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Gaming vs. Regular Mousepad: Differences Explained

The rise of PC gaming has produced all sorts of specialized computer accessories, and even something as simple as a mousepad has been upgraded to suit the needs of serious gamers. While the casual computer user might enjoy the features of a gaming mousepad, gamers may find that a regular mousepad doesn’t quite meet their standards. The two differ in a few key ways. 

The differences between gaming mousepads and regular mousepads are the size, material, and look. Gaming mousepads tend to be larger and sturdier than regular mousepads. Additionally, gaming mousepads are more likely to have artistic designs.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the differences between gaming and regular mouse pads let’s dive deeper! In the remainder of this article, I’ll explore the pros and cons of these mousepads and provide some insight into which one might be right for you. 

Gaming Mousepads vs. Regular Mousepads: Pros and Cons

The basic function of a mousepad remains consistent between both types, but gaming mousepads tend to have a few added features that might only be necessary for a select group of people. 

That said, what you consider an advantage or disadvantage might depend on what you’re using your mousepad for. Consider these pros and cons for each type of mousepad. 

Gaming Mousepads

Pros

  • Gaming mousepads are large. While there isn’t a standardized gaming mousepad size, they tend to be larger than regular mousepads. A large mousepad is important for gaming, especially shooters. Some gaming mousepads are large enough to fit a mouse and keyboard on.
  • Thicker material. Gaming mousepads have a more firm surface. The firmer surface of a gaming mousepad reduces the friction when dragging a mouse across the mousepad. The reduced friction of gaming mousepads allows for increased precision and accuracy when aiming.
  • More visual design options. Having a neat design on your mousepad isn’t exclusive to gaming mousepads. However, gaming mousepads are more likely to have an appealing artistic design. You can even get gaming mousepads with RGB lighting! If a visual design is important to you, you’ll have more options with gaming mousepads.
  • Possible to get a wireless charging mousepad. Some gaming mousepads have wireless charging technology. You can charge your phone, headphones, and in some cases, even your mouse while gaming!

Cons

  • Not as portable. The added size and firmness reduce the portability of gaming mousepads. However, since gaming mousepads come in all shapes and sizes, there are some portable options. For example, I use the SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com), and the fabric is soft enough to roll tight enough to fit into my travel bag.
  • Higher price. Gaming mousepads tend to be larger and have higher quality material. These two factors mean gaming mousepads will be more expensive than regular ones. The price can increase even more by adding unique features like wireless charging or RGB lighting. Additionally, some companies will charge more for gaming mousepads because gaming is an effective marketing term.
  • Overly flashy designs. Not all gaming mousepads have outlandish artwork splayed across the surface. However, it can be tough to find a gaming mousepad that doesn’t have the manufacturer’s logo printed somewhere. If you appreciate a super clean design, you’ll struggle to find one with gaming mousepads.

Regular Mousepads

Pros

  • Portable. Regular mousepads are usually smaller, thinner, and more flexible. Regular mousepads’ size, thinness, and flexibility make them ideal for travel.
  • Cheaper. Gaming mousepads are usually higher quality and more expensive because of the quality. If you don’t need the additional quality of material found in a gaming mousepad, you can get a better deal with a regular mousepad.
  • Classier design. Most regular mousepads are just a plain color. The plain color design offers a more discreet mousepad if you like to use your mousepad at work or in public spaces.

Cons

  • Less precise material. Gaming mousepads have better material for picking up mouse sensors than regular mousepads. You’ll find a significant decline in accuracy between a regular mousepad and a gaming mousepad.
  • Boring designs. You can find interesting designs on regular mousepads, but most will be fairly plain and boring. If boring aesthetics are a deal-breaker, you’ll have difficulty finding the right regular mousepad.
  • Smaller size. Regular mousepads are smaller than gaming mousepads. I’ve always lived by the rule that mousepads for shooter games should be at least 1 foot (30 cm) long from corner to corner. You will struggle to find a regular mousepad that fits the 1 foot (30 cm) size requirement.

Are you still struggling to decide which is for you after digesting all the pros and cons? Don’t worry. I’ll give a more precise rundown on who should get which mousepad in the article’s next section!

Should I Get a Gaming Mousepad?

You should get a gaming mousepad if you play PC games regularly, especially if you are playing shooters. Gaming mousepads offer the best accuracy and precision, which are integral parts of a shooter gaming experience.

Choose the Gaming Mousepad That’s Right for You

The best gaming mousepad is the one that works for you. Gaming mousepads come in so many shapes and sizes it’s tough to narrow the competition down to just one mousepad. Therefore, I’ll recommend a few different mousepads to suit different needs.

Best RGB Gaming Mousepads

Colorful lights are extremely common on gaming hardware and accessories. You generally won’t find regular mousepads with lights, as this is something that the casual computer user might not need or want. 

If you like flashy lights on all your PC components, you can also have them on your mousepad! Check out the Corsair MM700 RGB Extended Cloth Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com) for a high-quality RGB mousepad large enough to fit your mouse and keyboard.

If you prefer your mousepad to just house your mouse, I got you covered with that too. The Havit RGB Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com.com) is your smaller RGB gaming mousepad option. Don’t worry; the Havit RGB Gaming Mousepad is large enough to pass the 1 foot (30 cm) rule I mentioned earlier.

We’ll take a look at the final RGB mousepad for those of you who want a neat design on your gaming mousepad. Check out this Wisedeal Soft Oversized RGB Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com). 

