If you are hunting for a good gaming mouse or have thought about why it is so important this guide is what you have been looking for.
This article is a simple guide helping you to get familiar with the things you need to look for whether you are a novice or a gaming freak.
What is a Gaming Mouse and How Important it is?
Frankly, you can use any mouse for gaming. However, the trouble is when you use an ordinary mouse for gaming you will eventually feel a lack of many features. What are those?
If you are into gaming or already a player, you need to understand a few basics about yourself and the world of mice. Let’s try to grasp the important facts first.
Hours of nonstop thrilling and excitement requires the best gear that fits your hand. The important fact here is that each person has his/her own grip style. Above all, you need to understand what yours is. Here is a list of the three.
This is the most common grip. When you palm grip, it rests completely on your mouse. It gives you more precision over glide control (long and quick moves) and relaxation. However, it is not providing the best agility.
When you grip like this, mid-way of the palm and fingertips touch the mouse. It is similar to a claw or a curled. This position helps pickups, rapid clicks, and smooth gliding. However, it does not guarantee comfort and control.
When you keep the fingertips on the mouse and palm is in the air you get more freedom to perform wrist moves. Since only five contacts is there, it helps fast and agile gliding. It also helps you to change grip positions and use palm when you need it.
If you select a gaming mouse without knowing these facts, you probably waste your money and ending up with the right gear. Eventually and undeniably, your palm and fingers might feel painful and unrest sooner than you expect.
The Nature and Shape of Your Hand
Another important thing to consider when you shop for a gaming mouse is the nature of your hand. What if your hand gets sweaty with a few moves? Although, my hand is rough and hardly sweat it is not always true about the rest. There are specific materials helping to cope with this issue.
The size and shape of your hand are another two key things you need to match. On the positive side, there are various shapes, sizes and weight classes to choose from. A heavy mouse assures accurate finger movements on and around it. In contrast, a lighter mouse can be moved and lifted with ease.
Possible Side Effects of Wrong Selections
Have you ever heard about “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”? Evidently, long use of palm with wrong grips, awkward positioning, and wrist moves are not healthy. As a result, swelling around the wrist and pressure over the median nerve may increase the potential for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome according to one study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569035/). This is where I started loving to hear the word ergonomic.
Ergonomic is everything nowadays. It helps no matter whether you are right or left, shapes and sizes of hands, if you crave for more control, more buttons under the thumb, to quickly load your favorite weapon or use a macro to cast a spell in flash. The Ergonomic design makes things flexible, agile, faster and reduce injuries.
Advance technologies come with enhancements to give a boost the awesomeness in terms of performance, accuracy, and precision. Let’s learn some of the terms when you need to look for it. I am not going to make things appear like quantum physics here.
Mouse Sensitivity – CPI
If you are a gaming freak this may be on top of your list. This is determined by CPI or Counts Per Inch. Technically, it is the number of steps the mouse reports to the computer as it moves one inch. In simple English, how much the mouse moves on the screen in contrast to physical movement.
For instance, if the CPI is 800 when the mouse moves 1 inch, the cursor moves 800 pixels on the screen. The sensitivity has to be enough, not freakish high or terribly low as it can affect accuracy. The greater the pixels, the greater will be noise and interference.
eCPI or electronic CPI is a software or a gaming setting. For instance, if the gaming sensitivity of a game is 2 and the mouse has 1600 CPI, the resulting eCPI is double the actual value.
You may have heard calling DPI to CPI but it is not the exact accurate term. DPI stands for Dots per Inch. In simple terms, how many pixels fit in a single image. For a gaming monitor, the higher the better as you can expect excellent color variation.
In any case, high-sensitive gamers would use insanely higher CPI/DPI to reduce the long movements while others would prefer sweeping mouse longer. They use lower CPI/DPI.
Sensor – Laser vs Optical War
Well, there are never-ending wars between technologies. This is another. Although you may have thought the laser would win the war, it is not the case in reality.
Have you ever known that optical mouse works similar to a digital camera? Mind-blowing fact, isn’t it? Indeed, it is. Both of these use optical measures, the Laser uses a laser beam while the other using LED. With the optical mechanism, both have similarities and dissimilarities.
