Best gaming mouse 2019: Digital Foundry's picks for the best wired and wireless gaming mice

Updated August 2019 with the best mice for all budgets, game genres and hand sizes.

Finding the best gaming mouse is a challenge, as dozens of new models are released each year by the biggest brands - but I've been keeping track of the various innovations over the years, and I'm pretty confident in these gaming mouse recommendations. That said, there's such variety in the market that I'll also be including a general guide in choosing the right gaming mouse based on your favourite games, hand size and additional factors - look for that towards the end of the article.

It's also worth mentioning that unlike choosing the best graphics card, picking a proper peripheral is a subjective experience that depends on many different variables, large and small. While we have taken critic and user reviews into account when making our selections, these are still just starting points to guide your own experimentation, rather than a definitive ranking. Don't worry if your favourite mouse didn't make the list - we probably considered it, but ultimately went with a different option.

To make things easier for you, we've got quick links to our six different picks - and to our detailed guidance on choosing the perfect mouse to suit you, including how to measure your hand size, whether wireless is worthwhile and other common questions. Click through to the topic you're interested in below, or read on for the full article!

Update (August 23rd): Whew... maybe we need a separate ultra-light mice article?

Best gaming mouse

Glorious Model O - £50 UK/$50 USA

modelo

Glorious is a newcomer to the PC gaming space, but the team has captured the zeitgeist for ultra-light gaming mice on their first attempt. The Model O weighs in at just 68 grams thanks to its honeycomb design, yet this modern gaming mouse still feels solidly built and comfortable in the hand. In our testing, the light heft of the Model O makes it noticeably easier to flick onto a target in shooters like Counter-Strike - even when compared to a svelte mouse like the 80g Logitech G Pro Wireless or the 91g SteelSeries Rival 110.

The Model O's cable is also novel, with a super flexible paracord-like material used instead of a more usual rubber or braided cable. This makes the mouse almost feel wireless. There are surprisingly few sacrifices elsewhere too, with an industry standard PixArt 3360 optical sensor, a soft notched scroll wheel, clicky Omron buttons and RGB lighting. The software is also decent, with full access to the settings you need and little else to distract you. The Model O measures 128mm/5" long and 63mm/2.5" wide and uses a symmetric design (apart from the side buttons) so it should be suitable for almost all right and left-handed users.

Best of all, the Model O is affordably priced compared to other ultralight designs, at £50/$50 for the matte version and £5/$5 extra for a glossy design. That makes it easy to call the Model O the best gaming mouse we've ever tested.

optimumtech
Image credit: Optimum Tech

Alternatives: The G-Wolves Skoll is another honeycomb mouse with a very light weight (66grams), but this time in an ergonomic right-handed design (mimicking the popular Zowie EC mouse) with a larger hump than the Model O. For $56 plus $12 shipping, you get the mouse in a lovely tin with an extra, proper paracord cable bundled for $3 more - good value!

secondplace

If the holey look of the Model O and Skoll isn't for you, then the DM1 FPS (£44 UK/€55 EU/$49 USA) is a great alternative. It uses a top sensor, the PixArt 3389, sports a flexible paracord-like cable that feels almost wireless and is still relatively light at 83 grams. Its shape is excellent too, with a 126mm/5" long and 68mm/2.7" wide body that will suit most hand sizes.

Another strong lightweight mouse without holes is the 70g EndGame XM1 (£54 UK/$60 US). Its shape is similar to the DM1 FPS and SteelSeries Sensei, suitable for most hand sizes. Its unique claim to fame is having extremely fast click response time, less than 1ms, but we didn't notice a difference in normal gameplay. Instead, we mostly appreciated its high-end PixArt 3389 sensor, super thin PTFE mouse feet and its complete absence of RGB lighting. The only real issue with this mouse is its lack of a paracord-like mouse cable, which may make the DM1 FPS or Glorious Model O better options.

Best cheap gaming mouse

SteelSeries Rival 110£22 UK/$27 USA

rival110

The Rival 110 is a true budget mouse for medium-sized hands. It has a low weight of 91 grams and a good shape with rubberised plastic that makes it easy to fling around your mouse mat. The sensor has also been improved over the Rival 100, with SteelSeries choosing an optical sensor close in specifications to the well-respected PixArt 3330. They've also included RGB lighting and six buttons, which is a great haul for a budget mouse. While this mouse is an ambidextrous design, there are only side buttons on the left side. All in all, a great mouse for the money.

