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Best gaming mouse 2021: DF's top wired and wireless gaming mice

Recommendations for all budgets, game genres and hand sizes.

Finding the best gaming mouse is a challenge, but we're here to help. I've tested hundreds of gaming mice over the years so I'm pretty confident in these gaming mouse recommendations. I've also included a general guide so you can choose the right gaming mouse based on your favourite games, hand size and more at the bottom of the page.

It's also worth mentioning that unlike choosing the best graphics card, there's no clear best gaming mouse on the market - but there are definitely better and worse options based on our extensive testing. While we have taken what critics and users think 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 eleven current recommendations - 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!

Best gaming mouse 2021

  1. Glorious Model O (Best gaming mouse overall)
  2. Roccat Kone Pro Air (Second-best gaming mouse overall)
  3. SteelSeries Rival 3 (Best budget gaming mouse)
  4. Corsair Katar Pro Wireless (Best budget wireless mouse)
  5. Asus ROG Keris Wireless (Best wireless gaming mouse)
  6. Logitech Logitech G Pro X Superlight (Best premium gaming mouse)
  7. Logitech G502 / G502 Lightspeed (Most comfortable mouse)
  8. Razer Viper Mini (Best gaming mouse for small hands)
  9. Corsair Sabre RGB Pro (Best gaming mouse for large hands)
  10. Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite (Best MMO mouse)
  11. Vaxee Zygen NP-01 (Best esports mouse)
  12. Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro (Best RGB gaming mouse)

Watch the latest episode of DF Weekly, where Digital Foundry staff discuss the hottest topics in gaming technology.

1. Glorious Model O

Best gaming mouse overall

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.

Alternatives? Check out our roundup of the best ultra-light gaming mice for FPS!

2. Roccat Kone Pro / Kone Pro Air

Second-best gaming mouse overall

kone_pro_air

The Roccat Kone Pro Air manages to pack an impressive feature list and impressive components into a curb weight of only 75 grams - not bad for a solid body wireless mouse that measures 126mm long and 72mm wide. This is an ergonomic right-handed design, with a defined shelf for your thumb to rest on the left side of the mouse and horizontal lines adding texture on the opposite side. I normally prefer ambidextrous mice, but I found the Pro Air very comfortable to use in a relaxed claw grip, with the wireless freeing me up for some outrageous quick-scopes in Black Ops Cold War. I appreciate the unique aesthetic too, which uses lighting beneath translucent left and right mouse buttons to emphasise the internal honeycomb weight-saving design. It's refreshing to find RGB on a mouse that's actually visible while you're using it!

In terms of specs and features, the Kone Pro Air ticks all the boxes. The 'OwlEye 19K' optical sensor (based on PixArt's PAW3370) and buttons with 'Titan Optical' switches performed well in our testing, with accurate tracking and flicking accompanied by crispy clicks. I particularly like the mouse wheel as well, which is made out of aluminium and offers soft yet tactile steps. The 2.4GHz 'Stellar' wireless connection proved faultless, and there's Bluetooth and a fall-back wired mode with a super-flexible 'PhantomFlex' USB cable if you run low on battery. The Kone Pro Air only needed to be charged once in around two weeks of testing, and uses USB-C fast charging to get five hours of battery life in 10 minutes of charging - very convenient. There's also a slot in the underside of the mouse for the USB dongle, a step overlooked by a surprising number of wireless designs.

The Kone Pro Air is an excellent gaming mouse and an easy pick for our second-place slot, only losing out to the Model O thanks to its slightly higher weight and significantly higher price. A wired alternative, the vanilla Kone Pro, solves both of these issues with a 68g design and $70/£70 asking price. Its flexible cable makes it feel almost wireless anyway, so it's a worthy alternative to the Air - and one that I used for two weeks of holiday without any compulsion to bring out my next gaming mouse to test, for whatever that's worth!

Roccat has been turning out great ultra-light mice for some time now, outperforming giants like Corsair and equalling the likes of Razer and Logitech, so I look forward to whatever's next from them. For now though, the Kone Pro Air is a top-tier mouse that's well worth your attention.

