The Best Mice
Anyone spending hours on their computer every day will tell you that having the right tools at hand is serious business. Deciding on the best mouse is a subjective process where several things come into play: intended use, feature set, grip style, price, and how comfortable a given device feels in your hand.
Over the years we’ve tested some of the best mice on the market, but to come up with this list we combined our collective experiences with hundreds of reviews and users’ feedback. We have simplified mouse recommendations since our last update, most notably combining what we believe is the best daily driver device that also happens to be the best mouse for gaming (unless you need a ton of buttons, for MMOs, etc).
In other words, what we came to conclude is that top gaming mice are usually the most comfortable to work long sessions as well — plus, you probably don’t juggle between mice depending on what you’re doing, do you?
Best Mouse for Enthusiasts and Gamers
The Razer DeathAdder is consistently mentioned by reviewers and gamers alike as one of the top gaming mice around — it was also our best overall pick last year. For 2016 the venerable rodent received a new iteration, keeping the same comfortable and ergonomic design that we know and love, but with a few improvements inside and out.
The DeathAdder Elite introduces a new “5G Optical Sensor” that’s capable of tracking up to 16,000 dots per inch (DPI) at 450 inches per second (IPS). Razer claims the DeathAdder Elite has the highest resolution accuracy ever recorded in a gaming mouse at 99.4%. You will rarely — if ever — use the mouse at its peak sensitivity but we can tell you after using the Elite for a few weeks that it tracks movement with flawless accuracy.
The overall design hasn’t changed, which is a good thing, since it was already a pretty comfortable and ergonomic gaming mouse. That said, in addition to the two well placed, ample side buttons, the DeathAdder Elite has added DPI buttons below the scroll wheel for quick sensitivity switching while gaming. The scroll wheel itself has also been redesigned with tiny bumps for extra grip.
As great as the DeathAdder line is, we were reconsidering our recommendation as there are several reports of units that suffer from a defective left click button, which starts erratically registering clicks after just a few months of use. This was the number one complain on the mouse’s previous two iterations. Although without directly addressing it, Razer seems intent in putting those issues in the past with the Elite, using new mechanical switches co-designed with Omron that offer an increased durability rating of 50 million clicks.
The Elite uses the same Chroma RGB LED lighting system as its predecessor, so you can customize away using the accompanying software. On that note, one thing we don’t like about the DeathAdder relates to the Razer Synapse software and how you need create an account to use it — not a deal breaker but an unnecessary annoyance if you don’t care for the cloud-based storage for personalized gaming settings.
Razer offers a left-handed version of the DeathAdder, too. It should be noted though this model hasn’t received updates in a while, so the sensor only goes up to 3,500 DPI and the sides of the mouse have a smoother plastic finish instead of a rubbery grip.
Your opinion may vary on how comfortable a mouse is depending on your grip style and hand size, but most reviewers (including us) agree the mouse is extremely comfortable to use even in extended gaming sessions, and at approximately 100 grams it slides easily across a mousing surface.
A Very Solid Alternative
The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum is a well-made, high-performance gaming mouse with a comfortable design. The device is super flexible, working flawlessly on a variety of surfaces, not to mention its five chevron-shaped 3.6g weights (it can go from 145g to 163g), eleven programmable buttons, dual mouse wheel modes and in-game DPI shifting ranging from the pixel-precise 0 DPI to a lightning-fast 12,000 DPI.
Like the DeathAdder, the G502 has gone through previous iterations so this is a refined piece of hardware that is equally great for gaming or heavy duty desktop work (albeit a tad more heavy than the Razer). Originally launched at $80, the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum can be found for as little as $50 on Amazon these days which is truly a steal.
A Step Up: The Luxury Gaming Mouse
Our upgrade pick costs about twice as much as you might typically spend on a gaming mouse at $130, but the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum packs incredible hardware and unparalleled attention to detail when it comes to design.
It’s incredibly light for a wireless mouse at 107g, with a fantastic shape that contours to the hand beautifully and accommodates a variety of palm, claw and fingertip holds. It has an aggressive yet sleek ambidextrous design but this doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. The left and right-clicking buttons feel solid and use a pivot design to ensure a rapid, satisfying feedback no matter where you press.
The G900 features the PMW3366 sensor which delivers exceptional tracking accuracy and consistent responsiveness at any speed, with zero smoothing or filtering across the entire DPI range (0-12,000 DPI).
