Are All Mice Created Equal?

When the average person thinks about a computer mouse not much else comes to mind besides clicking, scrolling and gliding a chunk of technology over a mouse pad. Yet, in the gaming world, a mouse is so much more than that. So, what makes one mouse superior over the other? Is there any mouse on the market that truly has it all? Careful consideration must be given to purchasing the correct gaming mouse. In this article I will break down for you what makes a good gaming mouse and how the mouse you choose is more important than you think. 


Computer mice are essentially tiny cameras, taking constant images from the surface underneath and converting those images into data in order to track its current location on a surface. Thousands of X and Y coordinates are tracked every second.

When choosing a gaming mouse many characteristics come into play: reliability, responsive tracking, comfort, functionality, precision, accuracy and sensitivity. These characteristics are vital for in-game attacking, navigating and aiming.


First and foremost, when choosing a gaming mouse it is important to know the two different types of sensors used. All computer mice contain an optical sensor and an LED. Gaming mice marketed as optical models use an infrared or red LED to cast light onto the surface area below. On the other hand, mice marketed as laser mice use an invisible beam, the same beam used in gadgets such as barcode readers and laser pointers. The major difference between the two is simply that this laser replaces the red LED used in optical models.

When laser mice first hit the market it was thought that they were superior to optical mice due to their high sensitivity. However, optical mice have improved greatly over time and have proven to work seamlessly in a variety of gaming situations. While laser mice boast their high sensitivity, they are known to cause jittering. These inconsistent movements occur when a mouse is moved too quickly and the sensor cannot keep up. In turn, the sensor will overcompensate causing an unintended movement, causing a player to miss their intended target. However, a benefit of using a laser mouse is that it can work on almost any surface, even glass, making it much more portable than an optimal mouse. On the flip side, optical mice have lower sensitivity but in turn have more accurate movements, meaning one less factor to worry about while focusing on your game play.


Resolution in a gaming mouse is also extremely important. Resolution is measured by DPI: “dots per inch”. This measurement will determine how far your cursor will move per inch of mouse movement. For example, if using a gaming mouse with a higher DPI, say, 14,000, moving the mouse even slightly will move the cursor much farther along the screen than an average mouse with 6,000 DPI. Knowing this information, you may conclude that mice with higher DPI are better. However, in this case, less is more. When a mouse’s DPI is higher it also means there is a higher chance it may pick up extra signal noise and decipher it as motion thus causing errors. Despite this flaw, many of today’s mice on the market allow a player to manually adjust DPI on the fly in order to conform to their games situation (i.e.: fast moving low DPI when needing extravagant movement or slow moving high DPI when control and accuracy is necessary for a shot).


Chances are the mouse you choose will be the resting place for your hand for many hours on end, so choosing a mouse that is comfortable and efficient is a top priority.

The straight palm down shape of a typical computer mouse is uncomfortable for many people after just a few short hours. Once this problem was recognized, gaming companies went straight to work creating a variety of mice with features such as slanted shapes, thumb rests or easy to reach buttons. These features can make a world of a difference both in short and long term.

Some higher end gaming mice also include additional features such as removable weights, center of balance adjustment or customizable buttons which are useful in real time strategy games.

So, what exactly makes a good gaming mouse? To put it quite simply, the optimal mouse is one that is comfortable, accurate, and does not suffer from jittering or inconsistent movements. However, whether it be laser or optical, every mouse has its flaws. When conducting research on what gaming mouse to buy, look for the mouse’s polling rate. This is how many times the mouse is reporting its position to the computer. This is the key to avoiding unwanted movements. Overall, a mouse with lower DPI and higher polling rates is conclusively your best option for prime gaming functionality.

Also Read – 10 Best Ergonomic Mouse


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