When it was first invented, the mouse revolutionized the way that we use computers, and while the fundamentals of the mouse have not changed much over the many decades of its existence, the technology sure did.
Today, keyboard and mouse controls are widely regarded as the best way to play most games. They’re especially important for games that require any sort of aiming – such as FPS or TPS games – although the precision of mouse controls also makes them indispensable when it comes to interface-heavy strategy or RPG titles.
If you’re shopping for a new mouse right now, read on, as we will be presenting a selection of some of the very best gaming mice of 2021, covering a wide price range so that everyone can find something to suit their needs!
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- Solid sensor
- Quality build
- Simple and effective design
- No braided cable
- Not ambidextrous
First up, we’ll take a look at Corsair’s excellent Harpoon PRO, a general-purpose gaming mouse that is bound to catch the eye of anyone who’s looking to get their hands on a decent mouse that won’t leave a hole in their wallet.
At first glance, the Corsair Harpoon PRO comes across as your regular, run-of-the-mill gaming mouse with a matte black exterior and a bit of RGB in the form of the Corsair logo on the palm rest. This gives it some of that “gaming” flair and it can be customized using Corsair’s CUE software.
From a practical standpoint, it is a fairly comfortable, lightweight no-frills mouse that comes complete with a dependable 12000 DPI sensor, although it doesn’t feature an ambidextrous design and is best suited for those who prefer the claw or palm grip styles. On top of that, it features a rubber cable instead of a braided one, which is a shame since braided cables tend to fare better in the long run.
In any case, for those who are pinching pennies and are simply looking for the cheapest competent gaming mouse that they can get, the Corsair Harpoon PRO would be the ideal pick.
SteelSeries Rival 3
Best Affordable RGB Gaming Mouse
- Higher-quality sensor
- Ergonomic ambidextrous design
- Great-looking RGB
- No braided cable
The next mouse on the list is the SteelSeries Rival 3, a mouse very similar to the previous model from Corsair, although the most obvious difference between the two lies in the Rival’s more extensive implementation of RGB lighting that is bound to get an RGB enthusiast’s attention, as well as the fact that it features an ambidextrous design that will also make it more appealing to lefties.
The overall design philosophy is largely the same, though, as both mice are designed to be lightweight and ergonomic, but as mentioned above, the Rival 3 features an ambidextrous design, which is a plus for many. Sadly, though, the Rival 3 also lacks a braided cable, which isn’t a big downside but is worth noting nonetheless.
However, one clear advantage that the SteelSeries mouse has is its more accurate TrueMove Core optical sensor that gives it an edge over the Logitech Harpoon PRO, and it’s especially worth keeping in mind if you mainly play fast-paced FPS games.
All in all, the two mice are on fairly even terms, though you’d probably be inclined to go with the SteelSeries Rival 3 if you’re after better RGB, an ambidextrous mouse, or if you’re willing to spend a little bit extra for a higher-quality sensor.
- Accurate sensor
- Responsive optical switches
- Sleek ambidextrous design
- May be uncomfortable for those with larger hands
The next mouse we have lined up is probably the best budget gaming mouse you can find right now, as it does everything that the above two mice do, but better. Enter the Razer Viper Mini!
As is the case with most of the peripherals Razer makes, the Viper Mini is easily identifiable as a Razer product. It is a sleek black mouse with an ambidextrous design and some high-quality Chroma RGB lighting that we’ve come to expect of this company, so you’ll likely find nothing to complain about aesthetics-wise!
Now, being a Razer product, it features an accurate optical sensor that’s on fairly even terms with the one found in the SteelSeries Rival 3 and it also comes with highly responsive optical switches, all the while being one of the lightest mice currently on the market. On top of that, it comes complete with a braided cable, so you don’t have to worry about it tearing further down the line.
The main downside to the Viper Mini would be that it might be a bit too “mini” for some people i.e. those with larger hands might find it uncomfortable to use since, as mentioned above, it is extremely light and is a bit smaller than most other mice of this kind, particularly in terms of width.
At the end of the day, Razer may be infamous for its high prices, but we’d say that this mouse is probably the best pick for those who want quality on a budget, as the Razer Viper Mini is currently the best gaming mouse that you can get for under $50.
Cooler Master MM711
Best Lightweight Gaming Mouse
- Accurate and sensitive sensor
- Extremely lightweight
- Ambidextrous design
- Multiple colors to choose from
- Honeycomb design won’t agree with everyone
- Feels a bit fragile
The next product on the list comes from Cooler Master, and it’s the MM711, a gaming mouse designed for comfort and durability.
At first glance, it stands out immediately due to its honeycomb shell. Many manufacturers resort to this design as a means of reducing the overall weight of their mice as much as possible, and needless to say, it’s rather effective. In the case of this mouse, it goes really well with the RGB lighting, but not everyone will like this aesthetic, not to mention that it can make the mouse a bit of a hassle to clean.
