Choosing a mouse is a very personal decision. What may suit one person won’t necessarily suit another. There are many factors to consider, from features and performance to comfort and style. This is made more difficult by the huge market for gaming mice. While the topic of gaming mice can be very subjective, two things are universally agreed upon by gamers: prediction and acceleration are bad for competitive play, and DPI numbers are far more emphasized by big manufacturers than necessary.
Our list takes a look at the best gaming mice in 2017, emphasising mice with no prediction or acceleration, or that have the ability to turn these functions off. Our key focus is on mice that most gamers will find useful across various competitive gaming genres.
Unless otherwise stated, all weights displayed in the table below reflect the mouse without cord or any extra adjustable weight.
10 Best Gaming Mice 2017
|Device Name||Weight||Buttons||Sensor||Lift-off Distance|
|Mionix Castor||94 g||6||Pixart PMW3310H||~1mm, adjustable (low-mid)|
|Razer DeathAdder Chroma||105 g||5||Avago ADNS-S3989||~1 mm, adjustable (low-mid)|
|Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum||107 g||11||Pixart PMW3366||<1.2 mm|
|Roccat Kone Pure Military||93 g||7||Avago 3310||~1.2 mm, adjustable (low-mid)|
| Logitech G502|
|121 g||11||Pixart PMW3366||~1.2 mm (low)|
|Logitech G303||87 g||6||Pixart PMW3366||~1.2 mm (low)|
|Zowie FK1||90 g||5||Avago 3310||~1.5 mm (low)|
|SteelSeries Rival 300||130 g||6||Pixart PMW3310||~2.5 mm (mid)|
|Cooler Master Xornet II||80 g||7||Avago 3320 Optical||<3 mm (high)|
|8||Pixart ADNS-9800||adjustable (low to high)|
The Mionix Castor has consistently received positive reviews from gamers and the tech industry alike. Due to the quality design put into this gaming mouse, many reviewers consider it to be one of the best gaming mice ever made. We’ll just review the specs and consumer feedback, but it’s worth noting the high ratings on this mouse.
Inside the shell is a variety of software and hardware which make the Mionix Castor a go-to for those seeking variability. In particular, the Mionix Castor tends to be favored for its core features and overall comfort. The Castor features a fairly solid ergonomic design which works well for a right-handed grip, but the weight, as well as the button layout, design, and placement, are all designed to make a mouse which suits all grip styles. At 93.8 grams, it may be a bit light for claw and fingertip grippers at first, but this can be grown accustomed to with time.
There are 6 easy-to-operate programmable buttons. An adjustable DPI switch sits behind the scroll wheel, and each button is designed to require different amounts of pressure for the best response. The matte finish on the outside provides a nice feel, and the LED colors offer a satisfying look.
The mechanics of this device are a major part of the appeal. The DPI is adjustable up to 10,000. There is no acceleration on this device, making it ideal for hardcore gamers. Accuracy and tracking are smooth. The Castor also has a tool called the Surface Quality Analyzer Tool (SQAT), which analyzes surfaces for imperfections and automatically adjusts the lift-off distance to the best possible height. This feature can be turned off, and the lift-off distance can be adjusted to suit your preferences. The inclusion of the PMW 3310 sensor makes the Castor more high-end than its competitors. Finally, a 32-bit processor handles the incoming and outgoing data without compromises.
In addition to everything else, the Castor can store 5 separate button profiles, records macros in real-time, and has 4 layers of rubber coating. The comfort and elasticity of it keeps the Castor amongst the best gaming mice in 2017. That said, the weight cannot be adjusted, and some users reported that their device arrived broken or stopped working fairly quickly. Mionix has great customer service for certified buyers, so you should purchase only from a certified dealer.
Razer DeathAdder Chroma
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma is one of the most popular and best gaming mice in 2017. This mouse does not skimp on the most important functions for competitive gaming. Razer even got rid of the prediction they used to have with a firmware update. There are several versions of the DeathAdder available. Razer has a left-handed version, a standard version, a few specialty models, and their first model, the DeathAdder Classic.
The DeathAdder Chroma comes with a 10,000 DPI 4G optical sensor. This DPI is completely native. The mouse utilizes ultraslick feet, which allow for a smooth glide over most surfaces. The 5 buttons are hyper-responsive and optimized for rapid presses, but not so sensitive that they can be hit accidentally. The large, soft-ridged scroll wheel is smooth and responsive, though not particularly durable.
