Just like your gaming mouse, there are also some important things you need to look for when buying a mousepad for gaming.
1. Soft or Hard? The first thing you need to look for is what type of gaming mousepad are you going to buy? Are you going for a cloth/soft mousepad or are you going for the hard mouse mats?
2. Surface: The surface of the mousepad is important as it will dictate the performance you’re going to get. There are two popular surfaces in gaming mousepads: control or speed. Control surfaces are a bit rough and it will help improve your accuracy. Speed surfaces are smooth so that it can help your gaming mouse glide with relative ease.
3. Materials: People often overlook this important factor. The materials used in the mousepad is equally important as it can determine not only the build quality but also the performance of the mousepad.
4. Base: A perfect mousepad should give you impressive tracking performance and a solid base. The base is crucial as a moving mousepad can deter you from doing precise and accurate mouse movements. Most mousepads come with rubber bases while some are using Silicone. Even though they’re made with the same materials, read up on reviews by actual users because not all of the bases are the same in terms of gripping.
5. Thickness: Some mousepads are thin, some are thick. Although it’s a preference thing, you need to be aware of how thick the mousepad is. Most people say that 3mm is pretty average; 2mm is a bit too thin, and more than 6mm is just too thick. Again, this is going to be based on your preference so choose the one that fits your style.
6. Warranty: Most people think that the warranty is not important at all, especially when you’re talking about mousepads. But, that is just not true. You see, some mousepads might come damaged when you open it. It is good to have a solid warranty so that you can replace the product if there are any issues.
Tips and Notes
1. Look at your desk surface: The mousepad is going to stick well in most surfaces, but not well on others. If you’re using a wooden desk, chances are that most of the mousepads you can get on the market will stick fine. If you’re using glass, however, mats with rubber bases work pretty well on them, but not so much for the others.
2. Choose the right mousepad for the mouse you’re using: Some mice sensors do not work well on some mousepads. For example, optical sensors work best in cloth mousepads while gaming mice with laser sensors work best with hard mousepads. Fortunately for you, the mousepads I’ve outlined here work perfectly no matter what sensor your gaming mouse uses.
3. Which size to choose? Most people are okay with Medium-sized mousepads but if you ask some pro gamers, they want a larger mousepad for more surface area. Do note that when getting a large-sized or extended mousepad, you will need to have a bigger desk space to accommodate it properly.
4. Clean it from time to time: Much like your computer that needs spring cleaning, the mousepad should also be cleaned from time to time. How often should you clean it? Well, if you’re using cloth mousepads, wash it every month or two. If you’re using hard mousepads, you can clean it every few days by wiping it with a damp cloth. Just make sure to dry it up completely before using, though.
5. How high or low is your DPI? If you are a person who sets your gaming mouse’s DPI to more than 2500, choose the “control” mousepad or those pads that offer more accuracy. If you are a low-sensitivity gamer, you may want to get a mousepad that has more surface area because you will be gliding your mouse across it often.
Two Types of Mousepads For Gaming
Just like any other gaming peripheral, mousepads also come in different types, in this case two types: Cloth and Hard mousepads.
There are advantages and disadvantages between the two and it is just a matter of personal preference (like choosing the right gaming mouse for you).
Before I talk about the pros and cons of a soft (cloth) or hard mousepad, it is important to know what they’re usually made of.
Soft mousepads, or otherwise known as cloth mousepads, are created using a variety of different cloth fabrics interwoven together to form a somewhat hard surface. Cloth mousepads can either be smooth or coarse.
Smooth cloth mousepads are often referred to as “Speed” mousepads because it allows your gaming mouse to glide without resistance. This type of mousepad is perfect for fast-paced games so you can move your mouse more quickly.
If you want a cloth mousepad that gives you more accuracy, then the coarse mousepad is for you. Because of the slight roughness of the surface, it gives you precision when you’re using your mouse.
Hard mousepads, on the other hand, are almost always smooth. There are variations to them but most that you can find on the market have a predominantly smooth surface for an easy glide.
This type of mousepad is generally made of either plastic, aluminum, and some metals. The hard mousepads generally provide a smoother glide but as you will soon see, there are some downsides to this particular type of pad.
- Has smooth or coarse surface
- Provides more control
- Extended version for both keyboard and mouse
- Some mousepads may fray
- Less Durable
- Some designs are too “loud”
- Smooth surface for an easy glide
- Easier to clean
- No Cable drag
- Some come with RGB Lighting
- Can wear down your mouse feet quicker
- Cold to the touch
- Doesn’t come with an extended version
If you want a mousepad that is durable like the hard mats and as flexible as the soft mousepads, then you might want a hybrid mousepad.
Hybrid mousepads are usually a blend of either silicon, plastic, and cloth materials and they are either soft or coarse depending on the product.
Some of the hybrid mousepads are expensive because of their very nature. But, if you want a durable mousepad with the precision that you can only find on a soft mousepad, then the hybrid mat is for you.
Now that you’ve known the pros and cons of both cloth (soft) and hard mousepads, I am know going to recommend some of the best out there.
Do note that the performance of both the soft and the hard mats are nearly identical and what most people would love is the size, the material, and whether or not it provides more glide or more precision.
