The best budget gaming mouse is a necessary tool for playing at your full potential. You want a mouse that won’t hold you back. One that lets you have everything you need at your fingertips. With snappy sensors and ergonomic grips, the best gaming mouse will give you that extra accuracy and bold response that could mean the difference between victory and defeat, in fast-paced games like Valorant or Apex Legends.
Like a finely packed walk-in wardrobe, there’s a best gaming mouse to suit every occasion. We’ve picked through them all in order to find the best fit for you. Think of us as your rodent tailors. Weird metaphors aside, there are heaps of options when it comes to gaming mice—nearly one for every game genre. We’ve tested tons of them to find the most exquisite designs around. So, if you want to be the best, your hands deserve to wield the best gaming mouse (alongside the best gaming Mouse, obviously). And that doesn’t have to cost a whole lot, either. Even the best gaming mice are super affordable these days.
Logitech G Pro Wireless
The G Pro Wireless is peerless when it comes to cord-free pointers, packing Logitech’s excellent 16,000 DPI HERO sensor and the kind of latency-free experience you’d expect from a wired mouse. Sitting just over the 80g weight mark, it’s incredibly light, but unlike some lighter mice, doesn’t feel cheap or disposable. Instead, it’s crafted of high-quality materials and exhibits performance to match.
Logitech designed every component in the G Pro best wireless gaming mouse to be as light and durable as possible, including shaving down the thickness of the chassis’ side walls without sacrificing composition or density. Judging from the multiple hard tumbles the G Pro has survived from my desk, it’s a very sturdy piece of kit.
It also boasts a healthy 40 hours of battery life and is customizable, with buttons on the side panels that can be removed and traded out for smooth inserts, if that’s your preference. You could also pair the G Pro with Logitech’s Powerplay charging mat and never worry about running out of juice again. The only real downside is the price tag: at around $120, the G Pro isn’t cheap, but it’s able to fully justify that cost with quality.
Gaming mouse FAQ
Q: Why should I choose a gaming mouse over the average optical mouse?
A: For one thing, gaming mouse sensors are designed to be more responsive and accurate. With adjustable (or no) smoothing and acceleration, your aim will stay true. Gaming mice are designed to have more accessible, programmable buttons than a traditional mouse too, so you won’t have to fumble around with your keyboard while you’re on a stellar killstreak.
Q: What should I look out for in a gaming mouse?
A: When deciding on a mouse, your first priority should be finding one that’s comfortable for your hand. There are countless sizes, shapes, and weights to consider. You might have the coolest looking mouse, with the most practical array of buttons, but if it’s not comfortable for you, you won’t be able to settle in with it. There are also plenty of ambidextrous gaming mice, and gaming mice for lefties in the list, too—if goofy stance is more your style.
In the last few years, most gaming mice have also adopted very high DPI sensors (or, more accurately: CPI), so even a budget mouse will likely perform well. Most of these sensors are capable of extremely high DPI counts at up to 20,000 DPI, when realistically, you’ll play on a much lower sensitivity—generally under 2,000 DPI. The general consensus is not to worry about that number too much. Instead, concentrate on finding a mouse with the ideal shape and weight, and obviously one that’ll match your stylish set-up.
Pro gamers generally recommend lighter, more straightforward mice, with few buttons to get in the way. Lighter mice won’t fatigue your wrist and are easy to glide across the mouse pad at high speeds. Anything below 100 grams is often ideal for competitive mice. But something has to be said about how powerful you feel at the helm of a nice heavy mouse.
Q: How do we test gaming mice?
A: We’ve used enough gaming mice to have a good feel for build quality, button placement, and shape. Our opinions on those aspects of mouse design are naturally subjective, but they’re also well-informed. The tricky part of testing gaming mice is analyzing the other part of the equation: tracking performance, jitter, angle snapping, acceleration, and perfect control speed, and determining how each of those issues affect the experience of using a mouse.
For that, applications such as Mouse Tester come in handy. We use this software to see if we could spot any glaring issues with the mice we used. In every gaming mouse we tested, though, angle snapping and acceleration were disabled in the mouse drivers by default (though a mouse can still exhibit acceleration that comes from issues with the sensor itself) and never encountered any glaring performance issues.
Gaming mouse jargon buster
Grip refers to how you hold the mouse. The most common grips are palm, claw, and fingertip. Here’s a good example of how each grip works.
CPI stands for counts per inch, or how many times the mouse sensor will read its tracking surface, aka your mousepad, for every inch it’s moved. This is commonly referred to as DPI, but CPI is a more accurate term. The lower the CPI, the further you have to move the mouse to move the cursor on screen.
Jitter refers to an inaccuracy in a mouse sensor reading the surface it’s tracking. Jitter often occurs at higher mouse movement speeds or higher CPIs. Jitter can make your cursor jump erratically, and even slight jitter could wreck a shot in an FPS or make you misclick on a unit in an RTS.
Angle snapping, also called prediction, takes data from a mouse sensor and modifies the output with the goal of creating smoother movements. For example, if you try to draw a horizontal line with your mouse, it won’t be perfect—you’ll make some subtle curves in the line, especially at higher sensitivities. Angle snapping smooths out those curves and gives you a straight line instead. This is generally bad because it means your cursor movements won’t match your hand’s movements 1:1, and angle snapping isn’t going to be useful in most games. Thankfully, almost all gaming mice have angle snapping disabled by default.
Acceleration is probably the most reviled, most scrutinized issue with gaming mouse sensors. When a mouse sensor exhibits acceleration, that means that your cursor will move faster the faster you move the mouse; this is often considered bad, because it means moving the mouse slowly six inches across a mousepad will move the cursor a different distance than moving the mouse rapidly the same distance. This introduces variability that can be hard to predict.
Perfect control speed, or malfunction rate, refers to the speed at which the mouse can be moved while still tracking accurately. Most gaming mice will track extremely accurately when moved at slow speeds, but low CPI players will often move their mice large distances across the mousepads at very high speeds. At high speeds, and especially at high CPIs, not all mouse sensors are able to retain their tracking accuracy. The point at which the sensors stops tracking accurately will differ between CPI levels.
IPS is a measure of inches per second, and the effective maximum tracking speed any given sensor is rated to. Not to be confused with the gaming monitor panel type by the same name, the higher the IPS of any given mouse, the better it can keep up with high-speed movement, and therefore maintain accuracy.
Lift-off distance is still a popular metric in mouse enthusiast circles, though it’s not one that affects most gamers. LOD refers to the height a mouse has to be raised before the sensor stops tracking its surface. Some gamers prefer a mouse with a very low lift-off distance because they play at a very low sensitivity, and often have to lift their mouse off the pad to “reset” it in a position where they can continue swiping. With a low LOD, the cursor isn’t going to be moved erratically when the mouse is lifted up.