3. SteelSeries Rival 3

Best budget gaming mouse

rival3alt

The Rival 3 is a top-tier budget mouse for small to medium-sized hands. It has a surprisingly low weight of 77 grams, making it technically an ultra-light, and a good shape with matte plastic that's easy to manoeuvre in claw or fingertip grip styles. The sensor is a top optical, branded as the TrueMove Core, and seems very similar to the well-respected PixArt 3330. The Rival 3 also includes RGB lighting and six buttons, which is a great haul for a budget mouse.

Now for a few negatives: while this mouse is an ambidextrous shape, there are only side buttons on the left side, and these are quite slim. The mouse's cable is also subpar, being made of rubber and staying quite inflexible, making a mouse bungee a wise move. The mouse feet are also a bit worse than those found on more premium mice. However, both of these elements can be upgraded by the user, so they're wise cost savings that don't hurt this mouse's potential in any meaningful way.

All in all, the Rival 3 is a fantastic value gaming mouse and a great successor to the Rival 110.

g203

Another strong budget mouse is the Logitech G203 Lightsync. The Lightsync model is very similar to its Prodigy predecessor, but includes better RGB lighting that allows for smooth gradients instead of solid colours. Otherwise, you get the same specs and features as before, including a reliable optical sensor, pleasant clicks and that comfortable flat shape, which is much beloved by legions of G102, G203, G305 and G Pro owners. This budget mouse is well worth considering for anyone that prefers a claw or fingertip grip with small to medium hands.

4. Corsair Katar Pro Wireless

Best budget wireless mouse

katar_pro_wireless

The Katar Pro Wireless belongs to a rare group of wireless gaming mice that are both relatively affordable and actually perform just as well as their wired counterparts. The KPW's strong points include its long battery life (135 hours on a single AA battery), low-latency 2.4GHz and backup Bluetooth connection and an acceleration-free optical sensor that performed well in our testing. The only criticism I can make is the shape, which due to its relatively short length is best suited for smaller hands in fingertip grips. Thankfully, the grippy matte finish on the sides of the mouse make it pretty easy to move, even for fast flicks in games like CS:GO.

Like the Logitech G305, another excellent mouse we also recommend in this category, you can swap in a Lithium Ion AAA battery with an adapter to lower the weight significantly - from 98 grams to around 80 grams. This reduces battery life slightly and changes the balance, but the mod makes it feel more responsive in the hand so I personally prefer it.

Although it isn't wireless, the Katar Pro XT is worth considering too. This wired variant has a lighter weight (73g vs 96g), a higher spec sensor (PixArt 3391 vs 3325) and a lower price point (£35/$30). Thanks to a soft and flexible cable, it almost feels wireless when used with a mouse bungee, making it a canny budget choice.

5. Asus ROG Keris Wireless

Best wireless gaming mouse

keriswireless

While wireless gaming mice have historically lagged behind their wired counterparts - at times, literally - the gaming industry of 2021 appears to have cracked the secret of reliable, low-latency wireless mousing. Asus seems to have quietly become one of the best makers of wireless mice, with the ROG Pugio 2 catching our eye late last year and now it's the turn of the ROG Keris Wireless, an even better option that offers both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless support.

This £90/$90 mouse offers a streamlined ergonomic design and a comfortable 79g weight that should appeal to all but the most serious ultra-light mouse fanatics.

The switches beneath the left and right mouse buttons are interesting too - they're clicky ones of ROG's own invention, although quieter Japanese Omrons are included in the box. Swapping them is a simple case of removing two screws from the bottom of the mouse and then the top shell, pulling the old switches out with your fingers and inserting your favoured replacements. You can also choose to change the side buttons to silver or pink, if you prefer them to the standard black. As well as the delights of making a mouse feel truly your own, the easy-open design also makes replacing old or worn components easier, making this mouse a safer long-term investment.

