To play Counter Strike- Global Offensive, you need the proper mouse. This is a First Person Shooter that heavily emphasizes aim and recoil control, which means you need a mouse that tracks accurately and responds fast. It should also have a very low lift off distance, because good CS GO players use very low DPI and sensitivity settings meaning that they have to lift the mouse up several times while playing. And you don’t want the mouse to keep tracking mid air as you lift it off the pad, so a low LOD is crucial. Ergonomics also play an important factor, since you will be placing your hands around this device for several hours each day.
If your hand feels cramped after a while, you will not be able to focus on the game and might even suffer from wrist and finger strain eventually. Everyone has different grip styles, some prefer the claw grip while others prefer palm style. Some people use a bit of both, and you need to find the right mouse for your grip style and hand size. Some people have larger hands than the others, while there are people who actually prefer to use mice that are larger or smaller than their actual hand size. There is no such thing as the best CS GO mouse per se, rather you need to find the mouse that suits you. One shoe size doesn’t fit all, and the same is true for CS GO mice. We have done the research, and came up with four of the most popular mice used by CS GO players. Two of the mice in our list (Zowie EC2-A and Deathadder Elite) are extremely popular among CS GO professionals who play the game in tournaments for millions of dollars in prize money, and you can rest assured that you are getting the best when you purchase these mice.
Without further ado, here are our top contenders for the status of best CS GO mouse.
This is the single most popular mouse among CS GO pro players, with a staggering 25 percent of players using this exact model from Zowie. Among the users of this mice are famous names such as f0rest and dev1ce. This is not just another gaming mouse, but a mouse that was designed from the ground up for one specific game- CS GO.
Logitech has always been the shining example of Swiss precision in the gaming mouse industry, and their mice have been used by professional gamers across a variety of games from RTS to MOBA and FPS. The G403 prodigy is focused, reliable, and incredibly customizable- everything you want from a great gaming mouse, packed into a lightweight body.
The Deathadder is probably the world’s most famous gaming mouse at this point. Previous models have had issues such as double clicking, worn out side grips and damaged wires. But with the Elite version, RAZER stepped things up several notches. Not only is it built better compared to previous iterations, but it also features the best sensor RAZER has designed for a DeathAdder until this point- the 5G sensor.
You can never go wrong with a Steelseries. While Zowie is currently dominating the scene with their EC lineup of gaming mice, back in the good old days of CS 1.6, every second pro player was using a Sensei, Kana, or Kinzu. Not only does the Rival 310 live up to the legacy of those legendary Steelseries mice, but it brings much more to the table. RGB lighting, an ultra-lightweight fiber shell, custom Omron mechanical switches, and true 1:1 tracking.
Frequently Asked Questions-
What is the difference between “optical” and “laser” sensors?
There are many myths surrounding optical vs laser. The general consensus among the online gaming community is that optical is more precise at lower DPI and movement speed compared to laser, because of the way an optical sensor picks up images from the mouse surface. This is true to some extent, because laser mice are known to have what is called “mouse acceleration” at certain speeds. Mouse acceleration is when your cursor moves farther than it should, depending on the speed at which you move your mouse. FPS gamers desire a 1:1 correlation between their mouse movement and cursor movement, meaning that if you move your mouse a certain distance on the pad the cursor should also move a fixed distance on the screen relative to the actual physical distance moved by your mouse. This should be true at any speed, doesn’t matter if you gently slide the mouse across the pad, or violently swipe it around. Laser mice at lower DPI tend to move the cursor farther if you swipe the mouse quicker, and when you move it slowly the cursor will not cover the same distance. This can throw you off in a game like CS GO, where precise locations on the map are stored in your muscle memory and you move the mouse a fixed distance expecting to hit the enemy, but instead your gun’s crosshair overshoots the enemy and your end up dead just because you moved the mouse faster than usual.
The reason for this is extremely complicated, and it is not inherently a flaw in laser sensor technology but the way in which it is implemented. Some mouse don’t necessarily have acceleration built into them, instead they just fail to track accurately above a certain speed. Lasers are inherently more precise and support more DPI compared to optical mice but sometimes they can be a little too precise and pick up unnecessary information from the surface, resulting in extremely tiny on-screen movements that you do not want. Another thing you need to know about laser mice is that they can be used on pretty much any kind of surface including glass, whereas optical mice work best on mouse mats or slightly coarser surfaces. Get a more detailed comparison between the two here.
How much DPI do you need?
