A gaming mousepad can be compared to the tires of a race car if you’re asking us. You can have the fastest car on the circuit with the best driver behind the wheel, but if you slap a pair of old and worn out tires underneath the car you won’t be seeing a lot of wins. The mousepad is a piece of kit that’s often ignored by the more casual gaming audience, but that really shouldn’t be the case. There are many different pads out there, all with different specifications and characteristics, so it’s definitely a good idea to find one that matches your preferences and playing style. You’ll not only increase your personal playing comfort but you’ll also increase your performance.
To help you with your search we’ve been taking a look at our analyzed professionals across all of our games, and we used that data to create a list of the most popular pro pads. We have also supplemented this list with five of our own picks, so there should be something here for everyone. In this article we’ll go over the features and specifications of each mousepad so that you can make an informed decision on your next purchase. So whether you’re in the market for a new pad or you’re just looking to learn more about the available options: we’ve got you covered!
What makes a mousepad good for gaming?
You might think that you can just use any ol’ mousepad (or even just play on your desk) but that’s not true, at least not for shooter games. In MOBAs (where mouse precision is of less importance) we do see some pros who don’t use a mousepad, but over 99% of professional shooter players are using a gaming mousepad over a regular office pad.
Perhaps the most important advantage is that these gaming mousepads are made for, well… gaming. They have been carefully designed to offer a smooth and reliable gliding experience. They’re designed for optimal tracking, so they have a playing surface with little to no irregularities, which will not only ensure a consistent and even gliding experience but will also ensure that the sensor in your mouse tracks whatever you’re doing accurately at all times. We don’t have to tell you how important it is for your gameplay that your mouse can accurately track your movements, so if you’re playing games where precision and consistency is even a tiny bit important it’s a good idea to go for a gaming mousepad.
It doesn’t end there, however. There are tons of different kinds of gaming mousepads out there, so there’s bound to be one for you. Do you prefer a fast glide on a thin hard pad? You’ve got it. Do you want a thick pad with a very controlling feeling to rein in your wild swipes a bit? You can have that. It might not seem like it at first sight, but there can be a tremendous difference in gliding characteristics between two pads that, from afar, look the same. Getting a playing surface that matches your own needs can definitely improve your performance. Gaming pads also come in larger sizes, whereas most consumer-grade mousepads are barely big enough for even the highest sensitivity players.
Lastly there’s also the fact that a gaming mousepad is generally better for the long term health of your mouse. If you’ve got yourself a shiny new gaming mouse you don’t want to be sanding down the feet of your mouse by sliding it around on a wooden desk or a plastic cutting board you’ve found in the kitchen, for example.
All in all, the advantages seem clear to us. If you’re even a bit serious about your gaming it’s a great idea to get yourself a nice pad to really complete your setup.
This list is, as we mentioned before, based on what the professionals are using. What you’ll see here is that most pros are using fairly large mouse pads, at least when compared to regular office mats. That’s because the overall sensitivity/eDPI of pro (shooter) players is way lower than that of most casual gamers. This gives them way more control over their aim and overall just makes for a more consistent and reliable aiming experience when compared to extremely high sensitivities where it’s nearly impossible to make any micro adjustments to the aiming reticle. Even if you feel like you don’t need a large mousepad we would recommend getting one if you have the space for it; it’s always better to have some spare space for your mouse movements than to have to run into the edge of your playing surface in the heat of battle.
Plenty of professionals use a special customized version of a certain pad with a team logo or gamer tag on the surface, but those pads are essentially all the same when it comes to the overall specifications and performance, so we added those to the count of their unbranded/non-customized versions. These special colorways and personal editions usually have the logos and names added to the pad by sublimation, so the glide isn’t affected at all.
The G640 is Logitech’s ‘standard’ gaming mousepad. It’s got a middling thickness of 3mm, no stiched edges (at least not on the regular version; there are team versions for sale that do have stitched edges) and a medium to fast glide which is quite similar to what you’ll find on the QcK line.
This pad as such isn’t very remarkable or unique, but that doesn’t take anything away from this product. It’s a reliable gaming surface that requires very little maintenance to keep it in top gliding shape (at least until the pad wears down and it’s time to replace it) and thanks to the thickness it’s also gonna be a good option for people who are often playing away from home on unpredictable surfaces.
This is an option for people who aren’t quite sure what they prefer when it comes to mousepads, as it’s very much a ‘middle of the road’ type of mousepad.
