Gaming mouse purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What You Need to Know
  • Gaming mice are technically far superior to standard computer mice.
  • They usually have several buttons that can be programmed as desired.
  • Their sophisticated ergonomics ensure an optimal grip feeling.
  • The preferred gaming genre also plays a role in the decision.

From niche product to must-have

Many gamers pursue their passion on game consoles, tablets and smartphones. But “core gamers”, to be distinguished from “casual gamers”, are mainly computer gamers. Many games, especially shooters, come on the market as computer and console versions. Those who go for the best graphics play on the computer, as the processors and graphics cards of high-quality gaming PCs are much more powerful than consoles and mobile devices.

Besides a keyboard, a mouse is indispensable for gaming on the computer. If you want to have an ideal experience or optimise your performance, you need a gaming mouse. This is more powerful, durable and functional than a standard computer mouse.

Gaming mouse on mouse pad

Since some games require great precision, buying a good gaming mouse can significantly improve performance. In addition, much more and more intensive clicking is done while gaming than while surfing the web or using office programmes. Therefore, a mouse with a lifetime of many millions of clicks is recommended. A gaming mouse usually covers this need. It is also equipped with microprocessors (MCUs). This means that macros and lighting effects can be programmed in. Often, several profiles can even be saved. This allows you to switch to different programmed mouse configurations for each game.

The gaming genre

Before you start thinking about technical and ergonomic purchase criteria, you should be clear about the gaming mouse’s area of application. The genres show great differences in the way they are played. For some genres, such as point-and-clickers, the performance of the mouse does not play a major role. Others, such as sports games, are preferably played with a controller, even on a PC. However, for three genres that are also very present in the e-sports scene, the right mouse is crucial.


In shooters, i.e. games in which you shoot at opponents with weapons, aiming is the most important factor. To hit the targets, you need a mouse that reacts quickly and can be controlled as precisely as possible. The number of buttons is usually not that important, as shooters rarely need many buttons. Call of Duty is one of the most popular shooter franchises.


MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) like World of Warcraft are not primarily dependent on precision and speed. Rather, it is important here to link the character’s numerous abilities with keys. MMORPG players quickly reach their limits with a keyboard only. After all, the left hand must permanently steer the character with the WASD keys. A gaming mouse with many buttons can be a great help. Several abilities can be programmed into mouse buttons. In this way, the player can quickly and smoothly use all the necessary abilities without losing control of his or her own character.


MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) like League of Legends and RTS (Real Time Strategy) games like StarCraft 2 are related genres with common ancestors. They are also similar in their operation and thus benefit from the same mouse characteristics. One’s own character or army is usually controlled by clicks. MOBAs and RTS games are therefore among the most click-intensive genres. Thus, the left hand is free to activate all necessary abilities via keyboard. So there is no need for a gaming mouse with many buttons. Instead, durability, comfort and precision are crucial.

The three types of grip

The way you grip and operate the mouse is mainly concerned with ergonomics. Depending on how you place your hand on the mouse, certain features are more comfortable than others.

Three types of grip - Graphics
Gamers usually prefer one of the three grips.

Palm grip

The palm grip is widely used. Users place their whole hand on the mouse, touching it with all their fingers and moving it with their wrist. For palm-grippers who sweat a lot, a good rubber coating is an advantage. In addition, a larger mouse is recommended for this type of grip.

Claw grip

The claw grip is somewhat rarer. The crooked fingers are reminiscent of claws. Only a small part of the palm touches the mouse. Often the forearm is also moved when the mouse is operated. With this grip, a medium-sized mouse is recommended.

Fingertip grip

With fingertip grip, contact with the mouse is made only by the fingertips. The mouse is mainly moved with the fingers and wrist. There is some overlap between fingertip grip and claw grip. Those who use the fingertip grip should go for a smaller mouse.

Other important purchase criteria

Gaming mice are complex devices. They are easy and intuitive to use. However, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to their features, both in terms of technical usability and ease of use.


