Differences Between Gaming and Regular Mouse

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

Have you considered what the differences between a gaming mouse and a regular mouse are? Well, I think you have, which is why you’re here. In this guide, we would be showing the differences between a gaming mouse and a regular mouse. With the help of this guide, when you see a gaming mouse and a regular mouse, you should be able to differentiate them.

You’ll often see a specific brand of gaming mouse promoted as being absolutely essential to your custom-built gaming PC. There is an implication that your fancy new rig that runs big titles at 120 FPS is useless unless you’re using a flashing neon mouse with lots of added buttons.

Despite what some might say though, a gaming mouse isn’t really a pre-requisite for building a great gaming set-up. So, just what is the difference between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse, and are gaming mice actually worth it?

A gaming mouse can pretty much do everything that a normal mouse can. The main point is what they do on top of that. This comes down to functionality, being geared to perform better in ways that help to game, and how they look.

So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that a gaming mouse is better than a normal mouse for its purpose.

Gaming Mouse vs Normal Mouse

The difference between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse is that a gaming mouse will be more sensitive, more responsive, and generally have more buttons than a normal mouse. It will also be more ergonomically friendly, and it is likely to last longer as well.

Often the biggest differences between a gaming mouse and a normal mouse are down to their performance and some small differences in how they operate. These differences can be a bit technical, but they do affect performance when it comes to playing games.

Now, if you’re currently using a regular mouse and you’re wondering what improvements you’ll get from switching to a gaming mouse, then there are a few key criteria where you’ll see a difference. I’ll run through the main improvements that you’re going to see when switching over from a normal mouse to a gaming mouse.

  • DPI/Sensitivity

The main difference you’re going to see between a regular mouse and a gaming mouse is the sensitivity. To put it simply, the higher the DPI (dots per inch) of the mouse, the greater the sensitivity will be. Gaming mice tend to have a much higher sensitivity if you compare them to a regular mouse, which makes them much better for gaming.

So for example, if you take the cheapest Amazon basics computer mouse, you’ll see that it has a DPI of 1000. Whereas if you compare this to even the lower range of the gaming mice, the cheapest have a DPI of 3200. So, you can tell there is a massive difference in how sensitive the mouse is going to be when you’re using it.

  • Buttons

Most gaming mice are going to feature a few extra buttons. These extra buttons can be mapped, allowing you to make more inputs without moving your hands. In gaming, this helps you keep your hands in a resting position more often, so you rarely have to move to other keys.

There can be many different additional buttons on your mouse, with some models having 10 or more. They’re also typically customizable too, so you can change them to whatever action you want. This is definitely one of the main advantages over a simple computer mouse.

  • Polling Rate

Your polling rate is really important for how sensitive your mouse is. This is how often it reports its position or movement to your PC. Even with a high DPI, a low polling rate will mean your mouse is unable to report those subtle changes in position to your PC.

A higher polling rate lets your mouse report its movement more often, giving you more responsive controls.

  • Customizable Weights

For some people, the weight of the mouse is crucial. Nobody wants to accidentally fling his or her mouse across the room because the mouse was about as light as cheap, hollow plastic can be. Some of the better gaming mice come with customizable weights.

These weights might change the weight of the mouse by a few grams apiece and there are usually multiple pieces that you can stick into the mouse. This allows you to have complete control over just how much your mouse weighs.

When it comes to competitive games, sometimes a heavier mouse is best as you won’t really be throwing a heavier mouse as easily. You will also want to consider the strain that a heavy mouse could put on your wrist during a long session of gaming, though.

Compared to an office mouse, once you purchase a mouse, you are more or less stuck with what you got, save for some small DPI adjustments. With gaming mice, you can customize just about every feature that’s there.

  • Ergonomics

Probably the main advantage that you get out of a gaming mouse as opposed to a regular mouse is the way that they’re designed. With a regular mouse, they’re not really designed with your comfort and ease of use in mind. However, with a gaming mouse, they are definitely designed for comfort and it’s much easier on your wrist – even if you’re not going to be using your mouse for gaming, then it might be worth considering getting a gaming mouse just for better comfort.

  • Durability

When considering a gaming mouse, they’re usually made from similar materials to a regular mouse. However, gaming mice are designed to last for a long amount of time, especially when you consider the money that you have to invest in them. So, if you’re looking for something that’s going to last you a long time, then a gaming mouse might prove to be the better option.

  • Aesthetics

A lot of gaming mice look pretty different from your standard mouse. This isn’t a vital component of a gaming mouse, but if you’re building a gaming PC with matching LCDs on the keyboard and other components then a gaming mice that fits this aesthetic is going to be a big bonus.

  • Customization

A good gaming mouse should provide you with the tools you need to customize how you play. A gaming mouse’s extra buttons will really open up the possibilities for your keybinds.

These options are important if you want to play better. The software that deals with this will vary depending on the manufacturer. Some allow for different bindings depending on what task you’re doing, while others have one set of bindings that apply to every program on your PC.

Benefits of Using a Gaming Mouse

The answer to the age-old debate of gaming mouse vs. regular mouse can be settled pretty easily nowadays. If you plan to do anything even remotely competitive, you are going to want a gaming mouse.

Of course, the appearance of the mouse is going to play a role in your decision but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. The design of a mouse will be pretty similar throughout the many different brands of gaming mice, meaning that you will be able to find what you want pretty easily.

Gaming mice tend to also have drivers and software that drastically improve their capabilities. Depending on the type of mouse you get, you will be able to track things such as how many times you have clicked the mouse and where you click most.

In some cases, you can even create different profiles where you can change the RGB light colors and the DPI of the mouse. This can be helpful when you want to switch from your gaming profile to a normal one for everyday use or just browsing the web.

If you are looking to get a new gaming mouse, you should check out our best gaming mice buying guide. Here, we have listed our top mice for different gaming genres as well as written down what you should about when buying a new gaming mouse.

Is the Sensitivity Worth It?

The extra sensitivity is definitely going to be a noticeable difference compared with a standard off-the-shelf mouse. However, once the DPI gets above 1500 the difference in response time becomes pretty hard to actually gauge.

These alterations of milliseconds may be vital for a top-tier Esports player, but kind of overkill for the vast majority of players. You’ll need to be playing at a really high level for the really high DPIs to make a difference. However, a standard gaming mouse is a decent degree more responsive than a normal mouse.


Overall, a gaming mouse is a wise investment if you’re looking to get something that’s going to perform much better than a standard mouse. Whilst they aren’t essential for everyday use, they can actually still be a good investment if you’re looking for a high-quality mouse – you can still use a gaming mouse for everyday stuff. Nowadays, gaming mice don’t cost a fortune, so it’s likely worth picking one up if you’re looking to improve your scrolling sensitivity and comfort easily.