Laser mouse works on most surfaces including glossy ones. The optical mouse isn’t a champ here. In addition, laser offers more accuracy given the surface types and short distance. However, for a gamer, sometimes needs to worry about is the accuracy with glider speed and distance.
Take a guess? The optical mouse is the winner here. Let me show you how.
The term we use here is Acceleration. When you move the mouse across the mouse-pad, the cursor follows by moving a proportional distance across the screen. While playing certain games you move your mouse rather quickly and long.
Acceleration occurs when the mouse cannot keep up the phase with your speed. The mouse is overwhelmed with the incoming sensor data (unimportant light variance) due to the speed. Loss of synchronization and inconsistency cause loss of accuracy. This does not often occur with an optical mouse.
Acceleration is measured and denoted in G and when you buy a mouse, you might find higher Gs such as 50G and are at the top.
Apart from that, there is another critical point of concern. The type of sensor. Well, there is a handful of sensors. PMW, Hero16K, ADNS, TrueMove, Pro-Optic(R3) and more. Carefully look for the sensor type as it can be a game-changer in terms of performance.
Whoa! Doesn’t that sound too techy? Nope! In fact, the polling rate isn’t rocket science. It is simply the rate of a mouse reporting its position to the computer. This is measured in Hurts (Hz). For instance, 400Hz means the mouse is polling 400 times per second. Now as you see here, a higher polling rate is the key to prevent acceleration from happening.
Ideally, the combination to beat the acceleration is,
Surface + Lower DPI + Higher Polling Rate
The surface where the mouse is on must be compatible – no dust, no glossy surface for optical mouse, etc.
What about the Latency?
Latency can be caused by low polling rate, acceleration issues, and hardware faults. If there are multiple buttons and macros, you have to test and confirm if there is a latency and how to avoid it. In simple terms, latency stands for the time taken to register the mouse input by the computer upon clicking. Every mouse has some latency but it has to be at an acceptable range.
Inches per Second
This is the maximum speed a mouse can glide before the sensor loses the ability to track the moves. It shines when there is less CPI as the mouse has to travel more rapidly at extreme levels. The higher the better.
Do you believe you can draw a line in Photoshop or Paint without the aid of the mouse? Well, we are not perfect and so as our hand. This is why mouse manufacturers introduced prediction. It corrects our error-prone moves by predicting the next move. With such a mouse, you can draw a straight-line for instance.
For gaming, this has pros and cons. Assume you are playing a first-person shooter. In this case, you need the crosshair to be precise. This is where prediction can help. But wait! What about the accuracy? Well, if your mouse moves require small variations in a game, this is going to hurt! Therefore, it depends on the game you play.
Lift-off Distance (LoD)
This is a measure of how high a mouse could go before the sensor drops tracking the moves. Obviously, you may need to move your mouse back to original positions while gaming, especially you are low-sensitive and using lower DPI. A good quality mouse gives you LOD of 3 millimeters or less.
Scroller, Buttons, and Macros
If you are a pro gamer, you would love to have additional programmable buttons. Especially when you do esports, there can be a lot of combos. It is fantastic when you have additional controls and buttons that can memorize combos. In addition, the scroll button and its capabilities are important considerations.
Look and Feel, Lighting, and Whatnot
For some gaming enthusiasts, looks and feel is a cool tool for the brains. Frankly, it is a motivation factor for some. On the other hand, backlighting is important to distinguish certain controls. When talking about the arrangement of buttons, if the mouse maintains ergonomic and sleek design can do brilliant things in terms of performance and comfort. If you are ambidextrous nothing to worry as now you have options in the market.
I am sure you are so eager to go for the best performing, great looking, and budget compatible gaming mouse. This article was crafted to enlighten you even if you are a newbie to the gaming field. People are not tech-savvy all the time and struggle with more Geek stuff. On the bright side, now you can prepare a list of parameters and details you need to look more carefully.
There are many different types of games such as First-person Shooter (FPS), Real-time Strategy (RTS), Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) and other more traditional games. The requirements vary depending on the game, and personal preference including hand geometry, etc. It is always better to have a list of games you are craving for and shortlist the requirements. Then you can decide what to look for and how customizable it should be. Once you decide to go for the best and grind the games like a pro!