One of the best things about PC gaming is how well you can alter your gaming experience. PC gamers can tweak the graphics settings of major games like Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077 to make them look just right, run Half-Life Alyx on a variety of VR headsets, and get some amazing deals, including free games from Epic and services like Xbox Game Pass for PC and Twitch Prime.
When it comes to gaming mice, there are similarly a ton of options, and you want the best if you’re going to sink hours into some real-time strategy games or just want to experience a first-person shooter like Escape from Tarkov. The best gaming mice tend to sport a few extra buttons, a nice thumb grip, or some adjustable weights to make sure the mouse itself doesn’t feel too light or too heavy while you’re pushing it around your mouse pad. Of course, there are always a ton of other things to consider, like dots per inch (DPI, or how quickly the cursor moves on the screen), programmable buttons, RGB lighting options, and all kinds of other customization options, which can make finding the best gaming mouse a tall task.
When looking for the best gaming mouse, you need to think about how many buttons you really need (not everyone needs twelve mouse buttons), how sensitive (and accurate) you need the mouse sensor to be. Do you want a wired or wireless gaming mouse (and if you go wireless, what’s the battery life like? Does it have wireless charging)? What about a mouse with flashy RGB lights? And most importantly, what kind of ergonomics and shapes are going to be the most comfortable for you over a long period of time?
With so many gaming-dedicated brands vying for your attention, it’s impossible to really know how you might personally feel about a gaming mouse until you physically get your hands on it. Fortunately, we at GameSpot have access to a lot of them. In this article, we’ve listed some of our tried-and-tested favourite devices with an optical sensor, as well as others that look like they could fit into a particular niche you might be interested in. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide will serve as a great launching point for you to weigh all the pros and cons decide on the best gaming mouse for you.
Looking for more gaming peripherals? Take a look at our picks for the best gaming headset, best gaming keyboard, and, if you’re a Nintendo fan, the best Nintendo Switch accessories you can get right now. And if you’re looking for some great games to play, check out some of best PC games from last year and what’s coming to PC this year, along with the best capture card and other streaming accessories. Also check out the best VPNs for streaming TV and movies.
Quick Look: Best Gaming Mouse
- Best Ambidextrous Mouse: Steelseries Sensei Ten
- Best Budget Wireless Mouse: Logitech G603
- Best Mid-Range Wireless Mouse: HyperX Pulsefire Dart
- Best High-End Wireless Mouse: Logitech G604
- Best RGB Wired Mouse: Corsair Ironclaw RGB
- Best Lightweight Wired Mouse: Razer Viper
- Best Multi-Button Mouse For MMOs: Corsair Scimitar Pro
Best Gaming Mouse: Ambidextrous
Steelseries Sensei Ten
- Fantastic ambidextrous shape
- Strong click action
- Incredibly high-resolution sensor
- Limited lighting options
I’m one of those weirdos who likes to use his mouse with both hands, depending on the scenario–left-handed for work and everyday tasks, and right-handed for playing PC games. I’ve been searching for a good gaming mouse that felt natural and comfortable for both, something the Steelseries Rival isn’t. After trying the original Steelseries Sensei back in 2011, I immediately ran out to get one. I was still using that 8-year-old mouse in 2019, which hopefully tells you how great the build and longevity of the Sensei is.
After swapping out my original Sensei for the updated model for a few weeks, I’m happy to report that it feels more or less the same–which is to say, fantastic–though there are some subtle, welcome improvements. The matte polymer shell coating feels a lot nicer and sturdier than the original shiny metallic Sensei, and way better than its rubberized RAW editions. There’s also a noticeably stronger and nicer action to the button clicks, too–the Ten uses dual-spring mechanisms instead of singles, and they are good for 60 million clicks (though I can’t vouch for that just yet).
The Sensei Ten sadly ditches the onboard customization of the original in favour of a software-only solution for its programmable buttons, and it lacks the more extensive RGB customization of some of Steelseries’ other mice. But it does feature Steelseries’ current TrueMove Pro sensor, a high-resolution 50–18,000 DPI optical sensor that will supposedly maintain 1:1 tracking, even at high speeds or if you lift your mouse. It’s probably overkill if you’re not a top-level competitive player who needs to crank their sensitivity to ridiculous heights, but it helps make the Sensei Ten feel smooth, precise, and good to play games with on a variety of different surfaces. It’s nice to have the cutting-edge tech, but it’s the form factor, build, and feel of the Sensei that makes this line my all-time favourite.
