2020 has been a unique experience so far. Still, with many of us confined to our homes as the global pandemic rages on, gaming has become more important than ever. Indeed, Steam logged record numbers of gamers heading to their game library in March. But, with more game time, the failings of your hardware start to become noticeable. Most people are aware they don’t have the best gaming mouse on the market. Still, it doesn’t cause much of an issue for a few hours of Civ 6, or the occasional casual Overwatch match.
When you start spending a bit more time gaming, however, the areas in which a cheap gaming mouse is left wanting start to become more apparent. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for you to choose from, covering a wide range of budgets and styles. Whether you need something ergonomic that can double up as a work-from-home mouse, or you need something ultra-responsive for those competitive PUBG matches. In this article, we’re not only going to show you some of the best gaming mouse 2020 contenders but also give you a solid grounding in how to choose between them.
- Quick Tips for Gaming Mouse Shopping
- Best Gaming Mouse 2020: The Best Gaming Mice
- 1. Logitech G203 Prodigy RGB Wired Gaming Mouse
- 2. Corsair Harpoon PRO – RGB Gaming Mouse
- 3. Corsair Nightsword RGB, Performance Tunable FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse
- 4. Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse
- 5. Redragon M901 Wired Gaming Mouse, MMO RGB LED Backlit Computer Mice
- 6. Razer Viper Mini Ultralight Gaming Mouse
- 7. Razer Basilisk v2 Wired Gaming Mouse
- 8. SteelSeries Rival 3 Gaming Mouse
- How to Find the Perfect Gaming Mouse
Quick Tips for Gaming Mouse Shopping
Before you start looking at specs in your quest for the best gaming mouse, you need to know what those specs mean. Here is a breakdown of the main terms you will see used in gaming mouse descriptions, as well as what those terms mean.
- Resolution (DPI/CPI)
- Responsiveness (IPS/Acceleration)
- Form Factor
- RGB Lighting
The advantages of a wireless mouse are nothing to be scoffed at. Not having to deal with messy cables and portability are nice, but when it comes to gaming, there are downsides. For one thing, wireless mouses need recharging. Nobody wants to reach a critical point in their game and have their mouse die on them. The other main issue is latency-the delay between your input and the signal reaching your game.
Now, this is not to say that wireless mice can’t be used for gaming; you will need to be sure you get a good model. Check for decent battery life (around thirty hours) and, if you’re playing a fast-paced game, 2.4GHz wireless mice have less latency than Bluetooth mice.
You’re probably more used to seeing “resolution” used when talking about monitors and graphics cards-even printers. The resolution in mice is essentially the accuracy with which your movements get translated to the screen. The higher the resolution, the finer the detail of your movements. Resolution may be measured in DPI or CPI, which are different units of the same measurement (Dots per Inch and Counts per Inch). The higher the number, the better the resolution.
Responsiveness is often labelled as IPS or Acceleration. The responsiveness determines how quickly your mouse can respond to your movements, which is different from latency. Think of it as similar to the frame rate on a monitor. If you play fast-paced games, you will need a responsive mouse to track those quick movements accurately.
There are three main form factors for a typical gaming mouse, and the names are fairly self-explanatory. Palm grip has your palm resting on the body of the mouse. Claw grip has your palm resting on the back of the mouse and fingers in a claw-like position. Fingertip grip is, as the name suggests, just gripped by the fingers, with your palm not making contact at all.
There is no right or wrong choice here; what you find most comfortable is the one you should choose.
RGB lighting is almost ubiquitous at this point. It’s in our computers, our keyboards, even our mouse mats. And, of course, our mice. Whether you consider this an important feature is a matter of personal preference, but be sure to check what range of control you have over any lighting. Not all mice come with the ability to dim their lights, which can result in a binary choice between no lights and distractingly bright lights.
Best Gaming Mouse 2020: The Best Gaming Mice
So, without further preamble, let’s help you find a good game mouse to see you through this challenging year. Here are our top fifteen gaming mice.
1. Logitech G203 Prodigy RGB Wired Gaming Mouse
(Best gaming mouse for most people)
If you need an excellent all-round mouse at a very reasonable price, you can do a lot worse than the Logitech G203 Prodigy. The G203 is a simple-yet-stylish black mouse with side buttons and an ergonomic design that will suit most gamers nicely. It sports a 6,000 DPI resolution and even RGB lights for that extra touch of flair.
