Precise mice: quick, comfy and gaming-ready
The right gaming mouse can greatly enhance your in-game experience. It's an essential item in your gaming set-up, next to a headset, a monitor and a keyboard. It serves as an extension of your right – or left – arm, sourcing your movements into the game. Here's what you need to pay attention to when buying one.
Optical vs laser
First and foremost, take a look at the sensor. Decide if you want a laser or an optical mouse. Optical mice are more common and in some cases more precise. Which is also why they're more expensive. Laser mice, on the other hand, are more sensitive and can be used on almost any surface – even on transparent ones. This can become a sticking point, however, as it will sometimes scan the surface in too much detail, resulting in so-called Jittering.
Mice with laser sensors
Mice with optical sensors
The curious case of the DPI
Another important factor is DPI, or dots per inch. One dot represents one pixel on your monitor – do you really need 16,000 DPI for a 4K display? For a casual PC user, the answer would clearly be: no, of course you don't. Even when it comes to gaming mice, most players find insanely high DPI values ridiculous (German) – still, they can be useful. If you have a high-resolution display, you won't have to move your move as far to reach one side of the screen. However, handling high DPI values does require some finesse when operating the mouse.
Being able to adjust your mouse's DPI to a higher setting is especially useful when playing shooters – games in which precision is everything. Here's an example: you set DPI high as a default but turn it down in-game as soon as you get a sniper rifle. This will improve your aim even more. However, do remember that high DPI alone doesn't make a good gaming mouse. It only makes it very sensitive to movement.
High DPI gaming mice
Do good things come in small packages?
When choosing your mouse, size and weight are subjective. You could follow the rule that smaller and lighter mice are for faster paced games while larger and heavier ones are generally more ergonomic. But in the end, it's about what you prefer. By the way: some mice even let you change their weight.
Gaming mice with adjustable weight
(Wire)less is more
If you're looking for the least amount of input lag, you should buy a wired mouse. Wireless mice can react slower, expose input lag and are more expensive than their cabled counterparts. Only choose them if you're into aesthetics, hate tons of cables or if you prefer flexibility.
Wired gaming mice
Wireless gaming mice
Attention all MOBA and MMO fans
If you tend to play MOBAs or MMOs, then this is the category for you. MOBA, with games such as «DOTA» and «League of Legends», stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. MMO means Massively Multiplayer Online, featuring «World of Warcraft» or «Destiny».
In comparison to «normal» gaming mice, they have additional customisable buttons – on top of the standard ones – which allow you to fill your game with shortcuts. These mice are often a bit heavier and bulkier.
Gaming mice for MOBAs/MMOs
Don't leave out the lefties!
Most mice are made for right-handed users. However, there are of course some models that are made for every user, even those of a left-handed persuasion. What use is a thumb button to you, being left-handed, if it's on the «wrong» side of the mouse. Nice to know: filter your shop results by this as well as many other specifications, switching them on and off until you find your dream mouse.
Gaming mice for left-handed players
Listen up, fans of design
I purposely didn't mention design aspects such as LED or RGB lighting in this guide as such features are purely subjective in nature. Personally, I find the look of a gaming mouse to be secondary in importance after its technical capabilities. If it looks great on top of this, great – but it's not my top priority. If I was forced to rank by design, these three would be my top three picks.
Stylish gaming mice