Gaming Mouse Hand Positions & Tips/Tricks to Maximize Efficiency and Ergonomics

A variety of ways exist to hold a gaming mouse. Not all are correct or will even work properly for you. Using incorrect gaming mouse hand positions can put you at risk of developing injuries. But it’s not all that complicated, you can easily determine which gaming mouse hand positions work best for you. 

Gaming mouse hand positions include Palm Grip, Claw Grip, and Fingertip Grip. Adopt a palm grip for more support for slower movements and a claw grip or fingertip grip style for improved agility and snappy movements in FPS games.

Four important factors to consider before trying out gaming mouse hand positions are the positions of your mouse, the way you hold your mouse, knowing how to adjust the mouse controls properly, and studying the proper mouse posture as failure to do this properly could result in you developing injuries as discussed in this thread on Reddit   Once you have properly analyzed all the factors contributing to how to hold a mouse properly you can start trying out various types of gaming mouse grips and pick the one you are most comfortable with. And, of course, for you to be able to do that it’s really important to understand what a gaming mouse can do for you as we discuss in our article on what a gaming mouse is.

Ergonomics affects how a gamer holds a gaming mouse which, in turn, affects the level of comfort.
Ergonomics is an important factor for gamers to consider. Image Source: Kinesis.

Gaming Mouse Hand Positions

Tiny, significant factors regarding your gaming mouse postures and your chosen grip style have a huge impact on your gaming performance and accuracy. 

Gaming mouse hand positions include Palm Grip, Claw Grip, and Fingertip Grip. Adopt a Palm grip for larger movements, a Claw grip for faster precision, and a Fingertip grip for improved speed with precise accuracy.

The three listed gaming mouse grip styles are the professionally-used gaming mouse hand positions, and studying them properly will ensure that you create a perfect gamer profile with excellent performance. This article from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders studied the evidence that associates computer work and carpal tunnel syndrome. While the epidemiological evidence is inconclusive, you can clearly see how different hand positions and gaming mice can affect carpal tunnel pressure. 

Just like utilizing real-life weapons, your gaming mouse is the primary weapon while you enjoy your PC games. To achieve fundamental accuracy and improved precision you should know what to look for in a gaming mouse as our guide outlines. It is also crucial that you determine the proper gaming mouse hand position and gaming mouse, as explained in this article from the Journal of Applied Ergonomics which describes how to minimize extensor muscle activity in the forearm.

The way that you hold a gaming mouse affects gaming performance and accuracy.
Gaming mouse hand positions have a direct bearing on gaming performance. Image Source: TweakTown.

The following grips are used by gamers for different games and gaming styles:

Grip 1. Palm Mouse Grip

A palm grip is when your palm and your fingers are supported by the mouse. All you have to do to achieve this position is place your palm on the mouse and let your fingers fall onto the front of the mouse naturally. Making sure both your palm and fingers are supported by the mouse, you can adjust your hand until it feels natural and comfortable. When it comes to gaming ergonomics which we explain in greater detail in our tips to choose an ergonomic gaming mouse, a palm grip is a great choice for long-term comfort but it might not be the same for everyone. If you have very long hands, you are likely to have trouble positioning your fingers on the click buttons. One way to avoid this is by investing in a mouse like this Corsair Ironclaw which is bigger in size and better suited for people with large hands. 

A palm grip is an excellent choice for gamers who want better control while making sweeping movements. With your palm resting on the mouse you don’t only have more control over the mouse body but also over its buttons. However, for making large sweeping moments with accuracy, it is best to make sure that you have ample desk space.

The games best played with a palm grip include FPS games like Overwatch, CSGO, and Valorant. The kind of grip that will work best for you during a game also depends on what role you are playing in the game and what characters you choose. A Palm grip is generally good when you prefer lower sensitivity and are required to make large sweeping moments with accuracy. DPS characters are a good example of such a role.

When holding a gaming mouse with a palm grip make sure that you have enough desk space for the necessary sweeping movements.
A commonly used mouse grip is a Palm Grip. Image Source: Youtube.

Grip 2. Claw Mouse Grip

Like the name suggests a Claw mouse grip style entails holding your hand in a similar way to a bird’s claw. Picture your hand is arched in a way where the knuckles of your fingers are placed higher than the style of a Palm grip. As explained in this article by Tweak Town a Claw grip isn’t like the Palm Grip and the main, larger part of your palm is not in contact with your gaming mouse at all. You only touch the mouse with the back of your palm. Meanwhile, you shape your fingers in an arched position towards the bottom. A Claw grip primarily demands the support of your wrist, so make sure that your wrist is in a good position.

