Gaming Mouse vs. Normal Mouse & Tips to Choose The Right One For You

There are benefits to playing video games that go beyond having fun. And the better suited your equipment is, the better your overall experience and enjoyment. The market for gaming mice is also booming these days, with manufacturers creating more models than ever before. As you might expect, there are several differences between a gaming mouse vs. normal mouse and we’ll discuss them in this article. 

The main differences between a gaming mouse and a normal computer mouse are that gaming mice have higher DPI and polling rates for faster response time, ergonomic designs, and are more durable than regular computer mice. 

When comparing a gaming mouse vs. normal mouse the latter has a lower DPI and polling rate.
A gaming mouse has a higher DPI and polling rate when compared to a regular computer mouse. Image Source: Amazon.

Gaming Mouse vs. Normal Mouse - What are Their Differences?

The sensor is the major difference between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse. Regular mice have optical sensors that use light to track the surface you are on, while gaming mice have laser sensors, which work on almost any surface. The laser sensor of a gaming mouse allows for faster response time and helps gamers accurately control the game. 

A gaming mouse has more buttons for better control and accuracy compared to the three mono-functional buttons on a regular mouse. Use a gaming mouse to increase comfort and responsiveness when gaming, and use a normal mouse for surfing the web or ordinary computer work. 

A gaming mouse’s setting can be customized to the user’s preferences as well as to the requirements of specific games as this article, by the computer manufacturer MSI, explains. This extra function affords the user more flexibility to make minute adjustments that will improve functionality and performance. 

The Pros and Cons of Using a Normal Mouse for Gaming

Unfortunately the pros of using a normal mouse for gaming are outweighed by the cons. 

The only reason to use a normal mouse for gaming is to save money. Normal mice have slow responsiveness, no extra capabilities, and lack ergonomics. 

The Pro of Using a Normal Mouse for Gaming

A Normal Mouse Costs Less

The only advantage of using a normal mouse for gaming is that it costs less. Because they have fewer features when compared to gaming mice, one of the main advantages of utilizing a normal computer mouse for gaming is that they are far less expensive. Regular computer mice come in wired models like this, and wireless models like this  for those who want an uncluttered look on their desks.  

A gaming mouse has multiple buttons vs. a normal mouse that has three mono-functional buttons.
A regular mouse has three mono-functional buttons that are best for ordinary computer work. Image Source: Amazon.

The Cons of Using a Normal Mouse for Gaming

A normal mouse is ill-suited to gaming because it lacks essential features that improve the gaming experience. A regular computer mouse has slower responsiveness because it has a lower DPI and polling rate. It also has fewer or no programmable buttons for important game-specific functions like reloading and changing DPI on the fly. 

1. Slow Responsiveness

A normal mouse does not have the responsiveness required for games like Call of Duty, Far Cry, and other FPS games. The onscreen movement would be sluggish, and the mouse would not react quickly enough for games. This is known as lag and can cause a lot of frustration for gamers. Gaming mice allow the user to change the DPI, which our article about how to test and change mouse DPI discusses. 

2. No Extra Capabilities

When using a regular mouse to play games, it doesn’t provide the added features that a gaming mouse does, such as configurable controls. A normal mouse has left and right click buttons, a scroll wheel, and a thumb click button that allows a user to go back to a previously viewed webpage. These basic buttons are less useful for gamers. 

3. Non-Ergonomic Design

Gaming mice have better ergonomic designs to reduce hand and arm fatigue when playing for many hours. Using an uncomfortable mouse for long stretches of time can cause tightness and discomfort in the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, and neck according to this article from the Journal of Ergonomics. An ergonomically designed mouse can reduce muscle tension in these areas and prevent long-term health issues. 

The Pros and Cons of Using a Gaming Mouse for Gaming

A gaming mouse provides better comfort for players, especially when playing for several back-to-back hours. The specialized ergonomics, ensure users don’t suffer from hand and shoulder strain when playing. 

Gaming mice are more comfortable than normal mice. They have specialized ergonomics, superior performance, and better durability. However, they are more expensive due to technological and functional features and because they use higher quality materials.

