Gaming Mice vs. Regular Mice: What’s the Difference?

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Black gaming mouse with red lights.
Third of november/

Heard a lot of good things about gaming mice but don’t know how it compares to a regular mouse? Let’s discuss the difference between these two types to see which might be better for you.


Generally, gaming mice are going to be more expensive than regular mice–sometimes far more expensive. You can find decent gaming mice starting at $40 with higher-end options around the $150-200 price range. Gaming mice provide more functionality than regular mice, which we’ll discuss throughout this post.

Overall, you’ll find more value in gaming mice as they come with software you can use to adjust and customize their features. This includes the macro keys, RGB lighting, sensitivity, and polling rate.

On the other hand, if you simply need a mouse to navigate around your computer and perform simple tasks, an inexpensive regular mouse will do just fine, at around $10 to $20. You can find more expensive options with additional features, but you’ll still get the most out of your investment with a gaming mouse.

RELATED: The Best Mice of 2022


Your mouse sensitivity or dots per inch (DPI) determines how fast your mouse will move around your screen. Higher sensitivity means your mouse will travel faster, and vice versa.

All gaming mice come with buttons either on the top or side of the mouse that allows you to change your DPI on the fly. They’ll come with preset DPI settings that can start at 400 DPI and go up to 26,000 DPI or even higher. This is perfect for those who need or enjoy changing their sensitivity depending on the activity. You can also download the mouse’s software to change the preset DPI settings.

Most regular mice have a DPI of around 800 to 1200, and they usually don’t come with buttons that let you change them. Some do, but if not, you’ll have to go into your computer settings and change the sensitivity manually. This isn’t as convenient as gaming mice, but it’s not a dealbreaker if you don’t often need to change it. If your mouse does have adjustable DPI buttons, you can check if there’s software available to change the settings.

Macro Keys

Macros are sets of commands that are recorded and then executed with the press of a button by a program. They can also perform simple tasks such as opening your web browser or emails, inputting keystrokes, or entering text.

They’re commonly used in gaming to perform repetitive actions quickly, but they’re also convenient for general computer use.

In addition to having buttons that change mouse sensitivity, most gaming mice also come with macro keys that you can program using the mouse’s software. Razer mice, for example, can install Razer Synapse. Corsair mice have iCUE. You should be able to find the software for your gaming mouse by going to the manufacturer’s website or checking the product listing or packaging.

Gaming mice can come with many macros keys. For example, the Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse has 20. Regular mice usually don’t come with any macro keys but they may have two buttons to go forward or backward in your web browser. It’s better than nothing!

Polling Rate

Polling rates are measured in hertz (Hz), and they determine how often your mouse reports where it’s positioned to your computer. The higher the polling rate, the more responsive your mouse will be and vice versa.

Regular mice usually have lower polling rates around 125 Hz, but this shouldn’t matter if you’re not gaming or doing anything that requires you to react quickly. The amount of input lag you’ll feel will be very minimal to the point that you don’t notice it at all, especially for general use.

Gaming mice usually have polling rates of at least 500 Hz, which will be sufficient for most people in gaming. Some may go up to or over 1000 Hz. However, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference going from 500 to 1000 Hz. There are higher-end gaming mice that offer polling rates up to 8000 Hz, such as the Razer Viper 8K. Your mouse will be as responsive as it can get at this point, but it’ll add more strain on your CPU. You can also use your mouse’s software to adjust the polling rate.


Mice come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that fits your hand comfortably. If you’re ever experiencing hand or wrist pain, your best bet is to go for an ergonomic mouse, regardless if it’s designed for gaming or regular use.

Gaming mice are almost always ergonomic as they’re made for you to use all day long. You’ll find that they offer a natural and comfortable grip, especially when there’s a thumb rest. The rest gives your thumb the perfect place to rest when gripping your mouse, which provides extra comfort and reduces fatigue.

There are many regular mice that aren’t ergonomic, as they tend to be flat. Using a flat mouse for long periods isn’t good because it doesn’t keep your hand in a natural position. However, there is an abundance of ergonomic mice that are comfortable for extended periods.


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