Best Gaming Mouse of 2021
$49.99 at Amazon
$119.73 at Amazon
|$150 List||$80 List||$70 List|
|Pros||Optical switches, onboard memory, customizable scroll resistance||Onboard memory, symmetrical, optical switches||Onboard dongle storage, ambidextrous design||Braided cable, infinite scroll option||Optical switches, supple cable|
|Cons||Asymmetrical, grips hard to clean||Expensive, slow "wake-up"||Expensive, no charging dock||Fixed polling rate, too heavy for FPS games||Relatively limited customization|
|Bottom Line||This mouse balances highly customizable features and high-end performance with a price tag that won't zero out your pocketbook||This feature-packed, highly customizable wireless mouse pulls no punches and cuts no corners||An excellent wireless mouse for both right and left-handers||This mouse is a standout on account of its adjustable weight. However, the unit has high-end hardware and ample customization, too||A solid mouse at a manageable price|
|Rating Categories||Razer Basilisk V2||Razer Viper Ultimate||Logitech G Pro||Logitech G502 HERO||Razer DeathAdder V2|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Razer Basilisk V2||Razer Viper Ultimate||Logitech G Pro||Logitech G502 HERO||Razer DeathAdder V2|
|Sensor/ Type/ Flawless?||Focus+/ Optical/ Yes||Focus+/ Optical/ Yes||Hero 25K/ Optical/ Yes||Hero 16K/ Optical/ Yes||Focus+/ Optical/ Yes|
|Number of Buttons||10 (+1 on bottom)||7 (+1 on bottom)||7 (+1 on bottom)||11||7|
|Wire/Charging Cable (feet, inches)||7'||6'||6'||6'6"||7'|
|Weight (grams)||91g||77g||80g||119 - 137g||80g|
|Polling Rate (Hz)||125, 500, 1000||1000||125, 250, 500, 1000||1000||125, 500, 1000|
|DPI/CPI (in steps of)||100 - 20000 (50)||100 - 20000 (50)||100 - 25600 (50 up to 4k, 1000 after 4k)||100 - 25600 (50)||100 - 20000 (50)|
|Tracking Speed (IPS/FPS)||650||650||400||400+||650|
|On-Board Memory (# of profiles)?||Yes (5)||Yes (5)||Yes (5)||Yes (5)||Yes (5)|
|Switch Type (Manufacturer)||Optical (Razor)||Optical (Razor)||Mechanical (Logitech)||Mechanical (Logitech)||Optical (Razor)|
Best Overall Gaming Mouse
Razer Basilisk V2
The Razer Basilisk V2 lives up to its name with a sleek, lethal-looking exterior and plenty of less conspicuous features that back up its threatening bearing. For starters, the mouse has an adjustable polling rate (125, 500, and 1,000 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 into 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 appreciated that it has adjustable resistance, a unique feature to be sure.
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 — 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 grippy texture on the sides of the shell proved to be difficult to clean and can gunk up with time. With that said, this remains a well-rounded, high-quality gaming mouse that will tackle all types of computer gaming at a high level.
Read Full Review: Razer Basilisk V2
Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
Razer Viper Ultimate
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 (100 - 20,000 in steps of 50) are made through the user-friendly proprietary software, while tracking speed (650 IPS) and polling rate (1,000 Hz) are fixed at hyper-competitive levels. The unit's lighting is customizable though it is limited to the logo on the palm rest. Conveniently, the shell is symmetrical, which makes it equally functional for both lefties and righties. Additionally, we found this unit to have prolonged battery life but, just in case, the charging cradle included with the purchase ensures that it'll always be ready for a gaming bender.
Given all the benefits offered 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 as the mouse is sold with and without it. Aside from that, our main concern focuses on customization. The stiffness — and lack of adjustability — of the scroll wheel was not to our liking. Despite this issue, we found this mouse to be a pleasure to game with because, in addition to the features already mentioned, its shape matches a variety of hand sizes and grip preferences.
Read Full Review: Razer Viper Ultimate
Best Bang for Your Buck
Logitech G203 Prodigy
The Logitech G203 Prodigy is a sleek-looking corded gaming mouse that packs a heck of a punch given its price point. Both polling rate and DPI/CPI are adjustable — the latter from 200 - 8,000 in steps of 50 and the prior at presets of 125, 250, 500, and 1,000 Hz. One might think that lighting options would be omitted to save money, but not so with this economic unit. Customization is easy on the fly or, if preferred, with the intuitive software that comes with the mouse. All told, we think you'll be as impressed as we were with this unit.
Unfortunately, the Prodigy isn't without its limitations. 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. We also felt that the mouse cable was a bit stiff, though this is a minor complaint. Despite these criticisms, the Mercury optical sensor proved to be among the best performers in the class, and the unit's shape fits a wide variety of hand sizes and grip types.
