Wired vs Wireless Mouse for Gaming – Which is Better?

Wireless Tech

Wired vs Wireless Mouse for Gaming – Which is Better?

When you decide to get a new mouse, you no longer need to avoid wireless models, even if you’re a demanding player. Here’s all the information you need to know before you decide whether your next mouse is going to be wired or wireless.

Wired vs Wireless mouse for gaming has been going on for so long. Its important to know, world of gaming mouse has experienced a kind of renaissance in the last two years. We’re not just referring to the fact that we’ve received the best optical sensors in history, with perfect precision and fully accelerating “artificial” smooth motion, but also that wireless mouse have finally reached level of wired performance. Wireless mouse-to-computer technology is so evolved that even the most advanced eSports professionals can no longer detect the difference in mouse behavior in wired and wireless modes. 

Indeed anyone who has seen some of the big eSports competitions lately can see – wireless mouse are being spotted on the tables of a growing number of competitors. These include even top-level competitive shooting tournaments, traditionally considered the most demanding in terms of precision and mouse speed, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. In addition, the English professional team London Spitfire recently won the grand finale of the official Overwatch competition using only Logitech’s newest wireless mouse, the G Pro Wireless model.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
London Spitfire Professional eSports Team Wins First Overwatch Championship Using Wireless Mice

This particular model is not the only one that delivers superior gaming performance – the same goes for other mouse models in Logitech’s wireless gaming offerings, as do most wireless models from reputable manufacturers such as Roccat and Razer.

Wireless communication between the transmitter (mouse) and receiver (computer) still uses the 2.4 GHz band, but active search and switching techniques have been developed for the purest frequencies available within the band, making the wireless connection extremely robust. The geometry of the antennas, but also – equally important – the controllers and firmware of the mice themselves is advanced, eliminating delays in processing information throughout the data chain, from the optical sensor to the (re) action on the monitor.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
The Logitech G903 is the successor to the G900, one of the first mouse to get wired models in wireless mode

Let’s look at a few questions you might want to ask yourself before buying a new gaming mouse, especially if you’re willing to consider wireless models (and you should).

Why do I Need Wireless Mouse for Gaming? What are its Benefits?

The basic benefit of a wireless mouse over a wired mouse is very obvious: eliminating a wire means that we no longer have anything to avoid having to maneuver. Even though the wires of serious gaming mouse are always crafted in such a manner that they are less likely to affect movement and stiffening at the edge of a table or mat, this can never be completely prevented.

Professional Gamers are looking for life-long use of table guides for mouse wire – the so-called bungees . But even a bungee can’t give you the feeling of complete freedom you get with a wireless mouse in your hand. The limit of what you can do on a virtual frontier then moves to the end; you are limited only by your own skill, and the physical size of the substrate.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
While wireless gaming mice did not have the spectacular performance they offer today, many Top-level Gamers were doomed to elaborate bungees to tame their wire.

What are Wireless Gaming Mouse Drawbacks?

The main disadvantage, if we can call it that, is their battery life, or the fact that the battery needs to be recharged. Models from reputable manufacturers usually offer at least twenty hours of wireless work, so average customers charge about twice a week.

All wireless mouse models with a rechargeable battery charge by connecting them to a computer via a USB cable. They remain fully usable while charging, so we can continue to play with the presence of wire. If the mouse is not powered by a rechargeable battery but draws power from one or two AA batteries, a wired mode is not possible, instead new batteries are required for such models. The good news is that the batteries of such a mouse last more than 200 hours, so one standard battery pack is enough for a full year’s use.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
A mouse that has no integrated rechargeable battery is powered by one or two AA batteries, which are placed under its chassis.

Is it True Wireless Mouse Charge Itself?

Last year, Logitech developed the G PowerPlay Wireless Charging System, a special pad that uses the principle of electromagnetic resonance to create an energy field that, in turn, generates electricity in a coil inside an enclosure of supported mouse.

Therefore, wireless charging technology has been implemented so that the battery of supported mouse (G703, G903 and G Pro Wireless) is continuously being charged. The bright side of this approach is that the battery no longer needs to be maintained, but there is one problem: the pad is expensive.

The wireless charging pad for its mouse, the MM1000, was also developed by Corsair. The difference with Logitech’s approach is that Corsair doesn’t use its own wireless charging technology, but the familiar Qi, so we can charge mouse similar as wireless mobile charger.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
Companies like Logitech and Corsair offer pads that can charge the batteries of supported mouse wirelessly. Although Corsair uses Qi technology and only charges the mouse when it's placed in a specific location, Logitech uses its own wireless charging technology and charge no matter where mouse is.

Cheap Mouses In the Market – Are They Good for Gaming?

