Finding The Best Gaming Mouse – Buyers Guide
If you are looking to find the best gaming mouse on the market right now, there are a few things that you should be thinking about taking into consideration.
Possibly the most important thing being the fact that finding that one gaming mouse that wins your affection is always going to be subjective to what it is that you are looking for in a gaming mouse.
It’s personal preference that will crown the winner.
Don’t panic though, we have broken down some of the most important features and aspects that make the market’s best gaming mice the true ‘apple of the eye’ so that you can use our buyers guide as a reference as you seek out that beloved gaming rodent.
Now that we have taken a moment to realise that all of these recommendations from sites that you may have visited before are based on the opinion and wish list of authors, let us get to the hunt to find your perfect gaming companion.
So what should you be looking for when trying to find a gaming mouse?
Although crowning the best gaming mouse of the year is never going to be agreed upon, by writers that have actually reviewed the mice that they feature in their articles anyway, we can help you to pay attention to a variety of things that will help you make up your own mind.
Believe us, you will thank us for that once you find the one that you decide is perfect for you.
Okay so here are the things that you should be looking to spend a little time thinking about and getting to know about any of the gaming mouse front runners that you may have in mind right now.
Ask yourself, how do I hold my mouse?
There are two types of gaming mice on the market based on the style of grip that they require to use them, the claw grip or the palm grip.
You may not realise which of these two options you are actually using right now or you might not have even realised that there are even two styles available but don’t worry, let us explain.
Claw Grip Mice
A ‘Claw Grip’ mouse is known as such because of the shape of your hand while you are using it.
They are designed to have very little, if any, palm contact while you are using the mouse and often result in the tips of your index and second finger being the actionable trigger between you and the mouse.
Take a moment to look at how you are using your mouse right now if you have one available (we know that some of you will be using tablets or mobiles to view this article, so just think about how you would use a mouse if you had one to hand…).
Does your hand look like a claw, where your hand would arch over the top of the mouse and have your finger tips sitting on the mouse buttons?
If so, this means that you are currently using a claw grip mouse and we would suggest that you should look for a similar grip gaming mouse to avoid unfamiliar gaming style with your chosen gaming mouse.
The good news for those of you that have just identified a claw grip gaming mouse as your target is that this is the style of grip that is used within smaller, lighter weight gaming mice, often making them more sensitive for movement.
Palm Grip Mice
A palm grip style mouse is made to have more contact with the palm area of your hand, resulting in a much greater connection between you and your mouse as they are often shaped to cater for at least half of your palm to be placed directly onto the mouse to aid movement.
The placement of your fingers during the time that you are using the mouse will often be spread across the full width of the front, as opposed to the claw grip style that would see just the two resting on the mouse
As the movement needed for use with this style of gaming mouse is dictated through your wrist and elbow, it is often used in longer or heavier mice which would be better suited to lower DPI settings.
Ah but what about the third option, the fingertip grip style?
We haven’t forgotten about this style of mouse and no we aren’t trying to keep them hidden from your consideration, however their style is a variation of the more widely seen ‘Claw Grip’ gaming mice and so the considerations that we would recommend that you make are almost identical to that of the claw grip styled mice.
Which is best – Laser or Optical Sensor Gaming Mouse?
Now that we know what grip style you should be looking for, you will want to take a moment of your time to think about what sort of sensor you prefer.
The sensor within your mouse help to determine the way in which your mouse is able to process the movement that you make and is found on the underside of the mouse body.
Yeah, the little light bit that you place onto your mouse mat or chosen surface.
Let’s take a minute to determine what the differences are as well as what options are available to you, after all we are looking to make sure that you find that perfect gaming partner aren’t we?
As you can possibly guess from the sub-heading, there are two styles of sensor that are available to you; Laser and Optical.
What is the difference between a Laser and Optical Sensor computer mouse?
The difference between a laser and optical sensor computer mouse is purely based on the type of light that your mouse uses in order to bounce onto a surface to track the movement of your mouse.
