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A Guide to Buying a Gaming Mouse

A gaming mouse is a must-have for every hardcore gamer. This Buzzle article helps you choose the best gaming mouse so that you have an enhanced gaming experience.
What to look for when buying a gaming mouse
Did You Know?
According to a recent survey by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the average US household owns at least one gaming device. 63% of these are PCs.
Gaming fever seems to be on an all-time high, with game developers each day pushing the boundaries of hyper-reality with games that seem so real that they engross you for hours on end. Even with the advent of powerful game consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the popularity of PC gaming is on the rise. This is mainly because of the easy availability and feasibility of PCs. Also, the best of games are usually simultaneously released for the PC platform along with the other gaming platforms. To make the most of this, your PC gaming experience, you need the proper hardware, and none is more important than the mouse.

There are plenty of gaming mice available in the market today, which offer different features. You might, however, want to keep in mind that, unlike most other hardware, you cannot have a one-mouse-serves-all approach. So, while a certain kind of mouse would be great for burning some rubber as you maneuver your car around the treacherous turns, the same mouse might turn out to be a complete disaster when you try sniping someone. Here are a few parameters that you might want to consider before you pick a mouse that best suits your gaming needs.

DPI
Dots Per Inch or DPI is the number of pixels the cursor on the screen moves when you move the mouse by an inch. Simply put, the higher the DPI, the more your cursor moves with minimal mouse movement, and vice versa. A mouse with high DPI (>1600) would be ideal for shoot 'em up games where you're constantly on the move. These are also useful if you have a large screen or monitor, as you would not need to strain as much navigating from one end of the screen to the other. A lower DPI (<1600) is perfect for games that involve stealth and better control of the mouse. Some high-end gaming mice give you the option to change their DPI setting.

Acceleration
Acceleration is the speed at which the cursor moves in proportion to the speed at which the mouse is moved. The lower the acceleration the more control you have over the cursor. Most mice do not let you change the acceleration and have a standard acceleration. This is a parameter that cannot really be verified by the end user and as most gaming mice have a good acceleration value, this isn't really a decisive factor while buying a mouse.

Polling Rate
Polling rate is essentially the response time of the cursor with respect to any action of the mouse. The higher the polling rate, the more often your mouse registers an action. For hardcore gamers, a polling rate in the range of 400 - 1,000 Hz should be just about perfect. For wireless mice, a higher polling rate would mean higher battery consumption.

Wired/Wireless
For those who like no hindrance while playing games, even with mouse wires, there's nothing quite like a wireless mouse. These, however, run out of battery pretty soon, which is never a problem with wired mice. If you prefer a wireless mouse, opt for one with a large in-built rechargeable battery rather than one that uses removable batteries. The weight and range are other factors that you might also want to consider while buying a wireless gaming mouse.

Additional Buttons
Most gaming mice come with additional buttons apart from the standard three buttons (left, right and scroll). These buttons can be customized to handle specific functions in a game, and are very useful. Usually, a button on each side of the mouse should suffice for most gaming needs. Some mice feature profile storage options which allow you to save multiple settings on the mouse to use for different gaming needs. This is a feature that is rather handy if you play games across various genres.

Comfort
Comfort is probably, one of the most important factors to consider when buying a gaming mouse. Most games keep you occupied for hours together with almost all their in-game actions controlled by the mouse. Get a hands-on feel of the mouse if you can before buying it, as you would be using it for really long periods. This is all the more important if you are looking for a wireless gaming mouse as more often than not, you would not be using it on a level surface. As a rule of thumb, always choose ergonomics over style. Also, while selecting a mouse that best suits you, you may want to consider one that best matches your dominant hand (left or right) and the way you grip the mouse (palm, fingertip, or claw grip).

Here's our pick of the Top 10 gaming mice in the market today.
  • Razer DeathAdder
  • Logitech G400s
  • Razer Taipan
  • Alienware TactX
  • SteelSeries Sensei
  • ROCCAT Savu
  • ROCCAT Kone XTD
  • Ozone Radon Opto
  • Mionix NAOS 8200
  • Mionix AVIOR 8200
With the perfect gaming mouse by your side, you should be able to get that perfect drift, the perfect headshot, and move around with the stealth of a cat in your virtual world. Cheers.
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Published: December 16, 2013
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