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Best Gaming Mouse: Top Pointers for 2020

best gaming mouse
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it comes to finding the best gaming mouse, you wan't something that feels good for your grip and offers great performance with your favorite titles. Getting a mouse that fits just perfect to your hand, includes the right feature set for you and a super strong sensor, will inevitably improve the flow of your gameplay, the hits you land and the satisfaction you get from nailing that win. 

There are a lot of vendors in the mouse game, and why not? Models can range from very cheap and accessible to premium ones boasting handy (pun not intended) features, like wireless charging or a pile of programmable buttons, plus exciting design choices, like flashy RGB lighting. Below we help make things easier by breaking down the best gaming mouse for different uses.

Quick Shopping Tips

  • Optical or Laser? : Both sensor types offer a great experience, but optical mice have slightly better accuracy. Laser mice work on more surface types. If you’re really picky, go for an optical sensor, preferably one designed or developed with PixArt.
  • Wireless or Wired? : Wireless mice have come a long way in the last few years, but they still have downsides, including limited battery life (particularly with RGB) and potential latency. If you opt for a wireless, aim for one with 30 hours or more battery life. You’ll also need to decide if you want Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz dongle connection or both. Bluetooth is handy for switching among multiple devices, but comes with a latency cost, but 2.4 GHz will requires a USB port and dongle that’s easy to lose.
  • Palm, Claw or Fingertip Grip? : It’s good practice to examine how exactly you hold your mouse. There are three common mouse grips: 
  1. Palm Grip - The base of your palm rests on the back of the mouse, with your fingers laying on top.
  2. Claw Grip - Where your wrist rests on the mouse mat, the palm doesn’t touch the mouse, and your fingertips grip the edges of it and the buttons.
  3. Fingertip Grip - Where your wrist and palm are both elevated off the mouse mat and the mouse, and it’s again gripped with just the finger tips at its edges and on the buttons.

Knowing your grip style will help you find a mouse that’s right for you, since each grip typically occurs due to the size of your hands,. Therefore, a mouse designed for a fingertip grip will likely be larger than one designed for a palm grip.

  • DPI, CPI, IPS and Acceleration? : DPI and CPI are effectively the same marketing terms. Traditionally we used DPI in print to declare how many dots per inch something would be printed in, in regards to image clarity. CPI, however, stands for counts per inch, and that’s how many counts your mouse takes per inch it travels.

A higher CPI doesn’t necessarily mean a better mouse sensor either. Important is a combination of CPI and IPS. IPS, or inches per second, is the max velocity at which your sensor can still track those counts. The higher the IPS combined with the CPI, the better the sensor.

And then there’s acceleration, that’s how many Gs your mouse can handle and still track effectively, if you’re dashing the mouse back and forth and left and right in short, sharp movements, some mice may flake once they reach a certain G rating.

Best gaming mice at a glance:

1. Razer DeathAdder Elite
2. Razer Basilisk Ultimate
3. SteelSeries Rival 3
4. Razer Basilisk V2
5. Glorious Model O Minus
6. Razer Naga Trinity
7. Corsair Ironclaw RGB
8. Logitech MX Master 3

Best Gaming Mouse 2020

The Razer DeathAdder Elite is the gaming mouse for the typical player.  (Image credit: Razer)

1. Razer DeathAdder Elite

Best Gaming Mouse

Sensor: PixArt PMW 3389 | CPI: 16,000 | IPS: 450 | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: USB | Ergonomics: Right handed, palm and claw grip | Programmable Buttons: 7 | Weight: 3.7 ounces (105g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 5 x 2.76 x 1.73 inches (127 x 70 x 44mm)

Simple consistent design
Exceptional sensor
Impressive Omron switches
No weight customization

The Razer Deathadder has long been renowned as one of the world’s most famed eSports mice. Its simple, yet ergonomic design has seen little change since its conception back in 2006, and although some may gawk at the flared left and right click buttons, it’s hard to deny just how comfortable that non abrasive, sand-blasted black finish is when you finally rest your palm on the plucky pixel pointer.