This mouse is known for its comfortable, ergonomic design. Shaped to fit the palm, the matte surface with rubber side grips creates a mouse perfectly-suited for long hours of gaming. Some may find that the mouse causes sweaty hands after very lengthy sessions, however. Overall, the mouse feels solid yet light, despite weighing 105g, a bit above average. The weight is not adjustable, so it’s best to figure out what you’re comfortable with prior to purchase. Since left-handed mice are rarer, however, for lefties, this is one of your best gaming mice options.
This device includes heat-mapping software, the Razer Synapse 2.0. This software tracks mouse movements and provides you with visual feedback. Although optional, this visual data should help highly competitive gamers better analyze their own movements for potential performance improvements.
While it isn’t unique, the scroll wheel and the Razer logo can be illuminated in a bright neon green color, which looks very cool. The cable is high-quality and braided, preventing it from sticking to surfaces when the mouse is moved. Small details like this make the DeathAdder Chroma one of the best gaming mice in 2017.
This mouse has some of the best overall ratings. The adjustable lift-off height is a plus, a feature other manufacturers are just starting to incorporate. The device is highlighted by the customizable lighting effects, which give it the name “Chroma”.
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Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
In their continued effort to own the market for the best gaming mice, Logitech found yet another way to mix things up. The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum, far from chaotic, does offer a new spectrum for gamers.
The mouse is ambidextrous in the truest sense of the word. It accomplishes this by making the industry-standard thumb buttons on the sides changeable. You can place them on either side of the mouse, covering the other side with a rubber pad. Alternatively, you can place buttons on both sides, which may not be comfortable, but certainly opens up more gaming options. We’re not going to definitively call this an industry first, but we couldn’t locate any other mouse with similar features.
The Microsoft Habu came somewhat close, but the side buttons on that mouse were only adjustable on one side. Logitech has thrown a very significant bone to left-handed players here.
The specs of the G900 are similar to that of the G502, but where they differ is in their ambidexterity, weight, and possibly lift-off distance. The G502 is a much heavier wired mouse, while the G900 can be operated wirelessly. The lift-off distance for the G502 is around 1.2mm, while the G900 does not yet have accurate numbers. Your experience might be different, as the mouse is very sensitive to the surface it’s on.
The G900 has 11 programmable buttons, on-the-fly DPI adjustment up to 12,000, and an impressive 32 hours of battery life per charge. The onboard storage supports 5 unique profiles, and for those who enjoy customization, there is RGB color adjustment with 16.8 million options.
If you liked the G502, you’ll love the G900. The G900 is effectively a wireless upgrade to the G502, capitalizing on everything Logitech did well while shedding a bit of weight. It is absolutely one of the best gaming mice in 2017.
Roccat Kone Pure Military
The Roccat Kone Pure Military has wide range of features that many competitive gamers may find highly valuable. This 7-button mouse has an ergonomic, right-handed design that primarily fits claw-grip gaming styles. This mouse is fast for twitch gaming and possesses solid mechanics. Roccat devices are highly praised for shunning acceleration and prediction. The Roccat Kone Pure Military maintains this. If you were a fan of the Roccat Kone Pure Optical, the Military is a great upgrade. A fair warning to palm-grippers, however: the device is somewhat small, so it may not be one of the best gaming mice for you.
The Roccat Kone Pure Military utilizes an Avago 3310 optical sensor. This is an upgrade from the Pure Optical, increasing the device’s DPI. Roccat includes fine-tuning software which includes lift-off adjustments and a whole suite of usage stats. Roccat calls this the “R.A.D.” feature, for Roccat Achievements Display. Cheesy acronym aside, you’ll get data on your button clicks, which may or may not be useful. Who knows?
The Roccat Kone Pure Military has a standard native DPI up to 5000, and as low as 100. The mouse also has 576KB of onboard memory for storing macros and profiles. It comes with macro managing software, as well, which should make it easier to remember what macro settings you have.
At 93g with the cord, the device is one of the lightest. It does not have adjustable weighting, so if you’re looking for something a bit heavier, this is not one of the best gaming mice options for you. The Roccat Kone Pure Military has a wealth of lighting options and monitoring software, which are tertiary features, but may be a selling point for the occasional gamer. Given the name, that the Military comes in military colors should be no real surprise. Overall, users love the design but dislike the lack of adjustable features.
Logitech G502 Proteus Core – Editor’s Choice
The Logitech G502 is advertised as being “as unique as you”. Upon product examination, it’s a fair claim. All gamers have their preferred setups, and this mouse allows for significant amounts of customization.