Alternative: The Viper Gaming V551 RGB boasts more buttons than the Rival 110, uses a recent optical sensor and has a safe, comfortable shape. That could make it a worthwhile upgrade over the Rival while still remaining quite affordable (£35 UK/$35 USA).

Best wireless gaming mouse

Corsair IronClaw RGB Wireless - £80 UK/$80 USA

ironclaw

While wireless gaming mice have historically lagged behind their wired counterparts - at times, literally - the gaming industry of 2019 appears to have cracked the secret of reliable, low-latency wireless mousing. Corsair's first next-gen wireless mouse was the budget-friendly Harpoon, and now we've got the follow-up: the IronClaw. This mouse tips the scales at around 130g, but its sculpted shape is ideal for palm grips, especially at higher DPI settings unlocked by the PWM3391 optical sensor. It has loads of buttons too, ten in all, which can be reprogrammed in the powerful iCUE software. In terms of battery life, we're looking at 50 hours without lighting enabled, and about half that otherwise. One feature I appreciate is that these new Corsair wireless mice can switch between wired, 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth modes, allowing them to be used with phones and tablets as easily as PCs.

Alternative: The Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is a cheaper alternative with fewer features but the same solid fundamentals.

Best premium gaming mouse

Logitech G Pro Wireless£130 UK/$136 USA

gprowireless

The G Pro Wireless is arguably the best gaming mouse on the market, save for its sky-high cost. Wireless gaming mice may put some people off, but from months of first-hand use and from looking at input latency tests, the G Pro Wireless is just as responsive and reliable as a wired mouse. It's also very light, tipping the scales at just 80 grams, yet it lasts for about 48 hours with the RGB lights on, and nearly double that with the lighting disabled. Its long battery life is thanks to a highly power-efficient optical sensor, which also performs extremely well in games. This accuracy - combined with the mouse's streamlined shape, low weight and lack of cable drag - make the G Pro Wireless an absolute pleasure to use, even in the most demanding titles like Rainbow Six: Siege, PUBG or Apex Legends. We recommend it to most gamers, given its medium size (125mm/4.9" long, 63.5mm/2.5" wide). Even if you have never considered wireless mice before, the G Pro Wireless is good enough to make an exception.

Most comfortable gaming mouse

Logitech G502 Lightspeed - £129 UK/$150 USA

g502lightspeed

The Logitech G502 is a crowd favourite, thanks to its ergonomic shape, "infinite" scroll wheel and eleven programmable buttons. That makes the G502 Lightspeed, the recently released wireless version, an easy recommendation. The new G502 is every bit as reliable and responsive as its wired predecessor, thanks to Logitech's excellent Hero optical sensor and the eponymous Lightspeed wireless tech, and it even manages to be lighter than the original at 114 grams - although you can add 16g with extra weights if you prefer. This translates into a quick and comfortable mouse suited for both gaming and productivity. Battery life is good at 48 hours with lighting and 60 hours without, and you can get 2.5 hours of battery life in five minutes of charging. If you love the comfortable shape and excellent performance of the G502, the wireless version is definitely worth a try - even if it is twice the price of the wired G502 Hero.

Best gaming mouse for small hands (and ambidextrous!)

BenQ Zowie FK2£50 UK/$60 USA

zowie

The Zowie FK2 is an ideal mouse to choose if you have small to medium-sized hands, thanks to its low profile design, diminutive dimensions of 124mm by 58mm and low weight of 84 grams. The side buttons appear on the both sides, making this mouse truly ambidextrous as well. The PixArt 3310 optical sensor has been superceded by newer options, but remains a favourite thanks to its accurate 1:1 tracking. In games like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, we found it responsive and comfortable regardless of the circumstances. If you prefer a simple design, without lighting, software or extra features, the FK2 is a strong choice.

Best gaming mouse for large hands

Corsair Glaive Pro£70 UK/$70 USA

glaive

This comfortable gaming mouse is perfect for those with medium to large hands, thanks to its broad design (124x69mm), medium weight (115g) and choice of three swappable thumb grips. The recently released PixArt 3391 optical sensor performed well in our testing, particularly at relatively high DPI settings (ie 1000+), with no hint of acceleration or jitter. Corsair's iCUE software can be used to adjust (or disable) the mouse's three RGB lighting zones, set up to five DPI levels and bind macros to the Glaive Pro's seven buttons. Overall, a good option if you prefer a wide, customisable design that doesn't skimp on features.

Alternative: We also recommend our previous pick for this spot, the SteelSeries Rival 310, which lacks the customisable thumb grip but is significantly cheaper.

