Buying a gaming mouse is easy enough, but buying the right gaming mouse can be a bit tricky task if you don’t know what to look for when you intend to buy a gaming mouse. I hope this buying guide will solve that issue and get you on the right track.
Gaming Mouse Types
There are three main types of gaming mice. The original design included a ball inside of a housing with rolling bars on both axis which could track movement and translate this to computer. Dirt and dust easily got stuck inside of this device and I am sure you cleaned one out before.
Optical mice are the most common style found using a LED and sensor to provide optimal tracking performance. Prices on this style have dropped drastically. They provide economical alternative with good performance.
The highest quality of gaming mouse available uses a laser sensor to provide ultrafast response and accuracy. If you are serious about gaming, this is the type of gaming mouse you need to have.
Another vital thing is weight of gaming mouse and it is very useful if it comes with the option of weight customization. A light one does reduce fatigue in lengthy gaming sessions while a heavy gaming mouse gives better control. Therefore, one with adjustable weight setting is a great advantage.
DPI (Dots Per Inch)
The gaming mouse also has resolution which is represented in DPI (Dots Per Inch) or CPI (Characters Per Inch). The higher DPI signifies farther movement of the mouse with less effort. Low DPI is alright for precise doings such as the use of Photoshop. High DPI is preferred for shooting games or in case you’ve big monitor for better screen’s coverage. The majority of optical mice come with have 800 DPI while gaming mice come with 100 DPI to 9800 DPI. You will experience the real difference when you will use one.
A mouse has two buttons, left and right and the scroll-wheel. There are a few gaming mice which have various buttons and replace some keystrokes typically used in playing games and this capability is different for each game. The single player games do not require these many buttons, but, in case of strategy games and the RPGs, they are demanded for the reason that these buttons let you make a few commands without using keyboard. Most famous type of gaming mouse is ambidextrous mouse with 2 thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse.
It is reprinted in Hertz (Hz) and shows how often your gaming mouse monitors for the input and it higher polling rate signifies that your gaming mouse requires frequent input to be more responsive.
Wireless Versus Cable
On the market, you see the standard mouse with or without wire and the same goes in case of gaming mouse. In the past days, the gamers were not much willing to use wireless gaming mouse because of their slow speed, but it’s not an issue in the date of today. With advanced technologies, the wireless gaming mice function just like wired ones.
For best gaming mouse, it is vital that it is comfortable. It is usually made from plastic or rubber and sometimes both material are used. The mouse for gamers are manufactured with even surface to have better grip. It’s significant that the mouse is ergonomic and your hand can sit pleasantly on the mouse. You surely wouldn’t want to have ache and strain in your palm and fingers due to gaming mouse. Therefore, when you buy one, go for a mouse built with ergonomic angles.
Determine Your Personality as a Gamer
We can categorize four main types of gamers, so that you can decide if you need a gaming mouse and how much should spend on it.
1 – Non-Gamer
A non-gamer is a person who doesn’t play games that much. Such gamers might play some browser/facebook games, and that’s it for them. Gaming is, therefore, not something that may be of their highest of interest, and buying a high-end gaming mouse is just ‘waste” of money’ since a regular mouse will surely cover their needs. You are better off saving your 50-60 bucks on something else you enjoy more.
2 – Casual Gamer
A casual-gamer is a person who enjoy gaming as hobby. Such gamers spend a few hours per day on gaming and they typically play games from various genres. Some of the games they buy might not be played from A to B, but that doesn’t matter. They play games mainly for entertainment without the sense of competition of a hardcore gamer.
Buying a gaming mouse is not necessary since games can be played by a regular mouse. However, if you do decide to buy a gaming mouse, you may get one that has a great design and will last longer than a regular mouse.
Your longer gaming session can be more comfortable as ergonomics are some of the main key aspects of a gaming mouse. In addition, you also get a mouse that is customizable and have various kinds of features. You will probably not use all of these features, but it is still nice to know that they are available. Money-wise, you are better of getting a decent but cheap gaming mouse than an expensive high-end one.
3 – Hardcore Gamer
A hardcore gamer takes gaming as his/her lifestyle, and is very passionate about it. Hardcore gamers spend a lot of money on games, and they tend to keep updated on new games and may also spend time researching on gaming accessories like keyboards to make their gaming experience better and more immersive.
Typically they spend many hours on playing games, joining LAN-parties and some do even take part in a few competitions and tournaments. In general, they tend to master their games by completing as many tasks and objectives as possible, read up forums, guides and so on. Having gaming accessories is still not a must, but it is of course really recommended for your gaming sessions.
You will definitely enjoy the features and being able to customize your mouse after your gaming needs is absolutely a plus for you. You can go for a decent or high-end mouse. Yes, some can be expensive, but they are worth the quality and will surely satisfy you as a gamer.
4 – Professional Gamer
Now a professional gamer is in many aspects a hardcore gamer. They play games because they are passionate about it or because money is involved. The key difference between a hardcore gamer and a professional gamer is that pro-gamers take gaming to the next level.
They deeply study their games and techniques, just to become the expert in their field. In general, pro-gamers tend to be very competitive and joining up competitions is something they do for a living. As for a professional-gamer, losing is not an option, so having an edge over other competitors is very important.
The key, besides having skills, is to have the right equipment and make it a part of you. Money should not be an issue here, so do your research on the internet and take reviews from others. Even if it’s expensive, you should definitely get a gaming mouse.
Now if you can place yourself in one of these categories, you may be able to decide whether you actually need a gaming mouse and how much you should be spending on one.
