can prefer heavier mice but a mouse that weighs over two pounds isn’t gonna be ideal for precise aiming, for example. Aside from obvious factors it’s all down that what you prefer however.
In general, we’d say that the most important factors to consider (aside from the sensor) are shape and size. A mouse can have everything going for it, but if it doesn’t fit your hand or grip style then you won’t be performing at your top level with it, no matter how much you’d want to.
For all of these reasons the journey for the ‘endgame’ mouse is a difficult one for most people. There are so many factors to consider and so many options out there that it can be really hard to see the forest for the trees, and once you’ve found a mouse that you really, really like some company out there will come out with a new product that piques your interest and the adventure starts all over again.
Top 5 Mice for Competitive Gaming
For this list we’ve been taking a look at what the pros are using. To make it easier to read (and to avoid having to give away multiple spots to what’s essentially the same mouse in a different size) we’ve bundled mice from the same series together.
In this list we’ll give you a rundown on the features of each mouse, as well as detail what the differences between the available version are (if applicable) so that you can hopefully get a clear view of what these mice offer.
As if choosing the right mouse wasn’t hard enough in and of itself there are also a couple of stubborn myths surrounding gaming mice that we want to discuss here before getting into the thick of things. These are statements that you see a lot, be it in marketing materials or on internet forums, so in the interest of informing our readers as adequately as possible we’ll go over them briefly.
Higher DPI = Better Mouse
FALSE. One of the most common marketing strategies to market a mouse is to advertise insanely high DPI (Dots Per Inch) counts, but the truth is that those extremely high DPI counts are all but worthless. In reality no one will use a sensor at max DPI because that simply makes aiming impossible and extremely high DPI settings can introduce smoothing and other issues, even on top sensors. The pros obviously know this; just under 3% of our analyzed gamers set their DPI higher than 1600 and not a single analyzed pro uses a DPI higher than 4000.
We generally recommend to keep your DPI at 1600 or lower to prevent any issues. You can of course always fine tune your actual sensitivity in the game’s settings.
Wireless mice are never an option
FALSE. This used to be true right up until a couple of years ago, but these days there are wireless options out there that offer a lag-free experience without any connection dropouts or other performance-limiting shenanigans. Not every wireless mouse is the same but there are definitely options out there that are as good as their wired counterparts.
If a mouse weighs over 100 grams it’s useless
FALSE. With the recent ‘weight race’ the myth that any mouse above 100 grams isn’t worth looking at has been getting more and more traction, but this isn’t true. Weight is subjective, and while there is an upper limit where a mouse becomes too heavy to accurately operate for gaming there is absolutely no scientific evidence that suggests 100 grams is that limit. Some people do play better with a lighter mouse, but there are also (pro) gamers who seem to prefer heavier mice.
PRO PLAYERS MOUSE DPI SETTINGS
MOST USED MOUSE MANUFACTURERS (PRO SCENE)
1. Logitech G Pro Wireless
The pinnacle of technology
If you’re somewhat of a reader of our gear guides then this probably won’t come as a surprise. Logitech has thrown absolutely everything they have at this mouse and their engineers, designers, and R&D department came up with a truly amazing piece of technology.
The G Pro Wireless is the newest entry in the G Pro line (which is Logitech’s flagship ‘made for professional gaming’ line of gaming peripherals) and it’s been meticulously designed to feature everything that a pro gamer might need. It’s a lightweight (80 grams) wireless mouse with Logitech’s top of the line HERO (High Efficiency Rated Optical) sensor, modular side buttons, great clicks, and a rather safe ambidextrous shape.
The spec sheet of the G Pro Wireless would be impressive even for a wired mouse, but the fact that it’s a wireless mouse with a rechargeable battery that lasts about 50 hours per charge really pushes this one over the top. These days there are cables out there that almost feel as if they’re not there at all (certainly if you go aftermarket; manufacturers have to follow strict standards so they can’t quite make their cables as flexible as something like a paracord) but obviously nothing beats the feeling of actually not having a cable. Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED technology is flawless, too. It’s as fast as wired mice and you won’t ever have to worry about losing connection or experiencing a temporary burst of lag either.
