Thursday, March 30, 2023

Best Budget Gaming Mouse 2021: Cheap Gaming Mice to Stay on Budget

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Whether you’re gaming on your PC or just trying to get some work done, having a dependable and accurate mouse can make a big difference. Selecting text and clicking into the right spreadsheet cells is one thing, but once you’re gaming, it gets even more important to have a great mouse, and there are many gaming mice to choose from. Unfortunately, with all those options, there are plenty of duds and many that just cost more than anyone should have to stomach (we’re talking the price of a decent processor).Fortunately, we’ve tried out so many mice, we know which can still muster solid performance while boasting a price tag that’s more gentle on the eyes. In fact, some of these gaming mice even borrow the design and features of their more expensive counterparts but manage to stay a bit more affordable by dialing back things like RGB lighting or fancy connectivity options. Most of these options will cost you less than $50 while still delivering a great mouse that will track accurately enough for you to start working on your muscle memory and train those flick shots.

Below, you’ll find wired and wireless mice that may seem simple at first, but that will work great whether you’re a new gamer or a seasoned competitor.

TL;DR – These are the Best Budget Gaming Mice:

1. SteelSeries Rival 3

Best Budget Gaming Mouse

Our Pick

SteelSeries Rival 3

On Amazon

Don’t fool around with the rest when you can game on the best. Budget mice aren’t all created equal, but the SteelSeries Rival 3 (read our review) shows just how good they can get. It has six buttons, delivering just the right amount to come in handy for most games. It also has SteelSeries’ tried and true design, with a leaning toward minimalism that won’t make your mouse stand out if you also take it into work (as long as you tone down the RGB lighting).

The mouse wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t also accurate, but the Rival 3 is using a TrueMove Core Optical sensor for accurate, one-to-one tracking. It may not be as capable as some of the higher-end mice, but its ability to handle movements up to 300 inches-per-second and 35G accelerations should be more than enough for all but maybe pro gamers with serious flick shots.

2. Aukey Scarab

Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Mouse

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If you’re just getting into PC gaming (or perhaps you just need a backup mouse while you wait for the one you want to come in stock), you probably don’t want to fork out over $100 on a gaming mouse when that money could be going into building a better PC. Aukey has long been a solid budget option in tech space, and the Aukey Scarab enters the gaming mouse market as a highly price-competitive option.

For just $15, you’ll get an optical gaming mouse with a reasonable DPI range and a 1000Hz polling rate. In other words, pretty much just what you need to get started gaming. The sensitivity is adjustable between 200 and 7200 DPI using Aukey’s software for the mouse, and you can even set up macros. The mouse includes some basic RGB lighting and effects as well. To top it off, it’s also on sale right now for $5 off.

3. Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless

Best Budget Wireless Gaming Mouse

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Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless

On Amazon

The Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is the cheapest and best budget wireless gaming mice available on the market. For just $50, it’ll connect to your gaming PC or gaming laptop, and even other devices using both its 2.4GHz wireless dongle and Bluetooth.

It also comes packing an impressive 10,000 DPI sensor and Omron switches, which are rated for 50 million mouse clicks. Overall, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is a well-rounded gaming mouse that will last for 30-45 hours between charges.

4. Cougar Surpassion ST

Best Budget Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

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Cougar Surpassion ST

On Amazon

Trying to stay on a budget for a cheap gaming mouse, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on ergonomics. The Cougar Surpassion ST is a gaming mouse that should be a perfect fit for right-handed gamers and it has 5 programmable buttons.

It also packs a PixArt PMW3250 optical sensor with a maximum 3,200 DPI rating, which users can tweak with a physical slider underneath the mouse. There’s also a second physical slider for adjusting the polling rate.

5. SteelSeries Rival 110

Best Budget Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

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SteelSeries Rival 110

On Amazon

The SteelSeries Rival 110 (read our review) is a mouse that feels like it should cost twice as much, so at $30 it’s a heck of a bargain. It doesn’t offer the sky-high DPI rate of the Corsair mouse, and its shape is a bit more bulging, but it offers all the features you’d find in a mouse twice the price and has a premium design that’s rare in this class of peripherals.

Like the Harpoon it features a six-button layout, RGB lighting, and textured side grips. In our testing, we felt the Corsair Harpoon was just a bit more comfortable due to its smaller size, but if you have bigger hands you should check out the Rival 110.

6. Razer Basilisk Essential

Best Budget FPS Gaming Mouse

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On Amazon

The Razer Basilisk was our pick for the best FPS gaming mouse, and this Razer Basilisk Essential (read our review) gaming mouse essentially gives you the same great experience for less. Normally priced at $50, this mouse features a fantastically ergonomic design for right-handed users with a deep groove for your thumb to sit in and a soap bar shape that’s been tilted slightly for your hand to rest comfortably on.

