Dominic Bayley / IDG
Now that wireless gaming mice are just as fast and feature-packed as their wired counterparts, going wireless can be a smart move, giving you greater flexibility as a gamer. But before you cut loose and buy one, it’s worth noting they’re not all alike. You’ll still need to consider factors like weight, dots per inch (DPI), and battery life which can be telling factors in how your gaming mouse performs and ultimately how you will perform in games.
Our expert reviewers have put these mice through their paces, testing them across a range of scenarios, and over extended periods of time. Below are the results of that effort. While these are the current best wireless gaming mice available, for a no holds barred list, including both wired and wireless models, be sure to check out PCWorld’s all-inclusive selection of the best gaming mice.
1. G502 Lightspeed – Best overall
- Very comfortable design
- Weighs less than the wired version
- Compatible with Powerplay wireless charging mouse pad
- Scroll wheel feels less substantial
- Weight customization is hampered by Powerplay
The G502 Hero was a hit with PCWorld reviewers before it went wireless because of its comfortable design, well-thought-out button layout and convenient dual-mode scroll. Thankfully all these features return in the update, but the G502 now has Powerplay compatibility—a feature we can’t speak highly enough of.
The Powerplay system trickle-charges the mouse as you play, freeing you from having to charge it manually, and ensuring you’re never without power (Read more about Logitech’s Powerplay Wireless Charging System.) The redesigned wireless G502 also sports a new rubber coated wheel instead of the metal one we saw in the wired version. This change reduces its weight down to just 114 grams, making it the lightest version you can get.
This mouse’s 11-button selection places it in-between mice like the 18-button SteelSeries Aerox 9 and the smaller 6-button HyperX Pulsefire Haste, which makes it ideal as a do-it-all mouse that doesn’t shirk on functionality but won’t overwhelm you with having to remember too many commands.
Read our full
Review G502 Lightspeed
2. SteelSeries Aerox 9 – Best for tinkerers
- 18 easily programmable buttons
- Weighs only 89 grams
- Dual Bluetooth 5.0 and 2.4GHz wireless
- Some buttons on the side grid are hard to reach
SteelSeries Aerox 9 is a rare find among wireless gaming mice in that it packs a whopping 18 programmable buttons but weighs just 89 grams. That makes it an excellent option if you like to tinker with commands and macros in MOBA and MMO games but don’t want to compromise on speed. We also like the Aerox 9 for its fast 18,000 CPI sensor and dual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that we found super convenient for switching between laptops in an instant.
With an open top honey-comb design and internal RGB lighting, the Aerox 9 sports a slick, futuristic look that won’t go unnoticed in any group gaming session. It also has the added benefit of being extremely comfortable on hot days, circulating plenty of cool air for your hand.
Although punctuated by a multitude of holes, this mouse is also very sturdy: The top mesh didn’t show any give during our most frantic gameplay. According to SteelSeries, the mouse’s internal hardware is protected against dust and spillage by an IP54-rated Aquabarrier, which is reassuring for gamers like me who like to keep hot beverages close at hand.
Read our full
Review SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless
3. Logitech G903 – Best ambidextrous grip
- Excellent wireless performance
- Lightweight construction, glides smoothly
- Suitable for ambidextrous gamers
- The ambidextrous shape is not very ergonomic
- If you’re not using Powerplay there’s not much improvement over the old G900
Like the G502 Hero, the G903 makes use of Logitech’s Powerplay system that conveniently charges the mouse wirelessly as you play. However, the G903’s biggest point of difference is its ambidextrous design that lends itself equally to left- and right-handed gaming.
There are 10 buttons in all, and you can set up the outer edge buttons to match your dominant hand. For example, you can choose to make either the two left-side edge buttons or two right-side edge buttons appear or disappear by swapping out a magnetic filler piece to either side. In games, this mouse’s premium PWM3366 sensor is very precise. Additionally, the left and right buttons fire on a hair trigger with the slightest amount of pressure, so if firing off commands quickly is important to you, this mouse has you covered.
In our full PCWorld review, we found the G903 to have a slightly flared back that meant it nestled comfortably against our palm. With most of the support being located towards the mouse’s rear. We also found the G903 was best suited to gamers that like to use a claw grip.
