Updated and expanded in October, 2017.
There’s a lot of convenience and freedom with a wireless mouse—once you get used to whipping your mouse around without dragging a cable along with it, it’s hard to go back. So why do most gamers stick with regular corded gaming mice?
Well, that extra freedom and mobility comes at a cost. Wireless gaming mice are typically $40-$50 more expensive than their wired equivalents. And while a regular non-gaming wireless mouse may last months before the battery dies, the ultra-precise tracking and fast polling rates of gaming mice, together with a desire to keep them as lightweight as possible, means smaller batteries are included so you have to charge them up every few days.
For some, those are big deterrents. For others, the joys of using a mouse untethered make these minor setbacks seem trivial. After all, given all the hours you spend using your mouse, shouldn’t that experience be as pleasant as possible? These are our picks for the best wireless gaming mouse of 2017.
The Best Wireless Gaming Mouse – Logitech G903
The original Logitech G900 stole gamers’ hearts last year with its incredibly robust wireless technology (that’s every bit as fast and stable as a wired mouse) and its stellar PWM3366 sensor. The G903 is the same mouse, with a couple of noteworthy changes: it now supports the company’s new POWERPLAY wireless charging mouse pad, and the switches are rated for 50 million clicks instead of 20 million.
The ambidextrous design is great—more comfortable than most, with the ability to add or remove thumb buttons from either side. You want buttons on both sides? Neither? The mouse and software support that. The customization doesn’t stop there. A button behind the mouse wheel toggles between the clicky-style scrolling and free-spinning mode. The aggressive-looking design is more comfortable than it appears, and it’s pretty light for a wireless mouse (if you want a heavier mouse, you can snap in the included 10-gram weight). Logitech’s software is great, too. It’s straightforward, attractive, and intuitive. And crucially, the software is lean and stable, so it won’t hinder game performance.
Ultimately, the point of buying the G903 is to also purchase the $100 POWERPLAY mouse pad, an expensive but brilliant accessory. With it, you’ll never have to worry about plugging in your mouse, or docking it, or having to swap the battery for a fresh one. It simply keeps the mouse at a steady charge while in use, and charges (very slowly) while at rest. If you have no desire to buy the POWERPLAY pad now or in the future, you might as well get the G900, which you can often find online at a reduced price.
Hey, we said the G903 is the best wireless gaming mouse, not the best bargain. At $150, plus $100 for that POWERPLAY mat, you might want to consider other high-quality alternatives that won’t cost an arm and a leg. The following are all excellent mice in their own right
Razer’s Best – Mamba Chroma
Razer’s flagship gaming mouse is suitable only for right-handed gamers, with thumb buttons only on the left side and a sloped shape to fit a right-handed grip. It’s comfortable and tracks well with its new laser sensor, though I think the PWM3366 optical sensor in Logitech’s latest mice is perhaps a touch more accurate.
A nifty trick: with the included hex wrench, you can tweak the click force of the main left and right buttons from 45g to 95g or anywhere in between. Razer gives you tons of software customization options, allowing you to endlessly reprogram the buttons and tweak motion sensitivity to get things just the way you like it. The current version of the Synapse software is quite dated and badly in need of an upgrade, but that’s coming later this year with the new Synapse 3 software.
Perhaps the best thing about the Mamba is the charging dock. Sure, you can plug in the mouse to charge it (or just to use it in wired mode), but the included dock is the way to go. Just drop the mouse on it (it’s almost impossible not to seat it correctly) and it charges. It takes a little time to train your muscle memory to plop the mouse onto the dock when you get up from your PC, but it keeps the mouse’s battery topped off. As a charging solution goes, it’s not as effortless as Logitech’s POWERPLAY system, but it’s included, rather than a $100 add-on.
Ambidextrous Awesomeness – Razer Lancehead
Need an ambidextrous Razer wireless mouse, or just one with some extra buttons on the pinky side? The Lancehead is your ticket. The somewhat lighter weight and gently curved back (compared with the Mamba) make it a little easier to use with a claw or fingertip grip, too.
Razer uses a new Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) in the Lancehead to automatically and continuously hop frequency channels to the one with clearest signal. I’m not sure if it really works better than other top-tier wireless mice (I also had no connection issues with Logitech’s latest mice, for example) but it might be worth considering if you plan to use the mouse in an area with a lot of potential interference, like a LAN party.
The downside to the Lancehead is that you have to plug it in every two or three days to charge it up, and the plug is sort of long and a little hard to manage. A dock like the Mamba’s would go a long way toward making living with the Lancehead more enjoyable. Even so, this is a very accurate, responsive, customizable mouse that delivers where it counts: in gaming.
As with other Razer mice, the aging Synapse software is a bit of a sore spot. It provides excellent customization features for tweaking mouse functions, but itss dated design and usability are grating. A brand-new version of Synapse is due for release later this year.
More Affordable Wireless Charging – Logitech G703
Want to use Logitech’s brilliant (but expensive) POWERPLAY system, but don’t want to blow $150 on the G903? Well, this is your only other option. The G703 is basically the same as the G403, only with support for the $100 POWERPLAY mat. Sure, it provides a really great wireless mouse experience, but not everyone is down with a $100 add-on to a $100 mouse.
If you don’t think you’ll ever get the POWERPLAY mat, you can just buy the G403 and save yourself a little money—it may carry the same $99.99 retail price as the G703 but can easily be found online for closer to $70.
The G703 (and G403) uses the same super-robust, extremely low-latency wireless connection as the G900 and G903, and it has the same PWM3366 sensor, too. That means you get the same incredible performance that easily matches the best wired mice in responsiveness, stability, tracking, and latency.
While the G703 uses the same software and technology as the G903, it doesn’t give you quite as many options. You can store 3 on-board profiles (rather than 5) and you have fewer re-mappable buttons. There are also no buttons on the off-hand side, the mouse wheel doesn’t click left and right (nor does it feature the button to switch it to free-spinning mode), and there’s only one DPI switch instead of two.
The weight is comparable, but I found the design slightly more comfortable than the G903, though it is only suitable for right-handed gamers.
Crazy Battery Life – Logitech G603
If you’re the type of gamer that hates worrying about the battery level on your wireless mouse, Logitech has answered your prayers with its new G603 gaming mouse. Traditionally wireless gaming mice have sucked down battery life due to their advanced sensors, fast polling rate, and RGB lighting, but the G603 manages to delicately balance all these features along with super long battery life as well. Instead of needing to charge it every week, you can let this puppy run for months, and you still get the all-new HERO sensor as well as comfy ergonomics, accurate tracking, and all the usual Logitech gaming features found in its slick software. It’s not much to look at, and doesn’t have RGB lighting, but it’s fast and smooth, and you don’t need its $100 Powerplay mat either.