All in all, the G Pro Wireless combines the very best of what Logitech has to offer at this point in time; with flawless wireless technology, a flawless sensor, great feeling clicks and scroll wheel, stellar build quality, and a lightweight but sturdy construction (definitely for a wireless mouse) it’s very hard to look past this mouse as one of the best gaming mice of all time, and the professionals seem to agree with that statement.
The shape has improved, too. Whereas earlier entries in the G Pro line had somewhat of a polarizing shape (see our G305 review here) the G Pro Wireless has a much safer design, so it should be a good fit for a large amount of people, regardless of grip type.
The G Pro Wireless took the gaming world by storm when it came out, and it’s without a doubt one of the best gaming mice you can get. It will cost you a pretty penny, but you get a lot in return.
2. Zowie EC Series
Made for FPS games
Zowie has been around for a while, and ever since their mice first hit the scene they’ve been a hit with gamers who specialize in shooters. The brand quite notably has been dominating the CS:GO pro scene for years now, but their products also see a lot of use in different pro scenes.
The EC is modeled after the legendary Microsoft Intellimouse and while the shape is not the exact same we can’t say that that is a disadvantage. The Zowie EC is widely known for having one of the most comfortable shapes around, and if you’re after an ergonomic gaming mouse without a lot of gimmicks you absolutely have to try the EC.
It’s not without its quirks though. Zowie specifically designs their mice for competitive (FPS) gaming, and so the scroll wheel has very few steps when compared to most other mice, which can make it a bit strange to use for browsing. Zowie also uses Huano switches for their buttons instead of the more ubiquitous Omron switches. Huanos are known to be a bit heavier than Omrons, which is done to prevent accidental clicking, but that’s not to say that Huanos are worse than Omrons. They’re simply different, and what you prefer comes down to personal preference.
Some of these things might take some time to get used to (especially the scroll wheel) but they do make these mice unique, and since Zowie’s products are made for gaming we should judge them as gaming mice and not as browsing devices.
The EC series comes in different sizes (EC1 and EC2) but there are also three different iterations that are frequently used. We’ll briefly go over each of these. All of these EC iterations have the same shape, cable, and buttons.
ECx-A: This is the oldest version of the EC that’s currently still in use. It houses the 3310 sensor, which technically isn’t a flawless sensor in the sense that it is possible to make the sensor spin out under very specific circumstances but it happens so rarely that it doesn’t seem to stop professionals from using this mouse, so we don’t see this older sensor as an issue.
ECx-B: This is the new and upgraded version of the A. It features the flawless 3360 sensor, with the other most notable change found on the bottom, where Zowie swapped the 2 large mouse feet on the A for four smaller feet. Minor changes were also made to the side buttons and the coating.
ECx-B Divina: This is a special edition of the ECx-B line. It comes with a glossy coating (as opposed to the regular matte coating) and the four smaller feet have been changed back to two large feet on this special edition. In addition to that Zowie also moved the ‘information sticker’ (containing the serial number etc.) from the bottom of the mouse to a tab at the end of the cable in order to improve the glide. Our reviewer considers this the best version of the EC that’s currently out there, but this will obviously depend on personal preferences.
3. Zowie FK Series
Another no-nonsense gaming mouse
The FK is Zowie’s most popular ambidextrous mouse, and that might be because it follows Zowie’s credo of making products that are tailor-made for FPS games, with no unnecessary features and a phenomenal shape.
The FK is an older mouse by now (it’s, along with the ZA, Zowie’s only mouse that’s still on the 3310 sensor) but it’s still very popular, mainly due to the comfortable shape. It’s also a truly ambidextrous mouse in the sense that it has side buttons on both sides (the right buttons are deactivated by default so there’s no need to worry about accidentally throwing a melee punch during a firefight or whatever) so it can be used by our left-handed friends without any issues at all.
Take Zowie’s tendency to create phenomenal shapes, couple that with a good cable (these days there are better stock cables out there, but Zowie’s cables are by no means bad) and a relatively lightweight design of 83 grams and you can sort of tell why many professional players still swear by this mouse. Shape and weight are after all among the most important factors of a gaming mouse for shooter games, and the FK is living proof of that.
