For those of us who take our online gaming seriously, having a decent gaming rig is essential. A true gaming rig is about much more than just the PC. The peripherals that you use will also make a difference. Online shooters require precise movements. In order to achieve these, you will need a decent mouse. Here are five of the top contenders.

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Logitech 403

Logitech has done a great deal to earn their reputation as one of the most consistent and reliable manufacturers of computer peripherals. Their keyboards, mice, and speakers, are a regular sight attached to home computers around the world. Logitech isn’t just active in a variety of different peripheral marketplaces; they also offer products across the full spectrum of price points. It is important to understand this when considering a Logitech mouse, as there will always be a “better” model available, and a “worse” one.

The 403 occupies a special point on this spectrum. It offers many of the features that are typically associated with the most expensive mice available, but they are offered at a mid-range price point. Aside from the excellent value that the Logitech 403 offers, it has emerged as a firm favorite among players of CS:GO. Among the features that make it an attractive option for competitive gamers, the 403 offers exceptional tracking speed (going as high as 500 inches per second), made possible by the integrated 32-bit processor from ARM, alongside Delta Sensor Technology.

As well as impressive technical specifications, the 403 mouse is a fine example of the kind of engineering and design that Logitech is renowned for. The ergonomics of the mouse are clear from the moment you first lay your hand upon it. Not only does it feel great in your hand; the expert button placement means that using it is straightforward and an utter joy. Anyone who has been using Logitech mice for a number of years will be able to testify to the subtle, yet crucial, evolution in the shape of their mice. To look at the 403, you might not be able to detect any difference between its shape and the shape of the other products that Logitech manufactures, but its shape is, in fact, the result of many years of experience.

A cheap mouse will become quite uncomfortable during an extended gaming session, the 403, on the other hand, can be comfortably used for hours upon hours of gaming enjoyment. Among the many nice little touches that set this mouse apart from the competition, is the use of small pieces of rubber on the side, which prevent hand slippage. In addition, there are small plastic feet on the bottom and a jagged shape which allows for the mouse to glide over just about any surface uninterrupted.

With eight programmable buttons, this is a mouse that will appeal to gamers who make use of macros, or who just want to be able to access their inventory more easily in-game. Eight buttons is very generous, but what makes it more impressive is that each of them has been perfectly positioned and is easy to reach. In addition, there is another button to switch the DPI quickly, offering 250 – 4000 DPI, depending on the situation. A dedicated ‘sniper mode’ makes fine tuning your aim in-game a breeze.

The drawback to this mouse is the mediocre software included. Other manufacturers offer much better and more comprehensive software for their mice. You will also need to configure different profiles for your games manually.

Logitech G303

Carrying the torch for Logitech’s higher-end gaming mice is the G303. This is a mouse that embodies everything fans of Logitech admire about their high-end peripherals. It offers excellent performance in-game, contained within a mouse whose design is eccentric, yet comfortable to use. Weighing in at just 87 grams, the G303 might be a little too lightweight for those who prefer more heft in their gaming mouse, but for those who like to carry their rig around, and those who just prefer smaller, lighter mice, the design of the G303 will appeal to them.

At a glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that the G303 wasn’t the most ergonomic mouse in the world. However, its unconventional shape is actually very comfortable to hold and to use for extended gaming sessions. Some players, particularly those with larger hands, may well find that they need to develop and master a new grip to use the mouse. Once you have adapted to it, however, you will find this to be one of the most comfortable mice to use in the world.

For the most serious gamers, especially those who play competitively, reprogrammable buttons are an essential feature. The G303 offers six programmable buttons, as well as a dedicated button for rapidly switching between DPI settings. The DPI can be set as high as 12,000, a very impressive number for a mouse at this price, as most professional CS:GO players will use between 800 and 1600 DPI so that 12,000 gives you ample headroom to work with.