Read Full Review: Logitech G203 Prodigy
Best Lightweight Mouse
Glorious Model O-
The Glorious Model O- stands apart from the crowd on account of its light weight (59 grams), its ultra-flexible braided 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 features list adjustable polling rate (125, 250, 500, 1,000 Hz), an onboard DPI/CPI adjustment button (400 - 1,200 in steps of 100), and customizable lighting, and it should be clear why we took a liking to this unit.
On the downside, the O- has just 6 buttons at the user's disposal which requires the use of software to remap. Also, the light weight takes 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 for FPS gaming where quick flicks are key. If you like what this model has to offer but are concerned about sizing, there is a medium option available as well.
Read Full Review: Glorious Model O-
Best for MMOs
Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite
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 user's specifications. Given the demand this abundance of buttons put 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 adjustments of DPI/CPI (100 - 18,000), polling rate (125, 250, 500, and 1,000 Hz), and lighting (front, side, scroll wheel, and logo).
Given all the options that this unit is endowed with, it's unfortunate that its 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 as we experienced some 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 and, to a lesser degree, its stiff cable. Despite these shortcomings, we think this model is deserving of accolades for the sheer number of customizations it is capable of incorporating into one's gameplay.
Read Full Review: Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior research analyst Austin Palmer is a dedicated — and skilled — gamer. He gets a lot of practice, too, testing gaming keyboards, gaming headsets, monitors, and the like at work, and gaming with friends at home. Senior Review Editor Nick Miley has been testing and 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 few 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 customization and supporting software, the action of the button switches and scroll wheels, the cable (both the material used and the flexibility), and of course, the weight. Additionally, they looked at the units' button configuration, size, and shape.
Analysis and Test Results
The following discussion is the product of a hands-on, practical evaluation of gaming mice. This work is divided into metrics that capture specific aspects of gaming mouse use and that collectively cover all aspects of the devices in question. Namely, these are performance, customization, ease of use, and buttons. Read on for the specifics of each metric, as well as the details of which models achieved high marks and why.
Related: Buying Advice for Gaming Mouses
Value is often in the eye of the beholder. However, we have a more rigid appraisal of a product's value, and it goes like this. If a product is comparable in quality and performance to other models in its class but costs less, it's more valuable. Similarly, if a product is comparably priced to products in the class but outperforms its peers, it too has greater value. The Logitech G203 Prodigy stands out in the class for its low price point and high-end performance. Also worthy note is the Razer DeathAdder V2 which meets this standard but to a lesser degree.
Gaming mice use state-of-the-art components and, as such, represent the highest performance possible in a mouse. Having investigated each model's specifications and thoroughly tested them, we were impressed but not surprised by their capabilities. In fact, these products are so evenly matched that it is hard to say that one is meaningfully better than another in this particular evaluation. However, the Razer Viper Ultimate stood out, albeit just a bit, in a class that uniformly received top marks in the performance evaluation.
With the exception of mouse weight, the performance metric is essentially a collation of the mouse components. As such, we note sensor and switch type but also include the specifications of these components. Specifically, we are interested in the sensors' dots/counts per inch (DPI/CPI) rating, tracking speed, and polling rate. Additionally, we want to know if the sensor is optical or laser and whether it is flawless — meaning that it does not have "corrective" firmware. Finally, we look at the button switch type (optical or mechanical) and weight sans cord if the unit has one. When the tally was complete, this group of gaming mice came across the finish line neck and neck, with the biggest differences showing in weight, switch type, and tracking speed.
All of the models reviewed here have flawless optical sensors with latency that is almost nonexistent — certainly below the threshold of perception. All models offer adjustable DPI/CPI and polling rate with the latter maxing out at 1,000 Hz across the board. As stated above, one of the main differences in these products is button switch type with the Razer Basilisk V2, Razer Viper Ultimate, and Razer DeathAdder V2 sporting the cutting edge optical switches that eliminate bouncing issues and make latency concerns irrelevant. Weight, too, varied a good deal. We favored mice with lower mass as it facilitates quicker reactions. The featherweight Glorious Model O- leads the pack at just 59 grams. The Razer Viper Ultimate came in a distant second, tipping the scale at 77 grams. Finally, there are big differences in tracking speed. However, these disparities are largely irrelevant as the minimum tracking speed in the group is 200+ inches per second, faster than anyone will move their mouse in actual gameplay.
The ability to tweak the behavior of a gaming mouse is as important as the performance characteristics discussed above. The customization metric evaluates the degree to which the user can adjust the performance to meet their personal preferences and the demands of games being played. This analysis reveals a much great degree of variation as compared to the performance metric with the Razer Basilisk V2, Razer Viper Ultimate, Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite, and Logitech G502 HERO allowing the user the greatest level of control.
There are two main categories of customization that our assessment focuses on, buttons and lights. However, we also account for less common features like the ability to use the mouse with either hand as well as weight and scroll wheel adjustments. Lighting adjustments are aesthetic and, thus, less important. Buttons customization is paramount. The ability to assign macros or keybinds to buttons is critical to high-level gameplay. Moreover, the ability to set and save profiles as you experiment with different strategies and tactics is a huge advantage.
