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Last Update: Apr 26, 2019

Top 6 Cheap Gaming Mice

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As you reach the bottom of the dark and stoney stairway, you are greeted with a large, wooden door. “Hmmm,” you wonder, “how in the world am I going to open this?”

Seeming to sense your thoughts, it slowly creaks open. 😯

“Finally!” you think to yourself. You’ve risen from the nothing, saved entire villages, fought the meanest dragons, slain the evilest of the evil, and now… finally… your hero’s journey approaches its end.

Slowly, you saunter into the room, with the ultimate prize, the thing you’ve been waiting all your life for, slowly creeping into view… and… and… and it’s a cheap RGB-lit gaming mouse.

You turn to leave in disgust, anger rising within you, but you hear a voice yell out from the ether: “Wait! You don’t know what you’re missing! Surely you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on an expensive gaming mouse!”

“Hmmm, this voice in the ether is making sense,” you consider, “maybe I should keep reading.”

So, considering your budget, you read on to find out what’s the best gaming mouse for you.

1

Best Choice: SteelSeries Rival 110

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 7200
  • Buttons: 6

SteelSeries Rival 110  Review

If you’ve ever played around with the SteelSeries Rival 100, then you’re probably going to be familiar with the 110, which is a reasonably good upgrade. What makes this mouse (and the 100) great is that it’s designed and marketed towards FPS players. For example, if you’re a fan of Blizzard’s popular title, you’ll find that this is a great mouse for Overwatch.

For starters you have six buttons to play around with; the right/left button, the middle button of the wheel, two on the left side and the DPI change button, which you can set to whatever you want.

Unfortunately, even though it does have a somewhat ambidextrous design, the fact that it doesn’t have buttons on either side removes it from that category. It’s a shame because it’s a reasonably good mouse.

Aside from that, the mouse performs really well. Tracking is excellent, and you can set variable poll rates and DPI, which is a standard feature on more expensive mice. The upgraded sense also makes gives it a much smoother feel when using, as well as making it almost impossible to spin out.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The 110 is a loud mouse, with everything from the scroll wheel and even the feet making quite a bit of sound during use. Also, the size of this mouse means it’s much better suited for smaller to medium sized hands, and grip is probably best suited for claw or fingertip.

All in all, this is one of the best gaming mice under $50, especially if you’re just starting out.

+Pros
  • Will last you a long time
  • Lightweight (for those who like it)
  • Good tracking for the price
  • Great Value
-Cons
  • Scroll wheel is too loose, can overscroll.
  • It’s lightweight (for those who hate it)
2

Best Quality: Logitech G300s

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 2500
  • Buttons: 9

Logitech G300s Review

Even though we’ve put the G300s up as an ambidextrous mouse, it’s actually a really solid peripheral regardless of which hand you use. Not only that, but it looks sleek and sexy, and while others describe it as a pinched design, we prefer to call it hourglass.

Speaking of ambidexterity, what makes this mouse stand out compared to other symmetrically designed mice, is that the side buttons are placed on the top.

This has the added benefit of making it easier to use as a whole, and good for those who might have a disability that makes other gaming mice harder to use. On top of that, you get yourself nine different buttons to play with, so you can customize it to your heart’s content.

While the G300s is pretty standard in terms of performance and tech, what adds a lot of value is Logitech’s supporting software. After downloading and installing, you get a ton of customization options, and you can even set up three different gaming profiles that you can switch to on the fly.

The software also has auto-game detection, so it’s certainly worry-free if you’re the kind of person who likes to use different settings for different things.

Even though the G300s won’t beat out some of the more expensive mice, it’s a solid product all on its own, and if you’re a left (or ambidextrous), this is little baby is perfect!

+Pros
  • DPI switch button
  • Different profile choices
  • Lots of programmable buttons
-Cons
  • Ambidextrous design might take a while to get used to
3

Best Value: Razer Naga Trinity

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 16000
  • Buttons: 2, 7 or 12

Razer Naga Trinity Review

In comparison to the G300s’ sleek look, you have the contrast of the Razer Naga Trinity’s chunky design. Don’t let that necessarily put you off though, since it offers great value and at the end of the day, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

Ironically though, the outside is where the Naga Trinity packs most of its features, taking the form of three interchangeable panels for you to choose from. While there is a standard two button variant (which can work for FPS games and general use), you also get two more panels, one with 7 buttons and one with 12 buttons.

