The right gaming keyboard can enhance your movement, use of special abilities, and overall speed in your favorite PC games, but it only makes up half of your performance. Your mouse is equally as important—it determines your aim and firing rate. A standard mouse isn’t tuned for high speeds, and a controller’s joysticks puts you at a significant disadvantage when it comes to reaction times. Upgrading to a gaming mouse is a wise investment if you want to map more actions to your hand with programmable buttons, improve your aim, and act quicker, whether that means firing rounds in Counter-Strike or speeding to an alley in League of Legends. Our highly accurate and comfortable picks will push your gameplay to the next level so you can leave your rivals in the dust.
Check out quick reviews below of the top five gaming mice then keep scrolling for helpful buying info and full reviews of these models plus other high-ranking options.
Wired vs. Wireless
Finding the right gaming mouse depends on the type of games you play, how many buttons you want, and whether you want a wired or wireless setup. Unlike their wired counterparts, wireless gaming mice connect through high-speed USB dongles and the latest Bluetooth standards for virtually no lag. Without wires to worry about you have more space available on your battle station, a cleaner aesthetic, and more freedom to whip your mouse around without the fear of yanking out a USB port. It’s worth noting some of the best mice today are hybrid options that charge via USB and can be used with or without the cord.
More Features to Consider
Clicks Per Inch (CPI)
Also known as dots per inch, CPI indicates the speed your cursor moves across the screen. The higher the number, the faster and more controlled movement you will be able to make. Some models boast as high as 20,000 CPI, and we recommend a minimum of 10,000. Any lower and you might experience slow, lagging movements that make it difficult to track your cursor.
There are two types of sensors: optical and laser. Optical sensors are most common in cheaper models, but that isn’t to say that they aren’t up to snuff. They tend to have a good tracking ability and are able to map well on different surfaces. Lasers are generally more expensive and also tend to map well, except on rough surfaces. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, because either will work well for the average gamer.
Most gaming mice come with customization options both inside and out. A majority have software that allows you to program custom profiles for individual games, including changing the functions of buttons and onboard lighting. Some even include extra pieces, like thumb and pinky supports, that you can attach for a better in-hand fit.
How We Evaluated
As the PM’s consumer tech editor, I’m on the pulse of the latest gaming peripherals, going hands-on with keyboards, mice, and controllers from top brands like Logitech and Razer. I bring a lifetime of passion for the gaming industry to my research, too. In fact, this is the list I created before purchasing my own Dark Core RGB Pro SE—our best overall pick. I considered the response rate, shape, and number of buttons on each mouse to select the best options for different genres and player preferences. I also researched 10 expert sources, including PCgamer, Tech Radar, and RTings, as well as 10,300 consumer reviews to support my decisions. Rest assured, these are the best gaming mice of the year.
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BY GABRIELLE HONDORP AND HUNTER FENOLLOL