The Razer Basilisk V2 and Razer Viper Ultimate have 11 and 8 programmable buttons, respectively. These units also have Razer's proprietary Hypershift function that allows one to switch between 5 unique profiles with the push of a button. Additionally, the Basilisk V2 has adjustable scroll wheel resistance, while the Viper Ultimate is one of the few ambidextrous mice in the class. Both of these models have customizable RGB lighting illuminating their logos and, in the case of the Basilisk V2, the scroll wheel.
The Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite and Logitech G502 HERO are also highly customizable units with 17 and 11 programmable buttons, respectively. The Corsair has a unique 12 button side panel that slides forward and backward to match the position to the user's thumb. The HERO has the most expansive RGB lighting array of the class with 5 zones in total, all fully adjustable. The HERO's scroll wheel can switch between infinite scroll (no resistance at all) and fixed resistance. Additionally, this is the only unit in the class with adjustable weighting that ranges between 119 - 137 grams.
It should be noted that there are several specs discussed in the performance portion of this article that are adjustable. Specifically, these are DPI/CPI, tracking speed, and poll rate. All the mice here reviewed either accommodate adjustability of these features or are fixed at a level that makes the lack of adjustment irrelevant.
Ease of Use
No one wants to open the box of their new combat periphery and then spend the next couple of hours setting it up. The ease of use evaluation looks to address this issue by evaluating the effort required to set up and operate the mouse. In this series of assessments, we compare the software that facilitates the customization and adjustments of the parameters discussed in the performances and customization sections, as well as on-the-fly adjustments. Additionally, we assessed how the cable on wired mice affects the unit's movement. Despite wireless mice having a clear advantage in this metric, the class-leading Razer Viper Ultimate and Logitech G Pro earn their top spot for their intuitive software and straightforward programming.
Wireless mice aside, many gamers prefer the wired variety due to their presumed lack of latency, relatively low cost, and lack of a charging requirement. Given the sustaining popularity of the wired mice, we looked at the cables tethering these units and how they affect gameplay. Specifically, we looked at cord construction and stiffness as well as the position of the attachment point. Surprisingly, there are not huge differences in performance between the supple braided cables like that found on the Razer Basilisk V2 and the stiff rubber variety used on models like the Logitech G203 Prodigy. However, we did find that the raised attachment point on the BenQ Zowie S2 reduced cable contact with the mouse pad and thus the drag with a positive effect. If you think we're grasping at straws with this analysis, consider that many of the top players using wired mice employ a bungee system to suspend the cable and avoid drag altogether.
Last but certainly not least is the mouse buttons metric. This evaluation looks at the action of buttons and the scroll wheel as well as the sound produced by these components when they are actuated. The Logitech G Pro and Razer Basilisk V2 lead the group in this assessment because their scroll wheels stood out for their smooth and even movement and the near-silent action of their buttons.
The mice we tested clustered fairly high in this assessment, which wasn't that surprising given their performances up to this point. However, we were not expecting that the action of the left and right buttons would be essentially uniform across the group. Many of the mice use mechanical switches made by either Omron, Huano, or Logitech. The Razer models use Razer optical switches. Despite these differences in manufacturing and technology, the tactile experience was virtually identical.
Sizing and Measurements
We did not rate these mice on their dimensions as sizing and grip type is preferential, and in the latter's case, prone to change. However, we encourage readers to measure their mouse hand and look for models matching their grip style and hand size. For more information on this process, see our Buying Advice article. In an effort to help you select the best mouse for your hand and grip, we have taken detailed measurements of the mice and made them available in the comparison chart at the head of the article. The following details each measurement as well as the general sizing to match.
There are two measurements that one will want to take to make a general sizing assessment before purchasing a gaming mouse. These are hand length and hand width. Of course, preference and grip type play a role as well. Yet, in general, a hand length of less than 6 3/4" and a width of less than 3 1/4" is small. A hand length of 6 3/4" - 8" and a width of 3 1/4" - 4" is medium. And, a hand length greater than 8" and a width greater than 4" is large. General mouse sizing can be found in the comparison chart at the top of the article.
The mice themselves have several dimensions one can size to dial in the perfect fit. These measurements are finger width, waist, palm width, length, shell length, height, and hump inset. While this may seem like a lot of info, as one becomes more familiar with their grip and gaming preference, details like shell length will be more important. As with mouse sizing, these measurements can be found in the comparison chart above.
This review of gaming mice takes a comprehensive and thorough look at all the aspects that contribute to a competitive gaming mouse for every genre ranging from FPSs to MMOs. Specifically, we plunged into the deep end of the pool, evaluating everything from sensor and button switch performance to customization options, from ease of use to unit weight and connection type. With the information derived from our side-by-side product analysis, you'll be set up to select the right tool for your gaming the first time around. And, with that, it's game on!
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer