So, you just dropped $1000 on that brand-spanking-new PC and it’s finally set up. You got your towers, CPU, coolants, and monitor all set up perfectly. Now you just need a good gaming mouse.
But your wallet is probably pretty thin after building that awesome rig. So you need something affordable. Where should you even start?
Luckily for you, we are here to help you out. We put together this list to find the best gaming mouse under $20. These gaming mice will last you for hours and hours and only cost about as much as some takeout.
At the end, we also include a useful buying guide on how to pick the right gaming mouse.
So without any further ado let’s get to it.
1. Pictek Wired Gaming Mouse – Top Pick
Starting off with our top pick is the Pictek Wired Gaming Mouse. Simply put, the Pictek is the best gaming mouse under $20 and features a very high CPI, programmable lights, a simple USB interface, and an accurate optical sensor for precise movement.
The Pictek also includes 7 programmable macros and you can actually remap the entire control scheme. The mouse comes with easy to operate software so you can program macros directly from your computer. The flexibility of control schemes means that the Pictek is versatile and great for any genre: FPS, MOBA, MMO, or RTS.
2. Frostware A6
Up next is the Frostware A6 Wired Gaming Mouse. The A6 is a fancy looking tip grip mouse that has a sleek and mobile design. The A6 has 4 default CPI levels at 1200, 1600, 2400, and 3200.
The CPI buttons on the side allow you to flip between CPI settings on the fly. The mouse is extremely light and has an agile profile good for quick reactive movements.
It is rated for up to 3 million clicks and is made from durable ABS plastic and switches.
Further, the A6 is backed by an extremely generous lifetime warranty. So if anything ever goes wrong, you can get a full replacement for free.
3. Redragon M901 – Best for MMOs
Sitting at third is the Redragon M901, our pick for for MMOs. The Redragon features a whopping grand total of 18 programmable buttons with a 12 button programmable macro layout on the side. The M901 has a precise optical sensor and an extremely high 12,000 CPI.
The bottom of the mouse features Teflon feet so it glides effortlessly against any hard surface. The 6’ long braided USB cable is tipped with gold plated USB connectors that ensure solid connection and performance with minimal interruptions.
4. Havit RGB Programmable Wired Gaming Mouse
Up next is the Havit RGB Programmable Wired Gaming Mouse. The Havit is an elegantly designed palm-grip mouse that has a simple no-nonsense design. The wide flat mouse allows for a lot of palm contact and control over movements. The mouse has a 6400 CPI maximum and you can change CPI on the fly using the center switch.
A single button on the face lets you switch between 7 pre-set color configurations and the wire connector is reliable, fast, and efficient.
5. Coo Wireless Optical Mouse
The Coo Wireless Optical mouse is a good wireless mouse perfect for more casual low-intensity games. The Coo has a simple palm design and a smooth face that does not pick up grime or sweat.
We guess technically, it is not a gaming mouse, though it has some good gaming mouse features good gaming mice features such as adjustable CPI levels and precise optical sensor.
Even better, the Coo runs on a single AA battery that has a long life. It goes into auto-sleep mode after 5 minutes with no activity to save battery life. You need a USB receiver 3.0 to use this mouse though
6. ABKONCORE Astra M30
Entering the second half our list is the ABKONCORE Astra M30 Wireless Gaming Mouse. The Astra M30 is a wired gaming mouse that has 7 different CPI settings that you can switch between on the fly and is optimized for gaming performance with a fast and accurate sensor.
In that sense, it’s a versatile gaming mouse for several genres. The Astra M30 also comes with a software CD install and fast customer support service.
The Astra M30 has a hybrid palm/tip grip design, so it is light and agile. The multiple polling rates means it more sensitive than the average gaming mouse
7. Hiraliy F300
Up next is the Hiraliy F300 Wired gaming mouse. The F300 has an extremely high 10,000 CPI and 7 programmable buttons, along with a 16.8 million RGB chroma display.
The F300 has an ergonomic sloped design that fits the natural curve of the hand with rubber siding that allows you to keep a firm grip. Forward and back buttons line the left side and the colorful scroll wheel is durable and smooth. You can change between the 5 CPI levels on the fly using the switch on the faceplate. The F300 also features a pro-level PMW3325 gaming chip that enhances accuracy and precision.
In short, the Hiraliy is a fantastic budget gaming mouse that boasts impressive performance for its class. The high CPI, pro-level gaming chip, and ergonomic design make it an excellent choice for gamers of all stripes.
8. Redragon M602
Sitting at 8th is the Redragon M602 Wired Gaming Mouse. The M602 has a unique and ergonomic design that increases grip while also improving stability.
The Redragon has a vibrant RGB chroma display that can be programmed with up to 5 memory profiles. Each button is specially tuned to reduce finger fatigue and the Teflon foot pads let it glide effortlessly over smooth surfaces. The 6’ double braided USB cable has a gold-plated connector tip to improve communication and prevent signal disruption.
9. Logitech G203 Prodigy – Premium Pick
Logitech is somewhat of a legend in PC circles because of its high-quality innovative products. Logitech struck gold again with its take on a budget gaming mouse the G203 Prodigy. The G203 has advanced gaming performance and is a choice of pros worldwide.
The G203 has a pal-grip design that is easy on the wrists and allows for hours of continuous play. The sensor is truly accurate and tracks movements with extreme precision. It is amazing that you can get a mouse of this quality for such a good price but Logitech somehow pulled it off.
