While you don’t absolutely have to own a specialized gaming mouse to play games, any serious gamer will tell you that’s you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage if you use the mouse that came with your PC to play Call of Duty or Elite Dangerous. Yep, all you need are two buttons and a scroll wheel, but gaming mice are designed with gaming in mind. That means an optimal weight and balance, super-fast wireless connectivity, extra buttons and controls, and more.
It’s also worth noting that an MMO mouse like the UtechSmart Venus Pro will no more make you a great MMO gamer than buying a 1958 Fender Stratocaster will let you play the solo to Champagne Supernova without a few hundred hours of actual practice. But having the right tool for the job will make getting competitive at your favorite games easier.
These days, wireless mice have gotten so good that they are the equal of wired mice, which used to be the only reasonable option for serious gamers. Here, I’ve rounded up the best wireless mice money can buy to help you decide which one is best for you. And don’t be scared off by the phrase “the best money can buy.” Even the priciest wireless mouse is still south of $200, and there are excellent wireless mice to be had for a lot less than that.
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1. Logitech G502 LightspeedPros:
- Ultra-responsive wireless
- Can charge wirelessly on optional PowerPlay mat
- 11 programmable buttons
- PowerPlay charging mat costs more than the mouse
- No version for lefties
- Buttons might feel crowded
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 48-60 hours | Handed: Right | Sensitivity: 16,000 DPI | Buttons: 11 | Lighting: 2 zones | Weight: 114 – 130 grams
Logitech’s G502 has long been a favorite wired gaming mouse, but recently the company has released the G502 Lightspeed, a wireless version of that classic controller. If you don’t mind spending well over $100 on your mouse, this is a compelling option that looks great and takes traditional G502 performance into wireless territory.
Obviosuly, it’s wireless, and uses Logitech’s 2.4GHz Lightspeed wireless tech, which is an ultra-fast, extremely low-latency system similar to what other brands like Corsair offer. That’s not the only thing that’s wireless here: If you opt to add the PowerPlay wireless charging pad (which costs about $150 right now), you can wirelessly charge the mouse continuously, and never run into a low-power situation. Otherwise, you get about 60 hours of runtime from the mouse between charges (without the lighting — but more on that later).
Under the hood, Logitech has incorporated its 16K Hero sensor, which has a 16,000 DPI sensitivity, along with a formidable 11 fully reprogrammable buttons with six under your thumb (more or less). Of course, this is a righties-only mouse, thanks to the very comfortable form-fitting shape and small thumb rest that keeps your hand off the mat. This mouse has a very cool feature: You can drop the scroll wheel into a hyper-fast scroll mode, which makes it easy to flip through long web pages (when you’re working) or through inventories and control menus) when you’re gaming.
At its lightest, the G502 is 114 grams, but it comes with six weights that you can use to fine-tune the weight and balance of the mouse if you like it a bit heavier. That’s a nice touch; wireless mice with user-adjustable weights aren’t completely unknown, but you don’t see them as often as you do in wired mouse country. There’s also a programmable dual-zone light show; using the RGB lighting can take the battery life from 60 hours down to about 48.
2. Logitech G900 Chaos SpectrumPros:
- Ambidextrous with adjustable button placement
- 32 hours battery life
- Hyper-scroll wheel and ergo buttons
- No charging dock
- Should have more buttons for MOMA
- Only two lighting zones
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 24-32 hours | Handed: Ambidextrous | Sensitivity: 12,000 DPI | Buttons: 11 | Lighting: 2 zones | Weight: 107 grams
Ambidextrous mice aren’t easy to find, and that’s doubly true for wireless gaming mice. Which is why the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is such a treasure. The symmetric layout doesn’t seem like a compromise that’s uncomfortable and inconvenient for everyone; instead, it feels natural for both right- and left-handed gamers. There are a pair of thumb buttons, for example, that can be positioned on the left or right; they’re easy to move with magnetic attachments, and Logitech provides blank cover plates fore the site without the buttons.
