You don’t need a gaming mouse to play PC games, any normal mouse will play anything you want it to. A gaming mouse won’t make you a professional, but it can give you a slight competitive advantage over the normal mouse. It also make game-play more comfortably and convenient.
Points discussed here
- What Differentiates a Gaming Mouse from a Regular Mouse?
- Know Your Grip Style
- Gaming Customization’s in the Software
- The Different Types of Gaming Mouse
- Shooter Mouse : Fast and Basic
- “MOBA” or “MMO” Mouse : Big on Buttons
- Ambidextrous Mouse : Southpaw’s Special
- Mobile Mouse : Good Companions for Gaming Laptops
- Hybrid Mouse : Jacks of All Trades
Gaming mouse aren’t all that different from regular mouse. Just about any design can be designated “for gaming,” and it doesn’t necessarily have to have a dozen extra buttons and an acid trip’s worth of flashing LED lights.
Any gaming mouse worth considering for a purchase will have at least the two following characteristics:
an advanced optical or laser sensor that allows for faster or more precise movements, and some degree of user customization.
Gaming mouse often feature extra buttons for the player’s thumb, on-the-fly adjustments to sensitivity and speed, extra-long cables, or functions like adjustable weights or button tension springs.
In addition, almost all gaming mouse are wired, not wireless. This tends to be put down to “input lag,” which is a debatable advantage for USB input. Even a basic wireless mouse will only have an input delay of a few hundredths of a second. Below the threshold of most people’s reaction times (to say nothing of the similar delay for monitors and laptop screens). The wireless gaming mouse marketed with custom, super-fast wireless connections are expensive. So they tend to be even more expensive than regular models.
More expensive gaming mouse generally have more features than cheaper models. That doesn’t mean that you’ll just get a better experience by spending more. Here’s what you should consider before you lay your money down on a new design.
The type of grip you use, when you’re playing a PC game or using a mouse for normal tasks. While every player is different, you can generally separate the grips into three broad styles:
Palm grip: A standard grip used by most players. Your fingers lay flat on the mouse buttons and your entire palm rests on the body of the mouse.
Tip grip: In this tips of your index, middle, and ring fingers rest on the left, center (wheel), and mouse buttons, with your palm not touching the body of the mouse at all. Your thumb grips the side of the mouse.
Claw grip: Its fall between the palm and tip grip styles. Your palm rests only on the back edge of the mouse. Your finger and thumb tips angled in towards the buttons.
Different grips can be more or less effective for different types of games. But it’s not a great idea to try and change your grip type intentionally. In few words use the grip, which feels right to you and comforts the game play.
However, different mouse may favor different kinds of grips. Larger, wider mouse are good for a more general palm grip. These usually assume at least some of your hand will be resting on the mousepad at all times. Short mouse, without a large palm area and ideally with a lighter overall body, make maneuvering with a tip grip easier. Claw grip users appreciate relatively narrow mouse with skinny, elongated primary buttons.
Most dedicated gaming mouse come with their own PC software. Either as a stand-alone package or in a “suite” with compatibility for other gaming gear like keyboards and headsets. This software allows you to set up the lighting profile (not all that important), customize button assignments (useful, but usually available in individual games as well), and set DPI options. The DPI allows you to change the sensitivity of the mouse for faster or more precise tracking. Some more advanced mouse will even let you adjust this on-the-fly with mouse buttons.
Mouse software may also allow you to customize macros for different buttons, make adjustments for specific mousepads, and set up custom button profiles for individual games. All gaming mouse software will handle all of these functions to a greater or lesser degree. A particularly useful tool is the ability to save profiles directly to the memory on a mouse itself, allowing it to be moved from PC to PC with its settings intact, no extra setup required. Note that Razer software does not offer local device memory profiles, unlike most modern “gaming” software packages.
As PC gaming itself has become more complex, so too have PC gaming accessories. There are a few distinct subdivisions of gaming mouse that we can take a look at, most of which have button designs and placements meant to aid in very specific types of games. Note that these subdivisions are independent of the body and grip styles mentioned above—a shooter mouse can be wide and low for a palm grip or skinny and shallow for a tip grip. So once you decide what type of gaming mouse to buy, be sure to look at our recommendations with grip type and software in mind.
This is the most common type of gaming mouse. Shooter mouse use a conventional left button-mouse wheel-right button setup for primary input, mirroring most regular desktop gaming mouse, plus two to three thumb buttons. In most first-person and third-person shooting games, these correspond to primary fire, weapon selection or zoom, secondary fire or iron sights, and grenade or melee actions, respectively.
Shooter mouse are relatively simple, allowing gamers to quickly adapt to all kinds of action games using only three fingers. In addition to DPI up and down buttons on more expensive models, some shooter mouse have a precision or “sniper” button, which when depressed temporarily lowers the DPI for super-sensitive shots.
Examples of shooter mouse include the Razer DeathAdder and Mamba, the Logitech G402 and G502, the Corsair M65, and the SteelSeries Rival 300.
Massively Multiplayer Online games like World of Warcraft, strategy games like Age of Empires, and MOBA games like League of Legends all have some common design elements: a bunch of very specific, very contextual skills that don’t necessarily need to be used all the time, but have to be activated quickly to stay competitive. Thus the “MMO” mouse was born, with a crazy 12-button grid just for the thumb.
MMO mouse are excellent for games that benefit from a lot of custom-bound skills or unit groups. They take some getting used to for new players, not to mention a lot of setup for the ideal skills or units for each button. The smaller, harder-to-distinguish thumb buttons make them less ideal for faster-paced action and shooter games.
Examples of shooter mouse include the Razer Naga, the Logitekch G600, the Corsair Scimitar, and the Roccat Nyth.
Most left-handed gamers—like yours truly—simply grin and bear it when it comes to mouse, using our right hands just like our cruel anti-sinister oppressors. But for those who refuse to compromise, gaming hardware companies do offer a few lefty options—or, more often, ambidextrous options, with perfectly symmetrical bodies and buttons rather than bodies curved for the right hand. Most of these use a relatively simple shooter-style button layout with thumb buttons on both sides, with the assumption that players will disable the buttons for their off-hand. Some even come with replaceable blanks for unused buttons.
Examples of ambidextrous mouse include the Razer Abyssus and Diamondback, the Logitech G900 and G300s, the SteelSeries Sensei, and the Roccat Kova. In addition, the older version of the Razer DeathAdder is still offered in a true left-handed design.
For the gamer on the go, some manufacturers offer smaller, more portable versions of their mouse designs. While these are often wireless and much lighter than standard gaming mouse, they also offer a specific advantage to gamers who prefer a tip grip style, as the smaller body can be more easily maneuvered while physically touching less of the mouse.
Examples of mobile gaming mouse include the Razer Orochi and the MadCatz RAT M.
Hybrid Gaming Mouse offers great flexibility while working with any task or game. It includes more than the standard 2 (“shooter” thumb) buttons, but less than the “MMO” grids. Hybrids can be a good choice if you’re looking for something more comfortable & flexible.
A few specific examples include the Razer Naga Hex V2, with its thumb wheel that more easily shifts between shooter and MOBA tasks, the Logitech G602 with its 2×3 grid of shooter-style buttons, the SteelSeries Rival 500 and 700 with unconventional grids, and most of the adjustable mouse designs from MadCatz, which are now veering into truly insane territory.
With all that in mind, you should be able to narrow down your search quite a bit. What kind of mouse you want & what features are you looking for? What type of grip do you use? Do you want extra features like RGB lighting and on-device profiles ? The gaming mouse market may seems bigger, but once you narrow down the features that really matters, you will end up by finding the perfect one for you.