After playing with over a dozen gaming mice for hours we've ended with these as our top 5 picks for the best gaming mice you can get right now at the start of 2019.
Dollar for dollar for medium to large hands, the Rival 600 offers the best performance for dollar, with a great sensor, shape and soft cable, it is significantly cheaper than the mice that offer better similar performance.
Of course, every person is different and there's not one perfect mouse for everyone, so if you specific preferences take a look at our what to look for in a gaming mouse post other best review picks like best wireless mice or read our mouse reviews and judge for yourself.
The best overall
The best wireless mouse and for lefties
Best small mouse
Best wireless ergonomic mouse
Steelseries Rival 600
Logitech G Pro Wireless
Logitech G Pro/G305
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Straight Up||It does everything well, and when put against the runner up, it has better clicks, a weight system and a second sensor for a lower price. The Rival 600 is the best overall mouse available right now.||The Logitech G Pro Wireless has a ton of standout features: crazy good battery life, super light for wireless, removable side buttons and a great shape make it a top tier mouse.||This mouse has probably the best clicks on any mouse, flawless sensor with amazing battery life on the wireless G305, this is the mouse to look at if you have small to medium hands.||The G703 is a larger mouse that's great at everything, the wireless version is what you should be looking at, the G703's wireless is essentially lag free.||The Razer DeathAdder that has a classic shaped loved by everyone with a great sensor. It's not our best pick because of the mushy mouse buttons and we're not huge fans of the software.|
|Pros||Light for its size, flawless sensor, really great mouse buttons, good software, weight system, premium materials, RGB system and flexible cord.||Flawless HERO 16K sensor, up to 60hr battery life, great ambidextrous shape and removable side buttons on both sides for lefties.||Super light, amazing flawless HERO sensor, the best buttons in the industry, great software, solid RGB, wireless is lag free with option for wireless charging.||Flawless sensor, good mouse buttons, great software, solid RGB, fantastic wireless with good battery life and option for wireless charging.||Really comfortable shape, good weight for size, flawless sensor, great side buttons.|
|Cons||Grip material on side might not be for everyone, only wired version.||Features cost money and the G Pro Wireless is very expensive. There are some reports of double clicking and buttons rubbing but it seems fairly small in scale.||Wired version has a thick unflexible cable, No lefty thumb buttons, no weight system.||A little heavier on the wireless version, wired version has a thick cable, big shape, not for all hands, no weight system.||No weighting system, synapse software, no onboard settings, not the most tactile mouse buttons.|
How we picked
We played hundreds of hours with over a dozen different gaming mice over a variety of popular online games where performance matters for competitive play:
- Dota 2
- Starcraft 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
When playing we kept several aspects of the mouse in mind and took notes, our criteria for evaluating mice can be found on our what to look for in a gaming mouse post:
Based on those criteria (for more explanation on mouse tech see this amazing post), considering price, and after playing with all the mice we have, we picked the top 5 mice above for our January 2019 update.
As a disclaimer, there's no one mouse that's perfect for everyone, and this best pick list is meant to serve as a suggestion for where to start, you can take a look at individual mouse reviews we've done to really dig into what will fit best for you.
We've picked from mice that are widely available, it doesn't help anybody if we pick a mouse that no one can get. As new mice come out we'll review them and consider them against our top ranking mice.
Here are the mice that are great, but just didn't make the top 5 cut.
The finalmouse would probably be in the top 5 if this were widely available, there's no point in us recommending a mouse that no one can get. It's a shame because the Ultralight looks to have a great sensor, buttons, cable in a crazy light package.
One of our favourite shapes, good buttons, outdated internals, we can feel a little difference using this mouse, if this mouse got updated with a flawless sensor it could very well unseat one the top 5/
A classic mouse with a ton of great features, it has a great sensor, a lot of people love the shape, but it's really heavy and has a thick cord which hold it back from being a top tier mouse for us.
If you're looking for an MMO mouse we'd recommend the Hex, but it's too niche for us to recommend overall usage. Stay tuned for more genre specific reviews.
