The best gaming mouse you can buy

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Finding the right gaming mouse amid all of the options available can, frankly, be a struggle. There are a lot of factors to consider, like how it looks, how it feels in the hand, the button selection and arrangement, the quality of its sensor, and whether you want a mouse that’s wireless or wired. These details, minor as they seem, can have a major impact on your experience with the mouse you choose to buy. On the other hand, sometimes mice have features that get overblown and don’t actually work as well as advertised.

However your taste leans, you almost certainly want the best gaming mouse that your budget allows for. We’re going to make this decision easy for you. The best gaming mouse is Logitech’s G502 Lightspeed. It’s the most well-rounded choice if you want comfort, a long-lasting battery, and the best selection and arrangement of buttons. This model’s design accommodates multiple grip styles, and Logitech’s companion software is unobtrusive and a breeze to use. It also has rock-solid wireless connectivity so you don’t have to deal with a wire entangling your gameplay.

If you’re don’t want a wireless mouse and are looking for the best wired gaming mouse, look no further than the Razer DeathAdder V2. It’s unbeatable in the ergonomics department, with a design that feels like a natural extension of my hand. And while this model has a fairly simple layout and button selection, it’s all just within reach and responsive.

Our other top picks for the best gaming mouse of 2020 include the Zowie EC2-A, Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE, and Razer’s Basilisk V2. Check out the full list below.

Best gaming mouse: Logitech G502 Lightspeed

The G502 Lightspeed is the best gaming mouse of 2020.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The best wireless gaming mouse you can buy

The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is a great gaming mouse for discerning gamers who don’t want to compromise as well as people who have no idea what they should look for in a mouse. It’s comfortable, feature-packed, and even though it’s wireless, it’s a fast and accurate performer that doesn’t feel at a disadvantage against opponents using wired mice.

At $150, the best doesn’t come cheap. But if you’ve tossed around the idea of making an investment in a high-end wireless mouse, no other model that I tested for this buying guide justified its price so easily.

The G502 Lightspeed has Logitech’s best features for its gaming and general-use mice rolled into one. The main buttons deliver a satisfying bounce response when you tap them, and unlike some other popular models, they click easily no matter how you grip your hand on the mouse.

This mouse also features a quick-release button, a feature borrowed from other Logitech consumer-focused and gaming mice. By default, the scroll wheel staggers down a webpage with each step, which is how you expect a scroll wheel to work. Tapping the button releases the mechanism gripping the wheel, allowing it to freely sail to the bottom of a long page. It’s a small feature, one that gives the mouse more versatility in certain situations, like being able to quickly scroll through your inventory when in a game.

The G502 Lightspeed has plenty of other gaming-centric features. Logitech’s latest sensor, the Hero 16K, is capable of up to 16,000 DPI and over 400 inches per second, with a 1,000Hz report rate. It supports a wide range of sensitivities so that, depending on your playstyle and desk setup, it accommodates both small and sweeping arm movements with the push of one of its macro buttons.

Logitech G502 Lightspeed

The G502 Lightspeed may not have the most inviting design, but it’s incredibly comfortable to use.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Another nice feature is the inclusion of 16g of additional weights you can insert into the mouse to give it more resistance. A mouse’s weight comes down to personal preference, and that could vary from game to game. This mouse is among the few modern wireless devices to give you the flexibility to change up the weight.

No matter what weight you choose, the mouse easily glides across mouse pads with its soft feet. Those feet are made out of PTFE (a premium alternative to plastic), the same material found in many of Razer’s mice that helps to reduce friction.

Logitech’s arrangement of macro buttons on the G502 Lightspeed first struck me as over-crowded. You’ll find six of them placed around the mouse. (There are technically 11 buttons total, if you count the main mouse buttons, clicking in the scroll wheel, and the ability to program what the wheel does when you wiggle it to each side.) But when I’m using the mouse, each macro feels within reach, and it’s surprisingly easy to distinguish one from the next when you’re in the heat of a tense match.