The G900 is also quite light, weighing in at just 107 grams. Logitech took measures like removing mass from the scroll wheel to shave all the weight possible. And speaking of the wheel, it features a fan-favorite Logitech feature: With the press of a button, you can press a clutch button to release the scroll wheel, switching from a standard notched spin to a hyper-scroll mode where the wheel spins freely — great for flipping through web pages and long inventory lists. The mouse also has innovative pivots fore the main buttons — it takes less energy to press the buttons, and they click exactly the same no matter where on them you happen to apply pressure.
Logitech delivers a generous amount of runtime — up to 32 hours if you turn off the RGB lighting, but you still get 24 hours of play even with lighting enabled. To charge, you can plug in the 1.8-meter micro-USB cable, which turns the mouse into a wired controller. As for the lighting, you get a pair of programmable zones. The mouse also has enough on-board memory to store up to five profiles for remapping buttons on the fly.
3. Razer Basilisk Ultimate HyperSpeedPros:
- 20,000 DPI sensor
- 11 buttons with DPI clutch
- Wireless cradle included
- A little pricey
- Funky charging cradle
- Weight not adjustable
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 100 hours | Handed: Right | Sensitivity: 20,000 DPI | Buttons: 11 | Lighting: 14 zones | Weight: 107 grams
You might notice that the Razer Basilisk Ultimate HyperSpeed looks remarkably like the Logitech G502 Lightspeed, and that’s probably not a coincidence. This is a high-performance device that’s competing directly with Logitech for the crown of best gaming mouse, and it has the specs and components to prove it. For starters, it’s a wireless mouse that’s powered by Razer’s HyperSpeed wireless technology. You’ll need a free USB port for the wireless dongle, but it is among the very fastest on the market, with no noticeable latency in actual gameplay.
The sensor is also top-notch; while most performance mice top out at 16,000 DPI, the Basilisk has a 20,000 DPI sensor. Let’s be real here: There’s no chance you’ll actually notice a difference in performance between a 16K and a 20K sensor, but if you want the mouse with the best possible tech, this mouse checks the box. The mouse has 11 buttons scattered about, and includes a killer feature: a “clutch” that drops the DPI to 800 temporarily when you hold the button down. FPS gamers can use it to instantly improve their accuracy when switching to a sniper rifle, for example. There’s room in the mouse’s on-board memory for up to 5 profiles you can switch between any time you want.
You get about 100 hours of battery life between charges, which is great, through the bundled charging cradle means you will probably never come even close to wearing the battery down as long as you put the mouse in the cradle after every session. The dock looks cool and elevates the mouse off the desk — as if it’s some sort of high tech trophy — though it’s less convenient to use than just setting the mouse on a charging pad.
Razer also goes above and beyond when it comes to lighting. While most gaming mice have just a couple of lighting zones, the Basilisk has an insane 14 fully customizable RGB lighting zones. It almost seems ungrateful to complain in the face of that, but come on, Razer: 14 zones on the mouse, but one non-programmable zone on the charging cradle?
4. Razer Lancehead WirelessPros:
- Ambidextrous design
- 50 hours of battery
- Excellent resolution
- No docking cradle
- Buttons might get in way on side opposite thumb
- Design is conservative
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 24-50 hours | Handed: Ambidextrous | Sensitivity: 16,000 DPI | Buttons: 9 | Lighting: 4 zones | Weight: 111 grams
Wireless has become so fast and reliable among gaming mice these days that the old stigma against anything that wasn’t firmly wired to the USB port is mostly gone. But the Razer Lancehead Wireless still hangs its veritable hat on a key feature: adaptive frequency technology (AFT), which allows the 2.4GHz signal connecting your PC and mouse to be 100% reliable. Essentially, Razer makes sure that the frequency shifts in real-time in response to interference in the local environment, so your mouse never lags or glitches. That’s all true, and the mouse works wonderfully, but keep in mind that most mice with 2.4GHz technology — including Logitech and Corsair — work about the same. They’re all pretty impressive.
Then other main feature here is the ambidextrous design. The mouse is essentially perfectly symmetric, with the nine-button count coming from two buttons each on the left and right side of the mouse. Not surprisingly, you can only use one side or the other, so there’s really only 7 buttons on this mouse from a practical perspective. Unlike the Logitech G900, these buttons are permanently affixed.
