Ask a non-gamer what type of mouse they have and you’ll probably get a blank stare. Ask a gamer what mouse he plays with and you’re in for one heck of a conversation. Gaming has come a long way since Atari and Pacman and the accessories to improve your gaming experience have kept up with the changes. If you think about it your mouse is an essential weapon in your gaming arsenal so it goes without saying you’ll need one that’s as battle ready as you are.
Slashing, slicing, dicing, attacking – just a few things you need your mouse to do while destroying the evil warlords, with a simple click of a button. Nowadays most gaming mice will offer you smooth and responsive tracking, basic click and scroll functions and reliable connectivity, but as any serious gamer knows it takes so much more than this to make a good gaming mouse.
So with that said what do you need to look for when buying your first mouse or updating an old faithful? First things first, you need a mouse with a high-quality sensor, which will help you with precision and accuracy. Some mice have LED or optical sensors that offer good tracking sensitivity but cope better if or when lifted from a surface. Laser sensors, although better at tracking might not handle as well when sh*t starts getting real and the pressure is on. There is also an option of a gaming mouse that gives you the best of LED and laser, using the two sensors together, which means you have the advantage of a laser’s accuracy tracking as well as the less finicky tracking of the optical or LED sensor.
How you decide which mouse is best for you is by taking into consideration your gaming preferences. Like most things it’s a subjective choice made by looking at what you play and how you play it. DPI ratings and the choice of sensor is important if you like first-person shooter type games while someone who’s into ‘action real-time strategy’ will want a mouse that can map macros. All gaming mice need to be comfortable because you usually spend a lot of time gripping that weapon of yours, and good ones will offer customization. Now we get into a bit of gamer-speak: your gaming mouse should match the games you play, whether you’re taking aim or fighting hordes of marauders, need a mouse that has ratcheting scroll-wheels and DPI adjustment for accuracy and precision.
Customization and comfort is the name of the game and all mice can be adapted to suit your needs. Some even have pre-sets for non-gaming purposes, like if you actually wanted to use the mouse to do real work. A lot of the gaming mice are also customized for comfort, with removable weights for example, which let you fiddle with the total weight. Some of the more advanced mice designs allow you to shift the center of balance and adjust the height and angle, ensuring maximum comfort for your wrist and hand.
Palm grip, claw grip and tip grip, not expert fighting moves on one of your PC games, but rather the way you grip your mouse and the way your mouse is designed. The most popular one on the market is the ‘palm grip’ with manufacturers claiming it takes up 70% gaming mice market but there has been an increase in sales of the “claw grip”. Choosing a mouse for your PC gaming comes down to your personal preference , so as much as reviews rave about a certain mouse model or friends tell you which one to get, rather try them out for yourself. There is no ‘one mouse fits all’ anymore; it’s completely up to you how you hold it, and a final decision relies on how well you and your mouse work together. Remember the mouse is your weapon and if you don’t like the way it feels or it’s not offering you the best in precision then chances are you’ve lost the game before you even get going.
1. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
- Ergonomic right-handed design; textured rubber side grips.
- DPI -10,000d optical sensor.
- 8 million customizable color options Chroma lighting.
- Programmable Hyperesponse buttons.
- On-the-fly sensitivity adjustment.
A high-speed gaming mouse, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma lights up, hence the tag ‘chroma’. With a DPI of 10,000 optical sensor, adjustable LEDs and a fairly simple five-button design, the mouse gives you the basics that are ideal for tournaments, FSP games.
While the Razer DeathAdder Chroma only has five buttons that you can program, it does feature a massive 10,000 dpi optical sensor for high sensitivity. Because of the fast DPI adjustment you can change the settings during a game, for sniping or aiming, which is pretty cool.
Form and Function
DeathAdder is the entry level mouse in Razer’s Chroma line, and one of the most affordable across their entire range. It has its pros and cons and for an ‘upgraded’ mouse we feel it could have probably had a few more changes made to it, but perhaps it was a price thing and keeping the modifications to a minimal meant the guys at Razer could keep the cost down too. If you’re after a decent gaming mouse that does what it needs to, without all the frills, then this is the one for you. There are five buttons – middle mouse / scroll, left and right as well as two under the thumb. The upside with so few buttons means it’s quicker to get the hang of. The DeathAdder Chroma has a notably fast response and a good optical sensor and will work well for a lot of gamers but because there aren’t too many programmable buttons it’s not going to suit MMO games.
The thing with the Razer line of mice is their design. Despite it being simple it has become iconic because of how it it’s sculpted, and has some of the most comfortable right-hand contours on the market. If you are a palm gripper then this is the one for you. If size matters then you’ll appreciate how it’s super-sized: the scroll wheel can only be described as big and fat; the L and R buttons are wide and spread out and the thumb buttons, well they’re almost the size of it.
