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Beginner's Guide to Gaming Mice

There are hundreds of gaming mice out there, from 50+ brands. Deciding which one is the best for you is often a daunting task, but we can help. We're going to take you through some main categories of mice, popular features, and what's best for you.


Stats


Polling Rate

The polling rate, or report rate, is how often the mouse tells the computer its location. The more times per second the mouse reports, the more accurate the mouse will be and the less likely it is for your mouse to start "skipping". Since the human eye cannot detect more than 1000 frames per second, a polling rate of over 1000 times per second is pointless. Luckily, gaming hardware has gotten to the point where most gaming mice nowadays are capable of 1000 reports per second. For comparison, a normal productivity mouse usually is capable of 250 or so reports per second.


DPI

In my opinion, DPI is the biggest gimmick in gaming mice. DPI stands for dots-per-inch, or basically sensitivity. Although higher DPI is, in general, an indication of a better sensor, the high DPI itself is almost never useful.Most people use 3000 DPI or under, and FPS players will usually use under 1200. However, many gaming mice today are capable of over 16000 DPI, a rating so high that your cursor goes soaring with the slightest movement of the wrist. Even if you do have a use case such as a multiple monitor setup, there are very few people who prefer over 5000, as it make your clicking very inaccurate therefore your gaming performance worse.


Weight

Depending on what kind of game you play, weight could matter a lot or not much at all. Generally speaking, to make quick and accurate movements a light mouse will aid you, which is why most of the lightest mice are FPS mice. For FPS mice, most prefer under 100 grams. As a reference, the lightest mouse commercially available is 47 grams. Most players of other genres of games don't care about weight as much.



Categories


Ergonomic

The first category of mice we're looking at is ergonomic. These mice are not necessarily in a class on their own, although some mice, like vertical mice, are designed purely with ergonomics in mind. Ergonomic mice are always shaped specifically to fit your hand, and cannot fit both hand sizes at once. Ergonomic mice are also called right-handed mice, because most will only fit right handers, although there are some left-handed ergonomic mice as well.


Ambidextrous

The second type of mice is ambidextrous. Although these can still be decently comfortable, they usually favor a claw or fingertip grip, because ambidextrous mice do not fit the shape of your hand naturally. They are often popular FPS mice because they favor claw/fingertip grip.


The G Pro Wireless is the epitome of an FPS mouse; light, low latency, and a great sensor

FPS

FPS mice are, obviously, made for first-person shooter games. They are where you'll find the lightest mice because in FPS games you often have to quickly move your mouse to take a shot. FPS mice usually do not value ergonomics as much, and almost all ambidextrous gaming mice are FPS mice. FPS mice are also where a great sensor and high polling rate is most important. Players of third-person shooters, such as Fortnite or Star Wars Battlefront, also often use FPS mice.


Examples of FPS Mice:





The Corsair Scimitar Pro is a great MMO mouse, with many hotkeys and a comfy grip

MMO

In most MMOs, you have a bird's-eye view over your character. The importance of the mouse, in general, is decreased, but it is still useful for hotkeys. In most MMO games, you have abilities or spells that you can cast, and you can bind each of those abilities to a hotkey on your mouse. Additionally, MMO mice should have a good shape for precise performance over long periods of time.


Examples of MMO Mice:




Customizable

Who says you need to stick to one game? Most people play more than one game at once, and if you play different genres of games, why buy two mice when you could get one? You'd probably end up saving money in the process. This is why many gamers get a mouse such as the Razer Naga Trinity. The Trinity is the most popular multipurpose mouse, but there are a few other options. Lastly, there are a few mice that are semi-customizable, such as the Corsair Glaive


Examples of Customizable Mice:


Price Ranges


Under $20

This will probably be your first mouse; a variety of Chinese brands fill this category. Think of Redragon or Havit. These mice are quite cheap, but can actually be pretty decent. For example, the Redragon M601 Centrophorus: it has RGB lighting, decent sensor, a weight tuning set, and teflon feet for $17. If you're just dipping your feet in, I would recommend a mouse in this category, but if you think you're going to be gaming for a while, I'd recommend a durable mouse from the $20-$50 price range.


$20-40

Unlike the turtle-killing pieces of plastic that populate the "under $20" section, you can find some really decent mice in this category. For example, the Corsair Harpoon is a great, if simple, mouse for $30. Most mice in this price range are quite basic, with 6-button layouts, but they are often miles above the <$20 mice in terms of build quality.


$40-75

Here's where you can pick up the mice that most gamers use. These mice can have incredible sensors, customizability, brilliant lighting, advanced wireless technology, and more. In my opinion, this is the best price category of mouse because companies don't need to sacrifice build quality to add in amazing features. You can really pick and choose the one that's best for your needs. Want a powerful ultralight mouse? What about the Glorious Model O? Ambidextrous and wireless user? Pick up a Logitech G900. Don't care for either of those mice, because you'd prefer an excellent wireless MMO mouse? The UtechSmart Venus Pro is for you. Overall, there are so many great options in this category, I would jump to this category as soon as possible.


$75+

The $75+ range is where mice get expensive, specialized, and sometimes rare. Almost all of the most expensive mice are FPS mice, and although they're high-quality in just about every way, they share a common trait: they're all super light. For example, the Razer Viper Ultimate, a wireless mouse, is 74g. The great design and materials required to create a light yet powerful mouse is what eats up most of the budget. Many expensive wireless mice also have special charging options, such as Logitech's G Pro Wireless' ability to charge on a specialized mousemat while in use.







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