Best Gaming Mouse of 2020
The Razor Basilisk V2 lives up to its name with sleek and lethal-looking exterior and plenty of inconspicuous features that back-up this impression. For starters, the mouse has adjustable polling rate (125, 500, and 100 Hz) as well as DPI/CPI (100 - 20,000) so you can dial in the perfect balance between the two and your gaming style. Supporting this endeavor is software that makes adjustments of these elements — as well as the programming of the 11 buttons packed on to the unit — easy and accurate. The mouse also boasts programmable lighting in the logo featured on the shell and the scroll wheel. Speaking of the scroll wheel, we absolutely love the fact that the wheel resistance is adjustable.
While there is a lot to like about the Basilisk V2, it isn't without some shortcomings. The most notable of these is the asymmetrical shape — so, lefties need not apply! Also, the sheer amount of customization that is possible across the 11 buttons, lights, wheel, et cetera may be overwhelming to some users. Finally, the grip texture on the sides of the shell proved to be difficult to clean and has the possibility to gunk-up with time. That said, this is a well-rounded optical mouse that will tackle most types of computer gaming at a high level.
The wireless Razer Viper Ultimate offers extended striking distance and a whole lot of customization across its 8 programmable buttons. Adjustments to the DPI/CPI range from 100 - 20,000 (in steps of 50) and adjustable via the user-friendly proprietary software. Lighting, too, is customizable though it is limited to the logo on the palm rest of the unit. The shell is symmetrical as well, making it equally functional for both lefties and righties. Additionally, we found this unit to have prolonged battery life but the charging dock ensures that you'll always be ready for a gaming bender.
Given all the benefits on offer by the Viper Ultimate it's not surprising that the unit cost a pretty penny. However, you can save yourself some money by forgoing the charging dock. Our other concerns focus on the stiffness (and lack of adjustability) of the scroll wheel which was not to our liking. The polling rate lacks adjustability as well and is fixed at 100 Hz. Despite these issues, we found this mouse to be a pleasure to game with because, in addition to the features already mentioned, its shape matches most hand sizes and grip preferences.
The Logitech G203 Prodigy is a sleek-looking corded mouse that packs a heck of a punch given its price point. Both polling rate and DPI/CPI are adjustable — the later from 200 - 8,000 in steps of 50 and the prior at presets of 125, 250, 500, and 1000 Hz. One might think that lighting options would be omitted to save money but not so with this economic unit. Heck, it even has some customization, too. Add to all this a lack of smoothing, acceleration and filtering (all of which ensure consistent and accurate mouse gestures) and we think you'll be as impressed as we were with this unit.
Unfortunately, the Prodigy isn't without its limitation. Foremost is the issue with the side buttons. While we like that all 6 of the unit's buttons can be reassigned, we do not like that the side buttons are almost flush with the shell. This design may look good, but it makes it hard to find the buttons you're looking for in the heat of battle. Aside from that, we felt that the mouse cable was a bit stiff, a minor complaint to be sure. In closing, we'd like to say that the Mercury sensor was among the best performers and the unit's shape fit a wide variety of hand sizes and grip types.
If you want lots of keybind options at the tip of your thumb and index finger, look no further than the Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite. The machine packs in no less than 17 buttons, all of which can be reassigned to the users specifications. Given the demand the sheer number of buttons puts on one's digits, it's a definite bonus that the thumb keypad adjusts fore and aft to better match the user's anatomy. Additionally, the proprietary iCUE software allows for easy and precise adjustments of DPI/CPI (100 - 18,000), polling rate (125, 250, 500 and 1000 Hz), and lighting (front, side, scroll wheel, and logo).
Given all the options that this unit is endowed with, it's unfortunate that it's asymmetrical shell is geared to righties who favor palm gripping. Additionally, our testing showed that this model is best suited to MMO and MOBA-type games — we experienced more trouble aiming in FPS games. This aiming issue is likely due to the relatively heavy weight of the unit which comes in at a whopping 119 grams. Despite these shortcomings, we think this model is deserving of accolades for the amount of operations and customizations it is capable of incorporating into one's gameplay.
The Glorious Model O- stands apart from the crowd for its light weight (57 grams), its ultra-flexible soft-braid cord, and its competitive price. While it may be a negative for some, righties and lefties with medium to small hands will like the symmetrical shell and compact proportions. Add to this adjustable polling rate (1000, 500, 250, 125 Hz), DPI/CPI (400 - 1,200 in steps of 100), and lightning and you will see why we took a liking to this unit.
