It’s been a long time coming, but PC gaming has finally caught up to the speed and sophistication of dedicated consoles. For the first time ever, PC games have the same rich graphics, Internet connectivity, and fully immersive effects as their console counterparts. Like consoles, PCs need to be equipped with the right hardware to get the job done and to play the game successfully. This starts with a gaming mouse, which brings the right combination of accuracy, flexibility, and modular control to PC games.
The modern gaming mouse has three distinct tasks. The first is to accurately track movement so that every move in a PC game is precise and controlled. The second is to provide a comfortable and ergonomic experience in the hand, reducing the likelihood of injury or soreness during extended periods of gaming. Finally, the mouse must also aid in playing the game itself through modular or macro buttons that wouldn’t be found on routine office mice. This is a tall order, and many gaming mice released in recent years fall short. In 2016, however, manufacturers got serious about incorporating the latest wired and wireless technologies, high-DPI tracking systems, and lasers that ensure compatibility with virtually any surface.
Device Name Button Weight (Ounces) Dimension Price Sensei Laser 7 11.2 ounces 7.9 x 6.8 x 2.3 inches Price G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780 8 4.3 ounces 5.12 x 3.66 x 1.5 inches Price Sabre RGB 8 3.2 ounces 4.9 x 3.4 x 1.5 inches Price G502 Proteus Spectrum 11 4.3 ounces 1.6 x 2.96 x 5.17 inches Price Mouse Speedlink KUDOS Z-9 9 11.2 ounces 8.5 x 3.8 x 7.6 inches Price Razer DeathAdder Chroma 5 3.7 ounces 5.04 x 2.76 x 1.73 inches Price M65 Pro RGB FPS 8 5.9 ounces 4.6 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches Price Razer Naga Hex V2 MOBA 7 7 ounces 6.9 x 2.56 x 4.53 inches Price G900 Chaos Spectrum 11 3.8 ounces 5.12 x 2.64 x 1.57 inches Price Rival 700 7 4.8 ounces 4.92 x 2.7 x 1.65 inches Price
Best Gaming Mouses in 2018
While many gaming mice on the market have at least some of the features that gamers in 2016 require, many fall short of offering the full slate of must-have features, like DPI and laser tracking, wireless functionality, and macro buttons. Amid the hundreds of available options, the list below features the ten best gaming mice of 2016. This list was created to showcase mice that have adjustable DPI tracking, wired or wireless operation that is fully compatible with PC and Mac, and side buttons that have macro and media control functionality.
As a result, each of the ten mice listed below will be fully compatible with PC and Mac gaming titles released in 2016. These mice will also stand the test of time, offering long-term compatibility with future game releases, operating systems, and gaming platforms that have not yet come to market.
- 10. SteelSeries Sensei Laser Gaming Mouse
- 9. G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
- 8. Corsair Gaming Sabre RGB Gaming Mouse
- 7. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB Tunable Gaming Mouse
- 6. Speedlink KUDOS Z-9 Gaming Mouse
- 5. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
- 4. Corsair Gaming M65 Pro RGB FPS Gaming Mouse
- 3. Razer Naga Hex V2 MOBA Gaming Mouse
- 2. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Professional Grade Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse
- 1. SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
- Choosing an Excellent Gaming Mouse Has Never Been Easier
10. SteelSeries Sensei Laser Gaming Mouse
Among the PC gaming community, few brand names are as respected as SteelSeries, which has become a leading manufacturer or both gaming mice and gaming keyboards. The company has produced several top-notch gaming mice in recent years, some of which are noted on this list. The Sensei is the most approachable of these models as well as the most versatile. The device is also highly accurate, with 11,400 dpi. A strong laser on the bottom of the mouse ensures that it can track accurately and effortlessly at any height.
The mouse is one of the few that can be used with virtually any kind of PC game, thanks in large part to the modular buttons found on either side of the accessory. Many gamers often feel that they need to buy different mice for different types of games, but the Sensei provides real value to gamers by reducing both the cost and the number of accessories required to take on different genres.
- Eight macro buttons, far exceeding many competing mice at this price point
- Fully customizable lift distance for added comfort and precision
- Long USB cable for maximum flexibility during installation
- Not the most exciting design on the market, especially among gaming mice
- DPI settings are not as robust as on competing models
9. G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
Where the Sensei gaming mouse is versatile because of its side buttons, the Ripjaws mouse from G.Skill is versatile because it can be adjusted to work with just about any hand or game. The mouse is one of the few gaming mice on the market that actually offers an adjustable palm rest, making it possible to increase or decrease the height of the palm to accommodate larger or smaller hands. The mouse also offers adjustable side grips and weights and is considered ambidextrous. That is, the mouse can be used by either hand in exactly the same way.
