Best Gaming Mouse Pad of 2021
Our favorite gaming mouse pad is the Cooler Master MP510. Offered in sizes from small to extended, you're sure to find one that suits your mouse sensitivity and available desk space. We appreciated that the logo is smooth on the pad, as it doesn't impede your mouse movement as raised logos sometimes do. The stitched edges also add extra durability to this model, and if you're prone to spilling drinks, you'll appreciate the splash-proof surface.
There are some slight downsides to this model. If you like to use your whole arm for movements, the rougher feel of the Cordura fabric might be irritating. The coarser fabric might also wear down the skates on your mouse faster than you'd like. If you want great control and don't mind the rough material, the Cooler Master MP510 is our top recommendation for a speed pad.
The Corsair MM300 Extended is our top choice if you're looking for an extended gaming mouse pad. The surface area is more than a standard medium mouse pad, despite a full-size keyboard and macro buttons on the side. The printed-on logo and graphics don't obstruct your mouse in any way, which we like. There are multiple sizes available, including small, medium, and standard, to ensure the MM300 fits your desk as needed.
There aren't any major setbacks on this model that we could find. We did notice that the color of the mouse pad we received was slightly off from the one displayed online. Thankfully we didn't receive a rust-colored pad as some customers griped, but ours did look lighter than the black we expected from the advertisement. We also saw a lot of reviews that protested a strong odor. Fortunately for us — and most users — that was not the case. Those minor annoyances aside, the Corsair MM300 is an excellent extended mouse pad.
The Logitech G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad is an outstanding choice if you are shopping for a hard mouse pad. It's practical and uncomplicated; you don't need to power any flashy lights or deal with additional cables, simplifying your setup. The low friction surface of this model made it one of the fastest in our testing. We also liked that the logo is printed beneath the covering. Like most hard mouse pads, the G440 is easy to wipe clean if you spill food or liquids on it.
The G440, however, is not without its drawbacks. The edges on this pad are somewhat sharp, so large, quick movements could scrape up your wrist or forearm if not wearing long sleeves. We really wish that, at minimum, the edges were beveled. All mouse pads — even cloth ones — get "broken in," but this was much more noticeable on this model because the texture wore away quickly, causing tracking issues with the surface on unseen dust. The Logitech G440's slick surface and excellent speed make these drawbacks easy to overlook — especially if you find an easy solution to resolve the sharp edge situation.
Searching for a budget gaming mouse pad? Look no further than the SteelSeries QcK Medium. SteelSeries offers a wide variety of sizes and styles of this pad, all utilizing the same micro-woven cloth. From small to extended, stitched edges or not, to thick or thin padding — there is a style to suit your preference at a price point lower than most competitors. We found the soft fabric to be quite pleasant and smooth to slide across. As a bonus, it's also washable.
Budget options usually have some drawbacks, and the QcK is no exception. For starters, the logo is raised, but thankfully, it isn't so sticky as to immediately stop your mouse. The edges are also not protected, which leaves them susceptible to peeling and fraying — ours arrived already peeling with frayed edges. All in all, the SteelSeries QcK Medium is a great mouse pad for gaming, especially for its budget price and plethora of available options.
The Roccat Taito Control is a solid option if you are looking for a large and durable budget mouse pad. The edges are stitched up with an electric blue thread that provides durability and some sweet aesthetics. We measured the thickness at 4mm with our calipers, and that seemed like plenty of cushion and noise dampening for our testers who frequently pick up their mice.
We noticed that the Taito Control would slowly work its way around our desk during gameplay, especially during games with heavy mouse movement. The pad's walking issue may be due to the rubber backing not being the best material for all surface types or the fact that our pad refused to lay completely flat. We used typical smooth-top desks for testing. Additionally, we found the logo a bit obstructive — it's large, raised, and sports a rubbery texture. Don't get us wrong, the Roccat Taito Control is one of our favorite gaming mouse pads, offering plenty of room and control, but it may take time to get used to working around the logo and finding a solution to the "walking" problem we experienced.
Are FPS games your jam? Then we highly recommend the Zowie G-SR for FPS beginners and even veterans. The G-SR is a very large mouse pad, offering plenty of room to find a sweet spot of DPI and in-game sensitivity for consistent accuracy. This model stays in place with minimal "walking," making it less likely you'll overshoot your target on a quick flick shot. Zowie takes a simplistic approach to gaming equipment, and, as such, they use a small tag sewn in on the edge to display their logo, leaving it well out of the way. We also found this model to be one of the quietest pads tested. It also works great for game genres other than FPS.
Although the G-SR is a solid mouse pad, it moved around a bit in testing, even with its large size. It wasn't a ton of movement, but by the end of our gaming sessions, we repeatedly had to scoot it back into place. The rubber backing isn't as grippy as some models, but still better than others. We also found that the stitched edges, while high quality, may irritate some users' skin — the same goes for other stitched mouse pads as well. Despite these minor flaws, the Zowie G-SR is an exceptional, high-quality gaming mouse pad.