Logitech’s software will let you configure the mouse’s LED lighting pattern, assign commands to macro buttons, and tweak the minute details of how its sensor tracks. And unlike the apps made to accompany mice from most other peripheral makers, Logitech’s G Hub software is simple to use and as unobtrusive as they come.

The fact that the G502 Lightspeed is wireless makes it that much easier to bring along with you wherever you go. But if you just can’t swing the $150 price, I suggest that you check out the $50 Logitech G502 Hero, which is the wired version of this mouse. It has almost every feature that you’ll find in the wireless model — except, you know, wireless capability. Its feet aren’t made of PTFE, a material that makes the G502 Lightspeed smoothly glide across a mouse pad. It also has fewer onboard profiles (three versus five), and the scroll wheel has a slightly different look and feel. But if you don’t mind being wired up to your PC, it’s a great option for many of the same reasons I heartily recommend the G502 Lightspeed.

Best wired gaming mouse: Razer DeathAdder V2

Razer’s DeathAdder V2 is the best wired gaming mouse you can buy.
Image: Razer

2. Razer DeathAdder V2

The best wired gaming mouse you can buy

A great wired mouse doesn’t need countless features. It just needs to be extremely good at the fundamentals, including being comfy enough to use for hours at a time with games that require quick reflexes, having a simple assortment of buttons that take little to no time to master, and, of course, great performance. If this matches what you want in a mouse, the $70 Razer DeathAdder V2 is the one you want.

Of all the wired gaming mice that I tested for this buying guide, no other mouse felt like a more natural extension of my hand. That’s crucial when you’re playing a game that requires precision, and it’s good to have when you just want to feel support while you’re using your computer in general.

The DeathAdder V2’s design provides a lot of palm support whether my fingers are flat and relaxed over the mouse or arched when I need to use faster reflexes. I use my index finger to left click and middle finger to right click; unlike most mice, this design gives me enough space on its right side to keep my ring and pinky fingers from dangling off the side and dragging on the mouse pad. That’s something I didn’t know I wanted out of a mouse until I started using this one.

Those design features keep things comfortable, but I think the part of the mouse that sold me is where my thumb rests. Many mice etch out an area for your thumb to relax and laze around. That’s fine, but I find that it necessitates more arm movement when the action ramps up. I prefer this mouse’s solution: its ergonomic design keeps my thumb wrapped around its side, naturally resting upon the edges of the customizable macro buttons. It’s good to have multiple buttons within reach, and the thumb location makes it easy for me to push the mouse around using just my wrist. It’s comfortable and has the dual purpose of keeping me limber in case I need to make sudden movements.

What’s inside of the mouse plays an equal role in it being my top choice. It has Razer’s Focus Plus optical sensor with 20,000 DPI and up to 650 inches of travel per second. You can switch between custom DPI settings with the buttons near the scroll wheel, and this mouse supports multiple profiles that you can toggle on the bottom of the mouse — each with its own setting that you can modify using Razer’s Synapse desktop software. This makes it easy to create up to five profiles for people you might share the mouse with or to make distinct profiles for work and play or an individual profile for each game you play. And once the profiles are stored, you can swap between them on other computers, whether the Razer software is installed or not.

The DeathAdder V2 has a few other design touches that make it a joy to use compared to other mice. Razer’s Speedflex braided cable essentially nixes the likelihood of it snagging on your mouse pad by using a different kind of fabric and knitting pattern than other brands. It has PTFE feet that will help it glide smoothly across your mouse pad.

When it comes to longevity and durability, Razer claims that the DeathAdder V2’s optical switches are rated for up to 70 million clicks. Razer also uses these features in several of its other mice, but the information further sweetens the deal here.

Other best options

In addition to our top picks, we’ve selected a few other standout options that may be worth considering if our favorites don’t jibe with your ergonomic needs, grip style, or budget. In some cases, these alternatives came dangerously close to dethroning our top picks. You’ll find those below.