For even more versatility, the mouse’s DPI is infinitely adjustable. An 8,200 DPI laser is found on the bottom of the device, though its DPI and tracking capability can be increased or decreased based on the needs of the game and the preferences of the gamer. This adjustability, combine with programmable buttons, makes the Ripjaws mouse a must-have for serious gamers that value customization.
- Comfortable design in the hand allows for periods of extended use
- Customizable settings, including buttons and backlighting color
- Thumb buttons are loose and click a bit too easily, which could pose problems during a game
- Shorter USB cable than average
8. Corsair Gaming Sabre RGB Gaming Mouse
Corsair’s lineup includes several gaming mice, many of which are far more feature-rich than this model. Still, the Sabre is a worthy gaming mouse for several reasons. First and foremost, this stripped-down mouse is actually exceedingly easy to use and ranks as among the most comfortable mice on the market among online reviewers. The device features all of the necessary bells and whistles for most online games: DPI tracking, adjustable and programmable buttons, and one of the most lightweight designs currently available.
Corsair’s Sabre RGB mouse is not without its share of drawbacks, however. One of the most notable drawbacks is the Sabre drivers and configuration software, bundled with each new mouse. This software is often slow to load and clunky to use, making it hard to customize the settings for this model. Even so, once customized, this lightweight mouse is versatile enough to work with most of the today’s popular PC titles.
- Rubberized material provides a comfortable grip in either hand
- Highly accurate sensor and tracking mechanism
- Included DPI switch is nice, but placement is awkward and limits mouse functionality
7. Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB Tunable Gaming Mouse
The key to ranking highly with gamers is customizability, and the Logitech G502 gaming mouse certainly does not disappoint. The RGB backlighting scheme of this mouse can be almost infinitely configured across a spectrum of 16 million colors, for instance. The mouse also features DPI adjustment so that gamers can set just the right amount of tracking. Currently, the Logitech configuration software allows gamers to adjust the DPI in a range between 200 and 12,000.
A surface-turnable sensor allows the mouse to be used on virtually any surface, including glass, which is a big deal among gaming mice. Another big feature of this mouse is its free-spinning scroll wheel, which allows for quicker and more ergonomic navigation of websites and game environments. In fact, the entire mouse’s design is highly ergonomic and makes this model one of the most comfortable on the market.
- Fully customizable and configurable RGB LED backlighting
- Scroll wheel provides tactile feedback, making it easier to use in most games
- Included weights are nice but generally not easy to use with this model
- Short USB cable presents complications for some systems and configurations
Speedlink is another highly respected accessory manufacturer in the PC gaming world, and its KUDOS Z-9 gaming mouse won’t disappoint. The company has equipped this model with fully adjustable DPI that ranges from 50 to 8,200 DPI depending on the game and platform. Every button on the mouse has a zero response time, which allows for nimble gameplay across all genres on PC and Mac. The backlighting of this model is also fully customizable.
The Speedlink mouse is also flexible in terms of its installation. The company has equipped the mouse with a 1.8-meter USB cable, allowing installation almost anywhere. The cable simply will never be too short to reach around a desk or across a longer distance from the tower or laptop being used. With ergonomic buttons and an ambidextrous design, the mouse can also be used by just about any gamer for a long period of time without discomfort.
- Customizable RGB backlighting with 64-color customization
- Four-way scroll wheel and macro buttons included
- Easy-to-use software and drivers for mouse configuration
- Somewhat uncomfortable design in the hand, especially during long periods
- Short USB cable could present complications during gaming
5. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
The Razer DeathAdder Chroma is perhaps the most simplistic, if not minimalistic, gaming mice currently on the market. The all-black material design of this mouse is accentuated by a single, illuminated scroll wheel light in the middle of the mouse. This is actually a key part of the design since it provides just the right visibility to the scroll wheel and the side buttons in a dark environment.
Razer’s DeathAdder Chroma gaming mouse is also a highly accurate model that can be infinitely customized. The device features 10,000 DPI and 1000Hz ultra-polling, which allows for highly precise navigation of wood, glass, and other common surfaces upon installation. Though the mouse features fewer side buttons than competing models, its customizability and accuracy make it an excellent, versatile peripheral for serious gamers across all genres and platforms.
- Rubberized materials on the surface allow for a tighter, easier grip
- High-DPI laser tracking mechanism allows for highly precise operation in-game
- Long USB cable ensures maximum flexibility during use
- Uninspired design in an industry of generally attractive gaming mice
- No macro buttons, forcing gamers to rely on their keyboards
4. Corsair Gaming M65 Pro RGB FPS Gaming Mouse
With the M65 RGB Pro FPS gaming mouse, Corsair wanted to create a device that would glide across any surface as if it were floating. The company also wanted to create a highly durable mouse that could withstand the pressure of fast-paced PC gaming. To that end, the device has a unique, all-aluminum internal structure that makes the mouse highly rigid and resistant to external force. Underneath the device, enhanced glide pads provide for smooth, frictionless movement on almost any surface.