How you end up using it can vary, but ultimately the 7 button panel is made for simpler games that don’t necessarily require macros, whereas the 12 button version is made for MOBA and MMOs. But if that’s what you’re looking for, you should check out our list of the best MMO gaming mouse.

You’ll be glad to hear that the panels are hot-swappable, so no need for disconnecting, and it uses magnets, so it’s easy to put on and remove. The contact pins are great, making it worry-free, and the best part is that you can’t even feel the ridge where the panel meets the mouse body. So it’s certainly very comfortable and easy to use.

Getting back to the inside, much like the G300s, the rest of the Naga Trinity’s features lie in its supporting software. There’s tons of customization, from DPI settings to response rates, and everything in between. We’d also like to point out the hyper shift feature, which basically gives you a whole second set of buttons to work with.

While this is a bit on the more expensive side of the ‘budget’ category, the amount of variety it has offsets the higher price, making it well worth a purchase.

+Pros
  • Interchangeable buttons for whatever game genre you’re playing
  • Really good motion tracking
-Cons
  • A little bit on the pricey side
4

Best for MMO: VicTsin Wireless Gaming Mouse

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 2400
  • Buttons: 7

VicTsin Wireless Gaming Mouse Review

Being one of only two mice on this list that aren’t from a well-known manufacturer, it might make you uneasy. Don’t worry though, this is a reasonably good mouse for the price.

Since we mentioned price, the truth is that it does cut down on a lot of features you’d see on other mice, even the cheap ones. For one, there’s no associated software, and you can’t set specific DPI settings for button switching. Instead, it goes up in increments of 400.

There’s also no customizability for the RGB or response rate, and it doesn’t have anything as fancy as the Hypershift.

All that being said, it is a reasonably good mouse. Tracking is good, even for being wireless, and it has a 15-meter range, so you can use it for non-gaming stuff as well. Battery life is surprisingly good, and can last you for several months, and maybe even longer if you switch off the RGB lights.

There’s really not much else to say, it’s a very standard mouse, with the main standout features being its wireless capability and its cheap price. If you hate wired mice, check out other great wireless gaming mice.

+Pros
  • Energy efficient, so your batteries will last longer
  • 50ft distance (claimed)
  • Great value
-Cons
  • Not great for those with larger hands
5

Best for FPS: Razer DeathAdder Elite

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 16000
  • Buttons: 7

Razer DeathAdder Elite Review

While the SteelSeries 110 is targeted to FPS players, if you’re an FPS player, the DeathAdder Elite is really the one you should be aiming for.

For starters, it has one of the top optical sensors on the market. That mean that is has amazing tracking, especially in terms of pixel to pixel tracking for your close-up/sniper shots. This performance also stops it from spinning out, which is common on mice with laser or lesser optical sensors.

Button wise it’s very simple, with your right/left, middle click and back/forward on the side. You also get two DPI buttons to switch up and down on demand. Thankfully, there is supporting software, so you have the same amount of customization and adjustability as the Razer Naga Trinity.

Otherwise, there’s not much else to say except that it’s one of the best FPS mouse and is actually one of the most sold mice for that use. It’s also featured on our list of the best mouse for Fortnite. Oh, also, it’s generally pretty big, so if you have big hands, this will be perfect for you, otherwise, you still might prefer the SteelSeries 110 for its smaller and sleeker feel.

*Side Note: This mouse actually comes with a left-handed variant, so if you’re a southpaw FPS player, you’re absolutely in luck!

+Pros
  • Rubber grip for good hand-holding
  • Ergonomic design makes it pretty comfortable
  • Perfect optical sensor that works on any surface
-Cons
  • Performance is tied to the software
6

Best RGB: Rosewill Neon M62

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Specifications:

  • Tracking Method: Optical
  • Maximum DPI: 10000
  • Buttons: 9

Rosewill Neon M62 Review

Given that it’s slightly more expensive than the VicTsin wireless, you might be wondering why it’s under this category. Well, the truth is that the Rosewill Neon M62 has more features than the Vic Tsin, and overall, it’s a much better mouse.

For starters, this mouse actually has supplemental software so that you can adjust and customize your settings. Much like Logitech and Razer’s software, you can adjust the DPI increments, the poll rate, what the buttons do and the RGB. So as you can see, it’s already way ahead of the Vi Tsin.

Another thing that you might have noticed, is that the mouse is completely symmetrical, so it sort of makes it ambidextrous. We say sort of, because the buttons on the side are easy to hit and it might be a pain to get used to. Of course, that’s a minor issue when you look at the price and what you get for it.

