Does It Matter Which Gaming Mouse Pad You Choose?
It’s no secret that part of a great gaming setup includes a decent rig with quality peripherals like a keyboard and gaming mouse. That being said, how important is it to have a mouse pad specifically for gaming?
The answer to this question really depends on available space, how you like to organize your desk, the types of gaming you prefer, as well as other uses you may have for your mouse and keyboard other than gaming.
One of the biggest reasons gaming mouse pads have become so popular is due to the variety of sizes you can choose from. Having the room to maneuver freely can be a huge plus for gamers, as opposed to being limited to your standard 5-inch office style pad.
Also known as the mouse mat. The larger ones can provide a barrier to help protect the top of your desk from scratches and other wear. As well as the fact that a lot of gamers prefer the room to support their keyboard and mouse all in one space.
The smooth cushioned surface can make for the perfect resting place for your arms adding greater comfort while leveling off any small imperfections in your desktop.
There are also a variety of gaming mats that can absorb vibrations produced from striking keys on a mechanical keyboard, for example.
Many top quality gaming mouse pad manufacturers have even considered other keys to improving the overall gaming experience like ultra low surface friction, which gives high DPI gamers smoother and more precise movements.
Gaming also requires a fair amount of rapid wrist and hand movement. It’s worth it to take the time to look for a mouse pad with a nonslip base to give you that stability you need for accuracy and comfort.
Make sure to get the correct lift off distance that’s best for gaming. The lift off distance (LOD) is exactly as it sounds. The height that mice will stop tracking when you occasionally lift to reposition your mouse. Mousepads, in fact, do affect this as the mouse tracks the surface.
Generally, the lower the LOD the better when it comes to gaming. The higher LOD is great for tracking multiple surfaces but can cost you precious tracking time which lags when producing rapid movements involved in gameplay.
Are you a low sense or high sense gamer? When you are the type of gamer who uses broad-sweeping motions to get the mouse cursor to travel across the screen in-game, you are low sense. It may be best to invest in a larger and wider pad without any restriction of movement.
Conversely, a high sense gamer who’s cursor movements are rapid and minute in comparison may choose to use a smaller mouse pad for their gaming needs.
Important Features Found In Quality Gaming Mouse Pads:
- Materials: Standard mouse pads are made of lesser density rubber composites covered by a fabric bonded to the upper surface. High-quality gaming mats are usually made from layered density rubber, plastic, glass, aluminum or high-tech fibers with layered construction for level and smooth tracking.
- Sizes: You can choose from a variety of dimensions depending on the brand and model including small, medium, large, extra large, extended (double-wide), and more.
- Durability: due to the repetitive friction and wear, choose either a hard rubber or cloth mouse pad with anti fray and reinforced stitched edges for longer lasting and comfortable use.
- Precision optimized tracking: Although your mouse may claim to work on most surfaces. Keep in mind that gaming requires tracking on a more optimized surface that allows for improving mouse control and precise cursor placement.
- Thickness: Depending on your personal feel and preferences, you can choose between the comfort of a thick mat, thinner, or somewhere in between. Ranging from 2 mm, 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm in cloth and hard plastic.
- Compatibility: Many of the popular producers of gaming mice (see the list below) have designed compatible mouse pads specific to their brand.
- Dual sided: There are plenty of versatile gamers who want to switch between speed and control. There are gaming mats that are 2 sided. One with a smooth-textured side for high-speed glide and a heavy texture side for improved accuracy.
- Backlighting: By no means are fancy lights necessary for a quality gaming experience. But for those who prefer to add a fun ambiance, LED lighting is built into a variety of brands.
Top Brand Name Gaming Mouse Pads
SteelSeries founded on providing the gaming industry with creative and innovative new products including gaming mice, mousepads, game controllers, keyboards, and headsets. All specifically designed for eSports professionals and passionate gamers everywhere.
Corsair over a twenty-year history of designing and delivering a huge range of accessories for computers, including power supplies, USB flash drives, gaming peripherals, computer cases, and more. Offering a variety of mouse pad styles covering speed, flexibility, and control.
Logitech well known for mass-marketing the computer mouse. They have been developing a wide range of electronics and computer peripherals like keyboards, mice, gaming mouse mats, webcams, headsets, and charging stations. You can choose from 3 cloth and hard gaming mats including the G240, G440, and the G640.
