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. SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless (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 Pugio 2 (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. Razer DeathAdder V2 / V2 Pro (Best gaming mouse for large hands)
  10. Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite (Best MMO mouse)
  11. Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse (Best office mouse for gaming)
  12. Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro (Best RGB gaming mouse)

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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. SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless

Second-best gaming mouse overall

aerox_3_wireless

The Aerox 3 Wireless manages to pack an impressive feature list and impressive components into a curb weight of only 66 grams - not bad for a wireless mouse that measures 121mm long and around 60mm wide. The 'TrueMove Air' optical sensor and 'Quantum 2.0' 2.4GHz wireless connection proved faultless in our testing, and there's Bluetooth and a fall-back wired mode too with a super-flexible USB cable. I've seen some chatter online about the placement of the sensor being too close to the tail of the mouse, but I didn't feel this affected my aim in either claw or finger-tip grips - YMMV.

The 66 gram weight is achieved through the ventilated shell, in common with many ultra-lights, but SteelSeries have also paid attention to miniaturising the circuitry and battery. Despite the mouse's relatively low battery capacity, the efficient sensor ensures that you still get around 80 hours of battery life - and that's on the low-latency 2.4GHz connection with RGB lighting enabled, so disabling RGB and/or switching to Bluetooth when you're not gaming could boost this figure significantly. Charging is also thankfully easy, as the Aerox 3 Wireless uses the same USB-C fast charging tech as many Android phones and Bluetooth headphones. This can reportedly provide 40 hours of battery life in 15 minutes of charging.

While some early ultra-mice flexed unnaturally in the hand, the Aerox 3 feels like a big step forward as it's impervious to even the tightest grip. The Aerox 3's internals have also been coated to prevent water and dust ingress, allowing the mouse to attain an IP54 rating that should allay any concerns about longevity of this rather premium peripheral. While the untethered feel of the wireless model is excellent, the wired Aerox 3 is able to hit an even lower weight (57 grams) and has a $40 lower RRP, so that may be worth a look too.

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.

5. Asus ROG Pugio 2

Best wireless gaming mouse (and ambidextrous!)

pugio2

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. Our current favourite is the Asus ROG Pugio 2, a mouse that combines a popular spec sheet with an unparalleled level of hardware customisation and both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless support.

Let's start with the core features. This £100/$90 mouse offers a streamlined ambidextrous design with identical side buttons on the left and right, making it a great choice for the (under-served) left-handed mousing population. At 126x57x40mm, the size will be comfortable for all but the smallest or largest hand sizes, while the 102 gram weight (sans cable) should appeal to all but serious ultra-light mouse fanatics. The switches are Japanese Omrons, providing consistent tactile feedback, while the optical sensor is the recent PixArt 3335. Combined, these features mean that the mouse should be comfortable for a wide number of users - and in our testing, it performed well, even in demanding shooters like Call of Duty Warzone and Valorant, thanks to that safe shape and modern optical sensor.

Now let's get into the fun part: customisation. As well as offering the usual software tweaks, the mouse is also built to be physically modified with a collection of Phillips head screws beneath the removable top cover. These make it simple for even a beginner to remove the mouse buttons, the switches beneath and the side buttons. As well as making repairs incredibly simple, this also allows you to make the main buttons quiet or clicky, and to remove any unwanted side buttons by swapping these out for flush replacements. Even the ROG logo at the back is removable, with Asus providing a blank sheet that you can draw on with permanent marker to create your own RGB-illuminated drawing. At the end, you're left with a mouse that feels uniquely your own.

The Pugio 2 surprised me. While the specs aren't groundbreaking and the appearance is pretty standard, save for the subtly transparent mouse buttons and back cover, 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 Pugio 2 delivers.

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.

dm5

If you're on a budget, another great mouse with a similar shape and features is the Dream Machines DM5 Blink. 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). Two further thumb buttons are also provided. Elsewhere, the DM5 is well-equipped, with a flexible "shoelace" cable that feels almost wireless in a bungee, a medium weight of 95 grams and a top optical sensor, the PixArt 3389.

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. Razer DeathAdder V2 / V2 Pro

Best gaming mouse for large hands

deathadders

The Razer DeathAdder V2 is an excellent update to one of the most popular gaming mice on the market. Learning lessons from the trend towards ultra-light mice, the DeathAdder V2 is lighter than its predecessor at 82 grams and uses the same super-flexible cable that debuted on the lightweight Razer Viper. It also incorporates optical switches under each button, a technology first seen in high-end mechanical keyboards, to eliminate the debounce delay normally needed to prevent accidental double clicks and thereby ensure incredible responsiveness. All of these improvements add up, and we're left with an exceptionally strong choice for anyone with medium to large hands.

While the wired DeathAdder V2 is a great choice, I prefer the slightly more expensive wireless DeathAdder V2 Pro. The V2 Pro is slightly heavier, at 88 grams, but going wireless is more convenient and removes the possibility of your mouse cable dragging or getting caught in a key moment. Battery life is highly dependent on RGB usage; with the lighting turned off you can expect a week of use without issues. There's also a Bluetooth mode, which extends battery life to around 120 hours, but you'll want to use the low-latency wireless mode for any kind of competitive gaming. If the mouse's battery is completely flat, you can plug in the super-flexible cable in the box and use the V2 Pro as a wired mouse. Altogether, the V2 Pro is another great choice for medium to large hand sizes, especially for those already part of Razer's extensive ecosystem.

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. Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse

Best office mouse for gaming

intellimousepro

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.

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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