The G203 isn’t wireless, which may or may not suit you, but one area where the budget price shows is the wire itself. Rather than a high quality braided cable, you get a somewhat cheap-feeling plastic cable. Still, for a mouse in this price range, that’s a minor complaint. The software that accompanies the mouse is well-designed, and the responsiveness is respectable. The G203 should be able to handle all but the most competitive of gaming experiences comfortably. It is a little on the smaller side, however. Whether this is a plus or a minus for you will depend on the size of your hands.
2. Corsair Harpoon PRO – RGB Gaming Mouse
(Best budget gaming mouse under 50$)
Our choice for the best budget mouse falls to the Corsair Harpoon PRO. The Harpoon PRO may be the bottom-tier option from Corsair’s gaming mouse lineup, but it’s still one of the best budget options available. It comes in black with an RGB-lit Corsair emblem, five DPI settings, and even a “sniper setting” that is unique among budget mice. The sniper setting frees you up to have as many DPI profiles as the mouse will hold, while still having the sniper button just one click away.
The Harpoon PRO feels more expensive than it is, though it does still sport a cheap-feeling plastic cable. The build quality, on the other hand, is top-notch. It has side buttons and a nice molded rubber grip along the side. It has a maximum DPI of 6,000, which is relatively standard in the world of budget gaming mice. You also get five active DPI settings to choose from using the button on top.
Corsair’s CUE software can control the RGB light, and there are programmable buttons for an added layer of functionality. On the subject of lighting, you can select the color and pattern of the solitary lighting zone, which is located in the Corsair logo. You can also set the colour of your different DPI settings, which can be handy for remembering which setting you are currently on. It should be noted that it can be a little difficult to see the DPI indicator light, however, and you will likely have to lift your palm to check it.
All minor gripes aside, the Harpoon PRO is a very feature-rich offering for a mouse at this price point.
3. Corsair Nightsword RGB, Performance Tunable FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse
(Best premium gaming mouse – FPS and MOBA game)
If you’re playing fast-paced first-person shooters and MOBA games, then our recommendation for you is the Corsair Nightsword RGB. This mouse is designed with those highly competitive styles of game in mind, from the features to the form factor. In addition to all the features you would expect from the best Corsair mouse, you can also make use of weight and center of gravity monitoring through Corsair’s iCUE software. Of course, you can also use the software to set up the RGB lighting, which can be found in the Corsair logo, under the mouse wheel, and in a few locations around the base of the mouse.
There is a substantial thumb rest on the side of the mouse, allowing your thumb respite while still keeping it close to the side buttons. The body features a rubberized texture for better grip, ten programmable buttons, four customizable RGB light zones, and some very comfortable ergonomics.
The weight of the Nightsword can be adjusted using the included weights-simply add or remove as necessary. The Nightsword is on the larger side, so bear that in mind if you have smaller hands-you will likely be forced to palm grip the mouse to use it comfortably.
If you need a mouse with some substance a fair bit of girth, the Corsair Nightsword could well be the one for you. And if you play first-person shooters or MOBAs, we feel there are very few better options out there.
4. Logitech G502 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse
(Best wireless gaming mouse)
If you simply must have a wireless gaming mouse, we recommend the Logitech G502 Lightspeed. As with all Logitech mice gaming is easy on the G502 Lightspeed, and at a pretty premium price point, we’d expect nothing less from this offering. The mouse features a matte-black design with two RGB light zones, although one of them is the Logitech logo itself.
From an ergonomics standpoint, the design of the mouse is heavily inspired by an old favorite from Logitech (the G502 Proteus Spectrum). This means the design was tried and tested before the Lightspeed ever came to market.
The Lightspeed supports wireless charging and is a relatively light gaming mouse. Unfortunately, that handy wireless charging gets in the way of the weight adjustment somewhat, limiting your ability to customize the weight as much as you could with a wired gaming mouse.
The battery life of the G502 Lightspeed is around twenty-four hours with lighting enabled. If you are not particularly bothered about the pretty lights, you could get around double that battery life out of one charge. The wireless charging available with the Lightspeed makes for the height of convenience if paired with a wireless charging mat. You get the benefit of no wires cluttering your desk, and you won’t need to worry about plugging your mouse in every so often. Simply slide it onto the charging point.
While it would be a stretch to call the Lightspeed the best gaming mouse, it wouldn’t be outlandish to call it the best wireless gaming mouse.
5. Redragon M901 Wired Gaming Mouse, MMO RGB LED Backlit Computer Mice
(Best gaming mouse for MMORPG fans)
For the ever-technical MMORPG fanatic, we present you the RedDragon M901 Perdition. The M901 is a stylish looking wired gaming mouse with a matt finish (available in black or white) which helps in keeping it clear of smudgy fingerprints. This is a nice touch for a mouse intended for MMORPGs where a night raiding session can see gamers not leave their computer for hours on end.
The design of the M901 flows nicely, fitting comfortably in your hand, and of course, you can adjust the weight of the mouse by adding and removing weights from the compartment underneath. There are eight weights to add, up to a maximum of 2.4 grams. Adding all of the weights would bring the overall weight of the M901 up to 169.2g, which gives the mouse a nice hefty feel to it. Unless you are playing first-person shooters, you will probably want that heft. The beauty of the eight-part weight adjustment kit is that you can experiment with it until you find a weight that feels right to you.
The RedDragon logo is RGB-lit, as are the side buttons. The side buttons are where the M901 Perdition really comes into its own as a MMORPG mouse. There are twelve programmable buttons on the side, with another six located around the mouse. These buttons can be bound to whatever you like, ensuring all of your most important actions are at your fingertips. Your vast array of buttons are programmed through RedDragon’s software, which is fit for purpose but perhaps not as intuitive as some of its competitors.
6. Razer Viper Mini Ultralight Gaming Mouse
(Best gaming mouse for small hands)
For those of you with hands that are on the smaller side, let us introduce you to the Razer Viper Mini. The small form factor of the Viper Mini makes it ideal for those with a smaller handspan, while not sacrificing the performance or functionality compared to other Razer gaming mouses.
It is a wired gaming mouse and very lightweight. The sensor is perhaps not as impressive as other Razer mice, but it is still very respectable and will stand up to the task of most games with a DPI of 16,000. The sensor is a 5G optical sensor wich, combined with Razer’s Speedflxe cable makes for some impressively low latency.
There are two programmable side buttons for added functionality, but other than the mandatory scroll wheel, that’s pretty much it for additional controls. It does boast a very low latency, however, making it great for quick-reflex games. It’s worth noting that the CPI range isn’t quite as adjustable as other Razer mice, so it might be worth trying this mouse live before buying. You will get five individual stages to switch through, however.
One feature the Viper mini can boast is an ambidextrous body, making it excellent for both right-handers and lefties alike. The Viper Mini is a great option for gaming mice, and the only gamers likely to find this mouse entirely out of the question are those with larger hands. But don’t worry, we’ve got something for you next.
7. Razer Basilisk v2 Wired Gaming Mouse
(Best gaming mouse for big hands)
If, on the other hand, you are rocking some big old bear claws, you’ll want a more substantial gaming mouse. And, fortunately, the Razer Basilisk V2 fills that very niche. The Basilisk is not merely a larger version of the Viper Mini. Its additional size allows Razer to make the design a bit more ergonomic, with a slanted design that makes it a reliable work mouse as well as a gaming mouse.
The Basilisk V2 is a wired mouse with thirteen programmable inputs that can be assigned in the software. You can also use a Hypershift command to create a second layer of controls, essentially doubling the number of programmable inputs. There are also two buttons up top for increasing or decreasing the DPI to suit. And, speaking of the DPI, the Basilisk boasts an impressive 20,000 DPI for some very fine control. On the side, you will find a magnetic sniper button, which can be easily removed if you do not want or need it.
The design is an understated black with subtle highlights and nice clean edges. The curve of the mouse makes for a particularly appealing profile view. It won’t set the world of gaming mice alight with its appearance, but it is a nice mouse to look at, nonetheless.
One gripe we have with the Basilisk is that there is no indication as to which setting your DPI is currently set to. It may not be a problem if you don’t do much switching between profiles, but for those that make full use of their DPI profiles, this could be an issue.
8. SteelSeries Rival 3 Gaming Mouse
(Best RGB gaming mouse)
We could write for days about how important it is to put function over form when choosing something like a gaming mouse. We could wax lyrical about how you should always prioritize how a mouse feels and performs over how it looks. But we know there will always be some who just want pretty lights and sleek design. For those people, we give you the SteelSeries Rival 3 Gaming Mouse.
