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Best gaming mouse 2021: the top wired and wireless gaming mice

Our tried and tested gaming mouse picks

Trying to find the best gaming mouse for your personal setup – and, y’know, hands - can be trickier than shopping for most PC components and accessories. So much of what makes a mouse good, let alone one of the best, comes down to how it feels as you’re swooshing it around, clicking on heads and scrolling through inventories. Getting a sense of this is hard, if not impossible, from the kind of internet-trawling research that could quite capably secure you the right graphics card or gaming monitor.

That’s why the idea behind this list is not just to reel off the mice we like, but to explain what each one is like to use day-to-day. Obviously that means we’ve tested them all ourselves, from the most luxurious premium mice to the best-value budget rodents. There’ll be a few extras along the way too, like the best wireless, lightweight and compact gaming mice we’ve tried. As with the best gaming keyboards, we’ve chosen a top overall pick, but don’t be afraid to look past it if you want something that fits specific criteria.

You can read all about our picks below – click the links a few lines down to jump to a specific mouse. Like all PC hardware, even the best gaming mice are wrapped up in some techy terminology, but we (by which I mean Katharine) have also prepared a gaming mouse jargon buster further down that puts them into plain English.

Best gaming mouse 2021


Logitech G502 Hero

The best gaming mouse overall

Back in the Before Times of 2019, RPS readers voted the Logitech G502 as your favourite gaming mouse. And I agree! Other than a brief fling with a Razer Basilisk V2, I’ve been happily using a G502 Proteus Spectrum as my main gaming mouse for over four years now. There’s just something so wonderfully complete about it: a sweet blend of comfort, features and tactility, with plenty of opportunities for customisation.

That extends from the removeable weights, which you can swap in and out to adjust how the G502 feels, to the support for multiple sensitivity/input/RGB lighting profiles. Speaking of which, the 11 programmable buttons and close to perfectly placed, ready to be pressed without straining a thumb but not intruding into normal digit-resting space. There’s even a satisfying robustness to their clicking action that you don’t always get elsewhere, even on Razer or SteelSeries’ best mice.

The slight hitch is that the original Proteus Spectrum model only seems available at bizarrely inflated prices. Luckily, you can get the newer G502 Hero – which is basically the same mouse, save for an updated, more sensitive sensor – for much more reasonable money.

Read more in our Logitech G502 Hero review


Razer Basilisk V3

The best premium gaming mouse

A photo of the Razer Basilisk V3 gaming mouse.

The Razer Basilisk V3 is worth checking out if your budget extends past the G502, or if you want a gaming mouse with more subtle styling. This latest model is the spitting image of the Basilisk V2, except for a new RGB lighting zone wrapping around the base, and is just as practical and comfortable. I adore the textured grips on the thumb rest and opposite edge, and the programmable “multi-function trigger” just below the thumb buttons is both more compact and more durable than the V2’s removable equivalent.

This is, of course, just one of many programmable buttons, and Razer’s Synapse software makes tinkering and setting up profiles a breeze. There’s also a new optical sensor, peaking at 26,000 DPI (up from 20,000 DPI on the V2), and an unusually not-boring scroll wheel.

Besides switching between tactile and free-spinning modes at a button press, the Basilisk V3’s wheel can be set to dynamically switch between the two, depending on how fast you’re scrolling. I prefer to switch this “Smart-Reel” mode off in games, but it’s great for web browsing and general desktop use.

Read more in our Razer Basilisk V3 review


Logitech G203

The best cheap gaming mouse

There are loads of budget gaming mice to choose from these days, but the Logitech G203 Lightsync is by far the best of the bunch. Its build quality is much better than its similarly priced rivals, such as the HyperX Pulsefire Core and Steelseries Rival 110, and it also has a more responsive sensor, too.

It's reasonably small, but it's also exceedingly light, making it feel lovely and smooth to move round your mouse mat. Nothing against larger mice, naturally, but they can be more of a chore to move quickly if you have small hands.

The G203 also has two extra side-buttons on the left hand side of the mouse, which can be programmed to do all sorts of different functions. These include keyboard buttons, macros and media controls, and a dedicated DPI clutch / sniper button that lowers the mouse's speed to whatever setting you like for as long as you hold it down - handy, if you're into online competitive shooter games.

