I Have A Mouse Problem

I suppose I am a bit of a mouse enthusiast. Not in the ‘5000000 dots per inch sensor, engraved LED skull and crossbones design” sort of way, because I am neither a competitive gamer or a 14-year-old boy. It’s more of a wider interest in how the same essential concept – a plastic lump we move around on a desk in order to move a cursor – can be evolved, occasionally with a side order of aesthetic interest. I see something I like the shape of, or, sometimes, buy the marketing BS of, and suddenly I become obsessed with owning it, and certain that it is the answer to any number of imagined control and comfort woes.

My cupboards are stuffed with old mice, some bought, some inherited, provided for review. There are wired ones and wireless ones, laser ones and optical ones, Bluetooth ones and ones with a terrifyingly tiny dongle, ones covered in angles, ones smooth like bread rolls. There’s even one, somewhere, that has a tiny fan inside it, intended to keep my hand cool during particularly intense bouts of online shooting or accounting.

I can’t think of a particular one which has meaningfully improved my computing life, but every once in a while the itch gets me and I end up with a new rodent for a while. I can never bring myself to get rid of the older model, though. I grow to trust every mouse I use, and so every new one carries some fear that it will ultimately prove less comfortable, less responsive and I’ll need to revert back to that which my palm knew best.

Right now, I’m impatiently expecting delivery of a Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth, which I’ve absolutely convinced myself is necessary in order to use my laptop while I’m out and about. It’s Bluetooth, so no wires and no dongles. It’s got a touch-surface and scroll ‘strip’ so it’s all techno-efficient with swipes and gestures that I will try once and never again. Most of all, it folds flat so I can carry it around in my laptop’s carry case without the unthinkable strain of a full-size mouse making an unsightly bulge in it.

There is more chance that my life will be improved by a dust mote landing on my left earlobe while I sleep than it will by this mouse. But, as is so often the case with me and technology, I spent a couple of days absolutely convincing myself that I needed it, then furiously searching for the best possible price. (In this case, that involved buying one secondhand from America, as even with postage to the UK it’s half the price of buying nationally). That I’d go and work out the house so much more if I had a more portable mouse.

It’s bollocks, of course. I just wanted a new toy, and the double-whammy of the Arc’s flattening gimmick and a touch-sensitive strip rather than scroll wheel got under my skin. I well imagine that I will find its unusual shape and unothordox controls ultimately infuriating, and in a couple of weeks it will go in the drawer and ultimately be replaced by whatever the next thing that proclaims it’s solved the mouse problem is. If I’m smart, I’ll eBay it the second I feel dissatisfied by it, because there are more mooks like me out there, and the sooner I sell it, the sooner I’ll get my money back.

Of course, with the laptop problem due to be 100%, definitely, definitively solved the moment the postman arrives, now I find my attention is turning to the mouse attached to my desktop, which has been there for an almost unprecedented 18 months now. It’s a Logitech Proteus G502 something. It’s got changeable weights and tweakable LED colours. It’s a really good mouse: fairly comfortable, very responsive. I can’t think of anything else I could realistically ask of a desktop mouse. But… it looks angular and boring, but also a bit embarrassing in its spikiness. The back/forward buttons aren’t the best shape either.

I definitely need a new one.

Help me. Please, help me.

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149 Comments

  1. Qazinsky says:

    While I’m no mouse expert, I do really feel like a gaming mouse makes quite a difference when playing games. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive one with umptieleven buttons that cost like a video card, but anything made with gaming in mind will be wastly superior to that gray nondescript mouse that came with the computer.

    For reference, I think my current went for about 50-60 euro, but something around 20-30 euro would probably still be a good start.

    • LexW1 says:

      I think that’s more than you need to spend.

      I mean, last mouse I bought was £8, for this: link to amazon.co.uk

      Which I see is now £15, but still. It has been seriously as good as well-reviewed £40-60 gaming mice from say, 4-5 years ago (albeit a having less buttons).

    • tinners says:

      I don’t think “gray nondescript mouse that came with computer” is a thing post-turn-of-the-millenium is it? If it is then it sounds AMAZING, please send pics.

  2. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    “I can’t think of a particular one which has meaningfully improved my computing life”.

    Naga, surely? It’s like having 3 hands, but in a SFW way :P

    When *not* playing a game that requires 3 hands, so werk or SHOOTYMANFACE, I just get whatever logitech are selling at the top end this week.

    I have an MX Master at werk and the Performance MX for everything else.

    Like you say big ‘yin, there’s moar important things to worry about.

    /hugz!

  3. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    My beloved Logitech MX518 is all the mouse I’ll ever need providing I can keep it alive. Just had to replace the cable, but they are so well designed it was a sinch.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I replaced mine with a G400, which is the same mouse without the doofy 90s color scheme and apparently higher resolution or some such thing.

      It does have the same replace-the-cable-periodically issue, mind. My tech-minded cuddle buddy tells me it’s literally only because copper is expensive and mouse manufacturers can save a few pennies a mouse by using less of it in the cable.

      • thedosbox says:

        I picked up a bunch of the G400’s when they came out as they were as close to a reproduction of the classic MX500 as I’ve seen in a decade. Just the right size and shape for my hand, soft touch sides and matte buttons. Perfection.

      • Don Reba says:

        Got a G400 to replace my fourth dead Steelseries Ikari Laser. That one was the most comfortable mouse I have ever used, but so very prone to breaking.

    • hanshanshans says:

      I want an MX518 with a spinny mouse wheel, please! The G502 is too small and makes my hand hurt like fudge.

      • Papageno says:

        I’ve got a two MX-518’s, one that’s about 10 years old and another about 6 with much less mileage–love that model to pieces. By “spinny wheel” do you mean one without clicking?

    • Baines says:

      I’ve got some kind of Logitech, can’t remember the model number.

      I recall that there weren’t many options that had the, to me, basic features that I wanted. I feel that I pretty much have to have a freely spinning mouse wheel for basic PC use, and only switch back to the click-step functionality for games that bind stuff like weapon changes to mouse wheel scrolling.

      The only real downside is that Logitech doesn’t always use the sturdiest button mechanism, which can mean the left mouse button can fail earlier than it really should be failing.

