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The best gaming mouse in 2021

best gaming mouse
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The best gaming mouse you could buy this year is completely dependent on your needs as well as the games that you play. While gaming laptops have come a long way, the touchpads on the best gaming laptops have not.

No touchpad can substitute the intuitive control and easily accessible buttons of even the most basic mouse. But you aren’t just looking for a basic mouse. You’re looking for a gaming mouse, designed with precision and accuracy in mind. A trusted tool for slaying the Prime Evils of Hell, sniping at mercenaries across a neon-drenched cyberpunk city block, and headshotting your friend on the other team before you go in to blatantly disrespect them.

Whatever your need or preference, Laptop Mag has the best gaming mouse to recommend you. We test our mice on the best PC games so you can make an educated decision on what gaming mouse is best for you. Whether you’re a veteran gamer interested in software packages and grip design or a new player looking for some entry-level options, this list has got you covered. Be sure to check out our best back to school sales page for an affordable choice. You can also check out our recent SteelSeries Prime+ review, SteelSeries Prime review and SteelSeries Prime Wireless review. There are also a bunch of new mice launching soon that we'll have reviews coming in for.

What is the best gaming mouse?

If you’re looking for the best gaming mouse to buy, it all depends on your needs. One of the best wireless gaming mice you can buy is the Razer Basilisk Ultimate. The Basilisk Ultimate pushes gaming mice to a new standard with smarter internal and external features. For $169, the Basilisk Ultimate offers great wireless performance paired with a neat adjustable scroll wheel that's packed into a comfortable design. You also get a cool charging dock as well as some solid software. 

If you’re okay with a wired mouse and are into MMOs, the Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite is the best around. At $80 dollars, it's a great choice for anyone looking to free up some binds on their keyboard. And while the Scimitar RGB Elite is specifically designed for MMO and MOBA players, it's also surprisingly serviceable as an FPS mouse.

Meanwhile, the Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition offers left-handed gamers a more comfortable way to play some of their favorite games. With many options for customization and a very comfortable layout, gamers have the chance to buy a product made specifically for them. Not to mention the mouse itself allows for five different profiles, making switching from game to game easier than ever. However, the $99 price tag is a little pricey.

If you’re looking for affordability, you can’t go wrong with the SteelSeries Rival 3. We put the Rival 3 through its paces and were impressed with the responsiveness of its sensor and its comfortable, stylish design. Short of a few desired additions — a braided cable and swappable weights — the Rival 3 is the perfect gaming mouse for those on a budget.

The best gaming mouse you can buy today

Razer Basilisk V3 review best gaming mouse

The Razer Basilisk V3 offers speedy performance and an awesome adjustable scroll wheel in a comfortable design, making it a near-perfect gaming mouse. (Image credit: Rami Tabari)

1. Razer Basilisk V3

The best wired gaming mouse

Specifications
DPI: 100 - 26,000
Buttons: 11
Size: 5.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 3.56 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Speedy performance+Comfortable design+Smart scroll wheel+Solid software
Reasons to avoid
-Ring and pinkie rest needs work

Looking for an excellent gaming mouse that won’t break the bank? For just $69, you can pick up the Razer Basilisk V3, a feature-filled gaming mouse with all of the latest tech. 

This baby features speedy performance thanks to its new 26K DPI sensor, a comfortable design and a smart scroll wheel that lets you spin your heart away. The only flaw is that the ring and pinkie rest could be bigger to create a more comfortable grip. 

Apart from that quibble, the Razer Basilisk V3 is easily the best gaming mouse in Razer’s lineup.

See our full Razer Basilisk V3 review.

Razer Basilisk Ultimate best gaming mouse

The Razer Basilisk Ultimate is a strong gaming mouse that offers smooth wireless performance, a comfortable design and a sweet adjustable scroll wheel. (Image credit: Future)

2. Razer Basilisk Ultimate

The best gaming mouse for wireless connectivity

Specifications
DPI: 100 - 20,000
Buttons: 11
Size: 5.11 x 2.75 x 1.65 inches
Weight: 3.77 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Great performance+Comfortable design+Neat charging dock+Adjustable scroll wheel
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

What do you get for the gamer who has everything? Probably the Razer Basilisk Ultimate. With a silky wireless connection, pixel-perfect precision, adjustable scroll wheel, and Razer’s renown Synapse software, the Basilisk Ultimate has firmly established itself as an apex predator in the PC gaming jungle. This is the cream of the crop.