That said, the showpiece of the Deathadder Elite is its sensor, which is a bespoke optical PixArt PMW 3389. Originally designed by PixArt in conjunction with Logitech, it’s also been followed up with some firmware tweaks by Razer itself. Thanks to that, it makes this mouse incredibly precise and direct in game. There’s zero lag, or jitter, and with a 16,000 CPI maximum, thanks to Razer’s Synapse software suite it’s impossible not to set this mouse up correctly for any and all of your gaming scenarios.

And then there’s the switches. Designed with Omron, these beauties feature a mechanical keyboard-esque clicky feel thanks to Razer incorporating a tactile notch in the switch itself. It’s not enough to slow you down, and doesn’t harm durability either, with up to 50 million clicks expected before failure.

Couple all of that with an epic price point, and a 2 year warranty, and the Deathadder Elite is our mouse of choice for anyone dabbling in today’s hyper-competitive world of multiplayer FPS or RTS gaming.

The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is the best gaming mouse for wireless connectivity.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. Razer Basilisk Ultimate

Best Wireless Gaming Mouse

Sensor: Razer Focus+ Optical | CPI: 20,000 | IPS: 650 IPS | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: USB / 2.4 GHz wireless | Ergonomics: Right handed palm and claw grip | Programmable Buttons: 11 | Weight: 3.78 ounces (107g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.11 x 2.36 x 1.65 inches (130 x 60 x 42mm)

Incredible sensor
Intuitive software suite
Long battery life and fast charging
Pricey
Optical switches lack mechanical feel

The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is a fantastically adept wireless mouse featuring Razer’s latest sensor the Focus+ Optical. This semi-intelligent sensor packs in some incredible stats, with a max CPI rating of 20,000 and IPS rating of 650, and it’s also capable of withstanding upwards of 50G worth of acceleration before losing tracking.

Combine that with an impressive ergonomic design, and the Basilisk Ultimate is a killer wireless pointer. Although there are similarities to Logitech's very good G502 Lightspeed wireless mouse, the Basilisk Ultimate brings a myriad of improvements over the competition. You can control the scroll wheel resistance, for example, the sensor is arguably more accurate and the materials used are substantially better. Plus, the Basilisk Ultimate is lighter than rivals like the G502, and Razer’s Synapse software suite runs rings around Logitech’s G-Hub

The Basilisk Ultimate is not without flaws though. Its sensitivity clutch button is a little far forward for smaller hands, and the optical buttons feel less tactile than their mechanical brethren. If you really like what this mouse has to offer so far except the price, Razer has a similar, but cheaper, mouse in this family, the Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed 

Read: Razer Basilisk Ultimate review

The SteelSeries Rival 3 is the best gaming mouse for those on a budget.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. SteelSeries Rival 3

Best Budget Gaming Mouse

Sensor: SteelSeries TrueMove Core | DPI: 8,500 | IPS: 300 | Acceleration: 35G | Interface: USB | Ergonomics: Right handed, claw and fingertip grips | Programmable Buttons: 6 | Weight: 2.7 ounces (77g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.75 x 2.3 - 2.64 x 0.85-1.49 inches (120.6 x 58.3-67 x 21.5-37.9mm)

Low price
Solid performance
Distinctive RGB lighting
Non-braided USB cables can be frustrating

The SteelSeries Rival 3 is the best gaming mouse for those on a budget. It's available for just $30 at the time of writing. The optical sensor here only goes up to 8,500 CPI, which is low compared to other mice on this page, such as the 20000-CPI Razer DeathAdder V2 above. But for casual gamers, this’ll do. Unfortunately, CPI adjustments are difficult due to a small CPI button, but response was great during our testing.

You’ll also want to note that its 300ms IPS is only with SteelSeries’ QcK-series of gaming mouse pads, but luckily those represent some of the best RGB mouse pads around, according to our testing.

The hardest part about gaming with the Rival 3 was its 6-foot-long rubber USB cable that was a noticeable drag compared to braided cables (or a wireless connection). But at least you get three customizable RGB zones and a comfortable grip.

