Gaming Mouse vs Regular Mouse [All Features Explained]

While building a PC, most of us are busy choosing the right graphic card, CPU, motherboard, RAM and many other essentials. Mouse selection generally comes in the last place and is not given much importance. Sometimes you even skip out on buying a gaming mouse thinking it offers no real value from a regular one. In this article, we will tell you how the gaming mouse is different from a regular one

Optical Sensor vs Laser Sensor

Most regular mice use optical sensors. Most gaming mice use laser sensors and hence are more accurate (There are also gaming mice which use optical sensors). Laser sensors have a higher DPI.

DPI (dots per inch) is the measure of how far a mouse cursor moves on screen for specific lengths of mouse movements. Higher the DPI, the higher the sensitivity of the mouse. Most high-end gaming mice also help you change the DPI setting.

Gaming mice have higher DPIs which help it react to smaller hand movements. This is one of the most crucial aspects for gamers and graphic designers. They help adjust minute designs accurately. Also, too high DPI is not better as you do not want your cursor flying for small movements. Of course, you also do not want to miss those headshots, do you?

So, here’s the thing about DPI. It’s your personal preference. Higher DPI is definitely beneficial but they are not game-changers. Most gaming mice come with software to adjust DPI. So, tweak it a little bit to find your sweet spot.

Laser mice can be used on a variety of surfaces. Optical mice can only be used on opaque surfaces. This is because optical mouse use light (Red LED in most of the cases) and you’ll have inaccurate results in glassy or reflective surfaces. This is why a mouse pad is necessary for the good functioning of optical mice.

Polling Rate

Polling Rate is used to describe how many times your mouse sends data about its position to the computer. This is expressed in Hertz. Mice having 1000Hz polling rate have 1 millisecond(ms) delay in data transfer. If the polling rate is 2000Hz, they have a 0.5-millisecond delay(ms).

Hence a faster polling rate means a faster response time and a decrease in input lag. For most of them, the difference between 500Hz and 1000Hz is hard to notice. A higher polling rate will consume more CPU resources. Although this won’t be a problem in 2020, it is better to keep this fact in mind.

Standard mice operate at 125Hz. Gaming mice can do up to 1000Hz. Choosing a mouse with anything higher than 1000Hz is an overkill. Even for gaming.

Razor gaming mouse

Mouse Software

One of the most important reasons why people choose gaming mouse over a regular one is Software.

Many companies such as Corsair and Razor develop software for mice which help you adjust the DPI values within the limit your mouse supports. You also have a feature to set the colors of RGB lighting to your choice or even turn them off completely using this software. Mouse acceleration and polling rates can be adjusted using this software. You can also set up macro functions to the buttons in the mouse.

You can also set up different profiles with different DPI values, polling rates and acceleration for playing different games.

Corsiar mouse software

Different Types of Mouse Grips

Most of the regular mice come in a standard grip that is called “Palm Grip”. When it comes to Gaming mice there are three types a player can choose 

1. Palm Grip
2. Claw Grip
3. Fingertip Grip

Palm Grip: This is the most commonly used method. Here, your palm rests on the lower portion of the mouse while your fingers rest on the mouse buttons. Your entire hand rests on the mouse. This is used by most computer users. This grip is comfortable to use for a long period and causes less fatigue since most movement is caused by the wrists and arms. You will be able to make powerful and stable movements. This grip lacks the precision that the other grips have.

Claw Grip: This is the grip mostly used by gamers. This uses six-point contact with the back on their hand resting on the back of the mouse. Fingertips are used for movement. This grip enables swift movement and timely reactions. This is the balanced grip among the three. Any mouse works well with this grip but a high-profile mouse would work wonders with this grip along with making you feel comfortable over a long period without any fatigue.

Fingertip Grip: This grip uses five-point fingertip contact. This gives the highest precision but making fast sweeps would be difficult. This would be the best grip for a lot of FPS games. This grip is uncomfortable and is less stable with a standard mouse. To ensure comfort and prevent fatigue in the long run, use it with a low-profile mouse.

