Now you may be asking, who is this dude? What does he know about mice? Well, I’ve been a PC player ever since I started gaming, and I’ve been on a search for the perfect mouse for nigh on 2 years now. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly but endearing. I’ve used the small, medium and large mice, wireless and wired, good sensors and bad sensors, I’ve seen it all!
Knowing that, I have a list of criteria that I look for in a mouse. First and foremost, shape is king. Every mouse has a slightly different shape, even mice that are considered clones of each other, and all the little twists and curves can make or break a certain shape for someone. An extra millimeter here, or a slightly deeper dip there, and the mouse may feel entirely different. Unfortunately, shape is also totally subjective, and what feels great to me at my hand size and grip style may be absolutely abhorrent to someone else. I will attempt to give recommendations for who I think the mouse is designed for, but at the end of the day, it’s totally up to you, the consumer, to decide what works best for you.
Next in line for importance is sensor. It is absolutely critical that a mouse meet a certain standard of sensor performance, but anything past that threshold is icing on the cake. Without getting too technical, anything listed as having a PMW3310, 3325, 3360, 3389, 3989, or Mercury will perform extremely well. All the mice in our list use one of these sensors, so for this list there is no need to worry about sensor. If you want to learn more about sensors you can read our guide here.
Then, in no particular order, we have buttons, cable and weight. Buttons and cable are generally a matter of personal preference, although some cables are noticeably stiff and actually impede swift movement of the mouse. Weight is a hotly contested issue in the mouse enthusiast community (yes it exists, go check out r/mousereview for more info), and some people are on the search for the lightest possible mouse. Some mice are even below 60g, which is an absolutely staggering achievement. Personally, I find anything under 105g to be the ideal weight, although this may have something to do with my high sensitivity.
A little bit about me and my preferences: I play shooters, so my focus is on accuracy and precision. I play fast-paced, twitchy shooters like Destiny 2 and Overwatch, so I need a mouse that can keep up with lots of fast flicks and also smooth tracking. I have very large hands, roughly 20.5 cm long by 10.5 cm wide. If you don’t know how to find those measurements, measure from the base of the wrist to the tip of the middle finger for length and from the knuckle of the pinky to the outside of the thumb. I also use a hybrid of a palm and claw grip, so keep that in mind when you read my reviews. You can learn more about mouse grips right here.
Our under $30 budget gaming mouse series
I will be taking a look at 5 different “budget” mice. Budget, in this case, is being defined as anything under $30 USD, but still maintaining a high level of quality and performance. Our first gaming mouse in our budget series is the Talentech Ember, you can read our review right here.