The Best Gaming Mouse Pad of 2020
The Cooler Master MP510 takes our Editors' Choice Award for the best overall gaming mouse pad. The MP510 is available in multiple sizes from small to extended to suit your mouse sensitivity and available desk space. Users who tend to spill their beverages will appreciate the splash-proof surface. An added bonus is that the logo isn't raised giving you free rein to move your mouse wherever you want. Also, the edges are stitched for additional durability.
However, we did find some drawbacks with this model. The Cordura fabric is rough and may bother some users, especially those who use whole arm movements. This more abrasive fabric may also wear out mouse skates quicker. If you can get past the rough fabric, the Cooler Master MP510 is our top recommendation for most gamers as it has great control for a speed pad.
The Corsair MM300 Extended claims the top spot for an extended gaming mouse pad. Even with a full-sized keyboard and macro buttons on the side, it provides more surface area to use than a standard medium mouse pad. We liked that the logo is printed on like the rest of the graphic and won't get in your way. It is available in small and medium sizes if you find the standard MM300 too long for your desk.
We didn't find any major problems with this model, but after reading a bunch of user reviews and looking at our own, we found that the color differed from the website/box. We weren't as unlucky as some users who received rust-colored pads, but ours was noticeably lighter in color than the advertised black. Additionally, we noticed many user reviews complaining of a strong odor. Fortunately for us, and the majority of users, that was not the case. Aside from those very minor issues, we think the Corsair MM300 is a top-notch extended mouse pad.
If you're looking for an excellent hard mouse pad, the Logitech G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad is the perfect choice. It is simple and effective. There are no flashy lights to power eliminating any extra cables cluttering your setup. We found this model to be one of the speediest of the group due to its low friction surface. 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 or drop food on it.
However, the G440 does have its downsides. The edges on this pad are sharp and any large quick movement could scrape up your wrist or forearm. We really wish that, at minimum, the edge was beveled. All mouse pads, even cloth, get "broken in" but this is much more noticeable on this model as the texture may wear quicker, causing tracking issues with the surface or unseen dust. The Logitech G440's slick surface and excellent tracking make these cons easy to overlook — especially if you find an easy solution to resolve the sharp edges 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 the QcK 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 well as being washable.
Budget options usually have some drawbacks, and the QcK is no exception. For starters, the logo is raised but, thankfully, isn't too sticky to immediately stop your mouse. The edges are not protected leaving 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 at its budget price point and available options.
The Roccat Taito Control is a solid option if you are looking for a large durable budget mouse pad. The edges are stitched up with an electric blue thread that provides durability and some sweet aesthetics. We measured a thickness of 4mm with our calipers, supplying plenty of cushion and noise dampening for users that frequently pick up their mouse.
We found that the Taito Control would slowly work its way around our desk while playing, especially during games with heavy mouse movement. The pad's walking issue may be due in part to our pad not lying completely flat or that the rubber backing isn't the best material for all surface types. We used typical smooth-top desks for testing. Additionally, we found the logo a bit obstructive — it is large, raised, and has 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 a little time to get used to working around the logo or finding a solution to the "walking" problem we experienced.
Are FPS games your jam? Then we highly recommend the Zowie G-SR for most FPS beginners and even veterans. The G-SR is a very large mouse pad, giving you plenty of room to find that sweet spot of DPI and in-game sensitivity for consistent accuracy. This model has good stopping power that makes it less likely to overshoot your target on those quick flick shots. Zowie has a simplistic approach to gaming equipment and, as such, they have a small tag sewn in on the edge with their logo, leaving it well out of the way. We also found it to be one of the quietest pads tested. This pad also works great for game genres other than FPS.
Although the G-SR is a solid mouse pad, even with its large size it did move around a little bit in testing. 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 edge stitching, 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 exceptionally high-quality gaming mouse pad.
Shopping for an extended mouse mat but you're on a budget? The VicTsing Extended Gaming Mouse Pad is an excellent option. This pad is very wide, giving lots of in-game vertical movement. It may be due to its sheer size or a credit to the rubber backing, but this mouse pad does not move. It stayed put even during our most intense gaming moments. Plus if you're sweating heavily you needn't worry, as the surface is water-resistant.
There isn't much pause when it comes to the VicTsing Extended. However, if your setup includes a 10-key keyboard — with or without macro buttons — you might find yourself wanting a little more horizontal room. Throughout our research, we also found multiple complaints about this pad causing tracking issues, though we never experienced this with any of our test mice. All in all, the VicTsing Extended is a great budget option for an extended pad.
Looking to add a little flair to your set up? 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 with a low profile cable hub and the addition of a cable catch built right in. You can move your mouse effortlessly across the smooth surface without the worry of 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, taking up a precious USB slot. We also found that setting up the lighting just the way you want is a little confusing and time-consuming. This can be avoided using the presets: audio meter, breathing, reactive, spectrum cycling, static, and wave. We did read user reviews stating they had trouble with their mice tracking on this pad, but none of our 6 testing mice had any trouble. Overall, the Razer Firefly V2 is a nice hard pad with added RGB flare.
If you're finding 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. You can easily swap through 7 static lighting modes and 3 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 takes up a USB slot on your computer and doesn't offer any USB pass-through. While the RGB settings are easy to cycle through, you are limited to the manufacturer's presets without the option to customize. Additionally, we found the stitched edges to be really irritating. It feels like the stitches are 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 doesn't take up too much space.
The Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris is a good option for a hard mouse pad if you want the RGB lighting and don't want to use up an additional USB slot for it. 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 for this model is also fully customizable and can be adjusted to perfectly match your setup. We found that that rubber base grips most surfaces well, anchoring it in place even during high-intensity moments.
There are some downsides to the MM800. We found the hub for the cord and USB pass-through to get in the way. It is centered on the pad and sticks up well above the mouse surface by about 14mm. On two of our test PCs, we found 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 setting of the rainbow spiral will continuously run. All things considered the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris is a solid 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 2 decades and has played on most, if not all, major consoles and systems — even some obscure ones. Out of all those, PC gaming is his favorite. Austin enjoys climbing the ladders, getting 100% completion, and pursuing the most difficult endgame challenges and content and in doing so 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 bought and tested each mouse pad side-by-side through an exacting series of tests. Our panel of judges spent a ton of hours playing all types of games and evaluating their glide, size, 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 up into a series of tests fitting into 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. It depends on your dpi/cpi settings used or the size of your desk. Too small and you will be constantly lifting and moving your mouse back to center, too big and it won't fit on your desk. For most people, you want to maximize the amount of surface area to use your 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") has the most surface area to move around on. When comparing it to the VicTsing Extended (31" x 15 ⅝") with a 60% keyboard they are roughly the same, but you can move G-SR away from the keyboard so you don't run into it. Following behind the G-SR, we have the Corsair MM300 (36 ½" x 11 ¾") and the VicTsing Extended using a ten-keyless (TKL) keyboard. 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. The VicTsing Extended has a little bit more vertical room then the MM300, but there is 5 inches less of horizontal movement. When using a ten-key keyboard with the MM300 you lose a few inches but still have 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. The VicTsing Extended with a ten-key keyboard has roughly the same surface area as the Taito. It has more vertical room but less horizontal room to move around. Plus the VicTsing Extended doesn't have a raised logo. Slowly getting smaller we have the Blade Hawks BX04 (30 ¼" x 11 ⅞") when using a TKL keyboard. The Taito has an edge over the BX04 in that 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 have a cable hub that you can run into. Just behind the G440, we have 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 has approximately the same surface area, but the two hard pads can be moved away from the keyboard giving you more space so your hand doesn't feel so claustrophobic.
Gaming mouse pads are divided up into two main categories: speed and control. As the names imply, one is designed to have very little friction and to move quickly while the other is designed to steady your mouse — think FPS. Speed can still be gained in a control pad, and vice-versa — especially with technological advancements 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 type you are looking for ultimately depends on personal preference and will yield different results depending on the mouse you use.
Our slickest, speediest pads are the hard pads. Depending on the mouse you are using, one might be slicker than the other. All the mice used in testing used their stock feet. We felt the Razer Firefly V2 and the Logitech G440 had the most frictionless surface 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. The MM800 has a much more aggressive surface than the Firefly V2 and G440.
The Cooler Master MP510, the Corsair MM300, and the VicTsing Extended Gaming Mouse Pad followed our hard pads, being the next most frictionless. We would classify these as the speed pads out of the cloth gaming pads tested. The MP510 is, subjectively, the best balance between speed and control. The Cordura fabric, usually made of nylon, is naturally slick and when paired with the big weave gives it a good stopping speed. The MM300 is silky and slick. It doesn't have stopping speed like the MP510, but, depending on who you are and what you play, that might not matter all that much. Mice glide effortlessly across the MM300 but with far more resistance than what you would expect from a typical hard pad. The VicTsing Extended, on the other hand, has a bit more static friction but not quite the same stopping speed as the MP510. Once you get moving though, your mouse glides along like the MM300.
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. The Roccat Taito has equal moving speed when compared to the G-SR as being the "most speedy" control pad but doesn't have the stopping speed that the G-SR has. Both of these are excellent control pads, but someone overshooting on the Taito, or other pads, will have better luck with the G-SR due to its excellent stopping speed. The G-SR initially feels like it has more resistance than the Taito, but once you get used to it they feel 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 has slightly lower resistance than the QcK but both offer excellent control.
Gaming can already be quite loud especially if you're using blue switches or chatting away in voice chat. A mouse pad shouldn't add to the cacophony happening in your room. Using a variety of testing mice, we dropped, slammed, and slid across each pad to determine which pad will minimize mouse noise. If you tend to pick your mouse up a lot and set it down 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 be able to do much to mitigate the rattling of some of the cheaper mice. The difference from cloth pad to cloth pad isn't huge, but when you get to the hard pads you can hear major differences.
Most mice are practically silent when sliding across the SteelSeries QcK Medium, earning it the top spot. However, the 2mm thickness doesn't do much to dampen the sound when picking up and setting the mouse down. Following the QcK we have the Zowie G-SR, the VicTsing Extended, the BladeHawk GX04, and the Corsair MM300. Only the most distinguishing ears will be able to hear the minute differences between this quartet, 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 when picking up and setting down mice during gameplay with their 4mm thickness and increased cushioning.
Following this group, we have the, Roccat Taito Control. The Taito performs comparably in the pick up test as the BX04 and G-SR, but its rough surface is more scratchy sounding. Close behind the Taito, we have 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 when 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 once again tie. 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 had high-end sensors, such as the Mercury, HERO, or Pixart PMW 336X. While there are a handful of user reviews out there that complain about tracking issues — particularly with older mice — we never found this to be much of a problem. 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 your search for the perfect gaming mouse pad, regardless if you are looking for a speedy hard pad or a large control soft pad to zero in on those in-game head-shots.
— Austin Palmer