How Much Does a Gaming Mouse Cost and Tips to Optimize Quality vs. Price


Gaming mice have extra features that make them ideal for playing computer games. A gaming mouse forms an integral part of a gaming experience and can define how pleasant or awful a gaming experience will be. The number of features, technical specifications, and ergonomics that are integrated into the mouse’s design usually determine the cost of a gaming mouse. 

Most gaming mice cost between $15 and $50. The more expensive gaming mice with extra features like high-quality sensors, RGB lighting, wireless technology options, and numerous programmable buttons cost between $70 and $250.

Gaming mouse cost depends on the features of a gaming mouse.
A gaming mouse with programmable buttons, as well as a high DPI and polling rate, are ideal for gaming. Image Source: iStock.

What Is a Good Price for a Gaming Mouse

When buying a gaming mouse, you need one that will give you a pleasant gaming experience. A cheap gaming mouse may be affordable but it may not provide the best comfort or responsiveness. The more expensive gaming mice with industry-leading features often provide a superior gaming experience. But before you can spend any money, you need to know what a good price for a gaming mouse is.

The average price for a good gaming mouse ranges anywhere between $25 to $50. The price of the mouse depends on the brand, features, shape, and sensors. A basic gaming mouse costs around $25 while a mid-range mouse that offers more features will cost around $40. For a high-end gaming mouse, expect to pay anything from $50 or more. Features such as the quality of the sensors, advanced wireless technology, design and construction of the gaming mouse, and the polling rate will generally increase the cost of a gaming mouse

Features That Affect the Price Of a Gaming Mouse

Gaming mice generally cost more than regular non-gaming mice and you may sometimes wonder why a small pocket-sized gaming mouse costs several hundred dollars. The high price of gaming mice is due to the extra features they have that make them ideal for playing computer games. 

Some features of more expensive gaming mice include high-quality sensors, advanced wireless technology, better plastic and coating materials, and the higher polling rate.

For an in-depth comparison between gaming mice and regular computer mice, read our article which offers tips to help you choose between a gaming mouse or a regular mouse.

The cost of a gaming mouse depends on its sensors, wireless capabilities, design, and programmable features.
The high-quality sensors, advanced wireless technology, programmable features, and ergonomic design contribute to the higher price of gaming mice. Image Source: Amazon.

These are the features that affect the cost of a gaming mouse:

Feature 1. Sensor Quality 

The sensor is one of the most important components of a gaming mouse. The main function of the sensor is to track the movement of the mouse across the surface where it is placed and translate this movement to the cursor that is seen on the computer screen. 

Optical and laser sensors are the two types of sensors used in gaming mice. The sensors used in gaming mice are usually of higher quality—they can detect more dots per inch (DPI) accurately. These high-quality sensors are the main reason why gaming mice are generally very responsive and suitable for playing computer games. As this article from the Journal of Advances in Usability, User Experience, Wearable and Assistive Technology explains, a gaming mouse is the input device that gamers use to interact with their virtual environments, and the more responsive and intuitive the device is, the better the experience. 

A gaming mouse with a high-quality sensor like this one creates an exciting gaming experience for the user. They are usually costly to build, which is why companies that produce these gaming mice often place heftier price tags on them. 

Feature 2. Advanced Wireless Technology

Gaming mice have two types of connectivity: wired and wireless. A wireless gaming mouse has some features that make playing games convenient and fun. They are usually very responsive, have reduced lag, and make it very easy for gamers to play games from various positions. These are some of the reasons why they are the top choice for die-hard gamers. When the prices of wired gaming mice and their wireless equivalents are compared, you will see that wireless mice are usually more expensive than wired ones.

The reason for this price difference is that wireless gaming mice are made with more advanced and modern technologies. The low-latency 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth technologies are examples of the technologies used in making wireless gaming mice. These technologies make wireless mice very responsive with less lag. 

Feature 3. Design and Construction

Gaming mice are usually subjected to rigorous movements and an extended period of rough handling by most gamers. Gamers are not to be completely blamed for this as the exciting sensation gaming causes can subconsciously make gamers handle gaming hardware, including the mouse, roughly. As this paper from the ACM Digital Library Journals explains, gamers become so immersed in these virtual worlds that their emotions and stress hormones reflect real-life responses, which can mean that gamers handle their equipment with less caution (as if they were in life-threatening situations).   

