If you are looking to upgrade your cheap computer mouse to a quality gaming mouse, you may be overwhelmed by the options and features available. Gaming mice are advertised with a number of technical terms and buzzwords, such as DPI, ergonomic, laser or optical sensor, acceleration, polling rate and response time. This article is meant to help you sort through the various features and find the right gaming mouse for you.
Table of Contents
DPI stands for dots per inch. DPI relates to how sensitive your mouse is. The mouse senses how far you have moved it, and for each inch you move the mouse the cursor on the screen moves a set distance accordingly. The DPI is how much the cursor moves for each inch you move the physical mouse. A mouse with a high DPI requires only a small movement to move the cursor across the screen. A high DPI is good for fast character movement in games, while a low DPI is good for games that have a lot of precise shooting involved. The best gaming mice however allow you to adjust the DPI.
Mouse acceleration is related to DPI. When mouse acceleration is on, the mouse will move farther if you move the mouse one inch in a half-second than if you move the mouse an inch in a whole second. Usually you do not want any mouse acceleration when gaming. If you have a need for mouse acceleration, there are mice that allow you to turn mouse acceleration on and off.
The polling rate is how often the mouse reports its position to the computer. Polling rate is sometimes referred to as response time. Polling rate is measured in Hertz. Hertz measures how many times the mouse reports its position to the computer per second. A high polling rate will reduce lag between the mouse and the computer. A high polling rate also uses more computer resources, so there are right gaming mouse for you mice with an adjustable polling rate.
There are two types of mouse sensors available today, laser and optical. Laser mice tend to have faster response times and are more accurate. For these reasons, laser mice are becoming more and more common. Despite this, there are still some high-quality optical mice available, and it is important to consider the other factors when buying a mouse.
Wired Vs. Wireless
It used to be that wireless mice had so much lag they were useless for gaming. Today that is no longer the case. Improvements in a wireless mouse technology have made the difference between wired and wireless mice mostly a matter of preference. Wired mice may be slightly faster and cheaper, but the freedom of movement that comes with a wireless mouse is a huge plus.
Many gaming mice have additional buttons on them that can be programmed for certain in game actions. Depending on what games you are playing, programmable buttons can be extremely helpful, or relatively useless. Usually a few extra buttons are helpful, or good to have in case you change your gaming style. It comes down to personal preference when deciding whether you want programmable buttons or how many programmable buttons you want. Often times manufacturers will count the scroll wheel and standard right and left mouse button as programmable buttons, so be sure to look closely to see how many additional buttons the mouse actually has.
Comfort and Design
Usually gaming mice are advertised as being ergonomically designed, which means that it is designed for comfort and to reduce fatigue when operating. However, because ergonomically is a buzzword so often used, it has lost any practical meaning when looking for mice. Mouse comfort is a completely personal preference, so it is important to try a variety of shapes, sizes and weights when picking mouse. Some people prefer a lighter, smaller mouse and others prefer a large and heavy mouse. If you can, try out to mouse you want to buy in a store to make sure you find it comfortable.
Lastly, while it shouldn’t be a priority when picking out a mouse, you will want a mouse that looks good to you. If you prefer simple design, you won’t want a bizarrely shaped, brightly colored mouse. Conversely, if you want your mouse to stand out you should look for features such as RGB lighting which lets you choose between millions of hues of light.
Before you make your decision on what gaming mouse you want to buy, you have to consider your own personal preferences and what you will be using the mouse for. Don’t just go with whatever mouse your friend has, because each person’s gaming style is highly personal. Go with a mouse that best suits your style.