Previously on our top 5, it has a ton of features, this mouse has been replaced by the G Pro Wireless for wireless and ambidextrous shape, the G903 is very pricey and the shape is kind of awkward for a lot of gamers, great for a multipurpose mouse though!
The best 5 mice you can get right now in 2018
1. Steelseries Rival 600 (read review)
The best overall mouse
Why the Rival 600 is our best mouse pick
It was a close race between this mouse and the Logitech G703/G403. A couple of things separated the Rival 600:
- Rival 600 is cheaper than the wireless G703 by a significant amount and G903
- Better weight system for people that are into that customization
- As good or better sensor for a lower price
- Significantly better RGB
- The shape is as good as the G703, G Pro Wireless, this is of course dependent on preference
It's not better than the G703 or G Pro Wireless but the Rival 600 comes in a lower price while being a great performer, it's our best overall pick (as long as you don't absolutely need wireless). It's not only us, the Rival 600 has great reviews from Tom's Guide and Tech Powerup.
|Sensor||TrueMove 3 (flawless)|
|Weight||96grams, up to 126 grams adjustable|
2. Logitech G Pro Wireless (read review)
Super light, great battery life and a safe shape
Why we ranked the The G Pro Wireless #2
This mouse basically does everything well, has a light weight, good safe shape, and amazing battery life, it just costs to o much for us to make it the overall number 1 recommendation.
If you don't care about the price of your mouse, this is the mouse you should get. The fact that the G Pro Wireless costs twice as much as the Rival 600 prevents us from giving it top spot, though we are tempted. If you see the price of this mouse get down closer to the Rival 600 or other wired mice, consider getting it, you'll likely not regret it.
|Sensor||HERO 16k (flawless)|
|Buttons||up to 7 programmable|
|Cable||Wireless, braided charging cable in wired mode, wireless charging avaialable|
3. Logitech G305/G Pro (read review)
The best small ambidextrous mouse with amazing tactile clicks
Why we picked the Logitech G Pro / G305
The G305 stands out due to its great small form factor shape, lagless wireless with amazing battery life and the best tactile clicks available.
This is the mouse to consider if you prefer smaller gaming mice and are coming from mice like the Zowie FK2.
The G305 has a new HERO sensor, which performs as well as the top tier Pixart 3360 sensor with great battery life for wireless. Read our full review
|Weight||75grams, 99 grams (wireless)|
|Cable||Stiff braided, or wireless (AA, 9 months battery life)|
3. Logitech G703/G403 (read review)
Best wireless mouse with a great shape for larger hands
Why we ranked the G703 #4
The G703 is simply the best ergonomic wireless gaming mouse available right now. Combining a great shape with good battery life and great response time, this is a very capable mouse.
Great buttons and some cool features like wireless Powerplay charging put the Logitech G703 in the number three spot. Features on the G Pro Wireless like an ambidextrous design and massively better battery life set it apart from the G703. It would be a much closer contest if there were a G703 Hero variant with the same great battery life that the G Pro Wireless delivers.
|Sensor||Pixart PMW3366 (flawless)|
|Weight||107.2 grams, additional 10 gram weight|
|Cable/Battery||Wireless and wired option, wireless charging available, up 30 hours battery life|
5. Razer DeathAdder (read review)
Top performance mouse with a great shape
The DeathAdder has a must try shape with great performance and internals, there are two things that causes the Razer DeathAdder to fall short; clicks that are not as tactile as our best mice and software that requires a login. If you don't mind either of those or prefer the shape of the DeathAdder, which is a really great shape, buy with confidence. Read our full review
|Sensor||Pixart PMW 3389 (flawless)|
What to look for in a gaming mouse
If you're not sure about which mouse to get and want to make sure you don't miss anything when you look for a new mouse then you're in the right place.
By the end of the this post you'll able to properly evaluate gaming mice that fit best for the shape of your hand and the types of games you like.
A good mouse shape good is subjective, everyone has different sized hands and hold their mice different ways.
A good gaming mouse makes sure that their shape suits a wide range of sizes and grips for gaming.
To find some mice shapes that you might like, you need to identify a couple of things about the way you game:
The three most common mouse grip types are palm, claw and fingertip, figure out which type you prefer and go from there.
