So do you need a gaming mouse? Well, yes, in my opinion. Do you, personally need one? I don't know, maybe you do, maybe you don't, but let me talk you into why you need a gaming mouse, specifically something like the Razer Naga, although the net is awash with a variety of similar mice now from companies like Steelseries and beyond. 

Let's do an exercise real quick - you can stare at your keyboard or not, your choice, but let's think about where your hand is when it's on WSAD. We assume that W is a key that your middle finger can not leave, as you will always need to move forward and have movement control. A and D are rotate or skills, depending on if you exclusively mouse move or not. It could be your strafe, your spin, or abilities. Let's say it's neither and you use it to move, but can move your fingers off of it. 

This gives you Q, E, Z, C, V, F, and R as your only finger accessible keys (without sacrificing movement). Shift and ctrl can act as modifiers as well, but even then you're looking at maybe 14 to 21 keys total you could use without moving your hands. Numbers, I know some people can hit them, but I can't without moving off of W and see them as a throwaway from the days people used arrow keys (putting your hands on the arrow keys and using the numbers for skills was the way you did it before you learned how to play an FPS). 

Now, you can help yourself by using a gaming mouse, which has at least about 8 additional keys you can use with again, modifiers like shift and ctrl being usable to extend it. Now, you can pick and choose which keys work best for you while offloading other keys to your mouse. For instance, your main attacks / rotation can be on the keyboard while your buffs, potions, trinkets, etc. are on the mouse. You can easily spam your rotation and your trinket at the same time using two hands. 

It's something that I think is required in high level play. Being able to spam multiple buttons at the same time is critical, especially in raid encounters, and while you may able to hit a few buttons at once on your keyboard, you're going to have a harder time than if you off-load the work. I know for me, in PvP, I don't leave W no matter what. That's a death sentence. The second I move off of W, I quit moving, and while mouse moving is a thing, it's impossible to do it well (in my opinion). 

So yeah, I definitely believe gamers need gaming mice, but I also think they don't apply in some scenarios: 

Situations Where You Don't Need a Gaming Mouse 

  • Casual MOBA Play: MOBAs need only a few keys and most mice on the market are accurate enough that you're not going to suffer and even then, most mice on the market are also customizable and you can alter the DPI and speed within Windows to match whatever your preferred level of mouse sensitivity is. 
  • High-level MOBA Play: You probably want a entry level gaming mouse that lets you fiddle with the settings. For the most part, all gaming mice are equal, the only question is the physical form factor and features. There were the moba only mice that were a thing, I think they're still made, but you have one full hand dedicated to the keyboard and just a few buttons to press - you just need quality (MX518 for instance).
  • You Don't Play Video Games: You don't need a gaming mouse. You need a regular more ergonomic every-day use mouse or a trackball. 
  • Games You Play Don't Have Skills: If you play mostly simulation games or anything that isn't an MMO honestly, you probably don't need a gaming mouse. Farming Simulator 15 works wonderful with any 'ol mouse out there. 

Gaming Mice Tips 

Try a mouse out physically you can. Key resistance is a big deal. Some mice on the side have very easy to press buttons while others feel like you have to punch the button down to get it to register. You don't want additional fatigue and random mis-clicks. 

Don't worry too much about the sales pitch and random feature list. Most mice have a feature list 2032483 miles long, but it doesn't matter. If it's by a reputable company, then it's going to be alright. 

That's about it, I figured I'd just bring this subject up since I know a lot of people always wonder if they'll game better with or without a gaming mouse.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.