A gaming mouse is one of the most critical components of a PC gaming setup. Gaming keyboards have an important place, but their effect on your gaming is minor compared to a gaming mouse. The difference between using a mediocre keyboard and a great one isn't going to be as significant as the difference between mice. And, the speed and accuracy of a solid mouse/keyboard combo outmatch that of a PC controller, especially in shooters. So, maybe your next investment should be in a gaming mouse, but if you're strapped for cash, there are some great budget gaming mice too.
When you're playing a PC game where quick and accurate aiming is essential (which is a lot of games), having a great, reactive mouse that's comfortable in hand ensures you're playing at your peak. A lesser mouse introduces latency, adds acceleration, or even tracks poorly. That'll be a distraction in non-competitive games, but when it comes to serious battles online, the extra time spent aiming can be the difference between victory and defeat.
The best gaming mice allow each of your hand movements to be accurately and consistently tracked. This way, you can build up muscle memory in each of your games, so you'll always know just how far to move your mouse to land on your target. It's also important to look into the ergonomics and overall design of a mouse, you need something that fits your hand size and is made for the types of games you play. Plus, have you considered if you want to it be wireless or wired? There are loads of options that deliver on these various necessities, but we've narrowed down your search to the best of the best. These mice deliver on solid tracking alongside a whole host of extra features. One is bound to fit your needs. Take a look at the picks we believe offer the very best gaming experience – and click here to find them in the UK.
TL;DR – These are the best gaming mice:
- SteelSeries Rival 5
- SteelSeries Rival 3
- Roccat Kone Air
- SteelSeries Sensei 310
- Logitech G502 X Lightspeed
- Razer Basilisk V3 Pro
- Corsair NightSword RGB
- Razer Orochi V2
- MadCatz R.A.T. 8+
- Razer Viper V2 Pro
- Razer Viper Mini
SteelSeries Rival 5
Best Gaming Mouse
Our top honor goes to the SteelSeries Rival 5 for being impressively capable and stunningly affordable. This pick doesn’t leave much else to be desired with its $60 price point and versatility. Impressively, SteelSeries actually increased the number of buttons available on the Rival 5 over those found on the Rival 600. You get your usual assortment, plus a third thumb button situated near the front of the mouse as well as a two-way, flickable button above the Back and Forward buttons. This makes it a great combo of an average gaming mouse and MMO or MOBA option.
The SteelSeries Rival 5 follows the trend of gaming mice shedding weight, as it’s slightly cut back from the Rival 600. Part of that weight loss may come from the omission of a depth sensor, but the Rival 5’s TrueMove Air optical sensor still provides solid tracking. Being a wired option also helps contribute to its lightweight. An added perk is the considerable RGB lighting on board with a zone at the scroll wheel, a zone in the SteelSeries logo on the palm rest, and two RGB strips on each side of the palm rest each with four independent lighting zones.
SteelSeries Rival 3
Best Budget Gaming Mouse
Undoubtedly, SteelSeries makes some of the best mice around, and that goes for both its premium gaming mice as well as its budget options. The Rival series has long been a competitor in this budget space, and that's still true with the SteelSeries Rival 3. It's impressive what capability SteelSeries is able to pack into this mouse for under $30.
First, you get a fairly straightforward gaming mouse with a regular accouterment of dual thumb buttons, a clickable scroll wheel, and a DPI button. And, SteelSeries didn't skimp on the triggers, as the same mechanical switches used in the Rival 3 are featured on more premium models. The star of the show though is the TrueMove Core Optical sensor, which offers phenomenal tracking that'll keep up in the most demanding games. It may not be as fast as the TrueMove 3, but most of us probably don't mouse around at 300 inches per second or pull off 35G acceleration for our flick shots. SteelSeries even offers a bit of flair with RGB lighting from the logo on the palm rest as well as an RGB strip along the base of the mouse.
Roccat Kone Air
Best Budget Wireless Gaming Mouse
Do you want a wireless mouse that's affordable without sacrificing features? Look to the Roccat Kone Air, which costs around $50 and delivers multiple wireless connectivity options. There’s a 2.4 GHz dongle for a low latency link between the mouse and your gaming desktop to give you similar response times to wired competitors. Bluetooth is also supported, so you have extra flexibility. Since the mouse is exclusively wireless, AA batteries power it, and with that comes an option to use two batteries to keep the peripheral running for an epic 800 hours or one to keep things lighter.
It doesn’t stop with wireless connectivity, as this mouse delivers nine programmable buttons, including Roccat’s easy-to-reach Easy-Shift[+], effectively doubling the number of button functions to 17. However, you can only store one profile on the mouse. The optical switches are also snappy and reliable, while adjustable DPI up to 19,000 and 50g acceleration ensure smooth tracking that’s accurate even during lift-off.
