Gaming Mouse Specs – A Quick Guide

From one perspective, a gaming mouse appears to be a standard mouse, but with several unique functions that make it better for gaming. From a different perspective, it's a crucial piece of custom gaming equipment that can dramatically affect enjoyment and performance. A high-end gaming mouse has a specific design and tech features that allow for quick reflexes and more comfortable movements. Programmable buttons, customizable sensitivity settings, precise sensors, ultra-light designs, and modern aesthetics are some gaming mouse specs. 

Common gaming mouse specs include size, weight, sensors, wired vs. wireless, programmable buttons, wheel encoders, feet, lighting, DPI & CPI, polling rates, maximum tracking speed, lift-off distance, acceleration, and angle snapping. 


Gaming mouse specs allow you to compare different gaming mice and make sure you can have quick and accurate movements for pro gaming.
A gaming mouse has many unique functions that make it better for gaming, as they enable quick reflexes and better comfort. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Gaming Mice Specs and Features

Gaming Mouse Spec What Does It Mean? Example mouse for a beginning gamer that optimizes this spec
DPI & CPI Dots per inch (DPI) and counts per inch (CPI) are the measurements of the sensitivity of a mouse. Pwnage Ultra Custom Wireless Ergo Gen 2.0 RGB Gaming Mouse
Polling Rate The polling rate refers to the rate at which your computer receives input from your mouse.  Razer Viper 8k 
Maximum Tracking Speed The maximum tracking speed is the quickest rate at which a mouse may move across a surface while maintaining accurate position tracking. Logitech G502 Lightspeed wireless
Lift-Off Distance Lift-Off Distance (LOD) is the distance above the mouse pad at which the device will no longer detect motion and halt tracking.  Redragon M711 Cobra Gaming Mouse with 16.8 Million Rgb Color ...
Acceleration  Acceleration refers to when the speed at which the mouse is moved on a mousepad affects the speed that the cursor moves in a game. Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse with Esports Grade Performance
Angle Snapping When you move your mouse in a straight line, the mouse will predict your next move and "snap" to that angle. Glorious Gaming Mouse - Model O 67 g Superlight Honeycomb Mouse, Matte Black Mouse, USB Gaming Mouse
Size Size needs to be considered when choosing a mouse because If you have small hands, a gaming mouse's size, weight, and design are just as important as the sensitivity, connectivity, and gaming-specific features. Redragon M908 Impact RGB LED MMO Mouse
Weight The mouse’s weight is a feature that can contribute to muscle fatigue and aches if not properly considered but is often overlooked. Corsair M65 RGB Elite – Wired FPS and MOBA Gaming Mouse – Adjustable Weight and Balance
Sensor  A mouse sensor impacts how well the mouse will detect movement on various surfaces. Logitech Optical Mouse 
Wired Vs. Wireless A wired mouse is connected directly to your computer and is more stable than a wireless one. Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse + Mouse Bungee V3 Chroma Bundle
Programmable Buttons The buttons on the side of the mouse are referred to as programmable buttons. They are used to execute in-game commands with a push of a button, doing away with the need to learn hotkeys. Manic G40 Gaming Mouse 6 Programmable Buttons
Wheel Encoder  Wheel encoders alter the feel and performance of a scroll wheel. They affect how the scrolling and rotations feel rather than the mouse wheel clicking Mouse Wheel Scroll Encoder for Razer Naga 2014 with a Mouse Feet
Feet Your mouse can glide easily on a mouse pad due to its feet or skates. They are located on the mouse's bottom and lift the mouse's bottom off the pad to reduce friction while keeping the mouse near the pad for the sensor to track properly. Superglide - Fastest and Smoothest Mouse Feet / Skates
RGB Backlight LED Using RGB keyboard software, you can program your  favorite colors to appear on particular keys or in specific sequences. You can even tie the lighting effects to particular game mechanics, events, or your PC's real-time performance. Fantech Basic Wired Gaming Mouse X9, RGB 7 Macro Buttons 

You might also be interested in learning how to clean your mouse. Be sure to take a look at our related article that shows you exactly how to clean a gaming mouse for more details.

1. Dots Per Inch (DPI) & Counts Per Inch (CPI)

If you've ever bought a new mouse and noticed the mouse cursor moves either too slowly or too quickly, you've probably wondered what causes these variations. Communication between the mouse and the computer happens via the signal sent to your computer and converted into movements on the screen. These movements are measured in dots-per-inch or DPI. 