Combined with the recent PixArt 3335 optical sensor and a shoelace-style cable for optional wired mousing, the Keris performed well in our testing too, even in demanding shooters like Call of Duty Warzone and CS:GO where heavy or awkwardly shaped mice quickly become apparent. With no real weaknesses, the Keris Wireless quietly became my go-to mouse on my work PC, beating out even more expensive options like Razer's excellent Viper Ultimate and Logitech's G Pro X Superlight. While the specs aren't ground-breaking, the ability to open up your mouse and customise its components is both practical and jolly good fun. If you're looking for a mouse that's a little different but still nails the essentials, the ROG Keris Wireless delivers.

The Keris is also available wired at a lower price (£57/$70) and weight (62g vs 79g).

6. Logitech G Pro X Superlight

Best premium gaming mouse

superlight

The G Pro X Superlight 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 years of using the Superlight (and its predecessor) and empirical tests, the G Pro X Superlight is just as responsive and reliable as a wired mouse. It's also extremely light, tipping the scales at just 63 grams, yet it lasts weeks between charges (Logitech quote 70 hours on their site). Its long battery life is thanks to a highly power-efficient Hero 25K 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 X Superlight an absolute pleasure to use, even in the most demanding titles like Rainbow Six: Siege, CSGO or Valorant. We're happy to 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 Superlight is good enough to make an exception.

As we said, the Superlight is extremely expensive for a mouse, so the earlier and cheaper G Pro Wireless remains a great choice. It offers the same shape and an extremely similar sensor, but weighs around 25 per cent more, includes RGB lighting and side buttons that can be moved to the left or right. If you're not a super competitive gamer, the original GPW is probably a better pick.

7. Logitech G502 / G502 Lightspeed

Most comfortable gaming mouse

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.

rival5

Another great mouse with a similar shape and features is the SteelSeries Rival 5. This mouse sports a convenient trigger button that rests underneath the thumb which can be used to reduce your mouse's sensitivity temporarily (e.g. when sniping in an FPS) or bound to any other function (like a melee attack or grenade throw), plus two further side buttons for nine programmable buttons in total. That makes it a great shout for fast-paced and competitive genres like MMOs and MOBAs. Elsewhere, the Rival 5 is well-equipped, with 'Golden Micro' switches rated for IP54 water and dust resistance, a reasonably flexible "shoelace" cable that feels almost wireless in a bungee, a medium-low weight of 85 grams and a top optical sensor, the company's own TrueMove Air.

8. Razer Viper Mini

Best gaming mouse for small hands

vipermini

The Razer Viper Mini is an ideal mouse to choose if you have small to medium-sized hands, thanks to its low profile design, diminutive dimensions of 118mm by 62mm and low weight of 60 grams. The PixArt 3359 optical sensor is a strong recent release and features accurate 1:1 tracking, while optical switches under each button should offer a small latency advantages against traditional alternatives. The Viper Mini also includes a great cable, which is quite flexible and feels almost wireless in a bungee. In games like Call of Duty Warzone and Valorant, we found the Viper Mini responsive and comfortable regardless of the circumstances. The mouse also comes with RGB lighting in the form of an illuminated logo and tail light, which can be controlled in Razer's Synapse software. Overall, this is a great gaming mouse, especially given its relatively low price.

9. Corsair Sabre RGB Pro / Sabre Pro

Best gaming mouse for large hands

sabre_pro

The £50/$60 Sabre RGB Pro - and £45/$55 non-RGB Sabre Pro are our new favourite mice for people with larger hands. Learning lessons from the trend towards ultra-light mice, the Sabre Pro mice use trendy super-flexible shoelace cables to make them feel almost wireless and are lighter than you'd expect - with the RGB model weighing just 74 grams and the non-RGB 69 grams. The relatively large dimensions (129x70x43) make this mouse ideal for a palm grip, but a claw is workable too depending on your hand size. Comfort curves in the buttons and a rougher texture on the sides make these ergonomic mice easier to wield too - important for low-DPI, high-speed styles.