    • Jane Doe says:

      I’ll second this. There are many versions of this mouse with all kinds of different designations, but the design and button placement is mostly the same.

      I’m on my second now. The first lasted roughly five years until the wheel gave out. Works like a charm from Overwatch to Solitaire.

      I gave the Mad Catz MMO mouse a try a year ago. Its not bad, but I never used all the buttons and the feeling was somewhat off.

      You can’t go wrong with the Logitech.

    • fish99 says:

      MX518 was good in it’s day but the Zowie I have now is definitely superior.

      • dorobo says:

        Just got me a bit used zowie za13. A bit small for my hand but still i love it. It seems to be of good build quality and more importantly a simple looking gaming mouse with great sensor and no software needed.

    • Carra says:

      Used that mouse for 6 years or so at which point it was still useable but worn out. Replaced it with a G9x and very happy with it. Picked it over the 400 as someone had already returned the box and I got a €20 discount on it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Fun fact: You can get Apple’s magic mouse to work in Windows with all it’s touch gestures and stuff (I use it for my Surface for similar reasons you state here – bluetooth, no wires, no dongles, slim profile) but Apple don’t distribute the Windows drivers for it from their support page and they don’t really document the existence of the drivers at all. That’s because they only distribute the drivers with Boot Camp. So to get them you need to download Boot Camp or a patch for it and then extract the msi with the driver and run it separately. Apple don’t want their products to work properly on Windows unless you’re running Windows on your Mac.

    Sort of like how they only distribute drivers for the internet tethering for iPhones with iTunes (which also silently installs about three other programmes on your PC that don’t uninstall when you remove iTunes – if it wasn’t made by Apple that behaviour would be considered akin to malware).

    • Radiant says:

      ooooh do you recommend the magic mouse?
      I did like the snazzyness of it but couldn’t reconcile that with the appleness of it.
      Any good?

      • baozi says:

        You can’t right click and left click at the same time which you need in some games

      • foop says:

        I certainly wouldn’t. I have a box of about 30 of them at work. The inflexibility of our purchasing process means that we can’t buy a Mac without one, but nobody – even Mac fans – wants to use them.

      • Premium User Badge

        Oakreef says:

        It’s nice and compact without being too small for my hands and it’s good for scrolling around documents and webpages. I wouldn’t recommend it for gaming or day-to-day work that involves tones of clicking and forward and back. There’s a reason it’s the mouse I use for my tablet and not my desktop.

    • GameCat says:

      Why would anyone want to use the apple mouse?
      Any mouse with PHYSICAL buttons and scroll is much better than this piece of crap.

      • GWOP says:

        More importantly, the mouse that comes with an iMac is super uncomfortable to use – it’s flat so you can’t grip it properly, and your thumb and little finger hangs out awkwardly.

        It’s amazing how Apple, the king of interfaces, have managed to make a mouse this unergonomic.

      • Geebs says:

        The touch surface and gesture support are good, and work well with the momentum-mimicking four-way scrolling under OSX. That doesn’t quite translate across, because mousewheel scrolling under Windows is nowhere near as nice. As a general desktop mouse, they’re ok if you don’t want something which supports your entire hand. As a gaming mouse, they are absolute torture.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    For all of the post being about mice, I’m curious what you use as your mouse pads, if any, for both desktop and laptop scenarios.

    I’ve always stuck with the fabric-overlay on a rubber/silicon mat. Sometimes I have an integrated wrist pad, sometimes not.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      You ought to try out an aluminum mouse pad. But beware, only one brand will do: alugraphics. I’ve got the silver gamerart myself. I used to have a so-called aluminum mouse pad from Mionix that was, like the Razer ones, just a crappy Made in China plastic slab with a thin layer of cheap aluminum on top that screeched under my mouse and was quickly covered in scratches. Alugraphics though? The real deal: it’s ALL aluminum. I’ve had it for a year or two and it’s like it arrived last week.

      As for Alec: I can’t help you. I have a peripheral compulsion. On the keyboard side I’m finally settled with a Tesoro Colada – silver aluminum as well. But the mice… I’ve had three just last year. RIght now I’m with a Steelseries Rival 100, Sakura White edition so it’s grey and purple like my keyboard and mouse pad :)

      Tried the RAT7, which is fun, a Mionix Naos on a par with their poor mouse pad, a Zowie EC2 eVo (that’s excellent), a Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic (pretty great too), a super-light and swift Logitech G303… So yeah. Hopeless.

      • Premium User Badge

        caff says:

        I spent weeks researching aluminium mousd pads. I read reviews and wanted the very best I could buy. So I bought a Slamepad. It cost £34.99 and was shipped all the way from Austria or somewhere. This was a dedicated purchase.

        It arrived, I put my mouse on it, and it was cold. My wrist still shivers at the thought of it. It saw one day’s use and sits in my cupboard. My cupboard is now colder as a result. Cold.

        • Premium User Badge

          john_silence says:

          Ha! It’s true. It’s cold. I hate heat although I have shitty circulation and constantly cold hands. I’d rather freeze.
          Nice job finding that brand and model, it had escaped me. I like alugraphics’ logo better but the quality seems just as good – makes me wonder if both aren’t perchance built in the same place.

    • Qazinsky says:

      I use a glass mat, works great, sometimes makes annoying sounds due to plastic against glass. Sometimes people absentmindedly assume it’s a safe place to place platters/glasses on.

    • njury says:

      Im on an icemat I’d guess 15 years old. Love it, but recently made the first flaw at the edge.

    • LTK says:

      At the risk of being branded a savage: Nothing.

      The four plastic pads on the underside of my Logitech Anywhere MX don’t get dirty and the wear on them is negligible and it moves without a hitch on the lacquered surface of my desk. Never have precision issues, but sometimes a stray hair blocks the underside, that’s all. And I sometimes wipe off my desk with a tissue.

      I’ve had mousepads before this but they were all cheap pieces of crap that wore down too fast, got frayed edges, dirt stuck to them, so I ditched them all and never had a reason to buy a proper one. Credit to the mouse, I guess.