A gaming mouse performs better than a regular mouse because of its accurate optical sensors. Gaming mice are also more robust and durable than regular mice and can endure more aggressive handling. 

However, a gaming mouse is more expensive than a regular computer mouse because of the additional technology and functional features it has. A gaming mouse is also manufactured using higher quality materials that contribute to its production costs.

The Pros of Using a Gaming Mouse for Gaming

A gaming mouse will allow you to perform optimally while gaming, because of its responsiveness and design.

1. Comfort

When it comes to gaming mice, comfort is essential. While providing accurate responsiveness, a gaming mouse helps players immerse themselves in the game’s world, making the experience more enjoyable. The market is filled with a wide variety of mice, each with a unique set of features and advantages. The ergonomic design of this mouse makes it very comfortable to use.

Many players prefer a heavier gaming mouse when playing for long periods of time Our article listing the 5 best heavy gaming mice will help you choose a heavier mouse if you find it more comfortable. 

The ergonomic design of this gaming mouse makes it a much better choice vs. a normal mouse.
The Razer Pro Click is one of the best ergonomic gaming mice on the market. Image Source: Amazon.

2. Performance

Better pointer motions and a quicker reaction time are two of the features that allow gaming mice to perform better. This aids in the quicker execution of gaming tasks since certain games need quick play to accomplish or reach certain levels. This article from the Journal of Applied Ergonomics explains why the performance of a gaming mouse is superior to that of a regular mouse. 

The sensors on a gaming mouse like this are more intuitive and sensitive when compared to those on regular mice. They make it possible to operate a mouse on surfaces like glass, which a normal mouse would not be able to do, making them more effective and versatile.

The design of a gaming mouse makes it faster and more precise than a regular mouse. It’s quicker and more accurately captures input on certain keys to enact an action or command during a game. When playing games that demand faster player reactions, this is really helpful.

A gaming mouse allows the gamer to enact certain commands with more accuracy and speed.
Gaming mice have a reputation for enhancing gamers' performance because they decrease lag time between the mouse input and on-screen action. Image Source: Tom's Guide.

3. Durability

Gaming mice are more durable. The materials used to make gaming mice are of a higher quality than those used to make regular mice, so they last a lot longer. A gaming mouse like this is sturdier and more rugged than a regular mouse so that it can handle the fast and aggressive moves and clicks that players make when engrossed in a game. 

Even with continuous, intense gaming throughout the day, they are built to last a long time. Playing online games requires a lot of active and reactive movements, such as clicking many buttons repeatedly, which might cause the buttons to break. Sliding the mouse along the desk surface causes friction which can wear a cheaper mouse down. The excellent quality of the materials used in gaming mice limits wear and tear, as well as broken buttons.

A gaming mouse like this will have much less wear vs. playing with a normal mouse.
The Logitech G502 HERO gaming mouse is currently one of the most durable due to its design and materials. Image Source: Amazon.

You may also find interest in our quick guide to gaming mouse specs. If so, be sure to read our related article to find out more.

The Con of Using a Gaming Mouse for Gaming

A gaming mouse is more expensive than a regular computer mouse because of the additional technology and functional features it has. A gaming mouse is also manufactured using higher quality materials that contribute to its production costs. 

Can Be Very Expensive

Gaming mice like these are more expensive than other mice on the market because they have so many additional benefits and features, in addition to their quality superiority, and reliability. Our article that looks at how much a gaming mouse costs explains the various factors like ergonomics, polling rate, and higher DPI that influence its price, and how to choose the right mouse for your needs. 

The cost of a gaming mouse vs. a normal mouse is a lot more.
The Razer Viper mouse is pricey because it has so many additional benefits and features, in addition to its quality superiority and reliability. Image Source: Amazon.

Can a Gaming Mouse Be Used as a Regular Mouse?

A gaming mouse is different from a regular mouse. High performance, comfortable design, customizable buttons, configurable weights, and other essential functions are all helpful features of gaming mice.

A gaming mouse can be used as a normal mouse but will perform better. Use a gaming mouse to deliver better quality work because of the higher DPI and better handling. 

This article from the Journal of Human-Computer Interaction explains how using a more intuitive mouse with better input-output responses improves the productivity and work efficiency of regular office employees. This means that using a gaming mouse as a regular mouse could allow for more productivity.