Both CPI and DPI refer to a mouse’s sensitivity to surface movements and on-screen responsiveness. DPI stands for dots-per-inch and refers to the measurement of on-screen pixels or dots. CPI stands for counts-per-inch and refers to the input speed  and response when the mouse is moved across the desk surface. Choose a mouse with a high DPI and CPI to ensure precise and fluid on-screen movements.

Dots per inch (DPI) and count per inch (CPI) are units of measurement that correlate the mouse movements to display movements. They have equivalent meanings in this context. This is the required measurement for mouse sensitivity, or how far the cursor will move in response to a one-inch mouse movement.

The accuracy with which your display's DPI translates to motion can vary depending on its resolution and refresh rate. A mouse that is moved 1 inch on a full HD screen will travel further than on a 4K screen, even when using the same DPI. The reason is that more "dots" exist to connect when working with a higher resolution. This article from IEEEXplore explains how a monitor’s refresh rate and resolution affect responsiveness and accuracy when gaming. 

If the DPI is increased, the mouse will be more sensitive, and even a small adjustment will significantly affect your gaming experience. With a lower DPI, even the smallest mouse movements will scarcely be registered, allowing for more precise targeting. A high-quality gaming mouse can have a DPI range as low as 500 DPI like this one or an optical sensor with 20,000 DPI like this one

A DPI or CPI button is a must on any decent gaming mouse. You can quickly and easily switch between several DPI settings to fine-tune the sensitivity on a mouse like this. You can get the accuracy necessary for a long-range headshot and the responsiveness needed for a swift reflex no-scoping. So, while one DPI setting would result in exactly one inch of the ground every second, another would cover a shorter distance because its length comprised more dots. The DPI range of a high-quality gaming mouse should be sufficient to avoid this issue.

A gaming mouse has better specs which means a higher DPI and a better sensor.
A 25K gaming mouse has sensors with 25,000 DPI for more accurate gaming. Image Source: Amazon.

What Is the Difference Between DPI and CPI?

When looking into gaming mouse specs for some of the top gaming mice available, there are numerous aspects to consider. These factors frequently include wired versus wireless, ergonomic designs, and mouse CPI and DPI ranges. 

There is a difference between DPI and CPI, even though many gamers use them interchangeably. So what makes CPI and DPI different from one another?

DPI is the number of pixels (or "dots") displayed horizontally and vertically on a computer screen within one inch of space as explained in this article from Microsoft. Depending on the DPI setting, the mouse pointer will zoom in or out of the screen depending on the user's input. 

When the term CPI is used, we are referring to the mouse’s sensor measurement system that is based on counts. In this scenario, the more counts registered when moving the mouse, the more sensitive the mouse with a higher CPI rating will be. As explained in this article by, CPI focuses on the movement detected by the mouse sensor itself, whereas DPI has to do with the cursor movements on the screen.

Ultimately, both CPI and DPI are frequently used to describe mouse sensitivity and this is often a result of companies’ perspectives. DPI focuses primarily on on-screen cursor movements while CPI directly correlates to mouse sensitivity. The mouse cursor will move farther and faster in response to user input with higher CPI and DPI settings.

Different manufacturers use CPI and DPI interchangeably.
CPI and DPI are terms that are used interchangeably when referring to mouse sensitivity it just depends on the manufacturer in question. Image Source: Amazon.

Why Is DPI Used Instead Of CPI?

Even though most people find it challenging to compare CPI and DPI in mice, chances are they both relate to the same thing in the context in which you're analyzing them. However, according to technical standards, CPI more accurately describes mouse sensitivity. DPI is a more accurate description of the display resolution and on-screen movements which are measured in pixels or dots. This article from the Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society explains the fundamentals of DPI and screen resolution. 

Basically, you will just be changing the mouse's sensitivity, regardless of whether you choose to change the CPI or the DPI, depending on how the manufacturer has labeled the feature. DPI is a term that was originally used when referring to the printing industry, but CPI refers to gaming mice. Our article about changing your mouse’s DPI will explain how to determine your current settings and change them for a better experience. 

2. Polling Rate

A polling rate is also measured in Hz and a polling rate of more than 1,000Hz is unnecessary If your computer's processor isn't fast enough because increasing the polling rate can slow down your system. You should reduce your polling rate if your gaming mouse is causing noticeable lag.

The polling rate refers to the rate at which your computer receives input from your mouse. The base polling frequency through a USB connection is typically 125Hz, or once every 8 milliseconds. However, a gaming mouse typically has a 1000Hz polling rate, receiving input 1000 times per second, or once every millisecond. To gain an advantage in speed and performance use a gaming mouse with a greater polling rate.

