How To Choose a Gaming Mouse With Lots Of Buttons


A gaming mouse improves your overall in-game performance by increasing the precision of your movements and commands. In many instances, this is accomplished by choosing a mouse with a selection of fully programmable buttons. But how can you pick the right gaming mouse? Make sure you know how the buttons of your mouse work and what functions you may assign to them before you buy a gaming mouse with lots of buttons.

To choose a gaming mouse with lots of buttons, look for a mouse with at least 6 buttons to have enough functions, select a gaming mouse with programmable buttons to customize it, and pay attention to how the buttons are arranged on the mouse to have easy access to them when gaming. 

In the sections that follow, you will learn about some of the programmable buttons used on a gaming mouse as well as how to choose the best gaming mouse with configurable buttons. 

A gaming mouse with lots of buttons can be programmed so that each button relays a specific command when pressed.
The more programmable buttons the mouse has, the more functions it can perform. Image Source: Amazon.

Gaming Mouse Buttons Explained: What Are the Buttons on a Gaming Mouse For?

While standard computer mice have got only three buttons, gaming mice feature at least six, with some having more than 12 buttons. But why do gamers need so many buttons, and how do the side buttons work in gaming?  

Programmable gaming mouse buttons can be used for movement commands, weapon or attack style switching, reloading, scoping, modifying camera angles, throwing grenades, activating items, and casting spells or abilities. 

Our article about what a gaming mouse is and ways that it can optimize gameplay explains the ins and outs of gaming mice in detail. Also, we've written an article explaining all of the different gaming mouse hand positions that may prove useful as well.

Note that there are no specific buttons for movement, firing, or reloading commands. Therefore, you should assign the functions to the gaming mouse buttons based on your in-game preferences. This article from Corsair explains how to assign commands to a Corsair mouse like this one that is equipped with their iCUE software. 

The following functions can be assigned to specific buttons on your gaming mouse:

Function 1. Movement Commands

In most computer games, players press the right mouse button to move the avatar to the desired place. While some games make it simple to walk around, others require a more comprehensive set of movement controls, such as crawling, crouching, leaning, jumping, sliding under barriers, and peering in and out. Although players can move their avatars using the keyboard, assigning different movement commands to mouse buttons makes things much easier. 

Function 2. Weapons or Attack Styles Switching

In games that demand the use of different weapons or attack styles (melee or ranged strikes), players use the number keys on the keyboard to switch between them. Alternatively, many professional gamers assign these commands to the side buttons on a gaming mouse like this one, allowing them to swiftly switch weapons or strikes from melee to ranged.

Function 3. Reloading Weapons

What could be more annoying than running out of ammunition in the middle of a battle? While the R button on your keyboard allows you to reload your weapon, you can do the same thing much faster by using the side buttons on your gaming mouse. Simply choose the button and assign the weapon reload function to it. Our tricks for choosing the best mouse for FPS games explain what to look for in a mouse if fps games are your preferred game genre. 

Function 4. Scoping

Another function you may add to your gaming mouse buttons is scoping. In many FPS games, the A, W, S, and D keys are used for basic movement instructions, while the right-click button is used to use the scope. However, programmable buttons on a gaming mouse allow you to designate the scoping function to another side button. A fast scope button on a gaming mouse like this one will improve your in-game performance.

Function 5. Adjusting Camera Angles

Changing or altering your camera angle (or view) is critical for analyzing your surroundings and detecting threats. Some players use the Shift key to alter the view. Others prefer to use the side buttons on a gaming mouse to quickly change the camera angle. 

Function 6. Throwing Grenades

When firing grenades toward attackers, it is important to keep moving. As you alternate between the A, W, S, and D keys, it may become tough to utilize another key to toss the grenade. Consider assigning this function to any of the side buttons on your gaming mouse to make the action easier to execute and you can move your character while throwing the grenade, making it harder for enemies to hit you.

Function 7. Popping Potions or Activating Items

In certain computer games, you can utilize potions or first-aid kits to heal yourself or your allies. You may also be required to activate items that temporarily increase your in-game abilities. While the number keys can be utilized for these tasks, certain keys on the keyboard may be difficult to access. To avoid miss-clicking, consider customizing the side buttons on your mouse. So, instead of pressing "5" or "6" on your keyboard, you can utilize the button on your mouse like this to pop the potion or activate the item of your choice.

Function 8. Casting Spells or Abilities

In general, MOBA and RPG games have a variety of abilities and spells that characters can use in battle. The abilities are frequently accessed by using the Q, W, E, and R keys on the keyboard, while the spells are accessed by pressing the D and F keys. You can use your keyboard keys to cast certain spells and abilities and you can also use your mouse buttons to cast others. In this way, you can then alternate between using your keyboard like this and your mouse to speed up the spell or ability-casting process.

