If you watch a lot of streamers and other pro gamers, then you’ve probably noticed that they tend to use specialized mice for gaming. But what exactly is a gaming mouse, and how are they different from ordinary mice?
Gaming Mouse vs Regular Mouse: What’s The Difference?
The main difference between gaming and regular mice is their sensor. Gaming mice have flawless laser sensors that track movement more accurately, whereas regular mice have LED sensors that are less accurate. Gaming mice are frequently ergonomic, meaning they’re built to be used by a particular hand.
When it comes to gaming, it’s very important that your mouse can track your maneuvers with a high degree of accuracy.
In FPS games especially, a mouse must have possess a great degree of precision so that you can aim properly without stuttering or angle snapping.
Gaming mice have specialized, high-tech sensors that provide unparalleled accuracy and fidelity, so your game will not be adversely impacted.
In addition to their precision, gaming mice also have a number of physical features that lend them particularly to gaming.
For example, gaming mice have specially designed feet (plastic surfaces on the bottom of the mouse) that give them a near-perfect glide on your mousepad.
Gaming mice are also more likely to have an ergonomic design, meaning they may built specifically for use by right- or left-handed people.
Some gaming mice, particularly those designed for MMORPG games, have tons of extra buttons. I’ve seen gaming mice with over a dozen programmable buttons designed for MMO gamers.
By contrast, regular mice are much less capable, and certainly emphasize performance a whole lot less. Regular mice are usually designed for looks, and not for high-precision maneuver tracking.
For example, Apple and Microsoft both have wireless mice that are meant for everyday use. These mice look like they could be in an art museum, but they don’t have any of the performance features of gaming mice.
Regular mice are also more likely to use LED sensors and not laser sensors. While LED sensors are fine for things like Photoshop or Microsoft Word, they’re vastly outperformed by laser mice when it comes to gaming.
In addition to their unremarkable performance specs, regular mice don’t usually look as snazzy as gaming mice.
Gaming mice commonly have glowing LEDs, sharp edges, and a uniquely spacey, futuristic design.
Regular mice, on the other hand (see what I did there), look like they should be in an office, not in a radical gaming setup.
Regular mice seldom have RGB lighting or flashy logos, and they typically look quite bland.
Finally, regular mice are hardly ever ergonomic in their design. Most regular mice are ambidextrous, meaning they’re meant to be used by either right- or left-handed individuals.
So, now that you know what the difference is between the two types of mice, you’re probably wondering which one is better. Let’s find out.
Is A Gaming Mouse Better Than A Normal Mouse For Gaming?
A gaming mouse is better than a normal mouse for gaming. A gaming mouse will respond faster than a standard mouse because it has a better polling rate and a high-fidelity sensor. Gaming mice are more likely to have other features for gamers like programmable buttons, longer battery life, and RGB lighting.
A gaming mouse gives you so many more possibilities while gaming than you could get from a regular mouse.
For example, I use a Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse for Dota 2. The mouse has 4 programmable buttons and I can program these to use certain abilities when pressed or to select my hero.
I have also seen other players program their gaming mice to do complex macros, like building structures in strategy games.
And those are just the benefits of a gaming mouse for strategy and MOBA gamers. If you tend to play a lot of FPS games, you’ll notice a huge improvement with a gaming mouse just from having a flawless sensor.
In fact, in addition to having a high refresh rate monitor, I would say that a gaming mouse is one of the best investments you could make if you’re looking to up your gameplay in games like Valorant or Apex Legends.
The great thing about investing in a nice gaming mouse is that you can use it for regular tasks, as well.
After purchasing my Logitech G Pro Wireless gaming mouse, I became hooked on the way it performs and especially the long battery life (I charge it once a month, not kidding).
Now, I use my gaming mouse for everything. I even take it to the cafe with me to write for this website (right now).
So, a gaming mouse will certainly improve your gaming experience, but you’ll be getting a whole lot of other benefits, as well.
Can A Gaming Mouse Be Used As A Regular Mouse?
A gaming mouse can certainly be used as a regular mouse. In fact, gaming mice tend to be some of the best mice out there and boast a number of great benefits like optimal comfort, unmatched build quality, and uniquely long battery life.
Once I made the switch to a gaming mouse, I couldn’t go back to using a ‘regular’ mouse. I now use my gaming mouse full-time, including to write this blog.
Gaming mice are obviously fantastic for gaming, but they’re also great for everyday use.
Gaming peripherals tend to be high-end and well made, so you get a number of benefits by using a gaming mouse for everyday use.
For example, it’s important for a gaming mouse to not die in the middle of a gaming session, so many gaming mice have unreal battery life.
My mouse, a Logitech G Pro Wireless, has a lithium-ion battery. When I’m only writing for my blog, I only need to charge my mouse like once per month.
By contrast, my regular mouse has AA batteries in it, and it dies all the time. It doesn’t even have a charge indicator, so I can’t even tell when it’s about to go out. It just stops working.
And that’s just battery life. You’ll get a ton of other cool benefits when you use your gaming mouse as your everyday mouse, like cool lighting, programmable buttons, and better build quality.
Ok, so if you’re sold on the idea of a gaming mouse, you still may be wondering: is it really necessary for gaming?
