One of the most important components of a PC gaming setup is the gaming mouse. Gaming keyboards are useful, but they have little impact on your gaming when compared to a gaming mouse.
The difference between a mediocre keyboard and a fantastic keyboard isn’t as noticeable as the difference between a mediocre mouse and a terrific mouse.
When you’re playing a PC game that requires rapid and accurate targeting (which is many! ), having a nice mouse that fits comfortably in your hand is the greatest way to ensure you’re performing at your best. A bad mouse can cause latency, acceleration, and even poor tracking.
In non-competitive games, this will be a nuisance, but in serious online battles, that extra time spent aiming can mean the difference between winning and losing.
1. SteelSeries Rival 5
The SteelSeries Rival 5 is a comfortable, feature-packed right-handed mouse for gamers that enjoy a wide range of genres but don’t want to invest in multiple mice. If you’re more inclined to play an FPS or Battle Royale game than a MOBA or MMO, the Rival 5’s nine configurable buttons can accommodate both.
It bridges the difference between a standard gaming mouse (with two side buttons) and one created specifically for MOBA and MMO games, which essentially acts as a number pad for your thumb. The Rival 5 is reasonably priced at $60.
It costs twice as much as the company’s entry-level Rival 3, but includes three additional buttons, including a distinctive toggle button above the standard pair of thumb buttons.
Custom weights and wireless functionality are features that you won’t find on more expensive gaming mice. The price is right, but can the Rival 5 serve as a single mouse for all of your gaming needs?
At first appearance, the Rival 5 has a pretty neutral shape and appears to be an ambidextrous mouse. Closer examination (read: grasping the mouse) reveals that it’s designed for right-handed users, with five buttons on the left side and a gentle scoop-out for your thumb.
Most gaming mice come with at least two side buttons above the thumb rest, and the third button in front of your thumb isn’t uncommon. The Rival 5 has an unusual broad button that lies over both thumb buttons and serves as two inputs.
You may push it up to accomplish one thing and pull it down to do something else. The large toggle button takes a little getting accustomed to. You may need to relearn the habit of using your keyboard in favor of it, depending on what you’re given.
The Rival 5 has the traditional quartet of buttons on top, including left and right mouse buttons, a clickable scroll wheel, and a DPI button, in addition to the side buttons. The side grips and palm rest of the mouse have a soft-touch plastic finish.
I liked the feel of this finish on the mouse buttons, but I preferred the textured rubber side grips of the Corsair IronClaw RGB, which is equally priced. The IronClaw gave me a firmer grip and better control than Rival 5, thanks in part to its superior side grips.
After using both mice, I found that I prefer the wider, larger IronClaw’s size and shape. My palm has a taller hump, and my thumb has a larger region. I don’t have particularly huge hands, but I do use a palm grip when gaming, and I appreciated the IronClaw’s ability to keep the bottom of my palm off the mouse pad.
The Rival 5 is arguably best suited for claw grips because of its thinner and smaller shape. The shape and size of the Rival 5 may appeal to you more than the shape and size of the Rival 5. You might also enjoy the fact that the Rival 5 is 20 grams lighter than the IronClaw, weighing 85 grams versus 105 grams for the IronClaw.
At only 77 grams, the base Rival 3 is lighter than both. When mousing and swiping, the IronClaw felt as light as the Rival 5, thanks to its improved glide, but both mice are in the sweet area of neither being excessively heavy nor light.
The Rival 5 has a maximum DPI level of 18,000 and five adjustable DPI settings to choose from. In comparison, the IronClaw has an 18,000 DPI sensor, whereas the Rival 3 only has an 8,500 DPI sensor. For both playing games and navigating Windows, the Rival 5 seemed crisp and accurate.
SteelSeries’ Golden Microswitches are dust- and water-resistant, and they’re rated for 80 million clicks, which is a higher durability rating than other mice.
The Omron switches on the IronClaw are rated for 50 million clicks, whereas the Rival 3’s are rated for 60 million. The switches are also rather quiet, which is beneficial for streamers who don’t want the sound of mouse clicks to be picked up in their broadcasts.
The logo is the most frequent location for mouse RGB lighting, which means that the lighting on most mice is concealed from view while in use because your hand covers the logo.
However, the Rival 5 contains three extra LED locations in addition to its lit logo: the scroll wheel and two stripes that run down either side of the top of the mouse, each with four customizable places, for a total of ten LED zones. The Rival 5’s left LED stripe is visible when used by a right-handed gamer.
