Gaming Mouse vs. Normal Mouse: What's The Difference? (2021)

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Written By: Lorenzo • Updated: 16/04/2020

Over the years, gaming mice have started to surpass normal mice in terms of ergonomics, functionality and performance.

However, when it comes to a gaming mouse vs. a normal mouse - there are some subtle differences between both that you want to be wary about.

If you're a serious gamer, getting a high-quality mouse will have a significant impact on your performance. For the average person, you're getting a higher quality mouse at a better-valued price.

In this article, I have researched and broken down why a gaming mouse may be superior to a normal everyday mouse.

We'll dive into the nitty-gritty and really get into how gaming mice have started to evolve into the machines they are now.

If you're currently using a normal mouse, and you're wondering what enhancements you're going to get from swapping to a gaming mouse, then the criteria I am about to show you will be your go-to when shopping.

And if you're looking to get a gaming mouse that's quiet, check out the best silent mice for gaming.

Without further ado, let's dive in!

Quick Comparison - Gaming Mouse vs. A Regular Mouse

The 5 Differences To Look For When Shopping For A Gaming Mouse Vs. A Regular Mouse

The criteria below will show why gaming mice are now superior to regular mice, even if you're not a gamer.

1. DPI (Sensitivity) & Responsiveness (Polling Rates)

The main difference you will see between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse is the ability to change your sensitivity - AKA DPI (dots per inch).

To put it simply, the higher the DPI you have on a mouse, the larger the sensitivity will be, as in - moving your mouse a little bit will cause it to travel further on the screen.

Gaming mice allow you to reach higher sensitivities in comparison to normal mice, making them better for competitive gaming.

Bare in mind - an ultra-high DPI isn't necessarily a good thing.

If you set your DPI too high, you will lose track of where your mouse is on the screen.

But, you do want the option to select from different DPI's in order to suit your personal preferences.

Regular mice have generally limited themselves to 1,000 DPI, whereas even budget gaming mice can go upwards of 3,200 DPI...

Meaning there's a huge discrepancy in how sensitive the mouse is going to be when you're using it.

Finding the best DPI for gaming isn't hard, most pro FPS gamers stick to a DPI of 400 or 800.

Another thing you need to take into account when contemplating your gaming mouse is how receptive it is - this is known as their 'polling rates'.

Polling rates are an indication of how many times your mouse reports its position on your computer.

Gaming mouse vs normal mouse polling rates

Whilst a high polling rate is great and provides accuracy, this may increase how hard your computer has to work too (although it won't be a problem if you have a decent computer build)

2. Macro Keys (Extra Buttons)

Depending on which gaming mouse you go for, there's a good chance that a gaming mouse is going to have some extra useful buttons - more so than a regular mouse.

Below is an example of a mouse with a bunch of macro keys

Source: u/captainarwin from /r/MouseReview | Mouse: Razer Naga Trinity Molten (Special Edition)

As you can see on the Razer Naga, there's a ton of extra buttons that you can use which are all programmable.

P.S. If you're interested in getting the Razer Naga - it is an awesome mouse which includes an interchangeable side piece - a solid mouse that fits your hand like a glove!

What makes this great is the fact that many mouse brands now have software alongside your gaming mouse so you can customize the buttons to your liking.

This means those extra buttons your mouse can be programmable to use as hotkeys or shortcuts - and the software should allow you to manipulate every button of your gaming mouse.

For example, I have the Logitech G502 HERO which comes with the software Logitech G Hub. The software allows you to sync the lighting to your other devices, assign different functions to your mouse (fully customizable) and much more...

Mouse: Logitech G502 HERO High Performance

If you've never used a gaming mouse before, switching to a gaming mouse with the 'gaming shape' will take some time getting used to.

The learning curve gets steeper if you decide that you want to program your buttons to your liking...

But once you're used to it, it makes a world of difference, especially for MMORPG gamers who need those extra mouse buttons.

Having the flexibility to customize your mouse to this degree is an amazing feature in many gaming mice.

3. Ergonomics

Another major advantage that you get out of a gaming mouse as opposed to your regular mouse is the way they are designed.

A gaming mouse is designed with comfort as a priority and the shape makes it easier to grip and is more easy on your wrists.

They are designed to have the perfect size and grip, so you can move the mouse for hours without your hand or wrist getting tired.

Even if you aren't going to be using your mouse for gaming, I highly recommend getting a gaming mouse. The ergonomics and grip alone triumph over regular mice, and the performance blows the competition wide open.

Modular Mice

For select few gaming mice, they have a very convenient modular ability to fit different hand sizes and grips - like the G.SKILL RIPJAWS MX780:

This mouse allows you to swap out the side extensions to suit your grip and is even ambidextrous for all you lefty's out there.

Mouse Weight

Additionally, many gaming mice have adjustable weights to fit your needs in terms of mouse movement performance.

Source: u/Qu4ckL0rd from /r/G502MasterRace | Mouse: Logitech G502 HERO

Manipulating the weight can make your movements slower, or faster, which depending on the games you play will make a difference.

4. Durability

The build quality of gaming mice is designed to take long usage, lots of movement, brought flicking - basically a beating over time.

That being said, if your job consists of staying behind a computer all day, your mouse and keyboard are what you're using the most, and manufacturers should design and build the mouse with a long life-span in mind.

And gaming mice do exactly that - they have been built with the intention of enduring all the button mashing and clicking that regular PC users do.

A gaming mouse is usually made from similar material as a normal mouse, but are made to be more durable.

If you consider the money you are investing in a mouse - you're better off grabbing a gaming mouse that is built to last you years.

5. Customization

Customization is a word we love to use here at Battlestation Setups because customization allows you to edit a particular product to suit your needs, and your personality.

I've already shown you that you can customize gaming mice easily, whether it's the grip, the weight or to program the buttons.

You should be utilising these 3 features to help you create a faster workflow or help you game more efficiently.

This is an important step if you're looking to get into the competitive scene, creating shortcuts on your mouse is very common amongst pro esports gamers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can A Gaming Mouse Be Used As A Normal Mouse?

Using a regular mouse for gaming isn't ideal. The accuracy of the laser is subpar, the grip isn't made for long gaming sessions, and your DPI will be low, with no options to change.

But using a gaming mouse for work, or for everyday tasks - definitely. In fact, I highly recommend it - adopting a gaming mouse as your regular every day mouse.

A gaming mouse has everything you need to be able to work efficiently, for hours without getting your hands or wrists tired...

And you can do the exact same thing for gaming.

Is A Gaming Mouse Worth It?

You bet your bottom dollar it is!

A gaming mouse is a great investment for any persons' situation, whether it's for work, or gaming, or both.

Nowadays you can find gaming mice which don't break the bank but will still be better than a regular mouse.

You can get a decent gaming mouse for as little as $20, so it's definitely worth picking one up if you're looking for a mouse that is made to last, has changeable DPI, and is ergonomically safe and comfortable to use.

Article written by Lorenzo
Since the age of 6, Lorenzo has enjoyed gaming on computers. Having grown up in the digital age, the technology revolves around him. He enjoyed growing up gaming throughout his high school years and is now a young adult who does most of his work on his computer. Lorenzo's mission is to make buying products and building PC's an easy and fun experience for all.

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