Best Gaming Mouse - 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
Note: there's also the newer G Pro X Superlight (see our review here) but Logitech has said that this mouse and the Pro X Wireless will exist next to each other, so the Pro X is not necessarily a true successor.
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 belongs to the Logitech 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 is an extremely capable gaming mouse, one that other brands have trouble catching up to even today. With flawless wireless technology, a flawless sensor, great feeling clicks and scroll wheel, stellar build quality, and a relatively lightweight but sturdy construction 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.
ECx: This is the newest version of the EC. It has the same 3360 sensor and large mouse feet that the Divina version has, but this one has the standard Zowie matte coating (with improvements made over the ECx-B version) so this is the one to go for if you like the EC design philosophy but you want a matte coating.
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 one of the older designs out there but it's still very popular, mainly due to the comfortable shape. It also recently got a refresh: the FKx-B line of mice now features the coveted 3360 sensor along with a bunch of other improvements, though Zowie did remove the side buttons on the right side. In case you're a leftie you can still go for the older FK mice with a 3310 in them though. That's not a flawless sensor technically, but it only spins out under really specific circumstances and there is a sizeable amount of professionals who are still playing with a mouse that has a 3310 inside of it, so that should tell you enough.
Take Zowie's tendency to create phenomenal shapes, couple that with a reliable build quality and a completely driverless experience 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.
4. Razer Deathadder
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 their newest efforts (the Elite and the newest V2) are without a doubt great gaming mice.
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.
The V2 further improves on the Deathadder's proven design and if you're interested in a DA we do recommend the V2. It has a newer sensor and different (more durable) clicks but more importantly it has a more flexible cable, new (faster) feet, a better coating and it weighs less than the Elite. All those changes make it a worthwhile upgrade over the previous version.
Both 'recent' versions (even though the Elite isn't as recent anymore since it came out in 2017) do have a flawless sensor and perform absolutely perfectly in any game you'd want to play, so if you're on a budget and you can manage to pick up a great deal on a Deathadder Elite that's worth considering.
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. 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.
There is also the DeathAdder V2 Pro, which is a wireless (and slightly heavier) version of the V2. That's a great option if you're looking for that trademark DeathAdder shape but you absolutely want a wireless mouse. You can check our review on that one here.
5. 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.
Bonus: Finalmouse Air58 Ninja
Unique ultralight mouse that isn't available anymore
Contrary to popular belief Finalmouse isn't the first company to introduce a mouse with holes in the shell. Companies such as MadCatz or Tt Esports (with the Ventus) released mice with the now familiar hexagonal holes as far back as 2014, but that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things as Finalmouse was certainly the first company to bring the idea to the mainstream mouse market.
This Air58 Ninja (it's called that because it was created in cooperation with Tyler "Ninja" Blevins) was released at the height of Finalmouse's fame so far, and a lot of professionals still use an Air58 or some version of the Superlight. Finalmouse release their products in extremely limited quantities though, meaning that their products usually can only be obtained by going through third party resellers who usually ask for a ludicrous amount of money.
That said: at retail price (or slightly above it) the Air58 and Superlight mice are definitely great products, with the Air58 being a particularly impressive achievement. It has an extremely flexible cable (Finalmouse was also one of the first companies to bring shoelace-like mouse cables to the 'mass market'), a flawless sensor, great feet, and it weighs only 58 grams. Plenty to love, in other words, but sadly it's near impossible to get your hands on one even if you wanted to. Luckily for the average consumer a number of companies decided to run with the trend that Finalmouse introduced, so there are now a large numbers of lightweight mice on the market that can actually be bought.
Alternative: Glorious Model O / Model O-
The Glorious Model O was the first mouse that peripheral company Glorious PC Gaming Race (what's in a name, right?) released back in 2019 and while there were some issues at first with things like the cable being crammed into the packaging (which could cause it to fail) or loose buttons they've been hard at work figuring those issues out, and the current version of the Model O (which also features an upgraded cable over the early older versions) is one of the finest 'ultralight honeycomb' mice that you can actually buy.
The Model O comes in two sizes, with the Model O- being the smaller of the two, so there should be a size out there for everyone.
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.
One thing we've also noticed since this article went live (we update all of our articles regularly) is that smaller brands are getting more attention. Brands like Xtrfy and Glorious seem to be attracting more and more pros, and while that's of course not enough to land them a spot in the most used list it is encouraging to see that there are more and more viable options coming out seemingly every month. It pays off to look into the smaller brands too!
