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Best Gaming Mouse For Mac - Armchair Empire

Best Gaming Mouse For Mac

Gaming on Mac isn’t as widespread as PC and console gaming, though you can still play most MMO games and a lot of other popular titles. In a recent survey, it was found that usually, people who game on a Mac spend less than 3 hours daily gaming. Naturally, the market isn’t brimming with Mac-specific gaming mouse choices.Thankfully, a mouse for Mac and PC works basically the same. In fact, all operating systems use the same mouse layout of left and right button with a middle scroll wheel. Naturally, a gaming mouse that caters to PCs will be adequate for Mac users (as long as it’s compatible with the OS in the first place. The question, therefore, is, which mouse to get?

Don’t feel like reading a long review article? Go with the Armchair Empire pick for a Mac-specific gaming mouse: you won’t be disappointed by the BenQ ZOWIE EC1-A.

Top 5 Mice For Mac Gaming Of 2017

Model Price Type Max DPI
Zelotes T90 $ Optical, Wired 9,200
Razer Ouroboros $$$$ Laser, Wired/Wireless 8,200
Logitech MX Master $$$ Optical, Wireless 1,600
BenQ ZOWIE EC1-A $$$ Optical, Wired 3,200
Razer Taipan $$ Laser, Wired 8,200

1. Zelotes T90

You want a gaming mouse that is affordable, has solid overall performance and equally flashy as well? The Zelotes T90 might just be right up your alley. In terms of precision, the T90 features 6 DPI levels which you can interchange on the fly. You can shift between 1000, 1600, 2400, 3200, 5500 and 9200 DPI. Each DPI gear has a designated LED color so you’ll know which one you’re using with just a quick glance. It also has 500Hz polling rate which means it has a response time of 2 milliseconds.

The T90 also has built in weights that you can fine tune in order to deliver the best balance possible. It comes with 8 buttons, an ergonomic design and a 7-cycle light mode. It has a built-in memory chip where you can save your profiles for different games.

Pros

  • An extremely affordable gaming mouse for experienced gamers.
  • Shift between 6 DPI setting with the touch of a button.
  • Tunable built in weight to help you get the perfect mouse balance.

Cons

  • It won’t hold up to other high end gaming mice in terms of overall features.
  • It has a restore to factory default setting that can be accidentally pressed.
Sale
Zelotes T90 9200 DPI Gaming Mouse Professional 8 Buttons Wired USB with Multi-Modes LED,WeightTuning Set Computer Mice for PC Mac Gamer, Black
  • High configuration gaming mouse:up to 9200 DPI(1000/1600/2400/3200/5500/9200),the default resolution is 1000 DPI,Polling Rate:500Hz,DPI and Polling Rate settings are closely related to the game performance,T90 provides extreme stability while gaming,1000 DPI red light flash 3 times, 1600 orange, 2400 green, 3200 light blue, 5500 blue, 9200 purple.
  • Compatible system:Windows 98/ 2000/ ME/ NT / XP/ win 7/ win 8/ win 10/ Mac OS and other OS,plug & play.
  • 7-color cycle breathing + 6 single color breathing + 6 single color constant light,A total of 13 kinds of light mode,The LED light can be turned off if necessary

2. Razer Ouroboros

A Razer mouse that incorporates an ambidextrous design, this PC gaming peripheral brings the performance and quality you would expect from a Razer product. As stated, this Razer mouse utilizes an ambidextrous design which it accomplishes by having two interchangeable side panels which you can switch from left to right and vice versa.

The Ouroboros can also be used in wired or wireless modes with no difference when it comes to performance. It also comes with the 8200 DPI 4G Sensor that delivers lightning fast movement and laser guided precision to help you track and eliminate targets on screen with ease. The DPI clutch trigger is a helpful little mechanism that lowers your DPI temporarily if you need to make that game winning sniper shot. Releasing the clutch will return your DPI to its default lightning fast movement.

The Razer Ouroboros uses one AA battery and can last up to 12 hours straight. It also comes with its own NiMH rechargeable battery as well. This mouse is Razer Synapse activated so you can fully customize settings and save them through their online Cloud support.

