how to choose the perfect gaming mouse

 

When buying any piece of technology, there will always be processes that will go along with it to ensure the best quality product is chosen for your particular needs. As much as people don’t think about their everyday mouse, it can play a pivotal role in your gaming adventures.

A basic mouse that you get with a PC, for example, is designed to help you scroll and click on items on the net. No one sat down at a table and thought about optimizing it for gaming therefore when playing with it, you may find yourself at a disadvantage The mouse you are using isn’t going to be high quality or posses any extra input buttons.

The standard mouse that you receive may not even scroll fast enough to match your reaction time to being shot at in a game causing your score to suffer.

To fix this problem, we have to look at the aftermarket mice you can purchase and the features that they may possess to best suit your gameplay.

How casual are you?

What type of games are you buying this mouse for? Know what level of gaming you want to get into to help find the best mouse for you. If you just want to play non-competitive games on your Steam account, then you may not want to pay for the fastest technology on the market.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

On the other hand, if you are competitive, but the games are turn based you may not need that advanced of a mouse as well. The needs of your mouse depend on how and what you play as gamers. Think “what do I need out of a mouse to get the most out of my game?”

The Shape

The form of a mouse can vary widely from one brand to another. Some have a very low profile while others are tall and thick. Some mice will have sharp edges while others are more rounded.

You should also be looking at the width of the mouse in comparison to your hand. You also need to consider how you how your mouse. There are typically three different ways that people commonly hold mice, or they practice some sort of hybrid where they mix more than one together. Here’s a short breakdown of each grip type.

Palm: You have your entire hand on the mouse with your fingers laying flat on it. This is the most common way to grip a mouse. It requires very little energy but lacks precision.

Claw: The claw grip uses only the outer parts of your hand. This uses the tips of your fingers and the bottom of your hand just above the wrist. It isn’t as comfortable with a grip as palm, but it grants you a lot more precision.

Fingertip: The fingertip grip takes your hand out of the equation leaving only your fingers guiding the mouse. This offers the most precision but is more likely to wear you out quickly.

If you’d like to see what each grip looks like have a look at this video. Consider which one you do not just while you’re browsing the internet but also while you’re deep in combat in a game.

Now that you’ve worked out what kind of grip you prefer we can start asking questions.

 

 

How big are your hands?

You don’t have to measure your hands for an exact size, just be aware of how big your hands are compared to average people. Take into consideration your average ring size, how tall you are, and if you have short, chubby fingers or not.

If you still aren’t sure, consider the mouse you’re working with now, if it’s a standard office mouse, how does it feel in your hand? Could you comfortably hold something bigger?

Are you a left handed mouse user? It is estimated that about 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. Are you? If you are, then you will find that many gaming mice aren’t built for you, or some companies design a left-handed version of their mouse.

Which hand you use for your mouse will be substantial because of ergonomics and button placement.Different mouse best gaming mouseHow To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

If a mouse doesn’t specify it can be used by left-handed people or can be ambidextrous, then it’s very likely that it won’t be comfortable for left handed people to use and even if you can find it comfortable. It is possible that you won’t be able to use the buttons as they will be in the wrong places for your fingers.

What kind of grip do you use? By now you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of mouse grip you use. This is where the profile of the mouse comes into play.

Palm: Look for a high profile, an ergonomic mouse that you can comfortably cup in your hand.

Claw: This grip is good with just about any mouse. But it is important to make sure that your fingers won’t drag on the mousepad, so with that in mind look for mice that have small lips that will keep your fingers from dragging.

Fingertip: You will want a low profile, smaller mouse for this grip style.

 

The Weight

How much a mouse weighs can have an impact on precision and speed when you’re in a game. Some mice will allow you to add and remove small weights to adjust the mouse to your desires.

However, some believe that a mouse should be as light as possible and you should use DPI adjustment to adjust the precision and speed. DPI stands for dots per inch and is used to measure how far a cursor moves.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

This is critical for people playing first person shooters where precision is the difference between a head shot and missing entirely. Many mice come with the ability to adjust the DPI in a relatively wide range.

They also keep you from getting strain in your arm from the weight of the mouse. But people who want a more authentic feel will go for a mouse with weight to it.

Do you want an authentic feel to your gaming experience? If this is the case look for a mouse that allows you to add and remove weight at will. Keep in mind though that this will add to fatigue and cause discomfort.

Do you want to be able to adjust the DPI for different games? Look for a mouse that allows you to save profiles. They typically will save the DPI you have set as well as give the glow on your mouse a specific color.

This way you know exactly which profile you’re using, and you can set it up, so the color matches the logo of the game.

 

The Buttons

Some, though certainly not all gaming mice come with more than the traditional number of buttons on them. Mice designed specifically for playing MMOs can have as many as 20 buttons on them!

