The best PC gaming accessories: 13 gaming mice reviewed and rated

The best PC gaming accessories: 13 gaming mice reviewed and rated


If you’re a super-keen gamer there’s an entire market out there dedicated to making you even better. Just like any outdoor sport PC gaming has its gadgets and gizmos to increase your performance. We grabbed some of the newest and most popular products from the big names in gaming gear and put them through their paces. Though comfort is subjective at best we have tried to be as neutral as possible when it comes to the look and feel of these devices while proving benefits and potential pitfalls along the way.

So what do these mice offer over standard (and much cheaper!) models? Gaming mice are optimised to be ultra-precise – that is they can respond to the smallest of movements. They also typically have a large amount of buttons.

 

What do I look for in a gaming mouse?
 
High DPI
The resolution of the mouse’s scanning engine allows for smaller precise movements.

Adjustable weight
Some mice allow you to change their weight with small add-in blocks.

Left or right
Left-handers be aware that many mice aren’t designed for use in both hands.

Wires or wireless
Wireless mice have been accused in the past of having more lag than wired equivalents.

And…
Be sure to check out part one of our gaming accessories roundup which takes a look at the best gaming keyboards available. Note: additional reviews for this article were written by Troy Coleman.

[#PAGE-BREAK#Cooler Master CM Storm Inferno#]

Cooler Master CM Storm Inferno

The Inferno is a pretty slick mouse with a couple of cool features. The first thing we noticed is the nice wide ribbed scroll wheel. You’ll never mess up a weapon swap with that kind of rubber under your finger. The second thing is the sheer number of buttons on the mouse. Including thumb buttons DPI switches macro buttons and the secret weapon we’ll come to later there’s 11 things that go click.

The secret weapon is a funny thing; it’s a “Turbo†button to the right of the main left mouse button. Using the software you can configure this button to mimic the fast clicking of any other button. It’s like the old Turbo buttons on the cheap knock-off Nintendo controllers of the early ’90s and I still think it’s cheating! On the right mouse button there’s a similarly placed button for the execution of a single pre-recorded macro.

That aside even though it is shaped reasonably symmetrically the mouse only has thumb buttons for right handers. But for right handers it’s pretty comfortable. We’d read some reviews of this mouse that claimed there were some issues with the sensor in general use but our tests showed it as perfectly normal all around.

Available from Cooler Master retailing for $65.
APC rating: 7/10

[#PAGE-BREAK#GIGABYTE M6980#]

GIGABYTE M6980

Fresh off the press is the new laser mouse from GIGABYTE’S new gaming stable. This beastie is the laser-equipped guided missile of new gaming mice. The first thing to notice with the M6980 is the big domed design. It’s not a small mouse by any stretch so if you’re a fister then this mouse will suit you well. The pinch-waisted design on this big mouse makes it just as quick in the hand as smaller mice. Strictly for right handers though.

Secondly the clickable scroll wheel looks different to most other mice but it’s a great new design. As this scroll wheel also rocks side to side the rubberised wheel has vertical grooves rather than horizontal making this a useful feature for once. There’s an adjustable DPI button behind the scrollwheel and a button to enable the Ghost software package for macros and adjustments.

Our gripe with this mouse is with some of the buttons. The left and right buttons are great as good as most in the roundup but the thumb buttons on the left hand side of the mouse feel really clicky and plastic which leaves us feeling unimpressed.

Available from GIGABYTE retailing for $35.
APC rating: 7/10

[#PAGE-BREAK#GIGABYTE M6900#]

GIGABYTE M6900

The M6900 is extremely similar to its bigger brother the M6980 mouse reviewed elsewhere here. The big difference between the two models is the sensor used. The M6980 uses a laser sensor while the M6900 uses an optical (LED) apparatus. The M6900 replaces the Ghost button on the M6980 with a DPI plus and minus button which works on the fly.

There’s a total of 5 working buttons on the mouse left and right click scroll wheel and two thumb buttons. The scroll wheel can also tilt left and right like the M6890 and the mouse uses the same vertically grooved scroll wheel to allow you to do it in comfort.

Beyond that the software for the M6900 is good and comprehensive allowing you to adjust resolutions as well as button functionality. As the mouse uses the same basic design the M6900 is just as comfortable as the M6980 sitting very sweetly in the hand for those who like to grip the mouse low. The weight of the mouse does seem a little light however and it’s slightly incongruous compared with its size.

Available from GIGABYTE retailing for $25.
APC rating: 7/10

[#PAGE-BREAK#GIGABYTE M8000X Xtreme#]

GIGABYTE M8000X Xtreme

GIGABYTE is not a name that springs to mind immediately when we think of gaming peripherals. But lo and behold there’s a whole range growing all the time. In cases like this frankly I wasn’t expecting much but the M8000 Xtreme has surprised me.