BenQ Zowie EC2-A

The Zowie EC2 is the company’s most ergonomic gaming mouse.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

3. BenQ Zowie EC2

The runner-up choice for best wired gaming mouse

Razer’s DeathAdder V2 is still my personal pick in terms of comfort, though I’m convinced that some BenQ’s latest Zowie mice — particularly the EC2-A that I spent a lot of time with — may be an equally good, if not better, option for some people. The $69.99 Zowie EC2-A is my favorite of the company’s current catalog. It’s shaped similarly to the DeathAdder V2 in that it’s ergonomic and sloped to give your palm a comfortable surface to lay on while you game or browse. What’s more, there’s a generous amount of thumb space underneath the side buttons that I found to be spacious and equally accommodating to my grip style. All of Zowie’s mice are delightfully no-frills in terms of their design, but the EC2-A is the most curvy mouse the company offers.

A quick aside from this model, I want to praise Zowie for not trying to make a single one-size-fits-all mouse. Unlike other manufacturers, it makes a few size options for each mouse model. So if you’re thinking that you might want a slightly smaller version, the EC2 is something you can easily buy for the same price.

BenQ Zowie EC2

You can adjust the Zowie EC2’s DPI sensitivity and polling rate without the need for a driver or software.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

The no-frills philosophy extends into the feature offering, but that’s not to say it’s lacking. I think the EC2-A offers exactly what most gamers need, and perhaps of equal importance, nothing they don’t. This mouse features four buttons (two main, two side) and a semi-translucent scrollwheel that changes color depending on your DPI setting. (It can be adjusted with a button on the mouse’s bottom side.) Even the more advanced settings, like adjusting lift-off distance or USB report rate, are done by holding down a unique sequence of buttons when you plug it in. Most companies make you install companion PC software in order to adjust settings like these, so it’s cool that you don’t need to install anything here to tweak the settings yourself. On the flip side, unless you’re a diehard gamer who’s constantly using those features, you might have a tough time committing them to memory.

Some other things I like about the EC2-A (most of Zowie’s mice share these traits in common) include the scroll wheel’s deep, grippy grooves. It makes a hearty click sound with every scroll, and advancing to the next notched step in either direction requires just the right amount of effort. Plus, its cable is 6.6 feet long, which is quite generous.

If you want a basic-looking mouse that’s just as capable as Razer’s, the Zowie EC2-A is worth considering. The DeathAdder V2 feels more luxurious to use and has LEDs, if that’s your thing. I’m okay with relying on Razer’s software to adjust settings like polling rate and liftoff distance. Though, for a mouse that doesn’t require any software (or, in fact, even a driver), this is an alluring package that’s easy to recommend.

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

Corsair’s Dark Core RGB Pro SE bundles in a bunch of features for the price.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

4. Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

A more affordable runner-up to the best wireless gaming mouse

Corsair’s latest high-end wireless gaming mouse comes dangerously close to dethroning our top pick. The Dark Core RGB Pro SE has a comfortable, ergonomic build with a high-arch that makes it easy to relax with during long gameplay sessions or to power through work. Its design is less angular and sharp-looking than the G502 Lightspeed, so you might take to it more quickly based on looks alone. Though when I’m not paying attention to how the two mice differ in appearance, they feel equally comfortable.

It’s worth calling out that near the top that this mouse is much more affordable than our top pick. Though it’s listed at $140 through Corsair, Best Buy regularly sells it for $90 and sometimes less. For the price, it’s impressive that it has a few features up on Logitech’s mouse.

Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

The Dark Core RGB Pro SE is just as comfortable to use as the best gaming mouse, Logitech’s G502 Lightspeed.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

It offers USB-C charging and supports Qi wireless charging if you have a wireless charger. This mouse can switch between 2.4GHz wireless mode via its included USB dongle (cleverly tucked under its removable, magnetic wing) or Bluetooth. Of course, you’ll get better results by using the dongle, but it’s great to have options. I found that the battery life, while decent, wasn’t quite as long-lasting as the G502 Lightspeed.

