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Best gaming mouse 2018: Top wired and wireless mice

Quiet as a mouse

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It’s sometimes easy to forget about your mouse when you’re already spending buckets of money on all your other PC peripherals, but finding that extra bit of cash for one of today’s best gaming mice can bring with it a surprising number of benefits. Now I’ve used my fair share of bog standard mice over the years with just two main buttons and a scroll wheel, but the extra side buttons and wider range of sensitivity speeds you’ll find on proper gaming mice can help make games feel a lot more responsive, as well as more fun to play. To that end, I’ve gathered up all the best gaming mice I’ve tested here at Castle Shotgun to bring you my toppest top recommendations out of what’s available today, covering a range of price categories, as well as wireless mice and left-handed ones.

What’s more, with Black Friday just around the corner in two and a bit weeks time, now is the perfect time to pick up a great gaming mice on the cheap, so make sure you head over to our regularly updated Black Friday: Best gaming mouse and keyboard deals hub for all the latest prices and discounts. Even better, why not bookmark it so you’ve got it to hand for the big day, eh? I promise it will be worth your while.

Best gaming mouse guide

What makes a good gaming mouse? For me, comfort is high on the list, but flexibility is another key consideration, whether that’s a wide sensitivity / DPI (dots per inch) range or multiple, configurable buttons. That said, sometimes less is more. Just because a mouse has a DPI range up in the 10,000s doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than one with a maximum of 7200 (generally, anything above 3000 DPI is so blisteringly quick you’d need bionic eyes to keep track of it). The same goes for buttons. Instead, it’s all about how you can make the most of what the mouse has to offer.

I’m also not too worried about what type of sensor a mouse has either. Some may be able to tell the difference between one kind of sensor and another, such as how much lift-off one has as well as the kind of acceleration and deceleration speeds you can expect when you put the mouse back down again, but for me they’re all much of a muchness. I’ve never encountered one that felt horrible to use or felt less responsive than another, and for general gaming purposes I’d say they’re all of an equally high standard. As such, my best gaming mouse picks focus less on the sensor and more on what you can actually do with them.

Best gaming mouse under £30 / $30: Steelseries Rival 110

For an entry-level gaming mouse, the Steelseries Rival 110 gets a lot right. It’s quite small, which is perfect for my spindly fingers, but it’s also exceedingly light, making it feel lovely and smooth to move round your mouse mat. I don’t have anything against massive mice per se, but they can be more of a chore to move quickly, I’ve found.

The main left and right clicks are also rated for 30 million clicks over the course of the Rival 110’s lifetime, which is a rarity at this end of the price spectrum where you often get no guarantee whatsoever, and you get two extra side-buttons on the left hand side of the mouse, which can be configured to all sorts of different functions. These include keyboard buttons, macros and media controls, as well as a bunch of Steelseries Engine apps for competitive games such as CS:GO and Dota 2 – a nice extra if you happen to be a fan of those particular games.

The only downside to the Rival 110 is that its central DPI button only lets you switch between two different sensitivity speeds. More expensive mice often offer as many as four or five, but at least here you have the option of setting them yourself. Other mice at this end of the price spectrum (such as the HyperX Pulsefire FPS) often aren’t so generous, making you put up with fixed presets with no way customisation. You also get all the acceleration and deceleration options you’d normally expect to see on more expensive mice, making the Steelseries Rival 110 great value for money.

For more info, read our Steelseries Rival 110 review.

Best gaming mouse under £50 / $60: Steelseries Rival 310

Another Steelseries, you say? It looks practically identical to the Rival 110! Well, I say, there is certainly an element of truth to that (they are, after all, from the same Rival family), but the main thing you’re paying extra for here is added comfort and side buttons that are much nicer to use on a regular basis. Oh, and a more upmarket sensor as well.

I’m also a big fan of its unassuming shape and design. Unlike the similarly-priced Logitech G502 Hero (and regular G502, by extension – which I also quite liked, for the record) with its hard angles and copious patchwork of matt and gloss finishes, the Rival 310 looks much more like an ordinary mouse rather than a souped-up, certified ‘gamer’ one. That’s a plus in my books, and while there’s still a dash of RGB lighting to contend with, most of the time it’s completely hidden by your hand.

The Rival 310 also gives you a much wider DPI range to play with than the Rival 110, specifically at the lower end of the scale for those all-important dead-slow sniper sights trails you may or may not want to employ. You still only get two DPI profiles to choose from on its central button unfortunately (at least one more would have been a nice upgrade here), but you still get all the same acceleration and deceleration options and Engine game app compatibility as you did on the Rival 110. The Logitech G502 does, admittedly, give you a lot more buttons and configuration options, but those after a slightly simpler-looking mouse will find plenty to like with the Rival 310.