The Lancehead delivers 16K DPI of resolution with a laser sensor, which is a tad unuaul — most mice use optical sensors. I’m pointing that out, but in reality it’s hard to see a substantive difference between the two. In addition, Razer’s own branded switches are rated for 50 million clicks, so the mouse has beefy specs. You should get about 24 hours of battery life when you’ve lit up the mouse with RGB lights, and you’ll do about twice that long when the RGB lights are off. As for the lighting itself, you can separately apply lighting effects to the logo, scroll wheel, and left and right sides of the mouse, which is a little more than most mice are capable of.
5. Razer Viper Ultimate HyperspeedPros:
- Extremely light weight
- Optical switches
- Includes charging stand
- A little expensive
- Not all buttons are useful
- Mouse doesn't always snap right intro charging cradle
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 70 hours | Handed: Ambidextrous | Sensitivity: 20,000 DPI | Buttons: 8 | Lighting: 4 zones | Weight: 74 grams
The Razer Viper Ultimate Hyperspeed is a very impressive wireless mouse — Razer emphasizes its Hyperspeed 2.4GHz wireless tech, which it claims is 25% faster than other wireless mice. Absolutely, it has low latency and performance virtually indistinguishable from using a wired mouse, even in “noisy” wireless environments. Then again, it’s not noticeably better than many other wireless mice, since most modern controllers are all excellent.
Instead, you’ll want to make your purchase decision on other criteria. It’s an ambidextrous mouse, for example, great if you frequently need to share with someone who’s oppositely handed to you. There are 8 programmable buttons on board, including two on each side (so the two opposite your thumb probably won’t be especially useful). And despite the wireless tech and battery, it weighs in at a very low 74 grams — one of the very lightest wireless mice you can buy.
Razer has taken an innovative approach to designing the Viper. It uses optical switches rather than traditional mechanical ones; by relying on beams of light to trigger presses, clicks are more precise, and you can click faster because there’s no need for “click rejection,” a trick used by mechanical switches to make sure it doesn’t register two clicks when only one was intended. It also uses Razer’s Focus+ optical sensor, which offers 20,000 DPI and better lift-off performance — which you can customize in the desktop software.
Razer claims a massive 70 hours of runtime between battery charges. though that’s with the RGB lighting turned off; you’ll get closer to 40 hours with the mouse’s four zones of lights enabled. You can plug the mouse in to charge, though you’ll probably never need to do that since it comes with a charging dock.
6. SteelSeries Rival 650Pros:
- Lift-off sensor
- 10-minute fast charge
- Weight adjustable
- Very heavy at 121 grams
- No charging cradle
- Third thumb button is hard to reach
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 24 hours | Handed: Right | Sensitivity: 12,000 DPI | Buttons: 7 | Lighting: 8 zones | Weight: 121-153 grams
SteelSeries knows when they have a good thing. The SteelSeries Rival 600 is a beloved wired mouse, and so it turns out that the SteelSeries Rival 650 looks indistinguishable from the 600 — the only difference is the lack of a mouse cord. In fact, they share a huge number of similarities. It’s got a nice ergonomic shape with rubber grips on the side to keep it securely in your hand. It’s built around a 12,000 DPI TrueMove3 sensor (designed in partnership with sensor giant Pixart), but unlike most gaming mice, has a second sensor on board as well. That second sensor is responsible for just one task: measuring depth, and is used to dial in the mouse’s lift-off distance, which you can set anywhere from 2mm down to a barely detectable 0.5mm.
The mouse’s Quantum wireless tech, like competitors from the likes of Corsair and Logitech, promises virtually no latency and delivers a mousing experience that’s essentially indistinguishable from a wired mouse. You get about 24 hours of runtime on a charge, and can continue to use the mouse when it’s charging via the USB cable. SteelSeries delivers something you don’t see a lot among gaming mice yet (though will surely become more popular soon): quick charge. Just ten minutes gives you 10 hours of runtime, virtually eliminating the need to ever mouse in wired mode.
