The best gaming mouse of 2018

Leave your opponents in awe of your skills with the best gaming mice

dt-best-of-150_gamingmouse

Desktops and laptops are the beating hearts of a PC gamer’s hardware arsenal, but nothing happens without proper input. Although you can purchase any mouse sold on the market, our favorite gaming mice are built specifically for gaming. They typically have durable switches, optical sensors with high sensitivities, on-board memory for storing customized settings, and a larger assortment of buttons to handle your portfolio of commands and abilities.

All those features trickle down into the final price tag. But they’re worth the money if you do enough research and find the best investment to meet your needs for years to come.

At a glance

Product Use case Sensor Customizable buttons Our rating
Steelseries Rival 700 Best gaming mouse overall Pixart 3360 Optical Gaming Sensor 7 4.5 out of 5
Razer DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition Best gaming mouse for lefties 3500dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Infrared Sensor 5 4 out of 5
Logitech Prodigy G203 Best budget gaming mouse 200-8000 DPI sensor 6 In progress
Logitech G903 Lightspeed Best wireless gaming mouse PMW3366 optical sensor 11 In progress
Razer Lancehead Best ambidextrous gaming mouse 16,000 DPI 5G laser sensor 9 In progress

Steelseries Rival 700

The best gaming mouse

Steelseries Rival 700
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: The Rival 700 provides a great blend of customization and performance.

Who’s it for: PC gamers wanting to add flair to their desktop.

How much will it cost: $74

Why we picked the Steelseries Rival 700:

We love this mouse on many different levels. For starters, it includes a built-in OLED screen that displays any black and white design you create, whether it’s a static image or an animation that runs 10 frames per second. Granted your images are only at a 128 x 36 resolution, but that’s large enough to claim the mouse as your own with logos, names, and so on. You can create unique designs through the free desktop software or download and install pre-generated content from the company’s website.

But that’s not all. Customization continues on with a rubbery nameplate on the back of the mouse that you can replaced with 3D-printed files provided by the company. The black backplate can be swapped out as well with blue, white, or red versions sold as a three-piece kit on the company’s site for $20. SteelSeries sells two extra USB cables for $10 too. The second biggest feature with the Rival 700 is its tactile feedback. That means you can program the mouse to vibrate whenever a specific action or event appears on the screen. 

Finally, the mouse relies on in-house switches rated for 30 million clicks. There are seven buttons overall that are fully programmable through the desktop software. The Rival 700 simply feels extremely solid throughout its design: there’s nothing cheap or fragile sitting under your fingertips. Unfortunately, the Rival 700 is only designed for right-handed gamers, so if you’re a leftie, scroll down for a mouse designed just for you.

Read our full Steelseries Rival 700 review

Razer DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition

The best mouse for lefties

Razer Deathadder Elite
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: If you’re a leftie, here’s a mouse designed specifically for you.

Who’s it for: Left-handed PC gamers, of course!

How much will it cost: $55

Why we picked the Razer DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition

Mice designed for left-handed gamers are a rare breed. Although lefties work with the right side of their brains, manufacturers mostly cater to the right-handed crowd. That makes this version of the DeathAdder extremely special given the popularity of the right-handed model. 

For starters, DeathAdder is a near $60 device, so you’re not going to see a lot of flair. Instead, that price tag translates into performance and an extremely solid build. It’s based on an optical sensor with a sensitivity up to 3,500 dots per inch, 15g of acceleration, and a tracking speed of up to 120 inches per second. This sensor is complemented by “Zero-Acoustic Ultraslick” mouse feet that enables the peripheral to blaze across the surface so movement doesn’t feel like dragging a dead rat.

Razer’s DeathAdder provides five buttons you can program through the desktop software: two are ultra-large non-slip click buttons, two reside under the thumb, and the fifth is actually the mouse wheel. Other notable features include a one-millisecond report rate to the parent PC, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, two LED-lit zones (mouse wheel and Razer logo), and a gold-plated USB connector for cleaner data transfers. Again, this mouse isn’t loaded with frills: DeathAdder is a high-quality, high-performance mouse designed for left-handed gamers that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg… and a right hand.

Alternatively, consider buying a highly rated ambidextrous mouse and remapping the buttons to your left-handed orientation.