Is a Normal Mouse Good For Gaming?

If you're new to gaming, you might want to start off with a regular mouse so you can adjust to the movements before switching to a gaming mouse, which could be too advanced for you. Since you are a newbie, you should probably stick with a regular mouse when playing offline single-player games like The Witcher 3, God of War, and Assassin's Creed. 

A normal computer mouse has a low DPI and polling rate. For beginner gamers, a normal mouse is good for offline single-player games. However, it is not ideal for fast-paced FPS-style games.

As you progress and improve, you will most likely switch to online multiplayer games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft. Those games will improve your gaming skills. They make you more competitive because you'll be playing against other players. In order to participate and gain competitive proficiency, you will need to start using an entry-level gaming mouse like this. Our article about the 10 best mice to use when playing Fortnite will help you choose a mouse with good precision and accuracy. 

A gaming mouse is a vital piece of hardware that you should invest in if you play computer games frequently and want to have an advantage over your competitors or if you're hoping to participate successfully in a multi-player event. A standard mouse, however, should work just fine if you only use your computer occasionally to browse the internet and perform minor activities and don't play many games. 

What to Look For in a Mouse for Gaming

Your gaming mouse should allow you to perform at your best so that you can perform well and achieve the best possible results.

A gaming mouse should have customizable dots per inch settings, an integrated ergonomic design, customizable controls, and macro keys.

Here are our suggested tips for when you are looking for a gaming mouse:

Tip 1. Customizable Dots Per Inch (DPI) 

The sensitivity of a gaming mouse and whether it can be tweaked to fit the kind of games you play are two characteristics to look for. How quickly your mouse moves across your screen depends on its sensitivity, or dots per inch (DPI). A gaming mouse like this that is more sensitive will move more quickly, and vice versa. 

The number of pixels your pointer will travel each time you move or flick your mouse is known as DPI. In other words, if your DPI is doubled, your cursor will go twice as far with each mouse click, and vice versa. If your DPI is customizable, you can adjust the mouse sensitivity to meet your gaming demands. 

The size of your gaming screen is a huge factor in deciding the best DPI to use. You'll need a mouse with a high DPI if you play games on a large screen. A gaming mouse will have pre-programmed DPI levels that can range from 400 DPI to 26,000 DPI or more. For example, this Corsair gaming mouse comes programmed with 18,000 DPI settings that can be adjusted in single DPI increments for truly custom tweaks. 

All gaming mice have buttons that allow you to instantly alter the DPI, either on the mouse's top or side. A gaming mouse with adjustable DPI gives a superb gaming experience. You can adjust the sensitivity of your mouse to your liking, which is ideal for people who need to adjust their sensitivity based on the activity. 

The mouse's software may be downloaded if you want to modify the default DPI settings. Excellent sensitivity will make actions like turning, pointing, and firing smoother and more accurate.

A gaming mouse’s software allows you to change the DPI settings of your mouse according to your preferences and the type of game you are playing.
Downloading a mouse’s software enables you to modify the default DPI settings. Image Source: How To Geek.

Tip 2. Ergonomics Including Design and Grip Types 

When it comes to gaming mice, comfort reigns supreme, and is probably the most important feature of the mouse’s usability. Gaming mice come in various sizes and styles, so choosing one that fits your hand is important. According to this article by Logitech, you must select a gaming mouse that is appropriate for your grip style and palm size because it has a significant influence on your in-game performance and comfort. 

Gaming mice are designed to be used all day, so they are almost always ergonomic. They provide a natural and relaxing grip, especially when there is a thumb rest feature like this one has. Because of the ergonomic design, you can use a gaming mouse for longer periods without experiencing any strain. 

Device designers consider gamers' hand grip styles when creating the spec sheets for their mouse designs and prototypes for the design to complement and support the gamers’ physiology. These different holding styles are often referred to as "grip types", and they differ from player to player. Mice can typically accommodate three basic grasp styles: palm, claw, and fingertip. 

