Gaming mouse comparison: Showdown 2013

When the flashy marketing is blown away, which is the best gaming mouse?

A lot of work and a lot of technological effort goes into the current generation of gaming peripherals, but most of it is obscured behind the more immediately visible efforts by the marketing team.

We looked at four of the most popular gaming mice and tried to work through the guff to see the one we could rely on to deliver results when gaming.

The lucky contenders are the Razer Naga, Razer DeathAdder, SteelSeries Sensei and the Logitech g500s.

SteelSeries Sensei
Razer Naga 2014 Edition
Razer DeathAdder 2013
Logitech g500s

Razer DeathAdder

The DeathAdder is the entry-level model of the mice here, with slightly fewer tricks but just as sturdy a back as any of them.

There are five programmable buttons to play with so the basics are catered for.

The 6400dpi sensor isn't as powerful as the one on the Naga or the g500s, but for regular gamers this is, dare I say it, probably enough.

There is a left-handed version of the DeathAdder but unless you want to buy two versions of the same mouse, left-handed households are best served by the Sensei.

Reasons to buy:

  • Budget is a consideration.
  • You already own a Razer keyboard.

Reasons not to buy:

  • The Sensei does everything better.
  • You need crazy-high precision.

SteelSeries Sensei

The only natively ambidextrous mouse in the line-up.

The Sensei is the sleeper of the pack with its understated looks. Don't let this fool you: the Sensei is the current mouse of choice for Major League Gaming (MLG) tournaments.

The sensor can grab a claimed 11,400dcpi, which may be the most out of all mice here, but is also measured slightly differently to the other contestants.

Like the Naga, the Sensei packs a hugely powerful 32-bit ARM processor on board, meaning this mouse is likely to be as powerful as most home computers of five years ago. Why is this important? It means you're not going to get lag between your arm acting and the cursor moving.

Like all the mice here, you can program the Sensei's buttons to do whatever you want, with most of the built-in macros set for RTS and FPS gaming.

The Sensei is designed for high precision and high tech, so it's a shame it has the most understated design of the pack.

Reasons to Buy: 

  • Ambidextrous. It's somewhat sad that our left-handed testers only had one mouse they felt comfortable with.
  • It's the most precise of the bunch.
  • Uncluttered design with useably large buttons.
  • Simple enough for use outside of gaming.

Reasons not to buy:

  • Doesn't look as flashy as the g500s or the Naga.
  • No adjustable weighting for the body itself.

 

Razer Naga

Anyone who's seen the Naga is drawn to the number pad on its bloated left side. This mouse is crazily devoted to MMO games and the designers at Razer owe themselves a pat on the back for taking that design to its nth degree.

The Naga shares the Sensei's ARM processor but also packs an 8200dpi sensor for tracking, which should make it much more precise in theory. This mouse is staggeringly precise, but the technology put into the Sensei pips it at the line in actual gameplay.

If you already own a Razer device, it is possible to set up combinations of Razer gear to work in tandem, such as setting your keyboard profile from your mouse. This is pretty specific stuff but it tested fine with our BlackWidow.

Keep the Naga for MMO gaming, its design and weight make it slightly too bulky for FPS games.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's got a numberpad for MMO gaming.
  • Very precise.

Reasons not to buy:

  • Not ambidextrous.
  • Really not the best for anything outside of MMOs.

 

Logitech g500s

Finally a mouse that still has adjustable weights in the base.

Logitech was the first mainstream peripheral company to take gaming seriously with their G9 mice and G15 keyboards. They're still in the game with the g500s but flashy design doesn't gel with it being uncomfortable to hold at times.

The g500s packs a similar 8200dpi sensor as the Naga and can handle sideways motion of 4 metres per second. Logitech also claims a lifespan of 20 million clicks for its buttons and 250 kilometres of movement before the feet wore out. We sent the intern to test those out.

The g500s is probably the best all-rounder of these four mice, but it's not a pure gaming mouse and it shows.

Reasons to buy:

  • Adjustable weight.
  • Buttons useful for more than just gaming.

Reasons not to buy:

  • Gaming functionality handled better by the other mice.

The Winner: SteelSeries Sensei

As a gaming mouse this really is hard to beat. The precision comes in a controlled stream that doesn't take long to get used to and the mouse itself is extremely comfortable to hold. If you're a serious gamer, this is the mouse we recommend you get.

The ambidextrous design was a real winner here and the ease of installation compared to some other gaming mice also helped accessibility.

The Naga and g500s put up a fantastic fight for first place. The Naga could probably go in first place for dedicated MMO players and the g500s takes an easy second for people who game from time to time but use their mouse for other precision topics.

The DeathAdder is still a great mouse, it was just beaten by more serious contenders on the day.



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