Have you been shopping around for some gaming gear and been asking yourself: Is a gaming mouse worth it?
Let us check out our options on this type of hardware so that it can enlighten you on this tough decision.
What is the difference between Gaming Mouse vs Regular Mouse?
As you know, a regular mouse comes in various formats. You get either the typical two buttons and a wheel, wired or wireless, and maybe a few extra buttons.
Some mice also put the focus on ergonomics, some are even vertical for those that want to avoid discomfort in their wrist, keeping it in a more natural handshake position.
As for gaming mice, they were made for gamers with features incorporated to benefit them by giving them the edge with comfort, functionality, and precision.
Some of these features may include extra programmable buttons, added weights, an optical or laser sensor, high DPI, and the “standard” gaming hardware RGB lighting.
Is a Lighter or Heavier Mouse Better?
Some gaming mice have the option to add additional weights to the peripheral. Some would wonder as to why add extra weight.
The reason for that is control and precision. If a mouse is lightweight and/or not calibrated, your cursor (or aim) could literally miss the target as it would shift too much in one direction.
By adding weights, you have the feeling of more control over the movement of your cursor/aim. The trick here would be to find the sweet spot between too heavy or too light.
Should I go Wired or Wireless Mouse for Gaming?
Nowadays technology has changed the way we used to do things, being more convenient, faster, and more compact when comparing different generations of products. Television would be a great example, as it used to be one big bulky box, even for the rear-projection big-screen TVs weighing close to ~400lbs. Now, flat-screen TVs weigh a fraction of what they used to.
Looking back, wires were the reality of many products such as the first TV remote that came attached to it via wire. We even used to be tethered to our old classic gaming console with their controller at the end of a not-so-long wire.
Technology has come a long way since then. We have come into the wireless era, whether it is for gaming, grooming, tooling, or cooking, just to name a few. Even some of our computer peripheral has made it wire-free, but we still have an option to go wired or wireless namely for computer keyboards and mice.
Although you may think it would be best to go wireless, there are some drawbacks to the concept, as you need to change or recharge your batteries often, and also the fact that your device needs to be connected to your PC or laptop through a USB dongle or for some products, Bluetooth.
That connection needs to process signals between the devices, which can slow down the response time, but it is barely noticeable.
A wired connection would prevent this “problem”, so would prevent you from having to change the batteries of your mouse in the middle of a critical moment during an online gaming session.
This is usually why a wired connection is a popular choice among professional gamers, which would also explain why there is so much wired gaming hardware, and so less wireless.
Sure, you would have to sacrifice a USB port for each device, but unless they are Bluetooth, you would still use it for that USB dongle.
Unless you are not playing at your computer desk, but on your television set, or simply tired of having to untangle wires or dealing with wires altogether, these would be the main reasons to go wireless.
It all comes down to preferences and budget.
If you are not a professional online gamer where each millisecond counts compensating for network lag time, then it does not matter which one you pick but keep in mind that going wireless comes at a price.
Generally speaking, picking the wire-free route will cost a bit more, which is the case in most products on the market.
If we go for a basic computer mouse for example, with the same features in both, one is wired and the other wireless, the wired connection will always be cheaper, as they do not have to incorporate that signal processing module or chip onto the circuit board, which reduces the cost of manufacturing of that product.
Optical vs Laser Mouse for Gaming?
When it comes to a computer mouse you usually have two options to go for. It is a choice between either an optical or a laser sensor. Looking back a few decades ago, we would have had a third option, with the mechanical mouse.
What is a mechanical mouse?
For those younger generations that never knew mechanical mice, they were a physical rubber ball rolling inside the mouse reading on an X and Y axis or if you prefer, an horizontal and vertical axis, as opposed to the newer generation of this particular device, which operates using a light source.
Mechanical mice were very troublesome as you had to often wash or blow on the rubber ball of any dust, as it would prevent the rollers inside from correctly reading the user’s input. Good thing that it is a thing of the past, as it would be a very frustrating issue while gaming, especially online.
Optical vs Laser Mouse
So, back to the 21st century. Optical and laser mice have their own set of benefits.
You can easily tell what type of mouse the device is by looking underneath when powered on. An optical mouse will emit red light which is from its infrared LED as the laser will have no light whatsoever due to it being an invisible laser beam.