Now, the Cooler Master MM711 also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance either, as it features a sensor that is a clear step up from the Viper Mini both in terms of accuracy and sensitivity. On top of that, it uses highly-durable OMRON switches and comes complete with a braided cable, so you can rest assured that it will last a long time.
That said, the Cooler Master MM711 is a mouse that virtually has it all, and at a fairly approachable price, too. The only downside is that not everyone will be into the honeycomb shell, be it due to the way it looks or because of how fragile it can make the mouse feel in your hand. But other than that, it offers great overall value for your money, especially if you place performance before aesthetics.
- Accurate and sensitive sensor
- Responsive optical switches with enhanced durability
- True ambidextrous design
- Fairly light
- On the pricey side
Moving on, we get to the Razer Viper, the bigger cousin of the Razer Viper Mini that we’ve taken a look at above, and one that shares many of the Mini’s strengths.
Looking at the Razer Viper, it looks virtually identical to the Razer Viper Mini, featuring the same ambidextrous design with a matte black exterior, Chroma RGB lighting, and a durable braided cable. The main difference, as you might guess, lies in the dimensions, as the Viper is larger (mainly wider) than the Viper Mini, and this can make it more comfortable for users with larger hands and/or those who prefer claw or palm grip styles.
However, the Razer Viper also features a higher-quality optical sensor that is not only more sensitive than the one found in the Viper Mini at almost double the Mini’s DPI, but it’s also more accurate (slightly more than the Cooler Master MM711), all the while it also utilizes optical switches that are just as responsive but more durable.
What’s also worth noting is that the Razer Viper features a “true” ambidextrous design, meaning that it has two extra programmable side buttons on both sides of the mouse, rather than just on the left side, like the Viper Mini and many other ambidextrous mice.
All things considered, the Razer Viper is a top-notch mouse that won’t leave many gamers wanting for more, although the main downside here lies in the price. While it’s nowhere near the “absurdly expensive” part of the price spectrum like some other Razer products, the Viper is definitely on the pricey side compared to the other mice listed here.
- Very high sensor sensitivity
- Neutral, low-profile exterior
- True ambidextrous design
- Good battery life
Along with Razer, Logitech is one of the leading suppliers of high-quality gaming peripherals, mice included. And this time, we’ll be taking a look at the Logitech G Pro, a superb wireless gaming mouse that is bound to catch the eye of those who have had their fill of cables.
Looking at it, you might not even figure the Logitech G Pro for a gaming mouse, seeing as how it doesn’t really have any of the more aggressive “gaming” elements incorporated into its design such as color highlights or more extensive lighting. As a result, it is a sleek, low-profile matte black mouse with just the right amount of RGB. And, much like the Razer Viper, it features true ambidextrous design.
Now, while it may come across as a fairly unassuming wireless mouse, the Logitech G Pro is nothing to scoff at when we take a look at what’s under the hood. It has some of the highest DPI that you’ll find in a mouse today, and unlike with some cheaper gaming mice, it’s not an inflated number tacked on there just for show – Logitech’s Hero 25K sensor is as accurate as you’d expect, though not quite on the level of the Razer Viper.
As far as the battery is concerned, the on-board battery has roughly 48 hours of playtime in it – 60 if you turn off the RGB. It can be recharged easily with the help of the included cable, so you won’t be spending money on AAA batteries and you can essentially use it like a wired mouse while it’s charging.
All in all, the Logitech G Pro has all of the important bases covered, as it has a quality optical sensor that is both sensitive and accurate, quality switches, a durable and ergonomic build, as well as an appealing, inconspicuous exterior. Of course, being a high-quality wireless mouse, it’s also quite expensive, so it’s definitely not for everyone.
Razer Viper Ultimate
Best Wireless Gaming Mouse
- One of the best optical sensors available
- Durable and responsive optical switches
- True ambidextrous design
- Excellent battery life
- Very expensive
And for the final entry on the list, we have the third mouse from Razer’s Viper series – the Viper Ultimate!
Visually, it is nearly indistinguishable from the regular Razer Viper, as the two mice feature an identical external shell. The key difference is, of course, the fact that the Viper Ultimate is a wireless mouse, but apart from that, all the key differences lie under the hood.
First and foremost, the Viper Ultimate features a better sensor than the regular Viper, as it is not only more sensitive but also more accurate and is, in fact, one of the very best sensors that you’ll find in a gaming mouse today.
The Viper Ultimate also offers better battery life than the Logitech G Pro and can last for up to 70 hours. It can be charged either via a braided cable and used as a wired mouse while charging, or it can be charged via the Chroma charging dock that would also make a great addition to any RGB enthusiast’s collection.
So, there is not much to say about the Viper Ultimate except that it really does justify its name, as it’s the ultimate wireless gaming mouse currently available. But, as you’d expect, it is also one of the most expensive, so not everyone will be willing and able to spend the kind of money Razer is asking for here.
