Thanks to the more intense demands of competitive and serious gamers, a lot of PC peripheral manufacturers have created a separate catalog for them with the “gaming” label. Now we have gaming lights, gaming chairs, and more importantly– gaming mice, whose worth will forever be questioned because non-gaming devices are usually cheaper.
So the question is, are gaming mice worth it?
Well, happy to inform you that based on their specs and their ergonomics alone, gaming mice are worth it regardless of whether you’re using them for gaming or not. Whether they’re worth more than non-gaming mice is the bigger question here and that would depend on your use case.
That’s what we’re going to explore to help you be better informed with your purchase decisions about gaming mice or non-gaming mice depending on where you sway after this article.
What Makes Gaming Mice Worth It?
Gaming mice have a specific look to them. They usually have more aggressive shells or aesthetics and their molds have certain sharp or distinct protrusions or crevices that can be used as anchors for quick movements.
To that end, a lot of the most popular gaming mice these days from reputable companies underwent extensive research and development to produce the most ergonomically fitting shapes for comfort. Only, there are lots of different hand shapes and sizes so ergonomics is still subjective, which is why there are many brands and gaming mouse lineups.
But generally, gaming mice tend to be more comfortable than cheap office mice although there are also expensive office mice that match– or even exceed the ergonomics of gaming mice.
It’s just that gaming mice tend to have more nifty features that aren’t just useful in gaming, but also in work environments or just about any activity. And there’s also one feature that will surely help you a lot…
The typical gaming mouse, even those that are sold cheaply for around $10, tends to have additional buttons on the side. This kind of design isn’t exclusive to gaming mice, though it’s a lot more common with them.
You can map certain macro functions with these extra buttons so you won’t have to press the keyboard anymore.
For example, these two extra side buttons usually default to the forward and back control buttons in browsers. So pressing them saves you a few seconds of moving the cursor over to the button and clicking.
Again, you can map these buttons to any function, even to the ‘close’ button for quick privacy saves especially when in the office (as an example). It does take a while to get used to, but it offers more control compared to a non-gaming mouse. Of course for gaming, these two extra buttons are almost indispensable.
DPI and Low Latency Technology Allow for Better Responsiveness
DPI or Dots Per Inch is the amount of area a mouse cursor can cover during movement. A higher DPI usually translates to a higher sensitivity range. For gaming mice, the DPI range is a lot more dynamic and wider than a mouse that’s not made for gaming in order to accommodate a gamer’s sensitivity needs whether he’s sniping or making fast-twitch movements.
You might even find DPI adjustments useful for work especially if you’re dealing with Excel sheets. You can switch DPI on the fly with decent gaming mice, allowing for a greater level of control over the cursor. Meanwhile, you’ll be stuck with just one DPI number for non-gaming mice or a low range.
Low Latency Is a Game-Changer
It’s no secret that even wired mice have latency, and wired non-gaming mice have terrible latency that might not make them fit for gaming or if you value responsiveness.
It just so happens that latency is one of the first few challenges that gaming mice tried to eliminate. In fact, there is now even proprietary wireless technology for gaming mice, namely Logitech’s LightSpeed and Razer’s HyperSpeed, which claim to have lower latency than wired mice.
You can imagine just how much this improves gameplay, especially for e-sports professionals. For other tasks or hobbies, having low latency might also save you from some frustrations when double-clicking or when securing that last piece of an item during an online order (to name a few examples).
The point is, you won’t notice how much a gaming mouse’s low latency can help you until it does in some clutch moments.
Again, you can likely find some non-gaming mice which have these kinds of responsiveness, but they’re few and far between and they also tend to be more expensive than the actual gaming mice themselves.
Gaming Mice Are Built To Withstand Punishment
We’re not even talking about the shell and the build here (though even that’s a good case for the durability argument). The mouse switches (buttons) on gaming mice are simply more durable compared to regular office mice or non-gaming mice.
These buttons are made to withstand tens of millions of clicks and the latest technology even puts their longevity past a hundred million clicks. So while one day, you’re going to worry that your regular mouse will start double-clicking for no reason, this kind of apprehension doesn’t (or shouldn’t) happen much on a gaming mouse since they are built better.
Some gaming mouse models even have an aluminum shell so they can withstand drops and shock damage.
Consequently, gaming mice are more expensive because of the more durable materials but that’s a good tradeoff instead of having to replace a cheap non-gaming mouse every six months or so. A lot of flagship gaming mice– even the older generations, can last years or even a decade.
Now all that’s left is to pick a good design that will suit your aesthetics. And don’t worry about the RGB, you can turn it off with the accompanying software. Usually.