A high polling rate also means that the timing of your inputs will be more accurate and fluid, frame by frame. A quick mouse is essential to keep up with the action resulting from the high refresh rate and frames-per-second. Your polling rate might range from 500Hz to 1000Hz, depending on the games you want to play and the mouse you use. Since dropping below 500Hz creates quite a significant degree of input lag, we don’t advise doing so.

In addition, most contemporary gaming monitors tend to eliminate input lag differences that the mouse may have initially introduced. Most players typically choose one polling rate and stick with it for the mouse's lifespan. Even though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this method, you should always be mindful of your polling rate and whether or not it is appropriate for the games you play. Our article about how much a gaming mouse costs, explains polling rates and the effect they have on different types of games. 

Why Don’t I Need More Than 1,000Hz?

The distinction between 125Hz and 1000Hz speeds cannot be disputed. Higher polling rates are critical for accuracy, particularly when it comes to cursor smoothness and position on a high refresh rate display.

Game engines can't keep up with polling rates higher than 1,000Hz. Many gaming engines are not designed to process at rates higher than this speed of once every millisecond.

On paper, an even better polling rate is greater than 1000Hz. But you don't always need to do something just because you can. The speed of your game engine is one of the variables to consider when selecting polling rates. Simply put, many gaming engines are not designed to process inputs more quickly than once every millisecond so this gaming mouse spec has a max cap.

According to this article from Corsair, higher polling rates beyond 1000Hz become less viable from a price-to-performance perspective when other aspects are considered, such as display latency or how quickly your monitor’s refresh rate.

Summary of Polling Rates and Equivalent Time Delays

Polling Rate Total Delay
125Hz 8 milliseconds 
250Hz 4 milliseconds
500Hz 2 milliseconds 
1000Hz 1 millisecond 
To perform better and with more speed, you need to have a higher polling rate than your opponents.
Having a higher polling rate than your opponent gives you an advantage in speed and performance if all other factors are equal. Image Source: Game of

3. Maximum Tracking Speed

It's crucial to ensure the maximum running speeds of your computer and mouse are compatible—connecting a high-spec mouse to older and outdated computer hardware or operating systems won’t yield any performance benefits.

Maximum tracking speed means the fastest mouse movement while still getting precise tracking. It is possible to have speeds of 16 to 40 inches per second, with faster being preferable. The best tracking speed for gaming depends on the maximum running speeds of the computer and mouse which is proportional to the mouse’s dots per inch (DPI).

What Is the Right Tracking Speed for My Gaming Style?

According to this article by IF Design Awards, even the most advanced gaming mice have low tracking speeds. Professional gamers will find that most modern gaming mice have polling rates of 1,000Hz, or 1 ms speed. 

This is so your mouse can report input when your monitor refreshes quickly. Ensure your gaming mouse has a high polling rate, a dependable sensor, and a DPI range sufficient for your needs like this one does. To utilize your mouse as effectively as possible, having a wide range of tracking sensitivity is essential, but it shouldn't be your only concern.

The tracking speed is an important spec that allows the gamer to move the mouse quickly while maintaining accurate tracking.
A mouse’s maximum tracking speed will allow the gamer to move the mouse fast without losing tracking and accuracy. Image Source: Amazon.

4. Lift-Off Distance

The distance at which your mouse stops registering movement and play is known as lift-off distance and this actually allows the mouse to detect movement even when the mouse isn’t touching the mouse pad directly while you move it.

Lift-off distance (LOD) is the distance above the mouse pad at which the device will no longer detect motion (halt tracking). A shorter "lift-off" distance between mouse and surface is preferable for optimal performance, because gamers frequently pick up their mouse to return it to the mousepad's center, a shorter lift-off distance is preferable so that the mouse doesn't continue monitoring their motions and throw off their aim.

According to this article by computer components manufacturer, Cooler Master, in most applications, a LOD of less than 3mm is preferable to guarantee rapid and precise motion. If you play at a low DPI or with low sensitivity, you've undoubtedly had to pick up your mouse and recenter it after running off the edge of your CM Storm Power-RX surface, like this one.

A regular computer mouse like this has a LOD of one or two centimeters, which is quite large. If you've invested in a high-quality gaming mouse like this, its LOD will be under 3 mm. When the mouse is lifted to that height, the sensor will no longer send data to the computer, allowing you to return it to the pad without the cursor changing position. It's often preferable to have a low LOD or level of detail. Our article comparing regular mice with gaming mice explains their differences in depth and looks at when a gaming mouse could be a suitable substitute for a gaming mouse. 