For more info, read our Steelseries Rival 310 review.

Best gaming mouse under £100 / $100: Razer Naga Trinity

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever spend close to £100 on a gaming mouse, but for those after true high-end perfection, the Razer Naga Trinity makes a pretty compelling case for itself. Essentially three mice in one, the Naga Trinity’s party trick is its interchangeable side panel, giving you up to 19 different buttons to play with depending on your play style.

The basic side panel gives you a standard two extra buttons, while the second and third start piling them on like nobody’s business, giving up to 19 in total. These will no doubt come in handy if you’re a keen MMO or MOBA person who likes having dozens of macro commands at your disposal, but even if you’re not there are plenty of other things you could use them for as well, such as every media control under the sun, or a barrage of keyboard shortcuts.

You also get a choice of five DPI profiles on its central button beneath the scroll wheel, but this can easily be remapped to another one that’s easier to reach if you download Razer’s Synapse software. I particularly like that you have the option of being able to change your DPI on the fly, too, allowing you to get back to the action sooner without the faff of having to press another button. Instead, you can simply hold one down to slow things down, and then let go again when you want to return to normal speed. There are, admittedly, plenty of cheaper mice that have dedicated ‘sniper’ buttons for this sort of thing, such as the Asus ROG Gladius II and the Logitech G502, but at least here you have the option to assigning this function to any button you like.

For more info, read our Razer Naga Trinity review.

Best gaming mouse for lefties: Asus ROG Pugio

This entry was so very nearly the Steelseries Sensei 310, but the equally excellent Asus ROG Pugio has come down a lot in price recently (at least in the UK), putting it neck-and-neck with its ambidextrous Steelseries rival. The Pugio does a lot to earn its keep, too. Not only is it a very comfortable mouse to use on a day-to-day basis, regardless of whether you’re actually left-handed or not, but it also comes with loads of extra goodies in the box, including two replaceable Omron switches (just in case the 50 million click-rated ones it comes with happen to wear out), and a pair of side button covers.

The Pugio is another relatively small mouse, standing just 37mm tall, but it does mean it’s a heck of a lot easier to reach its side buttons. Its central DPI button once again only lets you swap between two different DPI profiles, but Asus’ Armoury software lets you pick anywhere from a deadly slow 50 DPI all the way up to 7200. You can also adjust them in increments of 50 as well – most mice make you settle for chunks of 100, but the Pugio gives you just that extra bit of fine-tuning.

The Pugio does have a fair amount of LED lighting to contend with, admittedly, but at least you can use Armoury to turn it off altogether if it proves too distracting. Those with multiple Asus ROG components in their PC may want to leave it on, however, as its Aura Sync support means you can have them all flashing the same multi-coloured light show in unison.

For more info, read our Asus ROG Pugio review.

Best wireless gaming mouse: Logitech G Pro Wireless

The Logitech G Pro Wireless is hands down the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used, wireless or otherwise. It’s expensive, yes, but wireless gaming mice often are, and this really is the absolute cream of the crop. It’s wonderfully agile and super comfy to use, and weighs an almost impossibly light 80g. That’s practically unheard of in wireless gaming mouse circles, and when you combine that featherlight nothingness with Logitech’s super fast Lightspeed wireless tech and its brilliant Hero 16K sensor, the Pro Wireless definitely feels like £130 / $150 worth of gaming mouse.

It may not have a central DPI button like every other gaming mouse on the planet (it’s actually on the bottom of the mouse, for some incomprehensible reason), but Logitech’s intuitive Gaming Software tool gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to customising its various buttons to suit your gaming habits. Whether you’re right or left-handed, you’ve got loads of options here, including being able to change your DPI or sensitivity setting on the fly for as long as you hold down your chosen button.

The Pro Wireless is also one of the most tasteful gaming mice I’ve ever seen. Its smooth, simple curves are accented by a single zone of RGB lighting over its G logo on the rear of the mouse, and that’s it. Not jaunty angles, no glossy flourishes; just good old-fashioned design that doesn’t make you want to blush with embarrassment every time another human being claps eyes on it.

If you’re after the pinnacle of gaming mouse perfection, then look no further than the Logitech G Pro Wireless.

For more info, read our Logitech G Pro Wireless review.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

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