Read more in our Logitech G203 Lightsync review


Logitech G Pro Wireless / Logitech G Pro X Superlight

The best wireless gaming mouse

A photo of the Logitech G Pro Wireless mouse and its USB adapter

The Logitech G Pro Wireless is hands down the best wireless gaming mouse we've tested. It's expensive, yes, but wireless 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 almost unheard of in wireless gaming mouse circles 9with a few exceptions - see the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless below), 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 justifies its high price.

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, design-wise. 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.

And if all that wasn't enough, Logitech have also recently released an even lighter model in the form of the G Pro X Superlight, which weighs an even more featherweight 63g. It's a gorgeous mouse, and it actually improves on the older G Pro Wireless quite a bit, removing that bottom-facing DPI button and increasing its sensor range to 25,000 DPI. It's a fraction more at £130 / $150, but it's every bit as lovely.

Read more in our Logitech G Pro Wireless review


Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless

The best budget wireless gaming mouse

If the price of the Logitech G Pro Wireless gave you a fright, then you'll be pleased to hear that the excellent Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless can be had for a whole lot less. This is an absolute steal for those after an affordable wireless gaming mouse, and thanks to Corsair's super fast Slipstream wireless technology, the Harpoon RGB Wireless feels just as nippy as its Logitech rival, making it great for gaming and general desktop duties alike.

The Harpoon Wireless has built-in low latency Bluetooth support as well, just in case you've got one too many 2.4GHz wireless devices getting in the way of things, but even in my many wireless device-ridden home it worked like an absolute dream.

Why is the Logitech G Pro Wireless still our best wireless mouse, then? Well, the Corsair's battery life isn't quite as good as the Logitech's, it's a bit heavier, and it also doesn't have as many programmable buttons. Still, there's a lot to like here besides all that, and you'll be hard-pushed to find a more responsive mouse for less.

Read more in our Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless review


Corsair Ironclaw RGB

The best gaming mouse for big hands

For those after a great mouse that doesn't break the bank and offers loads of extra features, it simply doesn't get much better than the Corsair Ironclaw RGB. Not only is its large, contoured shape very comfortable to use over periods of time, but its weight of 105g and responsive sensor make it lovely and fast in the hand, too.

Sure, the dash of RGB lighting won't be for everyone (although you can always turn it off using Corsair's iCUE software), but it's a lot better-looking than the hard, 'gamery' edges and matt / gloss combo design of the similarly-priced Logitech G502 Hero (and G502 Proteus Spectrum, by extension).

The Ironclaw RGB also offers more functionality than the mildly equally unassuming Steelseries Rival 310. The Rival 310 is still a great choice for those looking to keep costs down (as is the identical Sensei 310 if you're looking for a cheap ambidextrous mouse), but the Ironclaw does a lot more with that additional tenner, such as giving you an extra DPI or sensitivity profile to play with, a braided USB cable, seven programmable buttons instead of six, and the ability to turn one of those buttons into a 'sniper' button for on-the-fly DPI adjustments to give you better control when lining up shots in FPS games. All in all, it's a great value mouse.

Read more in our Corsair Ironclaw RGB review


SteelSeries Aerox 3 / SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless

The best gaming mice for small hands

A photo of the SteelSeries Aerox 3 and Aerox 3 wireless mice side by side.

I, uh, do not have small hands. I fact I have quite large hands, the kind that create logistical problems when installing M.2 SSDs or eating Pringles. Yet even I can see the petite appeal of the SteelSeries Aerox 3 and its cable-cutting variant, the Aerox 3 Wireless.

Weighing just 57g and 66g respectively, these are some of the lightest, easiest-to-shift gaming mice around, and at 120mm long they’re compact without being too small for a comfortable grip. The Swiss cheese styling won’t be to everyone’s tastes, and could risk turning the Aerox 3 twins into piggy banks for dust if you don’t keep your desk clean, but the holes do help keep the weight down – as well as show off the onboard lighting. Don’t worry about the effect on build quality, either, as there’s no flexing or creaking around the more skeletal bits.

In fact, toughness is the Aerox 3’s party trick, as both models mice are water- and dust-resistant to the IP54 standard. That means the electronics are protected against solid muck ingress as well as slight splashes on liquid, a claim that held up in my testing. I sprayed the Aerox 3 Wireless with water and it still worked just fine.


Razer Naga Trinity

The best MMO gaming mouse

Thanks to its interchangeable side panels, the Razer Naga Trinity is effectively three gaming mice in one, giving you up to 19 different buttons to play with depending on your play style. It's the ultimate 'do-it-all' gaming mouse, letting you turn your hand from a top-notch FPS mouse to a many buttoned MMO mouse in a flash.