This is the main reason why gaming mice like these are made with high-quality materials that make them durable, and able to withstand constant wear and tear. These high-quality materials increase the durability and lifespan of gaming mice, as well as contribute to the more expensive price tag. Additionally, the elaborate aesthetics, fancy customizable RGB lighting, and cool ergonomic styling are extra features in gaming mice that make them a bit pricier.

The design of a gaming mouse has to be more robust for the gamer’s rough handling, which means that it will cost more.
The stylish ergonomic design and RGB lighting make a gaming mouse more expensive than a regular mouse. Image Source: Amazon.

Feature 4. Polling Rate

Polling rate is a term you will often hear whenever the efficiency of a gaming mouse is discussed. Polling rate refers to the number of times per second a gaming mouse reports its position to the computer. Its unit of measurement is Hertz (Hz). Let’s say a gaming mouse has a polling rate of 500 Hz, what this means is that the mouse reports its position to the computer 500 times per second. A mouse with a high polling rate is generally more responsive than one with a low polling rate.

The polling rate is particularly important for those who play fast-paced FPS games like Doom Eternal. These fast-paced games generally require a mouse like this with a high polling rate, as a mouse with a low polling rate will not only frustrate the gamer but will also result in an awful gaming experience. 

This is the reason why most gaming mice have high polling rates—to increase the responsiveness of the mouse and make gaming more exciting. But, building gaming mice with high polling rates often costs companies more, which is another reason gaming mice manufacturers place high price tags on gaming mice.

Shapes of Gaming Mice and Their Prices

All gaming mice will basically have two types of shapes: the ambidextrous shape and the ergonomic shape. The differences between these two mice lie in their structural design and symmetry. While ambidextrous mice have mirrored designs with sides that are perfectly symmetrical, ergonomic mice are vertically designed with sides that are asymmetrical.

Both the ambidextrous and ergonomic mice can be purchased for as low as $10 while a few of them cost over $100. Though their price range may be similar, ergonomic mice often cost more.

Shape 1. Ambidextrous Mice

Ambidextrous mice have uniform designs with sides that are perfectly symmetrical to each other—their two sides both have the same shape and structure. They also have a neutral design that makes it possible for one to conveniently use them with either hand. 

The fact that ambidextrous mice like these allow easy transitioning is particularly beneficial to gamers as it prevents fatigue and injuries that are caused by long periods of playing computer games. The ambidextrous mice are also beneficial for left-handed people who comprise about 10% of the world’s population, according to this article from The Washington Post. 

As the word ambidextrous implies, an ambidextrous mouse has equal sides and can be used with both hands.
An ambidextrous mouse, like this Razer Viper mouse, has uniform designs with sides that are perfectly symmetrical to each other. Image Source: Amazon.

Shape 2. Ergonomic Mice

Ergonomic mice like this are vertically designed with sides that are not identical to each other. The vertical design of the ergonomic mice allows them to be handled with the whole palm, thus making it easier for gamers to conveniently assign and use the programmable buttons on the mouse. 

Though they may not be used with both hands like their ambidextrous counterparts, they are designed in a way that makes them easy to modify which will reduce pain and fatigue, according to this article from ZD Net.

The special design of an ergonomic mouse makes it well worth the cost as it allows the gamer to modify the mouse to reduce pain and fatigue.
An ergonomic mouse, like this Logitech MX Master 3S mouse, is vertically designed with sides that are not identical to each other. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Popular Gaming Mice

Gaming Mouse Shape Price Range Example
Ergonomic  ~$135 Evoluent Vertical Mouse C Right Wired
Ergonomic ~$25 Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Wireless Mouse
Ergonomic  ~$100
Logitech Mx Master 3S Wireless Mouse
Ambidextrous  ~$50 Razer Viper 8KHz Ultralight Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse
Ambidextrous  ~$100 Steelseries Sensei 310 Gaming Mouse

If you've ever wondered what the difference is between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse, be sure to read our related article to find out more. Furthermore, you might find interest in learning the tips for choosing a game mouse for large hands. Make sure to take a look at that article for more information.