To be honest there’s not whole lot to be said about the DeathAdder Chroma because you would have read it or heard before with the previous model. This is supposed to be an upgrade, with very little actually upgraded, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a well-made ‘barebones’ mouse that offers accuracy, comfort and quality, all at a relatively low price. There’s a good chance the manufacturers thought it’s a best seller, it’s iconic so if ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
- Great ergonomics
- Great price
- Chroma UI is neat
- Frustrating drivers
- Nothing revolutionary
- Right-handed only
If you’re getting started with gaming or don’t need a mouse to prove how manly you are, then this is the one for you.
2. Redragon M601 CENTROPHORUS-2000
- DPI adjustment from 1000-2000
- Braided fiber cable
- 6 Buttons, 2 programmable side buttons
- 5 customised profiles
- Red backlighting
- Anti-skid scroll wheel
- Gold-plated USB Connector
Most gamers will know brands like Logitech, Razer and Corsair, but only a few might have heard of Redragon, a fairly new mouse on the block. Launched in 2012 the brand has taken the market by storm with their brand, their positioning, the quality and price tags of their products. Currently Amazon’s number one selling gaming mouse, the Redragon M601 CENTROPHORUS-2000 is one of the company’s most affordable products coming in under $15. With all the hype around the mouse we needed to check it out for ourselves, and this is what we think.
So here’s the thing. The gaming mice we’ve used in the past include Logitech and Razer, well-known brands with a mouse selling from $50 upwards. What you get for that is the promise of comfort, cool LED lights, side buttons, amazing accuracy, amazing comfort, cool LED lights, and DPI customizations. But if truth be told that’s a lot of money for most people; and it’s a heck load of money for a gamer. Enter the (Re)dragon.
The Redragon M601 CENTROPHOROS is probably more suited to MOBA and FSP/RPG gaming. Also if you’re a button kind of gamer the M601 is going to fall short. Well placed and easy to access, there are right-left mouse buttons, two side buttons that are programmable, a scroll wheel and a DPI adjustment button; all easy to activate and if you’re taking a break from your game the two side buttons are ‘back’ and ‘forward’ while surfing the net.
A Good Looking Mouse
The guys over at Redragon put a lot of thought into the look and feel of this mouse, and it’s paid off. It looks good and with its claw-grip type shape which is suited to both casual and hybrid gaming, it feels good too.
The red backlighting is pretty cool; it is a little bright but when you’re using it your hand blocks the light anyway. The side lights are awesome, adding to the overall look of the M601.
- Additional features found on high-tech gaming mice.
- Up to 2000 DPI sensitivity.
- 3 level DPI adjustment optio.
- 6 Optimized buttons, 2 of them are programmable.
- Pretty red backlighting.
- DPI is low if compared to other gaming mice
Having used it we found the mouse to be very comfortable, not only for gaming but also if you’re working on your PC. We were happy with the sensor’s performance and we liked that the red backlighting lit up the important bits.
The adjustable weights are a great feature and the DPI switch takes you from 1000 to 2000 DPI super quick. Overall the Redragon M601 is an excellent mouse, entry level or not and we would happily recommend it.
3. Logitech G602 Gaming Wireless Mouse with 250 Hour Battery Life
- 250-2500 DPI
- 11 buttons
- 2ms response rate
- Battery-saving modes
Even if you’re new to gaming you’ll be familiar with the Logitech G602. It’s not ground-breaking in terms of its shape, design or button layout but it is comfortable, especially when used with a palm-grip. There’s a thumb rest and the ribbed rubber helps with grip should your game get your palms sweating; the curve feels natural and we have to admit that it’s probably the most comfortable of the designs we’ve used before.
The Logitech has 11 buttons – obviously left and right, a performance mode, up and down DPI toggles, six re-programmable side buttons and the scroll wheel. Compared to the other two mice we’ve already review 11 buttons seem impressive but keep in mind it’s still fewer than you’ll find on a mouse designed for MMO. The button layout is well thought out and all are easy to access, except maybe for the performance mode switcher, which felt a little more difficult.
The DPI of the G602 ranges between 250 and 2,500; 250 being fine for browsing on your PC and 2,500 considered just good enough for gaming. Serious or pro gamers use a mouse with a DPI of 4,500 upwards, so no, you’re not going to impress anyone when you tell them it’s 2,500. The row of blue LED lights on the side is pretty cool and show you what DPI level you’re using.
A Mouse without a Tail
We find a wireless mouse to be the great divider; some people love them, others don’t. That’s all there is to it. Those against them often raise the concern of battery life but the G602 seems to have got this covered. Powered by two AA batteries you can get around 250 hours of play time. It has been designed to also work with a single AA, with a lifespan of 125 hours that helps when it comes the weight of the mouse, which we think is quite clever. Also, and very smartly, the central button can be switched from ‘performance’ mode to ‘endurance’ and that gives you 1 440 hours of battery life.