Read our full
Review Logitech G903
4. Roccat Burst Pro Air – Best RGB lighting
- Owl-Eye sensor is very precise and quick
- You won’t find a mouse with more stunning RGB lighting
- Dual wireless as well as wired connectivity
- 81-gram weight can feel heavy if you’re used to a lighter mouse
- Mouse wheel lacks left and right lateral clicks
- Pricey compared to some rivals
While some gaming mice only have limited RGB lighting around their buttons or periphery, the ROCCAT Burst Pro goes all out with four dedicated programmable RGB lighting zones that light up the whole mouse like a firecracker. Suffice to say, with 16.8 million color options in Roccat’s Swarm software app to play with, you can get some dazzling lighting effects on this mouse.
But while the Pro Air is genuinely stunning to look at, it’s equally as proficient in games, thanks to its comfortable eight-button configuration, powerful 19,000 DPI Owl-Eye optical sensor, and low-latency switches, which have a 100-million click durability rating.
The Pro Air is also an extremely versatile mouse, thanks to its multiple connectivity options, which include a low-latency 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, and a USB-A to USB-C cable for wired connectivity.
Read our full
Review ROCCAT Burst Pro Air
5. SteelSeries Rival 650 – Fastest recharging
- Gets 10 hours of charge in only 15 minutes
- Comfortable and attractive design
- Removable weight system provides plenty of options
- Heavier than some might like
- Third thumb button is small and awkwardly placed
On the surface, the SteelSeries Rival 650 could be any other wireless gaming mouse, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find it has two big advantages over rivals—its dual sensor hardware configuration and its fast charging capability.
To improve your accuracy, the Rival 650 pairs a primary sensor, the PWM3360 TrueMove 3, with a dedicated depth sensor whose job is solely to cease input when your mouse leaves your mousepad. If you mainly keep your mouse flat on your mouse pad or table top, chances are you won’t notice much difference in your gaming accuracy. However, if you do lift your mouse a lot, this feature should make aiming a tad easier.
SteelSeries claims 15 minutes fast charging is all the Rival 650 needs to run for 10 hours straight. We put this claim to the test and found it to be mostly true; 15 minutes or sometimes just a few minutes more was enough to power it through more than a day of gaming, which made us very fond of this mouse.
Read our full
Review SteelSeries Rival 650
6. Logitech G603 – Best replaceable-battery option
- Slim design makes it easy to pack
- Double AA batteries give 500 hours of battery life
- Hero sensor performs as well as the famed PWM3366
- Weight distribution is a bit awkward because of the battery
- Undersized and a bit too flat for comfort
If you travel a lot with your wireless gaming mouse, you’ll want to make sure it has two things: a long battery life so you can skip the constant charging, and a superb sensor that performs as well as what you’d find in a decent wired gaming mouse. The Logitech G603 hits the mark for both of these features, sporting a respectable 500 hours of battery life from two AA batteries and a capable 12,000 DPI Logitech Hero sensor.
The Hero sensor is the key to this mouse’s travel worthiness, it being many more times as power efficient as the famed PWM3366 sensor that Logitech uses in wireless gaming mice like the G703 and G903, but with the same kind of high-end performance that eliminates smoothing, acceleration, or interference in your gameplay.
Read our full Logitech G603 review
How we test wireless gaming mice
To make sure our wireless gaming mice picks are the best of the best, the PCWolrd team puts them through a legion of tests. We look at everything from how well they’ve been designed and perform in games, to the suite of software that helps you personalize them. Here’s a list of the main categories our tests fall under:
- Design and ergonomics: Here we factor in the mouse’s physical characteristics, including its shape, styling, buttons, and RGB lighting (if any). We also consider how comfortable it is, what size hands it fits and, importantly, what grip type it will ideally suit (palm, fingertip, or claw). Last of all, we consider how tough it is, including how likely it is to survive the rigors of gaming life.
- Wireless performance: This is the fun part of our testing where we get to try out our mouse in a bunch of games, while at the same time evaluating factors like its tracking accuracy, sensitivity, and how fast it reacts to our movements. We’re testing the mouse’s sensor in a big way here, but also our mouse’s wireless, and or Bluetooth connectivity.
- Software support: What you can actually achieve with your wireless gaming mouse sometimes comes down to what its supporting software allows. When testing our mouse’s software app we consider how easy it is to navigate, change settings, program buttons, set up profiles for games, and make changes to RGB lighting (if any).
How to pick a wireless gaming mouse
Connectivity: Wireless or Bluetooth or both?
Most people know that a wired gaming mouse connects to your PC via a USB port and wireless gaming mouse via a wireless dongle or Bluetooth connection, but which one is best?