We should tell you that both laser and optical sensor lights are both considered to be optical sensors in their own way.
A laser sensor computer mouse uses more traditional laser style light to bounce off the surface and back into a lens found within the mouse.
On the other hand, an optical sensor computer mouse makes use of an infrared LED light to achieve the same outcome.
So which is best?
Well it has been said that optical sensor gaming mice have historically had issues with tracking your movement unless used on a dedicated surface (mouse mat), resulting in a lower sensitivity and potentially making them less responsive than their laser counterparts.
Depending on what style of gaming you will be looking to do with your newly crowned ‘Best Gaming Mouse’ you could have established a favourite sensor type.
Well don’t make that choice just yet, we haven’t finished as we said historically.
Developments have meant that the gulf in performance between a laser and optical sensor gaming mouse has reduced significantly and now optical sensor mice when used with a gaming mouse mat are providing true 1:1 movement tracking.
While laser computer mice have always been able to do that, the advancement of the technology behind optical gaming mice has seen them win over a big part of the gaming market.
And here is why…
Speed, or should we say their processing speed.
Laser sensor mice require hardware acceleration to be able to process the tracking of movements that you make while gaming and optical sensor mice don’t, giving you those precious milliseconds as you look to get the upper hand on your gaming rivals.
It is for this reason that so many PC gamers turn to optical sensor gaming mice over laser sensor, raising a question as to why any gamer would specifically look towards a laser sensor mouse anymore?
Should a gaming mouse be lightweight or heavyweight?
The battle is on as we look to help you find what you would call the best gaming mouse and as we continue our points of consideration, let us take a look at whether the perfect gaming mouse should be lightweight or carry some weight behind it.
In the past, when we were faced with a market dominated by laser sensor gaming mice, it became clear that if you wanted a little bit of ‘junk in the trunk’ you weren’t going to have to look far.
There were models that were available just a couple of years ago that weighed in at 150g, mostly due to the weight of the components found within the mouse.
Jump forward a couple of years and now we have a much bigger variety available to us and the trend has changed for manufacturers, with more lightweight mice being released into the gaming mouse market.
As we have already mentioned, technology has come a long way since the days where we would consider looking to use both hands to make those sudden movements and with sensors now better quality than they have ever been, we are now seeing a much bigger tendency for gaming mice creators to opt for a lighter weight model.
Many of you reading this may not know that gaming mice used to come with the ability to be able to add additional custom weights to them, making them heavier to keep them closer to the surface during your sudden movement jerks.
Well no more, the advancement of sensors and lightweight materials means that we are now given a vast choice of light weight gaming mice that can travel quickly, smoothly and without feeling like you are throwing them across your room while still getting the same outcome.
Is a wired gaming mice better than a wireless?
When it comes to trying to make a choice between a wired and wireless gaming mouse, you can be forgiven for thinking that the more traditional wired mouse is the better choice.
We have heard it before…
“Wired mice are better for gaming as they are more responsive because they are directly connected to the PC”
Although that could have been part of a split opinion at the time, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.
With better wireless technology available now, there really are no meaningful differences between the two.
As that is the case, the only real consideration point here is down to how much you are willing to spend on your new gaming mouse and generally wireless mice do come at a higher price, albeit based on the style and type of mouse that you are comparing it against.
One thing that wired gaming mice can offer that wireless ones can’t is the lack of need to depending on batteries to keep you on the move in those vital times of your game due to being powered directly by your PC.
That said, the battery life of some of the wireless gaming mice options available today has improved significantly over the years, with some models boasting as much as 30 hours of power on a single charge.
Again, it is down to personal preference and how much freedom you would like while gaming.
But what about a loss of connectivity if I use a wireless gaming mouse?
Granted, it does happen and it can be common in some of the really low-end budget lines that are available, however the wireless gaming mice created by brands that are known for their gaming peripherals are a different story.
There are some wireless gaming mice on the market that have such a robust connection that you would struggle to determine any difference between them and a wired mouse from a movement tracking point of view.