We researched over 50 different gaming mouse pads available today then bought the 10 best for a head-to-head comparison to find out which mouse pad will help you up your game. We spent hundreds of hours playing games, not to mention incorporating each pad into our different gaming setups. In addition to comparing their size and material, we also carefully tested how loud each pad is, along with ranking them on their speed and control. Continue reading to see which pad claimed the top spot, which is your best bet on a budget, and which one is best for lighting up your desk.
Our favorite overall gaming mouse pad is the Cooler Master MP511. Offered in multiple sizes from small to extended, you're sure to find one that suits your mouse sensitivity and available desk space. We appreciate that the logo is smooth on the pad, as it doesn't impede mouse movement as raised logos sometimes do. The stitched edges add extra durability to this model, and if you're prone to spilling drinks, you'll appreciate the splash-proof surface. The Cordura is also smoother than the previous model, which we happily welcomed.
While this is the best mousepad, it's not perfect. For one, the edges of the pad didn't lay flat out of the box, even after sitting on our desk for an extended time. It could take multiple weeks or months to do so. We didn't find this to alter performance for us much, if at all. Depending on how you play, this might not be an issue. We also noticed this pad does tend to slip if your desk surface lacks friction. Regardless, the Cooler Master MP511 is our top recommendation.
The Corsair MM300 Pro Extended is a micro-weave cloth pad that has a liquid-resistant coating on the top side and an anti-skid textured rubber base that is joined with stitched edges. The pad has balanced speed and stopping properties, but the action remains silky and predictable though somewhat variable depending on the mouse used. While it is quite fast for a cloth pad, it is by no means a speedy pad. Conversely, it has great stopping power compared to speed pads, but, as one might guess, this performance comes at the expense of increased input to initiate movements. Further enhancing the consistent feel of the MM300 is a flat logo in the corner that won't interrupt the mouse's movement.
The 36-13/16-inch by 11-7/8-inch MM300 Pro Extended offers players plenty of room to accommodate a full-sized keyboard with more real estate leftover than the typical medium-sized mouse pad provides. Additionally, the pad comes in a box and lays almost completely flat sans creases. The stitched edges on our model did cup a bit at first but flattened out in less than 24 hours. We had no complaints about the MM300, but we did hear some reports from others that a strange odor emanated from the pad when it was new. All told, this is a top-shelf pad that excels across all game types.
Searching for a top-quality gaming mouse pad that's still affordable? 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 the plethora of available options.
The X-raypad Aqua Control+ is an excellent pad with various size options to suit your space. It impressed us during testing with its quiet and precise performance. It falls into the control pad category, offering a balanced feel overall. Out of the box, it lays flat without any issues, despite being shipped rolled up in a box. This particular pad can be purchased with a print of your choice, which we thought was a nice touch, especially given that the stock pattern could be a tad busy for some.
There are a couple of tiny nitpicks, such as the raised stitching on the 3mm version. The 4mm version has flush stitching, but it'll be a slower pad. However, in our testing, we didn't encounter any issues since we didn't need to use the outskirts of the pad in games. Additionally, even though there are many size options available, be wary of how wide each of the offerings are. If you have a cramped setup, this might not be the pad for you.
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 cover. Like most hard mouse pads, the G440 is easy to wipe clean if you spill food or liquids on it.
The G440 is not without its drawbacks. The edges are somewhat sharp, and quick movements sometimes jabbed our wrists. We 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. The Logitech G440's slick surface and excellent speed make these drawbacks easy to overlook.
The Artisan FX Hayate Otsu is a superb large pad that comes in multiple foam densities: extra soft, soft, and mid to suit your need for speed (or control). We found this pad to be super high quality, made with premium materials, and it should be, considering the steep price tag among its peers. The corners/edges are resistant to curling, thanks to the layer of foam in the mid-layer, helping the pad lay extremely flat. The sticky sole of the pad provides a perfect grip on multiple surfaces as well. This pad ships in a large box and arrives completely flat and ready to use.
We were bummed about the logo as it seems to want to flake off, given enough time. This won't matter in terms of performance, but it's a letdown when considering the main drawback of this pad: the price. Gaming is already an expensive endeavor, and we are not sure how this pad would fit into a reasonable budget, especially given the number of high-quality options on the market. This is a good option if money is no object and you want high performance.
The Roccat Sense Pro is a 17-11/16-inch by 17-11/16-inch soft pad that is relatively thin compared to the competition. The pad uses a tightly woven polyester material typically used in military clothing, and the difference is noticeable — in a good way. The pad also employs a rubbery anti-slip bottom with wrapped stitched edges for durability. While this pad is soft and thin, it is definitely in the speed pad class. In our tests, the mice glided across smoothly, but given the weave, it has a lot more stopping power than a hard pad. As such, players get the best of both worlds where these two factors are concerned. Moreover, the Sense Pro has very low start resistance. All told, the pad renders very smooth action.