LOD is quite an important spec when it comes to a gaming mouse as it allows you to move your mouse back to an optimal position while playing, without the cursor actually moving.
SteelSeries Rival 600 Gaming Mouse has the world's lowest and most accurate lift-off distance. Image Source: Amazon.

What Is the Best Lift-Off Distance for Gaming?

A shorter "lift-off" distance between the mouse and the surface is preferable for optimal performance. This is because gamers frequently pick up the mouse to return it to the mousepad's center, and a shorter lift-off distance means that the mouse doesn't continue picking up their movements and throw off their aim.

Most people who practice aiming agree that a lower LOD is preferable. Your mouse will only respond to clicks when they are made on, or very close to, the surface of your mousepad, which means picking up your mouse and recentering won't affect your position in the virtual arena or aim.

5. Acceleration

Acceleration of your mouse could affect your game quite a bit if the speed that your mouse moves causes your cursor to move too quickly affecting your level of accuracy.  

Acceleration refers to when the speed at which the mouse is moved on a mousepad affects the speed with which the cursor moves in a game so gaming mice with less acceleration will impact aim and accuracy drastically. 

If you're playing the role of a first-person shooter in a game and you try to move your mouse like this to a target but move it too quickly, you might miss it. For this reason, many FPS players and experts advise disabling mouse acceleration. According to this article about mouse ballistics by Coding Horror, a mouse acceleration curve characterizes the connection between velocity and responsiveness. This can vastly improve accuracy with a proper acceleration curve, which makes high precision possible.

In most cases, the only ways to adjust mouse acceleration are via a series of checkboxes or a poorly curved slider. Because of this, many individuals falsely assume that mouse acceleration is inherently problematic. Until recently, when this custom curve tool was introduced by, few people understood the significance of a well-tuned mouse acceleration curve.

Is Mouse Acceleration Good or Bad for Gaming?

According to this troubleshooting thread on Microsoft forums, mouse acceleration is not suitable for gaming. It will drastically impact your aim and accuracy if you maintain acceleration. Turn off mouse acceleration if you don't want the cursor to veer off in unexpected directions.

You can play video games with either a regular or specialized gaming mouse like this. Ask any gamer about mouse acceleration, and they'll likely shrug and say it's a feature they'd rather live without. Most players you meet will tell you they never use mouse acceleration. Although many gamers choose to keep it enabled and hone their skills in response to it, a mouse's primary function is to facilitate rapid movement. Players who alter the setting are more likely to improve their aim and accuracy. This video tutorial by WePC explains exactly how to disable mouse acceleration. 

Disable mouse acceleration to maintain optimal control of the movement of your cursor.
Mouse acceleration is not suitable for gaming and should be turned off if you don't want the cursor to veer off in random directions. Image Source: YouTube.

6. Angle Snapping

If you move your mouse in a straight line, the mouse will predict your next move and "snap" to that angle. This is known as “angle snapping” and is a feature that is useful for graphic designers.  Most gamers don’t use angle snapping because it's detrimental to performance during gameplay.

Angle snapping is a gaming mouse feature that allows it to predict a gamer's next move.

Most gaming mice don't have the feature because it's detrimental to performance during gameplay and they avoid using angles. Angle snapping is typically disabled on gaming mice because good gaming mice should let you aim with pinpoint precision. 

Is Angle Snapping Bad?

Angle snapping is detrimental to gaming. In games, especially first-person shooting games, you want nothing to get in the way of your aim. Angle snapping is typically a feature that graphic designers prefer to use to ensure proper alignment and accuracy in designs but it is a feature that gamers try to avoid.

7. Mouse Size

While there is some variety in the size and shape of gaming mice, they all tend to be on the bulkier side. Because of this, good gaming mice for people with smaller hands are hard to come by. 

Gaming mouse size, weight, and design are just as important as sensitivity, connectivity, and gaming-specific features. Gamers with hands that are shorter than 17 centimeters should look for a small mouse, gamers with hands 17-19 cm long should look for a medium mouse, and gamers with hands measuring 21 centimeters or more should look for a large mouse. 

If you have small hands, a gaming mouse's size, weight, and design are just as important as the sensitivity, connectivity, and gaming-specific features. Read our article about the 7 best gaming mice for small hands to learn more about what to look for when purchasing smaller mice like this one.