Looking to add a little flair to your setup? The Razer Firefly V2 is an excellent hard pad that can do just that with its virtually 360°, fully customizable RGB lighting. Razer has improved on the previous Firefly by adding a low-profile cable hub and a cable catch that's built right in. You can move your mouse effortlessly across the smooth surface without worrying about scratching yourself on a sharp lip, thanks to the rounded edge of the LED strip.
Unfortunately, the cable hub doesn't support USB pass-through, which means it takes up a precious USB slot. We also found that setting up the lighting the way we wanted it was a little confusing and time-consuming. This nuisance can be avoided by using one of the presets: audio meter, breathing, reactive, spectrum cycling, static, or wave. We also found customer reviews describing tracking issues with their mice on this pad, but none of our 6 testing mice had any trouble. Overall, the Razer Firefly V2 is a nice hard pad with some added RGB flare.
If you've noticed that your desk space is lacking or that most extended mouse pads are too large, look no further than the Blade Hawks BX04. It offers good control with the added glamour of RGB lighting. It lets you easily swap through seven static lighting modes and three dynamic modes with the press of a button. You also don't have to worry about the pad peeling or fraying — the light strip is sewn into the edges, reinforcing them considerably.
Similar to other RGB pads, the Blade Hawks doesn't offer USB pass-through, so it takes up a USB slot on your computer. The RGB settings are easy to cycle through, but you are limited to the manufacturer's presets without the option to customize. Additionally, we found the stitched edges to be really irritating. One tester complained that the stitches felt like they were made out of fishing line. If you can get past the irritating edge stitching, the Blade Hawks BX04 RGB is a great control pad that won't take up too much space.
The Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris is a good option for a hard mouse pad if you want RGB lighting but without sacrificing a USB slot. The built-in USB pass-through for your mouse means that the mouse pad and mouse only take up a single USB slot on your computer. The lighting on this model is also fully customizable and can be adjusted to perfectly match your setup. We found that the rubber base grips most surfaces well, anchoring it in place even during high-intensity moments.
There are some downsides to the MM800. The hub for the cord and USB pass-through seemed to occasionally get in the way. It is centered on the pad and sticks up above the mouse surface by about 14mm. On two of our test PCs, we discovered that the mouse pad wouldn't connect to the software unless it was plugged into a USB slot on the motherboard but would still light up with the default spiral rainbow. You need to log in to the software for the effects to take place. If you don't, the manufacturer default rainbow spiral setting will continuously run. All things considered, the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris is a decent hard mouse pad — especially if you have a wireless mouse.
Why You Should Trust Us
Heading up our gaming mouse pad testing is Austin Palmer. He has been gaming for well over two decades and has played on most, if not all, major consoles and systems — even some pretty obscure ones. Out of all those, PC gaming is his favorite. Austin enjoys climbing the leader boards, getting 100% completion, and pursuing the most difficult endgame challenges and content. In doing so, he has spent an exorbitant amount of time sliding mice across many mouse pads.
We began our testing process by researching over 50 different gaming mouse pads and narrowed it down to the best available on the market. Next, we purchased each mouse pad and put them through an exacting series of side-by-side tests. Our panel of judges spent many hours playing all types of games and evaluating their glide, size, and noise level, as well as noting if they experienced any tracking issues. We tackled all sorts of genres: MOBA, FPS, RTS, MMORPGs, platformers, ARPG, RPG, tower defense, and sandbox, just to name a few.
Analysis and Test Results
Our reviewing process is divided into a series of tests to assess different rating metrics. We compared their size, which pad offered more speed or control, how loud a selection of mice were when gliding across the surface, and noting if our judges experienced any tracking issues.
Size does matter. If a mouse pad is too small, you will constantly be lifting and moving your mouse back to center. Too big, and it won't fit on your desk. These possibilities are influenced by your dpi/cpi settings and the size of your desk. Most people want to maximize the amount of surface area to use their mouse. When comparing the extended pads to the normal pads, we used ten-key and ten-keyless (TKL) keyboards.
The Zowie G-SR (18 ⅝" x 15 ½") offers the most surface area to move around on. Following behind the G-SR, we have the Corsair MM300 (36 ½" x 11 ¾"). With the MM300, you get roughly 21 inches of horizontal movement, which is about 5 inches more than you get with the Roccat Taito Control. When using a ten-key keyboard with the MM300, you lose a few inches, but there is still more horizontal room than the Taito.
Next, we have the Roccat Taito Control (15 ½" x 12 ½"). With this pad, you lose out on a little space due to its raised, textured logo. Slowly getting smaller, we have the Blade Hawks BX04 (30 ¼" x 11 ⅞") when using a TKL keyboard. The Taito edges out the BX04 because you can move the mouse away from the keyboard, giving you an extra inch or so of room.
The Logitech G440 (13 ⅜" x 11") came next in our rankings. This pad isn't as long as the other hard pads, but it doesn't include a cable hub for you to run into. Just behind the G440, was the Cooler Master MP510 (12 ½" x 10 ⅝") and the SteelSeries QcK (12 ½" x 10 ½"). They aren't as long as the RGB hard pads, but, like the G440, you don't have to worry about a cable hub.
