PC gamers have never had it so good. While the eSports scene is ramping up to enjoy unprecedented popularity, the best graphics cards are becoming more affordable than ever, finally making PC gaming a viable alternative to consoles.
Whether you aspire to be the next League of Legends superstar or, more likely, just enjoy a few rounds of Overwatch, you’ll assuredly find yourself at a disadvantage if you skimp on a competent gaming mouse. Assuming you’ve already shelled out the dough for a robust gaming rig straight out of science fiction, there’s no excuse for being stingy on control inputs.
How to choose the best gaming mouse
Your choice of mouse depends very much on your gaming preferences: if you’re into first-person shooters, finding the right balance of sensitivity and responsiveness is vital. If real-time strategy, MMOs or MOBAs are more your speed, you’ll want to find a mouse that hones in on custom macros.
Below, we’ve picked the 10 best gaming mice around. Whatever your gaming preferences or needs, one of these is certain to catch the attention of your prized desktop gaming setup.
1. Razer DeathAdder Elite
Razer’s most responsive DeathAdder ever
DPI: Up to 16,000 | Features: True tracking at 450 Inches Per Second, Resolution Accuracy of 99.4%, Mechanical mouse switches (up to 50 million clicks), Razer Chroma lighting, Up to 450 IPS / 50 g acceleration, Razer Synapse software
Colorful RGB lighting
No free-spinning scroll wheel
Overly familiar design
You know what you’re getting with a Razer DeathAdder mouse, and this year’s Elite model is one of the most responsive yet thanks to a new eSports-grade sensor that makes it easier than ever to keep enemies firmly in the center of your crosshair.
Razer’s refreshed rodent features the same right-handed ergonomic design as its predecessor that moulds into your hand, all while adding two new buttons beneath the mouse’s scroll wheel to change DPI (or dots-per-inch) on-the-fly.
While the DeathAdder Elite misses out on more advanced features such as the free-spinning scroll wheel that you’ll find on Logitech’s Proteus Core, the Razer’s pretty RGB lighting (customizable lighting with 16.8 million color options through Razer’s synapse software), big and accessible left-mounted buttons and grippable scroll wheel make it the best mice available in the price tier below.
2. SteelSeries Rival 700
A mouse with a side-mounted display
DPI: Up to 16,000 | Features: Gamesense support, OLED display, Tactile alerts, SteelSeries Engine 3 support, Programmable buttons, Onboard profile storage
Innovative LCD display
Limited display support
SteelSeries has ventured where few gaming mouse makers dare by adding a black-and-white OLED display to its Rival 700. It can either be a useful tool for three currently supported games – Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Minecraft – or can instead be used to loop animated GIFs. There’s a high level of customization on offer here thanks to the Rival 700’s modularity. Users can snap covers on and off and even switch between a three- or six-foot cable. Tactile alerts are also in place, which trigger vibrations to indicate when health, mana and other in-game resources are replenished in the aforementioned games. Overall, a distinct piece of equipment.
3. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
The ultimate wireless gaming mouse
DPI: 12,000 | Interface: Wired/Wireless 2.4GHz | Buttons: 11 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Customizable RGB Lighting, 30 hour battery life, removable side buttons
Modular side buttons
No optional weights
In recent years, wireless gaming mice have cultivated a rather adverse reputation, mainly in response to their perceptible lag. With the G900 Chaos Spectrum, however, Logitech seeks to change your mind. Using some form of wizardry, the company somehow managed to get its polling rate down to 1 millisecond on a 2.4GHz connection. Accompanied by accelerated coverage of the entire DPI range, zero smoothing and filtering, this gaming mouse is prepared for everything from your next game of Hearthstone to tournament level Heroes of the Storm. That goes without mentioning an ambidextrous design ideal for left-handed players in addition to a modular button layout.
4. Corsair Harpoon
A grippable textured budget mouse
DPI: 6,000 | Features: Optical gaming sensor with advanced tracking, Contoured design, Textured rubber side grips, Six programmable buttons, Onboard memory to store custom DPI settings
Featuring a grippable leather texture down the left-hand side, using the Corsair Harpoon is light slipping into a comfortable car with leather upholstery. Not a very expensive one, mind you, as the Harpoon is a budget offering that looks and feels cheaper than mice twice its price. Which is to be expected, of course, and with a snappy optical sensor and six programmable buttons including a center DPI switch and forward and back buttons on the side of the mouse, you have everything you need to game in any genre. Its average size makes it a good fit for both small and large hands, and Corsair’s RGB-lit logo on the back makes it look rather cool when rested on your desk.
5. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
Heavyweight champion of profound customization
DPI: 200 – 12,000 | Features: 11 programmable buttons and controls, including DPI shift, Customizable lighting from a palette of 16.8 million colors, Up to five 3.6g weights for personalised mass and balance, Surface-turnable gaming sensor with Delta Zero tech, 5 on-the-fly adjustable DPI settings, 3 on-board profiles
Satisfying scroll wheel
Weights can be tricky to remove
Logitech’s gaming mouse makes heavy-handedness seem like a good thing. Its hexagonal core can be customized with up to six 3.6 gram weights, giving you a lighter or heavier mouse to wield. Adjusting the mass and balance isn’t the G502’s only trick: its surface-turnable gaming sensor packs Logitech’s Delta Zero tech, which lets you use it on a wide variety of surfaces beyond your regular mouse mat.