On the down side, the O- lacks only has 6 buttons at the user's disposal. Also, the scroll wheel was a little stiff by our estimation and the light weight took a bit of getting used to — we never did feel at ease when playing MMOs and the like. Indeed, this is a speed mouse best fit to FPS games. If you like what this model has to offer but are concerned about sizing, there is a medium option available.
Despite the Razer DeathAdder V2's macabre name, it is none-the-less a quality all-around gaming mouse. It has all the key features one would expect in a gaming unit, such as adjustments for the DPI/CPI, polling rate, and lighting. Given its 80 gram weight, it's a good fit for lightning-fast FPS gestures. Moreover, its braided cord is flexible and unobtrusive. To round things out, the unit boasts 7 buttons that can be set to the users specifications. Like we said: it's an all-around solid gaming machine.
While the DeathAdder checks all of the boxes in the gaming mouse criterion, it does so at a bare minimum. For example, while both DPI/CPI and polling rate are adjustable, the range and steps in the adjustment are limited in comparison to other models reviewed. Additionally, the shape of the shell is targeted exclusively at right-handers. That said, this somewhat plain-looking mouse performs admirably, especially so when factoring in its competitive price.
The Logitech G Pro is a feature packed wireless mouse. The unassuming design of this symmetrical unit has 8 programmable buttons, onboard dongle storage (for those of you who want a travel mouse), as well as adjustable polling rate and DPI/CPI. The unit also has optional software which will help dial in the keys, light, et cetera. In a effort to make the G Pro a do-it-all mouse, the design incorporates a G-shift function, which is like a mouse equivalent of a mullet: business functionality on the front-end and, with the press of a button, it seamlessly shifts to a user defined gaming setting on the back end.
Our primary complaints about this mouse are preferential in nature. For one, the mouse is very lightweight at 80 grams. While this is good for FPS activities, it's not the best for MMOs and the like. Also, some might not like the symmetry for the shell and the modular side buttons. As far a flare is concerned, the mouse has only one light — a backlit logo on the shell. Personal preferences aside, the G Pro is one of the few mice that we have tested that performs at a high level as both a gaming and regular work mouse, allowing for smooth scroll and click as well as forward and back browsing buttons to name just a few of the non-gaming features.
The BenQ Zowie S2 Divina is a pared down but full functional gaming mouse with some interesting innovations. For one, the rubber cable is attached to the front of the mouse at an upturned angle that prevents the cable from dragging on the mouse pad. Additionally, the short, symmetrical shell design has the hump positioned towards the back which makes it easy and comfortable to both palm and claw grip the mouse. In addition to the features, the mouse has 4 buttons, a scroll wheel, manually adjustable DPI/CPI (400, 80, 1,600, 3,200), and polling rate (125, 500, 1,000 Hz).
Given that the S2 Divina is a very simplistic mouse there are several features lacking. For example, there is no supporting software. However, the unit doesn't really need software as there are no lights to customize and the polling rate and DIP/CPI can be adjusted via buttons on the underside of the unit. Also, there are just two auxiliary buttons that are set to forward and backward. Finally, the mouse is small, which makes gripping it easier, but it might not be suited to those with bigger hands. In our opinion, this mouse is designed for regular mouse applications, and, given the lightweight, FPS games.
The ROCCAT Kain 120 Aimo is a high-quality gaming mouse at a decent price. It has almost all the customization options you could ask for from DPI/CPI to polling rate to scroll wheel and logo lighting. The unit has high-end Omron switches and the scroll wheel has a nice tactile click when rotated. Moreover, the unit comes with proprietary software to program its abundant features and the Easy-Shift[+] technology that allows the user to switch between remapped button configurations.
Given how complementary we have been about the ROCCAT you might be wondering why it didn't do better in our evaluation. Make no mistake, this mouse is awesome. However, when compared to other high-end models, it just isn't as comfortable to grip or easy to use. Nor is it as customizable as other models here reviewed. That said, it does have the unique feature of having a manual DPI adjustment button on the top of the shell.
The Logitech G502 HERO is a button packed mouse. To be exact, it has no less than 11 buttons to program as you will. Even the scroll wheel has two button options. Additionally, the mouse has five individual weights that can be added to the unit to increase its weight in ~3.6 gram increments. Given the weight of the unit and the button options, it is a good mouse to get one started in MMO games.
While the HERO provides enough buttons to get started in MMO games, it will not excel in such activities. As such we consider this unit to be more of a generic gaming mouse — too heavy for FPS games and too limited in its binds to be an effective MMO machine. Yet, the mouse isn't terribly expensive and it is a good start for those getting into computer gaming.
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior research analyst Austin Palmer is a dedicated — and skilled — gamer when he is not at work testing electronics such as gaming keyboards, gaming headsets as well as a much wider variety of home appliances and tools. Senior Review Editor Nick Miley has been testing, analyzing consumer products ranging from outdoor equipment, to computer peripheries for nearly a decade. He has worked hand in glove with Austin on several computer game related reviews over the past couple years.