You have three different design options to choose from! My favorite is the flame design, but the Starry Sky design is a close second.

Best Non-RGB Gaming Mousepads

The first non-RGB gaming mousepad I will recommend is the Benvo Extended Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com.com). Measuring 35.4 inches (90 cm) by 15.7 inches (40 cm), the Bevo Gaming Mousepad is for those who want a mousepad large enough to fit their mouse and keyboard on.

In addition to the nice size of the Benvo Extended Gaming Mousepad, you can get this mousepad in six different designs! If you like nice artwork on your gaming mousepad, you’re sure to find a design you like with the Benvo Extended Gaming Mousepad.

Not into a design on your mousepad? No problem, check out the Amazon Basics Large Extended Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com). You know you can trust the quality of any Amazon Basics product, and their extended gaming mousepad is no exception.

If you’re like me, you prefer a mousepad that just houses your mouse. In that case, you can grab the SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com). The SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mousepad is the gaming mousepad I use every day, and I’ve never had a problem with it.

If you find yourself falling into the paradox of choice here, don’t worry. Remember, there is no wrong answer; all the above gaming mousepads will offer you similar performance.

Before we move onto regular mousepads, there is one more type of gaming mousepad I want to hone in on. If you have a wireless mouse, this next section will be particularly interesting for you.

What Gaming Mousepad Should I Get for a Wireless Mouse?

If you have a wireless mouse, you should look into Qi wireless charging mousepads for your mouse. If you have a Qi-compatible wireless mouse, you can use Qi wireless charging mousepads to keep your mouse charged. There are even measures in place to avoid overcharging your mouse.

What Does Qi Wireless Charging Mean?

Qi wireless charging is the world standard for wireless charging. Most devices that have wireless charging capabilities are Qi wireless charging compatible. A universal wireless charging standard means you can charge any Qi-compatible device on one Qi-compatible charger.

Many of these mousepads charge your wireless mouse while you are gaming, mean you can play for longer periods of time without worrying about your mouse dying. 

While the average computer user might find this useful, it’s a feature that is typically more important for serious gamers. 

Best Qi Compatible Wireless Charging Mousepads

Since Qi charging is the world standard, if you have a Qi-compatible wireless mouse, there are loads of solid mousepad options for you!

If you like going with brand-name products, the ASUS ROG Balteus Qi Gaming Mousepad (available on Amazon.com) is perfect for you! ASUS is a trusted name in the gaming space, so you can be sure you get a high-quality product.

Another option you have is the OMEN by HP Outpost Gaming Mousepad with Qi Wireless Charging (available on Amazon.com).

Remember, any Qi wireless charging mousepad will work with any Qi wireless charging mouse. Keeping that bit of information in mind gives you a whole world of different wireless charging mousepad options.

Are All Wireless Charging Gaming Mousepads Qi Compatible?

Not all wireless charging gaming mousepads are Qi-compatible. While Qi wireless charging is the standard, some companies decide to go a different route. Be careful to make sure your mousepad is Qi-compatible before purchasing if you have a Qi-compatible mouse.

You must have your device directly on top of the charging sensor to charge with Qi charging wirelessly. Wireless mousepads like Logitech’s mousepad have found a method of wireless charging that isn’t as picky with placement, so you can charge your mouse while gaming.

Non-Qi Wireless Charging Mousepad

An example of a wireless charging mousepad that is not Qi-compatible is the Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System (available on Amazon.com). If you use a Logitech G Series Wireless Gaming Mouse (available on Amazon.com), you can use the Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging Mousepad.

Should I Get a Regular Mousepad?

You should get a regular mousepad if you don’t need the fancy features that gaming mousepads offer. Lights, extended size, and wireless charging are useful to gamers, but they often aren’t necessary for the casual user. 

If you don’t play games where mouse accuracy is important, a regular mousepad is better. If you only use your mousepad for working and games that don’t involve aiming, a regular mousepad will do everything you need while being cheaper and more portable.

Smaller Mousepads Are Better for Non-Gamers

For a regular mousepad, the best choice is a smaller mousepad. If you aren’t playing accuracy-based games, there’s no reason to get a massive mousepad that will take up excessive amounts of desk space. The only choice you need to make is if you want a square or circle mousepad.

Best Circle Regular Mousepad

I recommend this TNY Round Non-Slip Mousepad (available on Amazon.com). There’s nothing flashy about it, and there doesn’t need to be. If you’re after a plain jane round mousepad, this is an ideal pick; there’s no logo or flashy design anywhere on this mousepad.

Best Square Regular Mousepad

If you want a square mousepad to check out, this Fellowes Mousepad (available on Amazon.com). The Fellowes Mousepad is small and portable, which is what you’re looking for in a regular mousepad. Unfortunately, there is a small logo in the corner of this mousepad, but it’s not flashy enough to be a deal-breaker for me.

Final Thoughts

There are few differences between a gaming mousepad and a regular mousepad, but the differences are definitely important. 

If a regular mousepad makes more sense for you, purchasing one is much more straightforward. On the other hand, if you need a gaming mousepad, you have to consider RGB lighting, size, thickness, material, and many more factors. 

If you’re still struggling to find the right mousepad, I want to reiterate the most important part of buying a mousepad – there is no wrong answer. The right mousepad for you comes down to personal preference, so don’t stress too much!

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