The other day I was having an argument with a friend about gaming mice. The subject: Is a wireless mouse good for gaming? He was confident that wired mice are far better than wireless because he thought wired mice have less latency than wireless.
My side was that modern wireless gaming mice have about the same latency as wired, and even if they don’t, the difference is barely noticeable. We kind of agreed to disagree, and that was the end of it. It wasn’t until I was sitting up late at night that I randomly thought about the discussion, and decided to do the research to find out who was actually right.
Here’s what I learned. There’s actually a lot of misinformation about wired vs wireless products out there. It gets even more complicated when there are multiple wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and specific wireless receivers. I’ll be talking about those mice a little later.
Is a Wireless Mouse Good for Gaming?
A modern wireless mouse that uses a wireless receiver is good for gaming because it has about the same latency (single-digit milliseconds) as a wired mouse making it suitable for competitive games. Most Logitech wireless gaming mice have very low latency.
As it turns out, wireless mice are just as good as wired mice. Surprisingly, some of the latency tests show that certain wireless mice are actually faster than wired ones. The reason for that is due to advanced wireless connectivity and processing times.
For example, the Logitech G502 wireless gaming mouse has a latency of 1ms which is lower than most wired mice. Bear in mind, these mice use very specific wireless receivers to achieve these speeds, it’s not Bluetooth or regular Wifi.
Look, every mouse is made with different components and tech, which results in a wide range of latency times. The truth is your average consumer (I’m looking at you) probably won’t notice the difference between a mouse with a 1ms response time vs one with 10 ms.
Best Low Latency Wireless Gaming Mice:
The Logitech G Pro Wireless gaming mouse is used by 17% of professional CS GO players. It’s a smaller mouse with a very simple build design and no ultra-fancy buttons. I like the simplistic design, I don’t need all those buttons anyway. This is one of the most popular wireless gaming mice by far so it’s definitely worth checking out.
- HERO 16K Sensor
- 8 Total Programmable Buttons (two on left and two on right side)
- 400 IPS +
- Lightspeed wireless with stable 1ms connection
- Weighs 80 Grams
- RGB lights
- Charging Cable Included
The Logitech G502 is another great wireless low-latency gaming mouse. The design is a bit more advanced than the previous product, and it has more programmable buttons with a total of 11, making it a good mouse for macro-heavy games. The rubber grips are great too, make it easy to keep the mouse stable.
Notable Feature: One interesting feature about the Logitech G502 is it can be wirelessly charged using a wireless charging mousepad. The recommended one is Power Play by Logitech. Of course, that’s not required, and you can use a cable to charge it too. The battery can last for up to 60 hours on a full charge.
- 25K Sensor
- 11 Buttons
- Ergonomic Design
- 1ms Wireless Connection
- Wireless Charging Compatible
- Rubber Grips
The Logitech G604 is an ergonomic mouse that has a few interesting features. To start, it has a total of 15 programmable buttons, with one side having 8 in total. That’s crazy! So if you really like buttons, this mouse would be good for you.
Besides that, it has two wireless mode; WIFI via the receiver or Bluetooth. For gaming the Lightspeed receiver is obviously better but the Bluetooth option opens up some possibilities like you can use it with a laptop or mobile device, so it’s more versatile. You can toggle between Wireless and Bluetooth with a button.
One other point you need to keep in mind is this mouse does not have a rechargeable battery. Instead, it uses one Double-A battery. However, the battery life is very good one battery can power it for 240 hours. You can also conveniently store the WIFI adapter inside the battery dock. It’s also a little cheaper than our other recommendations.
- Lightspeed 1ms Wireless Connection
- Bluetooth Compatible
- Powered by a Single AA Battery
- 25K Sensor
- 15 Programmable Buttons
In my opinion, Logitech makes the best wireless gaming mice, and you can take a look at more of their products on Amazon.
Do Pro Gamers Use a Wired or Wireless Mouse?
According to Prosettings.net, 31% of pro CS GO gamers use the Zowie EC2 wired mouse followed by 17% of players using the Logitech G Pro Wireless mouse. Currently, more than half of pro gamers use a wired mouse.
Here’s the infographic:
Is Your Mouse Faster Than Your Refresh Rate?
Even if you’re incredibly sensitive to these things, you need to consider the refresh rate of your monitor. Your mouse might be responding faster than your monitor refreshes, so you won’t even see the movement.
To give you an idea, most monitors have a refresh rate of 60hz which means the screen refreshes 60 times in a second. That comes to a screen-refresh every 16.66 milliseconds. Most mice, whether wireless or not, have a response time below that. Of course, the junkier ones can have much higher response times, but we’re talking about the gaming mice here.