Function 9. General Operations

Although gaming mouse side buttons are mostly used for in-game commands, you can also use them for general activities during the game. For example, you can change the volume by pushing the side buttons. In addition, rather than using the Alt + Tab shortcut, you can switch between tabs with a single button on your gaming mouse. If you wish to record or capture a screenshot of your pentakill, which is discussed in this thread, on Reddit, similar functionalities can be assigned to the buttons on your gaming mouse. Our tips to choose Gaming Mouse DPI for optimizing gameplay also explain how the functionality of your mouse can come in handy.

A gaming mouse with lots of buttons has more buttons that can be programmed to make gaming easier.
The additional side buttons on a gaming mouse make in-game adjustments seamless for players. Image Source: Amazon.

Reasons To Purchase a Wireless Gaming Mouse With Lots of Buttons 

A regular mouse may be suitable for new gamers. However, if your gaming skills improve or you start competing, specialists recommend upgrading to a gaming mouse. And, believe it or not, one of the key reasons for this is the availability of more buttons. 

Reasons to purchase a gaming mouse with a lot of buttons include being able to assign functions to the buttons, to personalize functions and macros, to improve in-game performance, and improve overall gaming image.

Our article about using a regular mouse instead of a gaming mouse explains why gaming mice are far superior to ordinary computer mice when playing games.

If you are still unsure as to whether a wireless gaming mouse with lots of buttons is necessary, perhaps the following reasons will help you decide:

Reason 1. Assigning Functions to the Buttons

First and foremost, the extra buttons on a gaming mouse are usually completely programmable, which means you can assign alternative functions to them. These customizable buttons allow you to complete in-game commands without having to press keys on your keyboard. 

Reason 2. Assigning Macros to the Buttons  

Another reason why professional gamers choose gaming mice with a lot of buttons is the ability to assign macros to certain buttons. Instead of repeating repetitive commands or event sequences, you can create macros and link them to specific mouse buttons. You can dramatically improve your reaction times by completing keyboard or mouse click sequences with a single mouse press. This video tutorial by Lift Pizzas explains how to program the buttons of a Logitech mouse to perform macros. 

Reason 3. Improving Your In-Game Performance

Improving your gaming skills is essential, especially if you want to play competitively. While mouse buttons may look unimportant at first glance, they allow players to conduct a range of in-game tasks with single button presses. As a result, players no longer have to memorize or use complex hotkeys on a keyboard like this, making in-game commands much easier and faster to execute. Shortening your reaction times is unquestionably important for improving your gaming performance and abilities.

Our tips & tricks to optimize gaming mouse drag-clicking explains how this mouse technique also improves gaming efficiency.

Reason 4. Enhancing Your Gamer Image

Although it may sound silly, many gamers purchase a gaming mouse with many buttons to enhance their gamer image. While gaming mice in general look cooler than office mice, adding buttons makes them even more enticing. Another reason to get a gaming mouse with a large number of buttons is to match or improve the appearance of your gaming setup. If adding to your gaming setup sounds exciting to you then you should check out our tips for choosing gaming mice accessories

Tips To Choose a Mouse With Programmable Buttons

While a gaming mouse with a lot of buttons can be quite useful, choosing the right one is crucial. This is because the apparent benefits can soon turn into negatives if you do not purchase the best gaming mouse for you. 

To choose a mouse with programmable buttons, consider the genre of games played, the in-game commands used, the number of buttons needed, the best grip type, and the buttons possibly required in the future. 

Our quick guide to gaming mouse specs explains what to look for in a mouse based on the type of game you prefer.

Whether you are looking for a gaming mouse with a few buttons like this or one with 11-12 buttons like this, there are some elements to think about when choosing the mouse that best meets your needs. 

Here are some tips to get you started:

Tip 1. Consider the Game Genre You Play

Before you even start looking for a gaming mouse, consider the type and genre of games you typically play. This is due to the fact that different game genres include different in-game commands, necessitating contrasting hotkeys or programmable buttons. If you're new to computer games and don't know how to tell them apart, check out this article from HP.com on common computer game genres. 

Consider the games that will be played before choosing a gaming mouse with lots of buttons.
Considering the type of computer games you normally play allows you to choose the best gaming mouse with programmable buttons. Image Source: Maryville University.

Tip 2. Think of the In-Game Commands You Use

The next stage is to recall your favorite in-game instructions. This is also heavily influenced by the genre of games you generally play. If you play FPS or TPS games, you probably need to switch between weapons or reload them quickly. In addition to going forward, backward, and to the sides, these games provide various movement instructions.

If you prefer RPG or MOBA games, you most likely use several abilities and cast spells during the game. However, you may be using fewer in-game instructions than in FPS and TPS games. By considering the type of in-game commands you use while gaming, you can determine whether these commands can be assigned to mouse buttons or if using your keyboard keys would be a better option. 

