For many, mouse pads have become a commodity -- or even unnecessary -- with many optical mice claiming to work with most surfaces. But when it comes to PC gaming, a mouse pad can be crucial, guaranteeing a level and/or extra-slick surface. That means smooth, precise, error-free movements. And if you’re adding an accessory to an RGB-enabled gaming setup, doesn't your best gaming mouse deserves something pretty to dance on too?
RGB mouse pads are becoming more readily available online. But many come from companies you've never heard of, and others may lack the features you have in mind. Mouse pad shopping might sound simple once you’ve decided on a material, but when you toss in RGB lighting strips and customization software, it's easier to get buyer’s remorse.
Quick Shopping Tips
When you're shopping for an RGB mouse pad, ask yourself some questions:
- Can you spare a USB port? RGB mouse pads need something to power those pretty lights. If you don’t want to sacrifice a port, look for a pad with USB passthrough or consider ditching RGB altogether.
- Hard or soft? Hard, plastic surfaces are more slippery, so your mouse will glide rapidly with little force from your hand. These are best reserved for more competitive gamers (or at least players with a mouse featuring CPI control). Alternatively, soft cloth mouse pads generally offer more precise control.
- Is there software? If there’s no app, you likely won’t be able to customize the lighting’s colors or effects. And if you are, options will be limited. Most of the mouse pads on our list have a free app for controlling the RGB.
- How many RGB zones do you want? An RGB zone is individually customizable via software, so if you want to set it to show more than one effect simultaneously, make sure you get a mouse pad with at least 2 RGB zones. Remember, RGB zones are different than “RGB LEDs."
The Best RGB Mouse Pads You Can Buy Today
Currently available from SteelSeries for $40, the SteelSeries QCK Prism is the best RGB mouse pad. It’s not just a light show; the QCK Prism is well-outfitted for serious gaming. The square within the RGB border easily comes off, allowing gamers to choose between its hard polymer side for speedy gaming or the micro-textured soft cloth surface for greater control. It’s like getting two mouse pads in one.
When gaming, the mouse pad felt solid and reliable, thanks to its relatively heavy feel and thick rubber base that wouldn’t move an inch no matter how aggressive we moved our mouse. However, we noticed the removable area sticking up a tiny bit in the upper-right corner, which slightly cut into our view of the lighting in the upper-right corner when in a typical seated position. Plus, the plastic side easily attracted fingerprints.
The dignified, rubber black border framing 12 RGB zones provides a clean look that proves you can have colorful lighting without sacrificing class. The SteelSeries Engine software opens up waves of lighting customization options, but it’s also easy to get a mesmerizing effect without spending a lot of time in the app. There are eight well-designed presets that are attractive, including the sunrise-like 8:00 or the pink, orange and purple-themed Disco Mode. You also get reactive lighting around gaming scenarios, like low ammo or health with Dota 2, CS:GO, Utopia 9 and Neverwinter and the ability to sync lighting with other SteelSeries RGB products . SteelSeries also makes a cloth-only version of this mouse pad and an XL one, (also on this page).
The Razer Firefly V2 is the most colorful RGB mouse pad we’ve tested. It has a whopping 19 customizable zones, and despite the thin lighting strips, the LEDs’ brightness visibly outshined competitors.
The mouse pad is fit for competitive gaming with what Razer calls a “micro-textured” plastic surface that feels slightly rough and enables speedy mouse movements but easily gathers fingerprints and smudges. Razer’s Firefly V2 is only 3mm thick, but its rubber base prevented any movement during gaming. Its cable catch, while a small detail, successfully kept our mouse’s wire in check.
Razer Synapse 3, the detailed accompanying software, gives RGB tweakers full rein over all those lighting zones. You get brightness controls, seven presets, including a Reactive one that works with supporting Razer mice, and can sync the lighting with other Razer RGB devices. We also appreciate the toggle to “Switch off lighting when the display is turned off.” The software’s Chroma Studio (pictured above) function is where the more advanced customization occurs with numerous effects layers and the ability to control the effects’ cycling speed, duration and intensity. But its complexity means it’ll take a longer to master than simpler apps.