So in other words, if your mouse’s response time is lower than your screen’s refresh rate, it’s not going to be noticeable. Even if it’s a little higher, like 17ms, you probably still won’t notice that 1ms delay. Now on high-refresh-rate monitors, the time it takes for the screen to refresh will be much lower, and the mouse movements might be more noticeable.
Still, even with a 144hz monitor, the single-frame refresh time comes to 7ms. And at 240hz the refresh rate is 4.1ms. Remember the mouse mention earlier? That one was a 1ms response time, so it’s still lower than the time it takes for a 240hz monitor to show one frame.
Do you think you can react faster than your screen refreshes? Probably not. If you want to have some fun, take a look at this human benchmark reaction speed test.
Here’s my score:
Notice the chart below shows the median reaction time was 215ms. Most of the tests were in the 225 to 250 ms range. Pretty much no-one scored less than 120 milliseconds. So I guess my reaction time is not THAT bad. Of course, reaction time is only one of the many important factors that affect your gaming performance.
To summarize, when it comes to mouse response times, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As long as it’s in the 1 – 15ms range, it shouldn’t be a problem. Obviously, the lower the better, but dropping $100+ on a mouse that has a 1ms difference is probably not worth it. Let’s take a look at some other features you should consider when buying a wireless gaming mouse.
Advantages of a Wireless Gaming Mouse:
There are a number of legitimate reasons you would want a wireless gaming mouse, and here are some to give you an idea. The main advantage is the fact it’s wireless.
1 – No Cable Draw, More Movement Area
This is when the weight of a wired mouse’s cable interrupts the fluidity of mouse movements. It can also be annoying when the cable gets blocked and you can barely move it. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me in games.
With a wireless mouse, that issue is gone because the wire is gone. There’s nothing for the must to get stuck on, unless you’re using a particularly stick mousepad, and if you are, I don’t want to hear about it. So you have more range of motion with a wireless mouse.
2 – No Cables
Want your desk to look as clean as possible? I know I do. Switching to a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard can reduce the cables on your desk by two. It definitely makes things a lot cleaner and helps with cable management.
Speaking of that, since the mouse doesn’t require a cable, only a USB transceiver, you can easily take it with you on trips without worrying about the cable getting tangled up or broken. Kind of like bringing a portable monitor on trips!
Wireless Gaming Mouse Downsides:
Having said that, there are some downsides too.
1 – Possible Latency Issues
The main downside to a wireless mouse is the input delay, but we already established that good wireless gaming mice have input latency that is very similar, even better than wired ones. Better yet, if you’re worried about wireless issues (interference, battery loss, and whatnot) what you can do is buy a mouse that is a combination of wireless and wired.
Check the list earlier for some ideas, one specific model is the ASUS ROG Gladius II that has a convenient USB plug for when you want to switch back to the wired option.
1 – Recharges & Batteries
In my opinion, the most annoying thing about wireless gaming mice is that they tend to run out of battery at the most critical times. For example, you’re trying to clutch in a 1 v 5 situation on CS GO, you hear some footsteps, and boom – your mouse goes unresponsive. You die, and your teammates give you shit for it. Nice.
Most wireless mice use either double-A or triple-A batteries. But a lot of the newer ones has built-in rechargeable batteries and a full-charge usually lasts for a long time, maybe a few days. An interesting product by Logitech that solves this problem is called POWERPLAY which is basically a mousepad that wireless charges the mouse on top of it.
There are also other wireless charging mousepads you can look at it. Just make sure you have a compatible phone that supports wireless charging or the whole thing would be kind of pointless.
2 – Price
Let’s face it, wireless gaming mice are much more expensive than their wired versions. Most cost at least $100 more than the same wired model. Is it worth the investment? That depends on your personal preferences. I think wireless gaming mice are worth it because the input lag is relatively good, cable management is easier, your mouse’s cable doesn’t get stuck, and they’re easier to travel with.
Are Bluetooth Mice Good for Gaming?
Bluetooth mice are not good for gaming because the latency time on Bluetooth is much worse than Wi-fi receivers. Bluetooth mice can work fine for office tasks or connecting to a phone for Samsung Dex use, but for competitive gaming, it’s best to avoid Bluetooth mice.
Basically, don’t assume that wireless mice perform worse than wired ones. If you want to get a wireless gaming mouse, go ahead and do it, I bet your performance in games will be the same, maybe even better, than with a wired mouse. And if someone questions your choice, you can send them this article to show them that gaming mice are really good today.