Best Gaming Mouse: Budget Wireless
- Comfortable design that mimics some of Logitech’s best
- Long battery life
- Super-low latency
- Affordable for a high-performance wireless mouse
- Can be a bit heavy with both AA batteries
- Not the flashiest physical design
It’s understandable to hesitate when it comes to a pro wireless gaming mouse for high-level gaming, because wireless means latency, right? Not so with high-end wireless mice meant for gaming. But then the question is, aren’t the options really expensive? Logitech’s G603, perhaps the best budget gaming mouse, is the answer to all that.
Logitech concocted what they call the “Hero” sensor and “Lightspeed” tech, which are staples in their wireless gaming products, and they’re the key to reducing latency to almost zero. Based on my long-time regular use of the G603, I can back up that claim. I’ve long used the G603 with my gaming laptop and in previous desktop setups and the precision and response time match that of wired mice. Whether it was rounds of CSGO or Apex Legends, I never thought about the fact that I was using a wireless mouse.
On top of accuracy and response, the G603 is very efficient with its battery life, though it requires AA batteries. The top shell of the mouse pops off easily, exposing where the batteries go. The G603 works with just one AA battery (keeping it lighter) while two will, of course, keep it going longer (upwards of 500 hours). The G603 ends being a bit unbalanced or fairly heavy as a result, which may limit how quickly you can swipe the mouse. All things considered, it’s nice not having to worry about when it’s time to plug in the mouse for charging, and its inconveniences just take some time getting used to. You also get two wireless modes to work with: an 8ms mode for standard use that’ll consume less battery and the high-performance 1ms mode for game time.
At just $69.99 USD, it’s one of the most affordable gaming-grade wireless mice (though you will need AA batteries). The G603’s shape is also similar to the G403 and G703, which are simple, tried-and-true designs that slip into any grip-style easily, making it a quality gaming mouse for those who play on gaming laptops.
Best Gaming Mouse: Mid-Range Wireless
HyperX Pulsefire Dart
- Qi charging is very convenient
- Side cushions are weirdly good
- Relatively few buttons
- Limited lighting options
The Pulsefire Dart is HyperX’s first attempt at a wireless mouse, and despite my personal distaste for wireless (and non-ambidextrous) mice, it exhibits solid focus with competent gaming performance. Strangely, the things I love most are the padded leatherette grips on the side of the mouse. They have a bit of cushion behind them, making it hard to resist squeezing your mouse from time to time. It’s a weird thing to focus on, but that really helped define why the Dart was so nice to use.
On the more practical side, the Dart’s internal battery features a generous 50 hours of life (or a 90 hours if you’re no fun and turn the LEDs off like me), and the mouse sports the convenience of wireless Qi charging. So, if you already have some kind of Qi charging solution for your phone on your desk, or you’re thinking about investing in one, it’s a convenient and great inclusion for the price. It uses a USB-C cable to charge when you’re not using the USB dongle for wireless play.
I’m also quite fond of the split-button design (which features some fancy Omron switches)–you’ll notice the two primary buttons are separate from the shell. This means that clicking either of them requires the same kind of action whether you’re clicking the top or the bottom of the space. However, it’s worth mentioning that because of the way I usually hold the mouse (and because of the irresistible side grips), it meant the travel required to use the buttons on the left-hand side was more than I’m usually comfortable with. It’s also important to note the Pulsefire Dart only features 5 buttons, which might be a downer. But those cons don’t stop the Pulsefire Dart from being an elegant wireless option overall.
Best Gaming Mouse: High-End Wireless
- Ergonomic design
- Lots of configurable inputs
- Free-spin scroll wheel is a useful tool outside of gaming
- Replaceable battery with excellent power efficiency
- Lacks lighting options
Ignoring the fact that the Logitech G604 has the same recommended retail price (USD) as the HyperX Pulsefire Dart, it’s the little things that bump the G604 into the high-end category despite its relatively modest price. The shape and design of Logitech’s mouse immediately stand out, though if you’re familiar with the company’s past mice, you might recognize the extended thumb rest on the interior face. It’s a common feature of Logitech’s MX series and ensures a bit of added comfort for the right-handed among us. So as to not be mistaken as a typical productivity mouse, the G604’s sensor can be set between 100 and 16,000 DPI, and there are plenty of ways to bind your favorite hotkeys or in-game commands.