Razer is the world leader in producing and specializing high-performance gaming products including headphones, keyboards, and gaming mouse technology(mice, mats, and software). Their 6 best mouse pads are the Firefly, the Invicta, the Manticor, the Vespula, the Gigantus, and the Destructor V2. A selection of hard, soft, hybrid, mobile, and dual-sided gaming mats.
Glorious are fairly new to the industry but inspired by the feedback from a real gaming community to provide affordable and high-quality gaming accessories such as mechanical keyboards, large mouse pads, extended mouse mats, and corresponding wrist pads.
Hyper X is another pioneer of the gaming hardware and electronics world. Specializing in memory and storage devices, USB drives, and headsets. As well as gaming keyboards, mice, and of course gaming mouse mats ranging from small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.
Zowie Gear is the gaming division of BenQ corporation. A very well-established technology company that is backed by a deep research and development team. Supplying the world with high-quality communication and computer devices including audio/video devices along with gaming mice and of course mouse pads.
5 Tips For Choosing A Mouse Pad
Although it is obvious that it boils down to personal preference and style of gaming when it comes to choosing the best gaming mouse pad.
There are, however, a few tips worth sharing when you are thinking of purchasing a mouse pad for gaming purposes.
1. Stay away from reflective surfaces. Any types of glossy or reflective surfaces. Particularly optical mice have an issue with reflective surfaces. Laser mice are usually better at handling them but they don’t track as well as on matte surfaces.
2. Surface Area. A common surface that’s adequate for gaming starts at around is 10×10 inches. You need a decent amount of surface area to support your mouse on. If the surface is too small your mouse will fall off the end or hit your keyboard and you will be forced to lift it and move it back to the middle, losing valuable time.
3. Glide Speed & Control. The feel of a smooth and nonresistant surface that can combine speed and control, allowing you to easily move your mouse while being able to stop it on a dime. The perfect surface for this is dependent on the weight and feet of your mouse. If you use a heavier mouse you probably want a faster surface.
4. It’s in the finer details. Think of the sensors on the bottom of your mouse like a camera that is taking pictures at a very fast rate and then comparing them to find the distance moved. A finer detailed surface can provide you with more accurate measurements.
5. Mouse weight. A heavier mouse will require more force so that slight movements of the mouse through the hand get negated. If one has a very slick mouse pad, less weight would mean less momentum. A lighter mouse may be faster with less friction, therefore a pad with better traction may be needed to for better control.
Click any of the links below to find more product details or to purchase any of the mouse pads in the video.
7 Great Gaming Mouse Pads
1. SteelSeries QcK – If you are looking for a cheaper gaming mouse pad, the Steel Series Qck is a great choice. It’s cloth that is large enough to be called a desktop mouse pad. Used to win more competitions and tournaments than any other mouse. Comes in 8 different styles and sizes.
2. Corsair Vengeance MM200 – this smooth cloth surface mouse pad delivers amazing glide characteristics that allow you to execute fast swipes and pull off consistent high-precision shots.
3. Razer Goliath – thick and woven texture to the surface with a sticky rubber bottom to avoid slipping and sliding around. You may need to adjust calibration to due to its rough surface.
4. Pure Track Talent – it’s thin custom cloth surface provides a smooth and unique feel. This gaming mouse mat has a thickness that caters to most all uneven desk surfaces; making it the perfect companion for even the toughest LAN gamers.
5. Razer Destructor 2 – the perfect balance between speed and control. It’s rough and bumpy texture makes it really fast. Having hard rigid polycarbonate is the perfect base for stability.
6. Mionix Ensis 320 – A unique gaming mouse pad that is constructed from super thin 1 mm lightweight aluminum. Provides lower levels of feedback. Treated with a very low data loss treatment. Suitable for games like Counter Strike – GO.
7. Zowie Gear – Are you looking for a cloth or a rubber mouse pad? Zowie has you covered. Choose between their SR Series (cloth surface) or the TF-X Series (rubber surface) Popular sizes ranging from 355mm x 315mm and 480mm x 400mm. A thickness of approximately 3.5mm.
Finding the best gaming mouse pads starts with personal preference, the amount of space available, as well as your style of gaming.
Hopefully, you can now make a better decision when choosing a mouse pad by using some of the criteria and tips outlined in our discussion.
Feel free to browse any of the product links above for more details or read other reviews. Need a gaming mouse?