We have a few complaints about the Roccat Sense Pro though. For one, the pad is pretty loud. It may be the material, the thinness of the pad, or a combination of both — likely the latter. Regardless, the noise increases with the speed of one's gestures. Additionally, the logo tag is only attached on one side, leaving it to hang over the surface of the pad. While it did not get in our way, we could see it bothering others. However, these are minor complaints — much more important to us was that the pad was shipped flat instead of creased or curled. The Sense Pro was ready to play right out of the box.
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 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.
The Razer Strider Hybrid is a simple and effective pad that measures 17-5/8 inches by 15-11/16 inches, making it one of the larger pads that doesn't fall into the extended class. The pad boasts a water-resistant polyester top sheet and a stitched edge to help prevent delamination issues with its rubberized anti-slip bottom. We would classify the Strider as a speed pad, though it is on the lower end of the category as it doesn't glide as well as others that fall into the category — there is a noticeable degree of effort to get the mouse gliding at top speed. Yet, once the mouse is moving, there is little resistance. We found this to be a fair trade-off, given the pad's above-average stopping power.
While we don't have much criticism for the Strider Hybrid, if we were pressed on the matter, we would say that it was a little noisy, with the volume tending to increase with the speed of the movement. It wasn't bad, but once we heard the noise, we had a hard time not noticing it. Additionally, we were concerned that the surface material might delaminate and produce bubbles, though we didn't encounter any by the end of our testing. Minor gripes aside, we liked that the pad came in a large box that prevented creasing and allowed it to lay flat on the first day of testing. Moreover, the logo on the pad comes in the form of a tag that is attached on both sides, preventing it from getting in the way. Lastly, if you like this pad but want it in an extended version, you're in luck because it has multiple size options.
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-in. Thanks to the rounded edge of the LED strip, you can move your mouse effortlessly across the smooth surface without worrying about scratching yourself on a sharp lip.
Unfortunately, the cable hub doesn't support USB pass-through, which means it takes up a precious USB slot. We also found that personalizing the light settings was a little confusing and time-consuming. You can avoid this nuisance by using one of the presets such as audio meter, breathing, reactive, spectrum cycling, static, or wave. Overall, the Razer Firefly V2 is a nice hard pad with some added RGB flare.
If your desk space is lacking or extended mouse pads are too large, look no further than the Blade Hawks BX04 RGB. It offers good control with the added glamour of RGB lighting. It allows you to choose from three dynamic and seven static lighting modes with the push of a button. The light strip has been sewn into the edges, so you don't have to worry about the pad peeling or fraying.
Like other RGB pads, the Blade Hawks BX04 RGB doesn't offer USB pass-through, so it takes up a USB slot. The RGB settings are easy to cycle through, but you are limited to the manufacturer's presets without the option to customize them. Additionally, we found the stitched edges to be irritating. One tester complained that the stitches felt as if 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 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 14 millimeters. 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's default rainbow spiral setting will run continuously. 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
Our team began this review process by researching over 50 gaming mouse pads and narrowing the list down to the best pads on the market. Next, we purchased the pads and put them through an exacting series of side-by-side tests. Many hours were spent playing a variety of games and evaluating the glide, size, and noise level, and noting details like tracking issues and stopping power. MOBA, FPS, RTS, MMORPGs, platformers, ARPG, RPG, tower defense, and sandbox were just a few of the game genres used in our evaluation.
This review was brought to you by senior research analyst and seasoned gamer Austin Palmer. He gets in a lot of licks at home, but it is at the lab testing keyboards, headsets, and monitors that he stacks up the hours. Assisting Austin is Senior Review Editor Nick Miley, who has been researching and testing consumer products ranging from kitchen appliances to computer peripherals for nearly a decade. He and Austin have worked hand in glove on several computer game-related reviews over the past few years.
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 the 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 the center. Too big, and it won't fit on your desk. These possibilities are influenced by your mouse DPI/CPI settings and the size of your desk. Most people want to maximize their mouse pads' surface area. When comparing the extended pads to the normal pads, we used ten-key and ten-keyless (TKL) keyboards.
The Zowie G-SR (18-5/8 inches by 15-1/2 inches) offers the most surface area to move around. Following behind the G-SR, we have the Corsair MM300 Pro Extended (36-13/16 inches by 11-7/8 inches). With the MM300, you get roughly 21 inches of horizontal movement. You lose a few inches when using a ten-key keyboard with the MM300 Pro Extended, but there is still more horizontal room than the competition.
Next, we have the Blade Hawks BX04 at 30-1/4 inches by 11-7/8 inches when using a TKL keyboard. The Logitech G440 (13-3/8 inches by 11 inches) comes in after the BX04's 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 MP511 (12-1/2 inches by 10-5/8 inches) and the SteelSeries QcK (12-1/2 inches by 10-1/2 inches). 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 inches by 10 inches), the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris (13-7/8 inches by 10 inches), 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 your gaming keyboard to give your hand more space.