Gaming Mice Sensors and Their Affect on Prices

The sensor plays an integral role in defining how exciting or awful a gaming experience will be. Without a decent sensor, your gaming mouse will not be able to work. The cursor on the computer screen which moves when you move the mouse is able to do so with the aid of the sensor in the mouse. Sensors in gaming mice consist of two types: optical and laser sensors. 

A mouse with an optical or laser sensor costs from $10 to $40. Though they have similar price ranges, a mouse with a laser sensor will typically cost much more than a mouse with an optical sensor.

The sensors used in gaming mice are usually very sensitive and can detect more dots per inch (DPI). DPI is a measure of the sensitivity of a mouse. The higher the number of DPIs that can be detected by a gaming mouse, as this one does, the more sensitive and responsive that mouse will be. The two types of sensors in a gaming mouse, optical and laser sensors, both have the same principle guiding their operation. They only differ in the type of ray they transmit.

Optical Sensors

Optical sensors work by transmitting an LED light that shines onto the surface the mouse is moving on as explained in this video tutorial by Corsair. The light hitting this surface bounces back and is received by the complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS), as explained in this article by The Journal of Semiconductor Engineering, in the mouse. 

The CMOS functions like a camera, taking thousands of pictures of the desk surface per second. The CMOS then sends these captured images to a digital signal processor (DSP) in the mouse. The DSP receives these images, analyzes them, then uses these images to determine the direction and the speed the mouse was moved. Finally, the computer receives this information from the DSP, synchronously moving the cursor on the computer screen as explained in this article by Utmel Electronics, a manufacturer of gaming mouse components.

Due to the less intense nature of LED light, the sensors in optical mice only sense the top of the surface where the mouse is placed. The resolution of an optical mouse is about 3000 DPI and they are best used with mouse pads as it may sometimes be difficult for the optical sensors to take pictures of surfaces that have a clear, reflective, or glossy surface. 

A major advantage of optical mice is that they do not cause acceleration problems, which is the inability of the cursor to return back to its initial position when the mouse is quickly moved on the mouse pad. Optical mice like this cost between $10 and $40.

An optical gaming mouse will cost between $10 and $40.
An optical mouse transmits its signal via LED lights that communicate with the CMOS sensors in the mouse. Image Source: Amazon.

Laser sensors

Laser sensors have similar working principles to those of optical sensors. The only difference is that they illuminate the desk surface with an infrared laser beam which is more intense than the LED light. 

Laser mice like this have a resolution of about 6000 to 15000 DPI which makes them much more sensitive and reactive than optical mice. Though this difference in sensitivity between the optical and laser mouse can be hardly noticed by an average end user. The downside of using a laser mouse is that they sometimes have acceleration problems. Check out our article on gaming mouse quality testing to learn more about DPI.

Laser mice have a similar price range to optical mice, they cost between $10 and $40, though a laser mouse with extra features will cost more than $50.

The cost of an optical gaming mouse and a laser gaming mouse is not that different, although a laser mouse is much more sensitive and reactive.
A laser mouse’s higher DPI makes it more responsive. Image Source: Amazon.

If you still need more information, be sure to read our quick guide to gaming mouse specs before making a final decision. 

Popular Gaming Mouse Brands

Due to the wide variety of gaming mouse brands that are available, getting a good gaming mouse shouldn’t be much of a problem. We will now be looking at some of the most popular gaming mouse brands and their unique features.

Logitech is a popular gaming mouse brand known for being affordable,  SteelSeries gaming mice are known for good ergonomic features, and Razer is the brand of gaming mice known for having industry-leading features and designs.

A few popular brands are:

Brand 1. Logitech 

Logitech is a Swiss-American multinational computer accessories company known for producing the most affordable gaming mice. Their gaming mice support Logitech G Hub Software which makes it easy for users to customize and optimize supported Logitech hardware devices. 

Their gaming mice usually have at least 6 programmable buttons, visually pleasing RGB lighting, and other cool ergonomic features. Though Logitech gaming mice like these are best for those on a financial budget, they do not have the best sensitivity features and may not be ideal for games where sensitivity and responsiveness are important.

Brand 2. Steelseries 

SteelSeries is a Danish computer accessories company known for producing gaming mice like this with comfort-focused ergonomic features. They are known for producing gaming mice that are sleek and uncluttered. Their pleasant, speedy, and responsive buttons make them ideal for playing e-sports games. So, if you want a gaming mouse that will make playing professional competitive games enjoyable, SteelSeries gaming mice will be a very good option.