Taking your hand measurement is very easy. With the palm facing up, measure from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger. 

One of the specs to consider when choosing a gaming mouse is size, which requires you to measure the distance from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your palm.
Measure your hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger, Your measurements determine the size of the mouse you need. Image Source: Tailshot Polo.

Summary of Corresponding Hand and Mouse Sizes

Hand Measurements  Average Recommended Mouse Size Mouse Example from Amazon
Small less than 17cm long Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB - MMO Gaming Mouse
Medium 17cm - 19cm long Logitech G502 HERO High Performance Wired Gaming Mouse
Large  19cm - 21cm long and more Redragon M913 Impact Elite Wireless Gaming Mouse, 16000 DPI Wired/Wireless RGB Gamer Mouse

Related articles:

Fix a gaming mouse that keeps double clicking

How to fix a gaming mouse that is disconnected

8. Mouse Weight

Most gamers find weight to be one of the least important specs when choosing a new gaming mouse. However, ensuring the mouse can be maneuvered easily and doesn't cause hand fatigue is important. Through trial and error, you can find the best mouse weight for your gameplay. A mouse's weight directly affects how quickly and easily the mouse moves. 

The weight of a gaming mouse affects accuracy, speed, and fatigue. A mouse that is too heavy will cause the user to lose accuracy and concentration due to tired muscles and a mouse that is not heavy enough could lead to less accuracy and control.

A gaming mouse should weigh no more than 100 grams for the best performance. According to this article from Advances in Physiotherapy, a mouse’s weight and size directly contribute to user fatigue because of the muscle strain experienced in the hand, forearm, neck, and shoulder. 

You won't have to strain your wrists or arms as much when using a mouse of the ideal weight. In general, there are a lot of different mice to pick from, but you should always go for the one that best satisfies your needs as mouse weight is a personal preference. One person can find a certain mouse's weight just right, while another might find it too heavy. Some people find that heavier mice are easier to control, while others find that lighter mice are faster. Generally, gamers should settle on a mouse that feels comfortable and responsive.

How To Find the Optimal Mouse Weight

Too many people focus solely on the sensor or the number of buttons when shopping for a gaming mouse. The weight of a mouse is a crucial factor for gamers.

Any material object has inertia, which is its resistance to a change in velocity. You would need to overcome the inertia of your mouse with each change in directional shift. It might feel like your mouse wants to keep going even after you've stopped moving it as the heavier your mouse is the more inertia you have to overcome and the less connected you feel to your mouse. 

Your brain is used to directing the movements of just your hand without the burden of any additional weight while gaming. Your brain will have a harder time calculating the additional force needed to overcome the inertia if you hold something heavy in your hand while making a hand movement, especially after several hours of online play. Therefore, the heavier your mouse, the more likely your brain will make mistakes as you move it. A heavier mouse will cause you to miss your targets more frequently. If however, you prefer to change your mouse weight to suit different circumstances then consider buying a mouse with customizable weight variations like this one

You can achieve faster response times with lighter gaming mice. A lightweight mouse like this one further facilitates rapid acceleration and deceleration. High precision is achieved with a lightweight mouse, a slow mousepad, and slow mouse feet.  

Weight, being an important gaming mouse spec, should be considered carefully so choose a mouse that has adjustable weight.
A weight tunable mouse will allow you to change the mouse’s weight according to different gaming requirements. Image Source: Amazon.

9. Mouse Sensor Type

Any gaming mouse needs to have a sensor. It impacts how well the mouse will detect movement on various surfaces and how enjoyable a game is. Your real-world movements are essentially translated into cursor movements by sensors. Your gaming experience may be significantly impacted by them, particularly in terms of speed, accuracy, consistency, and responsiveness. Each sensor model varies slightly, and most gamers will have personal favorites.

The type of mouse sensor impacts how well the mouse detects movement on the desk surface and translates those movements to the screen. Select a laser sensor for more sensitivity than an optical sensor, which makes it suitable for use on unusual surfaces like glass and metal. On the other hand, an optical sensor provides more stable and predictable movement.

Laser Sensor 

The deeper surface illumination provided by laser mice allows them to detect minute ridges and other surface irregularities. The drawback is that the mouse will track according to that information if it receives too much information. As a result, a laser mouse moves erratically and slowly at slower speeds.

In most cases, a gaming mouse like this with a laser sensor has a higher DPI rate than an optical mouse and can be used on any surface, including glass. However, because the laser can track faster on surfaces, it can frequently cause erratic and jittery movements in games when making slower, more precise movements.