The optical sensor on this mouse can adapt to different surfaces. Furthermore, five 3.6g weights in the base help gamers find the perfect balance for their gaming style. Tuning may not be necessary, as it’s already on the heavier side, weighing 121g. With 11 programmable buttons, the G502 really puts the power in the hands of the gamer. Logitech also includes a dual-mode scroll wheel, allowing for precise navigation when gaming, as well as the ability to fly through pages when browsing the internet. However, since the scroll wheel is made of metal and not rubberized, it can cause the finger to slip.
The build quality is solid; the mouse has a wonderful ergonomic shape, a well-designed layout, and great button placement. The rubbery side-grips are excellent and the buttons are quite satisfying to click. The braided cable is resistant to wear-and-tear, though some consider it to be unnecessarily heavy. Customization options and a generally excellent build make this one of the best gaming mice in 2017.
A final note, the G502 has an advertised DPI up to 12,000. This may scare away some gamers who fear this is achieved through software interpolation. Good sources, however, claim the high DPI settings are achieved natively. If accurate, the G502 boasts one of the highest native DPIs on the market.
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The Logitech G303 is a top contender in the search for the best gaming mice. While sharing little relation to the Logitech G502 Proteus Core, the G303 has a number of features that make it a go-to device. The G303 “Daedalus Apex”, as Logitech has dubbed it, has adjustable DPI settings from 200 up to 12,000, easily adjusted with mouse clicks. Logitech delivers the DPI adjustment without sensor smoothing or filtering. This even includes the high end of the range.
The device works quite well for FPS gaming and is best-suited for a claw grip. That said, those who favor other grips will still find this to be a comfortable mouse. The firmware has been updated for Windows 10, which is good, as many competitors have yet to update their firmware. Unfortunately, Mac users will need to look elsewhere, but if you’re gaming on a Mac, you’ve got bigger problems than your mouse.
The G300 has solid features. Alongside shunning acceleration and prediction, it has been fined-tuned for high accuracy. The physical design is attractive. It has 6 programmable buttons to make the gaming experience a bit easier. The software allows for a lot of adjustments to the mouse’s settings with a fairly easy-to-use user interface. This device was built for long-term play and durability. It’s rated for 20 million clicks, and uses spring-loaded buttons for a good feel. There are also 16.8 million possibilities for the RGB lighting.
Logitech tends toward heavier mice, but, at only 87 grams, the G300 is a bit of a reprieve for those that do a lot of lifting. Unfortunately, there is no weight tuning on the G300, so if this is too light, it is not one of the best gaming mice for you. While the button layout on the side makes this a right-handed mouse in a physical sense, there’s no reason a lefty could not use it comfortably. The design is even on both sides, making it ideal for alternating hands.
The Zowie FK1 is an ambidextrous mouse specifically designed for claw-grip use. It is a plug-and-play device with no driver installations required. This, unfortunately, means there are limited tweaks that can be made, as it does not include fine-tuning software found on other mice. Nevertheless, the Zowie ZK1 features quick and easy DPI adjustment, allowing the player to toggle between 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 DPI, according to their play style. The Avago 3310 optical sensor tracks well on any surface.
Simplicity is key for the FK1. Its curved, elongated shape allows for precise control and fits the hand nicely. The mouse’s surface is slightly rough, textured plastic which allows for a good grip while minimizing hand sweat. Additionally, at 90g with the cord, this lightweight device is one of the best gaming mice for the quick reactions needed in many FPS games. Since the weight cannot be adjusted, however, this is not of the best gaming mice in 2017 for those looking for something a little heavier.
Users report a fairly robust button feel. The buttons provide the perfect amount of physical feedback and click resistance.
The ZK1 is on the lower end for button features, with a simple 5-button layout, but all the buttons are very high quality. They are Huano switches, which require a little more force to operate to guard against accidental clicking. As for the 24-notch scroll wheel, it is somewhat stiff but very reliable.
The FK1 is a basic mouse, lacking many bells and whistles, and certainly won’t win any beauty contests. It performs very well, however. One of the key selling points of this mouse is the very low lift-off distance. At around 1.5mm, you’re unlikely to experience any issues with continued tracking. The lack of extra features may be a turnoff to some, but, for those looking for simplicity, this is one of the best gaming mice in 2017.
SteelSeries Rival 300
The SteelSeries Rival has many features that most competitive PC gamers use regularly. While lacking in the number of buttons gamers may need for some game types, particularly MOBA and RTS, it does has a lot of features which make it desirable for other types of play. It’s simplicity may also attract players who feel intimidated by the almost overwhelming options of devices such as the Logitech G502. The Steelseries Rival is a functional alternative, albeit with fewer available features.
