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The best gaming mouse in 2021

best gaming mouse
(Image credit: Razer)

Having the best gaming mouse can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Whether you’re immersing yourself in massive single-player adventures or competing in multiplayer for glory and fame, a cheap productivity peripheral is simply not going to cut it. 

A good gaming mouse doesn’t necessarily make you any more skilled, but it does give your skills a chance to shine through. Using this guide, you’ll be able to find the best gaming mouse for your play style, aesthetic preferences and budget. Whatever you wind up buying, it’ll be more comfortable, colorful and effective than a standard office mouse.

Some gaming mice are small and sleek, prioritizing speed over all other considerations. Others are large and full of extra bells and whistles, letting you customize the perfect fit and weight for your hand. Manufacturers also produce a variety of wireless gaming mice, in case your desktop is getting a little tangled. While there is no “best gaming mouse” for every single person, this guide should help you find the best gaming mouse for your particular setup.

The best gaming mouse you can buy today

Best gaming mouse: Logitech G502 HERO

Logitech G502 HERO (Image credit: Logitech)

1. Logitech G502 HERO

The best gaming mouse overall

Max DPI: 16,000 | Buttons: 11 | Size: 5.2 x 3.0 x 1.6 inches | Weight: 4.3 ounces (adjustable)

Intuitive and comfortable design
Big buttons in a smart layout
Streamlined software with lots of options
May not suit palm-grip players with big hands

The Logitech G502 HERO is, to the best of my knowledge, the best gaming mouse for most players. This large, ergonomic, customizable mouse gets just about everything right, from physical design to software options to optional features. 

First and foremost, the G502 is a gorgeously made mouse, featuring a futuristic, angular design that’s nonetheless extremely comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Thanks to the Logitech G Hub software, it’s easy to set up custom profiles for each game you like to play. You can even adjust the mouse’s heft thanks to a handful of easy-to-install tunable weights.

While the G502 has been around for quite a few years, Logitech has given it some subtle redesigns. The Proteus Spectrum update gave the G502 full RGB lighting, and the more recent HERO update replaced the old sensor with a more powerful, higher-DPI model. If you’re of the wireless bent, you could also check out the Logitech G502 Lightspeed.

Read our full Logitech G502 HERO review.

Best gaming mouse: SteelSeries Rival 3

SteelSeries Rival 3 (Image credit: SteelSeries)

2. SteelSeries Rival 3

The best budget gaming mouse

Max DPI: 8,500 | Buttons: 5 | Size: 4.8 x 2.3 x 2.6 inches | Weight: 2.7 ounces

Great value
Good performance
Decent software
Some sensor oddities
Not ambidextrous or ergonomic

When I reviewed the SteelSeries Rival 3, I did a double-take when I learned how much this mouse cost. Thirty dollars is what you’d usually pay for a cheap, no-name gaming mouse on Amazon, but not for a high-quality peripheral from a major manufacturer. And yet, the Rival 3 features the same superlative Danish engineering and robust software as other SteelSeries mice. It even has subtle RGB lighting, thanks to a rather elaborate LED strip on the bottom of the mouse.

The biggest selling point of the Rival 3, however, is its incredibly light weight: 2.7 ounces. SteelSeries claims that this feature can help esports players, who rely on subtle twitches and quick wrist motions to dominate the competition. Even if you’re not an ultra-competitive player, however, the Rival 3 is a comfortable, well-designed mouse with far more features than you’d expect for the price. Tom's Guide is also currently in the process of reviewing the SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless variant.

Read our full SteelSeries Rival 3 review.

(Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer DeathAdder V2

The best all-purpose gaming mouse

Max DPI: 20,000 | Buttons: 7 | Size: 5.0 x 2.4 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 2.9 ounces

Comfortable design
Smart button layout
Excellent performance
Almost identical to previous models
Software can be convoluted

The Razer DeathAdder V2 is the latest in a long line of Razer DeathAdder mice. The very first DeathAdder came out in 2006, and since then, it's sold more than 10 million units. The reason behind the mouse's ongoing popularity is simple: It's a very, very good mouse. The DeathAdder V2 features a comfortable grip, plenty of programmable buttons, customizable RGB lighting and excellent performance across a variety of genres.

There's almost nothing working against the DeathAdder V2, save for a sometimes recalcitrant software suite, and the fact that other mice offer a lot more bells and whistles. On the other hand, if you want something that's both straightforward and full-featured, the DeathAdder V2 is one of the very best gaming mice on the market. If you want something smaller, there's also the Razer DeathAdder V2 Mini to consider. Consider also the Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro, which is a wireless version of the beloved mouse.

Read our full Razer DeathAdder V2 review.