This is a gaming mouse with a significant whack of features. Apart from the usual high-end lump of metal in the box we’ve got a highly macro-able mouse with an interestingly unique design. The thing on the top of our list of pretty cool ideas is the rocker switch design for DPI switching below the clickable mouse wheel. This rocker switch lets you change DPI on the fly and it feels like it makes more sense in the heat of battle. It’s a great point of difference.

The mouse is really for right handers only but its big bulky design is quite comfortable in the hand. There’s rubber bumpers on the side of the mouse as well which helps with grip and comfort. The big thing is the mouse’s macro ability through the supplied software. 70 macros can be recorded for the mouse and a dedicated macro button on the mouse lets you configure it with ease.

Available from GIGABYTE retailing for $59.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Logitech G9x Laser Mouse#]

Logitech G9x Laser Mouse

If you want every whiz-bang tech that can be jammed in to a mouse then the G9x is for you! The G9x from Logitech doesn’t just have the “gaming grade†laser sensor whatever that means; there’s adjustable gearing on the mouse wheel LED indicated DPI settings and replaceable weighting so you can actually change the entire feel of the mouse by swapping an external grip. If you’re someone who likes a smaller/thinner mouse there’s a precision grip but for those who are really into fisting it a widebody “XL†grip is included which increases the width and the height of the mouse.

The G9x is incredibly comfortable to use but there is a learning curve. We found the stiffness of the clickable mouse meant we would sometimes scroll up or down unintentionally while the XL grip feels plain weird if you’ve come off a normal sized mouse. The DPI settings are in exactly the right place so you can switch very quickly and easily: an absolutely perfect design there. Our only complaint about this mouse is considering the real estate available we’re surprised there aren’t more buttons which would change it from an FPS gamer’s dream to a mouse for every style.

Available from Logitech retailing for $199.
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Logitech Gaming Mouse G500#]

Logitech Gaming Mouse G500

We wouldn’t call it as critical as a tightrope walk but getting the right balance in the weight of your mouse can make all the difference between winning and losing. If your mouse is too light you might pull up too short in big movements or if it’s too heavy you might overshoot your target.

Mice like the Logitech Gaming Mouse G500 make getting the right mix nice and easy with small metal weights you can add in to the mouse to get it just right. It’s not unique to the G500 but it’s worth its weights in gold.

The G500 also managed to fit in more buttons than its bigger brother the G9x while still including the laser sensor (also “gaming gradeâ€) and on-board memory for storing your custom button setups. The down side to the G500 is that it’s a big mouse not just in length and width but also in height.

If you’re considering this mouse and you should take a look at it in the shops before you make your ultimate purchasing decision. The retail packaging allows you to get your hand over it to see if it will work for you – and it’s worth checking.

Available from Logitech retailing for $149.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Razer Abyssus#]

Razer Abyssus

If simple is your thing then the Abyssus is the mouse for you. The Abyssus is a three button mouse plus scroll wheel. That’s it. No fancy readouts no endless numbers of toggles no LCD screen and certainly no replaceable grips. It’s got two big buttons and a clickable scroll wheel and that nice Razer satin finish. But it’s still a gaming mouse.

Flip it over and you’ve got a low-tech DPI adjustment with a sliding switch between 450 1800 and 2500 DPI. There’s also a switch for choosing the USB polling speed between 125Hz and 1000Hz. To be honest the polling switch had no discernible effect as far as we could tell.

The Abyssus is thankfully an ambidextrous mouse so left and right handers will find it just the same to use. The only downside we found with this model is the cord is that nice old school plastic wrapped style. We would have loved it to be braided to stop that horrible drag during tense shootouts. It may sound like a mouse that your mum might use but really it’s comfortable works nicely and there’s little bad to say about it.

Available from Razer retailing for $69.
APC rating: 7/10

[#PAGE-BREAK#Razer DeathAdder#]

Razer DeathAdder

Razer’s DeathAdder design has done the rounds. It’s been on the street since 2007 and its form and shape has become familiar to many. But has it been lagging behind in the technology stakes? Not anymore – it’s been given a new lease on life with a new sensor. The superb DeathAdder design has been updated to compete with the current cutting-edge laser mice. It hasn’t changed completely under the hood as it still uses an infra-red sensor so it maintains the same feeling as the old model. It’s still one of the most comfortable mice ever with the soft touch finish smooth curved design and light press buttons.

It doesn’t overdo itself with endless buttons limiting it to five. They are all customisable through software as you’d expect. There’s good news for left handers with a left handed version of this one sided mouse available. At time of writing we couldn’t find out if the Aussie stockist keeps both left and right in stock but if you’re keen enough you can no doubt find one. If it’s simplicity and performance you’re after the DeathAdder is the way to go. The bonus is the reasonable price. It also goes to show if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

Available from Razer retailing for $99.95.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Razer Imperator#]

Razer Imperator

The Imperator is similar to the DeathAdder in that it is very comfortable in the hand. The second part of the equation though is that the Imperator’s thumb buttons of which there are two can be adjusted with a small slide in the bottom of the mouse. So if you’ve got particularly big or small hands you can easily adjust the mouse for the perfect fit. The mechanism does collect a little finger gunk from time to time so get in there and clean it. Apart from that the Imperator includes the adjustable DPI buttons on top of the mouse that the DeathAdder lacks making it even better tailored for the FPS crowd.

