Regular Mouse vs Gaming Mouse

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Updated December 29, 2022

Choosing the best computer mouse depends entirely on your circumstances. While many might be interested in finding a device for work, others require the best gaming mouse. But understanding what to look for to meet a specific need is difficult if you aren’t familiar with common mouse jargon and specs. To help you out, below, we’ll compare a regular mouse vs a gaming mouse to help you figure out which is best for you.


  • Gaming mice are helpful for fast-paced games and first-person shooters, as the mice have greater sensitivity and faster mouse movement.
  • There’s a noticeable difference in functionality with gaming mice allowing users to customize extra buttons and RGB lighting specs.
  • Gaming mice typically cost more than regular mice, as they come with more features and higher-quality parts.

For more on gaming, we have some video game-specific guides. For example, we’ve got a fascinating article comparing a controller vs mouse for Warzone gameplay.

Gaming Mouse vs Normal Mouse

We’re all familiar with the design of the standard mouse, so what makes a gaming mouse a gaming mouse? It’s a difficult question because it’s one with many possible answers. However, to sum it up as best as possible, a gaming mouse is designed to enhance gamers’ needs.

Insider Tip

An adjustable-weight mouse can be helpful for those with arthritis.

It might sound like a fluffy answer, but it can be explained practically. It’s common for gaming mice to be designed with sensors that increase things like DPI and CPI.

What are mouse DPI and CPI, you may ask? In essence, these are ways to measure mouse sensitivity. The DPI (Dots Per Inch) measures how many pixels your mouse can read per inch. CPI (Counts Per Inch) measures the number of points a cursor can reach every inch. The greater the DPI and CPI, the more accurate the sensor is. For example, knowing how to set your mouse DPI to at least 800 is recommended for fast-paced gaming.

While sensitivity is one area to focus on while understanding key differences between these two mouse types, there are a handful of areas to analyze when considering what kind to purchase.


A mouse’s accuracy comes down to the quality of its sensor.

Every mouse has a sensor that acts like a camera, taking many pictures every second to record information about its location. As the location changes, the mouse knows when and where to move the cursor. Depending on the sensor type and quality, the mouse will have a greater DPI/CPI.

Therefore, gaming mice are designed to improve precise movement and faster response times, such as using laser sensors over optical sensors.

Traditional mice have sensors that aren’t as high quality and won’t be as sensitive. Most of the time, they use optical designs.

Another way to increase accuracy is by choosing the right mouse pad. For more, we have an article explaining what a gaming mouse pad is.


Although gaming mice often have features to increase comfort, sometimes the buttons can feel intrusive and cause discomfort.


Gaming mice also tend to come with more customizable buttons. For example, where the typical mouse design has the right and left buttons with a scroll wheel, gaming mice might come with up to 15 mouse buttons. These buttons are programmable and can be configured to help gamers improve efficiency and speed.

Some traditional mice might have additional buttons, but they are less programmable than gaming mice and won’t come with things like RGB settings which lets users set up custom lighting effects.


While neither gaming nor traditional designs are considered ergonomic mice, gaming mice often come with features that increase comfort. For example, many gaming mice come with customizable weights, allowing users to add or subtract weights according to personal preference. The difference in weight can impact gaming performance and accuracy as well.

Gaming mice also might come with a thumb rest or use different materials to provide a more comfortable grip. Traditional mice also have enhanced comfortability features, but they more commonly appear on gaming mice since they are purposefully designed for those who might be playing in tournaments for long hours.

STAT: Gaming mice usually come with a minimum of 6 buttons. (source)


Traditional mice will always be slightly cheaper than gaming mice. Of course, there are some cheap gaming mouse options, but the price range will extend much higher for gaming options compared to a standard mouse. A regular mouse will begin at $5-$10, while a budget gaming mouse starts closer to $20, with professional gaming mice running a couple of hundred dollars.

Regular Mouse vs Gaming Mouse FAQs

What's the difference between an optical and a laser sensor?

A laser light mouse sensor picks up much more information and heightens sensitivity. Laser sensors also give off no light, whereas optical sensors give off infrared light.

What is a trackball mouse?

A trackball mouse is an ergonomic design that keeps the mouse stationary by allowing the user to control the cursor by moving the trackball with their fingers.

Are wireless or wired mice better for gaming?

Wireless mice give the user more control, while wired counterparts mouse has a more stable connection. However, most modern gaming mice are wireless.
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