Is A Gaming Mouse Necessary For Gaming?
A gaming mouse is not necessary for casual gaming, but it can give you a competitive edge in fast-paced games. For many genres, like strategy games, a gaming mouse isn’t necessary. However, a gaming mouse may be necessary in FPS games, as mouse accuracy and response time are extremely important in these games.
Casual gamers can get away with using a regular mouse, but if you want to be competitive, you need a gaming mouse.
A gaming mouse gives you more control and accuracy, which is essential in first-person shooters and other fast-paced games.
I recommend getting a gaming mouse if you are serious about gaming. It will significantly impact your performance, especially in games you’re already familiar with. Just be prepared to spend a bit more on one—up to $100.
Then there is the issue of build quality. A gaming mouse is built to last longer and take more abuse than a regular mouse. If you are hard on your gear, a gaming mouse is the way to go.
What To Look For In A Gaming Mouse
When shopping for a gaming mouse, you should consider the DPI, polling rate, weight, and build quality of the mouse. In addition to these attributes, you’ll want to make sure the mouse feels comfortable in your hand and works nicely with your grip style.
- DPI: This stands for “dots per inch,” which is the mouse’s sensitivity. A higher DPI means that the mouse can be set to a higher sensitivity level. Most pros use a DPI below 4,000 while gaming, however, so keep in mind that a higher DPI doesn’t mean a better mouse.
- Polling rate: This is how often the mouse reports its position to the computer. A higher polling rate means that the mouse is more responsive.
- Buttons: Most gaming mice have extra buttons that can be programmed to do different things. This is helpful in games where you need to perform complex actions quickly.
- Weight: Some gamers like their mice to be lightweight, while others prefer a heavier mouse. It comes down to personal preference.
- Build quality: Gaming mice tend to take a beating over time, so you’ll want to make sure the mouse is made of sturdy materials and doesn’t have any parts that rattle or come loose.
- Wired or wireless: This is another preference. Wireless mice are convenient, but they can have input lag and need to be charged. Wired mice are more reliable but can be a pain to deal with.
- Price: Gaming mice can range from $30 to $100. It depends on your budget and what features you are looking for.
- Comfortability: This is very important. You’ll want a gaming mouse that feels nice in your hand. If you get a mouse that doesn’t work with your grip style, for example, then you’re bound to become frustrated and your gaming experience will suffer.
Is A Wireless Mouse Bad For Gaming?
A wireless mouse isn’t bad for gaming, but you’ll want to opt for a high quality wireless mouse with <1ms input lag. The main issue with wireless mice is that they can have input lag. This means there is a delay between user input and the movement of the cursor on the screen.
This input lag can be big trouble in fast-paced games where winning rests on a knife’s edge. That’s why I recommend sticking with a wired mouse.
That being said, the current generation of wireless gaming mice is quite good, and their performance has improved dramatically.
Unless you’re trying to become a professional Apex Legends player, you’re going to be just fine with a wireless mouse.
However, you’ll never see a professional gamer using a wireless mouse. They need the reliability and responsiveness of a wired mouse to be competitive.
Is A Gaming Mouse Worth It?
A gaming mouse is worth every penny if you are a serious gamer. It will give you the speed and accuracy needed to increase your win rate and your hand will be much more comfortable. However, a regular mouse will suffice if you are a casual gamer.
I must admit that my gaming skills are not quite up to par with the pros.
I can play somewhat competitively with my friends, but I need all the help I can get to keep up with them. That is why I decided to purchase a gaming mouse.
The first thing I noticed was that my cursor movements became far more accurate and smoother. This has been helpful in games like War Zone where aiming is a big part of the game.
Not only did my gameplay improve, but I’ve even started using my gaming mouse for regular use, as well. So, for me, it was definitely worth the $100 investment.
If you don’t have $100 to spend on a mouse, don’t worry. You can find high-quality gaming mice for $30 or even less.
Just try to keep it simple and don’t go for overly-flashy options—these are more likely to be a waste of money.
Best Gaming Mouses
Now that you know the difference between a gaming mouse and a regular mouse, it’s time to look at some of the best gaming mice on the market.
Logitech G Pro Wireless
I use this mouse everyday and I swear by its performance. Its battery life is epic, it has fantastic performance for gaming, and it feels like butter to use.
If you have the budget for it, then, in my humble opinion, this is the mouse to get.
Logitech makes some very top notch gaming mice right now, and their HERO 25K sensor is what many of the pros are using.
If you want a more lightweight version of this mouse, then you can also check out the Superlight X.
SteelSeries Rival 710
The OLED display on the SteelSeries Rival 710 is one of the coolest features I’ve seen on a gaming mouse so far. It can display in-game information, such as your kill count or ammo count.
The Rival 710 also has a DPI of 16,000, a polling rate of 1,000 Hz, and programmable buttons.
Its customizable vibrating feature is also a nice touch that adds a bit of haptic feedback to gaming.
Razer DeathAdder V2 Gaming Mouse
The Razer DeathAdder V2 is one of the best gaming mice on the market. It has a DPI of 20,000 and a polling rate of 1,000 Hz.
It also has eight buttons that can be programmed to do different things, and it sports Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting.
The polling rate is also snappy, which is excellent for gaming.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.