Best MMO mouse

Razer Naga Trinity£77 UK/$77 USA

naga

If you like to play games that require lots of different keys for your spells and abilities, choosing a mouse with plenty of side buttons can a nice way to keep up. The Razer Naga Trinity is our pick for the best MMO mouse, thanks to its unique design which lets you choose between three different side button layouts. There's a circular dial provides seven buttons with a grip in the centre, a number-pad design with twelve buttons arranged in a grid plus a more usual two-button design for shooters and daily use. The mouse is about the same length (119mm) but wider (74mm/2.9") and heavier (120g) than the other mice on this list, which aids comfort but doesn't allow for as precise mouse movements. Still, a top-notch PixArt 3389 optical sensor and nice clicky buttons make this well-suited for most game genres. Razer's software is also among the most comprehensive in the business, which is nice for setting up your macros or setting up the RGB lighting. Overall, we think the Naga Trinity is the best option for MMO gamers.

Best office mouse for gaming

Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse£60 UK/$60 USA

intellimouse

This category is all about gaming mice that don't look the part; professional rodents that won't attract awkward questions in the office but still have it where it counts. The Pro IntelliMouse is a perfect example, combining the legendary IntelliMouse shape with a bleeding-edge PixArt 3389 optical sensor (instead of the lacklustre BlueTrack sensor on the Classic IntelliMouse we reviewed last year). If you want a single mouse for all occasions and have medium to large mittens, this is a fine choice.

How to find the perfect gaming mouse

The first step is normally to identify what games you're going to be playing most often. Most genres will be perfectly playable with any kind of mouse, but competitive titles such as PUBG, Counter-Strike, DotA 2, StarCraft 2 or Fortnite place higher demands on mouse precision, making mice with accurate optical sensors and light weight designs more desirable. Similarly, MMOs like World of WarCraft will benefit from having a higher number of buttons than normal for binding your most-used spells and abilities. The first four mice we recommended above are all suitable for FPS and MOBA games, while the last is designed expressly for MMOs or other games that require a large number of hotkeys. If you're playing games outside of these genres, choosing any of the mice on the list will be just fine.

Secondly, your hand size will determine how comfortable a given mouse is to use. Most people will be happy with a medium-sized mouse, including the first two recommendations, while those on the outer edges of the bell curve should start with our 'for small hands' and 'for large hands' recommendations. To find your hand size, keep your fingers together and measure from the tip of your longest finger to your wrist.

  • Small hands: Less than 170mm (6.7")
  • Medium hands: Between 170 and 195mm (6.7" - 7.7")
  • Large hands: More than 195mm (7.7")

You can also measure your hand's width from the bottom of your hand, across your knuckles and past your thumb. You can compare these two hand measurements, length and width, with a mouse that you're considering. A mouse that is about 60 per cent in both dimensions should be suitable for your hand size.

For reference, my hand size is 200mm x 100mm, so I personally look for mice that are around 120mm x 60mm. Different grip styles can also influence your ideal mouse size; claw and fingertip grips will hover around the 60 per cent mark, while palm grips are flatter and therefore mice that are closer to 70 per cent of your hand size will feel more comfortable.

Setting a game type and a hand size should narrow the field of potential options substantially. From here, we would recommend mice that include optical sensors (eg the PixArt 3310 and above), low weight (~95g or less), a smooth shape and at least two side buttons. In terms of manufacturers, some of the best-trusted brands are BenQ Zowie, Logitech and SteelSeries, but mice from Corsair, Finalmouse and Razer are also popular and could be worth considering.

Of course, there are also specs and features that are relatively unimportant and should be considered last when choosing a mouse. I would place high maximum DPI settings, RGB lighting and good software into this category for most people, although of course all three features are nice to have. Extremely high (>3200) DPI options aren't evidence of a good sensor, RGB lighting is normally covered by your hand and most mice software include similar functionality with varying degrees of usability.

Finding the best gaming mouse for you can be a lengthy process, but it is also a rewarding one. We hope this guide has given you at least a place to start; good luck!

Frequently asked questions

How much DPI do I need?

It depends on the games you play, but 3600 DPI is probably sufficient for most purposes. For accuracy's sake, training yourself to use a lower DPI like 400, 800 or 1200 may be beneficial.

What options are there for left-handed PC gamers?

The short answer is that most left-handed gamers survive using symmetric mice, with few true left-handed gaming mice available. We've included several of the former above, and we are looking for true left-handed mice to test and include on this list in the future.

Can you recommend some gaming mouse mats?

Sure, we have a full roundup of the best gaming mouse pads.

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About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2.

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