If you can't image spending a lot on a mouse pad, the Cooler Master MP750 (M) is usually $25-$35, (through the price fluctuates of late), without sacrificing much. Cooler Master claims the finely textured cloth offers a “slick texture and smooth maneuverability.” It proved sufficient for the average gamer but didn't immediately feel like anything special during testing. More unique is its spill-resistant coating. When I spilled water on it, the large droplet easily rolled off, and I could quickly clean up the remainder with a tissue. You can also unplug its MicroUSB to USB-A cable for times when you don't want RGB or a wire.
The MP750 (M)’s RGB border shines pretty brightly. A handy button lets you cycle through static colors without opening software. Unfortunately, black stitching interrupts the RGB frame, and I worry about getting things, like jewelry, getting caught between loops and causing damage.
Since there’s only one RGB zone, there’s not that much to do in the Cooler Master Master Plus software. There are four lighting modes -- Color Cycle, Static, Breathing or off -- and five speed settings via a toggle. Static and Breathing modes offer a color picker, but it wasn’t always accurate. For example, when I tried to make a peach and white breathing effect, I instead got white-ish purple flickering. And when I tried to make it flash white, I was met with various shades of blue. Note there are large and extra large versions of this mouse pad.
Available for $60, the SteelSeries QCK Prism Cloth (XL) is the best large RGB mouse pad. Its “micro-woven” cloth surface stays in place thanks to a silicon rubber base, and its RGB lighting can be used as a gaming advantage, as its programmable to communicate things like game alerts (low ammo or health, for example) and Discord notifications. Its extra-wide surface offers room to keep your best gaming keyboard, but we wouldn’t mind a little more height. With our keyboard and wrist rest in place, there’s little vertical space remaining. Cooler Master’s XL RGB mouse pad is 1.6 inches (40mm) taller.
The QCK Prism Cloth (XL)’s two-zone RGB border shines evenly throughout, but also has hard-to-miss clear stitching. Plus, I can easily wiggle the stitches, which isn’t promising for repeated, aggressive gaming sessions.
SteelSeries’ Engine software offers a decent range of customization options for the top and bottom RGB zones but not as many pre-made themes as with the reversible SteelSeries QCK Prism (listed above). You can control the speed in seconds and pick between Steady, ColorShift, Multi Color Breath, each with 3-4 pre-selected color schemes and the ability to control brightness. Among the large RGB mouse pads we’ve tested, none offer greater customization options than the QCK Prism Cloth (XL), which is even cheaper than some rivals.
Want even more mouse pad? We've also tried out the 3XL version of the QcK Prism Cloth, and it offers the same brilliance and functionality at 48 x 23.2 x 0.2 inches and $92. There are also 4XL (48 x 30 x 0.2 inches, $120) and 5XL (63 x 31.5 x 0.2 inches, $150) versions. Sadly, no matter the size, you still only get 2 RGB zones.
Mice with wireless charging, like the Asus ROG Chakram and Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE, are convenient because they let you to use your mouse wirelessly without ever having to plug it in for a charge, if you're using a supporting mouse pad, like the Omen by HP Outpost. Besides Qi wireless charging, it has a USB Type-A passthrough port and reversible surface. You’ll pay a lot, but it’s hard to find a rival with these capabilities. It also connects via USB Type-C but includes an adapter for USB Type-A ports.
The Outpost’s 5W Qi charging is conveniently at the pad’s upper-left area, so it doesn’t interfere with the gaming surface. It flawlessly charged various devices, not just HP’s own mice. That makes it more versatile than some other mouse pads with this feature, but your devices will charge slower on this 5W charger than on many other Qi chargers, which are rated up to 10-15W.
The pad’s sturdy and heavy (1.53 pounds). Like the SteelSeries QCK Prism above, its reversible surface has a hard plastic side for quick mouse movements and a cloth one for more control. But the Outpost’s pad is much harder to flip. Plus, we wonder about the longevity of the thin, octagonal sticky strip that holds the mouse surface down after many swaps.
