The concept of a gaming mouse is a much debated topic. What exactly is a gaming mouse? How does it differ from a regular mouse?
Well, they’re both mice. They both get the job done. But how they get the job done is where it differs. A gaming mouse generally has more sophisticated technology in it than the average clicker. It’s not the lights: some of the most expensive mice – like a Steelseries Sensei – look a lot less flashier than the average Chinese UFO-like “gaming mouse” at Unity.
First things first: do I need one?
If you’re a casual gamer and you just want to enjoy single player games, then the average mouse will suit you. If however, you’re looking to get into some serious multiplayer gaming, you may want to invest in a good mouse. And this is where you start running into terms live sensitivity, polling rate, grip, DPI. These are some of what defines a gaming mouse, so let’s have a look.
- Grip – This is the way that you literally grip your mouse, and this is one of the most important aspects of selecting on. There’s nothing wrong with both grips and each gamer has their own preference. You just have to make sure that the mouse you’re buying is compatible with your grip style.
- DPI/Sensitivity – Generally measured in Dots per Inch (DPI) or Counts per Inch (CPI) by most manufacturers. This is a measure of the mouse sensor’s tracking capability. Basically, it gives you a rough idea on how many pixels your mouse pointer will move on screen for every inch you move the mouse.Usual DPIs for a gaming mouse start at 1600 DPI then scale to 3200, 5600 and even up to around 10000 DPI. But in all fairness, gaming at such a high DPI is not a viable option- unless your reflexes are faster than Bruce Lee on Red Bull. For most gamers, the sweet spot lies around the 1200-3200 DPI range. Larger displays would require higher resolution mice to maintain comfortable sensitivity.Past a certain point, it’s just a number, much like megapixels on a camera. However, just as higher-res cameras tend to have better sensors, so is it with mice. In reality all reputable modern gaming-grade mice are of a high enough resolution to satisfy most gamers.
- Polling Rate – This is essentially the rate at which your PC is refreshes with the position of the mouse pointer measured in Hz. For example, the default polling rate for standard gaming mice is 125 Hz, meaning that the Mouse will report its location to the PC 125 times for every second. The faster the polling rate, the less chance you have of your mouse lagging to show its location on screen during games (more commonly referred to as “mouse lag”).
How much is a gaming mouse?
There are gaming mice for Rs. 2000 and then there are mice for Rs. 20,000. A good gaming mouse is not exactly cheap – but they’re not expensive either. The trick lies in finding the mouse that fits your hand and your budget. This article covers popular picks below Rs 5000 (if you think that’s a lot for a mouse, wait till we bring you the exotic mice roundup).
A4Tech XL760H – Rs. 2500
A4Tech is a well-known brand in Sri Lanka, famous for making cheap and lost-lasting peripherals. Not usually a brand we’d look at for gaming, but this mouse has a lot going for it.
A4Tech says sports a patented anti-shooting-vibration technology that supposedly assists you in taking precise shots without the recoil impact. Of what? A mouse?
We don’t believe that, but what we do believe – and know – that comes with its own software (Oscar Mouse Editor Utility), 6 adjustable DPI settings ( 400/800/1200/1600/2000/3600) and has a total of 7 clickable buttons that you can remap with the Mouse Editor. It also has 64K On-board memory for you to store your custom profiles and even has a weight tuning system to ensure you get the mouse lift you deserve. The sensor’s an Avago 3060, the same thing used in the Steelseries Ikari Optical. Overall build quality is decent and of basic nature but considering the price, you basically get more than what you pay for.
Available at: Techzone, Unity Plaza
Gigabyte M6900 – Rs. 3000
Gigabyte is another brand known in Sri Lanka mainly for their motherboards and laptops. They also have a variety of gaming peripherals – the M6900 is one of them.
The mouse is contoured for right hand use. It has 5 programmable buttons that can be configured to your liking via software which is can be downloaded from the Gigabyte website as they don’t seem to provide the software themselves. It’s quite comfortable and fits snugly in the hand and even has a rubbery thumb rest.
Build quality is very decent for the price – Gigabyte uses Omron switches under the left and right click buttons, even in these fairly cheap mice. For the record, Omron’s a very hardy type of switch most often used by dedicated brands like Roccat – meaning that left click won’t wear out anytime soon. It’s got a maximum sensitivity of 3200 DPI, which can be adjusted via the + and – buttons below the scroll wheel. Unlike the A4Tech, this one’s hard to use with a fingertip grip.
Available at: Redline Technologies , Majestic City
Honorable mention: Armageddon Aquila X / X2 – Apparently discontinued, Rs 3500
Ah, Armageddon. The gaming arm of Powerlogic, a manufacturer of cheap PC cases and power supplies that burn out at the drop of a hat. Normally, we wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy an Armageddon mouse – despite the fancy marketing, they’re terrible.
Except for this. The Aquila X2, a no-frills, ambidextrous 3200 DPI mouse, somehow turned out to be not just good, but a legitimate competitor for everything else here. With its rubberized surface, it looks and feels very much like a Steelseries Xai (now you know where they got the design from) and it’s seen heavy use in quite a few gaming cafes. It can be clawed or palmed with equal ease.
If you can find it, it’s a good pick.
Armageddon Alien III G5 – Rs. 3875
The Alien III G5 (who comes up with these names?) is an ambidextrous gaming mouse from Armageddon – the gaming faction of PowerLogic.
It comes with some interesting features. For one, the surface area of the mouse is made up of aluminum. The mouse also has very visible backlighting with different LED combinations assigned to the DPI so at any given time, you know what DPI you’re on. It also has an onboard memory that allows gamers to store their profiles on the mouse itself.