Second, make sure the size of your mouse fits your hand size, you want to be able to pick and move maneuver easily without straining your fingers is most ideal. In our reviews we categorize mouse for small, medium and large hands.
As a rough guide, you want the size of your mouse to be between 60-70% of the length and width of your hand. So measure your hand from the base to the tip of your middle finger and across with fingers tight together.
My hands measure 18cm length and 9.5cm width, which places me in the medium to large range for mice.
Generally, width is more important than length... 😉 So pay closer attention to the width fitting your hand size than how long the mouse is.
Palm grips will require a more specific fit length wise.
Fingertip and claw grips have a larger range of fit.
Using measurements and reading reviews will get you a fairly good fit, but nothing replaces getting your hands on a mouse and playtesting. Take a look at our comprehensive gaming mouse size chart and table.
Mice come in two large categories, ergonomic and ambidextrous shapes.
Ergonomic shapes try to fit the right hand and have thumb grooves to help pick ups, while ambidextrous mice are symmetrical and balanced and can suit either hand. Neither is superior, both are good at gaming, some prefer the comfort of ergo mice and some prefer the balance an ambidextrous mouse provides.
You should look for a mouse with a safe shape, with subtle curves for comfort. Not overly grooved so that the mouse forces you to hold it in a certain way for you to comfortably use it.
If you need to start somewhere, I'd recommend getting some universally loved shapes and going from there, the Logitech G703, Razer DeathAdder for ergonomic shapes and the Logitech G Pro and Zowie FK1/2 for ambidextrous shapes.
The materials used for the mouse have an underrated role in the feel of the mouse, plastic is plastic right? No!
Most mice are made with ABS plastic, but the density and finish on the plastic makes a huge difference. You want to look for a mouse with plastic that isn't too slick and one that can hold up to sweaty, greasy nerd palms.
If the mouse has grips they're usually made from silicon or rubber. In grip you want it to be grippy enough so that you can easily pick up and move the mouse, but not too grippy where it sticks to dust or makes your thumb too uncomfortable.
Internally, the mouse should be solidly constructed, no creaks when you twist the mouse and no soft plastic spots. When you shake the mouse there shouldn't be any rattling of the internals.
A mouse needs to achieve a strong build quality, while keeping weight low, most gamers tend to play better with lower weight, under 100 grams ideally.
Unlike shape you can read reviews online to determine whether the build quality of the mouse is to your liking and whether the mouse has held up over use.
Most gaming mice coming out today have great sensors, if you go get a reputable mouse, you're likely getting a flawless sensor, the best sensors excel at these key things.
A good sensor will have the following:
- Accurate tracking across a large DPI range
- No jitter
- No acceleration
- No prediction and angle snapping
- A fast poll rate
- Low lift off distance
There are a handful of sensors that have all the above and can be essentially called perfect sensors.
Here's what all those mouse sensor terms mean.
Dots per inch (DPI)/Counts per inch (CPI)
DPI is a measure of how sensitive a mouse is to movement. The higher the DPI the more your cursor will move per inch you move the mouse.
While the level of ideal DPI for performance comes down to personal preference, most pros favour a low DPI to be able to micro adjust aim without having to move the mouse a few millimetres.
Most modern mice are able to track accurately at low DPI, but the issue with some mice at high DPI is that the sensor is no longer tracking one to one to physical movement and uses software to increase sensitivity, this can cause inaccuracies.
A smooth line drawn on the mouse pad should result in a smooth line on the screen, jitter refers how a mouse can stutter or skip around when it's moved, this is usually the result of an uneven or dirty surface or a poor sensor not tracking the surface properly.
Another way software tries to help, acceleration moves the cursor at an increasing rate when you move the mouse faster.
Instead of mapping DPI 1 to 1 to physical movement, the software tries to help by moving the cursor further than the DPI setting, it's assuming you want to get across the screen so helps you move it there faster with less effort.
The issue is this requires you to remember mouse speeds if you're trying to aim somewhere cross screen instead of building muscle memory on aim with consistent movement.
Prediction and Angle Snapping
Prediction is when the mouses software (or Windows software) tries to predict where you're trying to go with the mouse and straightens out your line.