Read: SteelSeries Rival 3 review 

The  Razer Basilisk V2 is our favorite mouse for navigating FPS and RTS games.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. Razer Basilisk V2

Best FPS / RTS Gaming Mouse

Sensor: Razer Focus+ | DPI: 20,000 | IPS: 650 | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: USB | Ergonomics: Right handed | Programmable Buttons: 11 | Weight: 3.3 ounces (93.55g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.11 x 2.36 x 1.65 inches (12.98 x 6 x 4.19cm)

Excellent tracking
Ergonomic design
Plenty of customization options
$80 for a wired mouse is hard to swallow

The Razer Basilisk V2 is the best gaming mouse for FPS / RTS gamers who can’t afford any missteps. The updated mouse’s sensor packs impressive specs, including up to a massive 20,000 CPI. When we gamed with the Basilisk V2, tracking was excellent and we suffered nary a single mis-click. 

Compared to rivals, like the Razer DeathAdder V2, the Basilisk V2 has a winning layout with larger, more accessible side buttons. The Basilisk V2’s scroll wheel resistance is also customizable, as are 11 of its s buttons, so ultimately any gamer should be able to get the performance they crave. 

However, at $80 at the time of writing, Razer is still charging a noticeable premium for this wired mouse. But this clicker earns it with high-end performance and a long-term comfort. 

Read: Razer Basilisk V2 review 

 Glorious Model O Minus  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

5. Glorious Model O Minus

Best FPS / RTS Gaming Mouse on Budget

Sensor: Pixart PMW-3360 | DPI: 12,000 | IPS: ~250 | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: USB | Ergonomics: Ambidextrous, claw grip or small hands | Programmable Buttons: 5 | Weight: 2.08 ounces (58g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.72 x 2.28 x 1.42 inches (120 x 58 x 36mm)

Super lightweight
Tried and tested sensor
Extra large PTFE feet
Looks and cable style may turn off some
Ambidextrous design could be problematic
No dedicated sniper button

The Glorious Model O Minus is another one of the best gaming mice for FPS and RTS games. It’s a cheaper alternative to the Razer Basilisk V2 above, but it’s also less widely available (you can find it at MicroCenter for $50). The Model O Minus doesn’t boast as outrageous specs as the Basilisk V2, but the honeycomb-style mouse feels great in the hands, especially small hands, while gaming, and that super light weight proved advantageous. 

Although its specs are outshined by rivals, the Model O Minus felt eSports-ready, with well-tracked flicks shows and smooth response,from the lowest to the highest DPI settings. 

We wish it was easier to toggle through the Model O Minus’  DPI settings, and the mouse’s ultra-flexible cable can look messy due to its loose covering. But the Model O Minus still has a lot to offer to FPS and RTS fans. 

Read: Glorious Model O Minus review 

The Razer Naga Trinity is the best gaming mouse for MMO, featuring 19 programmable buttons.  (Image credit: Razer)

6. Razer Naga Trinity

Best MMO Gaming Mouse

Sensor: PixArt PMW 3389 | CPI: 16,000 | IPS: 450 | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: USB | Ergonomics: Right handed, palm grip | Programmable Buttons: 19 | Weight: 4.23 ounces (120g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.69 x 2.91 x 1.69 inches (119 x 74 x 43mm)

Strong sensor
Hot-swappable button compliments
Ergonomic styling
Pricey
Quite heavy

When seeking the best gaming mouse for MMO games, versatility is key; The more buttons you have, the more you can allocate to macros, to push-to-talk keys for Discord and for other key actions.

The problem with big MMO mice, is that they often feature one very specific way of gripping, with a grid of keys littered on the left hand side and that’s about it. Razer looks to change that with the Naga Trinity, which gives you three separate left-hand grips to choose from. You get a simple numpad, complete with 12 switches, a circular button pad, complete with 7 switches dotted around it and your standard two-button affair.