The most popular grip is the palm grip when the entire hand rests on the mouse. Competitive gamers frequently adopt a claw grip because it makes it easier to click with more accuracy. When compared to the claw grip, the fingertip grip provides the most control and a more natural feel. The one disadvantage is that it can be the most exhausting of the three grips. Our article about gaming mouse hand grip type explains these styles in more detail and also suggests what mouse best suits each grip.

Not all ergonomic gaming mice are created equal. While some, like this one, might look like futuristic devices straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, their comfort might be compromised due to the over-the-top design. Aesthetics and design are a personal choice but don’t forgo comfort for looks, because you might regret it later. Choose a mouse that allows your palm and fingers to curve naturally over the mouse body while still being able to easily reach all the necessary controls and buttons. 

Most gamers adopt three main grips namely the palm grip, claw grip, and fingertip grip and could even change between these grips for different games and tasks.
Users typically have three basic grasp styles: palm, claw, and fingertip. Image Source: Best Gaming Mice Grip.

Tip 3. Customizable Weight

A gaming mouse's weight is important since it affects accuracy and can influence muscle fatigue. A mouse that is too light could cause imprecise movements that the player will have to constantly correct. A heavier mouse might make a player’s hand tired if used for many hours. Having a mouse with customizable weight options like this one will give you the flexibility to alter your mouse’s weight for different situations. 

Depending on the user's preferences, the weights of certain gaming mice are changeable and may be added or removed. There is a little slot on the bottom of the mouse where extra weights may be placed to make the mouse heavier or lighter based on your weight preference.

The mouse's weight will matter if you play video games and flick your mouse. A gaming mouse is easier to handle and recover from a flick when it is lighter. Theoretically speaking, though, a lighter mouse like this one should help you become more nimble, respond to threats more quickly, and smooth out any annoying jerky movements. 

A gaming mouse liike this that is light and responsive should allow your movements to be nimble and compensate for jerky movements.
The Aerox 5 is an ultralight wireless gaming mouse, making it easy to handle and recover from a flick. Image Source: SteelSeries.

Tip 4. Polling Rates

A gaming mouse's polling rate controls how often it updates the computer about its location. The number of times your mouse sends a report to your computer about its location is called a polling rate and is expressed in hertz (Hz). 

Improved aim and a more enjoyable gaming experience are the results of smoother mouse movements, which indirectly correlate to the polling rate and affect your mouse's sensitivity and responsiveness. For instance, if the polling rate is set to 100Hz, the mouse would be reporting data to the computer every 100 seconds.

Your game will seem clumsy and jarring if your mouse's polling rate is low. There will be a tiny latency in your movements as your range of view or your pointer moves around the screen, causing uneven transitions and slow responses. This will hinder your ability to fully immerse yourself in the gaming experience, and diminish your enjoyment. This obviously has a negative impact on how much fun role-playing games could be, but it can also lower the level of play you are able to achieve. Your mouse's latency might cost you when you need to aim swiftly, precisely, and without hesitation.

Most gamers will find that a gaming mouse like this one with a polling rate of at least 500 Hz is enough. Some could reach or exceed 1000 Hz. The difference between 500 and 1000 Hz, however, probably won't be noticeable. Higher-end gaming mice, such as these Razer Viper 8KHz, have polling rates of up to 8000 Hz.

A gaming mouse could have an adjustable polling rate vs. a normal mouse that doesn’t even have a polling rate.
Some mice, like the Xtrfy M42, come with a dedicated switch on the underside to modify the polling rate. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 5. Customizable Controls and Macro Keys

When purchasing a gaming mouse, one of the things to look for is the configurable buttons and macro keys. Additional buttons for various functions are common on gaming mice, some gaming mice have fewer buttons while others have more. These days, some gaming mice even come with more buttons than necessary — up to 5 or 6 in total. The side buttons on gaming mice may be set up to perform various functions or act as macro keys. 

Macro keys are additional mouse buttons that allow the user to assign different in-game actions to those buttons. Examples of macro tasks include reloading a gun, melee, and interacting with the gaming environment like NPCs. You should be able to customize your gameplay with the help of an excellent gaming mouse. The extra buttons of a gaming mouse like this one will expand your gameplay control options.

