Just when you thought that you’d found the perfect weapon in that expensive gaming mouse, to give you an advantage in that crowded gaming room full of MMOPRG-heads, you realize that there’s still some latency in your tracking.
All the practice, all the tweaks, altering polling rates, working with DPI settings don’t seem to set things straight.
It makes you wonder whether it has something to do with that old, battered thing that used to be a mouse pad at one point in time.
Chances are that you are right.
Gaming mice work phenomenally well on just about any kind of surface.
But they really shine when used with a specialized gaming mouse pad, especially in demanding games.
Many gamers refrain from investing a few extra dollars in a gaming mouse pad at first because they consider it to be an unwanted, frivolous expense.
But once they do, they never go back to a normal mouse pad again.
What Is A Gaming Mouse Pad?
Gaming mouse pads are surfaces designed especially for use with gaming mice.
These are typically larger than normal mouse pads and offer a smoother, error-free gliding surface that can prevent latency issues in high-speed, competitive gaming environments.
Does A Mouse Pad Make A Difference For Gaming?
Oh yes, it does.
Depending on your style of game play, there are many advantages to choosing a gaming mouse.
Being oversized may not quite seem like the perfect reason to fork out some additional dollars for a mouse pad. But if you play FPS games a lot, then you’ll love the additional room on offer with gaming mouse pads.
It will allow you to make those headshots with pinpoint accuracy. Some of them, like the Corsair MM300 extended version run 36.61 inches. That’s more room than what you’ll ever need even for the largest sweeping moves.
It will cover the entire desktop. You’ll never have to pick the mouse off the mat and center it again to complete it.
Even when you are not busy shooting off hostiles in Call of Duty, the additional space translates into a smoother workflow for regular computing tasks. Not to mention that it’s gentler on your wrists when you don’t have to frequently lift the mouse and center it again.
The Surface Quality Is Better
Gaming mice are available in a variety of surfaces and finishes.
There’s cloth, with a textile-weave design that allows your mouse to glide smoothly.
Then there’s plastic, which offers a slick, low friction surface with just the right amount of resistance.
Some pro gamers like to choose the mouse pad depending on the type of game they play. Hard, plastic surfaces are preferred for RTS or MOBA games where the mouse movements are very subtle, but they need to be extremely precise. The zero friction surface is perfect for it.
Cloth mouse pads are normally larger in size and hence are preferred by FPS shooting aficionados.
The Tracking Is More Accurate
While manufacturers have been thumping their chests with claims of producing mice that can track on any kind of surface, that’s not what a pro-gamer seeks. They seek flawless, high-precision tracking, which can only be achieved on a surface that’s optimized for it.
Sure that $100 gaming mouse may even track on a carpet layered with doggie dander. But that does not mean that it’s the ideal surface for it, especially when you are making rapid swipes with your hands and you’ve got a victory at stake.
Gaming mouse pads feature tiny, micro textures that are designed to work in synergy with both, optical as well as laser mice to enhance accuracy and responsiveness.
They Last Longer
Designed with marathon gaming sessions in mind, these mouse pads are more durable as compared to the average neoprene one. They feature non-slip rubberized bases, the edges are double-stitched, some even have metal and don’t warp after a while, and the average thickness is 3-5mm.
They are made to withstand hours of incessant use and typically, last a lot longer than normal mouse pads.
They May Help Prevent Mouse Wear And Tear
If you aren’t using a mouse pad at all or are using one that produces too much friction, it may wear out your expensive gaming mouse prematurely. The least you can do is pair it with a decent gaming mouse pad that may extend its lifespan and prevent wear and tear.
Let’s face it. There’s a wee bit of vanity in every gamer. We love the flash that comes with specialized gaming accessories.
Some gaming mouse pads cater to this audience and feature on board LED lights that light up when it’s in use. You can even create custom lighting profiles that can be shared with your friends or opponents.
Others feature wireless charging docks that can be used for charging your gaming mice on-the fly.
For example, the Razer Firefly comes with a magnetic field that charges your mouse on-the-fly, right when you are using it. There’s no need for a separate battery for the mouse.
The Corsair MM1000 also allows you to charge your phones on the mouse pad through Qi charging.
Some others, feature USB ports for plugging in a wired mouse.
Is A Gaming Mouse Pad Worth It?
That depends on how you look at it.
If you are a pro gamer or even a recreational gamer, then yes. It’s definitely worth the few extra bucks that it will cost you.
It will not improve your gaming skills, mind you. But it will take the tiniest of problems out of the equation.
There will be fewer missed clicks, fewer lift-offs and fewer friction problems.
If you are a casual gamer who spends more time working on the computer, you’ll still appreciate the additional room and the ergonomics that come with it.