Still though, it might be time for a little refresh. If you go on internet forums that like to talk about gaming mice you’ll find a lot of posts clamoring for an updated FK line. Despite the fact that the 3310 is a perfectly capable sensor (again; pros wouldn’t use a mouse with a subpar sensor if something much better is available) it could be a good idea to give the FK line the EC treatment and update it with a newer sensor.
Aside from that it’s a great gaming mouse, and the shape is endgame for a lot of people (which is also why so many people are asking for an updated version) so it’s definitely worth checking out.
4. Logitech G703
More wireless action
Disclaimer: we have included the G403 wireless here when counting, since that is basically the same mouse as the G703. The G703 has POWERPLAY charging (which allows you to charge the mouse when using it along with a POWERPLAY mousepad) and the G403 does not.
When Logitech first unveiled their 3366 sensor lineup, the G403 (which has the same exact shape and internals as the G703, but has a wired connection) was part of that reveal and it almost immediately became a hit thanks to the top specs that this product offers.
This is an ergonomic mouse with a top sensor (the 3366 at first, and recently Logitech has put their HERO sensor in the G703), a fantastic set of buttons and ditto scroll wheel, and it’s offered in both a wired (G403) and wireless (G703 and G403 Wireless) version.
Both have the exact same internals, but the wireless version weighs in at 105 grams while the wired version weighs about 87 grams. That’s not outrageous as far as weight goes, but if you are considering this mouse we’d always recommend a wireless version since the cable on the G403 wired is… subpar, to say the least. It’s got a thick and braided cable which just doesn’t cut it, certainly if you compare it to today’s standards.
The G703 comes equipped with Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED technology, which means that you can expect a completely flawless performance that’s on par with wired mice, but since the G703 has the 3366 sensor instead of Logitech’s HERO sensor (which is a reworked version of the 3366 that draws less power) you will have to make some concessions when it comes to battery life. The G703’s rechargeable battery lasts about 30 ingame hours with the RGB lighting turned off, which should be more than enough for most regular users, but we do suggest that you take your charging cable if you’re going to a long LAN event or something like that.
Do be wary of the hump though. The G703 has a fairly pronounced hump towards the back which makes the shape of this mouse very much a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of shape. While it’s not awful or unusable the shape isn’t super safe, so be wary of that when you’re considering this mouse.
5. Razer Deathadder (Elite)
The Razer Deathadder is probably the most recognizable gaming mouse on this list. It’s been around for years and years, and everyone who’s even a little familiar with PC gaming will probably know about this mouse.
There are many different iterations and versions of this mouse out there, and while some were definitely better received than others this current version (called the ‘Elite’) is definitely a great effort. It came out in 2017 and received favorable reviews across the board, and despite what Razer’s sort of ‘gimmicky’ reputation might tell you this is definitely a great mouse.
The Elite doesn’t break new ground like some other mice on this list do but what it does, it does really well. It’s got a very comfortable ergonomic shape (which is very reminiscent of the wildly revered Microsoft Intellimouse 3.0) with great clicks (Razer uses their own switches, but they’re co-developed with Omron), a nice cable, and a flawless sensor. It’s definitely on the larger side of the spectrum though, so this isn’t the one for you if you’ve got smaller hands.
Inside you’ll find the 3389 sensor, which is Razer’s variant of the industry-standard 3360 sensor and it performs flawlessly as you would expect from that sensor.
So if you’re looking for a larger ergonomic mouse (with a hump that’s not as pronounced as the one on the G703) with top specs and performance the Deathadder Elite absolutely deserves a look.
Best Mouse for Competitive Gaming – Conclusion
There’s a bit of a pattern here: all of these mice are relatively simple when it comes to functionality. Yes, these mice are packed with the best technology, but when it comes down to it they’re simple mice with no extra features (aside from the standard two side buttons).