So how much is this bad boy going to set you back? A meaty $169. This is a mouse that offers all the competitive edges of a model like the SteelSeries Sensei Ten but with far more pomp and glamour. It’s good to be the king, but it certainly ain’t cheap. The Basilisk Ultimate, along with the rest of Razer's recently unveiled mice, has an edge in performance over the competition, thanks to its hardware. Its optical switches use an infrared light beam to register a click, which gives the mouse a response time of 0.2 milliseconds.

See our full Razer Basilisk Ultimate review.

SteelSeries Rival 3 best gaming mouse

SteelSeries' $29 Rival 3 is one of the best values in gaming mice, thanks to its accurate sensor and great looks. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. SteelSeries Rival 3

The best gaming mouse on a budget

Specifications
DPI: 100 - 8,500
Buttons: 6
Size: 4.75 x 2.64 x 1.49 inches
Weight: 2.7 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Accurate, responsive sensor+Comfortable design+Attractive RGB lighting
Reasons to avoid
-No adjustable weights-Cheap rubber cable

Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. If you’re a fledgling PC gamer, someone looking for a reliable back-up mouse, or simply a budget-conscious player, the SteelSeries Rival 3 is a worthy choice. At just $30, the Rival 3 is cheaper than an Xbox One controller or a PlayStation DualShock 4 and less than half the price of its big brother, the SteelSeries Sensei Ten.

But while the Rival 3 is a great mouse in its own right, the low price point means fewer features. A braided cable and some adjustable weights would’ve been nice, but at $30, it’s a fantastic value. Despite that, we were struck by how premium the Rival 3 looked and felt after touching its smooth body. It might not have the soft-touch finish of the Sensei Ten, but the Rival 3's minimalist shape combines with tasteful RGB lighting to create an aesthetic that's every bit as attractive as more expensive models.

See our full SteelSeries Rival 3 review.

Corsair Sabre RGB Pro best gaming mouse

The Corsair Sabre RGB Pro gaming mouse is ultra-light and ultra-fast with up to 8K polling making it an impressive value at under $60. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. Corsair Sabre RGB Pro

The best gaming mouse for speed

Specifications
DPI: Up to 18,000
Buttons: 6
Size: 2.76 x 5.1 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 2.7 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Amazingly lightweight+Handy on-the-fly DPI settings+8K polling, 18K DPI+Affordably priced
Reasons to avoid
-Rubberized scroll wheel

The Corsair Sabre RGB Pro follows relatively quickly on the heels of the recent Razer Viper 8K and delivers the same 8,000Hz polling rate at an even more affordable $60 price. The ultra-lightweight gaming mouse manages to pack an impressive collection of features including on-the-fly DPI setting changes, two-zone RGB lighting, durable Omron switches, and an excellent paracord cable.   

While $60 is on the edge of the budget gaming mouse realm, it’s still affordable compared to many of the options you’ll find while searching for the best gaming mouse. If you want top-of-the-line performance, but don’t want to spend too much, the Corsair Sabre RGB Pro should be on your shortlist.

See our full Corsair Sabre RGB Pro gaming mouse review.

Razer Viper 8K best gaming mouse

With the Viper 8K, Razer improves upon the original in small, but meaningful ways while keeping the price the same. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. Razer Viper 8K

The best Razer gaming mouse for speed

Specifications
DPI: Up to 20,000
Buttons: 8
Size: 2.6 x 5.0 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Excellent performance+Comfortable ambidextrous design+Lightweight+8K polling rate, 20K DPI
Reasons to avoid
-Weight isn't adjustable

Razer's Viper 8K mouse is easy to recommend for one simple reason: it improves upon its already excellent predecessor without raising the price. With the 8K model, you get a solid array of specs and features, including a responsive Focus+ sensor, up to 20K DPI, optical triggers, a class-leading polling rate, and an ambidextrous design. 

Does the Viper swallow its competition whole? In many regards, yes. It has a universal design that will be comfortable for left- and right-handed users no larger how small or large their digits are. The enhanced Focus+ sensor is responsive and accurate, and the optical triggers have a satisfying snap to them. Moreover, the attention-grabbing feature, an 8,000Hz polling rate, will reassure e-sports gamers that they're getting the most responsive feedback, even if most users don't notice the difference.