Onboard, the G604 has a total of 15 configurable inputs. A half-dozen of them live on the left-hand side, above the thumb rest, while the remainder are up top. The scroll wheel also has tilt (side-to-side) functions that can be used as distinct inputs. That’s hardly the most interesting thing about the wheel, however. With a quick button press, you can change the mouse wheel from having slow, deliberate, ratcheted rotation, to a free-flying spin that’s great for quickly zooming through long documents or websites.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the G604 is that it operates using a single AA battery. Sounds wasteful? Well, not if you use rechargeable batteries. And even if you don’t, a single battery should get you an estimated 240 hours of use before you need to reload a fresh cell. Is it as elegant a solution as the Pulsefire Dart above? No, but having control over the battery means you won’t have to worry about the longevity of the most important parts of a mouse–at least when it fails, anyway.
Best Gaming Mouse: Great RGB Lighting
Corsair Ironclaw RGB
- Multiple RGB lighting zones
- Granular DPI settings
- Excellent Value
As far as RGB lighting goes, mice tend not to get as flashy as keyboards. Among configurable RGB-lit mice from leading manufacturers, the Ironclaw’s two-zone RGB lighting–the Corsair logo and the inner section of the scroll wheel–makes it one of the most colorful options. The accent lights on the side provide a little additional illumination, indicating your current profile and DPI settings.
Speaking of, the range maxes out at 18,000 DPI, and can be configured by increments of 1, giving you extreme control over the sensor, which complements the tight latency of a wired gaming mouse. Seven buttons round out the configurability of the Ironclaw, providing a little bit of everything for the player who likes to personalize the look and functionality of their RGB mouse.
The key features that make the Ironclaw worth a look can also be found on more expensive mice, but at $59.99, it has all of the qualities of a gaming mouse corsair fans have come to expect for a good price. It’s an all-around feature-rich offering that won’t break the bank.
Best Gaming Mouse: Budget Wireless
Razer DeathAdder V2
- Large size makes it comfortable for large hands
- Big side buttons are easy to press
- Affordable price
- No wireless option
The Razer DeathAdder V2 is a fantastic gaming mouse, especially for fans of shooters with big hands. It’s been Razer’s flagship mouse for a long while and its relatively low price makes it an even more attractive option. Its bigger size fits nicely into larger hands, and the left and right mouse buttons feel great for shooters like Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant. It also features two large programmable buttons close to where your thumb rests naturally on a mouse. These work excellently for commands such as throwing a grenade or performing a melee attack as well as special abilities in games like Overwatch. That said, the limited number of programmable buttons might make it a less attractive choice for fans of MMOs and other genres that require easy access to macros and certain commands.
Both versions of the DeathAdder come with buttons that let you adjust the DPI sensitivity, allowing you to go from more sluggish cursor movements to extremely fast ones instantly. Razer’s own software lets you adjust each of the five sensitivity modes to your liking, and the DeathAdder V2 lets you store five different profiles on the mouse itself. The DeathAdder series doesn’t feature a wireless option, though if you’re looking for a great wired gaming mouse, the DeathAdder will not disappoint.
Best Gaming Mouse: Wired/Wireless hybrid
Razer Basilisk Ultimate
- Usable in both wired and wireless modes
- Adjustable scroll-wheel tension
- 100-hour battery life
- 11 programmable buttons
- Comes with charging dock
With a sharp shape and comfortable ergonomics, the Razer Basilisk is another one of the best gaming mice we’ve tested. It’s slightly smaller than the DeathAdder, but it still felt good in my large hands. And like most of Razer’s gaming mice, it shined in our tests. The Basilisk comes in three different variations, which all share the exact same shape but offer different options. The first is the Basilisk X HyperSpeed, which allows for both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. It comes with six programmable buttons and is powered by one AA battery. It’s the most basic of the three variations, containing only one on-board memory profile and no RGB lighting. The wired Basilisk V2, on the other hand, boasts five onboard profiles, 11 programmable buttons, and 2 RGB lighting zones as well as customizable scroll-wheel resistance–the latter makes it so you can move the scroll wheel with no clicking or all the clicking in the world. However, the Basilisk V2 can’t be used wirelessly.