You get seven programmable buttons with the Rival 650, and they’re pretty much all exactly where you need them. The only questionable button is the third under your thumb; it’s low enough that you’ll need to reach for it, and you may not want to assign anything critical to it. Using this mouse reminds me of trying to wrap my thumb around the neck of a guitar to hold the low E string, because that too is a reach and I’m not especially good at it.
You also get an impressive 8 lighting zones — the logo, scroll wheel, and three independent zones embedded in the angled light strip on each side. But all that aside, perhaps the most interesting feature here — even more so than the lift-off depth sensor — is the adjustable weights. Usually something you only find in wired mice, the Rival 650 comes with eight weights, four grams each, which you can arrange to taste in slots behind removable panels on both sides of the mouse. The mouse is pretty darned heavy to start with (121 grams!) but you can load it up to a max of 153 grams if you want to.
7. UtechSmart Venus Pro RGB Wireless MMO Gaming MousePros:
- 16 programmable buttons
- Massive 70 hour battery life
- 16,000 DPI sensor
- Dense grid of thumb buttons is a lot to master
- Only one lighting zone
- No charging cradle
Wireless: 2.4 GHz | Battery: 70 hours | Handed: Right | Sensitivity: 16,000 DPI | Buttons: 16 | Lighting: 1 zone | Weight: 117-134 grams
UtechSmart isn’t a household name in gaming gear and the UtechSmart Venus Pro is a relatively little-known mouse. But it’s well worth considering for certain kinds of games. Specifically, if you are an MMO fan and spend your time in games like Elite Dangerous or Fortnite, then the Venus Pro could be your best friend. In fact, it has the most programmable buttons you’re likely to find in a gaming mouse, which is ideal for rapidly issuing commands in many popular games. If sheer access to buttons is your top priority, here you go: the Venus Pro looks like someone glued a pocket calculator to the side of it.
But the mouse isn’t just about buttons. It’s built around a high-resolution Pixart sensor with 16,000 DPI and connects with a 2.4GHz wireless dongle. The large 1000-mAh battery can keep the mouse running wirelessly for as much as 70 hours at a stretch. A nice feature: You can charge it using any standard USB-C cable. It even has a rudimentary RGB lighting system — there’s just one zone, but the mouse wheel and buttons are collectively programmable using the desktop software.
There’s no getting around those 16 buttons, though; that’s the reason to get this mouse. A grid of 12 buttons is arrayed under your thumb, which is a lot to manage. For certain games though — and even desktop applications like Photoshop, for that matter — it can be a powerful asset. That said, it will take practice to get the hang of this mouse. Speaking of getting the hang of it, it comes with a set of eight 2.5 gram weights, which you can add to the mouse in any combination or orientation. It’s a nice flourish, and can really help customize the mouse if you find its weight or balance not to your liking.
8. Asus ROG SpathaPros:
- Wired and wireless modes
- 11 buttons with MOMA-friendly side buttons
- Swappable switches
- Very heavy
- Some side buttons are hard to find
- Large mouse not great for smaller hands, only practical for palm grip
Wireless: 2.4GHz | Battery: 6 hours | Handed: Right | Sensitivity: 8,200 DPI | Buttons: 12 | Lighting: 3 zones | Weight: 179 gram
The Asus ROG Spatha is something of a well-kept secret in the gaming world; not a lot of people talk about it, but it has a lot of compelling features that make it great for a variety of games, from shooters to MOMA titles. It’s a hybrid wired/wireless mouse — you can use it for about 6 hours or so on a charge, but when the battery gives out, you can connect the charging cable (it comes with both one- and two-meter cables) and continue to use it as a wired mouse. But you don’t need to use the cables, because it comes with a snazzy charging cradle. The cradle stands the mouse up in the air like a sort of gaming monument on your desk, and a strong magnet holds it in place, making sure there’s never any problem getting the mouse to line up easily with the charging pins.
The mouse itself is rock solid. It’s made with a magnesium alloy chassis, not molded plastic, and it has an angular, aggressive look that is very appealing (if you are into a certain gamer aesthetic — but it will look out of place in the office). It has an impressive collection of 12 buttons, six of which fall under your thumb on the left side of the mouse. These buttons are all differently shaped and sized — the intention is that you can quickly learn their placement with muscle memory, and that’s mostly true. Even so, a couple of the buttons are problematical small and weirdly placed, so you may always have some trouble getting to them. It’s also worth noting that the Spatha is a large mouse, so smaller hands might not fit too well. And if you favor the claw grip, that might not work well on this mouse, which really wants your entire palm to envelop it.
