Tips for Choosing a Cheap Gaming Mouse & Optimizing Budget
Using a gaming mouse has its advantages, but do you really need to invest in a high-end gaming mouse to perform well enough in games? While pro players should definitely use high-quality gaming mice that are more expensive, those playing for fun don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars and can opt for a cheap gaming mouse.
Choose a cheap gaming mouse for casual or recreational gaming. Spend more on a gaming mouse intended for pro or serious gaming for better performance and durability. Most budget gaming mice cost from $15 to $50 and high-end mice cost from $100 to $300. Invest in expensive gaming mice for faster response times, advanced ergonomic designs, and better sensors.
Undoubtedly, high-end gaming mice aren’t for everyone and if you aren’t willing to spend over $100 on a mouse, there are cheaper alternatives to choose from. By considering the features and design options affecting mouse prices, you can easily select a gaming mouse, even if your budget is tight. This YouTube gaming mouse guide by PC Centric gives some great advice on how much you should spend on a new gaming mouse.
Here is everything you need to know to help you choose a cheap but fully functional gaming mouse.
What Is the Average Gaming Mouse Price?
Just like any other product, gaming mice are available in different price categories. Depending on what technical or design features you’re looking for, you can get a budget-friendly, mid-range, or high-end gaming mouse.
The price of a gaming mouse ranges anywhere from $15 to $300 and depends on the brand, style, design, and DPI. A basic gaming mouse can be found for approximately $15, while a mid-range mouse that offers ergonomic design and comfort will be about $35. A high-end gaming mouse will cost at least $80 but could cost from $150 to $200.
Our article about the cost of a gaming mouse explains what you are actually paying for when buying a gaming mouse to ensure you’re getting the optimal quality for the price. Obviously, gaming mice that cost hundreds of dollars perform far better than those available for under $50. However, a solid gaming mouse's average cost varies between $25 and $70. One thing you should keep in mind is that high-end gaming mice are typically manufactured by popular brands that invest lots of money in marketing and advanced technological developments. A $200-mouse is not always better than a gaming mouse available for $70 or less, so you need to determine whether the features and brand warrant the expenditure.
How the Price of a Gaming Mouse Is Affected by Different Features
Companies manage to manufacture cheaper gaming mice by offering fewer features.
Gaming mouse price is affected by features such as ergonomic design, number of buttons, RGB lighting, and sensor type. Cheaper mice have fewer features that aid comfort and typically have a slower response time.
A gaming mouse without additional programmable buttons will be significantly cheaper than one with buttons like this one has.
The following features affect the gaming mouse price and knowing more about them will allow you to choose the best option based on your budget:
Feature 1. Wireless Connectivity
As wireless gaming mice like this require additional parts, such as batteries, receivers, and transmitters, they’re typically more expensive than their wired counterparts. You will need to change the batteries from time to time or buy a charger for the wireless mouse, meaning that you have to pay even more money so that your gaming mouse functions properly.
So, if you’re looking for a cheap gaming mouse for beginners, you should consider opting for a wired gaming mouse instead. To have a better idea about a wireless gaming mouse vs. a wired one, be sure to check out our article which discusses the pros and cons of each type tol help you decide which one best suits your gaming style and needs.
Feature 2. Drag-Clicking
Drag-clicking can be explained as a way of coercing your mouse into performing more clicks per second without putting extra energy or effort into clicking very fast. While this can be useful in some games, others may penalize you for exceeding the clicks-per-second limit, or the CPS.
If your PC game allows drag-clicking, then you should definitely purchase a mouse like this that allows for you to use this technique. Unfortunately, drag-clicking can easily damage cheaper or lower-quality mice, so it’s recommended to use a high-quality gaming mouse for drag-clicking. Our tips & tricks to optimize gaming mouse drag-clicking will help you to perform this mouse technique and explain when it is beneficial to use it.
Instead of spending money on replacing cheap gaming mice regularly, consider investing in a more expensive but durable option that will last much longer, like this gaming mouse that has a click response of less than 0.2ms.
Feature 3. The Number of Buttons
The number of programmable buttons on a gaming mouse is another feature that affects its cost. Generally speaking, the more buttons a gaming mouse has, the more expensive it is. However, there are some exceptions where some gaming mice with 12+ buttons may be more affordable than those with only 6 buttons. So, at the end of the day, it’s about the overall quality of the mouse as well as the number of buttons.
Still, if we compare two identical gaming mice that differ in the number of buttons, the one with more buttons will most likely be more expensive. Our guide on what a gaming mouse is with tips to optimize gameplay explains the various types and locations of programmable buttons, and how to assign their commands for different games.
At this point, make sure to check out our related article showing you how to choose a gaming mouse with lots of buttons as well. Additionally, if you're having trouble with your current mouse, be sure to learn how to fix a mouse that's not working before you go out and buy a new one.
Feature 4. RGB Lighting
Back in the day, RGB lighting used to be among the features affecting the price of a gaming mouse. However, technological advancements made it possible to manufacture RGB backlit gaming mice like this that are available for under $25. However, the number of RGB color modes and the way you switch between the colors affect the cost of a gaming mouse.
