- 1. Better Responsiveness/Polling Rate
- 2. Incredible Build Quality and Durability
- 3. Gaming Mice Have More Buttons
- 4. Gaming Mice Use Laser Sensors
- 5. Higher DPI/Sensitivity Than Normal Mice
- 6. Option of Additional Weights
- 7. Aesthetics Match Most Gaming Setups
- 8. Additional Software Included
- 9. More Grip Type Options
- 10. Better Design/Design Options
- 11. Gaming Mice Are Customizable
- 12. Still Good for Regular Computer Work
Any professional or dedicated casual gamer will tell you that the mouse you play with is one of the most essential pieces of gear when gaming, especially for certain types of games such as first-person shooters, strategy games, etc. If you plan to game a lot, buying a gaming mouse is almost a must.
Here are 12 reasons why gaming mice are better than regular ones:
- Better responsiveness/polling rate.
- Incredible build quality and durability.
- Gaming mice have more buttons.
- Gaming mice use laser sensors.
- Higher DPI/Sensitivity than normal mice.
- Option of additional weights.
- Aesthetics match most gaming setups.
- Additional software included.
- More grip type options.
- Better design/design options.
- Gaming mice are customizable.
- Still good for regular computer work.
Let’s explore these points in more detail so you can get a clear understanding of why a gaming mouse is a better option than a normal one.
1. Better Responsiveness/Polling Rate
Responsiveness is crucial in gaming, especially in online games where a split of a second can decide who comes out on top. A mouse’s responsiveness is also referred to as its polling rate, measured in Hertz, and displays how often your operating system receives information about the position of the mouse’s cursor.
For example, a 1000Hz polling rate means a 1-second delay in the data transfer, while a 2000Hz mouse only has a 0.5-second delay. The more Hz a mouse has, the more response it has and less input lag it brings.
Even the cheaper gaming mice generally have a higher polling rate than regular ones. The polling rate is usually displayed on the box. Keep in mind, the higher polling rates also pull more power from your computer – though this is hardly a problem for a modern computer.
A regular mouse usually operates at 125Hz, which is more than enough for regular computer work. Gaming mice, however, go up to 1000Hz, but the difference between 500Hz and 1000Hz is hardly noticeable. Anything over 1000 Hz is a bit of an overkill.
2. Incredible Build Quality and Durability
Buying a mouse is usually a purchase you only need to make once every few years, so it’s best to invest wisely. Maybe even spend a little extra to ensure you get a durable mouse.
Although they’re made with the same materials as regular mice, gaming mice are designed to last longer. This is especially true the higher you go on the price range.
Manufacturers are well aware that a mouse is bound to experience a few falls or hard hits during its life cycle, so they work to ensure the more expensive options can survive most of the physical stress thrown at them.
Ideally, it’s best to look for a gaming mouse with an aluminum or rubberized frame that can withstand hard falls for durability purposes.
You also need to decide whether to go with a wired or wireless mouse to maximize durability. The cord with wireless mice can become a weak spot over time. However, most modern wired gaming mice come with extra protection for the cable.
On the other hand, with wireless mice, you may end up losing the tiny receiver. Luckily, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding a replacement.
3. Gaming Mice Have More Buttons
Gaming mice usually come with a few extra buttons compared to regular mice. These buttons can be mapped either through the mouse software or directly through the video game you’re playing. This allows you to be more effective during gameplay since you won’t have to use your second hand as much. You’ll also be much quicker to react to most situations.
Some gaming mice have up to 10 or more extra buttons that are customizable in whichever way you want. They’re usually placed on the side of the mouse and can give you an edge in competitive games by saving you time when completing specific actions.
This is especially useful for FPS games where you use the buttons to throw grenades, tacticals, or reload. For most other types of games, you won’t need more than five extra buttons.
Keep in mind that you may have to go through a learning curve with the additional buttons, mainly if you haven’t used a mouse that has them before. However, once you get used to the buttons, you’ll find them very useful, and using them will likely become second nature.
4. Gaming Mice Use Laser Sensors
Most regular mice come with an optical sensor, while most gaming mice are made with a laser sensor. So, what’s the difference and why exactly is a laser sensor better?
Technically speaking, both optical and laser mice are similar in that they both use lights, but the way those lights are used is different.
The optical mouse is the most common on the market. It’s preferred for casual use and even some light gaming. Equipped with an optical sensor that detects movement based on an infrared LED, it captures movement information and transforms it into binary code that is then displayed on your monitor.
Comparatively, the latest gaming mice come with a laser sensor – a more modern innovation that became popular in recent years. The only difference between the two is that the laser mouse uses a laser instead of an optical light. The laser provides improved sensitivity and greater stability and greatly improves tracking performance.
5. Higher DPI/Sensitivity Than Normal Mice
Sensitivity is perhaps the most significant difference you’ll notice between a gaming mouse and a regular mouse. Sensitivity is measured in DPI (dots per inch or 2.54 cm), where a higher DPI means a higher sensitivity. Gaming mice come with a much higher sensitivity which is very useful for gaming.