Brand 3. Razer

Razer is an American-Singaporean multinational company known for producing simple but classy gaming mice. Their gaming mice have some of the best industry features. This Razer Viper Ultimate, one of the best gaming mice, has optical switches used for playing ultra-competitive games, a charging dock that protects from power surges and stops overcharging of the mouse, Alexa compatibility, and cool ambidextrous features. So, if you are keen on your gaming performance and you want a gaming mouse with the best industry features, go for a Razer mouse.

The features of this ambidextrous gaming mouse are definitely worth the cost.
The popular Razer Viper Ultimate mouse has state-of-the-art technology and ergonomic features. Image Source: Amazon.

How to Choose the Right Gaming Mouse

A good gaming mouse will not only have a positive impact on your performance, but it will also make gaming fun, exciting, and enjoyable when you are playing for long hours. There are, however, some important factors you need to consider before purchasing a gaming mouse.

Choosing the right gaming mouse according to grip style, the type of games being played, the DPI and polling rates of the mouse, and the reliability of the mouse.

The considerations when buying a gaming mouse are:

Know Your Grip Style

The grip style basically refers to the way a person holds the mouse. The gamer’s hand position on the mouse will determine the type of mouse that will be best for them. There are 3 different types of grip styles: the palm grip, the tip grip, and the claw grip as we explain in our guide for choosing the ideal gaming mouse grip for you.

The Palm Grip

For this type of grip style, the whole palm rests on the mouse with the fingers lying flat on the mouse buttons. A large-sized mouse like this is best for this kind of grip. Our article about what gaming mouse to use for larger hands explains the discomfort issues a gamer will experience when using a mouse that is too small and how to choose the right size mouse for your hand measurement.

The palm grip is where the whole palm is in contact with the body of the mouse.
Grip style #1 - The palm grip. Image Source: Howtogeek.

The Tip Grip

For this grip style, only the tips of the fingers touch the mouse buttons while the thumb is used to hold the mouse. A small lightweight mouse is best for this kind of grip. Our article about smaller gaming mice lists the 7 best gaming mice for small hands and is a good resource if you are looking for smaller mice. 

The tip grip is when only the fingertips are touching and the thumb holds the mouse.
Grip style #2 - The tip grip. Image Source: Howtogeek.

The Claw Grip

This grip style is a combination of both the palm grip and the fingertip grip. For this grip style, the palm rests on the back of the mouse while the thumb and fingers point forward in the shape of a claw. A small and narrow mouse like this one is best for this kind of grip.

To adopt the claw grip, the fingertips and back of the palm rest on the mouse with the fingers arched like a claw.
Grip style #3 - The claw grip. Image Source: Howtogeek.

Know the Type of Game You Will Be Playing

The type of game you will be playing will largely determine the kind of mouse you will need. For first-person shooter (FPS) games, you will need a mouse that has low click latency, is lightweight, and has a nice ergonomic set-up for comfort and performance. This Razer Viper 8 kHz is a good example of a mouse designed for FPS games. 

For multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, you will need a gaming mouse with the following features: strong mouse battery life, tactile and comforting buttons, few programmable buttons at the side of the mouse. This Logitech G602 gaming mouse is ideal for playing MOBA games. 

Check the Dots Per Inch (DPI) and Polling Rates of the Gaming Mouse

The DPI of a mouse determines how fast the cursor will move on the screen when the mouse slides across the mousepad, while the polling rates will determine how well the sensor in the mouse will report its position back to the computer. Different games require different DPI and polling rates in a mouse. An FPS game for example requires a mouse with high DPI and polling rates like this one. Knowing the DPI and polling rate requirements of a game will determine the type of mouse you will be needing for optimum gaming performance.

Check the Reliability of the Mouse

Due to the expensive nature of gaming mice, you need to do your due diligence in checking how reliable a gaming mouse is. One of the best ways of checking the reliability of a gaming mouse is by checking the reviews, comments, and ratings of customers who have already used the mouse you are about to buy. This will go a long way in preventing you from buying a gaming mouse with sub-standard quality. A surefire way of getting the best gaming mouse is by buying a mouse like this from an established and reputable brand. 

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