      • pepperfez says:

        I have finally found a sufficiently lumpy, pockmarked desk that my mouse use suffers for it. On the one hand, annoying. On the other, I can buy myself a shiny slab of mouse pad with no guilt.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Thanks for the mousepad suggestions!

      As for a mouse, I’m using a Logitech G700s, which is fantastic for the most part but has literally the most sensitive scroll wheel ever, making it completely hellish for any game that uses the scroll wheel as a zoom in-out. Probably going to replace it soon with the same mouse or similar to what Alec is currently using.

      • oohshiny says:

        I thought my G700s scroll wheel was over-sensitive, too, until I work out that it was just the wheel lock/detent being off.

        Why I’d recommend it to Alec over the G502: 4 thumb buttons, none of which is a single-purpose “sniper” button; thumb buttons are all edge-contact so they are super easy to locate; 3 index finger buttons. Wired or wireless (wireless seems to have profile issues though), and the profiles can either be per program (drivers) or onboard (driverless).

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I use a Razer Goliathus and it works fantastically. I’ve had it for about 2 years with very little wear. There are lots of sizes and friction options.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I use a magazine. It’s bigger than any mouse pad I’ve ever used and I can read it whilst I wait for updates to install.

    • Don Reba says:

      I cut mine out of a black cardboard folder I got at the dentist’s and stuck it to the desk with double-sided scotch tape. Actually, it looks good and works quite well.

    • snowgim says:

      Best mouse pad I’ve used is the Razer Sphex. It’s super thin, basically just a big sticker for your desk. Mouse glides nicely on it, no edge to annoy your wrist, cleans pretty easy (don’t have to worry about it getting wet like a cloth/foam one).
      Assuming you don’t want to move it around that is.

  6. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I have a RAT 7 which is modular so whenever I feel the itch for a new mouse I will just adjust some of the parts and boom, brain tricked!

  7. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    I love mice, but only simple ones without stupid scrollwheels and ridiculous side buttons.

    I can wholeheartedly reccommend a Mionix Castor for desktop use. They have the simplicity and smoothness of the older logitech range before they overcomplicated them.

  8. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    When you get rid of the Arc, maybe put that money toward a Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX (maybe version 2)? Once you get used to the supreme weirdness of having middle-click on the button below/behind the wheel (Logitech’s useless task switcher by default on Windows, I think), you might love it forever, assuming you’re a fingertip driver. The wheel click mechanically (and immutably) switches to their free scrolling mode, so you can whizz through EULAs and zoom around game maps with a single flick, and then (following another wheel click) go right back to precisely scrolling through weapon choices or something. I know I sound like some obnoxious ad now, but I really miss that wheel on my gaming mouse…whichever G-something-something it is which has the 6 thumb buttons and no tail. Oh, and the Anywhere is pretty squat. Not quite as flat as the Arc, but it still slips into laptop bags pretty comfortably, I’ve found.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Ah, meant to say: I had the old non-touch MS Arc mouse back in the day and did not like it. It was kinda neat form factor-wise, but the wheel was entirely click free and we’ll damped, so it was terrible for anything which required copious and/or quick, precise scrolling. I like some of the ideas of the Arc Touch (the ones you hit upon), but I will not touch it on the grounds that there is no tactile scrolling feedback. Unless there are grooves…I’d have to feel it up for a good long while to reach a verdict, if that’s the case.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        *”well damped”, obvs. Stupid phone keyboard and attempts at avoiding over-proofreading. And well-passed bedtimes… >_>

    • LTK says:

      I can vouch for the Anywhere MX, I’ve had the wireless version for years now and basically my only complaint is that it has some nooks that tend to accumulate a bit of gunk over time, and because I can’t disassemble it, I can’t satisfy that desire to meticulously brush it out every once in a while.

      With this mouse I discovered the endless applicability for middle clicking, which actually works way better as a separate button compared to having to press down on the mouse wheel, which is designed to give more resistance so you don’t accidentally click it while scrolling. The middle mouse button is small and clicks satisfyingly, and that leaves the quick scroll functionality to the mouse wheel, which I’m also very fond of.

      It also has parallel circuited batteries which means it can run on a single AA battery and unlike serial circuits, it won’t deplete the first one and leave the rest half empty. It’ll also keep working until the batteries drop to one volt, unlike other electronics which already crap out when they can’t get 1.4. I considered getting the desktop version which can be charged via USB but it was bigger and more expensive, so I went with the portable one.

      • LTK says:

        Oh, and as the name implies, it works on any surface including clear glass and stuff, but really nobody cares.

  9. Buggery says:

    Ah, my friend, I will help you. Get yourself a big, fat, heavy Roccat Kone XTD. With its colossal manly size, lush grip and all the weights in so that it feels like twitching a brick to flip the cursor across the screen, you’ll never need another mouse again.

    For laptops, ONLY BUY LAPTOPS WITH A POINTING STICK (i.e. the little mouse nub/nipple nestled in the keyboard). Begone with your inaccurate, nasty little trackpads. Rejoice in the accuracy and dexterity of gentle computer clitoral manipulation.

    • colw00t says:

      Those are called keyboard clitorises and they are (hah) getting very hard to find these days.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        Sometimes it helps if you look under the hood. I mean, the lid.

        • Jediben says:

          There is something of an innuendo here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

    • LexW1 says:

      Or buy a Mac laptop – their trackpads (which no doubt have some fancy name) are easily the equal of the nipple, and wildly better than any PC trackpad I’ve used.

  10. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    My RSI means mice make my arms hurt, but I have an always expanding collection of non-mouse pointing devices, as I try to find something that does the job just as well but without the pain. (Also an assortment of game-related input controllers ranging from a standard xbox360 controller to the weird experiments MS tried out around 2000 – I actually like the Strategic Commander so much I have a spare!)

    • Zekiel says:

      I’m lucky enough that my RSI is basically solved with a trackball mouse, but in practice I use a 360 controller for just about every game I can.

      • colw00t says:

        The 360 controller is incredibly comfortable to me as well. I use mine quite a bit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kirrus says:

      What have you found to work? I’ve a logitech trackball at work, which buys me time, but my RSI flares sometimes still and it’s nasty. Got an old MS mouse at home, every other mouse I’ve tried just makes it worse.

      • Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

        Mine was cured by buying a Wacom Intuous Pro Touch Medium. Takes a bit of practice to get into, but now I never touch the mouse at all.
        link to wacom.com

        • Premium User Badge

          tigerfort says:

          I’ve only used cheap touchpads, and found them decent for some things, rubbish at others. The problem is that a high-end one like the Intuous Pro costs more than my entire PC setup (including a £400 Maltron ergonomic keyboard), and I don’t have that kind of money even for a definite solution, never mind something that might help.

      • Premium User Badge

        tigerfort says:

        I switch between two different trackballs (Logitech Marble Mouse and Kensington Orbit – I mostly prefer the Logitech, but the Orbit handles scrolling better) and a touchpad (Wacom Bamboo CTT-460 – they seem to have discontinued that model).

        The trackball gives me the same level of precision I expect from a mouse, and hurts a lot less. But it does hurt, and that increases with time, so I have to limit it. The touchpad is completely different, doesn’t hurt nearly so much even as the trackball unless I’m having a really bad day, and seems much more difficult to use with any precision. It’s OK for browsing the web, and for a game like Hearthstone, but the idea of playing a strategy game or FPS with it is laughable. A more expensive model might solve some of the problems I’ve had with things like unreliable dragging, but I think I’d still find it to always point it to the right spot.

        I’ve also experimented with using joysticks, the 360 controller, the dedicated map scrolling controls of the Strategic Commander, and the mouselook-section of a Sidewinder Dual Strike for desktop work, all with limited success. A good joystick, the 360 controller and the Strategic Commander are all great for certain (different) types of games, but I found the Dual Strike’s extra weight cancelled out any advantages it had over the 360 controller in other ways. Pity, it was a neat idea :)

        • lfcpops says:

          My RSI is much better since I started using the predecessor of the mouse I have now – the Logitech Wireless Trackball M570. I’ve since had 2 of these M570’s – one for work and one for home. Once you get used to the strange position of the trackball – you use your thumb, it actually makes a lot of sense and helps massively with the RSI – especially combined with a articulated desk-arm thingy.

          • Premium User Badge

            tigerfort says:

            I tried a trackball where you move the ball with your thumb, and actually found it was as bad as a mouse; much worse than the ones I use now. Can’t remember the precise model, but it was a Logitech one. Unfortunately, RSI does cover such a range of conditions that no one thing is right for everyone…

    • disperse says:

      I also found using a mouse all day was terrible for my wrist.

      My solution is to use the keyboard for as much as possible, I use vi keybindings for almost everything (including web browsing using the Vimium plugin).

      Make sure your keyboard is on a keyboard tray that is adjusted to the proper position and you’re using your chair’s elbow rests appropriately.

  11. njury says:

    Really love my zowie FK something. No bullshit, no drivers just plug and play. But still packing specs like crazy.

    I also have a kensington slimblade trackball that I use whenever I get immersed in something that does not require my regular mouse dexterity. It’s great for my wrists to alternate a bit I think.

    Want something different and fun, try the slimblade. Scrolling is a thrill.

    • Psychomorph says:

      Have FK2. Best shape and build quality. Love the low lift-off distance and it looks much better than sci-fi gamer mice.

      My only gripes is that I think it’s overpriced and their scrollwheels are still garbage.

    • Silluete says:

      I just goty Ducky Secret. abit exspensive but otherwise very solid mouse.

  12. Christo4 says:

    From my experiences with mice:
    A small one, good for fingertip grip with which you can play RTS and other similar games more easily, or games which don’t require super aiming skills (i.e. not any MP games).
    A bigger one, that is a bit of the heavy side (helps with control) which can be used more for FPS style games which require good aiming.

    These are kinda the mice i had. Now i have a heavier one and even if it’s better, i kinda miss the light one for less intense games, since it was easier to use. The bigger one is clearly better in FPS imo, it makes pixel hitting a bit better since you have better control.

    Of course, you could always try to get a medium mouse to fit a bit of both. But i never really found a good one for that.
    It was either brick for FPS or small for RTS and others.

  13. FurryLippedSquid says:

    My first experience with a mouse must have been ’86? My parents bought me a rudimentary version of Paint (before Paint was even a glint in Microsoft’s eye) for the Spectrum +2 which came with an awfully cheap mouse.

    I think I used it once.

  14. rebb says:

    The only thing i really want from a modern mouse again is very simple.

    I want the dedicated Middle Mouse Button back :(
    Please ? Pretty Please ?

    I absolutely hate having to push down the mousewheel on modern mice.

    I’ve only been buying certain mouse brands for years which at least have that tiny button behind the mousewheel ( if you measure “behind” as coming from the hand ). For years this was Logitech but they have fallen far behind in build quality for these buttons.
    Currently im on a Roccat Kone XTD which has an OK button there, but now the other main buttons are already starting to fail ( what ).

    So please, mouse designers, we know you love putting weird buttons in weird places, what exactly is stopping you to give the good old middle mousebutton a chance again ?

    • LTK says:

      I don’t know which Logitech mice you have experience with but the MX Anywhere has a dedicated middle mouse button as me and particlese mentioned above, and it works great! Nowadays games have a tendency to map function to the middle mouse button, and I’ve struggled to use that with other mice but with this one, it couldn’t be easier.

      • rebb says:

        From what i can tell, this button is “in front” of the wheel, not “behind” it. I find the “in front” tiny buttons to be very awkward to use, possibly due to hand size.
        Or is the whole middle part there the MMB ? That would be pretty cool.

        • LTK says:

          Oh that’s what you mean, you want a mouse with the MMB at the fingertip, not the knuckle? That seems more awkward to use to me personally, but I suppose that could be different with big hands.

          Maybe what you want is a mouse that has three buttons of equivalent size rather than big right and left button and small middle ones.

          • rebb says:

            That would be perfect for me. Pretty much a 90s 3 Button mouse with a Mousewheel is all i really want.
            Instead mouse designers put everything on the side or wherever, or add 300 new functions to the mousewheel depending on which angle you push it from. Sigh.

