Your gaming mouse pad is massively important to your gaming and should provide absolute comfort to both you and your mouse! From “ginormous” to tiny, rough to smooth, there are all kinds, but you must choose the one that is best for you. This makes this whole thing very subjective. Here you will find some information on what I have researched myself and what I understand.
Firstly, back in the day they were extremely important as roll-balls were essentially what made a mouse work. Absolute nightmare to use those things without a mat. Today, with the modern design of a mouse an average PC user may not need one, as a gamer however I feel that playing without it drops my comfort level with precision significantly. I still believe it is very important to our gaming experience.
What Is A Mouse Pad?
It’s a legit question! The most general answer is, a suitable surface for placing and using a mouse. Before, it was just a means to an end and still is to some individuals. Today however, they have put a lot of thought into the designs of our pads to keep up with the ever evolving technology of mice.
How thoughtful they are to even design ones with padded wrist rest to aid the prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some of these padded wrist rest are also made of gel crystals that conforms to the contours of your wrist for maximum comfort!
Hard or Soft
Should I get a hard mouse mat or a soft mouse mat?
What are you doing? As we are primarily talking about gaming here, we know exactly what you are doing. What kind of mouse are you using? Optical? Laser? God forbid.. roller-ball?
Soft – typically made of foam or rubber backing with a soft fabric surface. This kind of surface was heaven for the roller ball type old guys, with that smooth glide. It still works quite well for the optical mouse and is preferred by most gamers that require pin point accuracy with that little friction. I personally like ones that are primarily made of rubber composites with synthetic fabrics woven together to create a dense foamy structure with a soft top.
Hard – usually has a rubber backing and an easily cleaned plastic surface. This kind can also be used with the optical mice and is the better partner for laser mice. Hard surface pads are primarily made of plastic with fancy names like polymer, not ideal for roll up transport.
What is Best For Me?
This is a matter of personal preference to what feels better for you. Also, whether you have an optical mouse or a laser mouse. As mentioned above the optical mouse works fine on both hard and soft, but the laser mouse is most dominant on the hard surface mouse mat. For some things it’s all about trial and error. What works for someone else might not necessarily work for you in this case.
Before you start going on about how going through all this process just to get a mouse pad isn’t very important and a waste of time, listen, it is absolutely important. Precisely because of cases like what will be discussed in the next subtitle. Also, how can you buy this awesome, probably expensive mouse just to wear down the legs on the hard surface of your desk or to pair it up with an unworthy companion. I cry injustice! Come on, here at Epic Gaming Gadgets we are building our Epic Treasure Corner! I’m not telling you to buy some ludicrously expensive mouse pad, but at least give the handsome mouse an equally handsome mouse pad. They will be partners for a very long time! How about getting a mat custom printed with something you love? The thing is gonna sit there on your desk for a long time, might as well make it pleasing to the eye! Much like the Razer goodies below.
The Kind of Games You Play
If you are like me, the kind of person who plays those less action packed, intense, real time mamba jamba, then you most probably don’t need to sweat the details so much. At this point you would just look for comfort and visual preference. I play games like, Dungeon Defenders, Terraria, The sims, Raft, World of Warcraft socially and other games of the same genre. I tend to stay away from the more intense PVP games like Fortnite and CS:GO, but back in the day I used to play a MOBA called Heroes of Newerth. I still watch the videos from Scumbagnetwork on YouTube for good laughs.
Digging deeper, there’s a thing called DPI (dots per inch) which is a measurement of how sensitive a mouse is. A mouse with a high DPI is very sensitive to the smallest movement. The higher the DPI, the farther the cursor moves on the screen with a slight shift of the wrist. Low surface friction and consistent surface texture is ideal in this case for tracking performance and aiming precision. Make sure the base is made of material that will not move around on the surface of your desk. Rubber base is good, nothing more annoying than when you’re running for your poor pixel life and you think you’re moving but it’s the mat that’s moving.
Some players of those intense PVP games like to play with high DPI mouse settings which would work well on the Logitech G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad. This one has polymer surface with consistent texture and low surface friction. Again, a topic like this is very subjective and it really boils down to your play style and preference.
What to Look For?
Don’t dig too deep into the whole DPI bang bang or specific sensitivities. You should be able to perform your actions without repeatedly lifting your mouse every time. For me, it’s a matter of muscle memory and consistent sensitivity. Your DPI should be at a level of comfort control. You should be able to see a target, shift and boom! GG!
When matchmaking for your mouse, there are only a few major factors to keep in mind: material, thickness and size.
- What size do you want? Depending on the brand, some sizes range from (9.8 x 8.3 inches) to XXL (36 x 18 inches). Consider your desk space and set up when making this decision.
- What material do you want? Do you want hard surface or soft surface. As I mentioned before, this is all a matter of your play style and preference.
- How thick do you want it? If you have a habit of pressing down on your mouse during gaming, then too much thickness is not ideal. When you press down on a thick pad, the friction/resistance increases. This mostly happens subconsciously or when you have to press and hold the buttons.
In the End What Mouse Mat Should I Buy?
Join the line, after hours of research I am also currently at this step. Here is how I have currently narrowed it down.
- I am thinking of getting an XXL which I have enough surface space for. Please do not try to get a mini size pad as a gamer… I speak from experience when I say it’s a waste of time. Due to the tiny room for movement I am forced to lift my mouse repeatedly which slows down game play and mostly annoys the “bajeezas” out of me. Not to mention, due to hitting the edge of the pad quite often, the pad is now folding in on itself, I am so over it. Getting a mat with the edge stitched can also help with that problem. See the image below of my few years ago pad.
- I am currently using the Classic size Logitech G440 which is fine, I’ve had no troubles and I doubt I ever will. However, I am looking into getting a Custom Designed pad with whatever image or name I want on it, so I am exploring my options for surface compatibility.
- Thickness is an issue. Do a test right now. Press down on your mouse and move it left and right. Watch how the cursor moves on your screen. Do the same process while not pressing down on the mouse and see the difference. I am aware of my habit of pressing down on the mouse when things get a bit intense without meaning to. There is an obvious decrease in performance. In this case 6mm thickness is a no go! Be mindful of the desk you will be placing the mat on, the added thickness helps negate any uneven surfaces the mouse mat would be on, giving you the flattest surface possible. I will be going for 3mm thickness, not too thick, not too thin. I have a smooth solid wood desk so I will be just fine!
Leading Brands of Gaming Mouse Mats
- Cooler Master
Take your pick, then narrow them down to specifics and budget. A few of those brands offer personalized printed mouse pads. For more information please see Personalized Mouse Pads.
Feel free to share your comments below about your experiences and suggestions of your current or ideal setup for EsnEm’s visual pleasure! You can also email me images of your TC or awesome images you found on the internet of amazing ones to firstname.lastname@example.org.