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.
VAXEE Zygen NP-01
Best competitive gaming mouse
If you're looking for a no-nonsense gaming mouse that doesn't focus on fancy lights and tricked out features and is made with competitive gaming as the main focus then the VAXEE Zygen NP-01 is a fantastic option. This mouse is made by a relatively new company that's made up out of the original design team of Zowie mice, and you see a lot of the same design ideas come back with the NP-01.
For one thing there's the focus on shape. The NP-01 has a mixture between an ambidextrous and an ergonomic shape, resulting in a pretty unique sensation. It's a pretty safe shape too, so if you feel like ambidextrous mice are just a bit too neutral feeling for you but you don't want a super formed ergonomic mouse this could be one to consider.
To top it off the NP-01 comes with a fantastic set of clicks, a flawless 3389 sensor, and a nice 'middle of the road' weight of 76 grams. The cable isn't all that great and the coating isn't to everyone's liking either, but if you don't mind that then you'll find that the VAXEE Zygen NP-01 is one of the best dedicated competitive gaming mice out there right now.
Xtrfy M4 / M42
Best lightweight gaming mouse
Xtrfy perhaps isn't a company that rings any bells but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't check them out. The perfect example of this is their M4 mouse. It's their take on an ultralight gaming mouse and it's a great one at that.
With its medium size and ergonomic shape it kind of broke new ground in the ultralight scene when it first came out but even when looked at in a vacuum it's a stunning product. With a rather safe ergonomic shape (though you do have to be wary of the pretty gratuitous flare at the back) that isn't a direct copy of any mainstream mouse (which wouldn't be a problem per se, but it's always encouraging to see companies try to carve out their own path with a new shape) it's cherry topped by a fantastic set of (fast) stock feet, great cable, flawless sensor, and satisfying clicks.
This all comes in a sturdy plug and play package that won't flex on you or creak whenever you grab the mouse with a bit too much force so it's not hard to see why some pro players across our analyzed games have been trying out this mouse in recent times.
Recently they also released the ambidextrous M42, which is (according to our reviewer) one of the best gaming mice you can get right now. Check out our review of that one here.
Bonus: Glorious Model D
Another ergonomic option
When Glorious announced their Model O they made it clear that it was only the first release in an entire lineup of mice they had in mind, namely the O.D.I.N. lineup. The Model D not only paved the way for reviewers to sharpen their pun game and make a bunch of 'get the D' jokes but it's also one of the few ultralight ergonomic mice available right now.
It's no secret that this D is very much modeled after Zowie's famous EC series, so if you like the premise of that mouse but you'd like it to come in a lighter package you can definitely consider this one. To top it off it has great clicks, a flawless sensor, an extremely flexible cable, and smooth and fast PTFE feet.
If you don't like the smaller form factor of the Xtrfy or you're afraid that the sudden curve at the back of the M4 won't suit you it could be a good idea to look towards the Model D. It's based on a tried and true shape and it has everything you'd want out of a top tier gaming mouse these days.
The Model D- is a smaller version of this mouse that's also available for purchase.
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 great sensors aren't all that expensive these days so companies who know what they're doing can definitely make a competitive gaming mouse at a great price point. The Logitech G203 is one of those mice. It's of course not the flashiest piece of kit, nor does it have a ton of extra (software or hardware) features but it does get the job done.
The G203 has a sensor that'll flawlessly translate your movements to the screen, crispy clicks, a decent cable and feet and on-board memory. If you're looking for a mouse that won't fail you under any gaming (or productivity) circumstances this is definitely one to consider. With a weight of 85 grams it's also not likely to offend anyone by being either too light or too heavy.
The only thing you need to take into account is the size. The G203 is a pretty small mouse and the tiny 'egg shape' won't satisfy everyone, but at this price it can't hurt to try it out to see whether you like it or not. If you want to be absolutely sure you can see if you can test a G Pro Gaming Mouse (the first edition; not the G Pro Wireless) or a G305, since those have the same shell design.
Razer Naga Pro
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 Pro 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 Pro is a bit on the heavier side (it weighs 117 grams at its heaviest) 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 Razer's Focus+ Optical sensor and it's wireless so this is a fantastic mouse to get.
SteelSeries Rival 650
Best 'extra features' 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 Gaming Mouse - 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!