A gaming PC needs a gaming mouse. OK, OK, it’s true: you can play PC games with a crusty old mouse if you want. But they’re certainly more fun with a shiny new “gaming-grade mouse.”
If you’re just getting into PC gaming, or you’re an old hand looking for a competitive advantage, these are the best options on the market as of late 2018. Logitech’s flexible and surprisingly affordable G502 Hero gets our pick for most people, and we’ve also chosen Logitech’s reliable designs for wireless and budget gamers. But if you’re looking for something specifically for shooters or MOBAs, or you need an ambidextrous mouse for a left-hander, we’ve got you covered for these picks as well.
The Best All-Around Gaming Mouse: Logitech G502 Hero ($75)
The G502 Hero will meet all of the needs for most gamers. It uses a segmented body design that’s comfortable, while still giving you access to many more buttons than either a standard PC mouse or a more streamlined “shooter” design. (The extra bindable buttons come in handy for games like Overwatch, where you have multiple weapons, abilities, and ultimates to juggle.) Two rocker buttons and two DPI adjustment buttons, plus the usual two thumb buttons and a “sniper” button for temporary sensitivity adjustments, give a wide array of options without making them overwhelming or hard to distinguish like an MMO mouse.
On top of that you have an frankly insanely powerful 16,000 DPI sensor, adjustable weights in the bottom housing to change feel of the mouse in your hand, and RGB lighting (if you really must). All that for about a $75 street price, handily sliding in beneath some of the more exorbitant gamer mice prices out there. For doing an admirable job with any game and fitting into most players’ budgets, the G502 gets our top pick.
The Best Gaming Mouse For Shooters: Razer Basilisk ($50)
Razer probably has the best marketing of any of the PC gaming accessory suppliers, and it tends to be a bit…much. But in the case of the Basilisk, the company’s boasting is entirely justified. “Shooter” mice tend to focus on essentials, with two big, thumb-friendly buttons on the side (typically bound to melee and throwables). The Basilisk has this, plus a subtle and removable “sniper button” for temporary sensitivity shifts.
Its position at just a little reach for the thumb is ideal, and unlikely to be hit by accident in the heat of battle. The mouse’s scroll wheel can be micro-adjusted for smoother scrolling or more “clicky” operation, an excellent feature for gamers who bind weapon selection to the wheel.
Razer’s key bind software and RGB Chroma lighting are more par for the course, as is the 16000 DPI sensor. And unlike older Razer designs, settings can be saved to the mouse itself, so you don’t need to reinstall Synapse (and have it annoying you in the background) on every computer you use.
Best The Best MOBA And Strategy Mouse: Razer Naga Trinity ($69)
What used to be called “MMO mice” are now “MOBA mice,” as games like League of Legends and DOTA become more popular, but require the same variety of key binds for top-down control. Razer’s original Naga with no less than 12 thumb buttons was a leader in this field, but the redesigned Naga Trinity keeps that utility while adding in flexibility.
With three different removable panels for thumb buttons, this mouse can use twelve buttons in a grid, seven in a more easily-distinguished radial design, or just two for a shooter configuration. The panels can be swapped at any time, making it easy to adjust to more or less technical games on the fly. The Naga Trinity is ideal for MOBA and strategy gamers who want superior control…but also like to use their computers to surf Chrome once in a while.
The Best Wireless Gaming Mouse: Logitech G603 ($55)
Wireless gaming mice have come a long way in the last few years, and if you’re willing to spend three figures, you can get some eye-pleasing designs with wireless mousepad charging and insane sensors. But I prefer Logitech’s more humble G603, which I use for both my standard gaming mouse and my work mouse. It’s as fast as the most expensive mice on the market with a 1ms RF connection but can last for months thanks to AA battery power. The mouse eschews RGB lighting in favor of longevity, a choice I appreciate.
While the configuration is shooter-style and so not ideal for more complex games, it’s quite comfy for extended use. The design also uses both RF USB wireless and Bluetooth with a switch button on the bottom, so the G603 also makes a pretty good traveling companion or manager for multiple machines. All this, and it uses Logitech’s most advanced sensor with a street price under $60. The price and longevity make it a considerably better pick than the more expensive version, the G703, which can recharge wirelessly but only on Logitech’s expensive Powerplay mousepads.
The Best Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse: Roccat Kova ($39)
Southpaws ae often left out (no pun intended) of the gaming mouse market, but niche supplier Roccat has an offering that will make them smile. The Kova is completely ambidextrous, its symmetrical shell boasting thumb buttons on either side in a shooter configuration. (The side you don’t use can be disabled or bound to less-frequent game buttons.) I also like the “rocker” buttons, two nubs at the top of either of the main thumb buttons that are great for less common functions or DPI adjustments.
A maximum of 7000 DPI is a little low, but it’s about as much as you can expect from the smaller selection of ambidextrous mice. If you’re looking for something made just for left-handed users, the Razer DeathAdder is offered in a left-handed configuration, but you’ll have to make do with an older hardware design.
The Best Budget Gaming Mouse: Logitech G203 Prodigy ($25)
Gaming PCs are expensive, and sixty bucks for a new AAA game is nothing to sneeze at, either. If you’re looking for a serviceable gaming mouse that won’t break the bank, you can’t do better than Logitech’s entry-level G203. With a street price of $25, it’s no more expensive than a regular “office” mouse, but includes a grippy thumb wheel, shooter-style thumb buttons, and on-the-fly DPI switching.
The sensor is “only” 6000 DPI, but that’s still far more than you’ll get with the mouse that came with your PC. The shape is comfy and forgiving, and settings can be saved directly to the mouse’s memory, making it an excellent choice if you’re traveling and don’t want to risk losing something more expensive.