SteelSeries Sensei 310
Best Wired Gaming Mouse
Yes, of course, we have another SteelSeries mouse on our list. The Sensei 310 is one of the finest we've tested. This pick comes toting the TrueMove3 Optical sensor with 12,000 DPI sensitivity. Though keeping your sensitivity capped to 3,500 will enable the 1:1 tracking—which is to say the on-screen cursor will follow your exact hand movements. You can also program the eight buttons on board to do as you please in different games.
The SteelSeries Sensei 310 is one of the most comfortable gaming mice on the market thanks to a coat of soft-touch rubber covering a majority of the peripheral. The sides of the mouse also feature two large silicon pads, which aid in keeping a firm hold of it. And, for those who are right-handed, the SteelSeries Rival 310 is a similar mouse but in an ergonomic shape. You'll also find a bit of RGB lighting on the mouse as an added bonus.
Logitech G502 X Lightspeed
Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
The Logitech G502 X Lightspeed is the successor to one of our favorite mice, the G502 Lightspeed, and this wireless mouse has all the features we love with a few extras. You get a beautifully angular mouse with enough geometry incorporated into its design to make it look straight out of CyberPunk 2077, while the sculpted curves almost wrap around your thumb and support the rest of your hand. It's responsive and the controls are reliable, including a new and improved sniper button, DPI-shift button, and scroll wheel. Beyond that, you can reprogram controls and save up to five profiles on the mouse, or even more using the G Hub software, making it super handy for tournament players or gamers that play on multiple devices. You’re also getting almost perfect tracking from 100 to 25,000 DPI, not that you'll ever even need to go that high.
Since the G502 X is a wireless mouse, latency and battery life are always a concern. Luckily, Logitech continues to use its “Lightspeed” wireless connection, so after plugging in its USB dongle, you’ll experience a speedy and accurate mouse. That dongle can connect to a Logitech G keyboard simultaneously, so you won’t have to clog up your device’s USB ports. Unfortunately, you still don’t get Bluetooth, though. As far as power is concerned, the mouse supports Powerplay wireless charging, so you can juice up while still in the heat of battle. However, you won’t have to worry about charging that often with its 140-hour battery life.
Razer Basilisk V3 Pro
Best FPS Gaming Mouse
The Razer Basilisk has been our favorite gaming mouse for first-person shooters since it hit the scene in 2017, and it continues to endure with the Razer Basilisk V3 Pro. This gaming mouse takes a great ergonomic design and pairs that with fast, smooth, and responsive movement. It boasts 30,000 DPI, 750 IPS max speed, and 70G acceleration, plus there are 11 programable buttons toting optical switches. The Basilisk is a fully loaded gaming mouse when it comes to connectivity, too. You get Razer HyperSpeed Wireless or a USB-C wired for a lag-free connection, while Bluetooth allows the mouse to work with a majority of your other devices. And to top it off, you get 13 customizable RGB lighting zones to play with.
Beyond the specs, the Razer Basilisk Ultimate feels and plays great. It has the perfect shape to be cupped in your hand, and hitting the DPI clutch to pull off a precise shot feels as good as pulling the e-brake on a hairpin turn in a rally car. You can also program the side paddle to toggle your second ability bar in MMOs or trigger your class ability in a MOBA game. And the improved scroll wheel allows for free spinning to run through content quickly, while a tactile mode makes it easy to cycle through weapons or skills.
Corsair NightSword RGB
Best MOBA Gaming Mouse
The Corsair NightSword RGB is a highly customizable weapon designed specifically for right-handed, claw-grip gamers who play battle arena (and first-person shooter) games. This gaming mouse has all the usual programmable buttons, an 18,000 DPI optical sensor, and some aesthetically pleasing RGB lighting. It then adds six underside weights to adjust this peripherals center of gravity. Corsair could've just left things there, but with the iCUE software, you can track how shifting the center of gravity is affecting the way you play. Now, that's nifty.
A key feature of the Corsair NightSword RGB is that it's designed slightly larger than your average gaming mouse, so it should fit like a glove for users with larger than average mitts. This pick also offers gamers a completely rubber-covered finish, sizable thumb rest, and 10 easily reachable mouse buttons. Packed with customizations on top of a quality build and insane accuracy, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better MOBA gaming mouse.
Razer Orochi V2
Best Portable Gaming Mouse
If you're constantly on the go and want a quality gaming mouse that's ready to come along for the ride, your best bet is the Razer Orochi V2. There's a lot that makes this a great gaming mouse, but the biggest feature for mobility has to be the battery life. On a single AA battery, this mouse can run for 950 hours over a Bluetooth LE connection. Even using its low-latency Hyperspeed Wireless connection, it can last for 425 hours. You won't have to worry about swapping in a new battery for a while, and most of your devices will easily connect to this peripheral using one of the two wireless options.
The Razer Orochi V2 also manages to stay impressively light, weighing just 60 grams excluding the weight of the battery. And, slotting in a battery won't make it much heavier because it can actually run on either a AA or a AAA battery. All that comes paired with your standard set of gaming mouse controls and Razer's optical sensor for all the basic capability needed for competitive gaming on the go.