Both of their “light” reflects off of the surface the mouse is on giving the proper signal to the computer which will result in the movement of your screen cursor.
Of the two, the light emitted by the optical mouse’s LED is weaker compared to a laser’s one. The optical’s light will bounce back or be reflected quicker and depending on the surface if very reflective such as glass, then the mouse sensor will have trouble deciphering the data collected as the light will be more concentrated.
As opposed to optical, for laser mice, the beam will have no issue penetrating any surface, making it more precise and more convenient.
Another factor to consider is the DPI (Dot Per Inch) output, which determines the accuracy (or sensitivity) of the mouse’s sensor. In other words, if you move your mouse physically by an inch, it would be the equivalent of the DPI value.
So, if you would have a 1600 DPI mouse, which is the typical value of an optical mouse, then you would have moved by 1600 dot (pixels) for that one inch.
Laser mice usually have a greater DPI value, around 10K DPI on average, due to the precision of their beam, making them more sensitive.
Depending on the usage of your mouse, some users may have to change their settings to lower their DPI output.
Imagine playing a first-person shooter at 10,000 DPI, your aim will be all over the screen, making it practically impossible to play.
Optical vs laser mouse as for the price-point, back when laser mice came out they were a great deal more expensive than optical mice, but as the years passed, the gap in pricing has been reduced significantly, making them today both as affordable as the other, if both would have the same features.
But, which one is best for gaming?
The popular choice among gamers is going optical.
Many of the gaming mice out on the market are optical, mostly due to being low DPI so more accurate for video games.
They also are more affordable, even if the gap in price is not that much. The only downside is that you would need to be on a non-reflective surface so that the sensor can give a proper reading, but that’s okay because gaming mousepads, are the best surface you can rest your mouse on.
Laser mice would have been also a good choice, as they can go on basically any surface, but their beam’s better performance with higher DPI got the best of them. You would have to lower its output in order to be more in control of your character.
So, why pay a bit more for laser, if optical does the job? Well, if you mostly game on your computer, then go team “Optical”, otherwise, go team “Laser” but expect to tweak your settings a bit more when gaming. Why go through the hassle?
Do Expensive Gaming Mice make a Difference?
When shopping around for some gaming gear, most people go for name brands and expect quality and greatness. Sure, you can’t go wrong there, but you will have to pay that hefty price tag.
Most big names in the gaming hardware industry will provide quality products in terms of look and feel and will feature a good number of perks mostly targeting professional gamers such as high precision, additional weights, more customizable buttons, and good warranties, just to name a few.
Sure, expensive gaming mice will make a difference, but let us not exclude some less-known brands out there that will provide roughly the same features at a fraction of the price tag of a popular model.
If you are a casual gamer, playing either online or offline, then I would go for those “cheaper” brands which will still deliver in terms of performance.
If you are someone that goes for name brands, then save that money and prepare to pay up.
What Gaming Brands have the Best Mice?
Is a gaming mouse worth it? Well, if you are looking to buy the best of the best, then be sure to check out the products of these gaming hardware leaders.
Although these brands usually have the more expensive models, they also have their more “basic” models, which are more affordable, which is an option when you don’t want to spend a lot and absolutely want that name brand.
In alphabetical order, they are:
What are some Good Cheap Gaming Mice?
There are quite a few good options available at reasonable prices, even the top companies have their own “lower-end” models, which are also affordable and just as good.
Some are lesser-known companies but as good as the top contenders.
Here are a few of those gaming hardware companies that will still provide quality, but at a lower cost. You can find them on popular online stores, but here are links to their website. Be sure to check them out.
Those brands are (in alphabetical order) :
So with that being said, all in all, is a gaming mouse worth it?
If you are a gaming enthusiast and you need precision, additional buttons, or simply like the “standard” RGB lighting effects, then why not, but you do not need to break the bank.
There are tons of affordable options out there. You just have to look for features that are “must-haves” and go from there.
Check out for reviews online and look for deals then you are set.
If you want two-in-one gaming apparel, that is a keypad and a mouse, check out RAZER’s product in this article about One-Handed Keyboards.
Rise to the next level of gaming, and game on.