Logitech G640Used by 155 players (Jun, 2023)
❝The Logitech G640 is the ideal ‘starting pad’ for people who aren’t quite sure what they want when it comes to mousepads thanks to its middle of the road glide.❞
- Excellent ‘middle of the road’ option when it comes to glide and thickness
- Edges start fraying after a while
SteelSeries QcK Heavy
Coming in at an impressive 6 millimeters in thickness, the SteelSeries QcK Heavy is one of the thicker pads out there. This is great news for LAN gaming enthusiasts, as it’ll cover up all but the most insanely uneven surfaces so that you don’t have to worry about anything when gaming away from your home, but not everyone will love the feeling that this kind of height on a pad gives you.
An interesting feature of a thicker pad is the fact that you can press down on your mouse (causing its feet to sink into the pad a little) if you want to get a little more control. This can be handy for when you’re aiming at very small objects or when you’re spraying, for example. Again: this is not something that everyone likes, so whether or not this works for you depends on your personal preferences.
The glide that the QcK Heavy gives you is on the medium side, though it definitely trends towards being more controlling due to the sponginess of the mousepad.
This is a good option for people who have an uneven desk, and for people who like to game away from their own desk a lot.
SteelSeries QcK HeavyUsed by 139 players (Jun, 2023)
❝The SteelSeries QcK Heavy is a thick mousepad with a medium gliding experience. It can be ideal for people who have a lot of inconsistencies on their desk, as the thickness will cover up most surface-level bumps and dents.❞
- Thickness covers up uneven desk surfaces
- Thick pad can get irritating on the skin for some
- Very strong rubbery smell initially
The Zowie G-SR-SE might sound like it’s just a recolor of that other popular ZOWIE mousepad (the G-SR) but it’s anything but. It offers a faster glide than the G-SR and lands somewhere between the G-SR and the other pads in this list, making it have a rather unique gliding experience.
Different G-SR-SE iterations can have slightly different glide characteristics, but they all share the same design principle: there’s a decent amount of static friction to aid with micro movements and not a whole lot (when compared to the static friction) of dynamic friction, making big swipes easy and smooth to perform. This type of glide is often referred to as being ideal for tactical shooters, but the G-SR-SE can also be seen on the desks of many professional Fortnite players, for example, so don’t let that hold you back from trying this one out if you like what you’re hearing.
ZOWIE G-SR-SEUsed by 133 players (Jun, 2023)
❝ZOWIE made a number of promises when they first unveiled the G-SR-SE Rouge, and from what I can tell they’ve delivered on all of them. The surface is smoother, the humidity resistance is better, and the foam is a little bit softer. The pad still feels every bit as consistent as it should be, though, and with its controlling medium glide (by this I mean that it’s pretty much a ‘medium’ pad, but it’s on the slower end of that spectrum) this Rouge offers an interesting glide experience for people who play tactical shooters or who just want a touch more control without losing out on gliding speed.❞
|Static Friction Angle||8.51|
|Glide Difference X/Y||10.30|
- Smooth surface
- Increased humidity resistance when compared to earlier versions, though it’s still not flawless at handling oils and sweat
- Firm, uniform gliding feeling thanks to the dense foam
- Design won’t be for everyone
Razer Gigantus V2
The Razer original Razer Gigantus was pretty much a control pad, but with the V2 Razer tried to make it more like the G-SR-SEs of this world. That pad started getting really popular at a certain point and this is Razer’s own take on that type of glide. What you get is a medium speed mousepad with a decent amount of static friction and a lower amount of dynamic friction to allow for easier gliding. With an impressive consistency and all the features of an extremely decent gaming mousepad, this one is a logical inclusion in the top 5 of the most used mousepads.
You can also create a customized Gigantus V2 and have Razer ship it to you if you want to, be do note that those custom versions are quite a bit faster than the regular V2.
Razer Gigantus V2Used by 94 players (Jun, 2023)
❝If you’re looking for a pad that’s a bit more controlling without feeling murky or extremely gritty then this is definitely one to consider.❞
- Decent humidity resistance
- Decently thick and consistent foam
- Can move around (a bit) during particularly intense matches
- Stitched edges have been removed when compared to the V1
People often think that all cloth mousepads have the exact same glide, but that’s a common misconception. The Zowie G-SR is living proof of that. When compared to (most) other cloth gaming mousepads this one offers a very controlling glide with a pretty large amount of surface friction. This won’t please everyone (then again, no product does) but it is a great option for people who have a tendency to use large, aggressive swipes or for gamers who often find themselves overshooting their target.
It’s a medium thickness (3mm) pad with stitched edges and a rubber base so that it never moves around when you’re swiping around. Due to the very specific gliding experience it’s perfect for people who are looking for a bit more control from their mousepad, and the stellar quality and stitched edges will ensure that this pad lasts you for years and years. It does require a bit of maintenance though, so you’ll need to wash it quite often if you want to keep that fresh gliding experience.