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. It's particularly cool that you have the option of briefly changing your DPI on the fly, 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 Hero, but at least here you have the option to assigning this function to any button you like.

Read more in our Razer Naga Trinity review


Razer Viper

The best ambidextrous gaming mouse

The Razer Viper is an excellent ambidextrous gaming mouse - particularly now it's much cheaper than it used to be. We recommended the Asus ROG Pugio as well as the Viper due to their wildly different prices in the UK and US, but with Pugio stock levels getting lower and lower and prices going higher and higher as a result, it's now nowhere near as good value as its Razer rival.

Besides, the Viper has a much more tasteful design than the Pugio, and its two main clicker buttons feel more responsive, too. Plus, the Viper is absurdly light, coming in at just 69g. This means it's super easy to swish around your mouse mat, and never becomes a drag when you're playing games for long periods of time. Razer's Synapse 3 software gives you loads of customisation options, too. It comes at a price, but for the ultimate in luxurious ambidextrous gaming mice, the Razer Viper is a tough act to beat.

Read more in our Razer Viper review


HyperX Pulsefire Haste

The best lightweight gaming mouse

A photo of the HyperX Pulsefire Haste gaming mouse.

The HyperX Pulsefire Haste doesn’t have the spillage resistance of the Aerox 3 above, but it is cheaper, almost at light (at 59g), and to my hands, feel a bit nicer. It’s a combination of the bigger, easier-to-press thumb buttons and the meatier click of the main left/right switches that produces a generally more pleasant and comfortable mouse-wrangling experience.

The honeycomb pattern of the weight-saving cutouts also looks more refined than the simple square holes that SteelSeries went for, while the RGB lighting is limited to some tasteful rings around the scroll wheel.

Granted, there’s not much else to say about the Pulsefire Haste’s features, but in fairness it achieves everything that HyperX clearly wants it to. It’s lightweight, performs well, and offers both those qualities for relatively a sensible outlay.


Gaming mouse jargon buster

DPI: This stands for "Dots Per Inch". It's used to measure a gaming mouse's sensitivity. The higher the DPI number, the more sensitive your gaming mouse will be.

That said, while many gaming mice boast top DPIs in the 10,000s, this is actually too fast for the human eye to keep track with. At best, most people only need around 1600 DPI, or maybe 2000 DPI if you're a twitchy competitive FPS player. As such, don't be put off by mice with lower DPI speeds, as you'll get just as much use out of them as higher DPI mice.

CPI: Counts Per Inch, and another way of describing a mouse's sensitivity speed. This is often only used by Steelseries, though, and is pretty much identical to DPI.

Polling rate:

How many times the mouse communicates its position to your PC, per second. A 500Hz polling rate, for example, would report 500 times each second. Gaming mice generally target the 500-1000Mhz range, and there's no real benefit to going higher than this, though cursor movements might not feel as smooth if you manually lower the polling rate below 400MHz or so.

Sniper button: A button that can change a mouse's DPI speed on the fly when it's being held down, often to a very low DPI to help players track headshots in competitive FPS games. Sometimes mice will have dedicated sniper buttons, while others will let you program this feature onto one of the side buttons.

Claw grip: A type of mouse grip that involves resting your palm on the back of the mouse and bending your index and middle fingers into a claw-like shape so the tips of them rest on the main right and left buttons. Pro gamers often say this allows for quicker, more precise mouse movements, and some mice will be designed with this grip in mind. In everyday use, though, it's very uncomfortable.

Fingertip grip: Another type of mouse grip. This involves using a similar pose to the claw grip, only here your palm sits on your mouse mat, not the back of the mouse. It supposedly makes for faster mouse movements, as you're only moving it with your fingers rather than your whole hand or arm. If you favour this grip, you'll probably want a mouse with extra grippy sides.

Palm grip: This style of mouse grip involves resting your entire hand on the mouse. It's a lot more relaxed than the claw and fingertip grip, and is better for large hand / arm movements. It's probably how you're holding your mouse right now.

For more RPS recommended hardware, here's a complete list of our best hardware guides:
Best graphics cards Best CPU for gaming Best SSD for gaming Best gaming monitors
Best gaming headsets Best gaming keyboards Best VR headsets

About the Author

James Archer avatar

James Archer

Hardware Editor

James retired from writing about Dota for RPS to write about hardware for RPS. His favourite watercooler radiator size is 280mm and he always takes advantage of RGB lighting by setting everything to a solid light blue.

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