Adding to the ergonomics of the mouse are the so-called ‘Omron’ buttons. These buttons sit atop metal springs, with the tension making the mouse more responsive and button presses easier. By Logitech’s own estimation, these springs should be able to take around 20 million clicks before the tension is lost. This is equivalent to clicking your mouse every second for an entire year, so there is no doubt that the G303 is durable and well-built.

In terms of its performance, the G303 incorporates a PMW 3366 sensor, which is one of the most advanced and powerful sensors available for use in computer mice today. Other mice that make use of similar powerful chips often find that they suffer from something commonly referred to as ‘the acceleration problem’. Logitech has found a workaround to this problem through its proprietary Delta Zero Optical Sensor Technology.

Razer DeathAdder Chroma

There are few companies out there with Razer’s reputation for high-end gaming peripherals. In fact, it would not be particularly controversial to assert that Razer is the company to go to with your high-end gaming needs. The catch with Razer has always been the pricing, there is no denying that they produce and design some really excellent products, but their prices have often meant that their appeal is limited to the relatively niche market of the most enthusiastic gaming enthusiasts. You have probably heard other players lamenting their inability to afford a decent Razer gaming mouse and keyboard set up, and there seems to be a general consensus that Razer are the champions of this market.

It is a joy to see Razer offer a product which brings their quality craftsmanship and carefully considered design work to a product that most people can afford. There is nothing about the DeathAdder that is revolutionary; it is just an all-around really good mouse at an affordable price.

The sensor is capable of pulling in up to 10,000 DPI with a 1000 Hz polling rate. This makes for a mouse that can easily satisfy the requirements of gamers, while also offering the kind of performance that professional users will need. The ergonomics of the mouse are a further illustration of how effective the simplest designs can be. Some of Razer’s mice look very different to what we think of as a typical mouse. Not so with the DeathAdder, but don’t let its run-of-the-mill appearance fool you: this is a mouse that outperforms most others at its price point.

The button placement is, as you would expect, unlike many of Razer’s mice. This one offers a modest two reprogrammable buttons. These buttons are oversized but in a good way. Their prominent size and intuitive positioning make them easy to operate when the action on screen is getting hectic.

What really stands out, particularly for a mouse that looks like it isn’t doing anything new or bold, is just how comfortable the DeathAdder is when used for extended periods of time. The shape and texture of the mouse have been very carefully designed to maximize the comfort to the user. The use of rubber on the sides gives a nice, firm grip without having to apply additional pressure. This avoids the kind of slips during intense firefights that can be the difference between victory and defeat for your team!

The only caveat to note with this mouse is that those who prefer to play with a ‘claw grip’ rather than the more common palm gripping position might find it a little unwieldy. However, this doesn’t in any way detract from the accuracy of its sensor, the elegance of its ergonomics, or the highly accessible reprogrammable buttons. Overall this is a fantastic gaming mouse for any player.

SteelSeries Sensei

The most serious of professional gamers will tell you that a wired mouse is absolutely essential. No matter how good our technology gets, having to send and receive input wirelessly will always be slower than using a wired mouse. The time delay between input on the mouse being received by the computer is tiny, mere fractions of a second. For the vast majority of computer-related tasks, this delay is so insignificant that we can pretend it doesn’t exist, however, in professional and competitive gaming, every fraction of a second count.

Bearing that in mind - and given just how hard many gamers will look in finding and measuring these delays - the Sensei, from SteelSeries, is quite the technical feat. It is the first wireless mouse in quite some time that seems to be changing the minds of many who previously wouldn’t have considered a wireless option.

The tech specs of the mouse don’t lie. It’s 16,400 DPI is astonishingly high and utterly obliterates much of the competition. Coupled with an onboard 32-bit ARM processor, this is a mouse that is able to seriously compete with its wired counterparts. In doing so, it has restored the faith of many gamers in the potential of wireless mice. Accurate, precise, and perhaps even a little bit too powerful, the SteelSeries Sensei will serve any competitive gamer well.