This is the best option for people who don’t like fast gaming pads and desire control.
ZOWIE G-SRUsed by 98 players (Jun, 2023)
❝The ZOWIE G-SR is still one of the best control pads out there. If you want your mousepad to rein you in with plenty of stopping power and a controlled glide then you should look towards the G-SR.❞
- Stitched edges
- Very consistent surface and foam
- Slightly sensitive to dust, sweat, and oils
The VAXEE PA is available in many different designs, but in essence they’re all the same pad, except for the Black version, which offers a little more resistance when gliding than the printed versions.
The PA is a mousepad that’s focused on delivering a glide that’s more on the controlling end without becoming overly murky or limiting like regular control pads. If that sounds a little bit familiar to you, then that’s not strange: it’s very much based on the same design principles as the ZOWIE G-SR-SE. That doesn’t have to be a big surprise since the founders of VAXEE are the same people that founded ZOWIE back in the day, but it’s an interesting bit of information.
The PA is a mousepad that’s especially beloved in tactical shooter circles thanks to its glide, so if your main game is a tac shooter you can always check this one out.
VAXEE PAUsed by 103 players (Jun, 2023)
❝If you’ve got a feeling that you would like a bit more control but you don’t want to overdo it with a muddy/gritty dedicated control pad then the PA can be right up your alley.❞
|Static Friction Angle||7.64|
|Glide Difference X/Y||14.8|
- Smooth surface
- Tight rubber base makes the surface feel very consistent
- Lots of designs available
- No stitched edges version
- Humidity resistance isn’t the best
Best Gaming Mousepads – Staff Picks
Despite the fact that there’s a decent amount of variety in the mousepads that the pros are currently using, we couldn’t resist adding five staff picks to this article in order to make it a more complete article. We want everyone to take something away from this, so these five additional picks (which are in no particular order) should cover the entire spectrum.
Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn Pro – Best Premium Gaming Mousepad
We could’ve chosen the Artisan Zero here, but given the fact that the Saturn Pro’s performance is extremely close to that of the Artisan’s at a lower price and has better availability we went for the Saturn Pro. Don’t let us stop you from checking out Artisan, though: they make fantastic gaming mousepads, there’s no question about that.
Back to the Saturn Pro, then. If you’re looking for a control pad that doesn’t feel overly muddy or gritty then this is the one you should look at. The glide is extremely consistent and the mousepad is finished to an extremely high standard. Sure, it costs a pretty penny, but if you’re a competitive player looking for a premium mousepad to accompany you on your grind then you should without a doubt put the Saturn Pro at the top of your list. We would particularly recommend this to tactical shooter players, but this will work fantastically for any gaming.
Lethal Gaming Gear Saturn ProUsed by 12 players (Jun, 2023)
A lot of pads try to give you that ‘best of both worlds’ type of glide with lots of control when doing small movements and a smooth and carefree swiping experience, but none do it so well as this one if you ask me. Using this pad for gaming has been a fantastic experience, and as someone who likes control pads this will no doubt be my main mousepad for the foreseeable future. The stitching job is top notch, the pad comes flat packed and lays flat immediately, the softness of the foam is pretty much perfect, and the gliding experience is fantastic. This is worth every penny.
|Static Friction Angle||8.75|
|Glide Difference X/Y||6.72|
- Very high quality stitched edges
- Comes in flat packaging, meaning no bubbling or surface inconsistencies
- Good humidity resistance
- Softness of the foam feels like a perfect balance between firmness and give
- Smooth and consistent surface that performs consistently
- Expensive for a gaming mousepad
Endgame Gear MPC450 – Best “Hybrid” Mousepad
If you’re looking for a pad that gives you an extremely slick glide but you don’t want to feel like Bambi on ice when you’re trying to do micro movements then the MPC450 is a great option for you. Its Cordura surface provides an extremely slick glide once you get going but it’s just textured enough to allow you to control your mouse when making smaller movements. It’s still nowhere near a control pad or anything like that though, so if you’re looking for that you should skip this one.
Another added bonus is the fact that the foam is very firm, leading to a consistent surface that’s also water resistant (handy in case you’re a bit of a clumsy person) to boot. The looks of this pad might not be for everyone but it’s definitely a great mousepad for people who are looking for a bit more speed.