Better precision is one of the major reasons why players prefer Claw grip over the other gaming mouse hand positions as explained in this thread on Reddit. The discussion suggests that Claw grip is the closest to the perfect way of handling gaming mice, especially when you are motivated to improve your gaming accuracy and overall performance. Players who want to take their aiming to the next level prefer to use a Claw grip style with a mouse like this due to its ability to help you use your mouse with higher levels of sensitivity when compared to a Palm grip. 

If you are into games like Counter-Strike, and also prefer being a wrist player, which means you are comfortable rotating only at your wrist, then you would prefer a Claw grip style. Many professional gamers playing FPS and CSGO prefer a Claw grip to other gaming mouse hand positions due to the fact that it allows for excellent accuracy and precision, whether you are a novice or an expert gamer. This review by explains the best mice to use if you prefer a claw grip.

Adopting a claw grip when holding your gaming mouse allows for more controlled and precise movements.
As the name suggests when holding your mouse with a Claw Grip, your hand takes on the shape of a claw. Image Source: Kindpng.

Grip 3. Fingertip Mouse Grip

While Claw grip and Palm grip gaming styles involve some level of palm contact, the Fingertip grip requires you to utilize only your fingers. The Fingertip grip as outlined in this thread on Reddit, ensures excellent control over your gaming mouse, while only holding the mouse with your fingertips. This means that whatever the gameplay, your gaming mouse will remain free from your palm and will not require wrist contact with any surface. 

Players who are proficient at FPS games prefer the Fingertip grip due to less probability of misclicking, and the use of lightweight mice like this. Since your hand and the gaming mouse have minimal contact, you can achieve greater levels of control while executing fast movements. 

This review about the ergonomics of esports has some useful pointers to help you choose the right gaming mouse for your needs. Patched also provides some great tips in their YouTube video tutorial on the best gaming mice for a Fingertip Grip.

A Fingertip grip can only be adopted with certain gaming mouse shapes.
Specific gaming mice can be used with a Fingertip grip. Image Source: Youtube.

Summary of Gaming Mouse Hand Positions and Their Benefits

Gaming Mouse Hand Positions Benefits Of Using This Grip Example Mouse For This Specific Grip Price
Palm Grip Allows for more elbow and arm control, with excellent tracking Logitech G Pro X Superlight Wireless Gaming Mouse ~ $130
Claw Grip Preferred for rapid and fast clicks, with more control of the wrist Cooler Master Mm720 Rgb-Led Claw Grip Wired Gaming Mouse ~ $60
Fingertip Grip Allows more finger control, providing more precision Razer Viper Mini Ultralight Gaming Mouse  ~ $20

You might also be interested in learning how to choose an e-sports gaming mouse to fit your budget. If so, be sure to read our related article.

Tips for Holding a Gaming Mouse 

Holding a gaming mouse correctly is crucial to performing well because if you’re holding your gaming mouse incorrectly, your hard work is in vain. 

When choosing the optimal way for holding a gaming mouse, the fingers should be low on the buttons, the thumb should activate any side buttons, and the fingers should manipulate the scroll wheel without having to shift the hand. A gel mouse pad is also recommended to reduce strain. 

Being aware of the proper ways of holding a gaming mouse, as explained in this paper from Cornell University, is necessary to avoid serious mouse-related injuries. Your mouse grip posture and its variations are significant factors to consider when choosing a gaming mouse like this

 When holding your gaming mouse your thumb should be free to push the side buttons when necessary.
A comfortable hand position for holding a mouse means having the thumb available for the side buttons. Image Source: Gamingph.

These tips should help you to hold a gaming mouse properly:

Tip 1. Fingers Must Be Low on the Buttons

Accurate finger grip over your gaming mouse buttons is important when choosing a mouse grip. This is because keeping the fingers low reduces the excessive lifting of the fingers, in turn reducing the risk of hand and forearm musculoskeletal pain as outlined in this article by the Journal of Applied Ergonomics. The main reason you should let your fingers rest low on your gaming mouse is to avoid scrunching them up which could cause harmful cramps. 