For example, if your mouse has a DPI of 3000, it’ll be able to detect movements between 3000 different spots within a single inch (2.54 cm). Essentially, this means the mouse will pick up any bit of slight movements. This can make a big difference in games as the mouse will be much more responsive and have a higher sensitivity.
Cheap regular mice usually have a DPI of around 1000, while even the lower-end gaming mice have at least 3000, which is a huge difference. Of course, you can always adjust the DPI to match your preference perfectly. Some mice have a special button for changing the sensitivity, others require you do so through the manufacturer or third-party software.
You can switch between different DPI values based on what you’re doing on your computer. If you’re filling out spreadsheets, a low DPI is perfectly fine, and you won’t notice any difference. However, if you’re in a highly competitive only game, the extra sensitivity can be of huge importance.
6. Option of Additional Weights
Some higher-end gaming mice also come with additional weights that you can add or remove from the mouse as you wish. The extra weight will give you more control of the mouse and make movement easier.
Depending on the type of game you’re playing, different weights will be ideal. For FPS games, it’s best to use a lightweight mouse, while MMOs and single-player games are best played with some extra weight.
In general, it’s best to add the additional weights only when gaming. This is because you’ll usually hold the mouse more tightly, and the weight will allow you to be more precise. For regular office work or online surfing, you can remove the weights to make moving the mouse more comfortable.
7. Aesthetics Match Most Gaming Setups
If you’re building a proper gaming setup – which usually involves a computer case and keyboard with a futuristic and colorful look, and a high-end monitor with a high resolution – the setup wouldn’t be complete without a gaming mouse.
Not only will a gaming mouse give you better performance while you’re playing, but it’ll also add to the aesthetics of your gaming setup, which is essential for most dedicated gamers.
A big part of this is that RGB lights have become a standard feature for most gaming mice regardless of price range. The more high-end mice also come with additional software for setting up the lights to your liking, allowing you to match the lights to the LCDs on your computer.
8. Additional Software Included
When you buy a regular mouse, you’ll notice that you only need to plug it in, let Windows install the drivers for it, and be ready to go. However, many gaming mice also come with additional software that allows you to adjust various settings, buttons, preferences, and other options related to your mouse.
Companies like Razer and Corsair develop software to go along with their gaming mice, which allows you to adjust its DPI and many other settings, such as the RGB colors. You can set up different color combinations or turn them off completely.
The software also allows you to set up different pre-saved profiles, making it easy for you to switch between different settings depending on what you’re doing on your computer.
9. More Grip Type Options
Regular mice usually come with the standard “palm grip.” Basically, your entire palm rests on the lower portion of the mouse while your fingers rest on the buttons. The palm grip is the most popular option for most computer users because it causes little to no fatigue since all of the movements come from your wrist and arm.
However, this grip lacks precision which may be crucial for gaming, which is why gaming mice have two additional grip types you can choose from:
- Claw Grip: This is the most common with gaming mice. Here, the back of your hands sits on the back of the mouse while you use your fingertips for movement. This allows for fast reactions and swift movements. It’s best used with high-profile mice, and it’s still reasonably comfortable, which is why many gamers prefer it.
- Fingertip Grip: This has a five-point fingertip contact and is the best for maximum precision, so people mainly use it for FPS games. However, it’s difficult to make fast sweeps and can be fairly uncomfortable, so you should use it selectively.
10. Better Design/Design Options
Normal mice typically have a standardized design that doesn’t differ much from mouse to mouse. Conversely, gaming mice come in several different designs to fit a variety of tastes. The designs also tend to be much better than a regular mouse.
Depending on your preferred grip type, you can go for a gaming mouse that supports it. Gaming mice also come in different sizes to accommodate bigger or smaller hands. The bigger ones are called high-profile, while the smaller ones are called low-profile. Still, it may be difficult for you to find a regular mouse that perfectly fits the size of your hand.
When it comes to the design of a gaming mouse, it’s always made with comfort in mind. Generally, the goal is to make it as easy on your hands and wrists as possible. The comfort is not only relevant for gaming but also translates over to regular computer work. Thus, you may wish to consider a gaming mouse just for the comfort, even if you don’t intend on ever gaming.
11. Gaming Mice Are Customizable
With all the benefits we already mentioned in mind, a gaming mouse simply gives you way more options and customization than a normal one. You can customize everything from the sensitivity to the colors of the mouse (if it has RGB lights). Even the extra buttons can be customized however you want.
There are also adjustable weights that you can customize based on your preference and what you’re playing/doing at that moment.
All of these customization options will bring you a significant advantage when gaming, but they also make your mouse easier and more convenient to use.
12. Still Good for Regular Computer Work
Even if you’re not a huge gamer and mostly use your computer for school, work, or surfing, a gaming mouse is probably still a better option than a regular one. If you’re not into gaming, you may not need all the extra buttons and RGB effects, but you can still pick a gaming mouse with a simpler design with all the benefits discussed previously.
There are gaming mice out there that look almost the same as a regular one, with a conservative design that won’t stick out in your office setup, yet it’ll be faster, more comfortable, and easier to use.