Are Gaming Mice Superior?

With companies like Razer and Ideazon claiming superior mouse performance from their gaming line of mice, one wonders whether it would be worth it to spend the extra money to pick up one of these “gaming” mice. After all, these companies claim superior feel, tracking, and response from their products–it only makes sense to pick one up, even if only for everyday use, right?

Not necessarily. Even for gaming, these mice aren’t always the way to go. Often, you can get similar if not superior performance from standard-line mice; in my experience, the mice included for free with Dell computers outlast and are lower-maintenance than any of the gaming mice I’ve owned, (with one exception we’ll be getting to later.) I find that in most cases, unless you want to have a mouse with a particular feature-set (such as being able to use the mouse on glass or reflective surfaces,) it’s smarter and cheaper to stick with either mice included with your computer or cheap Microsoft/Dell/HP OEM mice (which you can find online.)

As far as high performance is concerned, even in intense gaming sessions, where companies promise higher DPI will give you an edge over the competition you will probably see little difference between, say, a run-of-the-mill HP laser mouse and an ultra-high-DPI gaming mouse. This is because at the highest DPI settings, the mouse becomes so twitchy and ultra responsive that few can accurately control where it goes. Most players will turn down either the DPI settings on the mouse or the sensitivity setting on their computers to make the mouse usable, rendering the high-DPI “advantage” moot.

Comfort and ease-of-use are separate issues entirely. When I wrote about the “exception to the rule” mouse above, I was referring to the Logitech MX518 which a friend recommended to me. While the mouse does have some “fancy” features such as programmable buttons, what changed my mind about this mouse was the way it felt in your hand, not to mention its lifespan of nearly four years (surprising for a ‘gaming’ mouse). Unfortunately Logitech has yet to make a mouse worthy of being called a true ’successor’ to this model, although they have made some progress with their Revolution line of mice.

If comfort and ease-of-use are primary considerations in your purchasing decision, I’ll relent that you may be better off buying a gamer/professional mouse; but keep in mind that your wallet won’t find that mouse as comfortable as you do.

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