The best mice that will click with your gaming setup

At Gizmodo, we independently curate and write things we love and think you’ll love too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may earn a share of sales or other compensation from links on this page. BTW – prices are correct and items in stock at time of publication.

When assembling a gaming PC, every choice you make matters. While it’s easy to get caught up in optimizing your internal specs, your choice of peripherals deserves time and consideration. Just like your keyboard, choosing the right gaming mouse can be a game-changer for your performance.

Here’s what to consider when buying a gaming mouse, along with some suggestions for what you should pick up.

What you need to know before buying a gaming mouse

Image: RyanKing999/iStock

PPP/CPI

the DPI (dots per inch) determines the number of pixels on the screen that your cursor will travel for each centimeter of your mouse movement. The higher your DPI, the faster your cursor will move. Most modern gaming mice (especially high-end brands) will allow you to adjust your mouse’s DPI, so you can settle into something you’re more comfortable with.

CPI (Counts Per Inch) represents the amount of movement your mouse sensor will pick up as it glides across your desk. The higher the CPI, the more sensitive your mouse will be. A lower IPC means that you will have to physically move your mouse more to achieve the same result as with a higher IPC.

Sensor

The sensor helps your mouse track movement and works by shining a light onto the surface you’re using it on – whether it’s your desk or your mouse pad – and then capturing how the light reflects off of it. this. By recording this reflection, the sensor is able to determine which way you are moving your mouse.

You have to pay attention to two types of mouse sensors – laser and optical, both of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The optical sensors use more reflective infrared LED light, although they struggle to work on shinier surfaces (but that shouldn’t be likely if you’re using a standard cloth mouse pad).

A laser mouse uses a laser beam, which allows them to work on more surfaces and is more accurate in its readings. But that attention to detail also makes them more prone to acceleration issues, which is when the sensor can’t keep up with your physical movements and goes haywire while trying to compensate.

Optical sensors can suffer from acceleration, but that’s a rarer occurrence, which makes them much more preferable during gaming.

Buttons

While your standard mouse comes with three buttons – left, right, and a scroll wheel in between – gaming mice usually include a few extras. Most of these buttons are also programmable, so you can customize your mouse setup by assigning additional functions and macros to better suit whatever games you play.

Standard gaming mice usually include one or two extra buttons located within reach of your thumb. There are even mice designed for RTS and MMO gamers that feature a full number pad on the side.

razer mmo mouse
Image: Razer

Mass

The weight of your mouse determines how easily you can move it around your desk. Personal preference also plays a major role in choosing the weight of your mouse. Some people are into the trend of ultralight mice that they can spin with a flick of the wrist, while others prefer a little more resistance to their movements.

Ergonomics

It might be something you never thought of before, but how do you hold your mouse while gaming? Because your preferred style can play a major role in which mice are right for you or not.

In terms of handles, here are the three most common styles:

  • Palm: You rest your entire palm and the length of your fingers on your mouse.
  • Claw: You grip the mouse with the bottom of your palm and the tips of your fingers, which gives your hand the shape of a claw.
  • Fingertip: You only come into contact with your mouse with your fingertips.

Again, personal preference plays a major factor here. The way you hold your mouse may not be the same as your friend’s.

What gaming mice do we recommend?

Razer DeathAdder V2 Mouse

Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse
Image: Razer

It wouldn’t be a list of peripherals without including something from Razer, and it certainly wouldn’t be a list of gaming mice without including the DeathAdder. This mouse is a perennial favorite, thanks to its comfortable ergonomic design, smooth glide, 20,000 adjustable DPI, and easy-to-customize buttons (there are eight in all). If you’ve never owned a gaming mouse before, the DeathAdder is a simple and reliable option, especially if you prefer a grip.

Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($60) | Bing Lee ($119) | eBay ($69)

Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite Mouse

Corsair Scimitar Elite RGB Optical Gaming Mouse
Image: Corsair

If you’re not a big MMO or MOBA player, you can skip the Corsair Scimitar Elite. But if you play, the diet leans towards titles like World of Warcraft or League of Legends, the Scimitar Elite might be the special ingredient your setup is missing. Its biggest feature is the inclusion of 12 side buttons, which you can customize for macro inputs or remappings.

While the extra number pad gives the impression of an uncomfortable design, you’ll be surprised how well this mouse fits in your hand. It also uses a PixArt PMW3391 optical sensor, which has an adjustable 18,000 DPI, giving it precise movements.

Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($125) | PC case gear ($125) | Umart ($125)

SteelSeries Rival 3 Mouse

SteelSeries Rival 3 Gaming Mouse
Image: Steel Series

The SteelSeries Rival 3 is a solid, no-frills mouse, with a TrueMove Core optical sensor and six fully customizable buttons, including two side-mounted and an additional just behind the scroll wheel. It’s also quite affordable, making it a great option if you’re shopping on a budget.

Setting up the mouse with the SteelSeries Engine app is also quite simple. It even comes with built-in memory, so those settings will stick around when you plug it into another PC. You can check out Gizmodo’s review of the SteelSeries Rival 3 here.

Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($33.48) | Bing Lee ($49) | IT Alliance ($49)

Cooler Master MM710 Mouse

Cooler Master MM710
Image: master of the cooler

Prefer your mice to be as light as a feather? Then it might be time to jump on the ultralight honeycomb trend. The Swiss cheese design of the Cooler Master MM710 keeps its weight down to 53 grams, making it a great option if you play a lot of fast-paced shooters.

Despite its holey design, the MM710 still feels very solid in your hands, and its PTFE feet give it enough friction that there’s some resistance to your movements. It might take a bit of getting used to if you’re not used to such an ultralight mouse.

Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($59) | Mwave ($59) | PC case gear ($55)

Razer Viper Ultimate Wireless Mouse

Image: Razer

If you’ve mostly been a wired mouse user in the past, but sometimes felt a little too limited, you might want to consider the greater degree of freedom that a wireless mouse offers.

The Razer Viper Ultimate is a lightweight (74g) and smooth-riding wireless mouse. If you primarily play shooters, you’ll appreciate the high click latency of the Viper Ultimate’s optical switches, as well as its Focus+ optical sensor which has a whopping 20,000 DPI and 99.6% resolution accuracy.

With a battery life of up to 70 hours, it also comes with an RGB charging dock that will give you five hours of playtime with a 10-minute charge. It also features an ambidextrous design, making it a great option for all left-handers.

Where to buy it: Amazon Australia ($139) | Bing Lee ($199) | eBay ($127)