No they are not. While it is true that wireless “office mouse” can be bought for less than $100, they are not comparable in performance to gaming models. Aside from the fact that they come with bad sensors, their wireless performance levels are not even close to the standard of models intended for gaming, as they have no tendency to minimize latency. As a result, such mouse cannot be used for “serious” gaming. On the other hand, if you are looking for a wireless mouse to surf and some Solitaire parties, you really have no reason to spend money on gaming models.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
Wireless Mouse for 'productivity' and low-cost 'travel models' cannot be used for high quality gaming - their sensor and wireless technology are not at the level required for the most challenging maneuvers.

How Wireless Mouse Connect with Computer?

The wireless system consists of two basic components: a transmitter that is integrated into the mouse case, and a receiver that you get in a box, designed to be connected to a USB port on your computer. The receivers of today’s wireless mouse are USB sticks or smaller. For example, Logitech wireless mouse comes with nail-sized receivers. Wireless Mouse on the bottom usually have an on/off switch to stop wasting battery power when the computer is turned off.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
The wireless receiver of modern gaming mouse is extremely compact. It comes with an extension USB cable so we can place it closer to the mouse (ideally just above the pad)

How Far Can We Place Receiver from Mouse?

We think there is little discussion about the distance between the receiver and the mouse, because things are not exactly as many people imagine. Most users think that simply plug the wireless receiver into the USB connector on the back of the motherboard and start playing. Well its true, but distance between receiver and mouse plays an important role.

If the distance is greater, the mouse still might work but you may not get the best possible performance, as connection becomes sensitive to external interference. Keep in mind that communication takes place in the 2.4 GHz band, the same one used by your home WiFi (and all wireless networks of your neighbors), mobile phone, wireless headsets keyboard, smart sensors and other devices. To minimize the impact on the performance of wireless mouse, it’s essential to place the receiver close to the mouse – above the base, for example. This is why all wireless gaming mouse comes with a USB extension cable, one end of which is plugged into a USB connector on the computer’s motherboard and the other is pulled near mouse and connected to the wireless receiver.

What is the Point of Wireless Mouse When My Desk is Jammed with Wires?

If you buy a wireless mouse primarily for the purpose of a clean work space and don’t care about the best gaming performance, then you can avoid use of extension cord and might still be satisfied with the performance it delivers for general tasks. However, In case you decide to play some games, you can revert back to cord solution for maximum performance.

It should be noted that purchasers of wireless gaming mouse’s generally not consider wireless models with the intention of beautifying the computer environment, but to achieve full freedom of movement.


wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
RGB LEDs and mouse effects can be tempting, but keep in mind that they reduce the battery timing.

If I Have Wireless Headset or Keyboard, Will it Effect Wireless Mouse Performance?

To find the answer to this question, we connected the Logitech G613 wireless keyboard and the SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless headset to the same computer and then tested several Logitech, Razer, and one Roccat wireless mouse. We haven’t noticed that the keyboard and headset have any effect on the behavior of mouse, at least not in situations where we place the receiver near the substrate. Of course, it is also advisable to place the keyboard and headset receivers as close as possible to the devices themselves, so that wireless signals are not overly entangled.

What are Popular Mouse Grip Styles and How do They Affect My Choice of Selecting a Mouse?

wired vs wireless mouse for gamingThere are three basic styles of mouse holding – palm grip (palm-resting where the whole palm rests on the body of the mouse), claw grip (the underside of the palm rests on the back of the mouse, and fingers fall vertically on the keys), and fingertip grip (the mouse is held fingertips, and the underside of the palm rests on the base; the palm does not touch the mouse housing). 

Accordingly, the optimal shape and size of the mouses should be chosen. Palm grip users should choose bigger mouse, even if they do not have particularly big palms. Practically all mouses are suitable for the claw grip , with the back of the case preferably being slightly steeper so that the bottom of the palm has good contact. Finally, for holding with a fingertip grip medium-sized and smaller and flatter mouses are most suitable.

There is no point in lamenting over the best kind of grip and forcibly trying to get used to one of them – use one that comes naturally to you. Professional players generally believe that holding a palm rest reduces the precision and speed of mouse control, so they are more prone to  claw  and  fingertip gripIt might motivate you to change your habits, but the process itself may be too tedious and potentially unsuccessful; it can happen that you work for weeks on your own “pre-education”, and in the end, in the heat of the game, you still unconsciously resort to what works best for your palm and brain.

What Types of Sensors do Modern Mouse Have?

The gaming mouse models we use include laser and optical sensors. Both of these scan with a CMOS sensor, but differ in the way they are illuminated. While laser sensors use the laser as its name suggests, optical sensors use LEDs for the same purpose. 

Although laser sensors have some advantages, such as the fact that they can work on a more number of surfaces, ultimate performance is achieved by optical sensors. In addition, today’s best sensors, such as PMW3366 (and its derivatives), HERO 12K, HERO 16K and Owl-Eye, are mostly optical.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
The best background is visually the most boring - black. Whether you choose a linen or a hard (mostly plastic) one depends solely on your affinities, not to mention the fact that the hard models use much more of the Teflon mouse pads and are generally less comfortable. Some of the most popular pads are SteelSeries QcK, HyperX Focus Pro S, Roccat Taito, Logitech G440 and G640 and Zowie G-SR, and we love the much-praised Asus ROG sheath.

