Is a gaming mouse worth it? Whether you do gaming, office work or both, this is probably a question you’ve asked yourself in the past and are wondering whether those fancy, illuminated gaming mice are worth the money.
The straightforward and short answer is this:
Gaming mice are almost always worth the money, because the higher cost offers substantially better build quality, hand comfort, many customizable buttons, adjustable weight, more fluid and accurate movement and finally highly adjustable sensitivity.
This may seem like an exaggeration (believe me, it’s not), but gaming mice have virtually no downsides compared to normal office mice except the somewhat higher price.
The reason for this is straightforward: a mouse is critical for good gaming performance, so hardcore gamers have extremely demanding needs from a mouse and if those aren’t met the product will get trashed on review sites or by popular streamers and simply won’t sell.
Finally, gaming mice are great for productive work, and not just gaming. The advantages of gaming mice can help speed up your workflow when using Excel, Word, emails or browser work, while eliminating lots of small annoyances that come when using a traditional mouse.
8 reasons a gaming mouse is worth it
1. Great ergonomics and hand comfort
Gaming mice are designed so users can achieve a comfortable grip and maintain it for hours on end without lifting the hand.
Gaming mice also allow multiple grip styles, depending on what is the natural comfortable resting position for a user’s hand.
These include: palm, claw or fingertip grips.
For some users, a comfortable gaming mouse might even help with wrist pain or carpal tunnel, since it allows for a more neutral and relaxed wrist position, where you move the mouse more from the elbow or shoulder rather than the wrist.
This distributes the effort more across your entire arm, rather than having your wrist do all the work.
In general, gaming mice are bigger so that even folks with larger hands always have a place to rest their fingers, whereas traditional mice are smaller so some large handed users have to crumple their fingers, otherwise they touch the mousepad underneath.
2. Adjustable weight
Besides their larger size, gaming mice tend to be a bit heavier, though not by much. The extra size and weight of a gaming mouse really gives the sensation that you’re actually holding something in your hand, instead of just grasping at wet air.
Not only that, but many gaming mice even come with actual weights you can put inside so the mouse feels even heavier.
You may or may not want to use these weights, but at least a gaming mouse gives you the option to do so.
3. Lots of extra customizable buttons
Gaming mice come with a lot of extra buttons, usually within reach of your thumb.
The Logitech G502 even has a button that releases or locks the scroll wheel. Releasing lets the scroll wheel spin freely, while locking it makes it spin like a normal scroll wheel.
For gaming, the extra buttons on a gaming mouse can be used to map different sorts of actions.
Purely as an example, for Apex Legends, I’ve mapped the Shield Battery to mouse button 4 and the Med Kit for mouse button 5.
This has freed up two valuable keys on my keyboard, which I can use for other actions in the game.
However, even if you’re not a gamer, you can still use those buttons as shortcuts, scripts or macros for other tasks.
A typical example is to map the “Copy”, “Cut” and “Paste” actions to individual mouse buttons, allowing you to do these tasks purely with a mouse without involving the keyboard.
Other super common actions you can map onto mouse buttons are:
- On a browser, go back to previous page or to the next page.
- Cycle through tabs on an open browser window with the scroll wheel or other buttons.
- Control sound volume through mouse.
The possibilities are endless, with your imagination and personal requirements being the only limit.
If you find this aspect of gaming mice interesting, read up on X-Mouse Button Control. This is a free software that allows you to customize your mouse controls.
4. Smooth movement with no input lag
Gaming mice usually come with superior hardware, including sensors and chips that allow high polling rates and DPI.
The high-quality laser or optical sensors inside a gaming mouse are much better at capturing physical movement and translating that movement to actions on a screen.
Because of those sensors, movement with a gaming mouse feels more consistent, more accurate. On top of that, gaming mice are much more sensible to small motions than standard mice so they translate those minor differences quite well to the screen.
Next, gaming mice come with a very high polling rate (usually 1000 Hz).
Polling rate represents the frequency at which a mouse tells a computer where it is located on the screen.
Mice with very low polling rates (such as 100 Hz), have a delay between the movement you’re making with the mouse and how long it takes for the movement to appear on screen. This is called input lag.