The mouse is quite heavy. At 179 grams, it’s actually at the top end of the mouse scale, so to speak. Heft in a mouse is a matter of taste, but even so, most users might find this one a little too heavy, since it tends to want to keep going when you slide it around on the desktop. But weight aside, the internals are outstanding. The main buttons have 20 million-click Omron switches, but Asus actually includes a second set of switches and a tool for swapping them. If you want a firmer click, you can swap the switches yourself. The sensor delivers 8,200 DPI, and Asus built a cool three lighting zones into the Spatha — the side buttons, scroll wheel, and logo are all independently programmable with the RGB lighting.
Last, but not least, the mouse can carry up to five different user profiles internally, and to make it easier to take the Spatha on the road, Asus includes a carrying case — not something you see every day.
What to Look for in a Wireless Gaming Mouse
The biggest difference between wired and wireless mice is obviously the wireless radio and battery, neither of which you'll find in a wired mouse. These days, every mainstream mouse brand has solved the wireless problem -- they all employ proprietary 2.4GHz radios that deliver fast, reliable, and low-latency performance. Don't even worry about this. You will need to keep an eye on the battery, though: some mice come with charging cables (which let you use the mouse as a wired controller while it charges) and some include cradles. And depending on the mouse, you can get anywhere from 6 to 70 hours of runtime between charges. Watch the specs.
When you look for your first (or next) wireless gaming mouse, don't be driven by specs, but be sure to consider them. When you shop for a camera, you shouldn't buy the one with the most megapixels, and by the same token, the best mouse won't have the highest DPI. That said, every mouse is built around the optical sensor in the same way a car is built around an engine. The sensor's quality is most easily measured by its sensitivity in DPI, or dots per inch. The higher the DPI the better, though there are practical limits to how useful a high-DPI mouse actually is. In actual gameplay, you'll never notice the difference between a 16,000 DPI and a 20,0000 DPI mouse.
And there are other criteria to consider: the polling rate measures how often it's checking the sensor, and it should be no less than 500Hz. Lift-off distance is a measure of how high off the table the mouse has to be before it stops trying to track its position. You generally want a low lift-off, which lets you reposition the mouse in the middle of gameplay without changing the mouse's position in the game. Then there's deceleration, which helps you hit your target without flying past it as you move the mouse.
Ergonomics is critical, too. A small handful of mice are ambidextrous, which means they're symmetric and work well with both right-and left-handers. Lefties will generally be forced to buy symmetric mice, because no mainstream mouse caters specifically to southpaws. In addition, different mice are designed to work best with certain kinds of grips. Some gamers wrap their whole hand around the mouse using something called a palm grip. Other gamers favor a claw grip or a tip grip, which are two styles in which your palm doesn't actually touch the top of the mouse, but hangs in the air with only your fingertips making contact.
And weight? That's very subjective, but many gamers like lighter mice. You're at a disadvantage on that front when it comes to wireless mice, because wireless controllers -- with their radios and batteries -- are always going to be heavier than the lightest wired mice. But you can find wireless mice well under 100 grams, and also find wireless mice that come with extra weights so you can customize the heft and balance of the mouse if you desire.
The Best Value in a Wireless Gaming Mouse
Because you'll be holding your mouse for hours at a time, choosing the right one for you is an incredibly personal decision. Even so, I can make some recommendations, especially when weighing price and performance. Looking for the best overall valuer in a budget mouse? That's easy: Go for the Logitech G900, which lets you literally add and remove buttons to customize the mouse for left-handed players, and not have any vestigial buttons you'll press by accident. It also has ther advasntage of being an ambidextrous mouse suitable for left- or right-handed users.
If you need the best of the best, there are a few good candidates, but it's hard not to recommend the Logitech G502 thanks to the 11 programmable buttons and the ability to charge continuously on a PowerPlay mat, just to name a few of its awesome features.
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