See our full Razer Viper 8K gaming mouse review.

Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite best gaming mouse

The Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite is a comfortable, intuitive mouse for MMO players who still enjoy the occasional FPS game, but dealing with Corsair's iCUE can be a hassle. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

6. Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite

The best gaming mouse for MMO players

Specifications
DPI: Up to 18,000
Buttons: 17
Size: 6.9 x 4.5 x 3.1 inches
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Comfy design+Adjustable side keypad+Great for arm aimers
Reasons to avoid
-iCUE can be a hassle-Keypad doesn’t work out of box

Quantity doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality. The Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite is a mouse that is designed with MMO and MOBA players in mind. That means it comes with a 12-button side keypad, bringing it to 17 programmable buttons in total. The Scimitar RGB Elite is big and heavy. At 6.9 x 4.5 x 3.1 inches and 9.6 ounces, this mouse is for palm grippers and arm aimers.

That weight could be a hindrance or an asset, depending on your playstyle. Arm aimers will find that the Scimitar RGB Elite is also a surprisingly serviceable FPS mouse. You’ll also have to fuss around with Corsair’s iCUE software to make the mouse worth its $80 price tag. But if you’re an elbow-twisting macro enthusiast that enjoys the occasional Apex Legends match in between your Mythic raids, the Scimitar RGB Elite could fill your niche.

See our full Corsair Scimitar RGB Elite review.

Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition best gaming mouse

The Razer Naga Left-Handed Edition provides a customizable and comfortable way for left-handed gamers to play, but it's a little pricey. (Image credit: Future)

7. Razer Naga: Left Handed Edition

The best gaming mouse for left-handed gamers

Specifications
DPI: 100 - 16,000
Buttons: 20
Size: 4.9 x 2.9 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable design+Responsive+Good performance
Reasons to avoid
-A little pricey

After years in retirement, the Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition has come back to life. It has all new specs of the previous models but, packed in a fresh design. Finally, left-handed users can get back into using a mouse designed specifically for them so they can play MMO games more comfortably. Needless to say, if you have never used a left-handed mouse before, the Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition will take some getting used to. But I feel as though the ring finger indentation and the pinky finger grip provided more stability than mice without them. 

Thanks to the 12-button panel, the Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition offers a wide-range of customization for gamers. Of course, you have to deal with the annoyance of configuring all of the buttons, but after some trial and error, you’ll appreciate Naga's customization options. However, the Naga is a bit pricey, at $99, especially for a wired mouse. But overall, Razer’s latest adaptation of the Naga: Left-Handed Edition is the best gaming mouse for left-handed gamers.

See our full Razer Naga: Left Handed Edition review.

SteelSeries Sensei Ten best gaming mouse

A timeless design paired with a modern sensor makes the SteelSeries Sensei Ten an excellent ambidextrous gaming mouse. (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

8. SteelSeries Sensei Ten

The best gaming mouse for wired ambidextrous gamers

Specifications
DPI: 50 - 18,000
Buttons: 8
Size: 5 x 2.7 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 3.25 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable, ambidextrous design+Elegant, iconic aesthetics+Premium soft-touch material
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless option-Light on features

Fancy lights and modular parts are nice, but at the end of the day, the worth of a mouse is measured by its ability to shred. The SteelSeries Sensei Ten is the quintessential example of a competitive gaming mouse: a no-frills device with a timeless ambidextrous design that is designed purely with performance in mind. This 10th iteration of the Sensei series uses the same classic design as its predecessors with a soft matte finish and esports-minded performance.

At $70, the Sensei Ten has been the weapon of choice for some of the greatest esports players in the world. If you don’t mind using a wired mouse that’s god-tier in performance but lacking in features, you can’t go wrong with this classic. The engine inside the Sensei Ten is a TrueMove Pro optical sensor that tracks movements at up to 18,000 DPI at a 1,000-Hz-per-millisecond polling rate.

See our full SteelSeries Sensei Ten review.