Aside from the standard mouse buttons, the Razer Basilisk Essential has a DPI clutch—basically a paddle on the side of the mouse—that works better than any sniper button I’ve used on a gaming mouse. compared to the regular Razer Basilisk, the only thing that’s been toned down on the Essential version is its optical sensor maximum DPI is only 6,400—which should still be plenty fast for most PC gamers.

7. Cooler Master CM310

Best Budget RGB Gaming Mouse

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Cooler Master CM310

On Amazon

The Cooler Master CM310 (read our review) is a darn good mouse, especially for its $30 asking price. It comes with all the ritzy features you’d expect from a more expensive mouse including RGB backlighting (in three distinct zones, no less!) and a Pixart A3325 “gaming-grade” optical sensor. That’ll ensure it performs on the high level necessary for competitive games while also looking the part.

This gaming mouse also feels great in the hand for both right- and left-handed users thanks to its ambidextrous shape and rubber sides. However, to reach this price point, Cooler Master has skipped out on a bit of customization, only including RGB lighting and DPI presets – no user-defined options to tune it to your liking. But, if you’re fine with cycling between lighting colors and adjusting your in-game mouse sensitivity to work with the DPI presets, you’ll get plenty of value here.

8. Logitech G600

Best Budget MMO Gaming Mouse

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MMO gaming mice are typically expensive since they have so many extra buttons, but you can regularly find the Logitech G600 going for $30. Even without its regular discount, the Logitech G600 has always been one of the best MMO gaming mice with its 20 programmable buttons and 8,200 DPI laser sensor.

Unlike most gaming mice, the Logitech G600 has three primary mouse buttons with the third being a G-Shift button you click with your ring finger. Hitting this key switches the side buttons to a second set of commands, which is perfect for MMO games that often give you two action bars of abilities and items to play with anyway.

9. Razer Viper Mini

Ambidextrous Awesomeness

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Razer Viper Mini

On Amazon

The Razer Viper Mini (read our review) carries on the legacy of the Razer Viper, except it does so while being outright compact. This is one of the lightest gaming mice you’ll find, as it weighs in at just 61 grams. That’s lighter than any mouse Razer has made prior. It’s still a proper gaming mouse, though.

The Razer Viper Mini boasts an optical sensor that can track at 8,500 CPI and hold up to the fast movements it might experience while you’re gaming. It’ll track even when accelerating at up to 35Gs and moving at 300 inches-per-second, so don’t worry about it holding you back during flick shots. It features six buttons to give you all your primary gaming controls. If you’re a southpaw gamer, its ambidextrous design can help you as well, though you will lose access to the thumb buttons. Those buttons are also built with optical switches for fast activation and considerable longevity.

10. Glorious Model O Minus

Best Budget Ultra Lightweight Gaming Mouse

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Glorious Model O Minus

On Amazon

If you just look at the specs of a mouse, you’ll likely miss one of the most important factors: comfort. There’s no spec for comfort, but it’s critical in your use of a gaming mouse. It won’t matter if a mouse has an excellent sensor if you’re constantly fidgeting to get a better hold or struggling to wield a mouse with too much weight. The Glorious Model O Minus is a solution for those that want something smaller and lighter.

The Glorious Model O Minus is a shrunk-down version of the full-size Glorious Model O (read our review), but it still has a high-quality sensor and some stylish RGB lights, and the miniaturized design includes honeycomb cutouts to make it even lighter. If your hands aren’t massive and you want to move your mouse around as fast as possible, this special design is worth considering. It’s just a bonus that this mouse is also fairly affordable.

What to Look for in a Budget Gaming Mouse

In this day and age, you really don’t have to sacrifice a lot when you’re trying to save a buck on a gaming mouse. Many of the cheap options out there offer a high level of DPI and polling rate to keep up with even the best premium gaming mice. That said, not all mice are built equal; some offer more buttons with others are ergonomically designed for a certain handiness (usually for right-handed users), so there are a few things to consider when choosing the right peripheral for you.

The first and most important thing about choosing the right mouse for you is its shape. For the most part, mice come in exactly two shapes: ambidextrous or ergonomic. While it might seem like a simple choice that all right-handed users should pick an ergonomic shape while left-handed are left with whatever is ambidextrous, the way you hold the mouse is just as important too.

To that end, there are also two primary types of mouse grip: palm and claw. For the former palm grip technique, you’ll want a mouse with a tall back that can support your hand—as well as some level of pinky and ring finger support. Claw grippers, on the other hand, should look for a mouse that’s relatively short and has a small footprint.

More Expert Tech Roundups

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark


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