Optical Sensor 

It is obvious that when it comes to gaming, an optical mouse may be a better option. Providing greater tracking capacity accuracy and at a far lower cost. In competitive video games, consistency and dependability are essential to success, and you want every advantage possible.

An optical mouse like this one is renowned for only being able to detect the surface's top. Because the mouse doesn't pick up any information that it doesn't need, the mouse pads produce a seamless, smooth gliding experience. When the sensor detects a change on the surface, it immediately begins to function on it without any problems. An optical mouse typically has less variance than 1%. An optical mouse will perform better tracking and function best on matte or non-glossy mouse pads and laminated desk surfaces.

The optical laser of this mouse works seamlessly on surfaces that have imperfections.
The Logitech Optical Mouse Combo is the best-selling optical mouse on the market today because of its cutting-edge, high-definition optical technology. Image Source: Amazon.

10. Wired Vs. Wireless

Players need to have stability. People who play first-person shooters or games requiring constant mouse movement will find this especially true. A brief break in communication between your mouse and the computer could mean the difference between winning and losing a game or a battle.

When considering wired vs. wireless mice, choose a wired mouse for reducing interference from other bluetooth devices. Choose a wireless mouse for flexibility and an uncluttered wireless look.

Since a wired mouse like this is directly connected to your computer, it will be more stable than a wireless one. There is zero possibility of interference from other devices, and unless your mouse is damaged, you will worry less about losing connection. This may be less of a problem as wireless mouse technology advances, but for the time being, you should still consider it. Although wired and wireless mice operate similarly, the debate of which is superior for gaming continues. 

An important gaming mouse spec to think about is whether it is wired or wireless as this can affect your gaming performance if your wireless mouse is affected by interference from other bluetooth devices.
Although wired and wireless mice operate similarly, the debate of which is superior for gaming cotinnues. Image Source: Life Wire.

The Pros of a Wired Mouse

Due to their durability and convenience, wired mice like these dominate the gaming market. Although the wireless mouse has made great strides in recent years, the tethered variety still has certain benefits. Although wireless mice have their place in the future, the latest innovations are often made available to wired mice first.

1. Convenience

A wired mouse's plug-and-play convenience makes it a breeze to set up and use. Connecting the mouse to a computer is as simple as plugging in the cable. Wired mice like this one are ideal for gamers who want to jump right in without fumbling around for batteries or fearing they'll lose their wireless receiver.

2. Price

When compared to the wireless equivalent, the cost of a wired mouse is far lower. Due to the reduced hardware requirements, wired mice are consistently less expensive than their wireless counterparts. However, wireless mice have a promising future, and the price gap will likely shrink as the technology becomes more widely adopted.

3. Fast Speeds

The difference in performance between the best wired and wireless mice is negligible and depends on the mouse itself. The wireless models are significantly more expensive than their wired counterparts.

As early as 2021, Razer released this wired Viper 8KHz. The 8,000Hz polling rate makes this mouse the fastest in the world. With this high polling rate, the mouse is in constant contact with the computer, updating the PC eight thousand times per second for a response time of just 0.125 ms, while this wireless Viper Ultimate responds in a millisecond and polls at a rate of a thousand hertz. The Viper Ultimate may be marginally less fast than the 8KHz, but it's still competitive with other high-end gaming mice.

The response times of wired and wireless mice are close in the examples. A continued reign for wired mice is possible if more manufacturers switch to an 8,000Hz polling rate.

Wired Cons

1. Comfort

The wire is the major drawback of wired mice. Cable drag can negatively impact gaming performance because of the discomfort it causes while using the mouse and the unwanted friction it causes. Bungee supports like this one help reduce cable drag in wired gaming mice but come at an additional cost.

2. Durability

The cable is the most fragile part of a wired mouse. If you frequently travel, you shouldn't use a wired mouse because the cable can easily get snagged or tangled. This is not an issue with a mouse with a removable cable like this one. Detachable cables can be easily replaced if they become damaged or go missing.

3. Distance Constraints

When using a wired mouse, your distance from the computer is limited by the length of the cable. This makes using a wired mouse problematic if you like to work from a comfortable distance from your computer or if you have your PC connected to a television. Competitive gamers, who typically sit closer to their screens, won't be affected by the set's short range.

Using a wired mouse can generally allow for quicker response times.
A wired gaming mouse with a mesh cable can help reduce the drag typically associated with wired mice. Image Source: Amazon.