Razer Viper Ultimate best gaming mouse

The Razer Viper Ultimate is a superlight, ambidextrous mouse with excellent wireless performance, but it is a little pricey. (Image credit: Future)

9. Razer Viper Ultimate

The best gaming mouse for wireless ambidextrous gamers

Specifications
DPI: Up to 20,000
Buttons: 8
Size: 5 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.6 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Great performance+Ambidextrous design+Neat charging dock
Reasons to avoid
-Could be a little more comfortable-Stiff scroll wheel

If you’re left-handed, finding a good mouse can be tough. Luckily, there are mice like the Razer Viper Ultimate around to meet your needs. This nimble little mouse is fantastic for anyone looking for a high-quality mouse that can zip around the screen with precision and ease. With a strong software suite and fantastic performance, the Viper Ultimate is a fine companion for any hardcore gamer. Thanks to its unique mouse feet, which are actually made of PTFE (you may know it as Teflon), gliding across the mouse pad has never felt smoother.

But only wealthy gamers would readily invest in the $129 price tag, which bumps up to $149 if you want the bundle with the Razer Chroma charging dock. Reaching the side buttons on the opposite side of your dominant hand can also be a bit cumbersome. Even with these shortcomings, the Viper Ultimate remains one of the best wireless mice on the market. 

See our full Razer Viper Ultimate review.

HP Omen Photon best gaming mouse

The HP Omen Photon gaming mouse features ambidextrous design and smooth wireless connectivity, but it's pricey and not that comfortable. (Image credit: Future)

10. HP Omen Photon

The best gaming mouse with swappable paddles

Specifications
DPI: 100 - 16,000
Buttons: 11
Size: 5.11 x 2.38 x 1.73 inches
Weight: 5 ounces
Reasons to buy
+Ambidextrous design+Smooth wireless connectivity+Solid software
Reasons to avoid
-Could be more comfortable-Scroll wheel gets stiff

The HP Omen Photon is another attractive mouse for a left-handed gamer. As with the Razer Viper Ultimate, what you’re getting is accessibility, reliability, and convenience. The Omen has an ambidextrous design with two thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse (which can be swapped for plastic plates), it’s wireless, and the Omen Command Center offers a bunch of customization options from programming macros, setting the DPI, and lighting options.

But like the Razer Viper Ultimate, it’s also priced at $129, so this is yet another device aimed for the wealthier gamer. Some might also find ovular design uncomfortable, particularly because the side cutaways go deep. Despite the uncomfort, the Photon still performed admirably under our testing and is still a solid choice for left-handed or ambidextrous gamers. 

The Photon features four magnetic thumb buttons, two on either side. You can use all four, or you can prioritize a particular side, depending on whether you're left- or right-handed. If you don't want them, you can swap them out for plain plastic plates.

See our full HP Omen Photon review.

How to choose the best gaming mouse for you

Choosing the best gaming mouse comes down to preference and needs. Needs can depend on whether you’re a right or left-handed gamer. And preference can be whether or not you spend your time playing first-person shooters or you’re a MMO addict.

If you’re a right-handed gamer that loves first-person shooters, the Razer Basilisk Ultimate is a great option for you because it’s comfortable and offers an additional paddle for virtually any use. But, if you’re a left-handed MMO player, then the Razer Naga: Left-Handed Edition will suit you well, as you get an additional 12-button panel just to manage your rotations in games like World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

Whether you’re a right or left handed player, you could benefit from the SteelSeries Sensei Ten, which is a modestly priced wired gaming mouse that has all of the flare and performance that comes with the SteelSeries name. This is a must for gamers who play esports titles.

How we test the best gaming mouse for you

Laptop tests gaming mice by running them through some of the most popular PC titles on the market today. We evaluate how well they perform, both in game and for everyday-productivity tasks. Whether you want something premium or cheap, wired or wireless, large or small, there's a mouse out there that will suit your play style and budget. 

We spend a few days with each gaming mouse and not only play a variety of video games with them but also use them casually to see how the mouse’s various features impact the day to day. We ensure that we test the mouse for what it’s designed specifically for, like FPS or MMO games. And we also use the mouse to play a variety of other genres to see if the mouse is good at only one type of game or if it's suitable for more than what it’s marketed toward.

If it’s a wireless mouse, we pay close attention to the precision, accuracy and delay, if any, present in all gaming mice. However, more often than not, wireless gaming mice are as or more precise than wired mice because they’re loaded with expensive tech. There are also other things to consider like how efficient it glides, the number of buttons it has and if it’s comfortable or not. Most of those aspects are pretty subjective, so a mouse that works for us might not work for your needs, so keep that in mind.