The SteelSeries GG app allows you to disable the illumination if you find it distracting. You can also modify the hue for each of the ten zones and choose from a variety of lighting patterns if you want to lean into the LEDs. The app is well-designed and easy to use.
It allows you to reprogram and create macros for each of the mouse’s buttons, change the DPI and acceleration settings, and create profiles for specific games and apps. I used Fortnite, CS: GO, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and League of Legends to put the mouse to the test.
The Rival 5 was up to the task when it came to twitchy shooters; it seemed speedy and accurate even during the most frantic times. I tried to push myself away from the keyboard and toward the mouse’s side buttons when playing a MOBA game like League of Legends.
In that scenario, I found that casting summoner spells with the broad toggle button rather than the D and F keys had a distinct learning curve.
I have a 1440p monitor and didn’t even come close to using the Rival 5’s entire DPI range. You might be able to use the mouse at 18,000 DPI if you have a large 4K TV, but anything above 10,000 DPI was far too sensitive for my setup.
Fortunately, I was able to customize the DPI levels on the Rival 5 to meet my demands, and having the extra DPI power will come in handy if and when I upgrade to a 4K monitor. I ended up turning off two of the DPI options since I only needed three presets, and having only three made it faster and easier to cycle through them to find the one I found.
Although the Rival 5 has sufficient accuracy and buttons to play a wide range of games, I prefer Corsair’s IronClaw RGB if you primarily play fast-paced shooters.
It just features two thumb buttons, but they’re more comfortable to use than the Rival 5’s two principal thumb buttons because they’re larger and aren’t sandwiched between two other buttons you’re unlikely to use.
SteelSeries would have had more room to space out the side keys and make them wider and easier to engage if the Rival 5 was the same size as the larger IronClaw.
At $59.99, the SteelSeries Rival 5 is a great value. It’s attractive, accurate, and long-lasting. It has an 18,000 DPI sensor and nine customizable buttons, so it may be used for a variety of displays and games.
The Rival 5 is a low-cost, one-mouse option if you don’t adhere to one genre. Furthermore, the RGB lighting is quite beautifully done. For the same price, the Corsair IronClaw RGB is a superior option for individuals who prefer shooters.
2. Corsair Harpoon RGB
Remove the wire from the Corsair Harpoon RGB, remove the 2,000 DPI, and add $20 to the bill, and you have the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse. It’s essentially identical to Corsair’s wired Harpoon RGB Pro mouse, but the wireless version has a lower total DPI optical sensor and costs $20 extra.
Because of the battery, it must carry onboard, the Harpoon RGB Wireless is a few grams heavier. Aside from that, it’s a carbon copy of the Harpoon RGB Pro. It’s a right-handed mouse with six buttons and a single RGB illumination zone.
You might believe Corsair put the wrong gaming mouse in the box when you first pull the Harpoon RGB Wireless out of the box. Because the Harpoon RGB Wireless may be used wired or wirelessly, and the cable attachment is seamless, the mouse appears like the wired Harpoon RGB.
The wired Harpoon mouse has a unique space in front of the scroll wheel between the left and right mouse buttons. When in wired mode, the wireless Harpoon features the gap; the cable fits in beneath the scroll wheel and has a huge plastic component that curls around it.
The Haroon RGB Wireless is essentially identical to the wired Harpoon RGB, except for the removable cord. It’s a right-handed mouse with ergonomics that should work well with both claw and palm grips. The mouse was quickly at ease with this claw gripper.
It has a robust feel to it, with no weak or creaking pieces. Even when my thumb and fingers were a little sweaty during a long session, the textured, rubberized side grips kept me from slipping. The sides are also slightly concave, providing a comfortable perch for my thumb and side fingers.
My only concern is that the Harpoon RGB Wireless is a little narrow; at its broadest point, it’s only 2.7 inches wide, and I wish it was a little broader.
Because it must hold the battery for wireless mode, the Harpoon RGB Wireless weighs a few grams more than the cable version. It’s not a particularly hefty mouse, even with the battery attached.
It is 99 grams in weight. The Logitech G502 Wireless, on the other hand, has an adjustable weight system that allows it to range from 114 to 128 grams.
