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Finding the right gaming mouse to accompany your desktop or laptop is a great feeling. But like shopping for most other PC components and accessories, it can be a daunting task unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re buying a mouse, like price, how it looks, how it feels, button layout, sensor quality and sensitivity, and whether you want a mouse that’s wireless or wired.
As a result, it’s worth doing a little research. After all, you’ll frequently rely on your mouse for peak performance and comfort during gameplay sessions, as well as for general computer use. Plus, doing a little digging can sometimes unearth some money-saving revelations — for example, that an anticipated feature in a mouse doesn’t actually work as well as is advertised, or that the mouse isn’t worth the premium a company is charging for it. In some cases, features touted as being “new” are actually available in an older, and now more affordable, version.
We’re going to make this decision easy for you. We’ve landed on the best wireless and wired mice for most people. In addition, we’ve selected a few other standout options that may be worth considering if our top pick doesn’t jive with your ergonomic needs, grip style, or budget.
The best wireless gaming mouse: Logitech G502 Lightspeed
The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is a great gaming mouse for discerning gamers who don’t want to compromise, as well as for people who have no idea what they should look for in a mouse. It’s comfortable, feature-packed, and even though it’s wireless, it’s a fast and accurate performer that doesn’t feel at a disadvantage against opponents using wired mice.
At $150, the best doesn’t come cheap. But if you’ve tossed around the idea of making an investment in a high-end wireless mouse, no other model that I tested for this buying guide justified its price so easily.
The G502 Lightspeed has Logitech’s best features for its gaming and general-use mice rolled into one. The main buttons deliver a satisfying bounce response when you tap them, and unlike some other popular models, they click easily no matter how you grip your hand on the mouse.
This mouse also features a quick release button, a feature borrowed from other Logitech consumer-focused and gaming mice. By default, the scroll wheel staggers down a webpage with each step, which is how you expect a scroll wheel to work. Tapping the button releases the mechanism gripping the wheel, allowing it to freely sail to the bottom of a long page. It’s a small feature, but one that gives the mouse more versatility in certain situations, like being able to quickly scroll through your inventory.
The G502 Lightspeed has plenty of other gaming-centric features. Logitech’s latest sensor, the Hero 16K, is capable of up to 16,000 DPI and over 400 inches per second, with a 1,000Hz report rate. It supports a wide range of sensitivities so that, depending on your play style and desk setup, it accommodates both small and sweeping arm movements with the push of one of its macro buttons.
Another nice feature is the inclusion of 16g of additional weights you can insert into the mouse to give it more resistance. A mouse’s weight comes down to personal preference, and that could vary from game to game. This mouse is among the few modern wireless devices to give you the flexibility to change up the weight.
No matter what weight you choose, the mouse easily glides across mouse pads with its soft feet. Those feet are made out of PTFE (a premium alternative to plastic), the same material found in many of Razer’s mice that helps to reduce friction.
Logitech’s arrangement of macro buttons on the G502 Lightspeed first struck me as over-crowded. You’ll find six of them placed around the mouse (there are technically 11 buttons total, if you count the main mouse buttons, clicking in the scroll wheel, and the ability to program what the wheel does when you wiggle it to each side). But when I’m using the mouse, each macro feels within reach, and it’s surprisingly easy to distinguish one from the next when you’re in the heat of a tense match.
Logitech’s software will let you configure the mouse’s LED lighting pattern, assign commands to macro buttons, and tweak the minute details of how its sensor tracks. And unlike the apps made to accompany mice from most other peripheral makers, Logitech’s G Hub software is simple to use and as unobtrusive as they come.
The fact that the G502 Lightspeed is wireless makes it that much easier to bring along with you wherever you go. But if you just can’t swing the $150 price, I suggest that you check out the $50 Logitech G502 Hero, which is the wired version of this mouse. It has almost every feature that you’ll find in the wireless model — except, you know, wireless capability. Its feet aren’t made of PTFE, a material that makes the G502 Lightspeed smoothly glide across a mouse pad. It also has fewer onboard profiles (three versus five), and the scroll wheel has a slightly different look and feel. But if you don’t mind being wired up to your PC, it’s a great option for many of the same reasons I heartily recommend the G502 Lightspeed.
