The Best Gaming Mouse in 2023
The best gaming mouse won’t mess up your headshots, or your wallet. Whether your bag is fast-paced FPS games, precise strategy, or the timeless timed puzzle, you need a mouse that matches your gaming style. The best mice deliver sturdy, accurate clicks at a price that suits you, and a wireless gaming mouse should have a good long battery life.
If you prefer a controller for PC gaming, we understand. You’re good cruising through life on analogue in your favourite driving game, or RPG, but a great gaming mouse will be specialised toward certain genres you might otherwise be interested in. The best mouse for FPS games will provide the speed and accuracy you need, and the best lightweight mouse will be easy to fling around for a 360° no-scope. The best mouse for MOBA will include a wealth of buttons for all your bindings, and is likely to be weightier, too. Whatever you play, it’s always good to have a great gaming mouse as a backup for when controller stick drift
Today, the best wireless mice are just as accurate as their wired counterparts, so these are certainly worth considering if you want to go untethered. Whether you prefer them wired or wireless, light or heavy, or laden with programmable buttons, there’s 100% a mouse perfect for you out there.
The best gaming mouse doesn’t have to cost a bunch either; I’ve found some great budget gaming mice, and I’ve personally tested dozens of gaming mice over the years. As a team we’ve boiled them down to bring you the best gaming mice that are actually worth your time. If you’re looking to round off your setup, the best gaming keyboards will pair nicely with the mice below. Otherwise, you’ll be performing a bit lopsidedly sets in.
How do we test gaming mice?
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 affects the experience of using a mouse.
For that, applications such as Mouse Tester come in handy. We used 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 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 the 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 to create 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 will not 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, your cursor will move faster the faster you move the mouse; this is often considered bad because moving the mouse slowly six inches across a mousepad will move the cursor differently than moving the mouse rapidly 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, especially at high CPIs, not all mouse sensors can retain their tracking accuracy. The point at which the sensors stop tracking accurately will differ between CPI levels.
IPS measures inches per second and the effective maximum tracking speed of any given sensor is rated too. 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 maintain accuracy.
Lift-off distance is still a popular metric in mouse enthusiast circles, though it does not affect 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 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 will not be moved erratically when the mouse is lifted.