The mice also support a bleeding-edge 8000Hz polling rate, which independent tests have shown does increase responsiveness slightly over the more standard 1000Hz - at the expense of a small percentage of system performance, only likely to be noticeable on low-end machines. Corsair's iCUE software remains one of the best in the industry for setting custom lighting, macros and mouse settings, and the effects are impressive - especially if you're already using Corsair peripherals or components for a nice synchronised look. Alternatively, if you're not fussed about RGB then you can pick up the vanilla Sabre Pro to save £5/$5 - which is an option I wish more manufacturers provided. Either way you go, you're left with an exceptionally strong choice for anyone with medium to large hands, at very reasonable price point.

10. Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite

Best MMO mouse

scimitar

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 Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite is our pick for the best MMO mouse, thanks to the twelve buttons arranged in a grid on its side panel. Varying textures make it easy to identify each button in tense situations, and the entire grid can be moved forward or back to suit your hand size.

The mouse is about the same length (120mm) but wider (78mm/2.9") and heavier (122g) than the other mice on this list, which aids comfort but doesn't allow for as precise mouse movements. Still, a top-notch PixArt 3391 optical sensor and nice clicky buttons make this well-suited for most game genres. Corsair's software is also extremely powerful, giving you the tools you need to set up each button with the right macros.

Overall, we think the Scimitar RGB Elite is the best option for MMO gamers, just squeezing out our previous pick, the Razer Naga Trinity. This mouse's replaceable side panels make it better for FPS gaming, but we prefer Corsair's software and button layout.

11. Vaxee Zygen NP-01

Best esports mouse

zygen

The Vaxee Zygen NP-01 is a no-excuses-given $60/€65 mouse for competitive gaming, with a unique right-handed ergonomic shape and a soft braided cable. Refreshingly, there's no RGB lighting and no prominent branding whatsoever, giving the mouse a clean, even office-friendly appearance, with black accents (buttons, scroll wheel, cable) on a glossy white shell. (If you prefer something even more stealthy, a full matte black version is also available.) This mouse has it where it counts, with a very tactile scroll wheel, clicky buttons and PixArt's high-end 3389 optical sensor. The NP-01 is also esports-friendly, with all settings (DPI, lift-off distance, polling rate) controllable via buttons on the bottom of the mouse, so there's no software to install. Overall, this mouse feels great to use and has become my mouse of choice as I claw my way back up the upper echelons of CS:GO matchmaking!

12. Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro

Best RGB gaming mouse

darkcorergbpro

After our office mouse pick, let's go to the other end of the spectrum and recognise the best RGB in a gaming mouse. Corsair is a master of RGB lighting, so it's no surprise that their latest gaming rodent is our current pick for this title. The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro impresses with nine RGB lighting zones, the most we've ever seen in a gaming mouse, which combine with the firm's iCUE software to create a dizzying array of effects.

As well as looking the part, the Dark Core RGB Pro also performs well in game. Its relatively high weight and wide shape mean it's not well-suited for the fast, flicky movements common to shooters, but in slower-paced titles you'll appreciate the comfort and high button count (eight) that the larger frame affords. There are a choice of two side grips here, so you get a choice between a more comfortable "wing" design or a more performant straight edge. Removing the side panel also reveals a handy compartment for the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle; Bluetooth is also supported to extend compatibility to a wider range of devices.

Speaking of wireless, the Dark Core RGB Pro's low-latency wireless connection performed flawlessly in our testing, with equal input lag and responsiveness to any wired mouse, while the PAW3392 optical sensor exhibited no issues either. Battery life is a strong point too; we only needed to recharge this one via the included USB-C cable after five days of full work-day use. Corsair make a big deal of the heretofore unrivalled 2000Hz polling rate of the mouse, double the rate of standard gaming mice, but we didn't notice any noticeable difference in our (unscientific) testing.

While this mouse isn't cheap, in the high double digits, it's still a top tier gaming mouse with unbeatable RGB credentials.

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  |  wsjudd

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. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.

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