Wireless Pros

The convenience of wireless gaming mice far outweighs the discomfort of their wired counterparts. There's no cable drag or resistance when moving the mouse, so your hand has more mobility. The freedom of movement allows for quicker flicks and more precise in-game tracking.

1. Longer Range

Today's wireless mice like this one, have a greater range, making them ideal for use when you're not right next to your monitor or when your computer is connected to a television. An extender cable can help the wireless connection when you're seated far away from your computer. One end of the extender cable connects to your computer, while the USB receiver connects to your device. A separate extender cable like this is often included with most wireless mice.

2. Durability

Wireless mice are preferable for frequent travelers because they eliminate the hassle of dealing with cables. However, some wireless mice require docking stations or cables to charge, making them more expensive to replace if lost or broken. A wireless rechargeable mouse like this one would eliminate the need to bring extra batteries when traveling. 

Wireless Cons

1. Battery Life

The batteries in wireless mice eventually die. There are both rechargeable and disposable battery options for wireless mice. The batteries may die during gameplay regardless of which option you select. Many wireless mice circumvent the battery life problem because they come with a USB cable to charge while you play. Unfortunately, cable drag can become a problem.

The batteries' limited useful life span is another potential issue. This Logitech's G305 is just one of many wireless mice that runs on AA batteries, which are commonplace and inexpensive. Expensive lithium-polymer batteries are used in high-end mice like this Logitech G502 Lightspeed.

2. Interference With a Signal

Some wireless mice may lose connection if too many electronic gadgets are in the immediate vicinity. Because of advancements in technology, this issue is quickly becoming obsolete. Today's top-tier wireless mice, such as those made by Razer and Logitech, have long since resolved this problem. These high-end mice check for available channels, then hop on the one that's both fast and has the fewest interruptions.

Looking at the top wired gaming mice and top wireless gaming mice, you will see that they are very similar in speed and features. There is no definitive solution to this question; it is up to personal taste and financial constraints to determine the best option.

Summary of Wired And Wireless Mice Pros and Cons

Type Of Mouse Pros Cons Example Product
Wired Convenience, price, fast speed Comfort, durability, distance constraint Asus Tuf Gaming M4 Air Lightweight Gaming Mouse
Wireless  Longer range, durability Battery life, interference with signal Wireless Gaming Mouse

11. Programmable Buttons

On gaming mice, the side buttons are referred to as programmable buttons. They are used to execute in-game commands with the simple push of a button, doing away with the need to learn or employ challenging hotkeys. It is possible to assign or program each button to carry out particular game behaviors.

Programmable buttons are used for changing the sound profile, activating or deactivating Bluetooth, turning the hotspot on or off, DND mode, flying mode, torch, calculator, or activating the auto-rotate feature. Determine how many buttons are needed by deciding on executing in-game commands rather than using need-to-learn or hotkey commands. 

The programmable buttons on a mouse like this are handy for executing quick commands. You can use them to open any application installed on the computer, take a screenshot, start screen recording, or any other frequently used shortcuts. Buttons have countless uses, and it is up to you to choose how to use them most effectively. 

Programme the buttons on the mouse to execute regular commands while gaming.
The programmable buttons on the side of a gaming mouse enable users to assign specific hotkey commands to a single button for faster inputs. Image Source: Amazon.

Standard 3-Button Mouse Vs. Multiple-Button Mouse

The most common mouse design is the three-button scroll mouse like this. Users most frequently use the second button to open a contextual menu in the computer's software user interface, which offers choices, especially for the aspect of the interface that corresponds with the cursor. For the convenience of right-handed users, the primary mouse button is by default situated on the mouse's left side; left-handed users can typically reverse this setting using the software. 

A mouse like this that has additional buttons gives you the ability to carry out more tasks. You can configure the buttons to carry out specific orders, making them particularly helpful for gamers, designers, and anybody who wants to carry out more tasks.

Programmable buttons on a gaming mouse is a spec that can be beneficial for right-handed and left-handed users.
A standard computer mouse can be reconfigured in the device settings for users who use the mouse with their left hand. Image Source: mysupportRazor.

How Many Buttons Do I Need?

There should be at least six buttons on a gaming mouse. The standard top left side (M1) and right side (M2) buttons are a must-have. Where your thumb will rest on the left, there should be a minimum of two buttons. The DPI button on top and the scroll wheel (M3) are essential 

Components. This YouTube video tutorial explains exactly how to customize the buttons on a gaming mouse.

