What Is A Gaming Mouse?

by | Jul 27, 2019 | Beginner Guides

If you’re new to PC gaming, you’ve probably asked the question – “What is a gaming mouse”?

Essentially, a gaming mouse is a regular mouse with all the functionality as a normal mouse but better. They have better sensors, designs, buttons, cables. They also come with some extra features such as programmable buttons, and drivers/software.

The Designs Of Gaming Mice

Gaming mice are all fundamentally made to be comfortable for the user however, not all gaming mice have the same design.

Some gaming mice are designed to be better suited for different types of games. If we take a look at a Razer Deathadder

Razer Deathadder gaming mouse

Razer Deathadder

This mouse has a sleek, and slim shape made to fit your whole hand, this type of design is perfect for accuracy. This type of mouse is perfect for FPS/Shooter games like CSGO as they don’t require bulky designs which don’t serve any purpose.

If we take a look at another example of a gaming mouse.

Razer naga gaming mouse

Razer Naga Trinity – Courtesy By Osman gucel

This gaming mouse is called Razer Naga. This mouse is massive, and as you can see, it has 12 side buttons, whereas the DeathAdder only had 2.

So what is the purpose of this mouse? This mouse is better suited for MMORPG games like World Of Warcraft for the number of side buttons. These side buttons can be programmed to your desire in MMOs, each ability can have their own button.

How Good Are Gaming Mice Sensors?

There are two types of sensors in the gaming mice world. Optical and laser. Now normal mice use these sensors too, but gaming mice have sensors that are custom made for gaming.

These sensors usually come with high DPI up to 16000 and are far more accurate than your conventional office mouse.

Optical mice are considered to be more accurate than laser mice, and laser mice can work on every surface you give it.

Gaming Mice Are More Durable

Gaming mice are more durable than regular mice. Gaming mice are actually rated for how many clicks they can withstand. Some gaming mice manufacturers state that their products can last up to 20million clicks.

If you consider gaming mice an investment, this is a good investment, once you buy a gaming mouse, you can expect them to last a few years before they go.

There are many gaming mice that feature “braided cables”. These types of cables are more durable than conventional plastic cables.

Wireless And Cabled Gaming Mice

Another feature of gaming mice is that some come with cables, and some are wireless. Cabled gaming mice means that you insert the cable into a USB port and that’s it, literally plug and play.

And there are wireless gaming mice that use either Bluetooth or Wifi to connect to your PC. Wifi gaming mice are more stable, faster, and are more finetuned for gaming than Bluetooth gaming mice.

Wireless and cabled gaming mice all have their pros and cons. But it mostly comes down to personal preference. If you like stability then go for the cabled option, If you like the aesthetics of cordless mice, then go for wireless gaming mice. I have written an article on this topic, you can find it here.

Most Gaming Mice Have Their Own Software

Gaming mice with their own software instantly become one of the most customizable peripheral devices you own. Your mouse may actually work without installing the drivers/software, but this is unrecommended as the drivers essentially activate the gaming functionality of your mouse.

If you have your own software you can customize parameters such as the DPI and the polling rate of your gaming mouse.

Gaming mouse software

This is the software for the Razer Deathadder gaming mouse. It is called razer synapse, and you can customize the performance, RGB, and you can also calibrate it for a mousemat you have.

Gaming Mice Have Programmable Buttons

Programmable buttons are one of the most useful features to utilize with a gaming mouse. You can give ordinary boring side buttons extra functionality. You can assign them functionality outside of games like macros, and changing the sensitivity of your mouse.

Or you can assign the mouse button to a functionality in-game.

Razer functions


It’s not just the side buttons that you can assign different functionality to. You can assign different functionality to nearly all the buttons your gaming mouse has.

DPI/CPI And Polling Rate Control

You may have heard the term DPI and CPI, well they both mean the same thing, DPI is just a marketing term. Controlling the DPI on your gaming mouse is something a regular mouse cannot do.

Being able to control your DPI is a feature all gaming mice have except for the ones that don’t come with software. You can find more on DPI/CPI here.

DPI control is important because it offers precision in-game sensitivity does not provide.

Now Polling rate is every time the mice sensor updates its position. Basically higher polling rate means less delay between physical and cursor movement.

You may be thinking that higher polling rates are always better, well some games don’t respond well to high polling rates (500 & 1000). So it is important to be able to control your mouse polling rate for the best gaming experience. I have also written about mice polling rate, you can find that article here.

Conclusion – Do I Need A Gaming Mouse?

Taking all factors into consideration, if you’re going to be gaming regularly, then the difference between a regular and a gaming mouse would be massive. Gaming mice are better than normal mice in every single way except for the price, but that doesn’t matter much as gaming mice last far longer.

Some regular mice are absolutely unusable when gaming, their sensors are horrible, the cursor jitters when moving making gaming nearly impossible. This is an issue when you need all the precision. So if you suffer from poor mouse accuracy, then investing in a gaming mouse is a good idea.

Some regular mice are uncomfortable when using intensively. This is because they’re not ergonomically designed. This is another good example of why you may need a gaming mouse.

If you value aesthetics, then investing in a gaming mouse could help with that. Gaming mice nowadays come with RGB lighting and sleek designs.