I’m an MMO player, and I’m not even sure what I would do with that many buttons. With buttons you can program them to be certain keys from a keyboard, making it so you can play a game one handed.Razer Naga best gaming mouse

That leaves your keyboard hand free just to navigate, strafe or….other one handed pursuits.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

Do you find that your hand on your keyboard is very busy? If yes, consider how many actions, UI abilities, and attacks you may be able to transfer to your mouse. Keep in mind that for most of these you will use your thumb or baby finger.

If you’re happy playing the way you always have you can always get a mouse that doesn’t have extra buttons at all.

What kind of grip do you use? The type of grip you use could have an impact on your ability to use the buttons on a mouse. Palm grip will have the easiest time while fingertip may find it difficult.

Do you have long fingers? People with long fingers sometimes have trouble using the small buttons on the side of mice as they’re in odd positions. Having long fingers can also make it difficult to use MMO mice which have grids of buttons, it’s very easy to press more than one by mistake.

Customization

In customization, we’re thinking solely about lights and profiles. Many gaming mice will add LEDs inside to give you some customization to your mouse. Many will offer more than 16 million colors, but the reality is that one green isn’t vastly different than the next.

These lights will be in a variety of different patterns. Sometimes it’s the logo of the company that made the mouse. Sometimes it’s badass lightening.

Some mice will allow you to program different settings including button layout, color customization, and DPI. These can all be saved as a complete package called a profile.

Typically you will use different profiles for different games, after all, you wouldn’t use the same button set up in WoW that you would in Stardew Valley or Battlefield.

How much customization you want is entirely up to you, but as with all things, the more customization, the better your experience will be.

How many different types of games do you play? If you’re known to hop genres a lot, you may want a mouse that will save your different profiles.

Just remember that it will take some time for you to get used to switching between them.

Is looking cool important to you? If it is, take a look at what parts of the mice light up and what pulsing patterns they offer. Be aware that there are some low-end mice out there that have very limited light customization so you may only be able to pick from a handful of colors.

Also, there are some mice that cannot have their lights shut off without unplugging the mouse entirely. Even when the PC is turned off.

 

 

The Sensor

Look at the underside of your mouse, the part the touches the desk. Depending on how old your mouse is you might see the light or if it’s an ancient mouse, a ball. Mice with balls aren’t made anymore as technology has advanced to give us optical mice.

This light is how your mouse knows if it’s moving or not. There are actually two different kinds of optical mice on the market today, though to avoid confusion one is called optical and the other, a newer one is called laser.

Laser mice can be used on many more types of surfaces that optical cannot, like glass. Laser mice also offer a higher range of DPI. And finally, laser mice will track slightly after you pick it up where optical will not.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

A laser is generally considered the better option of the two for gamers as it offers more variety with very few downsides other than the cost. But how do you know which one is for you?

What kind of surface will you be using your mouse on? Chances are you’ll be using a mouse pad of some sort. Optical mice can have difficulty sometimes on pure black surfaces because there isn’t any difference from one moment to the next.

If you’re going to be using it on glass, you must go for the laser option as optical won’t register the glass being there at all.

Do you want higher DPI? If you’re looking for a wide range when it comes to DPI customization, then a laser mouse is the best option for you. However, there are some who claim that laser mice don’t perform as well at lower DPI. So, if you know, you’re going to use low DPI a lot you may consider going with optical.

Is cost an important factor? Laser mice are new and still considered high end. Because of that, if you’re looking to get a laser mouse you will have to pay more. For some, this could be a deal breaker.

As time goes on though they will get cheaper and lower end brands will start using them as well. But until then, be prepared to pay. On the other hand, you can get a cheap, no-frills optical mouse for less than what it would cost you for a fast food lunch.

The Cable

It may seem like an odd thing, but the cable that attaches your mouse to your PC can vastly change your experience with your mouse. First, it should be said that wireless mice are considered undesirable for gaming because there is a very slight lag between your motion and when the movement happens.

It tends mostly to be twitch gamers who comment on this, though, so if you’re a bit more casual, you can quite happily use a wireless mouse if you want.

Let’s assume though that you do want a mouse with a cable. There are quite a few things to consider about this little part. Mouse cable best gaming mouseHow To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

How far away from your PC will your mouse be sitting? Some mice come with an incredibly long 6 feet of cable which for most people is far more than they need. But if for whatever reason your PC isn’t right next to your monitor the length will be important.

If you have an extra cable, you can always roll it up and store it, so it’s out of the way of your feet. Or do like I do and pull your mouse off the desk when you get up because your feet get caught.