In a similar fashion to the Razer DeathAdder, this mouse isn’t going to turn any heads on its own. At a glance it looks like another run of the mill mouse, in fact, it is a perfect example of how simplicity can often be the same as beauty. It is ambidextrous, unlike a lot of gaming mice, so it will appeal to southpaws. It is also symmetrical, meaning that both right-handed and left-handed players will have the same experience. The drawback to this is that it is not as ergonomic as many of its competitors. While many of the mice on this list can only be used by right-handed players (some offer left-handed versions), they can offer a more ergonomic shape, as it is being tailored to one hand specifically.

For the average user, this won’t matter. The Sensei is an excellent option for professionals and general users. However, competitive gamers often need to use their mouse for many hours at a time. In this usage scenario, the Sensei sadly falls short of the mark. After several hours of continuous use, it can become uncomfortable to use. On the plus side, the mouse is attractive aesthetically and its glossy finish gives it a very attractive quality.

Mionix Caster

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get something with the same high-quality design and functionality of a Razer mouse without the enormous price tag? Well, enter Mionix! The Mionix caster offers gamers frankly unprecedented quality and performance for the price it costs. Excellent performance is married with excellent and thoughtful design work in the Mionix Caster. This isn’t a mouse that tries to throw unnecessary gimmicks and other superfluous flourishes at you. Instead, it is a mouse that sets out to do what it intended to do in the most effective and efficient way possible. The influence of Razer on the Mionix Caster is evident, and yet it doesn’t feel like a cheap rip-off or cash-in. instead, it feels like a loving tribute to the practical and unpretentious approach which has come to define Razer as a brand.

Six reprogrammable buttons give you plenty of room for setting up macros and other shortcuts. Much like the DeathAdder, these buttons are prominent and easy to use. The 10,000 DPI offers more than enough performance for gamers, while also making this mouse useful for professional and creative multimedia work. Inside its attractive plastic shell, the Mionix Caster features an Avago ADNS 3310 processor, one of the more powerful options on the market and one that can easily deliver top-of-the-range-gaming performance. The Mionix Caster eschews many of the gimmicks that other manufacturers have opted for. For example, it foregoes a ridiculously high DPI in favor of one that is more practical and can be delivered at a lower cost.

Ergonomically, the Mionix Caster is a very impressive mouse. It looks great sitting on any desk, and while the placement of two spare buttons does perhaps favor the right-handed player, the mouse is symmetrical enough that left-handed players will be able to use it just fine. After several hours of uninterrupted playtime, the Mionix Caster still feels comfortable in the hand, and there is no hint of cramp or any other discomfort from long gaming sessions.

Finally, another nice little touch is the inclusion of a slightly textured area on one side for the thumb to rest on. Again, this is a feature that a left-handed player will miss out on, but that shouldn’t deter you from an otherwise excellent gaming mouse.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a mouse that can satisfy all the needs and desires of a modern gamer isn’t easy. There are so many devices to choose from and so many different players all competing for your business that it can be hard to know where to even begin looking. Big name brands often come with big price tags, and so those who are working on a budget may feel like they have no choice but to settle. The mice on this list might set you back a little more than the standard mouse that you are used to, but they all still represent fantastic value.

When you are deciding on the right mouse for you, there are several things that you need to consider (other than the price, of course). The first is your usage pattern: will you be using this mouse outside of gaming sessions? If gaming is your hobby while you also work professionally with multimedia editing tools, then you will want a mouse that can bump the DPI up for those times when higher precision is required. On the other hand, if you are looking for something purely to help take your gaming to the next level, then you can forego some of the bells and whistles and instead look for something which will be comfortable and easy to use.

Sidney H. Alexander

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About the Author

Hi, Sidney here, I am addicted to techy stuff, anything breaking edge is my favorite, and I love writing so was born. I realized that there is a huge market for advising people on tech related topics. People just don't have the in-depth knowledge of the digital world that they need to make purchasing decisions. So I am the middle man, the advisor, the guru, call me what you want. I just hope you enjoy my writing. Please leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Thanks, Sidney

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