The mouse features six customizable buttons, which should be sufficient for most gamers. The right and left mouse buttons are on top, along with a clickable scroll wheel and a DPI settings button just behind the scroll wheel. On the left side, there are two thumb buttons.
The side buttons are needed right above where your thumb sits, making them conveniently accessible while remaining out of the way when not in use. Although the mouse lacks a dedicated sniper button, one of the side buttons can be programmed to function as one.
The Harpoon RGB Wireless claims to have a single RGB illumination zone, yet there are two if you consider the DPI button’s LED. True, you can only program a color-changing pattern for the Corsair logo on the palm rest, but you can also program the colors of the LED indicator light for the mouse’s five DPI settings, as well as the unique sniper DPI setting.
The majority of the Corsair logo patterns are indistinguishable from one another because they don’t cycle over many zones but instead flicker in a single zone — resulting in a somewhat lackluster RGB lighting show.
However, if you plan to use the mouse mostly in wireless mode, you may choose to disable the RGB illumination to save battery life. Not to mention the fact that your palm is already covering it.
The mouse has two wireless modes, 2.4GHz wireless, and Bluetooth, and a little switch on the bottom allows you to choose which one you want to use. The former requires a USB dongle, which can be kept in a small compartment on the bottom of the mouse to prevent it from being misplaced.
Corsair’s Slipstream Wireless technology, which boasts a latency of less than 1ms, is used for the 2.4GHz connection. Corsair rates the Harpoon RGB Wireless for 45 hours of battery life through the 2.4GHz connection and 60 hours via Bluetooth when the RGB lighting is switched off.
With the RGB lights turned on, those statistics drop to 30 and 40 hours, respectively. I used the mouse for a week in both wireless and wired modes and never received a battery warning – according to the user handbook, the DPI indicator would blink red when you reach critical battery level.
It’s simple to charge the mouse by plugging it into the USB cable, which connects to the mouse through micro-USB.
The mouse can also be used in wired mode while charging, ensuring that it is never out of service. The cord is braided and six feet long, which is a nice touch for an inexpensive mouse that generally has a rubber-coated, tangle-prone cable.
I played CS: GO, Fortnite, and Overwatch to put the Harpoon RGB Wireless to the test. On my Corsair mousepad, the mouse glided fairly easily, although it could have been smoother if the four tiny glide pads were a little larger.
The breadth of the mouse, on the other hand, is my main complaint — it’s a little too narrow for my tastes. I like the textured side grips, but they could be spaced further apart. The ergonomics of the Harpoon RGB Wireless are likely to enjoy to claw grippers more than palm grippers.
The Harpoon RGB Wireless mouse is a great performer, although it’s a little on the little side. The Harpoon RGB Wireless is a no-brainer if flicking a little mouse suits your gaming style.
The Logitech G502 Wireless Mouse delivers a bulkier package with an adjustable weight system and a greater DPU count for its sensor if you prefer a larger, heavier wireless mouse. The G502 Wireless, on the other hand, costs three times as much as the Harpoon RGB Wireless.
Among wireless mice, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is a wonderful deal. It offers incredible versatility, solid build quality, and more than enough DPI sensitivity, with a wired mode and two wireless modes. Its only flaw could be its somewhat small packaging.
3. Logitech G502
The G502 is Logitech’s most popular wired mouse, and for years, people have said that the only feature that could improve it is if it were wireless. Logitech has heard this plea loud and clear, and it is now introducing a wireless version of the G502 to fulfill gamers’ prayers all across the world.
This new wireless version has been rebuilt from the ground up with the most up-to-date LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, POWERPLAY compatibility, and the HERO16K sensor while retaining the original’s design and feel.
It’s crazily expensive at $149, but it has all of the features of its predecessor while also including Logitech’s latest wireless technology. This is the gaming mouse of many gamers’ fantasies. Let’s look at it more closely.
If you’ve used the original G502 or G502 HERO, you’ll be familiar with what to expect. The mouse’s appearance and feel haven’t changed much since it was first debuted in 2014, and with good cause. During my meeting with Logitech, I learned that the G502 is by far the most popular gaming mouse in their lineup.
Because there’s a big believer that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” this year’s version focuses on internal improvements while keeping the outside design the same. The G502 is a sleek angular mouse with a matte body and accents of shine.
It gives the mouse a futuristic world that would feel right in with Cyberpunk 2077. Its ergonomics are identical to my favorite Logitech MX Master 2S, which I use at work every day, but the slightly narrower body makes it suitable for both palm and claw grip gamers.