Mice that offer software to change the colors are typically more expensive. This software guide from Corsair lists and explains the RGB settings software that is available for Corsair mice that have this feature.
Feature 5. The Type of Sensor
Last but not least, the type of sensors incorporated in a gaming mouse also affects its price. While basic gaming mice feature optical sensors and are cheaper, medium to high-range gaming mice include either advanced optical sensors or laser sensors, like this one does, for improved sensitivity and precision. Our tricks for choosing the best gaming mouse for first-person shooter games explain the importance of choosing a mouse with a laser sensor for these types of fast-paced games.
Summary of Gaming Mouse Features and Pricing
|Feature||Is it considered basic, mid-range, or high-range?||Mouse with This Feature||Pros/Cons||Price|
|Wireless||Basic||Tenmos T12||No programmable buttons, low to medium-quality materials||~ $20|
|Drag-Clicking||Mid-range||Logitech G502 Hero||Sturdy, durable, and affordable at the same time||~ $40|
|19 Programmable Buttons||High-range||Razer Rz01 Naga Chroma||Manufactured by Razer, made of high-quality materials, features an ergonomic design, and comes with 19 fully programmable buttons||~ $310|
|RGB Lighting||Basic||Redragon M602||Medium to low-quality materials, not as durable||~ $20|
|Advanced Optical Sensor||High-range||Corsair Dark Core||Advanced optical sensor for enhanced accuracy, programmable buttons, ergonomic design||~ $70|
You may also be interested in learning how to choose an e-sports gaming mouse that fits your budget. If so, be sure to read our related article to find out more.
How Mouse Design Makes a Difference to Price
Believe it or not, even the slightest details in a gaming mouse design can make a price difference. Typically, features that allow for more customization add to the price of the mouse, while improved ergonomics and faster response times can also increase the price.
Gaming mouse design features that make a difference to the price of gaming mice include adjustable weight, ergonomics, and an ambidextrous design that provides maximum flexibility for left-handed gamers.
These features can affect the price of a gaming mouse:
Feature 1. Weight
Usually, lightweight gaming mice like this cost less than their heavier alternatives. This is mainly because lightweight mice require fewer materials than those featuring thicker plastic or polymer pieces. However, some high-end brands, like Razer, also manufacture lightweight gaming mice that are more on the expensive side.
Feature 2. Adjustable Weight
As your gaming mouse weight affects your in-game performance, medium-range and high-end mice like this often come with tunable weights. As you switch from one game to another, you can add or remove the parts to adjust the mouse weight. Our article about what to look for in a gaming mouse explains how to choose a mouse with the ideal weight for your hand size and preferred grip when playing.
Feature 3. Ergonomic Design
While typical gaming mice can also work for some individuals, others prefer using mice with an ergonomic design like this one. On many occasions, ergonomic gaming mice feature a thumb rest and the overall shape is designed so that your palm is relaxed as you play. Due to advanced design features, ergonomic mice are more expensive than those with a basic shape.
The type of mouse design you select is largely determined by your hand size and type of grip. So we recommend you read our guide on how to choose the ideal gaming mouse grip type to ensure maximum comfort and efficiency. Additionally, we've also published an article explaining all of the different gaming mouse hand positions that may be helpful to you as well.
Feature 4. Ambidextrous Design
While some gamers switch hands during gaming, others share their gaming mice with fellow gamers. As not everyone is right-handed or left-handed, manufacturers have designed ambidextrous gaming mice like this that can be used with both hands. Since ambidextrous gaming mice aren’t as widespread as regular ones, they’re a bit more expensive.
Summary of Various Gaming Mouse Designs
|Mouse Design||Sensor||DPI||Price Range||Product Example|
|Light Gaming Mouse||Optical Sensor||12,400||~ $15 - ~$30||Redragon Gaming Mouse|
|Gaming Mouse With Adjustable Weights||Optical Sensor||18,000||~ $30 - ~$50||Corsair M65 Rgb Elite|
|Ergonomic Gaming Mouse||Optical Sensor||18,000||~ $50 - ~$100||Corsair Nightsword Rgb|
|Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse||Optical Sensor||20,000||~ $50 - ~$100||Razer Viper Ultralight Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse|
You might also find interest in reading our related article explaining the differences between an optical and a laser mouse to help you choose the right one.
Popular Gaming Mice Brands
While there are plenty of gaming mice manufacturers, not many of them are popular worldwide. If you choose a mouse from a popular and well-known brand you will be more likely to find more customer reviews and better customer support.
Popular gaming mice brands include Logitech, Corsair, and Razer. Logitech is an affordable brand for basic gaming mice, Corsair specializes in mid-range mice that are affordable and comfortable, and Razer is a high-end gaming mouse manufacturer that produces gaming mice for professional and experienced gamers.
Established gaming mouse manufacturers also often have dedicated pages where the latest software for their devices can be downloaded for free, like this download page from Razer.
Below are some of the main distinctions between the gaming mice manufactured by Logitech, Corsair, and Razer.