Tip 3. Identify the Number of Buttons Needed

The number of side buttons needed should be determined by the type of game you play and the in-game commands you use. Choose a gaming mouse like this with a fair number of buttons rather than one with 11 or 12 buttons.

Having extra buttons that you will not use may make it difficult to access those that you do use. Furthermore, the amount of buttons on a gaming mouse usually determines its pricing. There's no reason to pay more for extra buttons if you're not going to use them when gaming. Our cheap gaming mouse guide offers some tips on what features to look out for when buying a budget mouse. 

It may be best to buy a gaming mouse that doesn’t have lots of buttons as the extra buttons may not be needed and will just make the mouse more expensive.
Choosing the appropriate number of buttons for your gaming mouse will save you money on buttons you do not require. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 4. Determine the Right Grip Type for You

You may believe that the grip style has nothing to do with a gaming mouse with customizable buttons. In actuality, the number of buttons and how they are mounted on the mouse can have an impact on its grip.

If you're not sure where to begin, our article that explains how to choose the ideal mouse grip type offers detailed information about grip styles and what mouse suits each one. 

After deciding between the palm grip, claw grip, and tip grip, you should choose a gaming mouse with a lot of buttons. Before you buy one, make sure you have a good grip and can readily access the buttons when needed.

Make sure that a gaming mouse with lots of buttons will be suitable for your preferred grip type.
It is critical to select the proper grip type before choosing a gaming mouse with a large number of buttons. Image Source: Facebook.

Tip 5. Think of the Number of Buttons You May Need in the Future

You might be interested in some types of computer games at the time, but you might also be intrigued by others at another time. If you want to play other games in the future, you should consider purchasing a gaming mouse that is also suitable for other games. This is because gaming mice with programmable buttons like this may be quite expensive, and if you intend to play other games in the future, you should consider purchasing a mouse with a high number of buttons, even if you don't need them right now.

A gaming mouse with more buttons would be a better investment as you will have the extra buttons for other game genres that you may want to try in the future.
If you are interested in playing different types of computer games in the future, investing in a gaming mouse with lots of programmable buttons would be a cost-effective option. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Wireless Gaming Mouse With Lots of Buttons

Wireless Gaming Mouse WIth Lots of Buttons What features make it a good gaming mouse? What kinds of games to use this mouse for? Price
Logitech G604 Gaming Mouse With 6 Side Buttons for hyperfast commands and up to 240-hour battery life MOBA, RGB  ~$65
Razer Naga Pro 12 Button Gaming Mouse with 20,000 DPI and contoured shape MOBA, RGB, MMO, FPS ~$100
Logitech G600 Gaming Mouse with 20 Programmable Buttons and Ergonomic Design MMO, FPS ~$40
Razer RZ01 19 MMO-optimized programmable buttons make it a good MMO mouse MMO, FPS  ~$180

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 for more details.

How To Set Gaming Mouse Buttons

Setting your gaming mouse or assigning functions to the programmable buttons is just as important as choosing the right one for you. 

To set gaming mouse buttons check the instructions provided by the manufacturer, download the official app or go to the “Control Panel”, go to the “Buttons” tab and assign the functions to the buttons, and click “Apply” and test the buttons. 

For detailed instructions, check this YouTube video tutorial by YourSixStudios on how to assign or reassign side buttons on a gaming mouse.

The buttons of a gaming mouse can be programmed using the manufacturer's software.
The commands for the various buttons can be programmed using the manufacturer’s software. Image Source: Amazon.

Step 1. Check the Instructions 

Before you even start assigning functions to your gaming mouse buttons, you should check the instructions given by the manufacturer. Most likely, you will find a manual with a step-by-step guide on how to set your gaming mouse buttons. If this is the case, follow the instructions carefully. If the instructions are not clear enough, then proceed with Step 2 below.  

Step 2. Download the App or Go To Control Panel 

Some gaming mice with buttons can be programmed through the app. For instance, you should download the Logitech Options Customization Software to set your Logitech mouse buttons. Alternatively, you can go to your “Control Panel”, select “Mouse”, then go to the “Buttons” tab and program the buttons. Another option is to install the X-Mouse Button Control software that allows you to program any gaming mouse. 

The buttons of a gaming mouse can be programmed using software such as X-Mouse Button Control.
X-Mouse Button Control is a universal app that allows you to set any gaming mouse with programmable buttons. Image Source: Highrez.

Step 3. Assign Functions to the Buttons

The last step is to assign functions or macros to the gaming mouse buttons. To do so, you should select the desired button and then choose the function you want to assign to that button. Repeat this step for each button you want to program. Finally, click “Apply” to save the changes and test your gaming mouse. For a step-by-step guide on how to assign functions and use macros, check out this article by Microsoft. 

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