Best gaming mouse: Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless

Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless (Image credit: Corsair)

4. Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless

The best wireless gaming mouse

Max DPI: 10,000 | Buttons: 5 | Size: 4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches | Weight: 3.5 ounces

Comfortable grip
Excellent performance
Reasonable price
Unnecessary lighting

The Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is perhaps the best gaming mouse if you’re looking for an inexpensive wireless mouse from a major manufacturer. For $50, you still get a whole lot of functionality. 

This mouse features an ergonomic design with textured grips, a deep software suite and flawless wireless functionality. You get a powerful, high-DPI sensor, functional RGB lighting and two programmable, convenient thumb buttons. It’s a straightforward mouse, but it’s a surprisingly good one, especially considering that it costs about $100 less than most wireless mice.

Another useful feature of the Harpoon RGB Wireless is that it offers Bluetooth functionality, so you can use it with tablets, smartphones and streaming devices — or with a computer, if you don’t feel like hooking up a USB dongle. 

With all the lights turned off and the mouse in Bluetooth mode, you can get up to 60 hours of battery life. Even with all the bells and whistles powered up, the mouse can last for a few days of heavy gaming, and you can recharge via USB while you play.

Read our full Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless review.

Best Gaming Mouse: Razer Basilisk V2

Razer Basilisk V2 (Image credit: Razer)

5. Razer Basilisk V2

The best FPS gaming mouse

Max DPI: 20,000 | Buttons: 6 | Size: 5.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 3.3 ounces

Comfortable design
Innovative clutch
Great in-game performance
Inconvenient scroll-wheel adjustment
Software has a steep learning curve

The original Razer Basilisk did something incredibly clever for FPS mice. Rather than have a third “sniper” button to lower DPI while lining up shots, it had a clutch. This small strip of metal is much easier to find, and much more convenient to click down, than a sniper button. 

The Razer Basilisk V2 improves on the Basilisk’s great design, adding a better sensor, an adjustable scroll wheel and better gliding feet. It’s especially helpful for FPS players who need to aim precisely, but it’s also a perfectly good all-purpose gaming mouse; you can simply remove the clutch and plug the hole with a rubber stopper, if needed.

My only real issue with the Basilisk V2 is that adjusting the scroll wheel isn’t as foolproof a process as it could be. However, once you find a comfortable position for the scroll wheel, you’ll probably never need to adjust it again, making it almost a moot point. The Razer Synapse software is robust, although it may take a few days to learn all of the options at your disposal.

Read our full Razer Basilisk V2 review.

Best Gaming Mouse: Razer Naga Trinity

Razer Naga Trinity (Image credit: Razer)

6. Razer Naga Trinity

The best MMO gaming mouse

Max DPI: 16,000 | Buttons: 17 (adjustable) | Size: : 4.7 x 2.9 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 4.2 ounces

Versatile side panels
Easy customization
Sensible software
No way to adjust height or length
Learning curve for button layouts

The Razer Naga Trinity is arguably the best gaming mouse for MMOs. But thanks to its unique design, it can also be the best gaming mouse for MOBAs, or even action/adventure games. Rather than being stuck with a single style of thumb buttons, the Naga Trinity offers three swappable panels: one with two buttons, one with seven buttons in a “hex” pattern (really, “hept,” but let’s not split hairs) and one with a whopping 12 buttons.

The 12-button configuration is incredibly useful for World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV and other MMO favorites, but the other two side panels ensure that you can use the Naga Trinity with just about any genre and still excel. It’s a large, heavy mouse, which is good for players with large hands, and the side panels are effortless to swap in and out. If you'd prefer a wireless model, consider the similarly excellent Razer Naga Pro instead.

Read our full Razer Naga Trinity review.

Corsair Dark core rgb pro se

(Image credit: Corsair)

7. Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro SE

The best Qi wireless charging gaming mouse

Max DPI: 18,000 | Buttons: 8 | Size: 5.0 x 3.5 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 5.0 ounces

Comfortable design
Great wireless connectivity
Handy Qi charging
Imprecise battery indicator
Stiff scroll wheel

The Corsair Dark Core Pro RGB SE demonstrates that you don't have to pay more than $100 to get a full-featured wireless gaming mouse. This ambitious peripheral combines a comfortable grip and a generous number of programmable buttons with extremely pretty RGB lighting. The result is a mouse that's highly functional and easy on the eyes. It even recharges wirelessly, provided you can bring your own Qi charger.

The scroll wheel on the Dark Core Pro RGB SE is admittedly not the best choice for hardcore productivity work, and it's not always easy to know how much battery you have left. But that's not usually a huge problem, considering that the battery can last for dozens of hours. While you can get cheaper wireless gaming mice and fancier wireless gaming mice, the Dark Core Pro RGB SE represents a perfect midpoint between the two.