You only get two RGB zones here, and one is a small Omen logo. Omen Command Center software lets you pick between static color (presets or a color slider with RGB values and intensity slider) or animations. There are three pre-made animations for the Omen logo and four for the second zone surrounding the gaming surface. We appreciate that each animation also has up to four color schemes: Spectrum, Ocean (our favorite), Jungle and Volcano.
With its silver-colored faceplate with a frosted finish and 20 RGB zones, the Thermaltake Argent MP1 RGB is the best RGB mouse pad for those seeking a more standout setup. It’s hard plastic surface is visibly textured, and you’ll have to endure a scratchy noise when moving your mouse around fast. But your mouse will still glide easily, probably resulting in you reducing CPI. The Argent MP1 RGB takes some getting used but can ultimately make long gaming sessions less exhausting.
Most of the bottom is generously covered in rubber. The mouse pad is thin, yet hard and surprisingly heavy at 1.7 pounds. Once you put this thing down, it’s not going anywhere. I’d still like something better than the standard rubber cable though, especially at the Argent MP1 RGB’s price.
Thermaltake’s iTake software lets you control the mouse pad’s RGB zones, but the small window and tiny text make this a pain. And no matter how bright you set the RGBs, the top border of lighting is hard to see from a typical seated position, partially thanks to the protrusion of the silver baseplate. But the thick silver top provides a more unique look than more RGB could.
RGB isn’t as bright as on the SteelSeries QCK Prism or Razer Firefly V2 but creates a nice glow on all three sides, even next to a very sunny window. In this setup, the furthest side was a little dimmer than the bottom and left side (I’m a righty), but there’s still some visible color there.
iTake offers 9 preset RGB effects, with some offering a color picker with R, G and B values, preset patterns and speed, brightness and directional control. Like the Thermaltake Level 20 Extended Gaming Mouse Pad, the Argent MP1 RGB can provide CPU temperature information by depicting a specific color for up to 6 different temperatures and react to audio. You can store up to 6 different RGB profiles in the software.
For the RGB addicts surely reading this page, you can make the Argent MP1 RGB look even more stylish by syncing it with other Thermaltake products supporting its RGB tech, TT RGB Plus. It’s also supposed to sync with products supporting Razer’s Chroma RGB, but I couldn’t get that feature to work, (despite it previously working on the Thermaltake Level 20 Extended Gaming Mouse Pad). Hopefully this is addressed in a software update.
The Thermaltake Level 20 Extended Gaming Mouse Pad is packed with features if you can stomach its $60 price. My favorite is its ability to communicate CPU temperature range by making the lighting 1 of 6 colors. There’s also a music setting, where the bottom left, top right and Thermaltake logo on the left flash respective colors in sync with audio from your PC. And voice assistant dependents will appreciate the ability to control RGB by speaking to an Amazon Alexa device. You can also do this through Thermaltake’s well-functioning and thorough software
But besides its flash, there’s substance. If you don’t like hyper-slippery cloth mouse pads, the textured weave pattern Thermaltake used here is a fantastic balance. Thermaltake’s extended mouse pad also provides 4 more inches of roaming room north to south than the SteelSeries QCK Prism Cloth (XL) above. It stays in place but notably takes in moisture from drinking glasses, leaving on a temporary damp mark. Visible stitching, meanwhile, makes damage easier. On the other hand, the mouse pad’s surface fights off stains, which I tested by eating many a snack over it.
If you have any Razer products using Razer Chroma, you can get the colors to sync for nice touch. I got it to work nicely with a Razer DeathAdder V2 Mini mouse. But if you like customizing, you’ll be frustrated with the inconsistency with colors selected in Thermaltake (or Razer Synapse) software. Trying to set it to a static yellow resulted in a multi-color effect that was mostly aqua green. The photo above shows what’s supposed to be red on top and orange on the bottom. It still looks beautiful, but if you want accurate software customization, look elsewhere.
Finding Discounts on the Best RGB Mouse Pads
Whether you're shopping for one of the best RGB mouse pads or considering a model that isn't on our list, you may find some savings by checking out our lists of the latest Best Buy promo codes, Newegg promo codes and Micro Center coupons.
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