How we picked and tested
In our survey, Wirecutter readers identified the key characteristics they look for in a gaming mouse:
- Comfort: Whether or not a mouse feels good in your hand is the most important feature.
- Buttons: We focused on mice with fewer than 10 buttons.
- Sensor: We looked for modern sensors, including the Pixart 3360 and its variants, all of which have at least 12,000 DPI resolution.
- Software: Most gaming mice come with software suites to assign keystrokes and macros, tweak its sensitivity, and customize its lighting. The software should support multiple profiles to match the game you’re playing.
- Price: Half of our survey respondents said they’d prefer to pay between $51 and $75 for a gaming mouse, which happens to be how much a great gaming mouse costs.
For wireless mice, we also considered:
- Performance: A wireless mouse should have no latency, interference, or lag, because if it does, there’s no point in buying one for gaming. We looked for mice you can also use with a wired connection.
- Battery life: Because of high polling rates and lighting effects, wireless gaming mice tend to have awful battery life compared with regular wireless mice, often peaking at just 25 to 30 hours.
We read editorial reviews and forums and surveyed our readers to prune our list to eight wired mice and four wireless options. We ran each mouse through MouseTester to evaluate tracking speed, jitter and anti-jitter, polling rate, and sensitivity. Every mouse we tested passed these tests without issue.
Then, we used each mouse to play several hours of Overwatch and Starcraft II. We also used each for work over several weeks. Finally, we asked a group of Wirecutter staffers and friends with a range of hand sizes and grip styles to evaluate the finalists.
To read about our testing procedures in more detail, please see our full guide to gaming mice.
Our pick: Razer DeathAdder Elite