Accuracy is also a key focus of this gaming mouse. The Corsair M65 Pro RGB FPS features 12,000 DPI, making it among the most intricate and accurate mice currently available to dedicated gamers. DPI can be adjusted on the fly, either with the included software tools or with a programmed side button. The mouse is also fully ambidextrous.
- Unique bottom design provides for a smooth glide while gaming
- High-DPI tracking makes for highly precise operation
- Left-hand sniper button to quicken in-game action
- Buttons are big enough to be clunky and awkward for users with smaller hands
- Software and drivers can be hard to use and customize
3. Razer Naga Hex V2 MOBA Gaming Mouse
The Razer Naga Hex V2 is a strange gaming mouse indeed. While almost all gaming mice have side buttons that allow for better in-game control over movements and actions, this mouse has an actual “wheel” of side buttons on the left side of the device. This is highly unconventional and will take some time to get used to. Once that happens, however, gamers will find that they simply have more options and control at their fingertips than any other gaming mouse could hope to provide.
To ensure that this unique mouse is just as accurate as the competition, Razer has included 16,000 DPI. Like all serious gaming mice, the device’s software allows for infinite adjustment of DPI, down to a minimum of 50 DPI for less intensive tasks. Customizable RGB LED lighting also makes it easy to fine-tune the mouse’s color to any preference.
- Fully programmable, modular side buttons
- RGB backlighting color can be intricately adjusted
- Long cord for flexibility during use
- Limited compatibility with non-Windows operating systems
- Lacks onboard memory and storage
- Side buttons require a bit of adjustment at first
2. Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Professional Grade Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse
Flexibility is the name of the game with Logitech’s G900 Chaos Spectrum gaming mouse. The device is one of the few currently on the market that allows for both wired and wireless use. When wired, the mouse has a long, 2-meter USB cable that can reach almost anywhere. When wireless, the device maximizes battery life without sacrificing accuracy or DPI settings.
Customizability also extends to the mouse’s side buttons, which can be both programmed or completely removed from the device altogether. The company has achieved this feat by using magnetic side button enclosures. Simply pull firmly to remove, or put into place and attach the side buttons when they’re needed most. Customizable DPI and LED backlighting to allow this mouse to meet any need on the fly, which is a relief to many of the most demanding PC gamers.
- Mouse has been designed for fully ambidextrous use
- Modular and fully programmable buttons on either side of the device
- Longer-than-average USB cable for maximum flexibility
- Limited compatibility with the Mac platform and gaming titles
- No option for additional weights to add stability
1. SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
If it seems that everything today has an integrated display, that might be because of SteelSeries. Indeed, the company is actively making sure that even the humble gaming mouse now has its own screen. The Rival 700 gaming mouse’s LCD display is an excellent way to see current settings and program the included side buttons, though it offers very little functionality beyond these two things. Further, the LCD display isn’t broadly compatible with either Windows or Mac OS X operating systems as of yet.
Beyond the LCD display, which sets this mouse apart from all others, is an ergonomic design that’s second to none. This is, perhaps, the only gaming mouse on the market that can still fit into the same slim profile as a standard mouse used for productivity tasks. Highly sensitive top and side buttons allow the mouse to respond more quickly than competing devices, making this a must-have device for gamers who value every fraction of a second during the game.
- Integrated LCD display, which is unique among gaming mice
- Unique, fully modular design that allows for intricate customization
- Among the most accurate mice on the market for any purpose, including productivity applications
- Modular design only accommodates right-handed users
- Integrated LCD display has limited usefulness at the present time
Choosing an Excellent Gaming Mouse Has Never Been Easier
Choosing a gaming mouse in 2016 is actually an easier process than it has been in past years, even though there are more options and accessory manufacturers than ever before. As PC gaming has become more common around the world, and gamers have demanded better capabilities of mice and keyboards, the accessory market for serious games has exploded, innovated, and matured. The result is more gaming mice than ever before, with all kinds of modular buttons, macro features, DPI compatibility, built-in LCD screens, and much more.
The ten options listed here can accommodate virtually every budget, every type of game, and every gamer’s need for comfort. Furthermore, each mouse listed here was chosen because it can withstand the test of time, with wired and wireless technologies that will age well with both Mac and PC platforms. Choose carefully; the best gaming mice of 2016 will make gamers more competitive in PC games this year than at any time in the past.