Angle snapping happens when a mouse tries to predict your movements, which may make you miss your sweet headshots.
The most common place affliction of prediction is in your windows mouse settings with a tickbox called "Enhance pointer precision", it's the exact opposite of how it sounds, turn it off.
The poll rate of a mouse shows how often a mouse reports back to the computer, measured in Hz. The higher the poll rate, the more times your mouse is speaking to the computer to report on location and tracking. You want a mouse with a high poll rate, and most modern sensors have a good poll rate.
The only downside to a high poll rate is CPU usage as your computer now has to talk to your mouse more frequently, anything above 500 Hz is pretty indistinguishable and most modern mice allow you to choose your poll rate.
Lift off distance
A mouse with a low lift off distance will stop tracking pretty much immediately after you pick it up off the surface. A mouse with higher lift off distance will still move the mouse cursor a few millimetres off the surface so you can continue moving while picking up the mouse.
This is personal preference, but most gamers perform better with a low lift off distance when paired with a low DPI/sensitivity since you have to lift your mouse more often in that setup.
Laser vs Optical
All modern gaming mice use optical sensors over laser sensors, with good reason.
While laser can work on surfaces like glass because of it's deeper sensing technology, that deeper sensor resolution leads to laser sensors tracking even the fibres of the mouse pad, this causes mouse jitter and inaccuracies when all you want is to move the cursor from point A to point B.
Laser mice also have lower malfunction speeds, meaning they get more inaccurate sooner as DPI increases.
List of good sensors
If the mouse you're looking as any of these sensors, you can be rest assured it'll track very well. Keep in mind all sensors have an effective range of DPI before jitter, but these sensors basically track perfectly from 100 DPI up to 1800.
- Pixart PMW3366
- Pixart PMW3360
- Pixart PMW3361
- HERO Sensor
- Mercury Sensor
- TrueMove 3 (custom 3360)
- Pixart PMW3389
- Pixart PMW3310
- TrueMove 1
The only requirements of the cord of the mouse:
- Keep a reliable connection
- Be flexible and don't impede mouse movement
- No fraying or weak connections
Watch out for mice have thicker cables, it may prove to be more durable but could impede mouse movement.
The mouse feet are responsible for ensuring you have a consistent glide across different types of surfaces, hard or soft.
Mouse feet are pretty different on every gaming mouse, ranging from two strips to 4 little feet, regardless, the arrangement and material of the feet should ensure solid contact for the mouse to the surface to enable good tracking on the sensor.
Mouse feet eventually to get worn away from friction, most stock mouse feet are pretty good, but if you're looking to replace or upgrade existing feet, Hyperglide is a company that makes great mouse feet for a variety of gaming mice models.
Replacing mouse feet is easy, what you usually need to do is apply some heat to the feet with a blow dryer to loosen the glue and peel off the old feet. Then replace with the new feet which should already have a sticker on it. Of course, you should read individual mouse instructions for replacing feet as it could be different.
Huano switches are a little stiffer and they've had some QA issues in the past, they're better suited for FPS games. If you forced me to pick, I'd go for a mouse with Omron switches to be safe.
All the gaming mice companies tension their buttons a little differently, so cheap an eye out for what kind of button press you prefer and what kind of button press suits the type of games you like playing.
For RTS and MOBAs you likely want a softer click with a distinct click and low travel, you need to be able to spam click commands at will without it being fatiguing.
For shooters (FPS and Third Person), getting a mouse with heavier buttons makes sure you don't have any accidental shots or skills firing giving away position, of course this depends on how heavy your hand naturally rests on the mouse. With shooters fatigue shouldn't be as much as an issue since you're not constantly clicking.
A common issue with buttons that you should be on the look out for are double clicking issues, all mice have them at varying rates.
The number of buttons is up to your preference, I've found that unless you're playing an MMO, the standard set of 5 buttons, left, right, 2 sides and a scroll click are more than enough for most games.
A good scroll wheel should have distinct steps so you as a gamer can determine when you've made an input into the mouse, this is key for games that require you to cycle between skills and weapons using the scroll wheel, or crouch spamming or bunny hopping in certain games.
