Choosing the best gaming mouse for your needs is harder than it seems. The mouse is probably the most used input device on PC, so it’s better to get a good one. A gaming mouse is much more than a sensor and a couple of buttons, there are a lot of characteristics to take into account.

Grip styles on a gaming mouse

The way you hold the mouse is the most important thing. Different mouse have different shapes and each one is most suitable for a certain grip type.

Getting a mouse with the wrong shape and weight can result in poor performance and precision, and even wrist pain sometimes.

There are mainly three ways to hold a mouse, or “grip types”: the palm grip, the claw grip and the fingertip grip.

Palm Grip Mouse

Palm grip users tend to lay the whole palm the mouse and the fingers flat on the buttons and they use the entirety of their fingers to press the buttons. This grip is the most natural and comfortable since the hand is “resting” on the mouse.

A palm grip mouse is usually longer and generally bigger than other mouse, and has a high long arch so that the hand can rest on it. Many palm grip mouse have particularly ergonomic shapes and tend to be curved to the right or to the left, determining while they are right-handed or left-handed.

Claw Grip Mouse

In the Claw grip the hand is arched like a claw, only the lower part of the palm touches the back of the mouse, and the fingers are arched too, so the buttons are pressed with the fingertips.

gaming mouse Claw grip gaming mouse Claw grip contact points

Claw grip mouse are usually shorter than palm-grip ones, not so high but still with a steep arch on the back.

Fingertip Grip Mouse

Fingertip grip doesn’t involve the palm, only the fingertips touch the mouse. The writs rest on the mousepad/desk and moves very little, even when moving the mouse along the up-down axis, which is done just by bending and stretching fingers.

gaming mouse Fingertip grip gaming mouse Fingertip grip contact points

Fingertip grip mouse are the lighter and smaller ones, where smaller means shorter but not necessarily thinner. mouse in this category have a simmetrical shape most of the time, many models have also additional buttons replicated on both sides, so they can be used by both right handed and left handed people.

Mouse sensitivity is measured in CPI (Counts Per Inch): the number of “steps” that the mouse can discern and will signal while moving one inch. If our mouse has a sensitivity of 1000 CPI, the smallest movement distance it will signal is 1/1000 inches.

Chep-office mouse have usually a sensitivity of 400 CPI, which is not that good, not even for office work with today’s high resolution screens.

Good sensitiviy values for gamers usually range between 800 and 2000 CPI. A gaming mouse with a high sensitivity is usually better, but it all depends on the user in the end.

We can distinguish 2 kinds of people:

Lowsensers move the mouse a long distance for a relatively short cursor movement on the screen. Moving the cursor from the left edge of the screen to the right on a 1920 wide resolution screen could need a movement of the mouse of around 10-12 inches.

More-sensitive, on the contrary, prefer to move the mouse very little to achieve the same results. A highsenser can move the cursor from the very left of a 1920 screen to the right moving the mouse just of 1-2 inches.

Many gaming mouse can work at different sensitivity setting, some of them have pre-set values to choose from, like 800-1600-3000 CPI, others let you fine-tune the sensitivity more precisely.

If you can, get a mouse that lets you fine-tune the sensitivity but if you can’t don’t worry, many games have a sensitivity option (ALL first-person-shooters have it).

The standard number of buttons is three: left/index button, right/middle finger button and a clickable scroll-wheel. Most mouse, not only gaming mouse actually, have other buttons.

A common configuration most manufacturers implement is a couple of buttons on the left side to be pressed with the thumb. Another common thing is to have one or two buttons on the top, just below the scroll wheel, to change the sensitivity on the fly.

Some mouse, made for MMOs, have more than 15 buttons!

The thing to consider however, is not how many buttons have the mouse, but how many you can actually reach with ease.

In an FPS you probably need one button to quickly change the sensitivity in sniper-mode, but you don’t need 10 other buttons for macros. In MMO/RPGs you could need more buttons for macros or inventory use.

Byt the way, all gaming mouse have some additional programmable buttons so, if you haven’t very specific needs, the number of buttons shouldn’t be your primary concern when choosing a new mouse.

We live in some kind of “wireless” era nowadays, where every peripheral is connected through bluetooth or something alike.

There are wireless mouse labeled as “gaming mouse”, but if you really are a gamer, just pick a mouse with cable. No interferences, no problems with batteries. That’s it.

Other stuff
There are many other things a gaming mouse could or could not hav: LED lights, embedded memory, etc. All those features don’t really change the comfort and feeling of a mouse, so you should check them only after the ones listed previously.

Best palm grip mouse

The palm grip is the most natural and comfortable grip style. A palm grip mouse has usually a very ergonomic shape, most of the time asymmetrical, so you have to be careful if you are left handed, because most of them are right handed.

 Razer DeathAdder

always had a big success both in casual and professional contexts. In the years it’s been improved different times.

The shape of this mouse is really good in terms of comfort and it’s also good looking, like many other Razer mouse. It has a matte surface and rubber side grips to give a better tactile sensation.

The two additional thumb buttons, quite big and easily accessible on the side are probably enough for most of the people. Unless you are a cyborg who needs 20 customizable buttons…

The latest version of this mouse, the Deathadder Chroma has an optical sensor which can go up to 10000dpi and, if you care about color choice and color coordination, lets you choose the color of the lights (logo and scrollwheel) in the whole RGB spectrum (16.8 million colors).

Buttons functions and light color can be easily set with the Synapse configuration software, which lets you customize many other things easily, like the sensitivity setting.