Read our full Corsair Dark Core Pro RGB SE review.

Razer Orochi V2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

8. Razer Orochi V2

The best laptop gaming mouse

Max DPI: 18,000 | Buttons: 6 | Size: 4.2 x 2.3 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 2.1 ounces

Portable and lightweight design
Superb battery life
Ultra-low latency
No Chroma RGB lighting
Requires batteries

The Razer Orochi V2 is the latest in a long line of excellent laptop-focused gaming mice from Razer. This compact mouse features two wireless modes (2.4 GHz and Bluetooth), as well as six programmable buttons, a max DPI of 18,000 and full compatibility with the sensible Razer Synapse software. It's easy to use and easy to transport, and it's an excellent accessory for both productivity and gaming.

The Orochi V2 admittedly lacks some of the features we like in Razer's more premium mice. There's no rechargeable battery, so you'll be reliant on wasteful AA batteries instead. You also won't get pretty RGB lighting. On the other hand, you will get hundreds of hours of battery life, at least in Bluetooth mode, so perhaps it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

Read our full Razer Orochi V2 review.

How to choose the best gaming mouse for you

There are three things to consider when buying a gaming mouse: design, features and price.

Design is probably the single most important consideration for a mouse. Ultimately, the best gaming mouse is the mouse that feels most comfortable in your hand; everything else really is secondary. 

As such, you should see if you can hold a mouse before you commit to buying it. If not, at least consider whether you want a large mouse or a small mouse, a mouse with a high profile or one that’s low to the ground, a mouse with a ton of extra buttons or just a few, and so forth.

Extra features are another consideration. These include things like wireless connectivity, tunable weights, RGB lighting and swappable parts. The general rule here is that the more features you want, the more expensive a mouse will be. A wireless mouse with swappable parts can cost up to $150; a small mouse with just a few extra buttons and perhaps a light or two could cost $30, or even less, if you’re looking at older models.

Price is usually a function of how many features a mouse offers, but there’s another way to save: Buy mice from an older generation. (This doesn’t, however, mean “buy used mice.” That’s usually a bad idea.) Once a shiny, new version of a mouse comes out, the perfectly good older models often plummet in price.

How we test gaming mice

To test gaming mice, we run them through at least four games across a variety of genres: usually FPS, RTS, RPG and MMO. We make sure we get a few hours of game time whenever possible. We also use mice for productivity for at least two days, in order to gauge the shape, comfort and overall design.

Software is another important part of a mouse’s evaluation, as almost every gaming mouse from a major manufacturer has access to a software suite. We analyze a software suite for functionality, ease-of-use and system resource drain. The best software packages are lightweight and easy to learn; weaker software packages tend to be unstable or convoluted.

Price factors into our evaluations as well, although “cheaper” does not always necessarily equal “better.” Instead, we believe that more expensive mice should offer more features, especially if they’re priced similarly to competing mice that offer similar feature sets. Cheaper mice should always be comfortable and effective in-game, although we don’t penalize them for offering simpler designs or fewer bells and whistles.

  • litphoenix
    Tom's should never recommend mice known for having the dreaded "double-click" issue, like everything Logitech sells.
  • bahoicamataru
    I took the time to make an account on this forum for the sole reason of telling you that your list is bad and that you should feel bad. This feels more like something put together in approximately 20 minutes of google searches than something put together by an experienced reviewer. I do not know how one could recommend massive heavy mice with 1000 buttons and other useless gimmicks which are terrible for aiming and gaming in general such as the G502, Corsair Dark Pro RGB Pro SE or Basilisk V2 and even call them the best gaming mice🤢, while not even caring to mention great value, genuinely good mice such as the Razer Viper Mini, Logitech G102/203, the G-Wolves lineup or the Endgame Gear XM1. Very poor outside of the only 2 decent picks which are the Deathadder V2 and the Rival 3.
  • Frannydanny
    The Razer Naga Trinity should be taken off any list of gaming mice. I purchased one in early June 2019, the right and left click buttons began failing after a month and became impossible to work with at about a month and a half, and flawed products make it past QC occasionally, annoying but not fatal.... The problem started with the repair/replacement process. Their warranty protocol is draconian, I got a form which was all but impossible to fill out, having boxes for me to input information that did not allow input - ended up converting to a pdf form. They wanted a video of my mouse not working. The warranty group was unresponsive, every inquiry produced an additional repair ticket, the total count of unique ticket numbers was 10 or 11, over a period of months. I finally got either a repaired or new mouse in November - it started failing in December (same problem - left and right mouse buttons not clicking. Tossed the thing in the trash in January 2020. Razer is not on my purchase list for anything.