I consider myself to be a casual gamer and I used to think that it isn’t necessary to have the best hardware as long as I can get by and complete the games that I want to play. Because of that, most of my peripherals were really old and cheap. I was using a $15 A4Tech mouse for 3 years before I began to encounter some problems with it. Whilst it had given me a good run for my money, I did not feel entirely satisfied with my gaming performance as I would have if I were utilizing say a Razer gaming mouse. Most of the games I play were single player RPGs like Bioshock or Elder’s Scroll but I branched out to FPS and even MMORPGs after giving the acclaimed World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare a try. They were absolutely addictive and I felt that my gaming years could’ve been so much more enjoyable if I had tried these out earlier. As I started to get more involved in these games, I noticed that the mouse that I was using had really basic functions that just couldn’t compete with any of the gaming mice these days. The A4Tech mouse only came with the primary left and right mouse buttons, plus the scroll wheel in the middle. With games like WoW, you tend to have a ton of skills and macros that you need to bind your keyboard buttons to and with the newest patch and expansions, the level cap keeps rising higher and more skills are being introduced as a result. Soon, more than 50% of my entire keyboard were bound with shortcuts and I’ve even used up the ALT, SHIFT and CTRL modifiers. There simply wasn’t enough space unless I begin to use the other right half of my keyboard, which simply isn’t practical as they’re situated too far away from the WASD keys.
Then I came across a forum post discussing such issues that gamers are facing. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was concerned with these things. The solution was simple. Once your keyboard is jam packed of macros and shortcut keys, move the remaining functions over to the mouse. Now, an ordinary mouse would almost always have the most basic buttons only and if you’re planning on playing any MMORPGs, getting a gaming mouse would be a must. Indeed, I started looking high and low for the most popular gaming mice and the top recommended products came from several gaming companies like Razer, SteelSeries and CoolerMaster. Other names like Logitech and Corsair made the list too but in my past experience, they didn’t start out as early as certain companies like Razer in terms of their mice products so I’d rather stick with the more established ones. Razer has always been known for their gaming products so I decided to take a look into those. The first few mice that got my attention was the Razer Naga mice, which simply had a ton of programmable buttons that you could play around with. The Razer Naga Epic, 2012 Expert MMO and Molten gaming mice had up to 14 programmable buttons each, which are way more than I actually needed but any extras wouldn’t hurt, would it? Their DPI levels were also fairly decent at 5600. The A4Tech mouse I was using had only a maximum of 1800 DPI so this would be a huge upgrade indeed. I was initially looking to purchase the Razer Naga Epic gaming mouse simply because it looks awesome mostly thanks to its wireless option. In addition to it being an excellent mouse for wireless gaming, the Razer Naga Epic comes with the latest laser sensor too, which is necessary in any gaming mouse, wireless or not. The price was a little steep at $130 though and I went on to check out other gaming mice to see if there are better and less costly alternatives.
I’d also like to note that before I came across the SteelSeries products, I tested a couple of other mice including the Corsair Vengeance (both the M60 and M90), Mad Catz Cyborg MMO 7 and RAT 9, Roccat Savu and Roccat Kone but I felt that something was missing with these mice. Don’t get me wrong, they’re excellent mice in the gaming field but I’m rather picky when it comes to the ergonomics of the mouse and I just couldn’t feel sufficiently comfortable while using these. Most of them have laser sensors as well and their DPI are certainly high enough to satisfy my needs. Heck, some even have adjustable weight options, which makes them very flexible as you can remove or add on the weights depending on whether you like flicking the mouse to respond quickly to a threat in game or you prefer the steady and consistent mouse drags. Still, I wasn’t so sure about these and I had to consciously stop myself from settling for the Razer Naga Epic, which I had my eyes on initially, until I tested out the SteelSeries products.
I’ve heard of the SteelSeries brand and they have even sponsored a couple of highly competitive gaming teams in international DOTA 2 competitions and the like. I own a SteelSeries headset myself but the earmuffs area gets really hot when you use it continuously over an hour so I wasn’t really impressed with it. I decided to give the gaming mice a try though and I was really happy with those. There were 3 models I tested, which were the SteelSeries Kinzu v2, SteelSeries Kana and the SteelSeries Sensei. Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these 3 gaming mice were top performers and had everything that an ideal gaming mouse should have. If I had to choose the best mouse for gaming among the 3 however, I would go for the SteelSeries Sensei simply because it has the specifications that the best gaming mouse ought to consist of. The latter two gaming mice had a DPI of 3200 each and had optical sensors instead of laser. Arguably, 3200 DPI was sufficient for me but I wasn’t so sure of the inferior optical technology so I was favoring the Sensei a lot more. Plus, with 11400 DPI, it basically gave me bragging rights to my other gamer buddies if we ever got the chance to compare our mice. The SteelSeries Sensei was also reasonably priced at $90 and the reviews on this particular gaming mouse was pretty good. In terms of the comfort, I could use it for hours without having any cramps in my fingers but that was probably because the size of the mouse was optimal for my hands. I have fairly large palms and long fingers and the Sensei was just perfect for me. It has 4 additional buttons to bind your shortcuts. I found these to be slightly limited because I was hoping to acquire a mouse that had at least 8 buttons for some of the more demanding games but the mouse just felt so comfortable and intuitive in my hands that I couldn’t let it go. Some of its additional features were the built-in LCD which is basically a tiny display at the bottom of the mouse that shows the current profile that you’re using. You can switch between these profiles which will determine your mouse bindings, sensitivity and other settings. This unique feature is made available because the Sensei comes with an in-built memory function that allows you to save up your gaming profiles within it, which will come in highly useful if you plan on traveling to gaming conventions or LAN parties a lot. The LED lights on it can also be customized to a certain extent. I did leave the polling rates and mouse acceleration features at its default settings though as I’m unfamiliar with their optimal adjustments.
If you’re still wondering, yes I did select the SteelSeries Sensei in the end mostly because it is the only gaming mouse that fits my hand perfectly and I’ve tried various other options like the Razer DeathAdder, Razer Naga, CM Storm series and even the mice from the Roccat Kone series. None of them came close in terms of the comfort that I felt with the Sensei mouse. A huge tip here from a gaming fan, much like yourself since you’re reading this: Don’t settle for anything less than perfect in your hardware selections. You’ll be ecstatic once you find the gaming mouse that best suits your individual preferences.