Read our full Razer DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition review

Logitech Prodigy G203

The best budget mouse

best gaming mouse logitech prodigy g203 lifestyle

Why should you buy this: You get lots of love for the money, including programmable RGB lighting.

Who’s it for: PC gamers not wanting to pay more for a mouse than the actual games.

How much will it cost: $27

Why we picked the Logitech Prodigy G203:

For $30, there’s lots to love with Logitech’s Prodigy G203. For starters, it addresses gamers looking for bling, providing programmable RGB illumination in the Logitech G logo and in a strip running along the back of the mouse. This illumination supports 16.8 million colors that you set using Logitech’s free desktop software along with different lighting effects, and related triggers that react to the action on your screen. These illumination settings are saved to profiles you can create for each installed game.

On a hardware level, the Prodigy G203 consists of six programmable buttons: The left and right click buttons, the mouse wheel, two located on the left side of the mouse, and the button typically assigned for on-the-fly DPI (dots per inch) shifting. This mouse supports sensitivities between 200 and 8,000 DPI, and you can use Logitech’s software to define four sensitivity levels. Thus, by hitting the DPI button, you can quickly move through these four sensitivity levels when you need to quickly take a sniper shot — or go full-blown trigger happy.

Logitech says this model stems from the G100S Gaming Mouse used by eSports professionals, but relies on a re-engineered and optimized base design. Both focus on performance and comfort although the G203 ditches the Delta Zero optical sensor for a newer, unnamed model. Other highlights include “Advanced” button tensioning for precise clicks, left- and right-click switch lifespans of 10 million clicks, and a choice of two main colors: Black or White.

Logitech G903 Lightspeed

The best wireless mouse

best gaming mouse logitech lightspeed

Why should you buy this: There’s more to this mouse than meets the fingers.

Who’s it for: PC gamers wanting to cut the cord without sacrificing performance.

How much will it cost: $115

Why we picked the Logitech G903 Lightspeed:

Okay, so it’s a little expensive. We get that. But oh boy is it an awesome mouse on several different levels, from its ambidextrous design to its wireless  connection. Even more, it supports Logitech’s PowerPlay charging station, so not only does the mouse roam free without its tail, it doesn’t have to worry about battery changes or overnight recharge times.

First, the G903 includes 11 buttons that are programmable through the company’s free desktop software. Technically, you can only use nine unless you’ve trained your ring finger to access hard-to reach buttons on the other side of the mouse. By default, the package includes an extra pair of side buttons lefties can add to the right side and a cover for the left side when/if they remove the right-handed thumb buttons.

But as previously stated, the G903 was one of the first mice to support Logitech PowerPlay system. Simply remove the weight located on the bottom of the mouse, and insert an energy converter module into the same slot. The PowerPlay system is basically a large wireless charging pad with a special mouse mat residing on the surface. Thus, this station is plugged into your parent PC via USB and supplies both a wireless charge and wireless connectivity to the G903 mouse. It’s an added $100 cost, and the G903 can still function as a wireless mouse without it.

Razer Lancehead

The best ambidextrous mouse

best gaming mouse razer lancehead review top 2 640x427 c

Why should you buy this: Razer’s Lancehead packs a big punch for its price.

Who’s it for: For any PC gamer who can’t find a mouse designed specifically for their hand.

How much will it cost: $80 – $115

Why we picked the Razer Lancehead:

If you’re looking for a gaming mouse that fits into any hand, Razer’s Lancehead is a great solution. It works both as a wired and wireless device, so technically it could even fall under our “best wireless” category. But its ambidextrous design wins the show, with each side sporting rubberized grips so you won’t lose control of your desktop rodent. This design is complemented with an overall shape that fits firmly into your palm without feeling too bulky or too slim.

The Lancehead includes nine programmable buttons, two of which rely on Razer’s in-house mechanical switches. Of course, you can only use seven unless your ring finger can easily make use of the two non-thumb buttons on the other side. Complementing these buttons is an illuminated RGB strip running along both sides of the peripheral, an illuminated mouse wheel, and Razer’s LED-lit logo on the palm area. The Lancehead’s illumination supports up to 16.8 million colors.