Despite being metal on the surface, the build quality is nothing to drool over and the mouse has an alarmingly high failure rate. Also, on the highest DPI, the whole thing turns pink. We recommend this only for use as blunt instrument to hit people with. It looks good, and that’s just about it.
Available at: Acecom Technologies, Unity Plaza; Takas.lk
Armageddon Aquila X5 – Rs. 4000
The Aquila X5 seems to be the refresh of the X2. It’s by no means a small mouse, in fact, for those with large hands and palms, this mouse fits in the palm quite nicely. The Aquila X5 has a DPI setting ranging from 500 to 2000 via the hardware button but can be cranked up all the way to 4000 DPI by means of the software included with the mouse. We don’t quite understand why.
However, the mouse itself looks good. And depending on the DPI setting selected, the color of the mouse changes from Comet Red to Cosmic Blue to Alien Green, finally to Flaming Fuchsia. It’s the quintessential palm mouse – high back, low front.
Unfortunately, Armageddon unreliability kicks in here, making this a good purchase if you want a 4,000 rupee desk ornament and nothing else. Quite a pity, considering how cool it looks.
Available at: Acecom Technologies, Unity Plaza; Takas.lk
Roccat Lua – Rs. 4200
Roccat is another famous brand for gaming peripherals. They’re German, in the same way that BMW is German. Their Lua is no exception. Straight off the bat, the Lua is an ambidextrous mouse meaning that it can be used by both right handed and southpaws alike.
It’s a basic 3-button mouse with a DPI switch and a decent enough sensor to keep things together in the heat of battle. The finely machined cat’s-head logo glows a vivid blue. Think of it as a cheap mouse with a good sensor and great build quality and you have a Lua.
There’s one downside to this mouse: it’s small, meaning it can be clawed – or fingertipp’d – but you need really small palms to palm this mouse.
Available at: E-Globe Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, Colombo 04
Bloody TL8A – Rs. 4500
Bloody is a relatively unknown brand. Turns out they’re owned by A4Tech, and Amazon actually likes them. I know right, who knew? The only place that has this model for sale is Barclays at Unity Plaza and even they couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that it was a gaming mouse: when I asked them if they had any gaming mice, the prompt reply was “No sir, we don’t do gaming mice”. I was just about to leave when I spotted this and asked the next guy to have a look at it.
It looks a bit like a Thermaltake Level 10M gaming mouse and if you look close enough, it actually resembles a robot’s face. It also features illumination as well as a glowing Bloody logo. But the biggest draw are the specs: an Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor and supports up to 8200 DPI along with Omron switches that have a life span of 20 million clicks. That’s extremely high up the ladder considering the price paid here. Build quality is actually acceptable. It’s even got braided cables.
It’s gaudy and the packaging looks like your typical Chinese manufacturer at work, but the specsheet’s impressive.
Available at: Barclays, Unity Plaza (If you can find it in stock and if they know it’s in their inventory)
Armageddon Mikoyan FoxBat – Rs. 4875
The Miykoyan Foxbat sounds like a mouthful, and it indeed is so. Again another Armageddon product (they spawn like rabbits), the FoxBat is an ambidextrous mouse that can cycle between 400 and 3200 DPI.
It also features 5 Macro programmable buttons and a 2-way scroll, and users can save up to a total of 7 macro recordings (mouse click and time combinations) in a total of 3 profiles via the the FoxBat’s onboard memory. It also has a 9 point weight system for you to adjust the weight of the mouse to your exact needs, similar to what Logitech ships. The sensor’s a Pixart PAW3305DK – technically, we have the making of a good mouse here.
Unfortunately, that tacky design with the text on makes it looks like you’re an amateur. The Bloody TL8A pushes the limits of acceptance: this one seems intent on painting you with a bulls-eye saying “Noob”.
Available at: Available at: Acecom Technologies, Unity Plaza; Takas.lk
The Steelseries Kinzu v2 Pro – Rs 5,000
The Steelseries Kinzu is very much the entry-level horse in the legendary (and legendarily expensive) Steelseries family. It’s basic: a three butonn mouse, just like the Lua, no side buttons, ambidextrous – and rather small. In fact, it’s pretty much a toss-up between this and the Roccat Lua. It’s hard to recommend the Kinzu at this pricepoint, because there are better mice just up ahead for only a little over the 5K mark (await our next roundup). However, if you want to go Steelseries, this is the cheapest at which you can get that branding on your desktop.
Available at: Redline Technologies, Majestic City
The Logitech G300 – Rs 5,000
On paper, the Logitech G300 sounds epic. An entry-level gaming mouse with 8 programmable buttons, a comfortable rubberized grip – and the Logitech build quality and warranty to boot.
In practice, it falls far short of the mark. The buttons on top, rather than on the side, make for very little finger space, and accessing them in the heat of battle is downright impossible unless your grip is as claw as can be. An off-center sensor means that you need to relearn how to pull off a few tricks – especially things like rocket jumps in Quake or TFT2. The sensor – an Avago A3055 – struggles with fast movements on an HD screen
If you’re in the market for one of these, we’d recommend one of two things. Either downscale and go for for the Gigabyte, which is the closest, most reliable match to this in shape and discreet bling (and it comes with a better sensor), or add a little bit more and go higher up the market. If you want to know what your choices are past the 5K mark, fear not – we’re coming up with a guide for that, too.
Available at: Redline Technologies, Majestic City