Pros

  • Perfect for both left handed and right handed gamers.
  • Decent battery life when in wireless mode.
  • A plethora of customization options.

Cons

  • It requires a cloud based driver in order to change settings.
  • Razer green is the only model available.

3. Logitech MX Master

First thing you will probably notice is the design of the MX Master. If you are comfortable with palm style mouse then you’ll love this offering from Logitech. Efficiency is the name of the game that MX Master plays and it does so impeccably well. One thing you should keep in mind is that this is primarily designed for work rather than gaming. It does offer a 400 to 1600 DPI setting which can deliver lightning fats and extremely precise cursor movements. Just don’t expect to see this in eSports tournaments.

You can fully customize each button to suit your needs by programming them in the Logitech Options software. As for its wireless features, you can use the USB dongle or simply connect it to your desktop via Bluetooth. One of its strongest features is the speed adaptive scroll wheel that can automatically shift between hyper scroll and ratchet.

Pros

  • Decent battery life.
  • Comfortable palm style grip design.
  • Mouse sensors can track in all surfaces, even glass.
  • Can connect to 3 different PCs on the fly with a simple button press. A nice little addition for those who do office work.

Cons

  • There is no built-in storage for the USB receiver. Making it susceptible to misplacement.
  • The Gesture button is placed at a rather awkward position. Might take some time getting used to.
Sale
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse – High-precision Sensor, Speed-adaptive Scroll Wheel, Thumb Scroll Wheel, Easy-Switch up to 3 Devices
  • Unique thumb wheel: For horizontal navigation and advanced gestures
  • Easy connections for multiple computers: Use with up to three Windows or Mac computers via included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth Smart wireless technology
  • Easy switching between computers with the touch of the button

4. BenQ ZOWIE EC1-A

The ZOWIE EC1-A-E comes with all the basic features you’d expect from a gaming mouse. The design also harkens back to the old-school MS Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 aesthetic which is always a welcome inclusion. This is a user-friendly gaming mouse thanks to its plug and play design. You can change between 4 DPI settings on the fly (400, 800, 1600 and 3200 DPI) as well as the option to adjust the USB report rate from 125 to 1000 Hz.

The rather stiff scroll wheel might feel awkward but it’s actually great news for FPS players. I would recommend FPS gamers to try this out if they’re looking for a replacement mouse. This mouse definitely offers solid all-around performance, I do wish it had some extra features included though.

Pros

  • Easy to use and user friendly.
  • Almost non-existent acceleration issues.
  • Comfortable and sleek.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with all the nifty features that modern gaming mice have.
  • The side buttons are a little too sensitive.
BenQ ZOWIE EC1-A E-Sports Ergonomic Optical Gaming Mouse
  • Ergonomic right-handed design
  • Plug and play - no driver needed
  • Perfect lift-off distance: Only 1.5 ~ 1.8 mm

5. Razer Taipan

The Razer Taipan delivers huge upgrades under the hood but with a sleeker design. This one uses an ambidextrous design which should allow left handed gamers to use this comfortably as well. This mouse utilizes the impressive 8200 DPI 4G Laser Sensor which delivers tactical precision for delivering highly accurate shots. The device can also be fine-tuned for all types of surfaces. It has 9 programmable buttons with 4 located on the side panel for quick access to specific commands. You can configure input command via the Razer Synapse app.

The buttons on the Taipan is hair-trigger sensitive and will register the slightest pressure. This allows for almost instantaneous reaction during intense FPS firefights. You can calibrate different kinds of settings by using the Razer Synapse app that uses cloud support to save your settings and access them anywhere.

Pros

  • Uses a comfortable ambidextrous design.
  • Insanely sensitive sensor.
  • Full customization with the Razer Synapse app.
  • Comfortable and sleek grips.

