(Pocket-lint) - Gaming mice are the high-end devices of the mouse world. They are designed to be more accurate, offer a more comfortable experience and are built to last - as gamers are likely to spend more time with their mouse than anyone else.
Top-of-the-range gaming mice also have multiple buttons, highly adjustable dots per inch (DPI) accuracy and a mass of settings that include everything from custom lighting to macros for specific games.
However, finding the right mouse for you can be tricky. People hold them in different ways and have different sized hands that make purchasing a tricky business. A wide mouse with thumb rests and grips might be perfect for someone with large hands, but others might find a small and sleek mouse preferable, both in terms of fit and agility.
We run through a variety of gaming mice to see which are the best around, taking into account all the things gamers love most - RGB, responsiveness, number of buttons and, of course, value for money.
We've tested these mice in a variety of ways, including putting in the gaming hours as well as using them for everyday work and productivity tasks. We've poked and played around with the settings and made sure to thoroughly test the features too. The following is a breakdown of our favourite mice and those we deem to be the very best you can currently buy.
- How to upgrade your gaming area with awesome controllable RGB lighting
- See more PC Gaming coverage in association with Nvidia GeForce RTX
What are the best gaming mice?
Our Top Pick: Best Gaming Mouse
SteelSeries Aerox 5
- Comfortable design
- Plenty of buttons
- Flexible and nicely customisable
- A smooth experience with the PTFE feet
- Battery life could be better
- Up/down flick switch is weird
- TrueMove Air precision optical gaming sensor
- 18,000 CPI, 400 IPS, 40G acceleration and tilt tracking
- Quantum 2.0 Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C
- Next-gen Golden Micro IP54 Switches
- IP54-rated AquaBarrier shell with dust, dirt and water ingress resistance
- Ergonomic 9-button programmable layout
- 74g lightweight frame
The SteelSeries Aerox 5 is more than just another lightweight gaming mouse.
This is an ergonomic right-handed with a great design. It's comfortable with multiple buttons for all your gaming needs, slick skates for fast movements and some decent specs to boot.
Highlights include a solid, low latency wireless connection with Quantum 2.0 and fast charging via USB-C as well. The RGB isn't the flashiest we've seen but otherwise the Aerox 5 is one of the best mice we've gamed with.
Other gaming mice to consider
We've tried plenty of different gaming mice and obviously, there are reasons why you might like to consider more than one option. If you play FPS competitively then something ultralightweight might be preferable. If MMOs are more your thing then you might prefer more buttons. To help you decide, we've included a selection of the other hot contenders we've tried below.
Logitech G Pro X Superlight
- Superb lightweight design
- Large slick PTFE areas
- Excellent battery life
- Uses micro USB charging
- No RGB
- 100 – 25,600 DPI, 40G acceleration, 400 IPS
- 1,000Hz Polling rate
- 70-hour battery life
- Logitech Powerplay compatible
- 63g weight
Our choice for the best gaming mouse may be too heavy for some but that's ok as there are other options. The Logitech G Pro X Superlight is one such choice.
If you're not fussed about having unnecessary frills and bells and whistles, then cast your eyes in this direction. This is a nifty, lightweight, wireless gaming mouse that has slippy PTFE feet, up to 70 hours of battery life and an understated design.
This is a serious gaming mouse designed for pros, which has the thrills of being lightweight, but without the usual honeycomb shell. It's remarkably agile and wonderfully accurate too. The only downside is the odd lack of DPI switching button, but you can customise DPI and other button settings in the software.
Razer Basilisk Ultimate
- Superb RGB lighting
- Convenient charging dock
- Excellent ergonomics
- Interesting adjustable mouse wheel resistance
- No infinite spin wheel like the G502 Lightspeed
- Customisable scroll wheel resistance
- Replaceable Multi-function paddle
- Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel with customisable resistance
- Textured grips and an ergonomic grip
- 2.4 Ghz HyperSpeed Wireless technology
- Razer Synapse 3 compatible
- 20,000 max DPI adjustable in five different levels
- On-the-fly DPI switching via buttons with sensitivity clutch too
- 11 programmable buttons
The Basilisk Ultimate is a pinnacle of Razer's design - a wireless mouse with multiple buttons, a nifty charging base, some colourful RGB lighting and interesting features too.
Highlights include a removable multi-function paddle that doubles as an oh-so-satisfying thumb button and a customisable scroll wheel that you can adjust the resistance on.
Textured grips, ergonomic design and thumb rest make it comfortable and capable during gaming sessions too. Great connectivity options and bonkers battery life are also fantastic additions.
Razer Naga Pro
- Customisable side-plate design
- More buttons than you could ever need
- Heavier than many others
- 20,000 DPI, 650 IPS, 50G acceleration
- 19 customisable buttons
- 2 RGB lighting zones
- 117g weight
- Swappable button sideplates
This mouse seemingly tries to cater to all with an interesting design that not only has everything you'd expect from a gaming mouse, but also has swappable side buttons meaning you can change the thumb button access depending on what you're playing.