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 for 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 mouse you use will yield different results but ultimately depends on personal preference.
The slickest, speediest pads in the class are the hard pads. Depending on your mouse, one model might be slicker than the other. All the mice used in testing used their stock feet. We found the Razer Firefly V2 and the Logitech G440 had the lowest friction surfaces. Closely following these two is the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris. The differences are nearly imperceivable between the Firefly V2 and the G440. Still, you can feel a very slight slowdown when using the MM800, which has a more aggressive surface than the Firefly V2 and G440.
The Roccat Sense Pro and the Razer Strider Hybrid followed the hard pads as the next most frictionless models — these pads and those following have fabric surfaces. Of the Sense Pro and the Strider Hybrid, the Sense Pro arguably provides the best balance between speed and control. The polyester top sheet is naturally slick yet renders good stopping power. The Corsair MM300 Pro Extended sports a silky top sheet but lacks the same stopping speed. Yet, these nuances may not matter much, depending on how you play and what games you like. That said, mice glide effortlessly across the MM300 Pro Extended compared to other fabric-surfaced pads.
Finally, in the control pad category, we have the Zowie G-SR, the Blade Hawks BX04 RGB, and the SteelSeries QcK Medium. As the name implies, there is a pronounced difference in speed reduction when using these models. As the "most speedy" control pad, the Roccat has equal moving speed compared to the BX04 RGB but a lower stopping speed. Both are excellent control pads, but someone overshooting on the G-SR will have better luck with the BX04 RGB due to its superb stopping speed. We initially thought the BX04 RGB had more resistance than the G-SR, but they felt comparable once we got used to it.
The Cooler Master MP511 struck a unique chord. It seemed to take on the characteristics of the mouse we used. We can't quite put our finger on it, but we tested the speed and control of the mice, as well as more balanced models, and they all performed exactly as you'd expect them to. The Cordura material is somewhat of a chameleon, it seems.
The X-raypad Aqua Control+ performs exactly as the title suggests: Slow and controlled. While not quite as slow as the Zowie GS-R, which we found to be one of the more controlled pads. The difference is subtle, but noticeable.
At the far end of the friction spectrum is the SteelSeries QcK Medium, which offers maximal control.
If you want the ability to choose your level of speed vs. control, the Artisan FX Hayate Outsu gives you the option of extra soft, soft, and mid.
Gaming can be quite loud, especially when using blue switches or yammering in voice chat. A mouse pad shouldn't add to the noise. Using a variety of testing mice, we dropped, slammed, and slid across each pad to determine which model could minimize mouse noise. If you're the gamer who often picks up and sets down the mouse, you're out of luck, as this mouse pad thickness can only minimally 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 between cloth pads 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 Corsair MM300 Pro Extended and the SteelSeries QcK Medium. However, the QcK Medium's 2-millimeter thickness doesn't do much to dampen the sound when picking up and setting down a mouse. Next up are the Zowie G-SR and the BladeHawk BX04. Only the most sensitive ears can hear the minute differences between these two models, though the difference in noise levels between these pads and the MM300 Pro Extended is obvious. Yet, the BX04 and G-SR slightly edge out the other pads for when thunking down mice during gameplay due to their 4-millimeter thickness.
The Cooler Master MP511 performed comparably to the BX04 and the G-SR in the pick-up test, but its slightly rough cordura surface produced a scratchier sound. Close behind the MP511 was the Roccat Sense Pro for the same reason. The polyester fabric produces noticeable noise when moving the mouse quickly across its surface.
Lastly, we have the hard pads in a league of their own. These models are considerably louder than their cloth counterparts. The hard surfaces of the Razer Firefly V2, the Corsair MM800, and the Logitech G440 generate a scratchy sound when moving a mouse across their surfaces. The MM800 is markedly louder, most likely due to its coarse surface.
We examined for any tracking issues throughout our process. The mice we used for testing feature high-end sensors, such as the Mercury, HERO, or Pixart PMW 336X. While a handful of reviews out there complain about tracking issues with some of these pads — particularly with older mice — we did not notice any significant problems. We expect any high-end mouse with a clean sensor to work well with these pads. That said, a dirty sensor can cause plenty of tracking issues, so the ambitious gamer would do well to keep their mouse clean.
The above review is as objective as possible. However, the gaming mouse pad selection is largely dependent on personal preference, available desk space, and the mouse used. With these caveats in mind, we have presented every conceivable piece of information that one will want to have before making a pad purchase. Whether you're looking for a speedy hard pad or a soft control pad to zero in on those in-game headshots, our in-depth analysis will help you find the perfect gaming mouse pad for the best gaming mouse.