The mouse has two side buttons positioned under the thumb, which can be magnetically detached and placed on either side for left or right hand use. You can also have all four buttons attached to both sides if it suits your needs. In total there are 11 programmable controls, including DPI sensitivity toggles and a click / tilt scroll wheel that can be configured for click to click precision or blazing scrolling speeds. Other perks include RGB lighting that’s configurable through Logitech’s excellent software.
As for battery life, the G900 contains a 720 mAh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that will give you around a week between charges. Conveniently, the G900 turns into a wired mouse with a micro USB cable when it needs a recharge.
For MMO Gamers
We are not huge MMO gamers, but if we’re taking everyone’s word for it, the Razer Naga Chroma is the most recommended mouse of its kind out there. Optimized specifically for MMO games the Razer Naga offers a total of 19 buttons — twelve of them on the side in four rows of thumb buttons. Each one of these buttons rest at a different elevation due to the curvature of the mouse, making it easier to tell them apart.
The Naga Chroma uses the same Razer Synapse software as the DeathAdder and the mouse itself is very responsive and accurate at up to 16,000 DPI. It’ll set you back around $60. There’s also a wireless version of this mouse called the Naga Epic Chroma, there are few differences including a slower sensor and about twice the price of admission.
Best Wireless Mouse
The MX Master is a big mouse but doesn’t feel ‘fat’, featuring a perfectly sculpted shape that supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural position. It’s precise and highly customizable. The Darkfield Laser sensor can be set as low as 400 and as high as 1600 in increments of 0 DPI, and it tracks flawlessly on a range of surfaces.
All of the main controls are well positioned and easy to reach. You get five programmable buttons, a dual mode scroll wheel — click-to-click and hyperfast — and a thumb wheel that can be used for things like side-to-side scrolling, turn pages, switch applications, flip through tabs and so on.
You can connect the mouse to up to three different devices at once, either through the included Unifying Receiver or Bluetooth. By pressing the switching button located at the bottom of the mouse, you can jump from device to device, which is great if you use of multiple screens.
The Logitech MX Master ($65) is rechargeable through the Micro USB port on the front. Based on six hours of use per day, Logitech says a full battery will last up to 40 days. In any case the MX Master won’t be stopped in its tracks once the battery runs flat. Instead, you just have to attach the USB cable and it can be used while it recharges.
The MX Master is a great mouse that delivers in terms of form, features and performance. You have to be comfortable with a palm style mouse to like the Logitech MX Master, but if you are then there is a good chance you will love it.
If you are constantly on the go then you probably don’t want to carry around a full size mouse. The Logitech Wireless Mouse M320 is a smallish, travel size mouse that’s portable enough to keep on your bag but not too small to be cumbersome to use for extended periods. It includes a 1,000 dpi sensor, an operating distance of up to 25 meters (or 80 feet), three buttons, and a clickable scroll wheel.
Available for less than $20 on Amazon, the Logitech Wireless Mouse M320 is a simple device, but its practical design and affordable price make it a great secondary mouse to keep handy while you are out and about. It is also strong on battery life, with a single AA battery providing up to two years of cordless life.
Best Budget Mouse
The G402 Hyperion Fury is a leaner version of the G502 Proteus Spectrum. It loses the weights system and some customizable buttons. In addition to the standard left and right buttons and clickable scroll wheel, the mouse also boasts a sniper button (for one-touch DPI switching), DPI up and down buttons (which cycle between four DPI presets), and two programmable thumb buttons.
Using Logitech’s accompanying software, you can program the various buttons with complex macro commands or single keystrokes, and your personal configuration can be saved to onboard memory.
The physical shape and aesthetics of the G402 are similar to the G502, which is to say it’s very comfortable to hold. The resting place for your thumb is reduced in size but still provides plenty of support. It’s a quality FPS gaming mouse, with superb tracking abilities. It can go from 240 to 4,000 DPI and its standout spec is a tracking speed of 500 inches-per-second.
The G402 doesn’t come with a braided cable like the G502 and it also replaces the dual mode scroll-wheel with a simpler click-to-click only wheel. At around $35 it’s competitively priced for what you are getting, combined with great ergonomics and feature set make the G402 a great buy.
A Plain Two-Button Mouse
You can get a very good mouse like the Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury for $35, so we really recommend you set this as the starting point for your budget. However, if you really need to go lower, or just want a spare unit to have around for occasional use, the Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse is a safe bet for $10. It’s a plain two button and scroll wheel mouse that feels comfortable in the hand with a nice grip, accurate tracking and is very dependable over time. It uses an optical sensor instead of laser and it only goes up to 800 DPI, but then again, remember what you are paying for it.