The trade-off with distinct stepping is noise, the more distinct the mouse wheel the louder it can be to wheel through.
Some scroll wheels come with textures to give you a better grip on the wheel, we like this feature as it allows you to really feel the wheel moving in your finger, though it isn't that crucial and most gaming mice have a good wheel.
The scroll button itself should be solid, no wobbling to the right or left (unless it has those clicks), with a responsive click when you've made an input on the middle click.
Features & Software
RGB is the major feature that all mice have now (minus Zowie), there's not much real guidance for RGB here, it should have all the common settings; colour cycling, breathing, level of brightness, colour change rate and the ability to change each section individually.
Bonus features for RGB include the ability to sync multiple devices to all share the same colour profile or the ability to sync RGB with in-game actions.
Logitech, Gigabyte Asus and Razer lead the way with RGB sync options, so if keeping your colours in sync are important to you then look to them for peripherals.
Wireless mice allow for a lot cleaner of a desk while keeping cords from affecting your aim and movement.
Modern mice, specifically Logitech mice have greatly reduced the input lag you would normally see if wireless mice. Wireless Logitech mice, specifically the G704/G403, G900, G305 are great for gaming.
With wireless you must also consider the battery life, and again, most modern wireless gaming mice have the battery life to withstand a full days worth of gaming with the ability to go to corded mode when needed.
Some gaming mice like the Corsair MM1000 have Qi wireless charging, and other mice have adopted charging mousepads, which allows the mouse to constantly be charged on the mouse pad.
If you like your mouse with a bit of weight then make sure the mouse you get has a weight system that still keeps the balance of the mouse neutral.
Reliability & Warranty
Gaming mice have a lot of moving parts with a lot of wear and tear, so naturally gaming mice do malfunction, but they should last a good couple of years before they show issues.
When looking at a mouse, be sure to search for "[model] problems" and see what kind of issues other users are having. Remember that only people will complain about something broken, while the larger number of users that have no issues stay silent.
Warranties vary by manufacturer, here's what I could find about warranties for major manufacturers of gaming mice in the US:
- Logitech: 2-3 years
- Razer: 2 years
- Steelseries: 1 year
- BenQ Zowie: Nothing public, case by case basis?
- Asus: 1 year
- Corsair: 2 years
- Coolermaster: 2 years
- Nixeus: 3 years
- Finalmouse: 3 years
- HyperX: 2 years
- Roccat: 2 years
Mouse setting tips
There are a couple of settings in Windows that you need to make sure are out of the way to optimize your gaming experience.
Turn off mouse acceleration in Windows 10
Windows has the option to enable mouse acceleration via software, you want this off to have a consistent experience to build up your muscle memory.
- Open your Control Panel, select Mouse
- On the popup Mouse Properties, click on the tab Pointer Options
- Uncheck Enhance pointer precision
Set mouse pointer speed in the middle
Any other setting in windows except the middle one throws away data, or creates coordinate data that doesn't actually exist, it's upscaling or downscaling your movement.
You're best adjusting your mouse speed settings by adjusting your mouse DPI and in-game sensitivity.
DPI and sensitivity settings
Most people aim better once they get used to a lower sensitivity setting.
Your sensitivity is a combination of two settings: DPI and sensitivity.
You want your mouse to sit in the 400 to 1800 DPI range in setting, most gaming mice operate best without any prediction or software compensation in this range despite marketing saying mice can go to 6000+ DPIs.
Sensitivity ranges depend on the game so tweak that accordingly. Different types of games require different sensitivities, games with small hitboxes and more long range fighting like PUBG, you might want a lower sensitivity.
Compared to a game like Fortnite with more rapid movement, you might opt for a higher sensitivity.
To find your sensitivity sweet spot I'd recommend picking a starting point and try gaming for a period of time at that setting. After getting used to it, drop your DPI setting by 50 or 100 points and try that for a period and see if your aim improves.
A good starting point might be 800 DPI and 5 sensitivity in Overwatch and 0.05 sensitivity in Fortnite. Start there, see how it feels and adjust up and down to lock in something that feels right for you.