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When building or buying a PC, so much thought, time, and money go into selecting the perfect parts to build your ultimate gaming machine that often the smaller components are overlooked. Mouse pads, for example, are an affordable afterthought, but selecting the right one can make a serious difference in the feel and performance of your gaming, ultimately affecting the way you play.
What Are the Best Gaming Mouse Pads?
The best gaming mouse pads provide a comfortable and consistent surface for your mouse, and some can even enhance or improve your gaming as well. Here’s what to look for in the best gaming mouse pads.
Material: Cloth, graphite, glass, aluminum, and plastic are generally what you’ll be choosing from. These materials make up most of the mousepads out there, and all offer different feels, but come with their disadvantages as well. For example, cloth pads provide a smooth glide of your mouse over the surface, but are a pain to clean, and often wear out faster – starting with that one annoying corner that always peels back.
Cleaning: Going for a non-slip material that’s easy to keep tidy is highly recommended. Keeping your mousepad clean (and removing old snack stains and crumbs) should be routine maintenance, as it prolongs the life of the pad and also keeps your gameplay sharp and smooth.
Edge: With any of the cheaper models, it’s almost inevitable that the pad is going to start coming apart after periods of heavy usage. That’s why spending a bit more in the short term can help keep your pad intact for the long haul. Lots of pads now specifically have anti-fray stitching to hold it together for longer, no matter how rough you are on it.
Base: The base is the material on the underside of the pad, and even though it’s out of sight, it still plays a major role in the feel of your gameplay. A thin or slim base is usually considered to be about 2mm, a mid-level about 3mm, and 5mm is thick for those players who like more cushioning on their wrist and a gliding feel on their mouse movements. Make sure your underside has a great grip on the material of the desk you’re using too in order to prevent sliding and flopping around.
DPI: Another important aspect is DPI, or Dots Per Inch, and it’s a way of measuring how sensitive a mouse is. A high DPI means the mouse moves farther and faster with smaller hand movements, but a lower and slower DPI is often used by gamers for more accuracy and precision. Depending on your DPI preference, the pad you select should fit your most comfortable way of moving and playing.
Size: Size matters too. If you’re playing with low-sensitivity, you’ll need more room to move around and to make sure you’re not caught in a corner of the pad. And if you really want to go big, there are also entire desktop coverings that act as a pad, so you’ll have full reign over your entire table-top.
Looking for a good gaming mouse pad? We’ve selected our four fave options here, which should be big enough for most gamers’ battle-stations.
1. Blade Hawks RGB Gaming Mouse Pad
At first look, what really sets this mouse pad apart from the rest is its LED light show: 10 modes total, including seven with static lighting and three dynamic. It even remembers your last selection when you power it off, ready to light back up again just the way you want it. You can also adjust the brightness, and it’s all powered by a simple USB plug and controlled by a single button.
But aesthetics and cosmetics aren’t everything — quality matters too, and thankfully this pad has it all. The micro-textured surface is nicely smooth and waterproof in case of spills, and the non-slip rubber base grips your desktop to hold it firmly in place.
At 12 inches by 31.5 inches, this is big enough to hold a full-size keyboard and still leave plenty of room to move your mouse all around.
2. CORSAIR MM350 Anti-Fray Extra Thick Gaming Mouse Pad
Just in case the company’s Extended XXL wasn’t big enough for you, CORSAIR created the even larger Extended XL edition.
No more falling off the pad or being pushed into a corner, this absolute beast of a mousepad measures 36. 6 x 15. 7 inches, with a 5mm plush rubber thickness to prevent it from slipping. The edges are precision-stitched to prevent fraying, while the surface is woven for low friction resistance when gliding across it.
There’s enough space for your keyboard and headphones on here too, and it’s especially great for any large area with uneven surfaces, like an old wooden desk.
3. Logitech G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad
Logitech is one of the best-known names in computing gear, and has been at it since 1981, making them a true purveyor of quality, long-lasting gaming accessories.
This mid-size mousepad features a rubber backing for a good grip on your desk or playing surface, with a nice thickness of 3mm.
Players who prefer higher DPIs will appreciate the low-friction and consistent surface texture, allowing your mouse to glide from edge to edge without any snags or lags. The plastic surface is a good middle-ground between smooth and anti-slip, not squishy but also not uncomfortably hard either, with just enough of a grippy texture to keep your mouse from sliding too far.
4. HyperX FURY S Pro Gaming Mouse Pad
At 4mm thick, this offers a nice flat and soft fabric surface for smooth mouse movement all over the screen. The textured rubber underside holds it steady while you race your mouse around on top, preventing it from sliding and causing an error in your gaming.
It’s got anti-fray stitching you can clearly see, plus it rolls up for easy portability or to use your desk space for something else whenever you need it.
The company offers four convenient sizes and two texture options – one for lower DPI for more precision, and one with lower friction for a higher DPI speed.