It uses a braided cord but sadly probably won’t work too well for left handers. The Razer software and on board memory with multiple profiles allow you to set the mouse up for different games but it’s pretty quick and easy to set up anyway. The Imperator is supremely comfortable in the hand with the design of the mouse moving your fingers into slightly grooved finger buttons. There’s a very soft press on the mouse buttons also so your response time is quicker. Overall it’s a customisable comfortable mouse.

Available from Razer retailing for $129.95.
APC rating: 9/10 (Editor’s Choice)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Razer Naga MMOG#]

Razer Naga MMOG

While the Naga is aimed squarely at players of the MMO variety it’s suitable for anyone with a need for an extensive library of macros. It’s quick on its Teflon feet; the Naga boasts 5600 dpi with a 1ms response time 200 inches per second tracking speed and unlimited profiling options. The generously long braided USB leads to an oddly shaped right-handed chassis that is one of the smallest in the Razer stable. The general shape is more or less the classic Razer shape except on the right side there is a bulbous ridge for your pinky finger to sit across; it may look strange but it’s genuinely comfortable in the hand.

On the thumb side of the Naga is a grid of twelve buttons – mirroring the QWERTY numeric keys or the extended keypad arrangement – which are ‘MMO optimised’; which basically means every button can macroed. On the downside this has relegated the humble back and forward buttons to an inaccessible position on the extreme top left of the unit. Also accessing the full complement of buttons is heavily dependent on hand size – we found it impossible to comfortably navigate all twelve buttons without compromising grip.

Available from Razer retailing for $129.95.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)

[#PAGE-BREAK#Roccat Kone#]

Roccat Kone

The right-handed ergonomic chassis of the Kone looks like it has been jury-rigged together with salvaged parts from Logitech and Razer mice – and it immediately feels familiar to handle. The Kone features 10 mouse buttons – two on the thumb a four-way wheel and an ingenious six on the top. There’s a macro switch just in front of the scroll wheel to switch between mouse function ‘layers’ efficiently and (surprisingly) naturally. The unit weighs in at a lightweight 118g but can be expanded a further 20g – in 5g increments – by slotting the appropriate weight into the undercarriage.

Roccat understands the need to look good whilst gaming so arcing across either shoulder is an array of five LEDs which can be customised to flash fade and pulse through the entire spectrum of colours. The Kone punches through with a very decent 3200dpi and a 1ms response rate. We did have some trouble getting the software set up but once straightened out the Kone was an absolute powerhouse. If Roccat could take to the build with a little extra polish (ie. refine the shape braided USB cord and interchangeable feet) the Kone would be perfect.

Available from Roccat retailing for $99.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)

[#PAGE-BREAK#SteelSeries KINZU#]

SteelSeries KINZU

The Kinzu is a straightforward and simple mouse from SteelSeries. Some gaming mice tend to be loaded to the gills with masses of buttons adjustable weight systems super high-end LED tracking displays and adjustable scroll wheel gearing. This isn’t one of them. The Kinzu is a Plain Jane mouse designed for gamers who like simplicity (and low price tags). It supports four different DPI settings 400 800 1600 and 3200 changed by clicking a single button in the centre of the mouse behind the scroll wheel. You can choose two in your setup (or two custom rates) and flip between them with the mouse button.

Beyond that the Kinzu feels small in the hand but that’s not a bad thing. It’s also light and feels agile especially on a proper gaming surface. This is one mouse that is 100% ambidextrous so left handed players take note. Still I think we’ve come a little too far down the path into simplicity with this mouse. Personally I tend to use thumb buttons way too much when gaming to consider going to a mouse without them but of course that judgment is entirely subjective.

Available from SteelSeries retailing for $49.95.
APC rating: 7/10

[#PAGE-BREAK#SteelSeries XAI#]

SteelSeries XAI

The SteelSeries XAI earns a record in our book for having the most useless feature in the roundup. Drum roll please… an LCD display on the underside of the mouse. Yep. A display that in the normal operation of the product will never be seen. From what we can make out this little LCD displays the firmware version of the mouse and the firmware version update process (which is also shown in the software on your PC by the way…).

That folly aside the XAI is a pretty nice mouse. It’s got a very comfortable and mirrored design with “enough†buttons but not overloaded as some mice tend to be. This mouse is suitable for left handers as it’s a mirrored design. Unfortunately that’s also part of its downfall. The thumb buttons are mirrored on both sides of the mouse and because of that there’s two buttons under where you’d grip the mouse normally with the fourth and fifth fingers. We found we were often scraping those fingertips on the mousing surface. Needless to say bigger or smaller fingers may find it a different experience. DPI switching is the same as the KINZU mouse and overall the XAI is comfortable and responsive.

Available from SteelSeries retailing for $129.95.
APC rating: 6/10