 Steelseries Sensei Gaming Mouse

rival best palm grip mouseSteelseries makes a lot of good gamig mouse, most of which have a symmetric shape and try to be good for any kind of grip. The Rival is probably the first and best palm grip mouse made by this company.

The Rival is longer than other mouse, more than 130mm. It has an asymmetrical, right-handed shape. It’s not as high as the Deathadder. If the shape of the DA feels too extreme to you, the more conservative lines of the Rival could fit you better.

There are 2 versions of this mouse: the black one has a matte, anti-sweat coating, while the white one has a glossy surface. I prefer the first one, but the glossy one is easier to clean. Both have rubber grip
on the sides.

The Rival has two quite large thumb buttons on the side. It also has a small button CPI toggle button on the top, right below the scroll-wheel. This could be useful especially in FPS games, where you want to switch the sensitivity on the fly while sniping.

The configuration software lets you set everything: light color of the logo, buttons functions, sensitivity settings (from 50 to 6500 CPI), polling rate, lift distance, acceleration and angle snapping.

Best claw grip mouse

Claw grip style is quite common amongst gamer so different manufacturers produced a lot of mouse fitting this style, so it can be difficult to find the best claw grip mouse.

Steelseries Sensei [Raw]

sensei claw grip mouseSteelseries made a lot of different mouse suitable for claw grip or hybrid grip-
fingertip style, all with different shapes and features. The top-level one has always been the Sensei, with a lot of great features and also an embedded ARM CPU. Unfortunately all these fancy features have a cost: if you are really lucky you can get an original Sensei for around 65$.

BUT lately Steelseries decided to get rid of all the various cheap mouse and substitute them with one excellent mouse, made from all the knowledge and research they already did for the Sensei. So they made this Sensei [RAW], which is basically a Sensei without all the not-so-necessary features, essentially the ARM CPU, the back LCD display and the configurable light color. Thanks to this, the price of this new release is below 50$.

The Sensei [RAW] shares the perfect and comfortable shape of the original one. It has two side buttons on each side, so it’s perfectly symmetrical and ambidextrous, and one button on the top, below the scroll wheel, that let you change the sensitivity on the fly, toggling between two values (values you can set yourself using the configuration software).

There are two versions of this mouse, one with a glossy surface and one with a rubberized surface, I usually prefer the rubberized one, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

The configuration software let you change the sensitivity settings and configure the programmable buttons. You can also chang the light intensity, but not the color.

This mouse is very good for any kind of game, from FPS to RTS, and thats’ why it the best claw grip mouse you can find.

Zowie FK1

zowie claw grip mouseEven if the Zowie name is not that famous in general, it’s well known in
gaming context and this company made some good mouse in the past, and then listened to gamers inputs and requests. The Zowie FK1 is the result of many little improvements made from previous mouse by Zowie.

The FK1 is specifically studied for claw grip players. It has a symmetrical/ambidextrous shape, like many other mouse in this category, but that’s what claw-grippers usually prefer, after all. The large back give a good sensation on the palm contact point and overall the mouse is really comfortable.

It has two buttons on each side, so no problem for lefties. There’s another additional button actually, but it’s on the bottom of the mouse. This button let you change the sensitivity from 4 different values ranging from 400 CPI up to 3200. Obviously you can’t use it while playing, so no way of changing sensitivity on the fly, but it’s still ok if you like to change the sensitivity between gaming sessions and desktop.

Best fingertip grip mouse

Fingertip grip is not as common as other styles but allows very rapid movement and is pretty popular amongst RTS players. Since it’s not a common style it is very difficult to find the best fingertip grip mouse, many manufacturers focus on palm or claw mouse, but you can still find a good fingertip grip mouse.

Razer Abyssus

abyssus best fingertip grip mouseThe Razer Abyssus, whose first version came out in 2010, has always
been one of the best gaming mouse out there. It is really basic: simple symmetrical shape and simple lines and no additional buttons, but this simplicity gives you a perfect comfort and precision.

The Abyssus is just 4.6″ in length and very light (around 80 grams), so you shouldn’t have any problem using it with a fingertip grip style, even if you have small hands.

Like many other mouse it has a matte surface and rubber grips on the sides. The original 2010 Abyssus (which is still a super-good mouse) had also a glossy version, you can still find it if you prefer a glossy surface for your mouse.

The lack of additional buttons could be a problem in some situations (MMORPG) but if you don’t need them this mouse is perfect, nothing less. It’s very good for RTS games, in fact it’s quite popular amongst Starcraft players.

Last but not least, the price: it sits in the 40$ range, that makes this mouse the best fingertip grip mouse both for quality and price.

 Logitech G300s

g300s best fingertip grip mouseThe Logitech G300s is one of the cheaper gaming mouse listed here,
but the truth is it’s very good for its price. This gaming mouse is rather small and very lightweight, perfect for fingertip grip, even for people with small hands.

The mouse has a nice symmetrical V shape, a matte surface and rubber grip on both sides.

Differently from the Abyssus, the G300s has 6 additional buttons. Two of these additional buttons are placed below the scroll wheel. The other four are placed in “unusual” positions, on the outer edges of the two main left/right buttons. This placement could seem odd, but it’s ok for fingertip grip user, who usually have difficulties pressing side buttons with the thumb.

This mouse has an embedded memory in which you can store up to 3 different profiles, and it also has configurable lighting.

Many people report this mouse to be perfect for work use, too, thanks to its numeros programmable buttons. It is perfect for software that require a lot of macro usage (photoshop etc.).

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