Moreover, letting your fingers rest on the gaming mouse buttons reduces the delay time and may also provide you with split-second advantages over your opponents while gaming. Once you practice keeping your fingers low on the gaming mouse buttons, you will also notice an increase in your overall productivity and efficiency while spending long hours gaming on the computer.

Tip 2. Thumb Should Be Able To Activate Side Buttons

Most gamers prefer to activate the gaming mouse’s side buttons for primary in-game actions as illustrated in this thread on Quora, although this would depend on your personal preferences. Using your thumb for the side buttons saves you time, increases your efficiency, and improves your hand posture which is described in this article from the Journal of Applied Sciences. 

If you are able to activate the gaming mouse’s side buttons just with your thumb, you reduce the risk of causing harm to your wrist due to the constant movement. This means that using your thumb for activating the side buttons, will increase your productivity, while taking proper care of your wrist. Your preferred gaming mouse grip style must be able to protect your wrist movement. 

Tip 3. Fingers Should Be Able To Manipulate the Mouse Scroll Wheel Without Much Movement

As confirmed in this article by Harvard Medical School, the most important point to consider is that you need to protect your hand from constantly shifting because this can cause serious injuries. You need to practice using your fingers to manipulate the mouse scroll wheel without much wrist movement. 

Be sure to hold your gaming Mouse in such a way that you can manipulate the scroll wheel without having to move your hand too much.
Practice the correct mouse wheel scrolling techniques to avoid sustaining injuries. Image Source: ResearchGate.

Tip 4. Use a Gel Mouse Pad To Reduce Strain

A gel mouse pad like this is more of an ergonomic gaming accessory than a tip for holding a gaming mouse, which can provide relief from wrist pain caused by the way that you hold your mouse. But as Velocity EHHS mention in this article, too much constant use of a gel mouse pad can also cause nerve and tendon inflammation. This could eventually affect your ability to move a mouse properly. 

However, when used in a proper manner, a gel pad like this can help you reduce strain during your gaming hours. Once you learn to correctly place your wrist on it, it promotes natural wrist and hand movement which can relieve the fatigue and stress of long hours of gaming.

Wrist pain from gaming with a mouse for long periods of time can be avoided by using an ergonomic mouse pad.
An ergonomic mouse pad with gel can help to alleviate wrist pain caused by constant mouse use. Image Source: Amazon.

Gaming Mouse Position and Mouse Pad Position

Even if you adopt the right gaming mouse hand position, and perfect the grip style, there is still a chance that you’re doing something wrong if your gaming mouse and mouse pad are not positioned correctly.

The gaming mouse and mouse pad position are very important. Adjust the mouse and the mouse pad for the elbow to be at a 90-degree angle to avoid reaching too far and causing strain. 

Changing your gaming setup can have a huge impact on your gaming consistency and accuracy. There is no single expert way of positioning your gaming mouse and mouse pad, like this, as agreed in this thread on Reddit, and positions vary with personal gaming styles and intensive gaming preferences. 

It is better that you keep your gaming mouse positioned slightly outside or directly in front of your shoulder. The main reason for this is that you should not have to constantly keep reaching out for it in order to use it. A position you can try out for increased performance is your arm swinging off the elbow which is suggested in this thread on Reddit. This position provides greater levels of aiming accuracy and can help you to be more steady during your gaming exchanges. 

The conclusion is that your entire setup like this should help you be comfortable and maintain your performance in gaming. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your arms and back should be supported. To keep yourself pain-free, you only have to know the basic ergonomics to apply them in your gaming environment.

To stop chronic wrist pain while holding your gaming mouse opt for an ergonomic mouse pad.
An ergonomic mouse pad with wrist support could help to alleviate wrist pain. Image Source: Daraz.

Best Arm Positions for Mouse Gaming

To study the relation between ergonomics and gaming, you need to review where and how you are going to sit, the level of sound of your gaming setup, your keyboard and mouse positions, the lighting setup in your gaming environment, and taking breaks.

Position the arm at such an angle that elbows are placed at around the same height as the gaming desk, and keep elbows bent at around 90 degrees when using a gaming mouse. Sit in a way that you do not need to lean forward when using the gaming mouse. explain in their article that you can achieve maximum efficiency if you consider the ergonomics of your gaming setup carefully. 

Arm positions matter as much as the right gaming mouse hand positions. You need to avoid too much pressure on your arms, especially your forearms since it can lead to cubital tunnel syndrome. If you consider the amount of time you are constantly spending in your gaming environment, you need to decide your seating positions carefully. 