Braided vs. Regular Cables: Braided cables offer an extra layer of protection to the mouse’s cable while also adding to the visual appeal of the mouse. However, it can create more drag on the mouse and make for an uncomfortable and annoying gaming experience.

Which one is best for you? Does your mouse cord take a lot of abuse? If it does, look at braided. If it doesn’t, and you don’t care about how it looks, go with a regular one.

Software

The software is what gives a mouse the ability to be customized. This is where you’ll set the color of the lights, your DPI, and what the buttons do. But not all software is created equal.

For instance, Razer mice are considered the top of the line for gaming, but their software is pretty universally hated.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

Lower end mice will have software that is only available on the disc the mouse comes with, and in some cases, they won’t even translate it to English.

In many cases, it is the software that prevents a mouse from being used on Macs. Sadly software seems to often be a forgotten part of the mouse creation process and will vary depending on brand. As a result, you don’t get many choices with it.

Just be sure when you’re getting a mouse that you look at the reviews of the software for it.

Now that you know the things to look out for when you’re buying a mouse here are a few that I’ve picked from three different price ranges.

Mouse cost

As always have a predetermined price point to go off of. There is a mouse out there for every budget even if you don’t have lots of money to invest at this moment. Sometimes the cheapest pieces of technology can be the best one’s you will ever own.

If you can look into deal hunting when shopping online use tools to compare prices through different sites and write down specs to compare of all the mice you like. If shopping in a store takes notes of sales going on that may benefit your pocket book by using ads and the store’s website before leaving your house.

Comfort and Speed

Comfort is also a major player. You don’t want a mouse that just feels like a big hunk of plastic in your hand. You want something that feels smooth and has easy to grip material that won’t make you get sweaty palms instantly.

The wheel needs to be made of comfortable rubber, so you won’t get sore spots on your fingers from spinning it fast as well. You need to make sure that the mouse you’re buying is rated highly for it’s playability time, as well as its accuracy in game.

There are a lot of different materials that mice are made out of nowadays. Pick one that works best with your skin, and if you can make sure it’s breathable, so you won’t get sweaty palms in the middle of a match.

Wired or wireless

This will also play into whether you will want a wireless or wired mouse. While some wireless mice are known to be incredibly fast at transferring click to your computer, the chance of delay is there, between gaming mouse and none gaming mouse.How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

On the other hand, wires, as reliable as they are, have been known to get in the way during intense matches and may be more prone to damage, especially in a house with animals or children. Always look at the speed that the mouse will be transferring at compared to the wireless version.

Also when going the wireless route think of the battery life, while USB mice are good to go, wireless ones need to be charged or have battery changes. Do you want to deal with finding power for your mouse, and if so how often is reasonable for you?

 

After Thoughts

Aesthetics is something that should come last if you’re looking to play professionally. If you’re just looking for casual play, however, it’s definitely something to think about.

Do you want your mouse to have LED’s in it, if so what color? Do you want to buy a skin to improve the look of your mouse, if so what types do they easily make skins for? What color mouse are you looking for in general? Is there a particular shape or skin you are looking for?

Some things that may affect your mouse usage greatly are what you use it on and how clean the area you use it on is. A mouse is made to effortlessly glide over a surface, but if the surface it’s gliding over isn’t very slick, then you’re going to get some pretty weird traction interference.

One of the most important things you can do to optimize your mouse’s movement is to have a good mousepad. If you get a firm mouse pad that lets the mouse move freely, but keeps you from sliding it unnecessarily then, it will make a world of difference with your gameplay.

In the same regard always make sure to clean your mouse station several times a week to keep dust, food bits, and all the little random things out of your mouse’s path. Also always play on a stable surface or desk, if the surface you play on wobbles, then expect your on-screen character to wobble as well.

Things to watch out for when looking for a good mouse are:How To Choose The Perfect Gaming Mouse

  • Non compatible software- Make sure the mouse will be compatible with your OS
  • Sticky wheels- See if the mouse has any complaints of the wheel being stuck or hard to move when in use.
  • Low Traction- Check to see if the mouse moves well and doesn’t have resistance when sliding it.
  • Signal Strength- If the mouse is wireless, check to see if there are complaints related to signal loss to the computer.
  • Accuracy- How accurate is the mouse with your input.
  • General malfunctions- Does the mouse have good reviews and how fast did it break?

All of these tips combined with your overall wants and needs should pull you towards the type of mice you need to look at.

Conclusion

Don’t rush into buying one as well and take your time and shop around, you may be surprised what deals you can find. Always check reviews as well, so you know exactly what you are getting when you make your final purchase.

I hope our guide on how to choose the perfect gaming mouse has helped you see the different important features you need to look for in a gaming mouse. Do not forget to leave us a comment in the section below.