I was astonished by how comfortable and natural it felt in my hand, having never used the original G502. A decent mouse should feel like an extension of your hand as it transfers your movements into the game, and this one is, at least for my medium-sized hands, a perfect illustration of that.
Fingertip players, on the other hand, may find it a little too heavy. It’s 7 grams less than the G502 HERO from last year, but it’s still one of the heaviest in Logitech’s Grange at 114 grams. The Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED, for example, is nearly close but weighs 4 grams less.
However, the slight weight increase is intentional, and it provides a great alternative to the current trend of sub-100g gaming mice. Optional weights can be fitted into a secret compartment encircling the sensor to customize it up to 14g heavier (10g if you use POWERPLAY).
While lightweight mice like the 80g G Pro Wireless appeal to some, I found the G502 LIGHTSPEED to be just perfect for my needs. It’s light enough to glide on both hard and soft surfaces with ease, but heavy enough to provide superb control.
There are 11 programmable buttons on the mouse. Two more mouse clicks are located to the left of your index finger, in addition to the conventional left, right, and middle mouse clicks.
The mouse wheel itself tilts left and right for two extra inputs, and beneath the mouse, the wheel clutch is another programmable button. I mistook it for a DPI selector (like it was on the G502 HERO), but tapping it now shows the battery level with the three indicator lights along the left side.
Below those lights are the Forward and Back thumb buttons, as well as a Sniper button that lowers the DPI for as long as you hold it, which was useful for lining up long-range shots in PUBG.
The button placement illustrates Logitech’s meticulous attention to detail. The extra left mouse buttons, for example, are ideally positioned to sit flush with the left click, but the shiny texture makes it easy to feel which button you’re on without needing down.
Except for the central button under the scroll wheel, they’re all easy to reach while remaining out of the way enough not to be accidentally pressed. Simply put, the G502 LIGHTSPEED is fantastic for a hybrid claw/palm gripper like me.
The thumb flange is perfectly positioned in my hand, the rubberized grips on the sides protect it from slipping out of my hand (and look cool with that triangle design), and the weight is evenly distributed so it doesn’t lose precision when I reposition it on the pad.
It’s my favorite mouse I’ve ever reviewed in terms of ergonomics. The built-in flywheel on the middle mouse wheel, which allows it to spin on a bearing and scroll at warp speed, is also worth mentioning.
You can engage a clutch for the conventional notched scroll by pressing a button just below the wheel, but the mouse wheel developed into a type of adult fidget spinner for me, so I let it free-wheel most of the time.
Despite having a similar appearance and feel to its predecessors, Logitech had to start again when it comes to introducing new features like LIGHTSPEED wireless.
To avoid the G502 becoming a lot heavier mouse, cutting the cord and integrating wireless charging necessitated redoing the whole internal design of the mouse, including a new endoskeleton structure.
It’s worth it, though, because the HERO wired version I tested beside it had wire memory difficulties, leading the cord to battle the mouse at times.
Even for competitive gaming, wireless connectivity has advanced to the point where connecting via USB is no longer necessary.
Logitech claims that their LIGHTSPEED wireless technology competes with, and occasionally outperforms, its competitors’ wired mice. I don’t have the tools to evaluate responsiveness down to a single millisecond, but the G502 has the same 1ms response time as popular wired mice as the Razer Basilisk and Corsair Scimitar PRO.
I didn’t detect any extra lag when using it alongside those mice, which confirms my experience with LIGHTSPEED Wireless. The Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED gaming mouse is an excellent choice. It’s quick and accurate without the use of a cable, and I was quickly won over by its outstanding ergonomics and weight.
It’s a bit costly at $149.99, but it’s also one of the best and most feature-rich mice on the market today. You will not be disappointed if you can afford it.
4. Corsair NightSword RGB
The Corsair NightSword RGB Tunable FPS/MOBA Gaming Mouse is a gaming mouse with a weight that can be adjusted. You may use Corsair’s iCUE software to track the changes in the mouse’s total weight and center of gravity as you add and remove the six weights on the underside.
However, unless you’re extremely sensitive to the feel of your mouse, I doubt you’ll ever need or use this degree of detail. Still, it’s a cool feature to experiment with, and it’s well-documented in the software.
While the NightSword’s weight-detection mechanism is the highlight, the mouse’s large thumb rest is the standout feature in my eyes (and thumb).