MadCatz R.A.T. 8+
Best "Palm Grip" Gaming Mouse
Now, the MadCatz R.A.T. 8+ is an interesting-looking mouse that conforms to your hand rather than the other way around. It lets you literally dial in the perfect palm grip with moveable rests that you can shift into just the right position for a comfortable hold. You also get adjustable weights to really make this mouse a perfect dance partner for your hand.
Beyond the convenient adjustments, you're getting a proper gaming mouse with RGB lighting, 11 customizable buttons (including a side scroll wheel), onboard memory for up to four profiles, and long-lasting Omron switches. A Pixart sensor keeps you sharp in games, and it supports sensitivities up to 16,000 CPI. If you're on the hunt for a gaming mouse with a robust feature set and unique look guaranteed to conform perfectly to your hand, look no further than the MadCatz R.A.T. 8+.
Razer Viper V2 Pro
Best Lightweight Gaming Mouse
The wireless Viper V2 Pro is part of Razer’s Viper lineup which features pro-level mice, but this one trims some of the fat to bring you an option weighing less than 58g grams. Though it is physically light, the mouse is mighty powerful where it counts, delivering an adjustable up to 30,000 DPI and 750 IPS max speed for insanely great tracking. You’ll also have no problem pulling off flick shots in FPS, thanks to the 70G acceleration.
It doesn’t stop there, as the Razer Viper V2 Pro is comfortable to hold and durable with reliable and tactical optical switches, though to help keep the weight down, you won’t find any RGB lighting. There are also five programmable buttons, which should be plenty for most and the perfect amount for esports. Topping this mouse off is an impressive 80 hours of battery life and a simple, low-latency connection to your devices via a USB dongle.
Razer Viper Mini
Best Small Gaming Mouse
If you don't have the biggest hands or just don't like the extra bulk of some gaming mice, Razer has a solution. The Razer Viper Mini takes the design of the stylish Viper and shrinks it down a bit while also cutting the weight. It's actually the lightest mouse Razer offers. This model is slightly taller than the original, but it trims the length and width to give smaller hands an easier grip and access to the main buttons without needing to awkwardly slide forward.
The Razer Viper Mini still has the perks you expect in a gaming mouse, with a high-DPI sensor, extra thumb buttons, and a healthy dose of RGB lighting. It will hold up during all the fast moments in your game even tracking 35G and moving at 300 inches-per-second. You also get to customize that lighting to your liking as well by using Razer's fairly simple Synapse software. Even though this is a corded mouse, Razer has aimed to make it perform smoother with a specially designed cable that resists dragging on surfaces. As a bonus, this mouse is also a good deal cheaper than the full-sized Viper.
Where to Get the Best Gaming Mouse in the UK
You want to get it right when choosing the perfect gaming mouse. Thankfully, every single one of the mice we mentioned in this article is also available to pick up in the UK, so take your pick.
SteelSeriesRival 600 Best Gaming Mouse£69.99SteelSeriesRival 3 Best Budget Gaming Mouse£32.54CorsairHarpoon Wireless RGB Best Budget Wireless Gaming Mouse£34.99SteelSeriesSensai 310 Best Wired Gaming Mouse£49.49LogitechG502 Lightspeed Best Wireless Gaming Mouse£60.99RazerBasilisk Ultimate Best FPS Gaming Mouse£118.95CorsairNightsword RGB Best MOBA Gaming Mouse£69.99RazerOrochi V2 Best Portable Gaming Mouse£69.99MadCatzR.A.T. 8+ Best “Palm Grip” Gaming Mouse£80.04RazerViper Mini Best Small Gaming Mouse£27.95
What to look for in a Gaming Mouse
The decision-making process when it comes to a good gaming mouse really boils down to how it feels in your hand, whether you want it to be wired or wireless, and if you want any other customizable features.
Some people grip the mouse with their fingertips, while others use a claw or palm grip, so the shape of the mouse is easily the biggest factor you should consider.
If you're right-handed, you're going to find a large number of ergonomic options to choose from. If you play left-handed, your options are a bit more limited, which sucks. You're pretty much going to have to go with something that's shaped symmetrically or designed for ambidextrous usage. There are very few gaming mice out there designed for left-handed users.
As far as wired versus wireless goes, the wireless technology is so good these days that it's hard to tell the difference either way, so that should not be a factor if you're worried about losing some performance. However, wireless mice are usually more expensive than their wired counterparts, so expect to pay for your freedom from cables.
Also, some mice are rechargeable while others just use replaceable batteries, so pay attention to how long each wireless gaming mouse can last on a charge if that's important. The addition of the battery can also make some wireless mice heavier than a wired version, but this isn't the case for all wireless mice.
Lastly, many of our picks come with other customizations whether it be adjustments to the physical design or programmable buttons. You'll want to pick something based on the type of games you're playing to give you an advantage over opponents.
Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.
Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.