Some smaller, but equally welcome features here come in the form of that removable magnetic wing I just mentioned, which snaps onto its right side to let me comfortably rest my ring and pinky fingers on. The textured, grip-friendly sections at the palm and near the thumb are also great. Like the G502 Lightspeed and many other mice in this guide, the Dark Core also has smooth PTFE feet that easily glide across a mouse pad.

The Dark Core held up nearly just as well in-game as Logitech’s mouse above, though the omission of two features made me miss using the G502 Lightspeed. It doesn’t have a dedicated sniper button, and there were a few instances where the model that I tested had a squeaky left mouse button. I don’t think it made a noise more than once every few hundred clicks, and it was tough to replicate it when I tried. Though, it didn’t leave the best impression for a brand-new mouse. Also, I found that the battery life, while decent, wasn’t quite as long-lasting as the G502 Lightspeed. This isn’t a big issue if you can effortlessly rest it on a wireless charger to top up, but it’s a shortcoming nevertheless.

Outside of the price differences, these two play a game of teeter-totter with features. Depending on who you ask, the Dark Core might have one or two up on the G502 Lightspeed. But Logitech’s mouse edges it out with better build quality, extra buttons (not to mention the excellent scrollwheel), and optional weights.

Logitech G502 Hero

The G502 Hero (left) sitting next to the best gaming mouse, Logitech’s G502 Lightspeed (right).
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

5. Logitech G502 Hero

The more affordable, wired take on the best gaming mouse

If $150 is too much for you to spend on Logitech’s wireless G502 Lightspeed, you might want to consider this wired version, the G502 Hero. It has the same design as our pick for the best gaming mouse — actually, it’s basically the same in almost every way, down to the kind of sensor it uses and its adjustable weights. That makes it almost just as good, though some might take issue with its thick braided cable and the somewhat slippery plastic used on the scrollwheel.

Razer Basilisk V2

The Razer Basilisk V2 has more features than the DeathAdder V2, though its design and feel might be hit or miss for you.
Image: Razer

6. Razer Basilisk V2

A good alternative if the DeathAdder V2 is too basic or big for you

The Basilisk V2 is the wired mouse that I’d recommend to people who want the advantages of a modern Razer wired mouse, like the thin, braided SpeedFlex cable, fast performance, PTFE feet that let the mouse glide across your mouse pad, and, of course, LEDs. Despite having a design that might not fit well in everyone’s hands, it’s a smaller mouse that has more features than the DeathAdder V2.

For instance, the Basilisk V2 has a removable sniper button that’s easy to reach. Perhaps my favorite feature here is the scrollwheel that has an adjustable tension. It’s not quite as cool as the Logitech G502’s free-spinning wheel, but you’ll probably love it if you want a custom feel to your wheel. One of the best things about this mouse is that it has most of the same features found in the more expensive Basilisk Ultimate, Razer’s wireless version of this mouse.

BenQ Zowie FK2

The Zowie FK2 is a true ambidextrous mouse that features thumb buttons on both sides.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

7. BenQ Zowie FK2

A great true ambidextrous mouse

While all of the mice above were built exclusively for right-handed gamers, BenQ’s Zowie FK2 is an excellent option that’s built for both right- and left-handed players. There are plenty of other true ambidextrous mice out there (meaning that there are thumb buttons accessible on both sides), but the Zowie FK2 is a low-profile, high-performance option that doesn’t cost too much. Like the EC2-A mentioned above, the FK2 works without the need for an installed driver. What’s more, it’s available in multiple sizes, and you can also adjust DPI and a few other settings right on the mouse.

This isn’t the most comfortable option out there, perhaps because it was built to suit two unique audiences, though it’s tough to beat if you just want a simple, versatile gaming mouse.

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