The Best Gaming Mouse Pad 2021
If you have a gaming mouse, chances are it works on nearly any surface. Whether it’s plastic, glass, wood, or even glass, your gaming mouse can deliver solid performance. But letting your mouse touch a surface directly is not the best option.
The better way is to use a mouse pad. If you use your gaming mouse above a gaming mouse pad, the experience is a whole lot better. Moving the mouse feels a lot smoother, and it will reflect on your performance in-game.
Let’s say you’re playing an FPS game. Without a gaming mouse pad, your movements could be erratic. If you’re trying to aim for a small target, it would be much harder. With a gaming mouse pad, though, your job will be a lot easier. You can aim more precisely and hit those headshots more often.
Using a gaming mouse pad also adds a lot of comfort to using your mouse. If you run your mouse directly on your desk, there could be some rough spots on it, which could get in the way of mouse movement. But with a large mouse pad, you don’t have to worry about those rough spots.
What makes a good gaming mouse pad?
The best gaming mouse pads are made of either cloth or hard material. Each one has its own unique advantages to bring to the table (no pun intended).
Cloth mouse pads offer a bit of friction, which some gamers prefer. Hard ones, on the other hand, are a lot smoother and have very little friction. Moving your mouse on these pads feels so seamless as if you’re gliding the mouse on ice. Hard mouse pads are commonly made of plastic, but some are made of metal.
Some pads also feature RGB lighting, though this does not provide any sort of advantage whatsoever in gaming performance. The pulsating colored lights do add aesthetic appeal to the mouse pads, though. If your gaming rig has RGB lighting as well, a large mouse pad with RGB lighting is a great addition.
More expensive gaming mouse pads offer more advanced features, such as USB ports and Qi wireless charging. If it has a USB port, you can plug your gaming mouse right onto the pad, but you’ll have to connect the pad to a USB port on your PC. But at least your mouse would have more slack on its cable, preventing costly damage.
Mouse pads with Qi wireless charging let you juice up your phone while you game. Once you put your phone down on the mouse pad, it charges the phone wirelessly. After a long, intense quest, duel, or battle, you’ll find your phone fully charged and ready for action again.
Another great feature is a wrist rest. With it, you can more comfortably hold your mouse for long gaming sessions. A soft surface to rest your wrist on also helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a painful condition that commonly develops because of long hours of holding a mouse.
Typical mouse pad price points
Gaming mouse pads range from about $15 to a whopping $250 or more, depending on the features included. Simple, straightforward pads with no bells and whistles generally retail for less than $40. Those with more advanced functions, like Qi wireless charging and RGB lighting, will cost you a lot more.
Curious about the best gaming mouse pads for your money this year? Here are a few of them.
Most versatile gaming mouse pad
Corsair offers a variety of gaming mouse pads suitable for any gamer’s preference. The MM600 is one of them, and you can use both sides too. One side is designed for better precision, while the other side is built for speed.
It’s easy to tell each side from one another. The speed side has a pattern of gray polygons in the middle, depicting an object moving at high speed. The texture of this side is very mild, which allows you to breeze your mouse through it like you’re sliding on ice.
The precision side, on the other hand, has a more rough texture. With this, you can control your mouse movements a lot better because of the added friction. This is great for precision aiming in games like Sniper Elite or getting better headshots in Overwatch. The precision side also works well in non-gaming contexts, like if you’re working on a spreadsheet. The slight friction gives you more control in moving the cursor, so you can select cells more accurately.
The Corsair MM600 provides a large area, measuring 13.9 by 10.7 inches. Other gaming mouse pads are much larger, though. If you want some extra space for wider mouse movements, you may find the Corsair MM600 lacking in that aspect.
The MM600 is also hardy. The two opposite surfaces are mounted onto a sheet of aluminum, which Corsair boasts as “aircraft grade”. The four corners of the pad are also equipped with rubber feet, which hold it firmly in place. Even if your desk is slippery, you can be sure that the MM600 will stay put. It won’t move along with the mouse.
Because of the aluminum construction and the two usable sides, the Corsair MM600 is not the cheapest of the bunch. It costs about $36, which is a stretch if all you want is a simple mouse pad. But if switching between precision and speed appeals to you, the Corsair MM600 is worth a shot.
Best cloth mouse pad
The Logitech G240 is a cloth mouse pad that’s almost the same size as the Corsair MM600. However, the G240 is not made of solid aluminum. Instead, it’s made of micro-woven cloth bonded to a rubber mat underneath. It’s also super thin at just 1 millimeter (0.04 inches).
The rubber mat ensures that the mouse pad does not slip away from your desk. At the same time, it keeps the cloth secure so it doesn’t curl up when you move the mouse across the pad. If the cloth buckles or moves even slightly, it could get in the way of the mouse. Translated to gaming terms, you won’t be able to aim accurately or select areas on screen with ease.
Take note, though, that the G240 has no edge stitching. With that, the cloth may not be as securely stuck onto the rubber mat. If the edges happen to buckle, the cloth may soon peel away.
Because the G240 has a cloth surface, expect to have better control over your mouse. Even then, you can still glide your mouse across the surface smoothly. There is little resistance, so you can perform quick mouse movements easily too. Swiping the mouse from one side of the G240 to the other side is an easy task.
Just watch out for the “G” logo on the bottom right side. It’s a bit raised, so it’s a rough patch when you run your mouse across it. Though you can avoid this area, it’s not always possible, especially in the heat of the moment. Gliding your mouse across the “G” area can throw off your aim by a lot.
