Holiday 2017: Gaming Mouse Buyers Guide

I am not proud to admit this, but my first experience with Counter Strike: Global Offensive was on a PS3. Today, the thought of playing Valve’s signature competitive shooter with a controller makes me nauseous, but, for whatever reason, that’s the way I chose to play back in 2012.

For those who haven’t had the experience of planting bombs and shooting terrorists on Sony’s seventh generation machine, I’ll fill you in; it was a relatively solid translation to consoles which boasted a fairly active community—on launch, at least. Though the PS3 version of the game didn’t have constant attention from Valve or the ability to play user-created content, it was still enjoyable.

The most important thing about PS3 CS:GO, however, was the fact that it was one of a very small number of Playstation 3 games to include keyboard and mouse support (as well as PS Move support, hilariously enough). Initially, I wasn’t aware of this, and I would occasionally come across a player seemingly much more accurate and dexterous than the rest. Of course, I was envious of these apparently superhuman skills, but it only took me a quick internet search to discover the secret: use a mouse, dummy.

bunch of mice

I recognize that this isn’t exactly breaking news—keyboards and mice have been more accurate control input methods than controllers since the inception of the computer. Yet, back in 2012, finding the right gaming mouse to meet my CS:GO needs was a bit of a daunting task. I didn’t know my mouse grip type, wasn’t sure what my weight preferences were, and certainly didn’t have a grasp on all of the bells and whistles that came with most gaming mice.

Today, though nobody is playing Counter Strike on the Playstation 3, there are still plenty of consumers grappling with the complications of purchasing a gaming mouse. It isn’t hard to feel bogged-down in such an expansive, diverse PC peripheral field, and ending up with the wrong mouse may cause a game to become more difficult or cumbersome to play.

To combat this confusion, I’ve created a guide which compares and offers insight into some of the hottest products currently on the market. I’ve taken care to consider as many important design and performance aspects as possible—things like weight, DPI, sensor quality, build quality, durability, and overall cost—to ensure that nobody is forced to play with a controller this holiday season… or wade through all of the obnoxious advertising.

 

Mouse Price Weight DPI Sensor Buttons and Profiles
Razer Deathadder Elite $49.99 98 grams 16,000 3389 Optical Seven

Razer Mechanical Swtiches

Logitech G403 $69.99 Wireless: 90 grams

Wired: 106 grams

Both come with removable 10g weight

12,000 3366 Optical Six

Omron Switches

Logitech G703 $99.99 106g

Removable 10g weight

12,000 3366 Optical Six

Omron Switches

Corsair Glaive RGB $69.99 120 grams 16,000 3367 Optical Six

Omron Switches

Corsair M65 Pro RGB $59.99 115 grams – 135.5 grams

Three removable weights

12,000 3360 Optical Eight

Omron

Switches

Razer Naga Hex V2 $49.99 135 grams 16,000 5G Laser Fourteen

Razer Mechanical Switches

Razer Deathadder Elite

Deathadder Elite

I’ll be honest—something about Razer irks me, and I think it’s due mostly to their advertising strategies. If you go on their site, you’ll be assaulted by a black and neon color scheme, pro gamer endorsements, and semi-cringey marketing materials that reek of advertising executives pandering to a young demographic.

Be that as it may, they do make some good mice. In particular, the Razer Deathadder Elite is one of the most widely-praised gaming peripherals on the market. Though I don’t necessarily like the Razer brand, I certainly see the appeal of this product, and those searching for a Black Friday deal would do well to keep their eyes on this mouse.

Coming in at just under 100 grams, the Razer Deathadder Elite seems like it would fit well in all but the tiniest of hands. Plus, in my experience, Razer’s mice tend to be of a relatively high quality, though some say they are lacking in durability.

When it comes to gaming mice, however, one of the most crucial aspects is accuracy, and if your mouse doesn’t match your movements perfectly, it can add a whole new level of difficulty to any game. With the Razer Deathadder Elite, though, I doubt you’ll ever suffer from a lack of precision. With 16,000 maximum DPI and 450 IPS tracking, this mouse should perform perfectly—even in the hands of the twitchiness users. Plus, you’ll get all the customizability available with Razer’s Synapse software.

Plus, at $49.99, Razer has made the Deathadder Elite a relatively fiscally accessible product. At the end of the day, I think Razer will meet the needs of most consumers with this mouse, though serious MOBA players will likely want to forgo this in favor of something with a few more buttons.

Logitech G403

G403

Another well-regarded mouse, Logitech’s G403 stands out due to the fact that buyers can choose either a wired or wireless option. While most would likely write off that second option due to the notorious inaccuracy of wireless mice, Logitech really seems to provide a valid option here, and those who particularly dislike cable drag, or cables altogether, should consider this product. The G403 also comes with a removable 10 gram weight, which is a tremendous asset to those interested in changing the weight of their mice when playing different games. However, I don’t find this method quite as useful as the three-weight system utilized by some gaming mice.