There is no right way or wrong way to hold your mouse. You might not be aware of these grips until now and that’s completely fine. Test these grips and see what works for you in terms of comfort, speed, and precision. You can also keep changing them depending on the type of games you play.

Types of Grips

Build Quality and Design

It is no doubt that gaming mice last longer than a regular mouse. This is due to its superior build quality. For the premium price you pay for a gaming mouse, there is a large bump in the build quality. Companies such as Corsair claim that their mice last for up to 2 million clicks.

They withstand heavy wear and tear while remaining functional. They also come with a 1 to 2-year warranty period. Hence, be sure that the premium you pay is going to pay off for you in the long run.

When it comes to design, most regular mice have a standard design most suitable for those with a palm grip. Gaming mice, on the other hand, offer a wide variety of choices when it comes to design. You can select a design based on your Grip. There are also gaming mice made for bigger hands and smaller hands called high-profile and low-profile mice respectively.

Gaming mice are designed “Ergonomically” to ensure comfort when gaming over a long period. They also come with RGB lights and other cosmetic features. Overall the gaming mice undoubtedly steal attention with their aesthetic features and stylish design.

The wire used in a gaming mouse is different from that of a regular mouse. Gaming mice use braided cables which add an extra layer of protection making them durable and long-lasting while making them look cooler. They are generally 1.5 to 2 meters long which is more than enough for gamers. Most regular mice use standard wires which are generally few feet long and offer no additional protection.
Gaming mice are comfortable, premium-looking, durable and long-lasting than the regular mice for a small premium.

Razor gaming mice

Buttons and Additional Weights

Many gaming mice have 2 to 14 additional buttons build in them. They are usually present on the side of the mouse. These help assign a macro function to the mouse itself without having you use a keyboard to reach a combination of keys giving you that extra edge in competitive games and saving you the time needed to win the match.

These buttons help you every time you need a reload, or need to open crates and boxes in FPS games. This feature is a life-saver (pun intended!) where you make split-second decisions.

For most of the games, you won’t be needing more than 5 additional buttons. Things change in MMOs and MOBAs where there are multiple times you need to use a keyboard and hence you need more than 5 buttons.

Few gaming mice also provide you additional weights which you can insert into them to increase or decrease their overall weight. This helps players achieve better control over the movement of the mouse. This can be important for gamers who play different games. For most FPS shooters, lightweight mouse is preferred and for most single-player games and MMOs, a heavily weighed mouse is used.

Corsair gaming mouse with multiple buttons
Additional weights for mouse

Wired Mouse vs Wireless Mouse

There are gaming mice and regular mice which are both wired and wireless. People used to prefer wired mice to wireless mice in the past due to obvious reasons involving heavy battery consumption of wireless mice leading to it stop functioning during gameplay. This is a thing of the past as the wireless mice now are power efficient and last longer than the previous generation wireless mice.

Wired mice provide function over form. They are cheaper and the USB ensures no breaks in connection with minimum input lag. The wireless mice, on the other hand, help solve the burden of wires getting tangled with ease of management and freedom of movement. If you’re a competitive gamer, I suggest you stick with a wired mouse. It will give you that extra edge.

Going wireless comes down to your own personal preference. I own a wired mouse myself and won’t be getting a wireless one soon. Call me old-fashioned, but hey! that’s my personal preference. If you want a wireless mouse for its comfort and ease, just go for it! There is no reason to stick with a wired one.

wireless gaming mouse

Final Thoughts

Here are benefits of a gaming mouse over a regular one

  • Better build quality and overall durability which increases the average lifespan
  • Ergonomic design that ensures comfort
  • Higher DPI and Polling rates than a regular mouse
  • Additional buttons and weights provide increased control
  • Customizable mouse software to unleash its true potential
  • Different choices depending on your grip types
  • Better sensors which improve gaming performance

Considering all the things I’ve mentioned above, it’s obvious that gaming mice are really worth the small premium if you compare it with a regular mouse. You can also use it for regular browsing and office work.

If you’re thinking of buying a gaming mouse, Stick with a gaming mouse less than $100. Anything more would be an overkill for the value you get.

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