The Rival has six programmable buttons, perfect for limited quick command actions, although a far cry from what competitive MMO players will want. However, the button features are just the right amount to supplement your keyboard. This mouse utilizes an optical sensor, good for tracking on a variety of surfaces. The DPI rating notches from 1 to 6500. The polling rate sits at a speedy 1 ms, fairly standard for most devices, optical mice particularly. It is speedy enough for a quick response, and you won’t notice any lag. At 130 grams, it is hefty but not excessively heavy. Unfortunately, the weight is not adjustable.
A new version, the SteelSeries Rival 700 will be released later this year, promising to be one of the best gaming mice in 2017. Showcased at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, it received excellent reviews. The mouse offers many improvements over the current models and adds a host of new features.
The new model will include an OLED display on the side of the mouse, which provides in-game data and vibrating feedback, similar to console gaming controllers. This mouse is definitely something to watch, as success with the new features may mark new trends in the best gaming mice.
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Cooler Master Xornet II
Cooler Master does not typically get as much brand name recognition as others, however, the Xornet II could easily be one of the best gaming mice in 2017. With a lightweight design, ergonomic feel, and excellent button array, the Cooler Master Xornet II is a top contender for those wanting a light, versatile mouse which can span several gaming genres.
Several key features are emphasised on this mouse. First is the internal sensor, an Avago 3320, one of the best sensors available, which allows the Xornet II to adjust DPI rapidly and with ease. Jitter is practically unknown, and this device features an “on-the-fly” DPI adjustment between 3 different presets, from 500 to 3500 DPI. An RGB indicator is included on the scroll wheel to display the current setting.
The 7 programmable buttons on this mouse cover most competitive gaming genres. The Xornet II is built for twitch gaming and has adjustable lift-off distance. It even includes an LOD tuning button, an unmatched feature in other mice, allowing you to tune the lift-off up to about 3mm.
The Xornet II is designed for claw-style gaming. Cooler Master has fined-tuned this mouse to remove a lot of the guesswork and to maximize customization. Gamers who like to make the most out of their gaming mouse, or like to adjust mouse settings for just the right feel, will find the Xornet II to be one of the best gaming mice. The only drawback to this mouse is its extremely low weight, which cannot be adjusted. Those who prefer heavier mice should consider the Logitech G502 or Corsair M65.
Vengeance shall be mine! Or yours, if you decide to spend a few big ones on the Corsair Vengeance M65. At 164 grams including weights and cord, the Corsair M65 is a very heavy mouse. However, this weight makes it a good analogue to the Logitech G502 and the Cooler Master Storm Spawn. Like those devices, the Corsair M65 is relatively large. The tuning metal weights total to 20.5 grams and are screwed into the bottom. But you don’t really care about that, what you care about most is the handy sniper button placed right at thumb level. It even has a crosshair design on the front. Well played, Corsair.
The Corsair was made solely for right-handed players. Its weight and size make it good for most grip styles, including palm grip. The device has 8 programmable buttons that can be saved directly into the mouse’s onboard memory, so they will not be reset when transferring to another computer. Aside from the adjustable weighting and programmable buttons, the DPI settings on this mouse go up to 8200. Did we mention the dedicated sniper button? Ok, so we did, but that button serves a dual purpose of adjusting sensor resolution.
The lift-off distance on the M65 can be adjusted, as well. There are several lift-off distance settings available in the device software, though users have complained about this software, and it may be the device’s worst feature. It is confusing to navigate and Corsair neglected to include good user instructions.
Despite this, most users report good overall experiences. The scroll wheel in particular may be among the best gaming mice wheels. Gamers who use this mouse tend to prefer FPS gaming, and overall enjoy the weight and feel. If you’re not too keen on the white, it also comes in black.
What the Pros use
In the field of competitive gaming, saying that a mouse is important is a gross understatement. A mouse is the primary weapon in a gamer’s arsenal, and as such, they want their mouse to be an extension of their hand. Long gaming sessions with a high-intensity level of movement and clicks requires a mouse of exceptional caliber.
Click here for a list that covers the best gaming mice for professional CS:GO players. (scroll right)
Click here for a list that covers the best gaming mice for professional League of Legends players.
Best Gaming Mouse – Buyer’s guide
Modern mice have a lot of technology in a small package. Most of the technology behind these peripherals come with a host of numbers, some meaningful, and some vastly misunderstood. Here, we break down some of the important concepts about mice, with the goal of helping buyers determine the best gaming mice for their needs.