Lastly, we have the Razer Firefly V2 (14" x 10"), the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris (13 ⅞" x 10"), and the Blade Hawks BX04 with a ten-key keyboard. Each pad offers approximately the same surface area, but the two hard pads can be moved away from the keyboard to give you more space, so your hand doesn't feel claustrophobic.
Gaming mouse pads can be divided into two main types: speed and control. As the names imply, one is designed to provide very little friction for faster movements while the other is designed to steady your mouse greater consistency — think FPS. Speed can still be emphasized in a control pad, and vice-versa — especially with advanced features like weaving plastic or glass into the fibers of the mouse pad. Some speed pads are easier to start and stop on while keeping the same moving speed — the same goes for control pads. The best type for you ultimately depends on personal preferences and will yield different results depending on the mouse you use.
The slickest, speediest pads were the hard pads. Depending on the mouse you are using, one model might be slicker than the other. All the mice used in testing used their stock feet. We believe the Razer Firefly V2 and the Logitech G440 had the surface with the lowest friction, followed closely by the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris. There was almost no noticeable difference between the Firefly V2 and the G440, but you could feel a very slight slowdown when using the MM800, which has a much more aggressive surface than the Firefly V2 and G440.
The Cooler Master MP510 and the Corsair MM300 followed our hard pads as the next most frictionless. We would classify these as the speed pads among the cloth gaming pads tested. The MP510 seemed to supply the best balance between speed and control. The Cordura fabric is composed of nylon fibers that are naturally slick, and when paired with the coarse weave, achieves a good stopping speed. The MM300 is silky and slick. It doesn't have stopping speed like the MP510, but depending on how and what you play, that might not matter much. Mice glide effortlessly across the MM300 but with far more resistance than what you would expect from a typical hard pad.
There is a noticeable difference in speed reduction when using a control pad. In this classification, we have the Roccat Taito Control, the Zowie G-SR, the Blade Hawks BX04 RGB, and the SteelSeries QcK Medium. As the "most speedy" control pad, the Roccat Taito has equal moving speed compared to the G-SR, but lower stopping speed. Both are excellent control pads, but someone overshooting on the Taito will have better luck with the G-SR due to its superb stopping speed. The G-SR initially felt like it had more resistance than the Taito, but once we got used to it, they felt comparable.
Rounding out the end of the group with the most control and the least speed are the Blade Hawks BX04 and the SteelSeries QcK Medium. The BX04 provides slightly lower resistance than the QcK, but both offer excellent control.
Gaming can be quite loud, especially if you're using blue switches or yammering away in voice chat. A mouse pad shouldn't add to the cacophony. Using a variety of testing mice, we dropped, slammed, and slid across each pad to determine which model could minimize mouse noise. If you tend to pick up and set down your mouse a lot while gaming, you're a bit out of luck, as the thickness of the mouse pad can only do so much to dampen the noise. Additionally, even the best sound-dampening mouse pads won't do much to mitigate the rattling of some of the cheaper mice. The difference from cloth pad to cloth pad wasn't huge, but when we got to the hard pads, we could hear major differences.
Most mice were practically silent when sliding across the SteelSeries QcK Medium, earning it the top spot. However, its 2mm thickness doesn't do much to dampen the sound when picking up and setting down a mouse. Following the QcK is the Zowie G-SR, the BladeHawk BX04, and the Corsair MM300. Only the most distinguishing ears will be able to hear the minute differences between this trio, but the difference in noise levels between any of these pads and the QcK is obvious. The BX04 and G-SR slightly edge out the others for picking up and setting down mice during gameplay because their 4mm thickness supplied better cushioning.
The Roccat Taito Control performed comparably in the pick up test as the BX04 and G-SR, but its rough surface produced a scratchier sound. Close behind the Taito was the Cooler Master MP510 for the same reason. The Cordura weave is large and rough, producing a noticeable amount of noise while gliding across its scratchy surface.
Lastly, in a league of their own, we have the hard pads. These pads are considerably louder compared to any of the cloth pads. Their hard surfaces seem to reverberate and amplify the sound as you move across them. The Razer Firefly V2 and Logitech G440 tied once again. Their noise level is just about equal with their smooth surfaces. The Corsair MM800, on the other hand, is distinctly louder, most likely due to its coarse surface.
Throughout our process, we kept an eye out for any tracking issues with our testing mice. The mice we used feature high-end sensors, such as the Mercury, HERO, or Pixart PMW 336X. While there are a handful of reviews out there that complain about tracking issues with some of these pads — particularly with older mice — we never noticed any significant problems. We'd expect any high-end mouse with a clean sensor to work well with these pads. Dirty sensors can cause plenty of tracking issues as well, so it's worth making sure your sensor isn't the culprit before you blame the mouse pad.
Keep in mind, choosing a mouse pad is largely dependent on personal preference and available desk space. Noise won't be too much of an issue unless you opt for a hard pad, as cloth pads are inherently quieter. We hope our in-depth analysis has helped in your search for the perfect gaming mouse pad, regardless of whether you're looking for a speedy hard pad or a soft control pad to zero in on those in-game headshots.
— Austin Palmer