The Rival 3 falls firmly into the “budget mouse” category, thanks to its invitingly low price point. For this reason, it is certainly not the best that Steel Series mice have to offer. But as we have hopefully impressed upon you-the price tag isn’t everything.
The Rival 3 is another wired mouse option and, despite the aforementioned budget mouse status, it sports an impressive range of features for its price. For starters, it is rocking an ambidextrous body, something that is absent from the other mice on this list. Strangely, it also features two side buttons, but only one side, making the dual-purpose body somewhat less appealing to left-handers.
Other than that, the mouse feels great to use, though those with larger hands might find it a bit on the small side. You have your mandatory scroll wheel and DPI button up top, with the DPI button being unobtrusive enough not to get accidentally clicked mid-game. The body is a stylish matte black with the SteelSeries logo lit up in glorious RGB near the back of the mouse. Of course, the RGB is the reason the Rival 3 is on this list, so let’s talk about that.
The logo lights up, as we mentioned, but you also get a light bar that lines the bottom edge of the mouse. The effect is a little like your mouse is floating on your mouse pad, particularly in darker settings. You can set the illumination settings in the software that comes with the mouse. Be warned, however, the light can become distracting.
How to Find the Perfect Gaming Mouse
The first step on your road to gaming mouse perfection is to make sure your mouse meets your needs. Purchasing a slow, high-latency mouse is no good if you want to play high-octane shooting games. On the other hand, it’s a waste of money to buy the very best FPS mouse if you’re only going to play turn-based strategy games with it. Of course, if money is no object, there is no downside to having a better mouse than you need-as long as it is comfortable for you to use. Having the best gaming mouse for Fortnite won’t stop you from winning at Uno, but having an inferior mouse might prevent you from succeeding at Fornite. Here are some things to consider
- Do I need the features this mouse offers? And does the mouse have all the features I need?
- What is the warranty and returns policy in case I run into problems?
- Is the mouse within my budget?
If you are left-handed, always make sure the mouse you are considering is either left-handed or ambidextrous. Unfortunately for the leftie gamers among us, most mice are unashamedly right-handed. These days, this poses more of a problem for left-handers as more and more gaming mice are designed to fit the hand closely, making it all but impossible to use with the wrong hand.
Button quantity is another thing to consider before purchasing. For most gamers, there won’t be many benefits from having a gazillion extra programmable buttons on your mouse. However, for those other gamers that would benefit, it is certainly worth investing in a mouse with all the buttons.
Always be sure to check the reviews, and try not to rely on just one marketplace’s opinions if possible. One of the best places to look is YouTube. On there you’ll almost certainly be able to find a review of any mouse you are considering buying. Video reviews are far more useful than a few lines of text. If you can try a mouse out in person before purchasing, absolutely do so. You may know someone who owns the mouse you’re considering, or even just in the PC mouses section of your local game store.
Finally, always be sure to compare. The fact that a mouse costs more doesn’t necessarily mean it is better. The only reason a mouse with comparable features to another mouse should be significantly more expensive is if the first mouse has wireless capability.
There’s no single mouse that is the “the best” for all occasions. Your gaming style, financial situation, and your home arrangement will determine what works for you. For example, if you work from the same computer you game with, you’ll want a mouse that is practical for work as well as play. If you find yourself easily irritated by things in your peripheral vision, there is no point in paying for RGB lighting that will get your nerves.
On the subject of finances, don’t feel like the best option for you has to be the most expensive. The best budget gaming mouse is still a great mouse when compared to a regular, non-gaming mouse. And, if your finances don’t allow for a more expensive one, don’t let that get in the way of a solid budget option that could significantly enhance your gaming experience.
Always remember to check reviews: companies pay people to write sales copy for a reason, they are not going to tell you if there are flaws with their product. They just want you to buy it. People who have spent hard-earned money on a gaming mouse and found it to be not worth the price, on the other hand, will be very honest and open about it.
Finally, try not to get bogged down by the desire to have the best and shiniest toys on your desk. The mouse that works for you might not be the flashiest or trendiest one. It might not even be the mouse with the highest DPI or the most programmable buttons. The performance and comfort of the mouse will always be more important than the appearance, so make sure your potential mouse is comfortable to use before worrying about how it looks.