          • Premium User Badge

            particlese says:

            Yeah, I really do like that about the Anywhere: I hold the mouse with 3 fingertips and use the pointer and middle to do all the button stuff, and that toward-the-wrist is in the perfect spot for me. But particularly if you use all three fingers on the buttons, I can see how that would be awkward. Have you checked out Evoluent’s mice? They’re vertical and expensive, but it sounds like they have exactly the button configuration you’re looking for. Some of the engineers I’ve worked with use them, and they seem to like them.

  15. Det. Bullock says:

    I never changed my Microsoft USB optical mouse since my old Pentium II, it still works and I don’t have a use for wither the cheap mice they sell in stores or the expensive ones with led thingies, interchangeable weights and all those sharp angles.

  16. Sin Vega says:

    I have almost the opposite problem: all I’ve ever wanted is a basic mouse without all the frippery and fugly lumpy add-ons of a “gaming” (read: overpriced) mouse. But no matter which one I buy, they invariably die within a year, sometimes 6 months. I’ve gone though about half a dozen since 2013 and it’s never even the same thing twice. It’s not like I mistreat them either. Drives me spare.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      I kid you not, buy a basic apple mouse, or a wireless magic mouse. They’re super sturdy, easy to clean, and should work with most systems.

      I use a apple keyboard at home with my PC because it’s the slimmest, most comfortable non-mechanical keyboard I’ve ever used, and if it gets dirty I can run in through the dishwasher. Haven’t had to replace a keyboard in 5+ years because of this.

    • SlimShanks says:

      Please, please don’t get an apple mouse, not only because they are of poor quality and are clearly not designed for human hands, but also because of the company’s abhorrent business practices.
      For about $50 each: I would recommend the Razer Death Adder, which my sister has been using for years and says is quite accurate and comfortable. I use a Cooler Master Storm Recon, good tracking, reasonable DPI, very comfortable for me, and after a year of heavy use no problems. Both mouses lack any gimmicky features. Except LED lights, because those are an important part of gaming.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        Nope, you are wrong. I have been using a apple magic mouse every day for 8 years, same one. Never has been uncomfortable for me. On the other hand, I’m not playing online FPS games, where quick reaction time is necessary.

        If you’re simply biased against Apple, I couldn’t care less, but it sounds like you’ve never used a Magic Mouse.

        I do agree that the wired mouse is a piece of crap.

        • SlimShanks says:

          Oh don’t get me wrong, I am hugely biased against Apple, but mostly because of the time I have spent using their products. I have spent dozens of hours using the magic mouse. For the price, I find the magic mouse mediocre in a plethora of ways, some of which are subjective and some, like DPI, tracking accuracy, and responsiveness, are not. Also, I just find it really awkward. I can’t imagine gaming with that thing.
          I mean, ultimately Sin will probably forget he/she posted this question anyways…

          • Sin Vega says:

            Shush, you’ll spoil the ending.

            (I wouldn’t spend £35 on a mouse even if I had that much money though)

  17. Radiant says:

    I use the AK47 of gaming mice the Logitech MX518.
    It’s wonderful and serves me very well although I do change the cable and the teflon pads for about a fiver once a year or so.

    It also has the added benefit of the patterning of it looking like an ex’s panties. So anyone out there who currently has it in their hands right now; shout out to my boo boo(also if you have an mx518 in your hand too).

  18. yoggesothothe says:

    I find that a multi-button mouse (read: like 15+ buttons) actually significantly improves my gaming life, though not so much general purpose computing. I tend to play a lot of rpgs though; it’s really quite nice to not have to work out how best to situate hotkeys and instead just map them to the mouse. And that’s not just for MMOs–consider Witcher 2 and 3, for instance.

    I think the far more important thing, though, is that the mouse comes with proper drivers that really let you take advantage of the features. Sometimes you need a profile with 4 different DPI settings you can switch between with your DPI buttons, sometimes you just need two. And yes, macros can make certain tasks easier (though you don’t want to abuse it, of course).

    I use a semi-cheapy Redragon M901 Perdition, and it really has significantly made gaming smoother. The downside with that mouse is that the DPI is super high, and the mouse pointer speed is occasionally too much in games that don’t use raw mouse input, which means I have to wrangle with the DPI a bit for those games.

  19. Radiant says:

    Playing fantasy mice for a second I really would like a mousepad size touchscreen that sits instead where my mouse is.
    That way I can have a one to one desktop display or a second display for fancy pants gaming under my fingers.

    PLEASE HARDWARE COMPANIES MAKE THIS REAL.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      You could try Apple’s Magic TrackPad. Not sure what dimension you’re going for with “mousepad size” (I am assuming a standard 7″ x 8″, american). The trackpad isn’t quite that big, but it is sensitive. I’m confident that somebody has made PC drivers that allow gesturing, but I really have no idea. Never used one for gaming (mac at work, PC at home, but only because gaming is easier/cheaper on a PC).

      • Radiant says:

        I looked at that but its bluetooth only even when its connected by a wire.
        Essentially I want an ipad connected via wire to my pc

    • baozi says:

      Check out Wacom tablets, some of them have touch support, and they come in various sizes.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I distinctly remember the A stick for a stone article, which has Tim stone fussing over which joystick to requisite, and him interviewing several experts.

    The key thing, and it influences every purchase I have since made, was one of the chaps casually mentioning that the key to finding the best hardware was just to get something that works and become familiar with that. Endlessly swapping out components to find some HID-Symbiosis simply does not work.

  21. criskywalker says:

    My Razer Death Adder would be the best if only the middle mouse button didn’t stop working and the left mouse button didn’t double-click instead of single click after 2 years of usage. It seems to be a common problem with this mouse.

    • Pebblerocker says:

      Yes, I wore out three Death Adders over a couple of years before realising they weren’t durable enough for the price. The shape is everything I want, but the quality isn’t.

  22. pfooti says:

    I’m on my third Razer Naga – the first one just finally died eventually, and the second I left in a hotel somewhere. I really love this mouse, and not just for gaming. I’ve gotten quite used to numerical entry on the thumb pad, which is occasionally handy, because my keyboard is tenkeyless (I built me an ergodox). Overall, I’d be hard pressed to come up with a reason to use any other mouse.

  23. Poet says:

    Am I really the only person left on earth using a TRACKBALL, specifically the Logitech M570? I sold them for a brief month in my store 15 or 16 years ago but people would return them the next day.