Brand 1. Logitech
Logitech is one of the most popular gaming mouse brands renowned for its exceptional quality and affordable prices. Whether you’re a beginner or play PC games on a competitive level, Logitech offers a variety of gaming mouse options in different price categories.
What differentiates Logitech from its competitors is that the company manufactures high-quality gaming mice for people on a budget. For around $30-40, you can purchase a gaming mouse like this one, with programmable buttons and a high DPI.
Brand 2. Corsair
Corsair is yet another popular gaming mouse brand that manufactures high-quality mice for FPS, RGB, MOBA, and MMO games. Most Corsair gaming mice feature an ergonomic design and a thumb rest, making them ideal for long gaming sessions.
Although Corsair gaming mice are so popular, they can be a little more expensive than other lesser-known brands. They cost anywhere from $60 to 100 and are considered mid to high-range gaming mice, especially if they have programmable buttons like this one.
Brand 3. Razer Gaming Mouse
The last gaming mouse brand on our list is Razer which is probably the most popular brand manufacturing top-notch gaming-related devices. As the quality of Razer gaming mice is high, so are the prices.
Razer produces high-end gaming mice that cost between $50 and $350. Therefore, these mice are typically used by professional gamers, streamers, and competitive esports players. For example, this popular Razer DeathAdder mouse costs under $50, while this Special Edition Cyperpunk Viper Ultimate costs around $225.
How To Choose a Gaming Mouse on a Budget
While high-end gaming mice may cost over $100, there are plenty of budget-friendly alternatives for you to choose from. As long as you know what to look for in a gaming mouse, you can easily select the right one for you, even if you’re on a budget.
To choose a gaming mouse on a budget buy one with an ergonomic design, quality sensor, and high responsiveness to reduce cost and improve gameplay. Selecting the wired version instead of the wireless version of the same mouse can often also reduce the price.
Here are some tips to help you choose a budget-friendly gaming mouse:
Tip 1. Think of the Gaming Mouse Features You Need
Before spending your well-earned money on a gaming mouse your favorite streamers use, think of the type of games you play and what gaming mouse features you need. Do you need 12 extra buttons or would 3-4 buttons be enough? Do you need a gaming mouse with tunable weights? Do you need RGB backlighting?
There are plenty of features that make gaming mice more expensive but don’t necessarily improve your in-game performance. If you’re not going to assign functions to all 12 buttons, why do you need them to be on your mouse? It would be better to purchase a gaming mouse with just a few extra buttons, that costs less.
If you’re playing just an occasional game or two on your computer, what’s the point of purchasing a gaming mouse with adjustable weights? You may not even be able to notice the difference.
Do you need an RGB backlit gaming mouse? Maybe you should save some money on RGB lighting and purchase a mouse with higher responsiveness instead. Take your time to think about what you need and select a gaming mouse accordingly. This will allow you to save some money while still being able to get the most out of your gaming mouse. Our gaming mouse specs guide is a handy resource to read before deciding on the type of mouse you want to buy because it explains what each feature means and how these features affect specific games.
Tip 2. Determine if You Need Low or High DPI
High-DPI gaming mice like this are more expensive, so you should first determine if you need one. Think of the gaming genres you enjoy playing. If you typically play FPS and MOBA games, then a gaming mouse with a lower DPI (400-800) would be totally fine. If you’re more into MMOs and RPGs, the recommended DPI would be in the range of 1,000 to 1,600.
Note that there are no fixed DPI ranges for different gaming genres. You should choose the optimal DPI settings based on your personal preferences rather than what a random gamer has posted on Reddit. Before deciding on this feature check out our tips for choosing gaming mouse DPI for optimized gameplay.
Tip 3. Opt for a Wired Gaming Mouse
Another way to choose a gaming mouse on a budget is to go for a wired mouse. While wireless gaming mice look fancier, many pro players recommend using wired gaming mice as they’re more reliable, especially during long gaming sessions.
With proper cable management when using a mouse bungee like this, you should not face any issues with a wired gaming mouse. Along with saving some money, you won’t have to worry about your batteries getting drained as you play. It’s a win-win situation.
Tip 4. Choose a Gaming Mouse with an Optical Sensor
While some professional gamers and streamers claim that laser sensors make gaming mice far better than those equipped with optical sensors, beginners may not even notice the difference. Even some pro players note that the difference between optical and laser sensors is not that substantial.
So, why would you pay more for something you can hardly notice? Opting for a gaming mouse with an optical sensor like this one has, allows you to save some money without affecting your overall in-game performance.
Tip 5. Do Some Research and Find What Suits Your Individual Gaming Needs
As there are no specific rules about choosing the best affordable gaming mouse, you should do some research before purchasing a gaming mouse, especially if you’re on a budget. Consider your hand size and shape, gaming style, and other personal preferences to determine what type of gaming mouse would work best for you.
Our article that provides tips to choose a gaming mouse for large hands explains the discomfort that gamers often feel in their hands as well as their inefficiency when playing with a mouse that is too small for their hands.