On top of that you also get the same PixArt sensor as found in the DeathAdder Elite, a nice helping of RGB, and an ergonomic pinky rest too. Sure it’s the heaviest of our mice on this list, but for MMOs and all those keybindings, it’s a great choice.

The Corsair Ironclaw RGB is the best gaming mouse for big hands and wide grips.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

7. Corsair Ironclaw RGB

Best Gaming Mouse for Big Hands

Sensor: Pixart PMW3391 | DPI: 18,000 | IPS: 450 | Acceleration: 50G | Interface: Wireless (2.4 GHz USB Type-A dongle or Bluetooth) | Ergonomics: Right-handed, palm grips | Programmable Buttons: 5 | Weight: 4.59 ounces (130g) | Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.5 x 3 x 1.6 inches (140 x 77 x 40mm)

Insanely comfortable for palm grips
Strong sensor performance
Impressive price point
Intuitive button layout
Heavy
Not as proficient for claw/fingertip grips

The Corsair Ironclaw RGB wireless pointer (also available in wired form) is the best gaming mouse for those with wide big hands featuring wide grips. It’s the thickest mouse here, measuring 3 inches (77mm) at its widest point. It’s so incredibly comfortable for right-handed palm grips that we’ve nicknamed it Palmhugger. 

This mouse’s optical Pixart PMW3391 sensor boasts a high CPI of 18,00 and also has one of the highest IPS ratings around at 450. These are high-end specs, but unless you’re a competitive gamer you may not notice a great improvement over rivals, unless you have a multi-monitor gaming set-up. 

At 4.59 ounces, this isn’t a lightweight clicker, and FPS gamers may struggle with other design choices here, like the button layout. Still, when gaming with the Ironclaw RGB Wireless, action was smooth, and despite its wireless configuration, we didn’t notice any latency.

Read: Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless review 

The Logitech MX Master 3 is the best mouse for office productivity.  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

8. Logitech MX Master 3

Best Productivity Mouse

Sensor: Darkfield | DPI: 4,000 | IPS: ?? | Acceleration: ?? | Interface: USB/Wireless | Ergonomics: Right handed, palm and claw grip | Programmable Buttons: 6 | Weight: 141 g | Dimensions: 124.9 x 84.3 x 51 mm (LxWxH)

Fast, smooth, quiet scroll wheel
Comfortable
Control up to three PCs
Share files, text and images up to three PCs
Pre-made and customizable app-specific profiles
2.4 GHz or Bluetooth
Thumb rest button could be more convenient
DPI customization isn't precise
No USB receiver storage
Expensive

Gamers need to get work done too. If you’re looking for a mouse that can handle work time, the Logitech MX Master 3 is the best mouse for you. It impresses with an innovative electromagnetic wheel and the power to control up to 3 PCs simultaneously, including transferring files, text and images.

While not designed for gaming explicitly, it offers per-app programmability for its 6 buttons, as well as a comfortable thumb rest and heightened design that lets your thumb and fingers rest comfortably during long gaming sessions. Plus, it works on almost any surface, so you can game on your desk, on the couch and anywhere in between. Just don't expect the competitive performance of a true gaming mouse, which you'll prefer if you're a hardcore gamer. 

Read: Logitech MX Master 3 review

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  • ElDog
    I used a number of gaming mice, mostly Logitech and MadCatz. They are typically used for gaming and office both. And the end of them is always the same: back side button breaks.

    For modern gaming mice they advertise countless millions of clicks but in a small font they add: for main buttons. But side buttons are used in gaming extremely intensively. For usual offcie tasks they are used too. So I see some hypocrisy in these millions of clicks when you anyway have to throw away that mouse in a year.

    In would be nice to specify in reviews which exactly type of a switch is used for side buttons.
    Reply
  • kracsnz
    Wish you hadn't recommended the Naga Trinity. This isn't like Naga's of the past, after moderate use the swappable side panels start having connection issues and buttons will stop working. Went through 3 of them in warranty period before switching to a different one. Build quality is very poor.
    Reply