Players can get tremendous help from these extra buttons. In gaming, especially MMO games, they are utilized as macros to make things simpler and more intuitive. If you wish to play more effectively, these extra controls are crucial. 

Depending on the manufacturer, different software will assist with this customization. By using these buttons on your gaming mouse, you can utilize some keyboard combinations that might be challenging or cumbersome to access on your keyboard. If you play competitively, this function can be useful because even a millisecond can be the difference between victory and defeat.

The settings of your gaming mouse have to be adjusted according to your gaming requirements especially if you play competitively.
Adjusting the settings of your gaming mouse is necessary. This image shows the settings display for the MSI DS 100 gaming mouse. Image Source: MSI.

Summary of Gaming Mice Features

What Feature to Look For In a Gaming Mouse Why is This Feature Important? Product With This Feature
Customisable Dots Per Inch (DPI)  DPI is significant because it influences mouse movement. A higher DPI provides more speed, whereas a lower DPI provides better precision and control of mouse movements. Glorious Gaming Mouse - Model O
Ergonomics - Design and Grip Types  Ergonomics is important to improve comfortability and avoid repetitive stress injuries. Razer Pro Click Humanscale Wireless Mouse: Ergonomic Form Factor
Customizable Weight Depending on a gamer's physical characteristics, adjusting the weight of the mouse is one way to make it more comfortable to operate. Logitech G403 Hero 25K Gaming Mouse, Lightweight 
Polling Rates Polling rates affect a mouse's response time. Xtrfy M42 Rgb Ultra Light Gaming Mouse
Customizable Controls and Macro Keys It improves a gamer's efficiency when performing certain gaming tasks.  Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse

It's interesting to learn how to choose the right gaming mouse for large hands. Take a look at our related article for more infotmation.

Features to Look For in a Normal Mouse That Can Be Used for Gaming

While a gaming mouse is an absolute must for a hardcore gamer, there are still some games that you can play with a normal mouse if you are just starting out gaming for fun or just for relaxation. 

To find a normal mouse that can be used for gaming, look for a mouse with an optical sensor and make sure it is wired. A regular wired mouse will have less lag than a wireless one.

Games are not the time-wasters that people think they are, but can often improve a person’s problem-solving skills and coordination. According to research conducted by PNAS, playing computer games can improve brain function and increase hand-eye coordination.

These are the features that you should look for in a normal mouse for gaming:

Feature 1. Has a Laser Sensor 

The type and quality of a mouse sensor influence how accurately it will respond and whether it will operate smoothly, with constant jittering, or too quickly. Laser and optical sensors are the most common kinds. 

When it comes to normal mice, if you can find one like this with laser sensors, you're in luck. When playing a first-person-shooter game like Call of Duty or a game where you have to race a fast sports vehicle through the city to avoid the police like Grand Theft Auto 5, the sensor in the mouse needs to precisely match the movement of the hand. For more details about mouse responsiveness, read this article by the computer manufacturer, HP.

If you have to use a normal mouse for gaming make sure you get one with a laser sensor.
When purchasing a normal mouse for gaming, choose one that has a laser sensor. Image Source: How To Geek.

Feature 2. Should Be Wired, Not Wireless

When it comes to a normal mouse to be used for gaming, it is best to opt for a wired mouse because wired mice are faster than wireless mice. While lag is common in both wired and wireless mice when it comes to gaming, the effect is more obvious when it is wireless and is especially problematic for gamers. 

Due to the fact that wired mice don't create as many delays as wireless ones, gamers should choose them over wireless ones. This is critical when accuracy is required. Additionally, interference from surrounding devices might cause wireless mouse movements to be choppy or even render the mouse unusable until the issue is resolved.

When choosing a wireless vs. a wired mouse for gaming, go for a wired mouse which hasa better response time with less lag.
A wired mouse equipped with a laser sensor is a suitable option when choosing a normal mouse for gaming. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Regular Mice That Can be Used for Gaming

What Feature To Look For in a Normal Mouse Why is This Feature Important? Example With This Feature
Laser Sensor Laser sensors are superior in terms of tracking capabilities, precision, and cost.  Amazon Basics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse - Black
Wired A wired mouse is faster, and interference is not a problem.   Kensington Wired Ergonomic Mouse


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.