Like most high-performance mice, the Logitech G403 offers adjustable DPI up to 12,000, which should suit the needs of most gamers. One neat gimmick included with this product is that users can store their settings in the mouse itself. That means that mouse presets can be easily accessed anywhere and won’t require the use of software to activate, though this is far from the only mouse to include a feature like this.

Though it does come equipped with customizable RGB lighting, the mouse’s design is probably a bit drab when compared to other gaming mice of the same price tier. However, despite this moderate shortcoming, I don’t think you can really go wrong with this product.

Logitech G703

powerplay_hero

Initially, I was planning to include Logitech’s G903 on this list instead of the G703. However, I find the design of that particular mouse to be a bit too jagged. It almost feels like a homage to the Batmobile in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Plus, Logitech is currently asking for $150 for the G903, which is fifty dollars more than the G703, and, in my opinion, much more than the average consumer should be spending on a mouse.

This mouse is remarkably similar to the G403 wireless variant, as it has a relatively similar build, the same sensor, similar weight configuration, and the same maximum DPI. The real selling point for this mouse is its ability to wirelessly charge while on the pad. Again, most serious gamers likely aren’t interested in wireless gaming mice, but Logitech’s product seems to do away with much of the lag plaguing similar mice. On their site, Logitech claims this mouse to be capable of a one millisecond report rate, which seems like an incredible feat for a wireless mouse.

Ultimately, the $99.99 price point might seem like a bit much to ask. Yet, for those particularly interested in non-wired mice, this seems to be a great option.

Corsair Glaive

Corsair Glaive

The Corsair Glaive is something of a preferential model—at 120 grams, only those with large hands or a real fondness for heavy mice will be interested in this offering. It’ll be an even tougher sell when you consider the fact that the Glaive doesn’t offer any customization in terms of weight. That said, Corsair seems to deliver a high quality product with the Corsair Glaive, particularly with the slightly heavier aluminum variant.

However, with a very high 16,000 adjustable DPI, pmw 3366 optical sensor, this thing will be every bit as accurate as you are. It also comes with three interchangeable thumb grips, and is, as you’d expect, tricked out with customizable RGB lighting.

I do find the mouse wheel and two side buttons to be a bit large and cumbersome, though I suppose these large features well accompany a larger mouse. An interesting feature included on this mouse is the ability to toggle between different report rates, which might be nice for someone constantly switching from games to web browsers.

Corsair M65 Pro

m65 pro

On-the-fly DPI adjustability isn’t exactly anything new, but Corsair apparently wants to really bring the point of it home with a designated “sniper” button. Literally designated as such on their website, the DPI toggle, which is even adorned with a crosshair, takes up a majority of the valuable thumb-area real estate. Though it might make the mouse seem a bit gimmicky, I enjoy the accessibility of this feature.

Another major factor in this product’s appeal is the ability to thoroughly customize the weight of the mouse. Unlike Logitech’s single ten gram weight, the Corsair M65 Pro includes three small weights which can make the mouse as light as 115 grams, or as heavy as 135 grams. Although, misconfiguration of these weights may result in an oddly balanced peripheral.

Corsair’s M65 Pro also comes with eight customizable buttons. For some users, eight buttons might seem like overkill, though those who dabble in MOBAs or RTS games might enjoy the extra leverage.

Razer Naga Hex V2

razer naga hex v2

This mouse doesn’t seem to be nearly as well-respected as some of the other mice on this list, perhaps because it only feels like a very slight upgrade from the original Naga Hex. The main draw to this mouse, in my opinion, is the inclusion of a thumb ring in lieu of the more traditional keypad design. As someone who isn’t exactly accustomed to MOBA-oriented mice, I feel that this product is much easier to wrap my head around than a batch of nine or ten buttons clumped together on the side of my mouse.

This is likely somewhat of a controversial inclusion, but, for those searching for a MOBA or RTS ready mouse that avoids the intrinsic clunkiness of a numeric pad, Razer’s Naga Hex V2 seems like a good choice. Plus, like most Razer products, it is an RGB mouse that comes with all of the customization options afforded to users of Razer Synapse.

Conclusion:

It has often been said that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” gaming mouse, and, after combing through the web to find the best mice on the market, I would agree that this is certainly the case. So many separate factors go into these mice that it is nearly impossible to point to one product and claim that it will offer the ideal experience. For those sincerely interested in getting their hands on the best product for them, I would recommend heading out and trying these peripherals for yourself—you’ll never truly know what you’re getting until you’ve used it for yourself.

So, be it a button heavy League of Legends accessory, or perhaps a lighter, more accurate FPS conduit, I think these mice will be a good starting point for your holiday hunt.

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