If you spend many hours playing on the computer, you should choose a mouse that is comfortable and offers a good grip. However, this purchase criterion is very subjective. After all, gamers use different types of grips. In addition, the right mouse size depends greatly on the size of one’s own hand.

Although manufacturers specify the dimensions, it is best to hold the mouse in your hand yourself to see if it fits well. It is important that the gaming mouse feels natural and that the user does not feel any pain, for example in the wrist, even after many hours. For gamers who sweat a lot, a mouse with a rubberised surface is recommended, as it provides a better grip.

Ergonomic black gaming mouse
High technology computer gaming mouse in dark blue tone with smoke


The dpi value (dots per inch) of the mouse is a factor in many gamers’ decisions. It is the number of pixels that the cursor travels with a mouse movement of one inch. The dpi value thus describes the sensitivity of the mouse. Accordingly, a high value means that the mouse covers the greatest possible distance in the screen with the smallest possible movement.

A dpi arms race currently seems to be taking place between gaming mouse manufacturers. As a result, mice with more than 20,000 dpi usually come on the market at very high prices. However, 2,000 to 4,000 dpi are sufficient even for demanding games.

In addition, a sensitive mouse is not an advantage for every game. Most gaming mice have two buttons with which the sensitivity can be adjusted. The buttons allow users to adjust the sensitivity of their mouse during the game instead of having to change it in the menu under “Settings”.

Gaming mouse is moved by hand

Sampling rate

The more frequently a mouse reports its position to the computer, the higher the sampling rate in Herz. A mouse with 500 hertz reports its position 500 times per second. As a rule, the values range between 125 and 1,000 hertz. The sampling rate thus provides information about the reaction speed of the mouse. Similar to the dpi value, the differences are hardly noticeable above a certain sampling rate. 500 Hertz should therefore satisfy even the most demanding users.

LED or laser technology?

Mechanical ball mice have long since ceased to be relevant. Nowadays, mice are optically moved using either LED or laser technology. With LED mice, the lower surface that makes contact with the mouse pad is illuminated with LEDs. A sensor picks up the reflection and the processor converts it into cursor movement. Because LED mice “read” the reflection, they often cannot be used on transparent or reflective surfaces. However, mouse pads that are opaque and matt are mostly used anyway.

The developers of laser mice relied on a laser beam instead of a light-emitting diode, which allows surfaces to be scanned more precisely. Their main advantage over LED mice is that laser mice also work on transparent surfaces. Another plus is the shorter lift-off distance (LoD). Some mice still react when they are lifted a few millimetres. This lift-off distance should be as small as possible when gaming. Sometimes gamers lift the mouse to move it without actuating the cursor; for example, to move the mouse back to the centre of the mouse pad. Even a small accidental movement of the cursor can cost you victory at a high level.

Gaming: bigger than the music and film industries?

Decades ago, video games were still a niche among forms of entertainment. Those days are long gone: gaming has been generating more money than traditional entertainment media such as television, the film and music industries for several years now. So it has long since arrived in the mainstream. It is also the most popular industry on YouTube. Besides developers, streamers, e-sportsmen or gaming journalists also earn their living with it.


Computer mice are not heavy. Nevertheless, weight is a feature that many gamers consider before buying. Some manufacturers have recognised this and offer gaming mice with adjustable weights. These have several small removable weights, each weighing about three to four grams. This allows the gamer to choose the appropriate weight depending on preference or even on the game. For games that require high precision, a heavy, stable mouse can be an advantage. On the other hand, a lighter mouse makes sense for games that require many quick mouse movements. Like ergonomics, however, weight is largely a subjective factor.

Number of buttons

The most obvious difference between gaming mice and standard computer mice is the number of buttons. The appropriate number of buttons depends largely on the game for which the mouse is used. Most gaming mice have at least two side buttons and two buttons for setting the dpi value. However, there are also mice with up to twelve side buttons, which are often used in MMOPGs such as World of Warcraft. The Razer Naga enjoys an almost legendary status in the gaming community in this respect.