A thumb shelf would be a more realistic description. The NightSword looks attractive and performs well, thanks to its exceptional overall build quality, very accurate optical sensor, and four-zone RGB lighting.
It is, however, more expensive than another excellent gaming mouse from Corsair, at $80. Is the extra money worth it for the software-assisted weight detection or the amply designed thumb rest? Let’s take a look and see what we can find out.
The Corsair NightSword RGB has textured, rubberized palm and thumb grips, 10 programmable buttons, and four RGB light zones that may be customized. The construction quality and ergonomics are excellent. The NightSword is obviously for right-handers exclusively, thanks to its large thumb rest on the left side.
The NightSword is a massive, heavy mouse that isn’t as big and bulbous as the Corsair IronClaw RGB. It measures 5.1 inches in length, 3.4 inches in width, and 1.7 inches in height. It weighs a substantial 119 grams at its lightest and rises to 141 grams when all six weights are combined.
By comparison, the IronClaw weighs 105 grams, while the Corsair M65 RGB Elite’s weight system runs from 97 to 115 grams. Corsair’s earlier mouse had textured, rubberized side grips, but the NightSword takes it a step further by including the gripping surface on the palm rest as well.
The rubbery grips on the sides are more beneficial against your thumb and pinky finger than under your palm, although they do give the NightSword a cool appearance. The only major surfaces without the textured surface are the left and right mouse buttons. The scroll wheel is textured as well.
Many gaming mice have an ergonomic design with a scooped-out left side that gives your thumb a comfortable, warm perch. The NightSword improves on this concept, rather literally. The left side of the mouse extends below your thumb, giving you more than simply a concave contour to nestle your thumb in.
The bottom of the left side spreads out to give a wide, horizontal surface for your thumb to rest on. I liked the feel of it, however if you pick up and re-center your mouse on a frequent basis instead of gliding it around your mouse pad, you might not appreciate the extra width.
When a gaming mouse offers multiple RGB light zones, it usually refers to two: one around the scroll wheel and one on the palm rest for the manufacturer’s emblem. There are four RGB lighting zones on the NightSword.
It contains front and back illumination zones in addition to the scroll wheel and logo. Three cutouts in the front and three in the back illuminate your chosen color or color pattern.
A fifth illumination zone exists, consisting of three little strips of light on the left side that indicate the current DPI level. You can also customize their color, and while you’re in sniper mode, they glow a different color.
On the top, you’ll find the standard left and right mouse buttons, as well as a clickable scroll wheel that also functions as a button. Behind the scroll wheel are two buttons that cycle between the profiles you’ve created, which are quite standard for a gaming mouse.
Then there are two additional buttons on the left side of the left mouse button that sit close to the left of your pointer finger, which are not generally found on a gaming mouse. These two buttons are set to cycle through the mouse’s DPI settings by default.
Corsair’s iCUE software is compatible with all of the company’s software-controlling products. It’s well-designed and easy to operate.
The software allows you to program your preferred DPI levels for the three settings (plus a separate sniper setting), create macros and other actions, perform surface calibration (to aid tracking and aiming), enable angle snapping (to aid tracking in a straight line), and customize the lighting effects in the mouse’s four zones (plus the DPI indicator lights).
There are a lot of RGB lighting effects, including two that change color depending on your CPU or GPU temperature. That’s cool.
The mouse’s most distinctive feature is its weight-system detection, which has its own page in iCUE. It shows a representation of the mouse weights you’ve added, which updates in real time as you add and remove them. It displays the mouse’s total weight as well as how the X, Y, and Z axes affect the mouse’s center of mass.
While I like the software’s implementation of weight-system monitoring, I’m not sure how effective it is in practice. Simple physics and logic tell me that putting the larger weights towards the back will slightly shift the mouse’s center of gravity farther from the center.
I don’t care how many millimeters it is from the center. The total-weight statistic is more relevant if you’re switching from another mouse to this one and want to maintain the same weight with the NightSword as you did with your prior mouse, but I think that’s about it in terms of utility.
With its multitude of buttons and lighting zones, the Corsair NightSword RGB features exceptional build quality and precision, as well as a great degree of customization.
The feel of the thumb rest, as well as the NightSword’s heavy weight, will determine whether or not you spend an extra $20 over a high-end mouse like the Corsair M65 RGB Elite.