Finally, Lancehead owners can program all buttons and illumination through Razer’s Synapse software. You can use Synapse to customize the button commands, set your sensitivity levels, assign lighting effects, and other options to profiles that can be stored directly onto the mouse. That said, you can create a customized profile and assign it to a specific game, as well as assign macros to any button on the Lancehead.

Read our full Razer Lancehead review

How we test

It’s tough to convey how a mouse, particularly a gaming mouse, performs in day-to-day use, which is why the most important test gaming mice endure in our labs is a simple one: we use them. The tech specs can only tell you so much, DPI, weight, response time, number of buttons, but actual use forms the basis of our mouse review process.

We put them through the paces in a variety of games, making sure the mice that come through our office are up to the task of high-performance gaming, and low-performance office work. After all, a gaming mouse still must be a good mouse.

Cut-rate gaming mice

Let’s be honest about gaming mice. At the end of the day they’re still just mice, and you’ll be able to get by with that old wired mouse you’ve had for years – your games aren’t going to know the difference.

Sure, you might be missing out on buttons and a super-sensitive sensor, and maybe your response time will even be a little slower, but you don’t need a $150 mouse to enjoy games. Sometimes, a $10 budget gaming mouse from Amazon makes the most sense.

Computing

Logitech’s distinctive new ergonomic mouse looks as good as it feels

Logitech's first true ergonomic mouse sports an interesting tilted design that encourages less muscle strain. We spent some time with the MX Vertical to see how comfortable it is and determine whether or not we'd prefer it to a standard…
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice for you.
Gaming

Take control of your Xbox with these top-tier Xbox One gamepads

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Nvidia’s GeForce event at Gamescom

Today is August 20, and that means Nvidia may showcase its GeForce RTX 20 Series of add-in graphics cards for gamers. We’re sticking with that name rather than the previous GTX 11 Series brand due to today’s date.
Computing

HTC breaks down VR barriers by bringing Oculus Rift titles to Viveport

HTC's Viveport store and subscription service will be opened to Oculus Rift users in September this year, letting them buy titles directly and take advantage of the monthly game-delivery service.
Computing

Dell’s new fast-refresh Freesync display could be your next great gaming screen

Dell has debuted a pair of new gaming TN displays, each offering high refresh rates and fast response times to gamers alongside Freesync technology. There are 24- and 27-inch versions of the new screens available now.
Computing

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 20 Series starts at $500 and features real-time ray tracing

Nvidia revealed its new GeForce RTX 2000 Series of add-in desktop graphics cards for gamers during its pre-show Gamescom press event. The new family is based on Nvidia’s new “Turing” architecture focusing on real-time ray tracing.
Computing

Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs are coming to Alienware and Predator gaming desktops

Dell and Acer have both announced support for Nvidia's new GeForce RTX 2000 graphics cards in refreshed gaming desktops, including Predator Orion series systems and Alienware desktops.
Emerging Tech

Scarily realistic ‘deep video portraits’ could take fake news to the next level

Researchers have developed a new A.I. system which is able to produce scarily realistic "deep fake" videos -- right down to details like a person's eyebrows or eyes as they speak.
Deals

Save $40 on a laptop backpack that has its own USB charging port

Is there anything more convenient than being able to charge your phone with your backpack? This laptop bag has a USB port that lets you do just that. With a $40 discount, you can get it for just $30 on Amazon right now
Computing

A MacBook Air with Retina display and Mac Mini “Pro” could arrive this fall

Apple is reportedly working on upgrade to the Mac Mini and the MacBook Air, with a planned hardware refresh later this year. The Mac Mini could get some "pro" components, while a Retina display could end up on the MacBook Air.
Computing

Nvidia’s new GPUs look amazing, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one

Nvidia's GeForce 2080 is a powerful graphics card that supports ray tracing to deliver real-time cinematic renderings of shadows, light, and reflection in games, but unless you were already planning on upgrading, you'll probably want to…
Computing

Asus gets ‘tough’ on gamers using two TUF Gaming FX laptops built for abuse

If you’re looking for a “tough” gaming laptop that won’t set your wallet on fire, Asus introduced two new solutions under its TUF Gaming FX banner. The FX505 dons a 15.6-inch screen while the FX705 sports a 17.3-inch screen.