Buying a gaming mouse these days is a tedious task. There are a bunch of specs, polling rate, DPI, Hz, different mouse sensors, and mouse types you have to consider. It is just so overwhelming. So let us see what’s important and what it’s not when getting one.
Different Types of Mice
Standard optical mouse
The standard mouse usually comes with sensor DPI around 800, and they can be perfectly fine for gaming. For example, Logitech M500, which is a quality, affordable laser mouse in my book, is excellent for any computer task. While this mouse is not markered as gaming mouse, it is still perfectly suitable for gaming like many other non-gaming or standard mice out there. Back in the day, the best mice for gaming were not even marketed as such.
These days gaming mice do have some pretty good advantages. In most of the cases but certainly not all they are more durable have programmable buttons, braided cables. Some even have adjustable weights and let us not forget about RGB lighting; this is what makes a computer mouse truly “gaming.” Joke aside, they have some functional advantages, but they also have their quirks and disadvantages.
The significant advantage that comes with gaming mice is software. While I hate to install any additional software for anything, there is an absolute advantage having to set custom DPI, buttons, macros, polling rate, debounce time, RGB lighting, you name it.
Be sure not getting yourself a gaming mouse with features you can not turn off, and these are:
It is superbad for games where you have to be precise in small movements. This feature autocorrects micro-movements in a horizontal line.
This feature speeds up your mouse when you make large or long hands movements. The longer it is the faster the mouse moves. It’s like you switch to higher DPI in the middle of big and fast hand movements. Bad for precision and muscle memory aiming.
While I haven’t get my hands on Glorious Model 0, I would recommend that you consider this one. This mouse already has positive reviews, and it is praised everywhere you check. It is affordable, light and with an excellent sensor while it looks neat.
Modular gaming mice
I have seen many modular mice in the market. With those types of mice, you can adjust shape and weight. I had a horrible experience with one of the more expensive models a couple of years ago. Everything on that modular mouse just broke, so I prefer one cohesive piece with almost no movable parts in it.
So What Are the Essential Stuff You Should Consider When Buying a Mouse?
Mouse shape is super important.
I like to think that the mouse is and extensions of your hand, so getting a comfortable mouse which causes you no hand pain on the long run should be first on the list.
Because we like to buy everything online these days, I can not recommend that you purchase a mouse before you have the chance to try it for yourself. Later you can still buy the product online, but make sure the mouse sits comfortably in your hand, and you like the feel of it.
Mouse weight is important.
Mouse weight is important, and it is subjective when it comes to the user. For instance, I like my mouse super light and on the smaller side. But you may want something different. Some of you have huge hands and want to feel something more substantial in your hands, while others want something light that you can easily move and pull it up with your fingers.
What about Mouse polling rate?
It is response time measures in cycles per second thus Heartz. One Heartz is one cycle per second, and 1000 Hz is a thousand cycles per second.
For example, 1000Hz or 1ms polling rate means how many times per second mouse movement position will be refreshed. It just a response time of your current x,y position, so with better response time you get a better experience. We would also assume that more cycles or more Hz mean more accurate mouse movement registration.
Many users are reporting that there is no tangible difference and that the effect might be psychological. With that said, many gaming mice uses sensors that supports 1000 Hz polling rate anyway and which you can usually adjust. So you can play along and find out which settings work best for you.
You may find that your favorite shop or manufacturer uses this specification but naming it differently. When manufacturers describe Mouse polling rate, refresh rate, or Hz, they mean the same thing.
By default, USB mouse comes with 125 Hz while PS/2 in 100/Hz.
The downside of higher polling rates are:
- More cycles per second mean more CPU usage
- On the wireless mouse, it can drain your battery faster
- High polling rate sensors are expensive
- it is up for debate how much polling rate can affect gaming performance
The elephant in the room. The huge DPI numbers you see on the mice specification pages and boxes are just marketing ploy. Outstandingly high DPI number does not mean a lot for actual gameplay. Manufacturers do this simply because they sell more of the product, and it is proven.
People are more susceptible to the higher number, but the fact of the matter is you won’t need some enormous DPI count you will play most of the games especially FPS shooters in oround 800 DPI mouse settings anyway.
What does DPI mean
DPI is an acronym for Dots Per Inch and is not the correct term describing mouse sensitivity. The right name is CPI, aka. Counts Per Inch. I can imagine manufacturers adopted this term from printer accuracy or resolution; it is the same thing with the monitors. They did thas so the consumer can easily relate and understand. This exact reason why I am using the same name and not the exact one.
The higher the DPI/CPI count, the more sensitive your mouse is. So with the same or smaller hand movements, you can cover more distance with the mouse cursor.
Higher DPI is somewhat handy with higher resolution Monitors. For instance, 1600 DPI mouse in 4k resolution is much easier to navigate since, with low DPI, you would need to make large hand movements to go from one edge to another. You can still crank up mouse speed in windows 10 settings so I do not see how lower DPI count would be a problem.
What Are the Differences Between Laser and Optical Mouse
As naming suggest laser mouse uses a laser to illuminate surface while optical uses LED light to illuminate the surface.
It is fascinating how the optical mouse works. It contains the actual camera, also called a CMOS sensor, which makes thousand of low-resolution pictures every second and then compares the images to determine the position change. Each additional copy will be an offset of another. With more images per second, you need more computing power. This issue is somewhat relevant today since modern CPUs can handle mouse calculations with ease.
The red LED light you see on most of the models is because this light works great with most surfaces. The difference in those two types is only the lighting source. It all comes down to LED vs. Laser while they both make images to determine mouse position.
The most significant advantage of a laser mouse is the superior tracking it can offer even on the glossy and glassy surface. Although it can also achieve far higher DPI count, this advantage does not translate in real-life usage well since it is not really necessary.
When laser gaming mice came out, they were considered a hot new tech and better than optical. Everybody wanted to try them at the time. They were expensive, they supposed to be more accurate, achieve higher DPI, and you could use them on any surface.
However, since a lot of time passed when laser mice were introduced to the market, the vast majority of pro players still use optical mice. And for a reason, optical mice turned out to be reliable, especially for FPS shooters, and that is why I recommend optical sensor over laser. With that said do not blame me if you switch from laser to optical and still not do well in-game just play and in time you will git gut.
The market is saturated with gaming mice every way you look. That is why companies have a tough job to make the mouse that stands out of the crowd. And always before you spend any significant amount of money, be sure to try the desired mouse first. The comfortable feel you should experience is the most important thing when buying any mouse after that stats are somewhat important.