It is funny how most gamers spend a fortune on the best gaming rig and expect to start fragging n00bs by the truckload. The truth is that you won't be any good if you leave the keyboard and mouse as an afterthought. The mouse especially so, since it contributes significantly to overall control and accuracy in FPS games. Before you whip out your wallet to address the problem by throwing a lot of money at it blindly, let me assure you that will not work. Mice are a bit like running shoes—they are pretty much useless unless you find one that fits your play style perfectly.
Not everyone needs fancy high-sensitivity mice or expensive hard mats. If you aren't well prepared, you might end up with very expensive gear that doesn't suit you well. Therefore, it pays to see which play style work for you and then narrow down mice satisfying those parameters. This is exactly what this article aims to do—dissect each play style and explain how to choose the right mouse for it.
Wireless mice don't really work for gaming
Wired or wireless?
If you've ever wondered why all gaming mice are corded; trust me, it's for a very good reason. The conversion of electrical signals into wireless ones and then back again adds a considerable amount of lag. In the cutthroat world of first-person shooters, just a few milliseconds could mean the difference between victory and crushing defeat. Moreover, the slightest amount of input lag rends to diminish overall control and accuracy, so it's imperative that you opt only for wired gaming mice. Several manufacturers have tried in vain to make gaming-grade wireless mice, but the results have generally been substandard. Even Razer's Mamba 4G, the last serious wireless gaming mouse I had tried, couldn't change my reservations about the technology.
Sensitivity, resolution, and polling rate
Generally measured in Dots per Inch (DPI) or Counts Per Inch (CPI) by most manufacturers, mouse resolution is a measure of the image sensor's tracking capability. This figure determines how many pixels your mouse pointer will move on screen for every inch you move the mouse. The higher the resolution, the more sensitive your mouse will be. As you can see, mouse sensitivity is directly related to resolution. However, it has little to do with accuracy, and is often wrongly used to compare mice. There are gamers who prefer high sensitivity, whereas others like to keep it much lower. It's a matter of personal preference and none of the approach is better than the other.
Mice such as the Razer Lachesis are optimised for the claw grip
Larger monitors with higher pixel counts might require higher resolution mice to maintain comfortable sensitivity, but that still doesn't mean everyone has to go for the crazy 5600 dpi mice. In fact, most gamers using Full HD monitors will find their sweet spot somewhere between 800 and 1600 dpi. Other factors discussed below, in fact, contribute more towards mouse performance than sensitivity. The truth is that all modern gaming-grade mice are of a high enough resolution to satisfy the most demanding gamer. So make it a point to disregard this common marketing ploy and remember that a higher resolution doesn't translate into a better performing mouse by itself.
Polling rate, on the other hand, indeed has a major bearing on mouse performance. It is essentially the rate at which the computer is updated with the position of the mouse pointer. The default Windows polling rate is fixed at 125 Hz, which means that your mouse tells your PC once every 8 milliseconds, or 125 times a second, exactly where the pointer is located. The faster the polling rate, the more accurately the cursor will be resolved on screen. Almost all gaming mice these days have a polling rate of 1000 Hz (1 ms), so they are equally good in this respect.
The palm grip is used by gamers preferring low sensitivity
The primary play styles
FPS gamers usually adopt either of two major play styles. Those who use close to medium-quarters weapons prefer playing with high sensitivity, whereas those who stick to long-range weapons adopt low sensitivity settings. High-Sensitivity Gamers (HSG) don't really require pinpoint accuracy, but they need to cover a large degree of their Field of Vision (FOV) without having to lift and re-center the mouse on the pad. Snipers invariably are Low Sensitivity Gamers (LSG), who have no choice but to sacrifice speed for accuracy.
Most HSGs employ the claw grip, which is a rather wrist-heavy style, where the mouse is held with the finger tips, while the base of the palm is used as a pivot. The palm doesn't touch the mouse surface in this type of grip. It requires steady hands and lighter mice for best accuracy. The mouse itself doesn't move much on the pad. Most Razer mice such as the Boomslang, Copperhead, and Lachesis, or Roccat products such as Kova and Kone+ are optimised for this style of play.
The claw grip works best for high-sensitivity gamers
On the other hand, LSG tend to use the palm grip, which involves resting their palms on the mouse. Unlike HSG, this control method doesn't really require steady hands and benefits from slightly heavier mice. The mouse itself covers a lot of ground to compensate for the low sensitivity, which can cause a lot of issues for laser sensors that cannot handle high speeds. Most of Logitech's gaming mouse range and mice such as the Razer DeathAdder or the Mionix Naos are the best examples of this.