Those that do, however, probably won’t regret it.
Should You Go Wired Or Wireless?
In 2021, you’ll commonly find yourself having to choose between wired and wireless peripherals, be it keyboards, headphones, mice, or others. The pros and cons are different when it comes to each type of peripheral, so how is the situation in 2021 when it comes to wired and wireless gaming mice?
For a long time, gamers preferred using wired mice, mainly due to the fact that they had lower input lag and also because a wired connection was always more stable than a wireless one. The main downside to wired mice today is, of course, the cable management.
You might simply not like cable clutter – who does? – but the mouse cable constantly getting caught on the edge of your desk can be very off-putting. This is particularly noticeable with braided cables, although as mentioned above, braided cables are more durable than rubber ones.
Mouse bungees are also always there to help with this problem, although even they can’t always solve the issue completely.
Obviously, you don’t have to worry about cable drag with a wireless mouse, but they have other advantages, too. For one, they simply look nicer and are far more convenient to use, plus you can easily use them with different devices or on the go. Moreover, in 2021, wireless mice designed for gaming usually have negligible input lag compared to wired mice.
The main issues with wireless mice today would have to be battery life and pricing. The former is a fairly obvious issue – if it’s a mouse with rechargeable batteries, you’d have to charge it virtually every night if you don’t want to risk it dying on you mid-game, and if it’s replaceable batteries, you’d have to buy new ones every so often.
On top of that, there’s no denying that wireless gaming mice are still very expensive compared to their wired counterparts. Because of that, the choice between wired and wireless mice mainly comes down to the questions of money and convenience.
If you’re looking for good value and/or want the best responsiveness that you can get, a wired mouse might be a better option. On the other hand, if you want to avoid cable clutter, have a mouse that you could take with you and use with different devices hassle-free, then a wireless one would likely be the better choice – provided that you can afford it, of course.
DPI and IPS – What Are They And Should You Care?
DPI, or dots per inch, is the most common way by which manufacturers express the sensitivity of a mouse sensor. DPI counts can vary wildly, and some cheap mice can seemingly have DPI counts higher than some more expensive models do. So, what’s the deal with that?
Essentially, while DPI describes the sensitivity of the sensor, it is in no way indicative of its accuracy or overall quality. As such, inflated DPI counts are often used as a marketing gimmick, particularly when it comes to budget mice.
Where DPI really counts is if you intend on using multiple DPI settings to adjust the mouse sensitivity on the fly as needed. For example, when playing an FPS game, you could instantly switch to a low DPI setting to lower mouse sensitivity and make it easier to snipe a distant target.
Other than that, high DPI would also be necessary if you intend on hooking your PC up to a high-resolution display, as one “dot” corresponds to one pixel on the screen. As such, if you’re using a 4K monitor, you definitely don’t want to be using a cheap 1600 DPI mouse on a 3840×2160 display.
In any case, it’s best not to judge a mouse by its DPI, as it really doesn’t mean much now that we have quality budget mice whose DPI is expressed in quintuple digits.
In addition to that, there’s also IPS, which stands for inches per second, and it indicates how accurately a mouse can track high-speed movement. There is a limit to how much information a mouse can process each second, and if you move it too fast, it can lose track and the PC will not register the full movement.
Generally, if you intend on playing fast-paced games and prefer using lower DPI settings, it might be a good idea to go with a high IPS mouse. Roughly speaking, 300+ IPS should be more than enough for competitive gaming, while the average gamer could very well be fine with something as low as 200.
Conclusion – The Best Gaming Mouse For 2021
So, now that we have gone over some of the best mice currently available, which one should you pick?
Well, as is always the case with computer components and peripherals, it’s impossible to find a single one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ve highlighted several mice that we believe excel in different categories.
First up, we’d say that the Razer Viper Mini would likely be the best budget pick for most users, as it simply offers all of the important features that you’d look for in a budget gaming mouse without being too expensive. It has a solid sensor, responsive switches, and the ambidextrous design is great if you’re a lefty.
In the case that you’re looking to get the best value for your money, then the Cooler Master MM711 would probably fit the bill, seeing as how it’s a lightweight gaming mouse with a high-quality sensor that’s both more accurate and more sensitive than what you’d be getting with the Viper Mini.
Finally, if you have money to spare and are willing to settle only for the very best, then the Razer Viper Ultimate is undoubtedly the best mouse overall. It features a cutting-edge optical sensor, improved optical switches with enhanced durability, good battery life, true ambidextrous design, and it comes complete with a braided cable and RGB-lit charging dock as a bonus.
So, those would be our picks! But of course, that’s just us, so feel free to let us know which of these mice suits your needs best. Also, keep in mind that we keep our buying guides updated as new products are released, so if you don’t end up getting your new mouse now, be sure to check back later in case there are some new picks!