How to Choose a Gaming Mouse

Unless you're an absolute whiz with your gaming keyboard, you're going to need a mouse to be able to control your sweet new gaming PC. When picking a gaming mouse, there is a world of possibilities out there. Gaming mouses (gaming mice?) are made for precision to make sure every click is where you need it to be. These aren't your dad's old mouse. Here we are looking at all sorts of things to consider when getting a gaming mouse. What does DPI mean and do I need more of it? Is wired or wireless better? How many extra buttons is too many? Will my gaming suffer without a gaming mouse pad? Should I really spend this much on a mouse? Don't worry if this seems overwhelming. I'm here to help you get through this, starting with wired or wireless.

Wired Vs Wireless 2: Electric Boogaloo

If you have been following the "How to Computer Gaming" series then you have seen how I feel about wired versus wireless. Having something plugged in means faster connection and no worrying if your batteries are going to die in the middle of a team fight. Wired is more often than not a good option for a gaming mouse. But sometimes that just might not work for you. Your gaming computer might be too far away for a cable or you might have limited access to the USB ports. Wireless technology has come a long way recently so there are a lot of feasible wireless gaming mouse options out there. But why not have the option of both? The Razer Naga Epic Chroma has both wired and wireless options. It comes with a wireless charging dock whose cable can be plugged straight in to the mouse for wired gaming when you need it. Problem solved.

What is DPI and why should I worry about it?

The Logitech G502 Proteus has a whopping 12000 DPI, but is it necessary?

DPI stands for Dot Per Inch which basically stands for how far your mouse is moving. Most of you may know that screens are made up of a certain amount of pixels. The DPI number of a mouse shows how many pixels the cursor will move when you move the mouse one inch. The higher a DPI is set on a mouse, the less you will have to move the mouse to move the cursor across the screen. High DPI in a gaming mouse is all a gimmick. Most mouses come with 1800 DPI which is plenty enough for any gamer. Pro first person shooter gamers actually opt for a lower DPI setting for better precision. So when choosing a mouse, don't be impressed by larger numbers. Size doesn't matter, it's about how you use the DPI.

So many flashy buttons...

Any old mouse will consist of the left and the right mouse button and a scroll wheel adding a 3rd button. I thought my parents were living it up when they bought a mouse with a back and forward button on the side. How wrong I was. With the evolution of gaming, especially MMO's, MOBA's, etc. the need for more buttons has risen. These games utilise numerals to use items in game. But using either the numpad or numbers on top means losing use of the important buttons. Adding keys to where your thumb sits on your gaming mouse allows you to use whatever you need with no sacrifice to gameplay. If you want the no frills option, the Razer DeathAdder is simplistic but able to be customised. If you need a MOBA gaming mouse, check out the Corsair Scimitar, with enough buttons for all your needs.

The humble and underrated Mouse Pad.

With this awesome mouse mat, you won't need to worry about your mouse going off the edge ever again.

Many people go day to day without using a mouse pad. Some resort to a piece of paper to get better tracking on certain surfaces. Although some might not see the importance in a mouse pad, it can help a heck of a lot. The mouse pad surface is designed for optimal tracking for the laser in your mouse. You might want to go large and look at getting a whole desk mat. Or you might just need a small mouse pad that looks really awesome. Whatever you decide I highly recommend getting a mouse pad to make your gaming mouse that little bit better. If you don't want to spend too much on a mouse pad then check out the 99c mouse pad. It reduces the total cost (including shipping) to 99c USD and people are still giving away coupons in the comments.

Other things to think about

Weight

This one isn't a huge concern but can be for some people. Your standard wired mouse will be very light since it doesn't need a whole lot for it to run. Wireless mouses hold batteries and wireless technology in them and are hence slightly heavier. In gaming mouses you can actually tailor the weight of some devices to your liking. The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum comes with tiny weights to put on multiple points of your mouse. This allows you to tailor the balance and heftiness of the gaming mouse to exactly the way you like it.

Price

If only we all had as much disposable income as Fry.

Looking at some of these gaming mouses might hurt your wallet just a little bit. There are a lot of cheaper gaming mouse options out there though. While the top of the line gaming mice cost that for a reason, there is no shame in getting a cheaper gaming mouse. The Thermaltake Ventus X gaming mouse has 6 programmable buttons, and adjustable weight system, and comes in just under $50. If that's still a bit out of budget then check out the Logitech G302 Daedalus Prime gaming mouse. It also comes with 6 programmable buttons in a compact, durable, and lightweight case. Are you really missing out by paying less? Check out what Lou from Unbox Therapy thinks when comparing mice.

Ergonomics

A lot of gamers may not think about ergonomics in the heat of battle. But making sure your wrist and palm sit right is a very important deal. If not looked after, you can be susceptible to nasty joint pains or even carpel tunnel. Almost all mice, especially gaming mice, are ergonomically designed to prevent strain on your hand. However, if your hand is bigger than average or susceptible to muscle strain, you might want to specially customise the fit of your gaming mouse to your hand. Mad Catz came up with a feature to help solve this problem in the RAT 8 gaming mouse. Along with the standard RGB lighting and multiple buttons on almost every gaming mouse, the RAT 8 has adjustable parts to mould to the fit of your hand.

What Gaming Mouse should I buy?

All good choices, but which one should you choose?

Hopefully after reading this you are prepared to get your very own gaming mouse. But if you still aren't sure then just get out there and check them out. Each person is different and will feel differently about each mouse. I recently got the Razer Naga Epic Chroma and am loving it, but you might hate it. Head down to your local PC gaming place, EB Games, JB Hi Fi, or other electronic store and try them all out to see what fits for you. If the prices seem a bit much then try and find your perfect mouse online at PC Part Picker. No matter what you pick, I hope it helps you 360 no scope anyone who crosses you.