Together these two researched and selected the most promising gaming mice available. Having purchased and received the mice of interest the two set about testing them in actual gameplay. Their analysis also included an assessment of the glide of each unit on various surfaces, the action of the scroll wheels, the cable (both the material used and the flexibility), and of course the weight. Additionally, we looked at customization, button configuration, software, size, and shape.
Analysis and Test Results
The following review is the product of our hands-on, practical tests of gaming mice. Our evaluation is divided into metrics that capture specific aspects of mouse use and that collectively cover all aspects of the devices in question. Read on for the specifics of each metric and the details for which models performed best and why.
This review does not directly address the different grip styles (palm, claw, etc.) because there is simply too much variation in mouse size/shape, hand size, and personal preference. In general smaller hands will have an easier time palm gripping almost any mouse. Large hands are going to have a difficult time palm gripping smaller mice and an easier time claw or fingertip gripping them.
As the name implies, the glide metric takes stock of the resistance on the various surfaces it may be operated on. The ideal mouse would perform at a high level on a variety of surfaces. To capture the capabilities of each we tested on two pads that bookend the variety of surfaces that one may place their mouse on. Namely these are the Zowie G-SR (control pad) and the Logitech G440 (hard/speed pad). Without a doubt, the Glorious Model O- outshines the competition for across the board performance for speed. However, the Razer Basilisk V2 and the Razer DeathAdder V2 are pretty close seconds.
The Logitech G203 Prodigy and the Logitech G Pro offer a good balance between speed and control. Where as the BenQ Zowie S2, Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite, Logitech G502 HERO is where you want to look for a mouse with more control than speed. It's important to remember that mouse feet (skates) have a break in period and will perform differently on different mouse pads over time.
What we are looking for in this series of tests is consistent on screen actions produced from the user's gestures with the mouse on the two different mouse pads. There are several factors that contribute to consistency across the two surfaces with the feet and the weight of the mouse being chief among them. Case in point, the Model O- is a super light weight machine and it has four small feet (one to a corner) that offer low glide resistance regardless of the surface they're on.
We broke up our analysis of the scrolling wheels of the mouses into three parts: scrolling, clicking, and sound. Few models excelled in all three submetrics. However, the Razer Basilisk V2 topped the charts across the board. This mouse has a silky smooth action scrolling up and down, clicking and selecting with the roller is effortless, and these two actions produce almost no noise whatsoever.
While the Razer Basilisk V2 did well in all three assessments, other models are worth mentioning as they did well in one submetric or another. Specifically, we found the Logitech G502 HERO showed scrolling quality akin to the Basilisk. Similarly, the Logitech G203 Prodigy click function was effective to the point of going unnoticed — it simply did what it was supposed to without any deliberate effort from the user. Finally, the Logitech G Pro upstaged the Basilisk with all but silent action.
The mouse cable metric focuses on two factors: flexibility and construction (material and quality). What we're looking for here is a connection with the computer that is both long-lasting and unobtrusive. Obviously, those models that do not have a cord claimed the gold in this evaluation. These wireless models are the Logitech G Pro and the Razer Viper Ultimate.
As for those mouse models with cords, the Razer Basilisk V2, Glorious Model O-, and Razer DeathAdder V2 excel in flexibility. Part of this success is the construction material employed. All three models's cord construction can be described as a paracord or soft braid design. The manufactures describe it as SPEEDFLEX CABLE in the case of the two razor models while Glorious calls it Ascended Cord. Both are ultra-flexible and suggestive of long term durability.
Weight matters and will affect gameplay. For example most FPS gamers favor lighter models for quick aiming, wrist flicking actions. Conversely, MMO gamers lean towards heavier models as they are more stable and offer a bit more of a damp feeling. That said, weight is preferential. For that reason, we liked that at least one — the Logitech G502 HERO — model provided for adjustability in the weight. However, its lowest weight is 119 grams, not what we'd describe as light. The Glorious Model O- (57 grams), is quite light. Conversely, when fully loaded with its weights, the Logitech G502 HERO checks in at a hefty 137 grams. Dang!
This review of gaming mice takes a comprehensive and thorough look at all the aspects that contribute to a competitive gaming tool for every genre from FPSs to MMOs. Specifically, we plunged into the weeds with such details as glide (how the mouse moves across various surfaces), scroll wheel action, cable type and weight. With the information derived from our testing analysis, one can make accurate side-by-side comparisons such that they will be more likely to select the right tool for their gaming the first time around. Game on!
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer