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Best gaming mouse: 9 best gaming mice for speed, comfort and control

The Independent
The Independent

It’s easy to assume that all mice work the same but that’s actually very far from the truth now. When it comes to using one for gaming purposes, the difference between a regular mouse and a gaming mouse can be huge.

Predictably then, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to tracking down the best gaming mouse for your situation. Like with gaming keyboards , a gaming mouse can still be used for regular web browsing and everything else you might wish to do with your PC but they’re also designed to be far more responsive.

With ergonomic layouts, additional programmable buttons and a sensitivity level that means you have a better chance of reacting quickly in a fast-paced game (assuming your mind can keep up), they’re a worthwhile investment for avid PC gamers. That’s why a handful of companies in particular have focused on the technology, refining the options available to players and ensuring there’s something for every genre of game and purpose.

When buying a gaming mouse, there are plenty of things to consider. This includes whether you want a traditional wired style or a wireless one that will need charging at regular intervals. Both types have their own pros and cons, with the key to the best wired gaming mice being a long cable to avoid any chance of snags.

You’ll also want to consider your budget, as it’s possible to spend a small fortune on the latest gaming mouse – something only you know will know whether is worthwhile doing.

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There’s also the matter of personal taste, as each mouse is shaped differently, accommodating different hand sizes and how bulky a device you wish to hold. Fortunately, most devices are now designed with both left and right-handed users in mind. Whatever you end up prioritising, these are the best gaming mice you can buy right now.

How we tested

We tested them over the course of a month, with regular gaming sessions including World of Warcraft, Overwatch , and Fortnite , among other more minor games. When picking our favourites, we paid attention to how comfortable they were to use, how responsive they were, along with how useful any additional features were.

The best gaming mice for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Razer viper 8K: £54.99,
  • Best wireless gaming mouse – Asus ROG pugio II: £80.52,
  • Best on a budget – Corsair katar pro XT: £24.95,
  • Best RGB lighting – Razer deathadder V2 mini: £23.40,
  • Best small gaming mouse – Asus TUF gaming M5: £43.71,
  • Best weight-adjustable – Corsair M65 RGB elite: £39.95,
  • Best left-handedgaming mouse – Asus ROG strix impact II: £34.99,
  • Best all-rounder – Razer pro click wireless mouse: £94.93,
  • Best lightweight gaming mouse – Logitech G pro X superlight: £99.99,

Razer viper 8K

Best: Overall

  • DPI: 20,000
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: WiredUSB
  • Buttons: 8
  • Ergonomics: Ambidextrous
  • Weight: 71g

One of the newest gaming mice on the market, the Razer viper 8K is also one of the most feature-packed, providing you can afford its slightly high-end price. An ambidextrous design that will suit everyone, it has an 8,000 Hz polling rate (as the name suggests), which means it’s stunningly fast and responsive. That goes even more so when combined with its 20,000 DPI optical sensor.

In layman’s terms, it all means that any latency between your click and the response on screen is annihilated, giving you a better chance of, well, annihilating the competition. Alongside that are programmable buttons, a very lightweight and comfortable design, and a sturdy braided cable that won’t cause you any bother.

Ideally, you’ll need a speedy monitor to keep up with the mouse and, while it won’t make the worst player instantly amazing, the Razer viper 8K is rather special indeed. It’s well-designed in every way, even if it does eschew having lots of programmable buttons or wireless support, which would have only slowed it down.

Buy now £54.99,

Asus ROG pugio II

Best: Wireless gaming mouse

  • DPI: 16,000
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB, 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth
  • Buttons: 7
  • Ergonomics: Ambidextrous
  • Weight: 102g

The Asus ROG pugio II is a fantastic option for those looking for plenty of buttons to program. Its ambidextrous design felt particularly smooth and comfortable in our grasp, if a little large, with its seven programmable buttons in reach at all times. A 16,000 DPI optical sensor ensures that your kill:death ratio is affected more by your own reactions than your mouse’s, with on-the-fly DPI manipulation making it simple to adjust the accuracy.

The mouse comes with two wireless connections (2.4GHz or Bluetooth) with up to 80 hours of battery life when going the wireless route. However, it’s important to note that battery life is dependent on if you switch off the illuminations that can light up the bottom of the mouse. We found these to be a little distracting and preferred knowing charging would be less frequent, but that’s a matter of personal preference. For a flexible gaming mouse with plenty of options, you can’t really go wrong with this one.

Buy now £80.52,

Corsair katar pro XT

Best: On a budget

  • DPI: 18,000
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB
  • Buttons: 6
  • Ergonomics: Ambidextrous
  • Weight: 73g

The Corsair katar pro XT veers more towards the budget end of the gaming mouse market but it still offers a fair amount for the price. Designed with FPS and MOBA games in mind, it offers an 18,000 DPI optical sensor that can be easily customised in one DPI increments if needed. Response times when clicking feel instant to the human eye and its highly lightweight design (of just over 70g) is ideal if you need the lightest mouse possible.

We have to admit it’s not the most stylish looking of mice, but it gets the job done. As a wired solution, it’s braided cable means you won’t have to worry about it falling apart any time soon and its buttons feel suitably robust. According to Corsair, the Omron switches it uses are guaranteed for 50 million clicks, although obviously we weren’t in a position to confirm that. The ability to switch between profiles at a click of a button is also useful if you play different games frequently and want a different setup for each of them.

Buy now £24.95,

Razer deathadder V2 mini

Best: For RGB lighting

  • DPI: 8,500
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB
  • Buttons: 6
  • Ergonomics: Right-handed
  • Weight: 62g

Small but mighty is the best way to describe the Razer deathadder V2 mini. It’s the lightest mouse we tried and that’s a huge plus when moving it across your desk or mouse mat. It’s also built with smaller hands in mind, which makes it a useful option for those looking for such a design.

Smaller than its big sibling, the Razer deathadder V2 (£39.99, ), it still packs a lot in. There are six programmable buttons, arranged in an intuitive manner, along with RGB lighting, albeit less lighting than the larger alternative. It only offers a 8,500 DPI optical sensor, but honestly, that’s enough for all but the most serious of gamers, and makes sense given the low price tag.

We found the Razer deathadder V2 mini worked best with FPS games like Overwatch , with its lightweight design making it easy to glide across the screen. Just bear in mind that this is a right-handed only solution.

Buy now £23.40,

Asus TUF gaming M5

Best: Small gaming mouse

  • DPI: 6,200
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB
  • Buttons: 6
  • Ergonomics: Right-handed
  • Weight: 85g

A little long in the tooth it may be, but the Asus TUF gaming M5 remains worth checking out. It’s a wired solution that unfortunately misses out on offering a braided cable but don’t hold that against it. While we’re getting the negatives out of the way, although it is labelled an ambidextrous design, it’s programmable buttons are only on the left-hand side.

Still, for the right-handed user it feels good in your hand, with grooved sides that you can easily grip onto. It’s short as well as small too, even if it isn’t quite the lightest out of the mice here, and the buttons feel good on your fingertips with a nice amount of feedback going on. Due to its age, it has a mere 6,200 DPI optical sensor, but that’s good enough for most, and there’s also the advantage of a DPI button for on-the-fly adjustments. The Asus TUF gaming M5 might lack the wow factor of its competitors but it’s solidly dependable, which goes a long way.

Buy now £43.71,

Corsair M65 RGB elite

Best: Weight-adjustable mouse

  • DPI: 18,000
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB
  • Buttons: 8
  • Ergonomics: Right-handed
  • Weight: 97g

The mouse offers a few unique features compared to other gaming mice. Notably, it comes with adjustable weights that you can add or remove from the mouse, ensuring you get the correct feeling of weightiness in your hand. Alongside that are some neatly located programmable buttons – eight in all – including one with crosshairs on it that is referred to as a “sniper button”. Well placed, they’re ideally suited for FPS gaming and do feel like they make a difference as you play.

It’s a chunkier mouse than some others here, so it’s well suited for larger hands, with the weights ensuring you can get the right weighting too. With a DPI optical sensor of 18,000 and the ability to adjust it in one DPI increments, you should be sure of a mouse that’s well-tuned for your needs.

Buy now £39.95,

Asus ROG strix impact II

Best: Left-handed gaming mouse

  • DPI: 6,200
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB
  • Buttons: 5
  • Ergonomics: Ambidextrous
  • Weight: 79g

With a sleek design, this remains a worthwhile option for the gamer on a budget. It has a lightweight build with five buttons that work well without overcomplicating things. It’s not enough for a complex game but for an FPS, it’ll do the job admirably.

The buttons have a nice feel to your fingers and the mouse itself glides nicely across any surface. The lack of braided cable is a shame but the rubber cable doesn’t get in the way at least. A 6,200 DPI optical sensor demonstrates the Asus ROG strix impact II’s age, but it has a four-level DPI switch so that you can easily adjust things. It’s a genuinely ambidextrous mouse too, which is sure to come in handy and given its use of Omron mechanical switches it’s also suitably robust.

Buy now £34.99,

Razer pro click wireless mouse

Best: All-rounder

  • DPI: 16,000
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB, 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth
  • Buttons: 8
  • Ergonomics: Right-handed
  • Weight: 104g

Odds are you don’t just use your PC for games but also for work purposes. That’s where this wireless mouse is a great solution. It looks like an office mouse and it lacks some features of more garish gaming versions, but it still has plenty about it that makes it the best of both worlds. That includes a DPI sensor of 16,000 and tracking accuracy of 99.4 per cent, along with eight programable buttons and a battery life of up to 400 hours.