So you definitely want to know which one is the right one for you. Besides knowing the technical terms, you will also need to know how you use a mouse. Therefore, it is also a good idea to know how you hold a mouse before you buy one. I will explain here three commonly used grips on a mouse and their advantages and disadvantages.
A palm grip user places his entire hand on top of the mouse, where the palm rests on the top while the pit rest at the rear back-end of the mouse. The mouse is being held and controlled by the thumb, ring-finger or the pinky.
The main left and right buttons are pressed by the index finger and middle finger. If the mouse has side-buttons, they will usually be pressed by your thumb if they are placed on the left side of the mouse.
In general, the palm grip is known for being comfortable and ergonomic-dependent. So when you are looking for a gaming mouse, you may want to look for something built ergonomically. Please, be advised that if you use your left hand, look for specific left-handed or ambidextrous mouse, one that can be used with both hands.
Advantages of Palm Grip
- It has very comfortable grip.
- You can use wrist movements to fine tune.
- You can achieve higher speed with movements from wrist and forearm.
Disadvantages of Palm Grip
- Fine tuning with fingers can be difficult.
- There is limited precise movement.
A claw grip user, like the palm grip user, rests his hand on top of the mouse and stabilize by the palm’s pit. However, the user’s fingers are arched, and only the fingertips are in contact with the mouse and its buttons. The grip is called ‘claw grip’ because the shape of the hand resembles a claw. Just like the palm grip, this grip allows the user to pivot his wrist to fine tune his movements and also with his fingers. Fast clicking is also possible with this grip because of the fingertips being only in contact points on the buttons. However, claw grip can be more stressful than the palm grip and may cause fatigue in long game sessions.
Advantages of Claw Grip
- There is a balance between comfort and control.
- You can use wrist movements to finetune.
- You can use fingers to finetune movement.
- Fast clicking with fingertips is possible.
Disadvantages of Claw Grip
- You can feel unnatural because of being a compound from the palm and fingertip grip.
- It has higher learning curve than palm grip.
- Fatigue can be a problem in long game sessions.
The fingertip grip is similar to the claw grip but it is totally different compared to the palm grip. The user only uses fingertips as contact points to the mouse while the rest of the hand stays out of contact. By using the fingertip grip, the user my gain more precision and control of the mouse than the other grips. However, the fingertip grip does not have a resting point and it will, therefore, put a lot of stress into the hand. The user may experience a high amount of hand fatigue on long gaming sessions. Fingertip grip is also considered as an advanced method of grip because of not having a stabilizing point and also because of the high amount of stress your hand can get. Yes, this grip has a steep learning curve, but if you master it, you will gain access to a grip that has a lot of control and precision.
Advantages of Fingertip Grip
- It has great control and precision.
- You can use fingers to fine tune movement more than the claw grip.
- It increases agility.
- You can do fast clicking with fingertips.
Disadvantages of Fingertip Grip
- It has a steep learning curve.
- It puts a lot of stress into the hand.
- It is uncomfortable in long game sessions.
Knowing which grip you are using can help you be aware on what to look for when buying a gaming mouse. For an example, if you were a palm grip user, you may want to focus on ergonomical aspects, while finger and claw grip user may want to focus on how well they hold the mouse, its size, how their fingers are placed and so on.
Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Gaming Mouse
There are a few commonly made mistakes that many gamers make which result in waste of money and dissatisfaction. Here you will find those mistakes so that you can avoid them to get a good bargain.
Focus on High DPI Only
Let me make it clear for you. A gaming mouse with extreme DPI-rating does not equal a great mouse. Many gaming peripheral companies love to brand their gaming mice with high DPI-Rating, and sadly many consumers do fall into their branding trick.
DPI is a term that stands for dot-per-inch, and it tells basically just how much sensitive the mouse is. If you buy a gaming mouse that has 9800 DPI, you have just got a mouse that can be extremely sensitive. Trust me, you will never use a DPI-rating on 9800.
What you want to is buy is a mouse that has a reasonable price, fits your hand and has features you need or like, even if it has 5200 DPI for example. What you don’t want to do is buying an overpriced mouse just because of high DPI-rating.
Lack of Research
Before you buy a gaming mouse, it is advised that you do enough research on the topic. See what else the market has in store, take a good look at pictures and videos if you can’t try the mouse.
Here you want to see which shape the mouse has, the size, button placements and so on. Make sure that you have an idea on how the mouse may feel when you hold it.
Secondly, you may want to research the features and the technical aspects of the mouse. You do want to know what you are spending your hard-earned cash on.
Lastly, you may want to read reviews and get an impression if the mouse is good or bad. For an example, if many gamers say that the mouse you are looking for has a loose cable, you may want to think twice. So always do your research as thorough as you can.
I Want to Get That Brand Because My Friend Uses It.
If you have a friend who owns a gaming mouse of a particular brand and is very satisfied with it, you just don’t run to the market and buy it. Just because that gamin mouse is comfortable for him does not mean at all that it will be equally comfortable for you too.
Remember that people have different kinds of hand shapes and grips, so make sure that it does truly fit you before buying it. Maybe you can borrow it for a gaming session and see how it goes with you.
Super Expensive Mouse is Always Good!
If you think that an expensive mouse is better than a decent priced mouse, you are dead wrong. Some expensive mice have more features which can be nice to have, but think again. Do you need them and if the particular gaming mouse has the worth of extra 40-50 bucks? If it does, you should go for it, but if not, then go for one that is less pricey. Having extra features that you don’t use is a waste of money. Here you should also take build quality and ergonomics into consideration. Buying a cheapo gaming mouse that breaks after 2 days is a no-no. Make sure that the mouse, even if it’s expensive, is living up to your quality standards.