Most pros seem to opt for a relatively lightweight mouse (the heaviest mouse on this list weighs 105 grams, and that’s a wireless one) without any extras such as a thumb rest, sniper buttons, or what have you. It makes sense as well: for the majority of the games that we analyze you don’t want any distractions when aiming, since one missed shot can mean the difference between winning a match and losing one.
The shapes and sizes are wildly different though, which further emphasizes the fact that shape is one of the most important factors, if not the most important one.
The mice in our pro-based top 5 list that you see above are all pretty much focused on performance in shooter games. That obviously doesn’t mean that you can’t use them for other genres or for regular browsing and casual use, but we do know that there are people out there who prefer something else when it comes to form factor and features so our staff came up with five additional options for you to consider.
Here we’ll cover some of the most commonly requested mice for gaming in general, going from a budget option (with top tier specs) to a fully tricked out feature-packed premium option. These five mice are all great gaming products in their own right and by adding these we believe that we’ve created a list that has an option for everyone, whether you’re someone who only casually plays MMO games or you’re someone who is grinding the CS:GO ladder every day for multiple hours.
Just like with our pro top five we’ll briefly go over the features of each product to help you get a better view on said mouse.
Zowie S series
Best overall gaming mouse
Zowie’s classic mice (the EC, FK, and ZA series) have made their way into the hearts and mind of many pro players with no clear signs of them going away, but their newest effort deserves some attention as well.
The S series (which consists of the S2 and the larger S1) initially only came out as part of Zowie’s limited Divina lineup (which is made to support women in esports) but Zowie has recently announced that they’re going to be releasing the S with their regular black coating as well, thus making it part of their mainstream lineup.
The S series continues Zowie’s tradition of making great gaming mice with a focus on performance over gimmicks, and the S is a culmination of all that Zowie stands for. It’s got a 3360 sensor, Huano switches, a pretty flexible cable (there are lighter ones out there, but Zowie’s standard cables are more than decent) and, most importantly, a phenomenal ambidextrous shape. It also has Zowie’s 16 step scroll wheel, which is great for gaming (you won’t accidentally scroll too far when switching between weapons or spells, for example) but some people do find it a bit bothersome for browsing.
Zowie has also been improving when it comes to the clicks (these feel a bit lighter and more crisp when compared to their older models) and side buttons so all of these factors together make the S one of the best products out there if you’re looking for a super solid dedicated gaming mouse.
Glorious Model O
Best ambidextrous lightweight gaming mouse
When Glorious first teased their Model O gaming mouse the enthusiast community immediately got on the hype train. The Model O promised to be an extremely lightweight (coming in at 67 grams for the matte version and 68 grams for the glossy one) gaming mouse complete with a very flexible cable, safe shape, and a top sensor. Despite the fact that this is their first ever mouse release they did manage to deliver on all of those promises, which makes the Model O an extremely impressive feat on multiple fronts.
It’s not all perfect; there are some QC issues here and there (mainly with the clicks feeling loose and the side button activating when you squeeze hard on the shell) but as a whole the Model O has definitely earned a place among the best gaming mice out there. While the holes might seem like a gimmick to some they do actually help to reduce the weight (obviously, since less material = less mass) and you don’t particularly notice them when you hold the mouse. Cleaning them out should be as easy as blasting the dust out with a can of compressed air, according to Glorious, so no need to worry on that front either.
If you’re looking for the lightest commonly available gaming mouse with a great stock cable then you have to look towards the Model O. You can also get the Model O- these days, which is a smaller version of this Model O.
Bonus: Xtrfy M4
Best ergonomic lightweight gaming mouse
A lot of companies are coming out with lightweight gaming mice these days, as the race to be the lightest is really getting more and more intense. Oddly enough most releases are ambidextrous models, which leaves our friends who prefer ergonomic mice wanting. Swedish peripheral manufacturer Xtrfy saw that problem, though, and they came out with the M4.
This is a lightweight (67 grams) medium sized gaming mouse with a 3389 sensor, Omron switches, flexible cable, and excellent mouse feet. If you want to try out this whole lightweight craze but you’re after a more form-fitting shape you should definitely consider the Xtrfy M4.