The DPI race has resulted in mice with DPI as high as 16000, like the Razer Deathadder Elite. But exactly what is DPI? You see, high DPI is the most overhyped marketing tactic used by gaming mice manufacturers. The way a mouse works is similar to a camera- it takes photos of the surface underneath it, and compares the photos in order to detect movement. Just like your digital camera, the mouse uses a CMOS sensor. It focusses an infrared light from a LED through a lens, this light bounces off the mouse mat and into a CMOS sensor which converts the incoming light into electric voltage. This electric voltage is then processed by a computer chip and translated from analog to digital, then its fed into your computer in the form of 1’s and 0’s. Unlike your camera however, the CMOS sensor of a mouse takes several thousand photos per second, albeit at a lower resolution and without nearly as much color depth. Mouse precision is actually measured in Counts per Inch, or how many times it can read the surface within one inch of movement. Naturally, most optical sensors are rated for 800 to 1600 CPI. Some modern ones may go as high as 4000 CPI. Manufacturers often take the virtual pixels in the CMOS photo and split them into smaller pixels to raise the CPI count, similar to the digital zoom feature in a camera. You know that while digital zoom enhances the size of the photo, it also introduces unwanted artifacts and noise the more you zoom in. Optical zoom uses actual lens movement and is natural, whereas digital zoom uses intelligent computer algorithms to create a tricked out image. The same is true for mice with crazy high DPIs like 8000 or 12000. They lose precision as you get into higher DPI ranges. In fact, most CS GO pros use 400 to 1600 DPI and then fine tune the sensitivity in-game to achieve a nice balance.
Software dependent vs plug and play mice
Most modern gaming mice feature adjustable DPI, customizable RGB lighting, variable lift off distance, multiple polling rates, and even macro functions. In order to monitor and control all these functions, you can’t just use the buttons on the mouse itself, rather you need an entire software suite that you have to install before you can fully access the features of your brand-new RGB gaming mouse from Corsair or Razer. Zowie saw all this, and said “Nope, we want nothing to do with it”. Their mice as are basic as you can get, with zero software needed. You just plug them in and the mouse is ready to go. Want to change DPI or polling rate? That can be done from the mouse itself, by pressing certain buttons in a combination. The combination is given in the Zowie booklet, and you barely need 5 minutes to get up to speed on how to operate your Zowie mouse.
How come Zowie mice are so good even though they have no RGB lights or fancy macros and complicated software? You might want to ask the CS GO pros, since almost 60 percent of them swear by Zowie mice. The simplicity is what makes them so good. You don’t need 10 million lighting options and 20 different macros buttons to play CS GO. You want a mouse that responds fast, has good ergonomics, and is incredibly precise (1:1 relationship between mouse and cursor movement). And Zowie mice are the best at all of these. In fact, removing the software means that you remove one extra step from the point your fingers touch the button to when the signal arrives at your computer. As a CS GO pro, you spend your life going from one LAN tournament to another each day. The last thing you want to do is install and configure proprietary software suites every time you plug your mouse into a different computer.
How much do ergonomics matter?
If we were given the option to choose between a mouse that looks like a miniature robot from the Transformers movie with RGB lights all over it, and a simplistic mouse with no lights that fits better in your hands, we would go with the latter. Ergonomics is how the mouse feels and sits inside your grip, it is the most crucial aspect of a CS GO mouse after tracking precision. You want a mouse with heavy buttons or hair trigger buttons? Do you want a mouse that suits a palm grip or claw grip? All of these questions fall into the ergonomics category. Do your research, measure your hand size from the fingertips to the bottom of your palm, and check out manufacturer websites as well as YouTube videos to get an idea of what mouse size is best for you. Here is a nice video explaining the correlation between hand size and mouse type.
Which One Should You Buy?
And to nobody’s surprise, our favorite is the Zowie EC2-A. While the other mice CAN be used to play CS GO, this particular mouse was BORN to play CS GO. Zowie designed it in cooperation with Counter Strike legend and esports hall of famer Emil ‘HeatoN’ Christensen. In fact, the EC stands for the initials of his name, and no wonder this mouse is so great- it was designed by a company that focusses on function and performance over looks and marketing. No unnecessary frills or gimmicks, just a nice shape and a brilliant optical sensor. The buttons are not too light, nor are they too heavy. The clicks have a nice tactile feel to them, and give plenty of feedback to your fingers so you never misfire in the game. No software needed- just plug and play. No lights to distract you from what truly matters, and build quality that guarantees a long life- the EC2-A is truly unrivalled when it comes to CS GO mice.
We hope this review was helpful to you. Are you looking for a gaming setup that can take you to professional levels? If so, check out our related articles on some other important gear you’ll want to consider (that won’t break your budget either):