A gaming mouse is the second elementary tool of the PC gamer and must have a very robust construction – similar to gaming keyboards. Because gaming mice have to survive a very high number of clicks, which are often executed in quick succession. The sensor must be extremely reliable and precise in order to react immediately to the smallest movements and sudden changes of direction. In addition, there are convenience functions such as programmable keys to trigger entire click sequences or command combinations at the touch of a button.
With meanwhile 26 gaming mice in the test, we have scrutinized a large selection of different manufacturers in an extensive comparison test. The prices range from a low 15 Euro to a steep 150 Euro. But our test showed: Mice suitable for gaming don’t have to be expensive.
Today’s best gaming mouse is the Logitech G Pro Wireless. The manufacturer has partnered with e-sport gamers to bring to market a model that meets the high demands of professional gamers – and we believe it will.
The scope of equipment includes a wireless or wired connection to the PC, the workmanship is impeccable and the weight is well under 100 grams. In fact, the mouse can also charge wirelessly using Logitech’s Powerplay technology. However, the mouse alone is quite expensive. If you want the best without compromises, you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket.
A comparable alternative to the Logitech powerplay combination is the Razer-Mamba-Hyperflux bundle, which consists of the wireless gaming mouse Mamba Hyperflux and the Firefly mouse pad. This duo also uses Razer’s Hyperflux technology to power the mouse wirelessly from the pad. Razer even goes so far as to paint the battery inside the mamba, which is why the rodent weighs only a few grams.
Even Razer doesn’t get lumpen and demands a lot of money for the innovative charging function. And unfortunately, we had to find out in the test isolated connection breakdowns. Those whose remaining gaming gear is also from Razer and can invest a lot of money can still access it without hesitation.
Steelseries Rival 600
The Steelseries Rival 600 offers a real technical highlight, as it is equipped with two sensors at the same time. One of them is only responsible for the lift-off distance: This describes how far away the sensor must be from the ground so that it no longer scans. The stroke distance can be adjusted from 0.5 to 2 millimeters to adapt the mouse flexibly to the player’s behavior. The second sensor is an optical model with a programmable DPI of up to 12,000, which, thanks to 1-to-1 tracking, implements all movements without adjustments. The sensor combination therefore ensures high-precision inputs.
In addition, there is a changeable weight and a flexibly adjustable RGB lighting in eight (!) zones and an ergonomic design with a good grip. In the test, however, we notice minor processing defects and the highly praised, adjustable lift-off distance can only be changed comparatively inaccurately using a slider in the driver. In addition, it is only suitable for right-handers.
4. Sharkoon Shark Force Pro
The Sharkoon Shark Force Pro is a true price-performance-racer. For less than 20 Euros, buyers can get a gaming mouse that is surprisingly well equipped. Buyers only have to make a few compromises: For example, the LEDs only glow in one colour (available in several colour variants), the DPI amounts to a maximum of 3,200 and is divided into four fixed levels. However, the resolution of the optical sensor should definitely be sufficient for most gamers.
Apart from that, the mouse also surprises with a low weight, high-quality components and a symmetrical design, even if left-handers have to do without thumb keys. Not only, but especially beginners don’t make any mistakes with the inexpensive Sharkoon mouse.
5. Roccat Kone AIMO
Another alternative is the Roccat Kone AIMO. Since the market launch of the first Kone in 2007, the German manufacturer has made good use of the time and put its hands together to further improve the design. In fact, the Roccat is extremely pleasant to use. The precise, optical Owl-Eye sensor is used, which was co-developed by Roccat among others and can scan at up to 12,000 DPI. The aim is to transmit mouse movements precisely to the system. This worked excellently in the test.
The special feature is the RGB lighting: AIMO is not only arbitrarily programmable, but also adapts to the gamers playing style thanks to sophisticated techniques and even AI (artificial intelligence): The LEDs light up red, for example, during fast movements. However, the Roccat Kone AIMO is a bit bulky and heavy compared to the other models in the test.
