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Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries and so on. All manufacture gaming mice with promises to boost your gaming performance. However, it depends on your usage. Whether you are in addiction of DOTA or just nailing super headshots in FPS, you often ask yourself, “Does special gaming mouse help me compete better than everyone else?” Apparently answer is obviously “YES”, but things aren’t always in black and white, yes or no.
Nowadays average gaming mice are much cheaper as compared to the gaming keyboards out there on the market. Moreover, they are often more comfortable as compared to many bundled mice you will find with the pre-built machine.
Manufacturers of gaming mouse compete in an arms race by introducing features like better sensor, more programmable buttons to offer customization, higher DPI or CPI sensitivities, wireless adaptability and charging, mouse weight that can be plant in mice to get better accuracy and control and the like. However, the biggest question is that can these gaming mouse with premium price actually improves the way we play games? To answer this, we need to analyze some of the popular Features that gaming mice offers.
Wireless Gaming Mouse and Charging
Lately, many companies has offered wireless gaming mouse for gamers and they have earned quite a reputation. For example, Logitech G900 has now become an undisputed king of the wireless gaming mouse. However that mouse comes with a unique feature i.e. wireless charging. Many gamers only issue with wireless mouse is they can’t be used for several hours without charging them. Companies like Razer has boasted mice that can go on for several hours with just 1 AA battery however eventually these gaming mice start having battery issues.
One solution was adding a hot-swappable charging cable which acts as plug-n-play charging cable. If your mouse battery is low, you can simply connect the cable and it starts charging your mouse right away. However that basically means, a wired gaming mouse. So now they are offering solutions like charging mouse pad which charge your mouse wirelessly. Logitech PowerPlay mouse pad is one example of wireless charging mouse pads. However all that new stuff increases the cost of your gaming gig.
Despite of the flaunting price, which is high enough to make one eyes water, performance of a wireless mouse and convenience of its wireless charging pad, are worth each and every cent for some pro gamers.
On the other hand, there are gamers who preferred wired gaming mouse over wireless for reasons like uninterrupted polling rate. However the latest wireless technology has sorted out most of the polling rate issues.
Most if not all will say that DPI or Dot/Inch of gaming mouse is the most important thing. Correct term for it is CPI or Counts/Inch, however, DPI is already much intensely ingrained in gaming world that both terms are now interchangeable.
CPI or DPI means how often mouse reads its relative position. Higher DPI means more readability per second which results in more regular position updates. To explain it in layman language, higher DPI makes your mouse move much faster without compromising accuracy or precision.
As most computer games depend on mouse movement, mouse accuracy is very important. Most if not all mice include switching option among many DPI levels. According to seasoned gamers, choosing right DPI for right game is important.
Pro gamers turn their mouse DPI settings all the way down, from maximum 16000 to 400 to get more control, however, it also means movements might drag mouse way off center and even off the mouse pad. This is the reason why manufacturers rubberized molded plastic side grips, so that gamers can re-center and lift their mouse comfortably.
Extra Buttons & Macros
The second greatest mouse feature is how many buttons it has. On the top of any mouse, there are left/right click buttons and scrolling wheel, whereas gaming mice are usually equipped with up to 12 more buttons which can be customized and are programmable to unique functions like jumping. You can even program key combos to these buttons.
The best example of mouse with abundance of buttons is Razer Naga which includes 12 buttons grid at thumb side. Most users of Naga never return to any typical mouse as they think it is nearly impossible to play without these buttons. Also you can customize these buttons to FPS weapons, MMORPG spells or any other function that is needed by your game.
No one thinks he or she needs these extra buttons in the first place, but as soon as you try them, you cannot deny them.
Comfort & Ergonomics
When you are going to play any mouse-required PC game for several hours, it is highly important that it fits well to your hand. Every gamer has its own grip style that he prefers while gaming. Similarly mouse size also matters when it comes to precise handling. The way one grips a mouse is extremely important because that’s what gives you complete control over cursor movements. Luckily, gaming mice usually fit into one of the following three mouse grip designs.