The truth is there’s not such a great deal of difference anymore. For many years wired mice had a performance edge in games due to their lower input lag. However, just about all wireless gaming mice now feature 2.4GHz connectivity which provides a reliable low-latency connection in games and performance that’s comparable to their wired counterparts. Some wireless gaming mice also have dual connectivity with Bluetooth and let you switch between the two, but not always. While it’s true that the 2.4GHz connection is faster and more stable than a Bluetooth connection, latency isn’t everything. Bluetooth is compatible with more devices and offers dongle-less connection on the go, so it can be a handy-to-have feature if you plan on using your device for school or work.
Is my mouse’s sensor really important?
A gaming mouse’s sensor is the the number one hardware component that determines how well a mouse performs in games. The sensor decides the mouse’s tracking speed and accuracy, two factors we scrutinize in our tests. The main spec to look for in any sensor is dpi (dots per inch), which tells you how well the mouse’s sensor reports movement per inch of physical movement. The newest wireless gaming mice have dpi ranging from 12,000 to 20,000, with higher numbers indicating mice with greater sensitivity.
While a lot of fuss is made about dpi in manufacturer brochures, there’s really no perfect dpi for gaming, it being largely a personal choice. While it can’t hurt to have the best, unless you’re a professional esports gamer you probably won’t need a 20,000 dpi sensor. In reality, even 12,000 dpi provides decent performance in games.
Orientation: right, left, or ambidextrous?
Are you left- or right-handed, or ambidextrous? For practicality’s sake the answer to this question should inform your choice when buying a wireless gaming mouse. That way you’ll get a better fit to your hand shape and the buttons will be within reach of your fingers. While most of our wireless gaming mice reviews will be for right-handed mice, simply because that’s what most people use, we’ll endeavor to bring you left-handed and ambidextrous mice reviews when possible.
What grip type do I use?
How you grip your mouse is not something you’ve probably given much thought to—just like you don’t give much thought to how you hold your fork when you eat. Still, it can be important since you’ll want to get a mouse that fits your specific grip type. The three main grip types are:
Palm grip: This is the most common type of mouse grip among gamers. It’s also the most comfortable for long gaming sessions since it puts more of your hand in contact with your mouse and prevents tension in your wrist. For palm grippers, long, flat mice tend to be a better fit and more comfortable.
Claw grip: If you use a claw grip, you’re arching your palm over the mouse to make a claw shape. This grip is popular in the e-sports community, especially among FPS players, since it allows you to make quick wrist movements—useful for sweeping attacks on targets. It does however clench the wrist and cause some tension there. Narrower and smaller mice suit a claw grip.
Fingertip grip: This grip provides you the least amount of control but the most dexterity for aiming. Gamers who use this grip mainly use just their fingertips on the left and right clicks, putting a lot of strain on their wrists. Because of the added strain, lighter mice are often preferred by fingertip grippers.
Should I buy a light or heavy mouse?
A mouse’s weight can have a big impact on how accurately you can target and position its curser or crosshairs. Gamers these days tend to go for the lightest mice available since they require less effort to move and are also naturally faster.
Lighter mice also lend themselves to longer gaming sessions, since gamer hands (and arms) aren’t as easily fatigued by them. Wireless gaming mice are among the lightest available because they are unencumbered by wires.
One thing to note about a mouse’s weight is that whether it’s considered light is relative to how many buttons it has. For example, the 18-button SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless might seem like a heavyweight at 89 grams compared to the six-button / 61-gram HyperX Pulsefire Haste, yet for an 18-button mouse it’s considered exceptionally lightweight.
How many buttons do I need?
The type of games you play should help you decide how many buttons you need. If you’re mainly into FPS (first-person shooters) a wireless gaming mouse with six buttons—which tends to be the minimum number we see in wireless gaming mice these days—should be more than enough.
On the other hand, if you play games where you need to quickly deploy lots of commands—like MOBA and MMO games—a mouse with between 6 and 18 buttons will provide you with more versatility.
Why is software important?
If your mouse is your weapon in games, then the mouse’s support software is its armory. The best software apps for wireless gaming mice allow you to change and customize settings like your mouse’s sensitivity and acceleration and deceleration. They also let you set commands and macros and save your preferences in profiles that you can easily switch to when you want to play specific games.
Author: Dominic Bayley, PCWorld Australia Editor
Based in Australia, Dominic Bayley is a hardcore tech enthusiast. His PCWorld focus is on PC gaming hardware: laptops, mice, headsets and keyboards.
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