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Having a capable gaming mouse by your side for when you’re climbing the ranked ladder is of the utmost importance. You don’t, however, need all the latest bells and whistles, and you shouldn’t have to spend a small fortune, either. There’s a very tangible point of diminishing returns, as is the case with all hardware and tech in general.
The term “budget” is often thrown around without much reserve and that’s somewhat of a problem as it’s inherently relative. Our needs and preferences vary, and so do our budgets. Some folks want the absolute best and are willing to pay for it. Others, however, just want a gaming mouse that’ll tick all the right boxes without burning too big a hole in their wallet.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of top-tier wireless gaming mice on the market, some of which are not only well-rounded and packed with features, but also a lot more affordable than one would expect. In other words: you really don’t have to spend an exorbitant sum in order to elevate your gaming experience.
Being able to move your mouse freely, without anything dangling or holding it back, is a luxury unlike any other. Wireless gaming mice have evolved tremendously over the last few years — so much so, in fact, that a staggering number of esports athletes gravitate towards them, no matter their genre of expertise. Counter-Strike, VALORANT, League of Legends, Apex Legends, DOTA 2, you name it.
The days of wireless gaming mice being inferior to wired ones are long gone and, now that the technology itself has become a bit more mainstream and ubiquitous, prices have gone down as well — to the absolute glee and delight of our wallets.
So, what are your options?
Logitech G305 LIGHTSPEED
The Logitech G305 LIGHTSPEED is downright legendary, and that’s mainly due to it offering a stellar mix of features — alongside a truly phenomenal sensor — for a very reasonable sum of money. It’s incredibly well-built, has a comfortable shape and size (although it is on the smaller and heavier side), and 2.4Ghz connectivity (up to 250 hours of battery life from a single AA battery, as per Logitech’s spec sheet).
It’s not perfect, granted, but for the asking price it’s undoubtedly one of the best options out there. It mostly retails for $59.99 but can often be found on sale for a bit over $30. An absolute steal, in short.
To learn more about it, make sure to watch the following video from Hardware Canucks:
SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless
The SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless is almost impossibly good and is generally considered as the biggest “threat” to Logitech’s G305. It retails for $49.99 which, given its features, is already a steal, but it can often be found for less than $40. It has everything one might need: two modes of connectivity (2.4 Ghz and Bluetooth), up to four hundred hours of battery life (depending on a myriad of factors), switches rated for 60 million clicks, a stellar sensor, and just the right amount of RGB.
It’s not exactly built like a tank, but its construction and overall rigidity won’t leave you wanting whatsoever. It also features an ambidextrous design, although it’s primarily geared towards those who are right-handed.
All in all, it’s a stellar wireless gaming mouse that’s also surprisingly affordable. To see how it compares to the aforementioned G305, make sure to watch the following video:
Razer Basilisk V3 X HyperSpeed / Pulsar Xlite V2 Wireless
The Basilisk V3 X HyperSpeed is by no means the cheapest option, but it’s still a pretty viable one, especially if you can find it on sale. It comes with all the many bells and whistles one would expect, alongside a phenomenal ergonomic shape which, for a certain type of player, is an absolute must have.
It also features Razer’s Hypershift technology (which, sadly, has to be harnessed through its proprietary Synapse software) which lets one assign a series of secondary commands on top of the nine existing programmable buttons/controls.
Alternatively, if its price isn’t too high, you can give the Pulsar Xlite V2 Wireless a look as well.
Razer Orochi V2
The Orochi V2 is essentially Razer’s take on the G305 formula, and it’s a pretty darn good one. It’s compact, lightweight (less than 60g w/o any batteries), has both Bluetooth and 2.4 Ghz connectivity, with up to 950 and 425 hours of battery life, respectively (measured with a single AA lithium battery).
The interesting thing about the Orochi V2 is the fact that it actually has a dedicated slot for both a AA and a AAA battery, so you can fine-tune its weight (and weight distribution) with a lot more ease.
It’s a truly stellar wireless gaming mouse and even though it’s not as competitively priced compared to the G305 and the Rival 3 Wireless, it’s still a great option worth considering.
Darmoshark M3 Wireless
The M3 Wireless from Darmoshark might seem a bit sketch, given the fact that it’s made by a company that isn’t as renowned as, say, Logitech or SteelSeries, but it sure has caused quite a stir upon release: it’s a low-cost, lightweight wireless gaming mouse that has three modes of connectivity and, perhaps best of all, one of the most advanced and precise optical sensors on the market: the PAW3395.
Right now it’s on sale for a measly $36 which, given its many features, is simply mind-blowing. Granted, some folks have lambasted its iffy construction and certain issues related to quality control, but for that low a price, those quirks are a lot easier to stomach.
It is, without a doubt, the most spec’d-out option for under $50.
Think About Buying Used
Finding last year’s standout models at a lower price is the easiest thing in the world if you’re okay with buying used peripherals on the second-hand market. Granted, it’s not the most sanitary thing in the world, but it sure can save you a lot of money.
These gaming mice, while by no means capable of withstanding a decade’s worth of use (and, in some cases, abuse) are still sturdy and durable enough to go through months of rigorous gaming without exhibiting any wear and tear.
And so, if you’re strapped for cash and are operating on a limited budget — or just want to attain a truly spec’d-out gaming mouse without paying its full MSRP — then buying used is definitely a valid option.
Are Budget Gaming Mice Worth It?
Absolutely! Well, most of them are, at least. If you stick with any of the high-profile manufacturers — and read and watch as many reviews as you possibly can so as to figure out your exact preferences — then there’s really nothing to fret about.
Gaming mice, however, come in many different shapes and forms, so you’d be wise to head out to your local hardware shop — the Best Buys and MediaMarkts of the world — and try out as many different models as you possibly can. Even the slightest differences in shape and design can result in a totally different user experience.
How Much Should I Spend on a Gaming Mouse?
That really depends on your needs and, well, budget. If you’re looking to get the most “bang for the buck” — and don’t consider yourself to be the most hardcore gamer imaginable — then a $30-$50 model is bound to make you happy. That would net you stellar build quality, a top-notch sensor, and, in some cases, dual modes of wireless connectivity (depending on the model).
You can obviously spend upwards of a hundred dollars, but in that case, you’d be going past the point of diminishing returns. You’d attain certain quality-of-life improvements and technological advancements which, unless you’re extremely talented at, say, first-person shooters, you’re never going to notice during your gameplay.
Buying a faster, high refresh rate display or a more capable gaming rig would net you a much more tangible uplift in both performance and overall experience. Ditto for a mechanical keyboard (assuming you don’t already own one) or a stellar mouse pad.