You can choose the other buttons based on your preferences. So, avoid purchasing a gaming mouse based purely on aesthetics but choose one that is appropriate for your needs and comfort level as well.

12. Wheel Encoder 

The wheel encoder alters the feel and performance of a scroll wheel. It affects how the scrolling and rotations feel rather than the mouse wheel clicking. Choose a mechanical encoder for a video game mouse to monitor the scroll wheel's actual motion and translate that into digital output. For the use of optical signals as opposed to measuring actual rotations, go with an optical encoder. 

Mechanical Encoders

A mechanical encoder is the most common encoder in gaming mice like this one. They translate the physical scroll wheel action into electrical impulses. Mechanical encoders can't replace optical encoders.

Optical Encoders

Instead of mechanical encoders, some mouse manufacturers utilize optical scroll wheel encoders. Rather than detect actual rotations, these encoders operate on light signals. Mechanical and optical encoders are not interchangeable.

13. Mouse Feet

Your mouse can glide easily on a mouse pad due to its feet or skates. They are located on the mouse's bottom and lift the mouse base off the pad to reduce friction while keeping the mouse near the pad for the sensor to track properly. Your gameplay will benefit from a glide that is smoother and more consistent.

A mouse’s feet affect gameplay through friction. Look for thick feet, that have soft edges, and are made with a blend of other plastic along with PTFE

Most mainstream gaming mice use pure or virgin PTFE in some form for their mouse feet. Although this has emerged as the norm for gaming mice, not all mouse feet are created equal, and some may deteriorate more quickly than others. In these cases, aftermarket mouse feet like these can be useful.

Included in the specs of your gaming mouse are the feet, that may need to be replaced.
Mouse feet or skates are the small plastic or PTFE pads under the mouse that encourage fluid movement. Image Source: Amazon.

Are All Mice Feet Created Equal?

Mouse feet are not all created equal; some wear out faster than others and need to be replaced. When choosing a set of aftermarket mouse feet, it would be best to look for a few things. Above all else, be sure the mouse feet you purchase are made of high-quality materials, such as pure PTFE. 

Checking to see if the mouse feet are any color other than white is a simple technique to determine if they are entirely made of PTFE. If the mouse feet are any other color, they almost certainly contain an additive and aren't made of pure PTFE. Lastly, you must be aware of mouse feet edges and the break-in period. Rounded edges are best at reducing any scratchiness, which most stock mouse feet have. Be aware that there is a break-in period for stock mouse feet. 

14. RGB Backlit Mouse

An RGB backlit mouse doesn’t improve game performance but many gamers like them for the way they look. They generate custom color combinations by blending red, green, and blue light, to add an aesthetically pleasing effect to a gaming mouse. 

Using RGB mouse software, you can program your exact favorite colors to appear on particular keys or in specific sequences. You can even link the mouse’s lighting sequences and effects to an RGB keyboard like this to sync to particular game events or your PC's real-time performance.

The first applications for RGB gaming keyboards were as external add-ons in high-end home gaming systems. Gamers can now design their unique key patterns and colors, as can anyone who wants their system to display a little personality. Gamers know the benefits of using an RGB keyboard to quickly locate the crucial WASD keys, as explained in this article from Helke Klein, and make the most of each North-South-East-West keystroke. 

The lighting of an RGB backlit gaming mouse doesn't improve performance but it does give the mouse a funky look.
To change the lighting modes, you just need to click the ‘Right’ button and the ‘Backward’ button for more fun while gaming. Image Source: Amazon.

Does A Backlit Mouse Improve Your Gaming?

Although a good gaming mouse won't help you become a better player, it can make the difference between winning and losing. A backlit mouse on the other hand won’t have any significant effect on your gaming success. A high-end gaming mouse allows users to remove undesired inputs and can help you have more control over your movements, though most gamers will agree that backlighting has zero impact on gaming performance.

What to Look for in a Gaming Mouse

When looking for the best gaming mouse, comfort should be a top priority. Since the offered products likely meet your technological requirements, you should prioritize the mouse's build quality and feel when selecting one.

There is a problem if the mouse pointer's location on the screen deviates from the user's intended path. Jittering, stuttering, skipping, and drifting are all flaws that can reduce the precision of a mouse's movements. Inconsistent acceleration or prediction from the mouse could likewise be considered an annoying bug.

The software, the number of buttons, the responsiveness, and the sensitivity of a gaming controller are all factors that players should consider. It is a matter of "try it and see how it feels" for mice most of the time.


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