Cons

  • Side buttons have a rather awkward positioning.
Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse - 8200 DPI 4G Laser Sensor
  • 8200dpi 4G laser sensor|Improved Ambidextrous Ergonomics|Razer Synapse 2.0

Buying A Gaming Mouse For Mac Computers

Let us begin by first understanding your style of gameplay. Do you prefer MOBA, FPS, RPG or RTS? If you gravitate towards any one of these genres, then it makes better sense picking a mouse that is specifically designed for that style. The good news is that any mouse you choose will often work seamlessly across various gaming genres albeit with slight restrictions.

The most common kind of mice in the market are all-purpose mice. These workhorse machines can do a lot of things. They are good at MMO, action and adventure because of a unifying design theory. For folks who game a lot on their Mac machines and do not have an affinity towards any genre, this is the mouse to get.

FPS mice work best with games such as Counter Strike, Quake, Call of Duty and Battlefield. Since a lot of these games aren’t designed to run on a Mac; chances are you may not be gaming at all. However, if you play mostly FPS games buy a mouse designed for FPS gaming. Such a mouse will have quick DPI change buttons and low lift-off distance. They will also rely on optical sensors to ensure zero jitters.

MMO is the most widely played genre on a Mac, and any half-decent MMO game will require several buttons and combinations. Naturally, an MMO mouse comes with a plethora of buttons to either side or distributed across the entire surface. However, buttons aren’t the only thing you should look for in an MMO mouse. Remember also to check if the model comes with a proprietary software bundle that allows you to change macros and profile configurations on a Mac. Here, “Mac” is the keyword as many low-end manufacturers tend to skip out on building cross platform software.

Customizable Mice are relatively expensive as they let you configure the layout of buttons and lot other things. Think of them as Ferraris of the gaming mouse world. However, unlike a Ferrari, these mice offer you a plethora of customizations. You can change the feel of the buttons, angle of the palm rest and even the length or breadth of the mouse. And just like a Ferrari, they cost premium.

Cost Matters

As with anything related to computers, the cost is driven by three factors namely, Brand recognition, features and materials used. There are other factors too such as patents and taxes, but they aren’t common influencers. Out of the three top criteria, features and materials used are the two most critical points to note.

If you do not mind going for a lesser known brand, you can save anywhere from $30 to $90 depending on the type of mouse you purchase. In fact, customizable mice that usually cost above $150 from reputed brands can be found for less than $100 if you are willing to take a risk.

DPI And Sensitivity

Mac or not, DPI is a hardware specification, and while some mice allow you to change the DPI on-the-fly, others come with a fixed DPI. For a gamer with any aspirations, multiple DPI options are always a boon. Sensitivity, on the other hand, is OS controlled or sometimes game controlled. Hence, sensitivity can be fixed to a particular value as it does not work as well as DPI.

Size And Orientation

Time and again, we have stressed the importance of size. Forget the features, polling rates and other fancy stuff that make a mouse worthy of gaming. If it feels foreign to you, if it does not sit right in your palm, get some other design.

A mouse that is loved by the world can be the worst choice for you if it is too large or small for your hand size. You can measure your hand size by starting from the wrist and going all the way up to the tip of your ring finger. Your hand size is just a rough estimate of the maximum size you should look for in a mouse. Preferably, anything around 80% of your hand size should feel comfortable.

However, just because a mouse is a right size does not make it ergonomic. Curves, unique thumb crevices and designs help give a gamer better feel of the device. However, because of the ergonomics, many models tend to favour right-handers (nearly 90% of the global population is right handed.) As for left-handers, you have to look for a brand that provides the option of choosing between left and right handed devices or get a mouse that is symmetrical on either side.

Grip And Style

There are three types of grips employed by players namely, claw grip, palm grip and full grip. When you arc your fingers and use just the fingertips on the right and left buttons, it is called claw grip. The palm grip is when you cradle the bulk of the mouse in your palm. Finally, a full grip involves a palm grip with flat fingers that encompasses the entire mouse.

A player may prefer either of the three grip styles, but under different situations, he or she may opt for a new grip style. Thus, it is vital to get a mouse that works equally well with all kinds of grips. Speaking of styles, some mice have contoured surfaces with precise designs to accommodate additional fingers that won’t be used in gaming. Other companies stick with a basic style and hardly any ergonomic feature. They obviously cost less.