    I’ve been playing games with a trackball for over 20 years and never thought a mouse would be better. The M570 is thumb controlled and never moves and once set to be very sensitive a slight move of my thumb brings the cursor to anywhere on the screen almost instantly. It’s not like I cant keep up with any of you either, at least from a TF2 K/D ratio perspective.

    • All is Well says:

      Nope, I’m also using a M570 since two-or-so years ago. I get the feeling (though I haven’t exactly done any testing to verify it) that it’s a bit less accurate than proper gaming mice, but once you get used to it, it’s a LOT more comfortable to use.

    • whbboyd says:

      I’ve been using a trackball for everything, including gaming, for close to a decade now. Maybe slightly less accurate than a good optical slidey-aroundey (technical term there) mouse, but I’m certainly not good enough to notice. And this way, I’m limiting my risk of carpal tunnel syndrome with my staring-at-a-screen day job and staring-at-a-screen hobby stacked on each other.

      My one regret is that only a few small, expensive boutique manufacturers still make wired thumbballs. Fortunately, good-condition examples of Logitech’s wired trackballs of old are all over eBay, but it would be nice to be able to get new replacements for my good old Trackman Wheel if it ever finally dies.

    • Premium User Badge

      Erayos says:

      I’ve also had trackballs for most of my life, and currently the exact same one you mentioned, but it’s mostly because I can’t have something else. For mostly two reasons, I can’t physically move a mouse for a whole day straight, it’s too exhausting, and I need less space to use it. (Currently, it’s in front of my keyboard when I’m gaming, and on my lap when I’m simply browsing stuff.)

      I was not good at it at first, but now that I had thousands of hours of practice, I’m quite comfortable with it. I still don’t know if it’s worse than an actual mouse, and it’s probably, but I’m not seeing a reason to change.

  24. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Ah, yeah, I was the same as you until a dodgy ‘free with your PC’ mouse and a bit of Xmas money made me splash out on a Logitech G400s and I’m now fully in the ‘it’s worth paying the extra’ camp. It’s a comfort thing, borderline health and safety with the amount of clicking I do every day. And the ability to change sensitivity on the fly (I like it super-sensitive on desktop, but need to slow it down for accurate FPS headshotting). £30 very well spent, I’d say.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Which reminds me – a question for RPS tech-heads: Any recommendations on a keyboard? Much as I’d love a mechanical one I’d like to keep it sub-£30, is there any great difference between the £5 thing I’m slowly destroying and anything a bit pricier??

      • HigoChumbo says:

        My rule is “just get the cheapest logitech keyboard/mouse that has all the buttons I want it to have”.

        For keyboards I just want a numpad and some kind of volume control (I prefer wheels for that). For the rest, it’s all just gimmicks. I game like a maniac and have never felt the need for something else. I’d rather spend a bit extra on something like a screen than on a keyboard.

        • Premium User Badge

          Risingson says:

          Nice advice. 8/10 in my Resident Advicer review.

          I am still very happy with my logitech g15. Not for its reddish from hell light or for its never ending customizable F buttons. Not even for it very rarely blocking two keys. I love it for the LED at the top that hosts one monitoring app that tells how much cpu and mem are you using and lets you kill the current frozen app with a button, not task manager.

          As for mice, the logitechs suggested. Perfect for my big right handed, er, hands. I guess for small hands or left handed it will be different.

      • uh20 says:

        The only two sparring keyboards at that price point are scissor-switch and dome-switch keyboards. Neither are ultimately the best as a smoother-operating scissor-switch can also have a painfully low depression rate.

  25. Dumoras says:

    I’m waiting for the release of the Asus ROG Spatha(mouse) and Claymore(keyboard). I found them while I was looking at the Red Dot Design Awards 2016(which they won)
    Link: link to rog.asus.com

  26. AceJohnny says:

    I got a Microsoft Arc Touch mouse a few years ago, when a contractor came to our office with one. It’s not a gaming mouse, but I’m pretty happy with it as a mobile mouse. The fact that I can fold it flat and slip it in the side-pouch of my laptop’s sleeve is the biggest selling point, but I was also impressed by the haptic feedback of its otherwise capacitive “scroll” area. 7/10, would buy again.

    For my gaming desktop, after hemming and hawwing for a while about updating a simple hand-me-down Razer, perusing some trusty review sites, I ended up going with a classic Logitech Corded M500. It’s cheap, but after my experience with the Razer mouse I wasn’t convinced by any claims of “gaming” mice, and my days of twitch-gaming are past. I wanted something ergonomic and didn’t need wireless. I’m pretty happy with the M500.

    • AceJohnny says:

      The side benefit of the Microsoft Arc Mouse Touch is that it’s bound to impress anyone who sees it for the first time :)

      It’s a very cool object.

  27. Jason Moyer says:

    I’m more interested in build quality than features, which is why I’ve had a Steelseries Rival for 2 years and fully plan on buying another if this one ever breaks. I can’t remember the last time I had one for more than 6 months without getting a bad case of the uncontrollable LMB clicks; probably an old IBM PS/2 mouse or something.

  28. April March says:

    I bought my first gaming mouse about a year back, mostly because I wanted the side buttons for crouching and jumping in FPS’s. (Seriously, who was the octopus who thought Ctrl should be the standard key for crouching?) It worked rather well, but what made me happiest is that the same keys are bound to ‘back’ and ‘forward’ on the web browser. I shamelessly admit that is the feature that would prevent me from going back to regular mice.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I dunno if this is the norm, but I’ve always hit the Ctrl key with my top of my palm where my pinky finger connects to the rest of my hand. I sort of assumed that’s how most people do it since it doesn’t require moving your hand at all.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      If your central digits are on the WASD keys, then your pinky should be in prime Ctrl/Shift position.

      • fish99 says:

        If you rest your fingers on WASD, left control isn’t a comfortable position for your little finger. You can feel the tendon straining a little bit. It’s fine as long as not a frequently used key, in which case I’ll rebind to the mouse.

        • SlimShanks says:

          What in the name of… Why wouldn’t you just use shift for crouching? Or c if there is toggle crouch available. Shift is always for sprinting, and it’s always a toggle, so you can throw that on ctrl, or alt.