Other solid options
The best wired gaming mouse: Razer DeathAdder V2
A great wired mouse doesn’t need countless features — it just needs to be extremely good at the fundamentals. This includes being comfy enough to use for hours at a time with games that require quick reflexes, having a simple assortment of buttons that take little to no time to master, and of course, great performance. If this matches what you want in a mouse, the $70 Razer DeathAdder V2 is the one you want.
Of all the wired gaming mice that I tested for this buying guide, no other mouse felt like a more natural extension of my hand. That’s crucial when you’re playing a game that requires precision, and it’s good to have when you just want to feel support while you’re using your computer in general.
The DeathAdder V2’s design provides a lot of palm support whether my fingers are flat and relaxed over the mouse, or arched when I need to use faster reflexes. I use my index finger to left click and middle finger to right click; unlike most mice, this design gives me enough space on its right side to keep my ring and pinky fingers from dangling off the side and dragging on the mouse pad. That’s something I didn’t know I wanted out of a mouse until I started using this one.
Those design features keep things comfortable, but I think the part of the mouse that sold me is where my thumb rests. Many mice etch out an area for your thumb to relax and laze around. That’s fine, but I find that it necessitates more arm movement when the action ramps up. I prefer this mouse’s solution: its ergonomic design keeps my thumb wrapped around its side, naturally resting upon the edges of the customizable macro buttons. It’s good to have multiple buttons within reach, and the thumb location makes it easy for me to push the mouse around using just my wrist. It’s comfortable and has the dual purpose of keeping me limber in case I need to make sudden movements.
What’s inside of the mouse plays an equal role in it being my top choice. It has Razer’s Focus Plus optical sensor with 20,000 DPI and up to 650 inches of travel per second. You can switch between custom DPI settings with the buttons near the scroll wheel, and this mouse supports multiple profiles that you can toggle on the bottom of the mouse — each with its own setting that you can modify using Razer’s Synapse desktop software. This makes it easy to create up to five profiles for people you might share the mouse with, or to make distinct profiles for work and play or an individual profile for each game you play. And once the profiles are stored, you can swap between them on other computers, whether the Razer software is installed or not.
The DeathAdder V2 has a few other design touches that make it a joy to use compared to other mice. Razer’s Speedflex braided cable essentially nixes the likelihood of it snagging on your mouse pad by using a different kind of fabric and knitting pattern than other brands. It has PTFE feet that will help it glide smoothly across your mouse pad.
When it comes to longevity and durability, Razer claims that the DeathAdder V2’s optical switches are rated for up to 70 million clicks. Razer also uses these features in several of its other mice, but the information further sweetens the deal here.
Other solid options
The best ambidextrous gaming mouse
It’s hard out there for left-handed PC gamers. Most gaming mice are built specifically for right-handed players, with very few of those models having a version available for lefties. Your best bet is to find a comfortable ambidextrous mouse. We’ve found a few that are worth checking out.
It’s worth noting that only some ambidextrous mice provide buttons for both left-handed and right-handed gamers. Those are “true” ambidextrous mice, and it’s what you’re looking for if you want buttons that can click with the thumb on your left hand. The others are called “false’’ ambidextrous and are shaped like they support left-handed people, but don’t have side buttons where your thumb goes, so keep an eye out for that distinction.
Best budget-friendly gaming mouse
Being on a tight budget doesn’t need to stop you from getting a gaming mouse that’s both comfortable and good enough to help you enjoy your games. Compared to our pricier picks, these mice have simpler designs with some compromises in terms of build quality. They also are not on the bleeding edge in terms of their sensors. Still, they’re comfortable and have enough features to get the job done.
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