March 6, 2021
Best cheap gaming mouse for 2021

Best cheap gaming mouse for 2021

There are tons of gaming mice to choose from — so many gaming mice, in fact, that choosing a single size and style is a lot more complicated than scouring Amazon’s lists or Reddit to find an answer, particularly if you’re on a budget. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite cheap gaming mouse options that fall below $50. 

If you’ve never shopped for a gaming mouse before, you should head to a store, if that’s an option, to try some out before buying. All sorts of factors are paramount to the best possible gaming experience — such as ergonomic design, weight, wired or wireless, the mouse’s sensor, number and positions of buttons, how programmable or open to customization it is, wired or wireless connection and, of course, lighting.

We’ll continue to test new mice as they become available, so expect this list of cheap gaming mouse options to change as we weigh the pros and cons of each. If you think I’ve overlooked any other great sub-$50 gaming mice, leave a comment to let us know what you think is the best cheap gaming mouse. Also, if you need a new gaming keyboard, too, here are our current picks for less than $100.    

Read more: Best gaming accessories to give as holiday gifts  

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The F2 is just a solid basic gaming mouse with six programmable buttons and a scroll wheel wrapped in knobby rubber with stops you can feel. This budget mouse is comfortable for palm and claw grips and if you like lights, it’s got them all around the body. The company’s simple G-Aim software can be used to set up the lighting effects and program the buttons. It even has a braided cable, which is not something you typically find on lower-end gaming mice, especially those that fall under $15. Pair it with Aukey’s $25 RGB XL mouse pad and its sub-$50 G12 mechanical keyboard and you’re ready to play for less than $100. 

If you’re looking for an ultralight mouse, though, check out the 75-gram Scarab F3. It looks and feels flimsy compared to something like the Glorious Model O, which is actually a bit lighter than the F3. The scroll wheel in particular looks like it might not hold up over time. Still, it’s only $15 and a good starting place if you want to see if a lighter mouse makes a difference for your gaming.

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A rare wireless gaming mouse bargain. The Katar Pro uses the company’s Slipstream 2.4GHz wireless that can channel-hop on the fly so it stays on the fastest connection possible, keeping latency under 1 millisecond. This wireless mouse also has low-latency Bluetooth LE 4.2, which is nice to have for gaming when speed is less critical, or for connecting to other computers or devices that don’t have a USB-A port for the Slipstream receiver.

Corsair used a 10,000dpi PixArt PMW3325 sensor and a mouse button on top lets you switch between three presets: 800, 1,500 and 3,000. Those settings, along with the mouse’s other five buttons, can be remapped in the company’s iCue software for Windows and MacOS. You can also store dpi and lighting settings on the Katar Pro so you’ll always have your favorites no matter what computer you’re using. 

This wireless mouse is powered by a single AA battery that is rated for up to 135 hours of battery life. That’s good, but you’ll probably want to invest in good rechargeable batteries.  

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Steelseries already has an excellent cheap gaming mouse in its lineup with the ambidextrous Sensei 310, which is further down on this list. However, its new $30 Steelseries Rival 3 is also surprisingly decent for a cheap mouse. The ergonomic right-handed six-button mouse is very light at 77g (2.7 oz.) and uses the company’s TrueMove Core sensor with an 8,500 CPI and one-to-one tracking for precise movement. This wired mouse uses the same switches as its $120 Steelseries Rival 650 mouse and, while the buttons require a little more force than others we’ve tested, it has a fair amount of configuration possibilities, including three zones of RGB LED lights that Steelseries says are the brightest its used in any mouse. 

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The Kain 120 was an excellent wired gaming mouse at $70, but at its current price of $30 it’s an absolute steal. Its Omron switches combined with the company’s Titan Click button hinges give you responsive clicks no matter where you press. Large front and rear PTFE (aka Teflon) feet help it glide effortlessly. 

The DPI button on top lets you rifle through five settings up to the sensor’s top 16,000dpi speed. The thumb button options on the left side are large and well-positioned. And all the buttons and lights are completely programmable with Roccat’s Swarm app. Oddly, one of the best features of this mouse (and other Roccat gaming mice) is the coating the company uses that gives the body a soft, grippy feel while still being dirt- and wear-resistant. 

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You can dismiss Razer because it’s popular or you feel it’s all hype. But the fact is, this is a good budget gaming mouse for any gamer. It’s comfortable, particularly if you use a palm grip, with an accurate speedy 16,000 DPI sensor and a lightweight body. The programmable Synapse software lets you tweak its lights and seven buttons as much as you want, and you no longer need to sign in. And it’s covered with a two-year warranty. 

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If you want some extra flash in a fast, accurate and light gaming mouse, this SteelSeries rival is a fine ergonomically designed pick for quick movements and good gaming. At 100 grams, you can use the Surge with a fingertip or claw grip, and it’s ambidextrous, too. Other pros are that this Steelseries mouse is designed with six programmable buttons and a ring of RGB light that run around the entire body. It’s a plug-and-play mouse, but you can program the lights and buttons with the company’s NGenuity software. 

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The G305 is the only one here that doesn’t have RGB lighting. However, it’s also wireless and without that extra lighting, this wireless gaming mouse lasts longer — up to 250 hours of continuous PC gaming. It takes a single AA battery that hides under the palm rest with its Lightspeed wireless USB adapter. Even with the battery, though, this PC gaming mouse weighs less than 100 grams. The small size, relatively low profile and weight was comfortable used with claw and palm grip styles. It’s also an ambidextrous gaming mouse. All in all, it’s a great choice among wireless gaming mice, with good battery life, if you don’t want a lot of buttons or lights.

The price hovers around the $50 mark, so if it jumps a bit over that, I recommend waiting it out for a price drop or sale. Also, it’s now available in four color options if you’re looking for something that stands out a bit more on your desk.

Sarah Tew/CNET

SteelSeries recently announced a 10th-anniversary edition of this mouse called the Sensei Ten. It has a couple new customization features that make it worth paying extra for (though you can currently get it for around $70) like tilt tracking for when you hit your mouse pad at an angle. That said, the 310 is less expensive, just as lightweight and also has accurate tracking thanks to its esport-quality optical sensor. The side buttons are on the small side, but you get a set on each side of its ambidextrous design.   

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