Buttons

As Mac gamers tend to prefer MMO and strategy games, a mouse with multiple buttons will help. Unlike a standard mouse with just two buttons, these gaming mice offer anywhere from 4 to 10 additional buttons. Each button can store a single instruction or a combination of instructions such as keystrokes with time delay.

More the buttons on a mouse the easier it is to play MMO and MOBA games. However, with more buttons comes a steeper learning curve.

Polling Rate

Lots of forums talk about mouse models for specific genres of gaming. However, for a Mac user, gaming is the second priority. In fact, designers and editors prefer using a Mac. For them, the buttons on a mouse do not make much difference as most developers are used to keyboard shortcuts. What matters is how well the mouse responds to movement and whether it accurately reflects onscreen.

If you are a designer or a gamer who prefers using a Mac, opt for a mouse that provides higher polling rates. These devices can give you a high level of accuracy. Moreover, the higher polling rate protects against loss of data packets.

Illumination

Illumination is a fad among gamers, but at times we feel peripheral makers go a little too far. Yes, some amount of lighting in a peripheral is helpful especially with a keyboard as you can clearly see keys in the dark. However, with a mouse full RGB light is not necessary. In fact, you can use the mouse in complete darkness thanks to the lack of additional buttons.

Illumination increases the cost of peripherals and something that ought to cost less than $50 will end up costing you at least ten bucks more. RGB lighting controlled through software can cost even more.

Weight

Professional gamers prefer a particular weight for their peripherals. A gaming mouse should either be weighted permanently or (ideally) use removable weights that allow the user to decide what they want. These removable weight canisters are a nice addition because they let you configure the weight based on the manner in which you game. If you do not mind lesser-known brands, you can find a model or two for cheap that uses removable weight canisters.

Which Sensor Should You Pick

Gaming on a Mac is mostly limited to single monitor MOBA or MMO. While laser sensors are highly accurate and offer greater DPI levels, optical sensors are more lenient and easier to use. The latter is preferable with FPS gaming though Laser sensors work with any genre. The only gripe we have with laser sensors is that they are prone to jitters, especially with low-grade sensors.

If you want a laser sensor mouse, check if it offers surface tuning, which allows you to calibrate the movement profile of a mouse differently on varying surfaces.

As for folks with multi-monitor setup, a laser sensor with really high DPI is a must since you have a larger screen surface to cover than usual.

Wired Or Wireless

We do not advise using a wireless mouse, however, in the case of Mac Gaming a wireless mouse should be okay. A wireless mouse will always experience a slight lag in transmitting parameters to the computer. Since MMO, MOBA and other genres you can play on a Mac do not demand high connection speeds; a little lag won’t hurt anyone.

A wireless mouse does not have wires that obstruct natural movement. Besides, a wireless mouse will always give you portability.

Things To Watch Out For When Gaming

If you purchase a mouse that uses a third party application for configuring buttons, macros, profiles, DPI or any other feature, ensure that the software works with a Mac. Cheaper applications are only designed for PC, and without the software, you cannot customise your mouse.

Some mouse tend to offer features such as acceleration, path prediction and anti-jitter features. Acceleration is never a good thing with gaming. It can drastically reduce your accuracy and response times. Likewise, path prediction skews your controls within a game though it helps with designing when you need it. Anti-jitter technology is mostly present in laser mice, but it hinders more than it helps. If you feel any of these features are hampering your performance, turn them off.

Another commonly found feature in some standard mouse is Prediction. This feature uses software and hardware to predict when you want to make a smooth curve and when you want a straight line. It depends on which of the two you are trying to imitate with your mouse movements. For a gamer, the prediction is a hindrance, so keep it turned off.

Wrap Up

A gaming mouse that suits your hand size feels sturdy and caters to the overall work you do on your Mac is your best bet. Good news is that with heavy competition in the market, finding a suitable model within your budget is easy. If you have the budget, prefer going for a well-known brand, but for folks with a limited budget, cheaper brands work just fine.