Best budget gaming mouse
Finding the perfect gaming mouse for you can be difficult enough as it is, and it’s made even harder if you’re on a budget since affordable gaming mice usually skimp on important aspects such as the sensor in order to keep the price low.
Luckily there’s the Nixeus Revel. It’s an affordable medium sized mouse with a safe ambidextrous design and top tier specs. You won’t be getting any flashy LED strips or crazy features with this one, but the Revel houses the flawless 3360 sensor and Omron switches so it’s safe to say that Nixeus isn’t trying to pull a fast one when it comes to the performance of the Revel. The weight is also more than decent (at around 85 grams) and the cable, while not the very best out there, is pretty flexible and thin so you get plenty of bang for your buck here.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) spend too much money on your gaming mouse but you don’t want your performance to suffer you should definitely take a look at the Nixeus Revel. It’s a simple, but very reliable gaming mouse at an affordable price.
Razer Naga Trinity
Best MMO gaming mouse
In the upper echelons of gaming mice it’s quite rare to find a top-specced mouse that has more than three additional buttons. That’s a shame because there are definitely gamers out there who prefer to have a wide array of extra buttons at their immediate disposal.
The Razer Naga Trinity is a modular mouse that comes with three different sets of side buttons so that you can opt for the setup that’s most comfortable for you. You can choose between 2, 7, and 12 buttons on the side which means that you’ve got plenty of space to put your spells or cooldowns for when you’re playing for favorite MMO or MOBA and that you can just swap to the default two button setup for when you just want to frag out with your friends.
The Naga Trinity is a bit on the heavier side (give or take 120 grams, depending on the configuration) but weight is less of a factor for MMO gaming and you get a great and expansive set of side buttons so that’s not something that we’ll hold against this product. It also houses a flawless 3389 sensor and has a pretty flexible cable, so it’s a great gaming mouse on all fronts.
SteelSeries Rival 650
Best premium gaming mouse
If you’re after a full-featured customizable gaming mouse with a premium sensor and great wireless capability this should definitely be one of your considerations.
The Rival 650 is a wireless gaming mouse with a top sensor (SteelSeries’ TrueMove3 is based on the flawless 3360 sensor) and great clicks, but it doesn’t stop there. SteelSeries fitted in an additional sensor which handles the lift off detection so that your aim is always reliable even if you like to lift up your mouse constantly. In practice this won’t make much of a difference for most people, but it does show how SteelSeries went all in with the Rival 650.
The mouse weighs in at 120 grams, which is quite heavy but this should please people who are after a heavier-feeling wireless mouse. You can further tune the precise feeling of the Rival 650 by means of adding up to eight additional 4 gram weights to get that perfect balance.
Three side buttons (instead of the usual two) complete the ‘decked out’ feeling of this mouse, but what is perhaps the most impressive feature isn’t visible to the naked eye. The Rival 650 needs only fifteen minutes of charging time to last ten hours in wireless mode. That’s impressive, and this fast charging wireless technology is something that all companies should be looking to achieve if you’re asking us.
In summary we can say that the Rival 650 is one of the best options you can get if you want to go for a luxurious, hefty mouse with premium looks and features.
Best Mouse for Gaming – Conclusion
There is no ‘perfect gaming mouse’. A mouse can tick all the right boxes when it comes to specifications, but if the shape doesn’t work for you then it’s gonna be no good in high pressure competitive environments, nor will it be comfy to use during leisurely strolls through luscious singleplayer environments.
Obviously a mouse should have a top sensor and no obvious objective defects (such as a super stiff cable or malfunctioning buttons) but aside from that it’s pretty much up to personal opinion. We like to cover our bases, so we’ve supplemented our professional top five (which is based upon what the pros are using) with five picks of our own so that we’ve got a recommendation for everyone. All of the mice on this list feature a top sensor and specs, so in essence you only need to worry about the features you are looking for. We’ve done the research for you, so no mouse on this list will cause you to underperform ingame, regardless of what genre you like to play.
We hope this has been informative for you, and if you have any questions or remarks please don’t hesitate to hit us op on Twitter or Discord.
Thank you for reading!