The third variation is the Basilisk Ultimate, a mouse you can use both wirelessly and wired. It uses the 2.4GHz standard for its wireless connectivity, and I didn’t experience any latency in my use of it. Plugging it in with the included soft cable turns it into a wired mouse. This also charges the mouse to prepare it for your next wireless session–there’s also an included dock you can place the mouse on between sessions. I was impressed by the number of programmable buttons and how natural they felt on the mouse’s chassis. As someone with large hands, I normally prefer a slightly larger mouse, but the Basilisk’s comfortable ergonomics superseded its smaller size, making a strong case for itself as a great gaming mouse.
Best Gaming Mouse: Lightweight Wired
- At 69 grams, it’s one of the lightest gaming mice available
- Ambidextrous design that’s comfortable for all grip styles
- Soft, tactile, and low-noise clicks
- Side buttons are a bit squishy
Razer is well-known for its robust roster of all things PC gaming, from gaudy accessories and headsets to flashy mice and keyboards. The brand has also become synonymous with extravagant RGB lighting. But it often gets the basics right with many of its peripherals, and the Razer Viper is emblematic of that. Within the lineup of shiny, glowing mice is a modest one that is super-lightweight and comfortable to use for any grip style.
The Razer Viper comes in at just 69 grams, making it one of the lightest gaming mice available (even lighter than Razer’s own Deathadder Elite). It’s an absolute joy to use, evident in my time using it for work purposes and playing a handful of competitive games. Mouse swipes, precision aiming, and picking it up to reset mouse position have all been effortless, but not just because it’s lightweight. Its simplistic (and ambidextrous, another thing it has on the Deathadder Elite and Razer Naga) design is comfortable to use in the claw, palm, or fingertip grip despite its slightly longer body, and the subtle rubberized textures on the side help .
Both left and right clicks are light to the touch, which makes them a tad less noisy and easy-going for rapid clicking. If there’s one shortcoming, it’s that the side buttons near the thumb (of which there are two on each side) are a bit squishy when pressing in. Many of us have also come to expect on-the-fly DPI switching buttons typically found near the scroll wheel, and unfortunately, the Viper doesn’t have one.
Best Gaming Mouse: Multi-Button Mouse For MMO/MOBA
Corsair Scimitar Pro
- Total of 12 programmable side buttons
- Side button textures help distinguish buttons
- Adjustable position of side button panel
- Sturdy build and proper shape for palm or claw grip styles
- Not great for shooters
Admittedly, recommending a mouse specifically for MMORPGs or MOBAs means targeting a fairly niche audience, despite the overwhelming popularity of both genres. But if a majority of your game time is spent there, a proper gaming mouse could make your life a lot easier. Of the button-packed mice I’ve used, the Corsair Scimitar Pro came out on top.
As a hardcore Final Fantasy XIV player, I appreciate how it can change the game. I’m able to program my entire attack rotation to the side thumb buttons, and while that’s not my preferred way to play, it’s certainly a viable option. Even being able to map a few key actions to the side buttons, especially to act as easily accessible macros, came in clutch. A mouse like the Scimitar Pro makes an RPG (MMO or otherwise) playable with just one hand and makes their myriad actions easier to execute.
While a total of 12 side buttons may seem like a lot to keep track of with just your thumb, the subtle tactile surfaces on two of the rows help you distinguish one row of buttons from another. It’s an effective design that ensures the Scimitar Pro is sensible to use once you make the adjustment. Additionally, you can adjust the forward-back positioning of the 12-button panel with a packaged tool, which is a great customization option that helps make sure the mouse fits your grip properly, regardless of your hand size.
Corsair understands the Scimitar Pro’s use case and goes to lengths to tune it just right for that case. You won’t get a great mouse for FPSs or fast-paced action games because of its design and weight, but if the Scimitar fits with your gaming profile, it’s one of the best options if you’re looking to make the transition to an MMO mouse.
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