- Battery life of 1,440 hours
- Good all-rounder
- Very comfortable
- Low DPI
So we’ve mentioned this isn’t the mouse for you if you’re a serious gamer; the DPI just isn’t good enough. Also, it’s wireless so if that’s not your thing keep on looking. But if you’re a casual gamer who spends as much time using your PC for work or browsing then you can’t go wrong. It’s like a vanilla milkshake or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; tried and tested and safe but it’s not a game changer. The G602 is well-priced, reliable and versatile and won’t let you down.
4. Corsair Gaming M65 Pro RGB FPS Gaming Mouse
- 12000 DPI high-accuracy sensor.
- Aircraft-grade aluminium structure.
- Advanced weight tuning system – set the center of gravity to match your play style.
- Surface calibration tuning utility.
- Optimized sniper button positioning.
- Eight strategically placed buttons.
- High-capacity Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks
- High-mass scroll wheel
- Extra-large PTFE glide pad.
Okay so if you’re into gadgets and gizmos and you know what the next big thing is before the big thing is a big thing or if you’re just after a mouse that can do just about anything then we’d like to introduce you to your next purchase. Corsair has delivered somewhat of a Mighty Mouse with software that allows you to set the center of gravity to suit your style, amongst other things, and a first for any peripheral, DPI of 12,000, all packaged into a shape many Corsair users are familiar with.
The M65 Pro RGB offers a DPI range starting at 100 DPI, and goes up to 12,000 DPI, adjusted by 100 DPI increments. There are two DPI adjustment buttons which allows you to simply go up or down to find your preferred setting. Also each DPI stage has a different color so you can easily identify which level you’re at. Having a 12000 DPI sensor is insane, and we’re not sure who would even need that level of sensitivity, but that’s our opinion, but it is pretty cool and clearly Corsair thinks there’s a need for it.
The Corsair M65 has three RGB LED zones; one lights up around the scroll wheel, another, as mentioned, indicates the DPI levels and the third one is found under the logo, in the heel.
We like the brushed aluminium unibody design which gives the mouse a superior feel and it helps keep it sturdy. The M65 is very much a FSP gaming mouse, with its unique shape suited to claw or finger-gripper gamers. That’s not to say you can’t use a palm-grip, it just doesn’t feel as comfortable.
- Adjustable weights.
- Premium feel.
- Two DPI buttons.
- Huge 12000 DPI sensor.
- Well priced.
- Lighting is a big let-down.
The M65 Pro from Corsair is definitely a contender for one of the best gaming mouse around, especially with its CUE software which allows you to chop and change and customize your mouse to suit your style, right down to your preferred center of gravity. Some of the features are novel but they could become ‘features you never knew you needed’, like a sniper button, three point weight customization and the DPI switch that lights up to indicate which stage you’re on. If the guys at Corsair can fix the lighting we’d give it full marks.
5. Zowie FK2 Gaming Mouse
- Ambidextrous mouse for palm and claw grip gamers.
- Two thumb buttons on both sides for left and right hand players.
- Perfect lift-off distance.
- 400/ 800/ 1600/ 3200 DPI adjustment.
Old School is Cool
Rated as one of the best gaming mice for overall performance and comfort; the design and technology of the Zowie FK2 is considered a valuable, if not essential, piece of ammo for your gaming arsenal. But let’s be clear, if you’re into macros, need your mouse to finish off things for you or like mice with more DPI than you know what to do with, then this isn’t going to be the best mouse for you
On the Fly DPI
The FK2 features an Avagao 3310 sensor, well known for being one of the best in the gaming world. The mouse’s accuracy can be put down to the fact it has no acceleration or prediction and it has up to 3200 DPI with on-the-fly changing, which means you can change the DPI while you’re playing.
The FK2 is very cool in that it’s ambidextrous with a slim design. It’s perfect for claw and palm grip players and has Huano switches which are quite stiff – this is by no means a fault in the design, but rather a way of preventing any misclicks. Made specifically for Zowie mice are the Hyperglide Mouse Skates, allowing a smooth glide with no friction.
- Granular finish
- Plug and play
- Huano switches
- Avago 3310 optical sensor
- Extra pair of mouse feet
- On-the-fly DPI changing
- Mediocre scroll wheel
- Small side buttons
If the names hiko, snax, anger, skadoodle, GMX and adreN mean anything to you then this is the mouse you’ve been waiting for. The mouse of choice for some of the top e-sports players; it’s a simple design that does its job well and if you’re a ‘no-frills all kills’ kind of player it’s should be your choice of mouse too.