- Palm Grip Designs: The user rests his/her palm on back of mouse & extend fingers along the entire length of mouse.
- Claw Grip Designs: The user rests his/her palm on back of mouse but curves the fingers in a way that tip rests on mouse button.
- Finger Grip Designs: The entire mouse is gripped with user’s thumb and fingers only.
There is always a research and science behind the ergonomics of mice and other gaming gears. It doesn’t mean that gaming mice are only ergonomic mice out there. But such companies spend lots of time, money and energy on R&D related to gaming ergonomics, therefore, it makes lots of sense that they would know what gaming mouse works well when it is about long gaming sessions. You find mice in many sizes and shapes and it depends on your preference that what suits best to you.
APM or Actions per minute is gamers’ ability to execute multiple clicks per minute. A StarCraft II quest needs 300 APM. And when your rival is that quick, for hours on end, one risks injury and stress.
Go for ergonomically designed mice like those coming from SteelSeries to enhance gamer’s skills and reduce unavoidable wear and tear. Gaming mice are designed for very extreme, not for browsing or tasks that end in 30 minutes. Comfort is first priority of gamers because after extreme gaming for 6 plus hours, they don’t want their hands cramping up.
To fulfill diverse customers, SteelSeries, Razor, or even Logitech cannot make “A Catch-All Mouse”, rather they define mice for specific game. For FPS gaming, the gamers want to be as quick and precise as possible. They hold their fingers close together and hold mouse tightly. SteelSeries, Logitech or Razor strives to built mice for this specific type of gaming and at a price that is at a precision point to the pockets of gamers.
Premium mice manufacturers consider 3 main mouse grips, palm, claw and fingertip. Palm grip is most common among gamers where whole palm lays on mouse. Although it’s most comfortable, it basically engages wrist and back of hand i.e. fingers are less precise and quick. In contrast, claw grip mice creates 6 point of contact with mouse i.e. back of palm and 5 fingers creating arch and last one is fingertips grip that offers only 5 fingers. Both fingertip and claw grip emphasize increased fingers dexterity, although both are too fatiguing.
Combining game genre, preferred mouse grip type and feedbacks of professional gamers, gaming gear manufacturers create mice that are ideally effective, precise, quick and comfortable. For instance, SteelSeries Rival 500 mouse is best for MOBA and MMO games. It has 15 strategically based buttons, with 2 ergonomic flick down below thumb, to facilitate thumb side-to-side motion. It includes wide base to suit palm grip users. How this mouse follows natural movements of thumb allows quicker response time making MMO gaming much more enjoyable.
In contrast, SteelSeries Rival 700 mouse with 7 buttons has slimmer, sleeker design and it is suitable for users who prefer fingertip or claw grip design. For FPS gaming that needs 15 buttons, as something more efficient and streamlined is preferable.
Many premium mice include weight settings and removable weight inside mouse. Lighter mouse are good for most frantic movements, like for RTS gaming while heavier mice are best for FPS gaming where precision aiming is the main concern.
Final Words – Does a Premium Mouse Really Add an Edge to My Competitive PC Gaming?
Customizability, accuracy, control, weight adjustments, continuous wireless gaming, durability and some more are offered by most if not all the premium gaming mice out there. But it may or may not change you as a better PC gamer or contender. A perfect tennis racket helps you feel balanced, and it may be durable, however, to win a game or to sustain with your position you need something more “YOU KNOW WHAT”. Remember gears, gigs, accessories aren’t limited in your hands, your rival is also exposed to it.
Similarly any gaming mice, pricey or cheap, is not a kind of shortcut to winning playing level. A good gaming mouse keeps you balanced, avoids fatigue during longer playing session, has abundant of customization and options, accuracy and durability. Although all such factors are enough to put an edge on your gaming (indirectly), but it would make you superior on others is may be true or may be false. But the final thing is that not a single gamer on this planet will rely on cheap and unreliable gaming mice when it is about competing your rivals. Thus, to answer the main question of this article, go with the mouse that helps you aim or move better as well as feels good in your hand.