6. Logitech G502 Proteus Core
The Logitech G502 Proteus Core has been one of the most popular gaming mice since its release. That’s no coincidence, because the ergonomic design can also inspire us. The weight can also be adjusted – even at certain positions, because the weights can be inserted in a circle. The only thing we notice is that the magnet that holds the removable base plate falls off if the treatment is a bit coarser. The optical sensor offers a sampling rate of 12,000 DPI. Our test device has no RGB illumination, which is only available with the Spectrum version.
The Logitech Gaming software, like the test winner, allows a lot of settings without much training. Overall, however, the workmanship is somewhat less high-quality than with our favorite: For example, the mouse rattles when it is placed on the table. Nevertheless, it is rightly a popular classic, even if there are a lot of newer alternatives for the money.
What matters with gaming mouses
As mentioned earlier, gaming mice must be extremely robust. Especially the two main mouse buttons (left and right mouse button) have to withstand a lot of clicks. Similar to gaming keyboards, although not as far-reaching, the choice of switches is important. The industry leader here is the Japanese manufacturer Omron, which promises a service life of several million clicks.
A mouse with high DPI value is not necessarily better
The next important value is the sampling rate, which the manufacturers specify in DPI (dots per inch) or CPI (counts per inch) – both values are identical. This not only indicates how precisely the mouse follows movements, but also how quickly the mouse pointer can be moved across the screen.
But a good gaming mouse doesn’t necessarily have to have an extremely high sampling rate, because it depends much more on the game and your preference. A high DPI is suitable for 4K or even higher resolution monitors, since a rather long pixel distance has to be covered. In the game itself this leads to bad Aiming, because the crosshairs are too sensitive to movements and shots miss their target.
In our opinion a gaming mouse should always have the possibility to define the sampling rate in its own steps and to switch between these in real time at the push of a button. In this way, you can react quickly to different (game) situations.
Sensor and mouse grips
With the mouse sensor you have the choice between optical and laser variants. To put it very simply, optical sensors pick up the background by throwing a beam of light from the surface back into a camera. A small processor inside the mouse then calculates and implements the directions and speeds of movement. Many gamers believe that optical mice work more accurately when they are felt.
The other sensors use a laser that bounces off the surface and is processed. Since the laser is much more focused, the extremely high sampling rate is made possible by the finer scanning. In addition, a laser mouse sometimes works on unusually smooth surfaces such as glass.
Optical sensor or laser: a matter of taste
However, there are no big differences in quality between the two sensor types, which is why it no longer plays a decisive role what is built into the mouse. Here the personal taste is more decisive.
Not every gamer keeps his mouse the same. Essentially, the posture variants can be divided into three categories. With the so-called “Palm-Grip”, the entire hand lies on the mouse, which is why wide and tall mice are the best choice. Players who gamble with a “Claw-Grip” operate the mouse with angled fingers and the palm of their hand. Narrow, medium-height models are best suited for this mouse grip. Then there is the “Finger-Tip-Grip”, where the gaming mouse is operated exclusively with the fingertips. Narrow, flat mice are the best choice for this.
Useful additional functions for gamers
PC gamers benefit from additional buttons on the mouse that can be freely programmed: Whether as a short code to open the browser on the desktop, or to trigger entire command sequences with certain timings with a simple click – the latter are also known as macros.
Of course, the game is also important here. MOBA players (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) can’t have enough keys to fire complex combinations of drink, spells and abilities with just one click. Fast shooters, on the other hand, often require only a few additional keys.
A luxury feature is the possibility to change the weight of the mouse. Because even with the weight there are different preferences. Some prefer to gamble with a heavier mouse, others with a lighter one. This is why manufacturers often supply small weights that can be inserted into specially designed compartments in the mouse.
Small but subtle difference
An integrated memory within the mouse (onboard memory) allows settings and profiles to be saved so that the input device can also be used on other PCs in the usual way. Whether it still has to be an illumination is debatable: If the devices can handle RGB, then the mice can be adapted to the rest of the periphery. But actually the hand is always on, which is why many players do without it and save themselves the extra charge.
Rubberized or textured side surfaces offer more grip and thus subconsciously convey a feeling of safety during operation. In our opinion, however, a braided connection cable should be obligatory, because a gaming mouse is constantly in motion and a robust connection cable considerably extends the life of the mouse.