Sensitivity in mice is more commonly referred to as the “DPI” or “CPI” number. “DPI” stands for “dots per inch” and “CPI” stands for “characters per inch”. These acronyms are used interchangeably to represent the same thing: the number of pixels of movement across the screen per inch of mouse movement. Generally speaking, a higher DPI means the mouse moves across the screen faster, depending on the screen resolution size. Lower DPI has the opposite result. Sensitivity is usually measured in steps of 100, with numbers ranging from as low as 100 to extremes of 8,000.
Mouse speed is important. Some gamers find that too low a speed will result in a mouse that does not move across the screen fast enough. While some games require a slower speed for more precision, others require a faster speed for quick movements across the screen. Realistically, ultra-high sensitivities are not only unimportant, but detrimental.
Many companies advertise their high DPI settings, which can only be achieved through firmware and software changes. These changes create a false effect to increase DPI rate, while also resulting in compatibility problems with some computers. High DPI settings can also negatively impact sensor performance. It’s best to avoid companies that advertise purely based on DPI numbers. Instead, check for what DPI settings are typically best for the games you play, and locate the best gaming mice for covering the settings necessary for those games.
Similarly, the sensitivity for a mouse is based on the operating system’s own settings, the settings in the mouse’s software, and, occasionally, DPI settings that can be set within the actual game. Most users find that in-game settings are the best, particularly when paired with a mouse setting of 6/11 when using Windows. This setting will help provide a 1:1 ratio between physical mouse movement and cursor movement. This relationship makes it easier to predict where the mouse will actually end up.
Acceleration is how fast or slow the mouse moves on screen in relation to how fast the user’s hand moves. Mouse speed is measured in Gs, with one G equivalent to 9.8 meters per second. Higher sensitivity players will not notice acceleration as much, as screen movement will require less motion. However, lower sensitivity users will definitely notice mouse acceleration.
There are three types of acceleration. “No acceleration” means that a given mouse movement moves the cursor at a given speed. “Positive acceleration” means that a normal motion will result in the cursor moving faster than the hand motion. Increasing the movement speed raises the speed of the cursor. “Negative acceleration” means a normal hand motion will result in a slower realized speed of the cursor.
Gaming mice are designed to move faster on screen than a user can move the mouse. As such, buying mice with high acceleration is not just unnecessary, but detrimental. For gaming, a consistency in acceleration speed in relation to mouse speed is important. High acceleration on mice hurts the precision required for competitive gaming.
Many modern mice are built with prediction software to compensate for the sometimes erratic hand motions which prevent the mouse from moving in an exact, straight line. While this is positive in most cases, it can be a negative for gaming. Particularly, mouse correcting may result in a loss of precision. Another common terms for prediction is “angle snapping”.
The polling rate refers to the data transfer rate between the mouse and the computer. As a mouse is a peripheral, it sends data to the computer, which has to be processed before the computer can determine what action to take. Polling rates in mice are measured in hertz, typically ranging from 250 to 1000 Hz. The higher the polling rate, the more responsive a mouse will be.
Modern mice use either an optical sensor or a laser sensor. Optical sensors are better at tracking on rough surfaces, as the optical LED does not scatter across the ridges, while laser tracking sensors are better on glass or other smooth, reflective surfaces. Laser sensor also provide higher natural DPI, due to quicker response times.
Programmable Buttons and Profiles
Gaming mice distinguish themselves from regular mice through the use of programmable buttons. The best gaming mice have several buttons that can be programmed as hotkeys to make in-game actions much faster. Different games require different amounts of hotkeys. Some mice have buttons designed for very specific purposes, such as sniper buttons for FPS gaming. Other mice have different layouts for the programmable buttons to make the mouse more applicable to different gaming genres.
On a similar note, many mice allow for different profile settings for the programmable buttons. This allows for changing characters that require different button specifications within a game, or moving across games with the same mouse.
Many gamers point to the weight of the mouse as a key factor in precise, competitive gaming. Some mice come with adjustable weights. Fine-tuning the mouse weight aids in making comfortable, predictable mouse motions.
The lift-off distance is how high a mouse can go before the sensor begins to lose its ability to track mouse movements. Fast paced, competitive gaming often involves quick mouse lift-offs and landings. Lower lift-off distances are generally preferred, as having the mouse stop tracking during that lift-off period prevents the cursor from continuing motion during these adjustment periods. Mice with high lift-off distances may continue tracking, resulting in unwanted cursor movement.
Lift-off distance is generally determined by the quality of the sensor and the software. The best gaming mice come with the ability to adjust lift-off distance.
Generally speaking, a lift-off distance under 2 millimeters is considered to be good. A distance between 2 to 2.5 mm is average. Anything above 2.5mm is a bit high, and at that range might begin negatively impacting gameplay, especially for those who have a tendency to lift the mouse frequently.
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