The mouse is designed with right-handed users in mind and might not look particularly remarkable but it works well as an all-in-one mouse solution. You can even set up three separate Bluetooth wireless profiles so you can move it between PCs easily enough. It’s expensive but offers a lot of flexibility for the price. For a more grown-up solution, it does the job well.

Buy now £94.93,

Logitech G pro X superlight

Best: Lightweight gaming mouse

  • DPI: 25,600
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Connection: Wired USB, Logitech Lightspeed
  • Buttons: 5
  • Ergonomics: Right-handed
  • Weight: 63g

Incredibly light at only 63g, the Logitech G pro X superlight feels near perfect in your hand. It has the disadvantage of being for right-handed gamers alone but if that’s you, you’ll be rather impressed. As you should be at this price. It offers a maximum DPI of 25,600 (albeit with no dedicated DPI switch outside of its software), which is more than enough for even the pickiest of players. Five buttons means you can do enough with customisation although obviously MMO players may wish to look elsewhere.

This is a mouse best designed for FPS players, feeling accurate and responsive every step of the way. Being so lightweight comes with some concessions such as a lack of RGB lighting and a fairly ordinary looking appearance, but it’s worth it and it packs a punch where it counts such as with its 70 hour battery life. While the price will put off all but the most dedicated of gamers, it’s worth splashing out for.

Buy now £99.99,

Gaming mouse FAQs

How to choose the best gaming mouse

Before you consider things like DPI and custom weighting, keep in mind that the best gaming mouse is the one that feels most comfortable in your hand.

Consider how you grip the mouse – do you use just your fingertips? Does the palm of your hand rest on the arch of the mouse? – then choose a mouse that’s shaped around this grip style.

If your mouse feels too flighty and you find yourself consistently overshooting your targets, choose a mouse with an adjustable weight. These come with trays of weights that can be inserted to increase inertia, improving the smoothness of your cursor movements and reducing jerkiness.

Once DPI – or dots per inch, the resolution of the sensor the mouse uses to determine its position on the mat – goes above a certain threshold the returns on investment are diminished. All DPIs above 6,000-10,000 will feel the same in an FPS, with higher resolutions only really mattering when it comes to precise cursor movements in desktop apps.

After comfort, buttons are the most important factor in choosing a gaming mouse. They can replace the action of reaching to the keyboard to hit a button with a simple press of the finger.

What is DPI?

A higher DPI means the cursor will move further across the screen with less physical movement from you. The higher the better? Not exactly. It’s important to find the right setting for you, which is why these gaming mice allow you to make adjustments so you can figure out what works best for how you play.

Are gaming mice worth it?

For esports champions playing at the highest level, where competition is tight and very little daylight separates the top competitors, choosing the best gaming mouse can mean the difference between winning and losing. But while a flashy gaming mouse isn’t going to catapult us mere mortals into the premier leagues, a specialist mouse still has advantages over the cheap plastic brick that came with your Dell desktop 15 year ago.

If you’re a dedicated FPS or MOBA player a gaming mouse is a worthwhile purchase. Customisable buttons that automatically adapt to suit whichever game you’re playing offer quick access to in-game functions and abilities, giving you the edge in multiplayer matches, or just making your game a little more streamlined and fun.

Do you need a mouse pad to get the most from a gaming mouse?

You mostly need a mouse pad for the same reason you need a chopping board: to prevent wear and tear to the desktop surface underneath.

That said, the type of mouse pad you choose can have an effect on how well your gaming mouse performs, and while it technically works, the wood surface of your desk is not designed to be used with a mouse. The material of the mouse pad will interact with the base of the mouse to produce some degree of friction, and different materials will either reduce or increase this effect.

Low-friction fabric or plastic-based surfaces can improve accuracy and speed, though once your muscle memory adjusts to your own particular setup the differences between two similar mouse pads are marginal at best.

Is there a benefit to using a wired gaming mouse versus a wireless one?

Wired gaming mice transmit data with near-zero latency, that’s the time delay between you moving the mouse and the cursor moving on screen. Wireless gaming mice take a few thousandths of a second to track your movements and transmit them over the air, which is imperceptible during normal activities but could conceivably make a small difference during fast-paced games.

Whether such a tiny input lag actually impacts on player performance hasn’t been studied, but top-level professional gamers believe that it might. However, as wireless gaming mice have become lighter and latencies lower, even the best gamers in the world are moving towards wireless mice as their preferred peripheral.

The verdict: Gaming mice

The Razer viper 8K is the best of the bunch if you’re keen to be as speedy as possible while enjoying a delightfully lightweight design. However, if you’re on more of a budget, the Corsair katar pro XT will still thrill, thanks to a responsive design that should last you a long time no matter what games you play.

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