This input lag isn’t really noticeable when doing office work, but a tiny fraction of a second can make all the difference between winning or losing a fight in an FPS such as CSGO, Call of Duty or Apex Legends.
Finally, gaming mice allow for a very high DPI sensitivity.
DPI stands for “dots per linear inch”, and represents how many pixels on a screen your mouse can traverse with 1 inch of movement on the pad. You can consider this as being the mouse’s sensitivity.
Traditional office mice usually have a paltry 800 DPI. Gaming mice however can go as low as 100 DPI to as high 25600 DPI (simply touching the mouse yeets the cursor out of the Solar System).
The advantage of this is that having high DPI has been found to greatly reduce mouse input lag.
All you need to do to work and play with a high DPI is to lower your Windows and in-game sensitivity to levels you find acceptable.
5. Great construction quality
Besides the better hardware, gaming mice also have significantly better construction quality which you can feel in everyday use.
For example, the pressure needed to click a button is consistent and always the same, whereas with other mice the button sometimes clicks with barely a touch, while other times you really need to press down.
Another thing to take into account is a mouse’s durability and lifespan.
Even one of the more affordable, entry level mice such as the Razer DeathAdder ($30 as of writing), has a good enough construction quality it can outlast a handful of other $10-15 normal mice you can buy at big retailers.
Viewed over the span of 3-4 years, a good gaming mouse can save you a decent amount of cash by not having to replace a mouse with a broken button, wheel or any other mechanical issue.
Finally, a decent gaming mouse at the $30-50 range simply won’t look as worn out as a normal mouse, even after prolonged use.
For example, the paint will be baked into the plastic or rubber itself so it won’t wear off with repeated contact.
The plastic used might also repel, or at least prevent, the formation of dirt or grime in certain areas of the mouse.
6. RGB lights
A product wouldn’t be gaming if it didn’t have RGB lights, and most gaming mice won’t disappoint.
For most users these lights will be kind of pointless, but they can be quite helpful if you’re the kind that likes to work or game during the dark.
Most gaming mice come with their own hardware driver, through which you can customize the color of the light, cool effects, brightness, sleep timers etc.
The lights aren’t particularly important when making a buying decision, but since they come bundled into the product it’s at least worth mentioning.
Does a gaming mouse make a difference versus a normal mouse?
To sum it all up, if gaming is a hobby you enjoy then you will eventually need to buy a gaming mouse, because they are a lot more comfortable and have tons of useful features that can help improve your gameplay and in many situations will make a difference between winning or losing.
Which gaming mouse should I buy?
There are lots of companies that manufacture gaming mice, but for a first-time buyer it’s best to stick to three biggest players in space: Logitech, Corsair and Razer.
Their products are somewhat pricier than no-name or knock-off manufacturers, but their quality and customer support is much better.
Most gaming mice come in two variations: wired or Bluetooth.
Bluetooth mice are very convenient if you don’t like cables, however they’re quite a bit more expensive.
On top of that, the batteries usually go empty after about 6-7 hours of use. After that you’ll have to either let the batteries recharge or plug in the charging cable and continue to use the mouse, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a wireless Bluetooth mouse.
In terms of price, you realistically don’t have to spend more than $80 (for wired versions). The best professional gamers and streamers in the world generally stick to gaming mice that are well within that budget simply because more expensive gaming mice don’t offer anything to justify the cost.
Spending anything more than $80 is generally overkill, unless you are really, really picky and want a particular feature or specific design that fits well in your hand.
With that being said, some good, affordable gaming mice worth looking into are:
Affordable, good construction quality and materials, 5 programmable buttons, 6400 DPI as well as rubber to improving grip as well as a 2-year warranty.
One of the best-selling gaming mice of all time, and the one I used while writing this article as well regular gaming.
It’s relatively big, pleasantly heavy (especially when you add the weights), built of materials that are dirt repellent, 2-year warranty and up to 25600 DPI.
The DPI numbers are kind of ridiculous and probably just a marketing ploy. I myself stick to 3200 since anything more is kind of pointless.
It also comes in a Bluetooth version, however that one is noticeably pricier and can reach up to $80 or so.