The mouse is a piece of technology that has been around for a long time and has come pretty far. From the days of the ball mouse, technology has come a long way; not just any optical mouse will cut it when it comes time to game anymore. We set out to find the best budget gaming mouse and settled on the six we’ll be reviewing below.
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How to Pick the Best Budget Gaming Mouse for Your Needs
When it comes to shopping from among the best cheap gaming mice there are a few things to look out for. The most important things to keep an eye on are DPI and the number of buttons. These will let you know what kind of performance to expect and can cue you in on what kinds of things the mouse is designed for. Additionally, be sure to consider weight and ergonomics to ensure you get the mouse that suits your needs best.
Before we got into the details about about mice, we wanted to give you a quick tip for deal hunting. We mentioned this in passing from our very first product, but most products online have their prices change relatively often, you just might not realize it unless you are frequently visiting these product pages like we do.
Some products will show that they are “discounted” for months despite them effectively just adopting a new, lower price outright. This can give you a false sense of urgency because a product is over 50% off! Don’t want to miss out on that sweet deal. But before you jump at it you should use an Amazon price tracker, like camelcamelcamel.com.
For instance, our first mouse, the Logitech G403 Prodigy, is “normally” out of the budget range; however, checking camel shows us that it’s set at, or below, the price of most of the other mice on this list for the majority of the last year. As such, being strategic about when you buy things can help you keep to your budget.
Dots per inch, or DPI, is a measurement of how sensitive a mouse is. More specifically, it measures how many pixels the mouse will move across the screen per each inch that the mouse is moved.
While many gaming mice have incredibly high DPIs, up to 12000 from the list that we looked at, almost nobody actually uses their mouse with this high of a sensitivity. The two main advantages to having a higher DPI sensor is that it is more accurate and that it is better for very high-resolution screens.
Higher DPI will mean greater accuracy even when the DPI is turned down and will lend to a more reliable and responsive gaming experience. However, very high DPIs are also frequently used for those who have very high-resolution screens. Moving across a 4k screen requires four times the distance of mouse travel compared to a 1080 monitor, unless you have four times the DPI.
The other important performance-related spec to look at when shopping for mice is the number of buttons it has. Many mice now follow a standard five button layout that includes the left and right clicks, a forward and backward button on the side, and the mouse wheel. Many will also incorporate a sixth button below the mouse wheel that switches between preprogrammed DPI settings.
While these are all suitable for most tasks, there are certain things that require more buttons. If you plan to use macros for MMOs or work, then consider either getting the Redragon M901 or the Logitech G300s. These are the best budget gaming mice for those who use lots of macros, with the G300s sporting 9 programmable buttons and the M901 boasting an impressive 18.
Weight and Ergonomics
The last major thing to consider when shopping for a mouse is the weight and how it will feel in your hand. While it can be hard to get a good idea of this while shopping online there are a few things to look for.
The weight of the mouse will determine how it feels overall. Lighter mice are easier to glide and are easier to pick up and reposition, but some people find that a slightly heavier mouse allows them to make more precise movements. There are some mice on our list, such as the Logitech G403 Prodigy that include additional weights that you can put into your mouse for a weightier feel.
As far as ergonomics go, the most comfortable mice on our list are the Corsair Harpoon and the Logitech G300s. The Harpoon is lightweight and super comfortable with its rubberized and textured side, but the Logitech G300s is ambidextrious making it great for left-handers.