          • fish99 says:

            I have no idea what you’re on about. All I said was I don’t like having a frequently used input on left control because it’s awkward to press. If that’s where a game puts crouch (or anything important) I’ll move it to any of c,x,z,q,v,alt or even a mouse button. Run is on shift and that’s where it stays. Also run is not always a toggle.

  29. vahnn says:

    Logitech g402 Hyperion Fury.

    It’s called the HYPERION FURY!

    • Azhrarn says:

      The 402 is indeed the Hyperion Fury, but he’s using the G502, which is the Proteus Core.
      I own one myself, I think it’s a lovely mouse. Yes it’s quite angular, but still quite lovely.

      As for recommendations for a new one, have a look at Roccat’s line-up?

  30. eLBlaise says:

    “I can’t think of a particular one which has meaningfully improved my computing life” I read this line and immediately began lovingly stroking my Logitech M510 trackball mouse. Before this mouse computing was a literal pain, I’m terrified I may one day lose the access to trackball mice.

  31. uh20 says:

    gamers who yell at me on twitch seem to like Roccat lua optical. It weights nothing and it has no hidden acceleration.

    Normally I am open to several different brands of things but the latter of the Roccat series also have built-in settings. You can bind volume-up/volume-down as a secondary feature on the scroll wheel and keep those settings across all computers and operating systems.

    Also: they are totally marketing for 14-year competitive gamers.

  32. HigoChumbo says:

    I used to have a cheap 15€ Logitech LS1, now I have a 40ish € Logitech G500 gaming mouse, and I’d swear I played much better with the LS1, even when I have been using the g500 for years.

    The G500 is sturdy, has more buttons and perks (the weel modes are cool) and lets you change sensitivity on the go… but the main factor, as far as the mouse has a reasonable quality, is that the shape adapts to your hand and grip style.

    link to nextway.ch

    • HigoChumbo says:

      By the way, the G500 also have weights and they are useless. The mouse feels solid enough and extra weight only achieves to tire your hand in longer sessions. Sure it feels less cheap and somehow gives an impression of more control (just an impression, the performance is better with no weight), but it’s pointless if you end up with aches all over your hand.

  33. trjp says:

    I don’t buy the ‘weights’ and ‘DPI modes’ stuff – never used those features

    I am, however, addicted to Logitech’s dual-mode wheel (free or clicky) – I don’t think I could live without it now.

    I have a G500s – it’s also on the pricier Proteus and the overpriced wireless (yuck) MX stuff I believe – it’s ACEBALLS!

    • Pazguato says:

      The “Hyper scroll”! I agreed! I can’t live without it now. :)

      • clive dunn says:

        Cannot agree more with this. That free/click wheel is incredible. The Logitech VX Nano is a lovely mouse for the smaller-handed among us. They are great for kids as well. Can’t stand these huge chunks of spiky plastic that pass for ‘gaming’ mice.

  34. Pebblerocker says:

    Asus RoG Gladius for me, after wearing out too many Razer Death Adders too quickly. It’s almost exactly the same shape as the Death Adder, but with switches that are rated to last over twice as long and can be replaced by the user. Being able to fix it myself sounds absolutely marvellous.

  35. VLTIONIS says:

    I’m using a CM Storm Recon and hoping it’ll last forever. As a backup I still have my old Microsoft optical that I had for about 8 years.

    At this current stage the best mousepad I can find is a t-shirt

    • SlimShanks says:

      Cheap people unite! Had mine for a year, still in prime condition. One thing I will say, is that the lift-off distance was annoyingly high until I messed with the settings and got a black mousepad. Also, the tracking seems slightly less accurate to me at the highest DPI setting, but maybe I’m just crazy.

  36. E_FD says:

    Coincidentally, I’ve just been looking into getting a new wireless mouse. And you know, I’d be totally okay with splurging on something extravagant. Except that all the extravagant mouses seem to 1. look hideous, 2. fall apart as quick or quicker as cheaper mice, and 3. have worse battery life.

    And maybe I’m old and boring now, but getting a mouse with lots of extra buttons and lights doesn’t feel as important as getting one that’ll last a long time without breaking.

    So I just gave up and bought a Logitech M510 for twenty bucks.

  37. tonicer says:

    I have really big hands and i have tried a lot of different mice in my time but the only one that is just right is Logitech’s G600 plus it has all the thumbbuttons a poweruser could want. It takes some time to bind them all to useful stuff but now after a couple of years with it i wish it had just a few more thumbbuttons.

  38. Chorltonwheelie says:

    I love my Sharkoon Fireglider. I’ll be buying an identical replacement.

    Trackballs? If I go to one of the muggle’s desks at work and they have a trackball I get the terror.

  39. Raoul Duke says:

    I have some bad news for you Alec – I too was seduced by the weirdness and attractive design of the MS Arc Touch, and I can tell you from bitter experience that it is by far the worst mouse I have ever owned.

    “Features”:

    – no physical scroll wheel, and horrible simulated scroll-clicking

    – its shape means it is unusable on anything less smooth than the mirror in the Hubble

    – it is just a nasty, unresponsive mouse

    – it’s completely unergonomic

    – it seems to eat batteries like some kind of… battery… eating… thing

    – appalling range

    – made of weird rubbery stuff, presumably to let it bend

    – absolutely unsuitable for any kind of gaming whatsoever

    – no real weight and so feels very odd and unintuitive to use

    Overall I would liken the experience to attempting to control my PC with a malfunctioning sex toy for armadillos with almost flat batteries. The ONLY thing I liked was that it packed down flat and so slipped into any laptop bag or pocket I had available.

    Don’t get me started on the Arc keyboard, which is somehow an even worse product.

    My personal advice would be – return it now for a full refund and get something good. My replacement was a Logitech G602 wireless mouse, which is a glorious, spikey thing that is almost the polar opposite of the Arc. It is nice and physical, with a good heft, super accurate, has excellent range, battery lasts forever, and it just feels nice. It looks a bit like the Normandy from Mass Effect in mouse form.