When holding a gaming mouse, your arm should be at desk level and have a 90-degree angle.
Care should be taken to ensure optimal ergonomics when setting up gaming equipment. Image Source: Kinesis.

How To Improve Gaming Mouse Grip

The way that you grip your mouse can have a profound effect on your gaming performance which makes the task of improving your grip worthwhile.

To improve the grip on a gaming mouse, add mouse grip tape. To increase both grip and gaming aesthetic, try a gaming mouse skin. For a quick and cheap DIY option, sand the mouse with sandpaper to increase grittiness. 

Of course, a gaming mouse that is not the right size will be difficult to grip properly so check out our tips to choose a gaming mouse for large hands and our tips to find a gaming mouse for small hands

Try these suggested options to improve the grip on your gaming mouse:

Option 1. Use Mouse Grip Tape To Decrease Slipping

This mouse grip tape is simple to use and very beneficial for gameplay. These grip tapes not only provide more gripping power, which helps during choosing your gaming mouse grip style, but also provide you with an experience of easy application. Gamers taking part in this thread on Reddit, agree that using a mouse grip tape allows you more control over your gaming mouse, including any micro-adjustments you may want to make while flicking or tracking during your gameplay. 

Applying grip tape to your mouse varies from person to person, but it is preferred that you review a template of all the contact points and then apply it. You can go over different points of contact of your mouse such as the left click, right-click, the left and right sides of the mouse, and the hump where you rest your palm. 

For the template, you can simply use electric tape or painter's tape. Then you can tape your mouse over all the places you need a better grip. After making its stencil, place it over your desired grip tape, and cut it accordingly. If a template seems complex to you, you can try out pre-cut mouse grips like this, as they are specifically made to match the shape of your gaming mouse and are much easier to apply.

A gaming mouse that slips out of your hand may need grip tape to enable you to hold it securely.
 Mouse grip tape can improve the way you are able to grip the gaming mouse. Image Source: Amazon.

Option 2. Try a Gaming Mouse Skin To Increase Grip & Aesthetic 

Gaming mouse skin is also a suitable option if you are looking for something that helps with increased mouse grip, and maintains the aesthetic of the mouse as well. The application, as shown in this Facebook video tutorial, is similar to that of gaming mouse grip tape. You can try out gaming mouse skins like these for casual use even if you are not a gamer, or are just beginning to play. This and other accessories can really improve your performance as explained in our tips for choosing gaming mouse accessories

Non-slip mouse skins like these are lightweight, textured, and provide a firm grip that optimizes your overall control while gaming. Gaming mouse skins can also help absorb sweat for better performance. You can check out Lizard mouse skins like these, or you can choose a template that works best for your gaming mouse. Alternatively, you might want to try out Dragon Grips like these which are stickers that stick to any place you want.

Gaming mouse skins can make it easier to hold a gaming mouse securely.
Non-slip mouse skins help to make it easier to grip a mouse. Image Source: AliExpress.

Option 3. Sand the Mouse With Sandpaper To Improve Grip

If you do not prefer grip tape or a mouse skin for your gaming mouse, you can try sanding the mouse with sandpaper. This way, you are still able to increase your gaming mouse’s grip quality. Sanding down the smooth and glossy plastic on your gaming mouse is pretty common among gamers as discussed in this thread on Reddit, but it is a more permanent change than using a mouse grip tape or a mouse skin. It does seem risky but you gain the advantage of a durable option to improve your gaming mouse grip. 

For sanding your gaming mouse, you need a small piece of sandpaper. You can experiment with different grades of sandpaper with varying grit, to find the most suitable one. Once you have your paper, cut a rectangle or square. First, test it out on a small area of your mouse such as the side or back. Try sanding it, and continuously keep feeling the results to see if it’s comfortable for you or not. Otherwise, try sandpaper with a different grit level like this to achieve the comfort you want with your gaming mouse grip. 

Summary of Ways To Improve Gaming Mouse Grip

Method To Improve Gaming Mouse Grip Benefit of Method Amazon Example
Mouse Grip Tape Easy to apply and sweat-absorbing. Razer Mouse Grip Tape for Razer Viper Mini 
Gaming Mouse Skin Can be worked hard and provide an aesthetic flair. Hotline Games 2.0 Plus Anti Slip Mouse Gaming Skin
Sandpaper for DIY Permanent and durable.  Bates- Sandpaper


This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.