2020’s Mouse Boast Resolution of 16,000 DPI. What is it For?

Nothing. The value of the maximum optical resolution of a sensor is increased so ill-informed buyers think such a sensor is better than another. In practice, no one will play at 16,000 DPI, or anything similar, because one millimeter of mouse movement would result in the character rotating around its own axis many times. The only theoretical benefit of higher optical resolution is to work on very high resolution monitors (4K, 8K), where raising the sensor resolution can reduce the amount of paddling on the pad – In simplest terms, the Windows cursor becomes faster.

Is High Resolution Mouse Sensor Better than Lower Resolution?

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming

No. Optical resolution is not correlated with sensor accuracy. The misunderstanding is probably due to the use of the word “resolution” – everyone knows that a higher resolution results in a sharper image. However, in optical mouse systems, increasing the resolution does not improve the “sharpness” or accuracy of the sensor, but only controls how fast the cursor moves in Windows (or in games). 

Resolution is expressed in dots per inch (dots per inch – DPI). For example, if you set the mouse sensor to 2000 DPI, this means that a mouse movement of 2.5 cm (2.5 inches) over the surface results in a cursor or sight movement of 2000 pixels. Keep in mind, higher resolution mouse are not the only one that performs better, some sensors perform even better at lower resolutions because they get similar resolution by software interpolation of sensor data, rather than using raw sensor data. Better gaming mouse have “true 1:1 motion detection”, which only means that their sensors work without any interpolation, at all available optical resolution values.

What Optical Resolution I Shoud Select to Play?

There is no strict rule, but professional players most often choose values ​​of 400, 800 or 1,600 DPI. Of course, additional fine-tuning of the sensitivity of the mouse should also be done within the game itself. If you play games where aiming accuracy is important, such as shooters, always try to use the same sensitivity in all similar games to develop muscle memory – so your hand knows how much it has to move the mouse to aim precisely.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming
Practice aim and develop muscle memory if this is something you like to do. Professional players appreciate Aimtastic, a free downloadable game on Steam.

How Drivers Affects Overall Mouse Experience?

The experience of using a mouse greatly depends on the quality of the driver – the software in which we operate all of its functions. All relevant manufacturers have made a lot of progress in this area lately, we have features such as adjusting the optical resolution (usually in steps of 50 and with Razer in steps of 1) and the sampling speed of the USB port (125 to 1,000 Hz) and controlling RGB light effects, if any.

Wireless Mouse regularly receive information about the current percentage of battery life and Logitech’s Gaming Software estimates how many additional hours it may offer, given the current settings that affect it (sampling frequency, RGB LED activity). Logitech also offers the ability to scan the surface and adjust the sensor to its properties. This feature also exists in the Razer driverSynaps, but can only be used in wired mode.

Razer, Roccat (Swarm software) and Logitech also allow all important functions to be changed accordingly, allowing us to assign them general Windows functions (adjust volume, open a web browser, switch computers to sleep mode, etc.), Desired key functions or more complex macros.

wired vs wireless mouse for gaming

How to Achieve Same Sensitivity in All Shooter Games?

Use this simple trick: start a game in which your sensitivity is set exactly the way you want it, place your mouse on the edge of the path, remember where it points, move it to the other end of the path and see where it now looks compared to the start position. Then start the second game and repeat the process until “deviation” from the start and end position is the same as the first one.

I personally use a sensitivity of 400 DPI and the shift from start to finish (45 centimeters) corresponds to my 360 ° rotation within the game. I just need to find the value of the sensitivity of the mouse in the game, where my character will rotate 360 ° when I drag the mouse from start to finish. For example, in Quake Champions this value is 2.5, in Battlefield V 13% and in PUBG 51. 

Finally, note that the FOV (Field of View) setting affects the sensitivity of the mouse. If we do not change the sensitivity of the mouse and lower the FOV, the mouse will have to move more with the same twist at a higher FOV. Therefore, FOV is another setting that should be similar in all first-person shooters.

Some mouse come with an elaborate weight system, the philosophy is extremely simple. If you primarily play shooters, you want your mouse to be as light as possible, and you should only consider adding more weighted mouse if you do not have such games on your repertoire and want to use high sensitivity). When adding weights, be careful not to disturb the even distribution of weight.

Wrap Up:

Wireless mouse have come really close to wired mouse for gaming that it is so difficult to choose among them. In terms of performance, both are equally great but has their own pros and cons. We explained loads of factor to consider before making a decision. Though, In the end, it’s all about personal preference and which one we are more comfortable with during our gaming experience.

Jack Wells
Jack is a programmer and a web developer who also likes to play games. He is addicted to wireless technology and love to explore latest and upcoming wireless tech.
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