The G240’s ultra-thin profile makes it effortless to roll up and carry, which is great if you travel a lot. More so, this cloth mouse pad lays flat easily. Though the edges could curl up when you’ve just unrolled the mouse pad, they flatten out pretty quickly.
There are some drawbacks to that thinness, though. For one, the mouse pad is so light that it can move around your desk slightly. You can observe this more when you perform a lot of quick, intense mouse movements. Still, it’s not like the G240 will fly off the desk. It might just be annoying that this cloth mouse pad won’t stay put as much.
You can get your hands on the Logitech G240 for $15. It’s cheaper than the Corsair MM600, owing to the material it’s made of. Cloth and rubber are less costly than aluminum. Also, it’s really thin, light and portable, which is great if you use a gaming laptop. Moving the pad around will not be a chore.
Best budget gaming mouse pad
Most gamers know Razer for making top-of-the-line gaming equipment, including mice, keyboards, laptops, and monitors. And Razer devices don’t come cheap – they can set you back hundreds of dollars apiece.
The Sphex V2, though, is an exception. For as cheap as $8, you can get a high-quality, thin and light gaming mouse pad to accompany your state-of-the-art gaming mouse.
How thin is it? Just half a millimeter (0.02 inches). That’s half as thin as the Logitech G240. When you use this mouse pad, it will feel like you’re resting your mouse on your desk. At 14 by 10 inches, it’s nearly the same size as both the Corsair MM600 and the Logitech G240.
Unlike your desk, the Sphex V2 is not rough. The polycarbonate material is like a cross between soft and hard. It’s flexible, but it doesn’t have the texture of cloth. Rather, it has the texture of smooth plastic, which allows your mouse to easily slide across the surface. The material also resists wear and tear better than cloth.
One small disadvantage of the polycarbonate surface is it may wear out your mouse’s rubber feet more easily. Cloth mouse pads do not have the same problem.
The underside of the Sphex V2 has a unique touch to it. It has an adhesive, which lets it stick to your desk. That’s great for intense gaming sessions – the pad won’t move with your mouse, even with lots of abrupt movements. The adhesive is strong, but it won’t be stuck to your desk permanently. You can still move the pad whenever you need to, but it will take effort to remove it.
But if you’re gaming on a PC, having your mouse pad stuck in one place should not be an issue. Combined with its affordable price tag, the Razer Sphex V2 is a great choice for most gamers.
Best large mouse pad
Most mouse pads cover just the area where your mouse lies. The issue with that is the mouse could run off the pad accidentally, especially with wide sweeping motions. In the heat of battles in-game, running a mouse off the pad is all too common.
To solve this problem, you can go for a large mouse pad like the Steelseries Qck Heavy XXL. At nearly three feet long and more than a foot wide, this mouse pad can cover your entire desk. It’s not just for your mouse, but your keyboard and monitor as well. With a large mouse pad like this, it’s impossible to run the mouse off the pad. Another benefit is you can position the mouse anywhere you want on your desk – it will still rest on the pad regardless.
The Qck is a cloth mouse pad like the Logitech G240, but with a key difference. The Qck has stitched edges, which the G240 lacks. Stitched edges make the Qck more durable, as the cloth is less prone to fraying and buckling. Also, this cloth is very mouse-friendly – thousands of pro players can attest to it, as the Qck series is a favourite of eSports stars the world over.
At around $50, the Steelseries Qck Heavy XXL isn’t the most affordable mouse pad around. But with its enormous size, it’s one of the best large mouse pads you can get for that value.
Best RGB mouse pad
Here’s another mouse pad from Corsair: the MM800 Polaris. At 13.7 by 10.2 inches, it’s a standard-sized mouse pad much like the MM600. This one is only single-sided, though. What shines – quite literally – is the RGB side panels of the MM800.
For the flashing edges to work, you have to connect the MM800 to your PC through a USB cable. That can make this mouse pad more clunky, but for the love of RGB lighting, it’s only a minor inconvenience.
The MM800 also features a USB passthrough port, which lets you connect your mouse or a flash drive right on the mouse pad. That’s useful, as the MM800 will occupy one USB port on your PC. Also, plugging the mouse on the pad itself reduces cable strain on the mouse, making it last longer. Just arrange the cable so that it doesn’t get in the way of the mouse pad.
This RGB mouse pad is equipped with 15 LEDs, making it light up brightly. Also, through Corsair’s iCUE software, you can customize the lighting patterns on those LEDs.
The Corsair MM800 costs $42, which makes it pricey for a mouse pad of this size. The RGB lighting adds to the price, as well as the extra USB port and the programmable lighting patterns. But if you want a mouse pad that can match your RGB-studded gaming rig, this RGB mouse pad is a great addition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which mouse pad gives better control: cloth or hard?
If you want better control over your mouse movements, cloth works best. Cloth materials provide more friction, which allows for more precise motion. Hard materials, like metal or plastic, are more suitable for fast mouse movements. These surfaces have very little friction, so you can slide the mouse across them almost effortlessly.
Which mouse pads will preserve the quality of my gaming mouse?
Hard mouse pads can wear out your mouse’s feet faster, though. Cloth mouse pads are softer and less abrasive, so they won’t damage the mouse’s feet as much.
Which mouse pads are more durable?
The cloth on cloth mouse pads may come off the pad after some time. With heavy use, the cloth may fray faster. Hard mouse pads, on the other hand, can endure intense mouse movements a lot better.
Which mouse pads are cheaper?
Generally, cloth ones are less expensive (with the exception of the Razer Sphex V2).