Given all that, we’re comfortable to say that this is probably one of the best mice (if not the best) that you can get under $25.

+Pros
  • Works ambidextrously
  • Lots of RGB if that’s what you’re looking for
-Cons
  • A bit on the small side

Budget Gaming Mouses: Buying Guide

Choosing a gaming mouse is already a difficult proposition. From the type of sensors to the preferred grip the mouse is made for, there are hundreds of options and difficult to get your bearings. That’s why we’re here to help!

While we won’t be going into all the possible specs, we will cover some of the basics.

Tracking Method

If you’ve been using a computer since the 90s, then you’ll be familiar with the old school ball under the mouse. Well, to put it simply, that’s one form of mouse tracking. Thankfully though, humanity as a whole has moved on due to a host of an issue with it, the least of which is how it vacuums dust and other stuff.

Nowadays, most mice use either laser or optical tracking methods. How this works is that each mouse is equipped with a CMOS chip (similar to a camera) and it takes thousands of images a second to keep track of where it is on a surface (ergo the CMOS chip). Where mice differ, is what they use to illuminate the surface: LEDs for Optical and well… a laser for laser.

three gaming mice

While we can go into the technical aspects of both, we won’t, and instead, we’ll talk about accuracy, since that’s the important thing.

Laser mice are super accurate, maybe a bit too accurate. Since they can analyze much more than optical mice, they are prone to jitters and other issues that might seem like lag. Optical mice can analyze less, but that means that you aren’t going to get the same issues of jitter.

The downside is that optical mice require a great gaming mousepad to work, whereas laser mice can work anywhere.

The upshot? Optical is generally better for gaming, and a laser is better for general and mobile use.

Maximum DPI

DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and conveys the resolution of the images taken by the mouse. Obviously, a higher resolution means more capacity for accuracy, but the truth is, it’s not as important today as it was a few years ago.

mouse dpi

Anyway, most professional e-sports players tend to only play in the low DPI ranges (800-1k). Truth is, it doesn’t matter much beyond being able to select how sensitive the mouse is, which you can probably do in the game settings anyway.

Number of Buttons

This one depends a lot on what type of games you want to play and what kind of work you’re going to do.

For the most part, mice for FPS games tend to have fewer buttons, because there really is no need for more than 4 or so. On the other hand, if you’re playing a MOBA, MMOs or even an RPG, having more buttons can be helpful. This is doubly so if you want to maintain a high amount of Actions Per Minute (APM), which easy to access buttons can help with.

ROCCAT Leadr mouse

You also should think about general productivity. If you’re doing a lot of editing, having your most used functions bound to your mouse and a simple click away, you can do your work much more efficiently.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a budget gaming mouse?

Basically, a budget gaming mouse is any kind of mouse that’s both cheap and yet offers you a range of features that are useful in gaming. This can be anything from different types of grips to more buttons.

Should I get a cheap gaming mouse?

If this was 3-4 years ago, I’d probably say no, but nowadays there are so many options out there that are really good, even in the under $50 range, that you don’t necessarily have to compromise on features. If you’re just starting out in the gaming world and want to get your toes in the water, buying a cheap gaming mouse will give you a good idea for what to look for once you go for some of the more expensive options.

What is a hand grip for the mouse?

Over time, people have generally developed three types of grips: Fingertip, Claw, and Palm. As such, mice are now beginning to be made and marketed to people depending on their grip.

Hand Resting Comfortably on Gaming Mouse with Ergonomic Side Grips

There is no ‘correct’ grip, so you shouldn’t worry about that. What you should focus on is finding a mouse that works with your type of grip.


Conclusion

The whole field of gaming mice has become both saturated and complicated, and in a world where you can spend $100-$200 on a mouse, it can be hard to find the right one. Hopefully, this list of budget gaming mice will make your life a little bit easier, and you won’t have to be worried about spending tons of cash on something you might not want.


Sources:

  1. Computer Mouse, Wikipedia
  2. Chris Woodford, How Gaming Mouses Work, ExplainThatStuff, June 9th, 2018
  3. Top 10 Computer Mouse Tips, ComputerHope, November 13th, 2018
  4. Dan Chruscinski, How to Use a Gaming Mouse, September 22nd, 2017
  5. How Does a Gaming Mouse Differ from an Ordinary Mouse, Quora, July 13th, 2017
  6. Optical Mouse, Wikipedia
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