Endgame Gear MPC 450
❝This is a speed pad and it’s a great one at that. From the surprisingly smooth feeling but super heavy duty (when it comes to spills and tears) surface to the impressive firmness of the foam underneath: this is a high quality fast mousepad with a very interesting surface.If you’ve got a need for speed this should be on your list without any doubt.❞
|Static Friction Angle||4.25|
|Glide Difference X/Y||24|
- Water repellent surface
- Good stitching
- Surprising amount of micro-control for a speed pad
- Could tone down on the branding
SkyPAD 3.0 – Best Glass Mousepad
Professional shooter gamers might gravitate towards (more controlling) cloth pads, but there are droves of people out there who have a need for speed. If you’re one of those people then you should look at the SkyPAD 3.0. Its smooth surface is just about the fastest you can find out there, and while we certainly wouldn’t recommend this to people who are just finding their footing in the world of gaming mousepads it’s undoubtedly a pad that’s great at what it sets out to do.
Using a glass mousepad means that you’ll need to make some compromises, though. It’s obviously not the most portable solution that you can find, and it can get awfully loud if you’re someone who is often picking up their mouse after swiping.
With that said: as long as you know what you’re getting into, this is a top choice as a speed pad.
SkyPAD 3.0Used by 3 players (Jun, 2023)
if you’re looking for ultimate speed and a frictionless glide then look no further. The SkyPAD 3.0 is the fastest, smoothest mousepad I’ve ever used or tested, but do be aware of the fact that there are compromises to be made if you want to experience this type of glide. It’s a highly specialized product, and certainly not for everyone, but not every product needs to be. This product achieves what it sets out to do, and it does so in style, but I would only recommend this to people who know for a fact that they want the fastest glide out there and find cloth speed pads to be too limiting. Impressive, but niche.
|Static Friction Angle||5.52|
|Glide Difference X/Y||7.44|
- Extremely fast and smooth glide
- Sturdy, for a glass pad
- Will last forever if properly cared for
- Very expensive
- Noisy surface
- Doesn’t handle sweat and imperfections (hairs, dust, …) very well due to the smooth surface
Logitech G440 – Best Hard Mousepad
Hard pads are a niche category of an already pretty niche market, so there aren’t a whole lot of options for people who want an affordable hard mousepad. The Logitech G440 is a great option if you’re one of those aforementioned people, though.
It’s not the largest mousepad in the world (at 26×34 cm) so super low sensitivity players should probably be wary here, but aside from that it checks all the boxes. The polypropylene top provides that trademark fast glide with little friction that you want if you’re a fan of hard pads, while the rubber base ensures that the G440 stays put when you’re gaming. With a thickness of 3mm it’s also unlikely to offend anyone, so all in all this is a great option for fans of hard pads.
Logitech G440Used by 4 players (Jun, 2023)
The Logitech G440 is an old warrior in the world of gaming mousepads, but if you’re looking for a fast, hard mouse surface that doesn’t break the bank then this is one of your top options.
- Stays in place perfectly
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Too small for high sensitivities
- Edges can be a bit sharp (this can change from unit to unit)
InkedGaming Custom – Best Custom Mousepad
Mousepad designs can get pretty wild, and while some of the bigger brands offer a limited amount of customization (such as adding your gamertag to an existing design) we find InkedGaming to be one of the best brands to look out for if you want a completely custom designed mousepad.
These pads come in all sorts of different sizes and you can send pretty much any image that you want (as long as it doesn’t go against their TOS, of course) to InkedGaming and they’ll print it on a mousepad. The glide that you get is pretty similar to pads like the ZOWIE G-SR-SE and Razer Gigantus V2, so if those pads sound good to you and you want to complete your gaming setup with a unique mousepad then this is a good option.
Inked Gaming Custom MousepadUsed by 10 players (Jun, 2023)
If you want a completely custom-designed mousepad then the InkedGaming mousepads are a great choice. They get used by a bunch of professional players and offer customized pads at a very friendly price.
- Print any design you want on the mousepad
- Low price
- Quality control can be spotty
Best Gaming Mousepad – Conclusion
Mousepads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and it’s mainly up to you to figure out which one is going to be right for you. All of the pads in this article are going to be doing exactly what they need to do when it comes to sensor performance and what not so it’s mainly a job of figuring out what suits you. If you’re completely unsure we would recommend you to go for a nice middle-of-the-road cloth pad to start out with.
As a little side note: the glide of cloth pads can be affected by a number of factors, including how clean the surface is, the humidity in the air, the age of the pad, and your playing style. As such, your experience with a certain mousepad can be drastically different from what someone else is experiencing. This makes the search for a perfect pad a little bit more difficult, but it’s not as if a control pad is suddenly going to turn into a speed pad or anything like that, so hopefully this guide aids you in your choice.
If you have any questions or remarks, please feel free to reach out to us!