If you’ve ever come across gaming mice, you might have noticed that they have a much larger price tag than a regular optical mouse. How can they justify that? Do they actually make a difference to the gaming experience, or are they just another gimmick sold at a markup to gamers who love tech? Let’s find out!
Whether a gaming mouse will make a difference to your experience depends on the games that you tend to play.
With games that don’t have the need for rapid cursor movements or programmable buttons, you may not notice much of a difference, but with fast paced games such as CS:GO and League of Legends, you will definitely appreciate the ability to customise mouse sensitivity and multi-functional buttons to best meet your playing style.
So do you need to buy one for your gaming setup?
Well, it depends a bit on you, your budget, and your personal gaming preferences, so let’s explore what the gaming mice offer and whether one might be of use to you, or whether you’re better off with a normal mouse.
What you need to know to decide whether gaming mice make a difference?
Well we’ve broken down what we think are some of the key need to knows below:
- what’s the difference between a gaming mouse vs a ‘normal’ mouse?
- when do gaming mice come into their own?
- how to choose a great gaming mouse
- are there any drawbacks to using a gaming mouse?
What design differences do gaming mice have vs regular mice?
There are a few significant differences between gaming mice and ordinary mice, and it isn’t just flashy aesthetics! Let’s break down some of the differences and explore why gaming mice are useful.
Gaming mice have extra buttons
You have probably already noticed that gaming mice have more buttons than ordinary mice. Why? More functionality.
These extra buttons can be bound to certain key combinations, giving you control over a variety of functions that would normally require you to be pressing away at the keyboard.
This can be great for non-gaming purposes too. If you use a computer a lot, efficiency becomes key, and these extra buttons make it easy to do more with reduced gestures and time.
Because these buttons are programmable, you can always reset them as your computing or gaming habits change.
Gaming mice are more robust
Along with the increase in the functional buttons, most gaming mice are more durable than ordinary mice. That probably doesn’t mean much to you if you aren’t a gamer, because you’ll probably rarely wear a mouse out, but if you do a lot of computing or you are into long gaming sessions you’ll know your mouse will face a great deal of wear and tear over the years.
By purchasing improved hardware from the off, you save yourself costs down the line; a gaming mouse can withstand a lot more clicks (and a lot more frantic clicking) than a standard mouse.
Dots per inch (DPI)
DPI, or dots per inch, is one of the biggest differentiators in determining how sensitive a mouse is.
A basic entry level mouse usually has a maximum DPI of around 800 whereas a basic gaming mouse will have the flexibility to be set to up to 3200 DPI.
The great thing about gaming mice is that you can alter this range to suit the game you are playing. Lower ranges are good for certain games such as First Player Shooters, where decreasing the sensitivity will allow you to apply more accuracy when aiming and tracking.
With a high DPI setting it means you’ll be able to move the cursor across large on-screen distances with only a micro movement of your wrist.
This factor probably really only matters if you’re a gamer, but if you can use it to compliment your gaming strengths it’s likely to give you an edge above those playing without a gaming mouse.
If you’re playing competitively, having the ability to customise mouse sensitivity and cursor speed becomes crucial.
Ergonomics are fine tuned on gaming mice
Again, this could be an advantage even if you aren’t a gamer. Gaming mice tend to be designed with comfort in mind for the long sessions that you are likely to spend in front of your battlestation, and will help to support your wrist much more comfortably than standard computer mice.
Of course, not all gaming mice are created equal. You may find some have sacrificed ergonomic form to be made to look swish, with minimal thought given to how comfortable they will be to hold and use. It is a good idea to test a gaming mouse in-store before you buy it, or at least read online reviews thoroughly.
However, on the whole, gaming mice are made with long gaming sessions in mind, and that means they are designed for comfort as well as aesthetics. If you spend hours at the computer, you may find that a gaming mouse reduces your risk of wrist strain.
When might the benefit of a gaming mouse be most noticed?
This answer is fairly self-evident in that they are designed for high-end gaming. However, you may also benefit from using one if you are a casual gamer, or if you spend a lot of time at the computer.
The increased durability and better thought out ergonomics mean they can appeal to users who have no interest in ever starting up a computer game.
If you are a casual gamer, you might be wondering at what point you need to invest in a gaming mouse. The answer is that it depends a lot on the games you play and how serious you are. If you are just playing for fun and you aren’t too worried about score, a trackpad or basic mouse should serve your needs well enough.
However, if you want to play competitively, you may find that a gaming mouse gives you that extra 1% needed to provide a significant edge and thus is worth whatever you value you place upon winning.
What should you look for in a gaming mouse?
With any mouse, comfort is the most important factor. Your mouse can have the highest DPI range available, but if it isn’t comfortable to use, it’s not going to allow you to focus on what you need to do to win.
If you can’t actually try the mouse yourself, make sure you read reviews and specifically look for comments about the comfort. Test the mouse thoroughly after buying it and make sure it feels good to you.
Don’t be swayed just by aesthetics – a cool looking mouse isn’t going to win your next tournament.
It may take a while to get used to, but if it doesn’t feel comfortable or it puts your wrist at an awkward angle, don’t be afraid to return it and try another.
The second most important factor is the buttons.
Decide on the location of extra buttons might impact upon how you grip a mouse, and how many extra buttons would be useful to bring to your game of choice (some gaming mice have a huge amount, whereas others only add a few).
Think about the key combinations you use and which you would like to bind into a single macro.
It often takes a while to get used to using extra buttons, but it’s worth having the convenience of them, even when you aren’t gaming.
You can’t really rank gaming mice by durability, but keep an eye out for this in the reviews. If a lot of people complain about a short lifespan and poor quality, look elsewhere.
What are the drawbacks of gaming mice?
The only real drawback of a gaming mouse is the cost. They are significantly more expensive than traditional mice, and can have price points well over $100!
If you don’t feel like splashing out on your computer, this can feel like a huge amount of money.
Yes, gaming mice make a big difference to both gaming and everyday computing.
With an improved range of sensitivity, extra buttons, and better ergonomics, gaming mice have a lot to offer over traditional computing mice. It’s well worth considering one if you’re a keen gamer, or even if you simply put stock into your frequently used computer accessories. While the price tag is high, they can definitely make a big difference to your gaming experience and results.