Two side buttons for FPS or 12 for MMO/MOBAs the choice is yours.
The Naga Pro thrills in other areas too. One of those is its ability to connect in wired, Bluetooth or wireless modes. In Bluetooth, with RGB lighting off you can get as much as 150 hours of battery life out of it too.
Throw in five onboard memory profiles, five custom DPI levels, 100% PTFE feet and a Pixart Optical sensor and you've got a real gaming powerhouse.
Roccat Kone XP
- Superb ergonomic design
- Excellent RGB
- Slick feet and excellent comfort
- Titan optical switches are accurate and satisfying
- There's a dedicated button for Easy shift!
- Wireless would be better
- Not for left-handed users
- 19K DPI Owl-Eye optical sensor, 50g acceleration
- 1,000Hz polling rate
- Tactile & fast Titan Switch Optical
- 104g weight
- 15 programmable buttons with 29 possible functions
- Krystal 4D mouse wheel
- 3D RGB lighting with 22 LEDs
The Roccat Kone XP is a mouse that thoroughly surprised us. It represents excellent value for money with a mass of features that make it appealing.
Firstly it's striking thanks to that unusual RGB lighting, but it's also comfortable in the hand and specs rich too. Secondly, it has 15 different buttons which can be programmed with as many as 29 different functions. That's a lot of controls at your fingertips.
Other gaming mice we've considered
The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you.
We've considered a range of factors when it comes to putting together this list of the best gaming mice to buy. We've tried them in different games, during the day working and poked and prodded all the different settings and features to see which mice really shone.
Many of the gaming mice we've seen don’t make our final best guides, not because they're not great necessarily, but because we're trying to keep this list short and useful for you. There are still other mice we've tried and loved that we'd recommend. Those include:
- Asus ROG Gladius III Wireless
- Logitech G502 Lightspeed
- Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O Wireless
- Razer Viper 8K
- Corsair Sabre RGB Pro
- SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless
- Roccat Kain 202 AIMO
How to choose the right gaming mouse for you
Obviously, there's a lot to consider when buying a gaming mouse. Trying to find the right one for you can be tricky as there are all sorts of mice in all manner of shapes and sizes with different specs and features on offer. It can be hard to know what matters or what you'll like.
Specs that matter
You'll find all gaming mice have a number of specs worth paying attention to. These include max acceleration and max speed numbers. Usually the higher these numbers the better. Along with a good sensor, these specs ensure good tracking and accurate representation of your mouse movements and the ability to keep up with your quick flicks.
You'll also find the best mice often have insanely high DPI levels. Many of Logitech's mice, for example, boast as much as 25,600 DPI. The company says that its sensors and these DPI levels allow the mouse to "...accurately track movement at the sub-micron level (1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter, or 0.000001m). Without compromising on accuracy."
Realistically, most gamers will find that 25,000 DPI is far too much for standard use. Indeed even the pro gamers will opt for lower DPI, lightweight mice or set their mice to low DPI levels. Still having a good DPI range offers a lot of flexibility.
There are three main grip types - palm grip, claw grip and fingertip grip. Some mice are designed to cater to all types while others are only suitable for one or two. SteelSeries has a nice guide to the different grip types and that's worth reading if you don't know how your hold your mouse already.
If you use a palm grip, then you'll often need a larger mouse or you'll find the mouse is too small and uncomfortable to use. Smaller mice might only cater to claw grip and won't be suitable, so this is an important point of consideration before you buy.
How many buttons do you need?
Most modern gaming mice sport somewhere between six and eight buttons. These usually include the left and right buttons, mouse wheel, two side buttons and maybe a couple of DPI level buttons.
This setup might be enough for most gamers - especially if you're mostly playing FPS games. But if you are more of a MOBA, MMO or RPG gamer then you might like to consider a mouse with more buttons. That'll make life easier to carry out actions, combine in-game abilities and generally win.
Having more buttons isn't always better though. We've found some mice offer buttons on both sides of the frame, but that can be problematic as you might accidentally activate these buttons when you don't mean to, which can be a real pain. So think about which buttons you need and whether you actually need more before you commit to a purchase.
The latest trend for gaming mice is to shed as much weight as possible and offer up large super slick PTFE areas to help you game. These lightweight mice mean you can run a low DPI but still flick them about quickly and easily. Pro players swear by these mice. They obviously have the added bonus of reducing any aches or fatigue you might otherwise get with heavier mice.
One downside though is the lighter mice often feel cheap, sound hollow and aren't as feature-rich. If you prefer your mouse to have a bit of heft and a premium solid build quality then there's nothing wrong with that. Some of the heavier mice also have a lot more to offer, not just RGB but more buttons, wireless connectivity and more.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life. We've gamed on these mice, we've worked with them, we've tried all the different settings, we've recorded macros and tested out the different actions.
We've also spent hours playing and working with different games to make sure they work as they should and don't let you down. All while poking all the settings to see what works best.
We've then selected the best based on all the features and the price to ensure it's good value for money too.
As with any roundup, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.
What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each mouse is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.