10. VersionTech Wired Gaming Mouse – Ultra Budget Pick
Our last entry is the VersionTech Wired Gaming Mouse, our choice for a budget pick on a list full of budget picks. That means the VersionTech is extremely affordable, and does not sacrifice in terms of performance.
The VersionTech also has a unique pattern along the mouse lit up by the RGB chroma display. Not only is it ultra-affordable, but it also just looks really good too. The software is fairly easy to install and it’s good for both casual and serious players.
How To Select The Best Gaming Mouse Under $20
There are a ton of gaming mice out there so your decision can be difficult. Before buying a gaming mouse, keep in mind the following features and considerations.
The superiority of wired or wireless mice is a perennial debate among gamers. The truth is, both kinds have their advantages and drawbacks.
Wired mice are fairly simple and usually plug into your computer with a basic USB 2.0 or 3.0 plug. Wired mice boast low response times, low delay, and can vary in precision. The main benefit of wired mice is that they can have a slightly faster connection than wireless communication because the mouse is directly connected to the port. One drawback of wired mice is that you have to deal with cords that can get tangles or in your way.
Wireless mice, on the other hand, use Bluetooth to connect to your computer or require a special USB-dongle receiver. Wireless mice are extremely convenient, portable, and modern models have a very long battery life so you rarely have to worry about your mouse dying on you. Wireless mice are also usually smaller so you can take them with you on-the-go easier.
If you are looking for a decent gaming mouse under $20, then a wired mouse will probably be your best bet. The main reason why is that wireless mice at that price point are bound to have at least a few connectivity issues, and you need fast response times and precision for gaming. There are some decent wireless gaming mice out there for under $20, you just might have to do some digging to find something that is worth it.
There are 2 main types of mice sensors: laser and optical. Computer mice used to have rubber rolling balls in the bottom that translated the physical movements into mouse movements, but those are old and generally not suited for gaming.
Laser sensors use a small beam of light to track mouse movements. Among laser and optical, laser is the older of the tech and is generally considered inferior. The main reason why is that laser light can be interrupted easily, which makes mouse tracking less precise. Lasers can penetrate deep into surfaces which means they can pick up a lot of unnecessary information that can muddle movements. That being said, advances in laser technology have greatly lessened traditional issues with laser sensors.
Optical sensors, on the other hand, are essentially a small camera on the bottom that tracks movements using infrared LED light. Optical sensors are quickly becoming the industry standard as they are much more precise, less prone to occlusion, and they can work on more surfaces.
CPI stands for “counts per inch” and is essentially a measure of how much movement your cursor on the screen will move per one inch of physical mouse movement. So if your mouse has a CPI of 6,000, then the mouse cursor will move 6,000 “counts” for every physical inch the mouse is moved. In other words, CPI is a measure of how sensitive your mouse is. The higher the CPI, the more cursor movement you see for less physical movement.
When it comes to gaming mice, the terms CPI and DPI are often used interchangeably. Technically, DPI (which stands for “dots per inch”) is about how densely dots are spaced on a given video picture and is a distinct concept from CPI. For whatever reasons though, the term DPI is widely used to talk about mouse sensitivity. So just know that if you see the term “DPI” in reference to a mouse, it’s actually talking about CPI and how sensitive the mouse is.
Higher CPI is not always better. It depends heavily on what kind of games you will be playing. If you are playing an FPS, for example, then a high CPI can be good for lining up precise shots and movement. If you are playing an MMORPG where precise movements are not required, then a lower CPI might suit you better. Some higher-end mice come with built-in switches that allow you to change CPI settings on the fly, but these models are normally more expensive than $20.
Lots of people brag about having ultra-high CPI counts on their mouse, but ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the genre of game you are playing.
The grip style of a mouse refers to how it’s designed to be held and used. There are 3 commonly recognized mice grip styles, though some individual mice might incorporate aspects of multiple types.
The most common kind is the palm grip. Palm grip mice tend to be wide, long, and flat so you can more easily rest your entire palm on the surface. With a palm grip, your arm does most of the work, which makes them good for large controlled motions, but sacrifices some agility and response time.
Claw grips are designed to be operated with your fingers in a “claw” shape while only the heel of the palm makes contact with the mouse body. Claw grips allow for precise finger movements and since most of your hand weight is off the mouse, they can perform faster movements. Claw grip mice tend to be smaller than palm grip mice and may have a more round and compact design.
Lastly is tip grip. With a tip grip, only the ends of your 5 fingers make contact with the mouse. The rest of your hand floats freely above. Tip grip players maintain an extremely light touch, which makes this style ideal for games that require quick and agile responses. A good tip grip mouse will be small, short, and lighter than other mice. Even just a few grams of weight can make the difference a good and bad tip grip mouse.
At the end of the day though, grip style is up to you. Try to find a grip style that you can maintain comfortably for long hours while playing. You should be able to move without pressure on your wrist or forearms.
Some games require routine complex combinations of button presses. Macros are programmable keys put on many gaming mice that allow you to program custom complex sequences for certain games. Mice with a lot of macros are a favorite choice for MMO players because they can map all kinds of items, commands, and skills to them. Macros are useful for other genres of games such as FPS and RTS games as well.
A lot of modern mice not only work well but look good too. Some mice let you customize the lighting scheme. Some mice let you create multiple color schemes for different gamer profiles and give you a cool aesthetic look. Lighting doesn’t really help with mouse performance, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless.
Gaming mice don’t need to be expensive. You can find a perfectly competent mouse for less than you would spend on some delivery. Even cheap gaming mice have all kinds of useful features nowadays, which lowers the bar to having a killer set up.