Gaming on a Budget – Part 1: Mice, mice and more mice

by Sammy Chan
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I remember a time when choosing mice was a no-brainer – and I’m sure many of you do as well. A time where the PS/2 interface was revolutionary. Where two mushy buttons and a matte beige finish was a hallmark of the future. Looking back, they were uncomfortable in the hand. The ball on the underside was rather terrible. Of course, we’d never forget the design – you’d be forgiven for likening it to a hard bar of soap. But we never thought much of these things. We just knew it was at least a world and a half better than anything that had come before.
Fast forward to today – we’re absolutely spoiled for choice.
Twenty buttons? No problem.
Millions of RGB lighting combinations? Check.
DPI sensitivity above twelve-thousand? Easily done.
We understand that while variety is nice, it can become inevitably overwhelming. That’s why we went mice hunting to make choosing a little easier. We’ve put together a list of our favorite mice at a couple of price points, ensuring to provide our thoughts on each so that you can focus on commandeering the battlefield rather than endlessly trawling through long catalog after long catalog.

A bit of everything

Our pick:

The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum receives accolades far and wide across gamers across all genres – all for good reason too. It’s a spectacular well-rounded mouse that comes in at a very reasonable price of MYR 269 ($69.99)

The good:
  • The variable DPI sensor works very well and feels responsive (200-12000 DPI)
  • Very satisfactory button actuation feel across all 11 programmable buttons
  • Consistent performance throughout use
  • Strong performer in all genres including MMO, FPS, RTS
  • Adjustable weighting is a big plus (I personally prefer heavy mice and this did the job)
  • RGB lighting is a nice touch
The not so good:
  • A tendency for the feet of the G502 to fall off after prolonged use – however, does not significantly affect performance
  • Can feel ‘cheap’ if you’re used to traditional heavier office mice

Budget honorable mention:

Nixeus Revel
Although not without its flaws, the Nixeus Revel offers a great gaming experience without pulverizing the bank. The PMW 3360 sensor housed at the heart of its slick matte shell is without a doubt one of the best we’ve tried – identical in performance to the PMW 3366 of the Logitech G502. Its prowess is clearly apparent across all genres, whether that be your traditional first-person shooters or a casual game of Mahjong.
However, in spite of its excellent performance – we couldn’t help but think to ourselves that the mouse lacked the ‘premium touch’ found on high-end mice. The plastic shell feels rather average, as does the mouse buttons that fall short of those found on the Logitech G203 in the same price range. They can feel a bit soft at times, especially in contrast to the excellent springy buttons found on the G203. Nevertheless, we’re very much willing to look past these mishaps at the very affordable price point of MYR 255 ($85) given how well it performs otherwise.

Mouse with a bang (FPS)

Our pick:

Hands down – the Razer Basilisk is our favorite mouse to land that perfect shot every single time. At 200 MYR ($70), there was no good reason to not recommend this brilliant blend of features, premium feel and price.
The good:

  • The 16,000 DPI sensor is simply fantastic (not to mention that it tracks well on all surfaces)
  • Shape is super comfortable and feels great in the hand, even after long periods of use
  • Tactile response of the buttons is remarkable – very satisfactory with minimal effort
  • Matte plastic finish feels premium and solid
  • DPI thumb clutch that allows for momentary DPI changes in-game works very well
  • Initial issues and bugs with Synapse 3 have been remedied
  • RGB here, RGB there, RGB everywhere

The not so good:

  • Despite being able to change the scroll wheel resistance, it can physically feel heavy at times.

Mouse strats (RTS)

Our pick:

This was a difficult one to choose. Nevertheless, the Roccat Kone Pure stood out amidst the competition to earn its place as our RTS mouse of choice. I spent quite a bit of time putting this one through its paces – and it performed extraordinarily well all-around during session after session of Starcraft 2. This mouse stands its ground at the ~MYR 300 ($95) range.

The good:
  • Build quality is excellent. Feels absolutely fantastic in the hand and the rubberized finish feels premium – much akin to something like the Logitech MX Master. Simply outstanding!
  • Surprisingly light-weight, not fatiguing when performing repetitive quick movements
  • Scroll wheel resistance is great in-game but tiring during general use (e.g. long webpage scrolling)
  • Tactile feeling of buttons feel good, though not outstanding
  • Slightly smaller shell is great for those with smaller hands whilst still very comfortable for those with medium to larger sized hands (though I’d hesitate to recommend this to those with abnormally giant hands)
  • Sensor tracks very well and consistently across all surfaces
  • Previous deal-breaker bugs in software have been ironed out
  • Who doesn’t love pretty RGB lights?
The not so good:
  • Macro functions leave something to be desired
  • ‘Easy-Shift’ functionality can take a bit of getting used to
  • Pressure required to actuate buttons is perhaps too light, potentially leading to accidental clicks

Need more buttons! (MMO)

Our pick:

We loved the Razer Naga Epic Chroma, in fact, they’re the go-to choice of quite a few staff members at here during our late night raid sessions (if you can’t tell, we play a lot of FFXIV)! At MYR 469 ($120), it’s definitely not the cheapest amidst the competition. Nevertheless, wouldn’t hesitate recommending it for even a single moment – it’s simply a exceptional mouse.

The good:
  • Design is quite comfortable in the hand – but there’s no denying that it is a large mouse (those with significantly smaller-than-average hands may wish to look elsewhere)
  • Feel of the 12 programmable buttons is crisp and pleasant, flexibility and usability of Razer’s Synapse software is excellent
  • Primary mouse buttons feel great
  • Laser sensor is sufficient for MMO gameplay
  • Ability to use mouse wirelessly and via cable seamlessly is a nice convenience to have
  • Enough RGB to use it as a disco ball
The not so good:
  • There are definitely better picks for those who don’t primarily play MMOs out there – 12 buttons can be a bit unnecessary
  • Big mouse size can be uncomfortable for those with smaller hands
  • On the expensive side

The seemingly never-ending Sea of Mice

There’s no doubt that there are a plethora of fantastic mice out there and it goes without saying that there’ll definitely be something for everyone. What we’ve offered to you today is our favorite readily available picks, which we believe stood out amidst the undeniably cut-throat competition.
Long gone are the days where every mouse was the same. Days where their only use was to click on a couple of preset icons here and there around the early desktop UI. Mice have come a long way – a simple image search showing the variation and variety serves as clear testimony of that. And the competition that results is a fantastic thing, it drives the industry to produce better and better peripherals – the kind that we consumers use in our day to day lives.
Today, we see that some just happen to be better than others.
In the banner: TechSource’s one and only super classy setup. Check out his YouTube channel for builds to inspire your own!

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