Since gamers usually do not limit themselves to one game, they need differently equipped mice. The Razer Naga Trinity addresses this issue by offering interchangeable side shells. With this mouse, gamers can opt for a side shell with twelve, seven or two buttons, depending on the game.

Gaming mouse with side buttons

Otherwise, a mouse with multiple buttons is recommended, with which you can play MMOs as well as shooters. After all, it doesn’t hurt if some buttons are not assigned commands. Missing buttons, on the other hand, can make playing more difficult.

Do left-handers need different mice?

Left-handers have a worse chance with gaming mice. Nevertheless, they don’t have to tie their left hand behind their back like in the Middle Ages and become right-handed on impulse. There are also gaming mice for left-handers. However, these are much rarer and often a little more expensive. But the biggest manufacturers offer them.

Another option are mice that can be operated by both left-handers and right-handers. These are axis-symmetrical mice. For left-handers, the right and left mouse buttons need to be reprogrammed so they can use the mouse like right-handers. If you share a mouse with a left-handed person, they are the optimal solution.

Axis-symmetrical gaming mouse

Gaming mouse with or without cable?

The cable debate has divided the gaming community for years. Initially, wireless mice were said to have a certain latency. That may have been true some time ago, but nowadays it is no longer the case. So in terms of sampling rate and dpi, it doesn’t matter whether you decide for or against a cable on the mouse. Here, too, it is now mainly a matter of personal preference.

Some gamers consider the cable annoying because it gets in the way of free movement. Moreover, the desk looks tidier with fewer cables. So for tidiness enthusiasts, wireless mice are ideal. Others want to avoid having to make sure the battery is charged. Also, the battery may run down during gameplay if the user is not paying attention or is too engrossed in the game. However, most wireless mice can be used for at least 50 hours before they need to be recharged. There should be enough breaks to recharge between gaming sessions. Last but not least, wired mice are a lot cheaper than their wireless counterparts.

Aesthetics and design

If you put a normal computer mouse next to a gaming mouse, you will immediately notice one thing: gaming mice undoubtedly look fancier. For ergonomic purposes, they often have a much more refined shape than regular mice, for example by providing a comfortable surface for the thumb. In addition, manufacturers are aware of the fact that the eye is a deciding factor in the purchase. Thus, they attach great importance to aesthetics.

This is most noticeable with the lighting. Most gaming mice emit light in different colours. Although this eats up some battery power in wireless mice, new models can usually be used for days without a break. As a rule, the colour can be adjusted. If the decision is difficult, you can set up a colour change. The same applies to gaming keyboards. After all, gamers are easy on the eye for impressive aesthetics.

Gaming mouse with lighting

Price and manufacturer

The price of a gaming mouse ranges from 20 to 200 euros, depending on the model. In addition to the technical features, the manufacturer also plays a role. More expensive are also versions with battery operation and special mice for left-handers.

Even for a very rudimentary mouse, 20 euros is a bit low. High-quality mice from well-known manufacturers such as Lioncast are available for 30 to 40 euros. Razer is more represented in premium mice. Manufacturers like Logitech offer mice in all price ranges. Most high-quality gaming mice cost between 60 and 90 euros. In this price range, even the most demanding gamers can do little wrong. The best-known manufacturers include Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, Corsair, Lioncast and Roccat.

Where can I buy a gaming mouse?

Gaming mice are mainly available in electrical stores and online. Electrical stores have the advantage that you can hold the mice in your hand and evaluate their ergonomics before buying. Large stores usually have a relatively wide range, but they don’t come close to the possibilities of buying online. If you prefer an even wider selection and reasonable prices, you should look online.

What should I bear in mind when caring for gaming mice?

Gaming mice are easy to care for. High-quality mice are built so that no dirt can get inside. Just pay attention to the mouse surface: especially if you sweat a lot, sweat marks or other dirt can appear there. All you have to do is wipe them off with a cloth. After that, you can go right back to gambling.