Clicking a middle mouse button lets the G502’s scroll wheel spin freely, which helps prevent knuckle strain when navigating long webpages and forms. Add to that 11 customizable buttons including four on the left-hand side, a three-speed DPI shift under the scroll wheel and a logo that lights up 16.8 million colours in the dark using RGB backlighting, and you have one attractive, tech-stuffed gaming mouse.
6. Razer Naga Hex V2
Colorful rodent bears its MOBA teeth
DPI: Up to 16,000 | Features: 7-button mechanical thumb wheel, Pre-configured MOBA profiles, 16,000 DPI 5G laser sensor, DPI switch buttons
Handy side-mounted buttons
Customizable RGB lighting
No local memory
Razer’s refreshed Naga Hex gaming mouse has once again been refreshed, this time with MOBA and MMO players in mind. If you need your mouse to do the job when it comes to timely spellcasting, it could be a great addition to your setup. The Naga Hex 2 positions a thumb grip alongside seven quick-access buttons arranged in a circle that, with a bit of muscle memory training, allow you to fire off spells and perform other actions in a snap. There’s also two buttons along the top for adjusting dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity on-the-fly, accompanied by two rubber plates on the sides help with grip. In addition to offering a wealth of different buttons, the Naga Hex V2 is lightweight and looks great thanks to Chroma RGB lighting that adds a dash of color to the side-mounted buttons, mouse wheel and Razer logo. Lighting behaviour is configured using Razer’s Synapse software, and you can jump right into the action by downloading its League of legends and DOTA 2 profiles.
7. Speedlink Omnivi
Packs plenty of features including removable weights
DPI: 500 – 5,000 | Features: Ergonomic shape, customizable functions and look, optical sensor with adjustable accuracy from 400 to 5,000 dpi, customizable LED illumination with 7 colors, integrated weight system with 4 x 4.5g weighs, macro editor, 128kb internal profile memory, 1,000Hz USB polling rate (maximum)
Plenty of side-mounted buttons
Build quality feels a bit cheap
The Speedlink Omnivi is one of the more affordable mice to feature removable weights, which can be used to give this red rodent a bit more heft in the hand. It features an ergonomic shape and 10 buttons, alongside an optical sensor with a resolution of up to 5,000 DPI (or dots-inch-inch) which can be changed on-the-fly. Despite its affordable price tag, the Omnivi isn’t short on features, which include customisable LEDs with seven colors, a macro editor, five profiles with separate buttons sensor and colour configurations for use in different games, a USB polling rate configurable to 1,000Hz and a soft-touch rubberised finish. If you’re looking for a comfortable gaming mouse that does just as much as its competitors for less, the Omnivi will do the trick.
[Editor’s Note: This product is only available in the UK and other European territories.]
8. Corsair Sabre
A swift, accurate and lightweight weapon
DPI: 10,000 | Interface: Wired | Buttons: 8 | :
Awkward DPI switch button
Another impressive mouse from Corsair, the Sabre is comparatively stripped down compared to the M65 Pro leaving just the essentials for a reasonable price. The first thing you notice is how light the mouse is. Its lightweight body combines excellently with its fast and accurate optical sensor to feel like a durable mouse you can wield in your hand for playing games of any genre. Corsair’s CUE software is a little fiddly to get to grips with, but once figured out can be programmed to cycle colors around the Sabre’s four RGB-lit zones.
9. G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
A comfortable customizable gaming rodent
DPI: Up to 16,000 | Features: 8,200dpi Avago laser sensor with on-the-fly dpi switching; Ambidextrous and Height-Adjustable weights; 8 programmable buttons and four-zone RGB lighting; Onboard profile storage (5 configurations); G.SKILL Unified Driver system
Thumb buttons could be more solid
Some gaming mice forego comfort in the name of features, which can’t be said for the RipJaw MX780. It boast a number of features designed to make your hand grip feel just right, including a height-adjustable palm rest, ambidextrous and interchangeable side grips and adjustable weights. It all adds up to make one of the most comfortable gaming mouses we’ve tried in some time, and it’s responsive to boot thanks to an onboard 8,200 dpi laser sensors that supports on-the-fly DPI switching.
10. SteelSeries Sensei
A shot in the (32-bit) ARM
DPI: 6400 | Interface: Wireless | Buttons: 12 (10 programmable) | Features: Customisable lift distance, Button functionality and CPI, Ilumination, Macros, SteelSeries Engine, 32-bit ARM CPU, 1 – 5,700 CPI, 10.8-MP HD image correlation at up to 12,000 FPS, Tracking movements of up to 150 inches per second
Handy 8 macro buttons
Customisable “lift distance”
SteelSeries peripherals have a huge following among the professional gaming community, and many pros swear by the Sensei. With 11,400DPI sensitivity and a handy eight macro buttons, it comfortably straddles the first-person shooter/MMO/MOBA divide. Meanwhile, underneath its deceptively conventional looks, it’s precision-engineered for all the precision and sensitivity you could desire. And it even lets you customise its “lift distance” – so whatever surface you use it on, you can get it performing perfectly. We can’t vouch for your general level of talent, but the SteelSeries Sensei will at least put you on a par with the pros in terms of equipment.