    As for other mice, say what you will but my Razer Death Adder (the blue-lit one) has been the best mouse I’ve ever owned, and at work I have a Steelseries Sensei which is almost as good and far less obviously a ‘gaming’ mouse.

    • Don Reba says:

      it seems to eat batteries like some kind of… battery… eating… thing

      Like a wireless iron?

  40. lglethal says:

    I’m extremely happy with my ASUS ROG mouse which came with my old laptop like 6 years ago.

    Its funny, when I bought the laptop and the mouse came with it (unexpectedly), I immediately ditched it. We all know mice that come with computers are crap, and immediately went out and bought myself a nice Razer mouse, which i quite liked, but which died after about 3 years.

    Needing a mouse right away (due to some work I needed to do), I remembered the “crappy” mouse I got with the laptop. It turned out to be the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used! It doesnt look much, not overly different to any of the Logitechs, but the fit to my hand is absolute perfection. 3 years on, and a new computer, and I cant imagine how painful it will be in the future when this one eventually dies and I need to find a new mouse…

    However, I DO need a new keyboard though – suggestions?

  41. -Spooky- says:

    Used Logitech for ages. When she died, i switched to Roccat Kone / Kone Pure. I like the Roccats.

  42. Holysheep says:

    “Not in the ‘5000000 dots per inch sensor, engraved LED skull and crossbones design” sort of way, because I am neither a competitive gamer or a 14-year-old boy.”

    You’re essentially saying you don’t know about mice.
    The gap between normal mice and gaming mice, in games like FPSes or whatnot is HUGE.
    And when I moved on from my multiple logitechs or whatever overrated razer mouse (So essentially all of them, since razer is pretty much the apple of gaming peripherals, not that good, expensive as fuck, all in the design, can’t repair it yourself if it breaks, and breaks) to a steeelseries sensei, I felt the same gap between gaming mice and this one (Especially playing tribes ascend or red orchestra 2 back then, while completely different both games needed me to have great reflexes with great accuracy)

    • Raoul Duke says:

      As the owner of both a Razer Deathadder and a Steelseries Sensei, I disagree. The older Deathadders are outstanding mice and, in my opinion, ergonomically better than the Steelseries and otherwise equal to it. Just because some Razer stuff is poor doesn’t mean it all is. And as for “expensive as fuck”, Steelseries mice are brutally expensive for what they are.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Personally, I think Microsoft make brilliant mice. Always durable and no-messing, and always ergonomically pleasing.
    However, my current one’s Deathadder Black Edition. Reason being, a few years ago, Microsoft teamed up with Razer to make the Habu. I loved that mouse, mostly finding the shaped to be one of the best I’ve used. When the Habu finally died, the closest available replacement was the Deathadder.
    Think mine’s the 2013 edition, so it’s lasted pretty well.

    On the flipside, for ages I tried to give Logitech the benefit of the doubt, as their mice always felt nice in the hand, but the build quality was absolutely atrocious. And the first thing that went wrong with every single Logitech mouse I owned? The skates would fall off after around 6 months.
    I eventually learned my lesson and switched to what was possibly my favourite mouse ever, the Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000. To be honest, if they still made that mouse I’d still be using one.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I continue to use a set of slightly-broken Intellimice Explorer v3s, until the day comes that some other mouse can surpass them.

      And, yeah, my experience with Logitech is that they’re garbage. Awful sensors too; really sluggish to get their bearings again after being lifted, really fussy about surfaces.

    • Don Reba says:

      Microsoft are also the only ones making good ergonomic keyboards. Though, it’s probably because they hold all the patents.

  44. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    I know for sure what I hate in mice. Wirelessness. They weigh like a truck, so I have to use like my entire lower arm to move them, have huge inertia, and shit precision (especially the Bluetooth ones). And keeping track of the battery life is annoying. There some tiny Korean/Japanese versions that are kind of ok, but you have to keep recharging them via usb too often.

  45. Frank says:

    Eh, I’m more concerned with having a table deep enough that I can lay my entire forearm on it and don’t need to angle weirdly to handle the mouse.

    If anything, I’ve had much better luck with my $15 mouse than the fancy ones I’ve tried, which have not been kind to my wrist. Similarly, my cheapo keyboard seems better than those at twice the price. I mean, how hard is it to implement a play-pause media key?

  46. Pazguato says:

    I can’t live now without the hyper scroll of Logitech mice. So useful!

  47. VoidRoamer says:

    The most significant mouse that I have come across is the Evoluent Verticalmouse. It is designed to be held like a handshake and has completely resolved the wrist pain I get from using a normal mouse. Perhaps more significantly for readers here is the fact that I have had no issues using it regularly as a gaming mouse. Unfortunately they charge a ridiculous amount of money for it which puts it out of most people’s budget.

    • pepperfez says:

      The vertical mouse is such an obviously superior shape from an ergonomic perspective, but the aesthetics are just so disappointing.

  48. Hobbes says:

    Razer Mamba Tournament edition (The wired one, NOT the wireless one).

    It’s straightforward, reliable, does what a mouse should, the mouse wheel has a good tactile feel and won’t roll when you click it, the side buttons are easy to hit with no fussing about. Whilst I am not exactly a fan of the Synapse software, the level of adjustment it offers means you can get the mouse set up to your own preferences quickly and lock those in without much hassle.

    As for the mousemat? Get a Vespula. Lasts a good few years, you can flip the mousemat over depending on if you need the thing to act like a control surface or something out of an air hockey rink (when used with the mamba, there’s next to no friction at all).

    This pairing has been pretty much my go to for the last few years (I’ve had the older Mamba – the hybrid, and I’m just about to move to the pure wired one).

  49. Chaoslord AJ says:

    As mouses tend to break all the time because the clicker is just too frail I just buy cordless Logitechs around 30€.
    Don’t know if I’d game better with a 100€-mouse but I can no longer handle a cheap BS-cord-mouse effectively.

  50. Dr_Barnowl says:

    Well, this thread seems too long to be lively now, but the key thing I want to know of any new mouse I buy is ;

    Are all the buttons microswitches?

    Got a Corsair M65 – very nice mouse, great feel and weight. But the middle button (and only the middle button) is a tact switch. Goes “tuk” instead of “tik”. And they fail much sooner than proper microswitches.