So, without further ado, I am going to start first with the best cloth mousepads you can find on the market.
The Best Cloth Mousepads
1. Roccat Taito
Pros: Comes in 3 sizes, 3mm and 5mm thickness, comfortable, inexpensive
Cons: Not as smooth as other soft mousepads
You’re probably aware of Roccat, a somewhat popular PC gaming peripherals manufacturer. They’ve made a lot of gaming mice and of course, they are going to compliment that with a nice mousepad.
The Roccat Taito is one of the best soft mousepads that you can find on the market today. It sports a predominantly black design with the Roccat branding on the lower right corner.
This soft mousepad comes in three sizes: Mini (265mm x 210mm), Medium (400mm x 320mm), and King Size (455mm x 370mm). It also comes with two different thickness levels at 3mm and 5mm.
The reason why the Roccat Taito is a popular mousepad, especially for FPS gamers, is that it provides amazing accuracy whilst being a comfortable mouse mat.
Whether you’re using a conventional office mouse or one of those high-performance gaming mice, the Roccat Taito should give you the precision that you need in order to have an edge in your games.
This product is marketed as a smooth mousepad but when compared to other cloth mouse mats, it is not that smooth.
Still, the performance is what matters and add to that the fact that you are given the freedom to choose the size and the thickness of the mat, the Roccat Taito is indeed one of the best out there.
2. Steelseries QcK Series
Pros: Various sizes, Smooth, Top-notch performance, Inexpensive
Cons: Edges might fray
If you’ve been purchasing gaming mousepads, you probably already know how popular the Steelseries QcK series is.
This mousepad has been on the market for ages now and even to this day, people are still buying them because of how well it performs and also because of its really inexpensive price tag.
You see, you can get the medium-sized QcK mousepad for less than $10. Not only that but the performance and the glide that the Steelseries QcK series mousepads offer is so great that even professional gamers use them.
The good thing about the Steelseries QcK mouse mats is that they come in various sizes. You can buy their mini, medium, heavy, mass, and the QcK XXL if you want an extended mousepad.
A lot of people go for either the QcK Heavy or the QcK XXL. The QcK Heavy has dimensions of 450mm x 400mm and has a thickness of 6mm. It offers impressive comfort thanks to its 6mm thickness.
The QcK XXL, on the other hand, is an “extended” mousepad in that it occupies a lot of desk space. You can put your keyboard and mouse on it and there is even room for more. Its dimensions are 900mm x 400mmx and has a thickness of 4mm.
Probably, the only con to the Steelseries QcK mouse mat is that the edges might fray after prolonged use. Some users report that it will fray much faster if you wash it improperly.
Still, with varying sizes to cater to the specific needs of the gamers, top of the class performance, and its inexpensive price tag, the Steelseries QcK is definitely one that you should consider buying if you’re looking for a great mousepad.
3. Zowie GS-R
Pros: Trusted brand, great performance, nice glide with some resistance
Cons: Base doesn’t stick well on some surfaces
Zowie is a trusted brand. If you frequently play FPS games, you might have heard of their famed gaming mice that even top FPS players use.
Since the mousepad is as equally important as the gaming mouse, Zowie has created their own. The Zowie GS-R has been touted by many as one of the best mousepads in terms of performance.
The GS-R provides the best glide whilst also retaining some resistance for improved control. This mousepad is marketed as a “control” pad but it actually feels like one of those speed mousepads because of its smoothness.
The dimensions of the Zowie GS-R are 480mm x 400mm and it has a thickness of 3.5mm which is pretty standard stuff.
Another thing that people love about the GS-R, aside from the performance, is that this product has a minimal design. It is predominantly black with only a small Zowie branding on the side.
This is actually pretty good since most PC gaming peripherals now sport an RGB lighting scheme. Having a simple black mousepad will accentuate the light show from your peripherals.
If you want a solid performing mouse that is used by many pro FPS players, then choose the Zowie GS-R!
4. Razer Gigantus
Pros: Ultra large surface, Nice Tracking, Premium materials
Cons: Can be too large vertically on some desks, Green base
The Razer Goliathus mousepad was one of the go-to mousepads from the prominent company. However, since they’ve released their new Razer Goliathus, people didn’t like the design because it was too loud and it has a 60% green color scheme which is not appealing to the eyes.
A lot of people told the company to create a mousepad that is somewhat minimalist but also retaining the good features that were found on their original Razer Goliathus and so, the company listened.
The Razer Gigantus was the company’s answer. It has a simple design with a predominantly black color scheme with the Razer logo on the upper right side.
While their Razer Goliathus mousepad offers a speed and a control edition, the Razer Gigantus actually offers the best of both.
It is a smooth mousepad but it also gives ample traction to give you more precise controls when you need it.
The mousepad has dimensions of 455mm x 455 mm and has a thickness of 5mm. Now, this might pose a problem for people who do not have adequate desk space as the mousepad is a bit too high than others.
Still, the Razer Gigantus is perfect for every gaming genre as it provides both speed and control. Plus, it doesn’t fray thanks to its stitched edges.
5. Corsair MM300 Extended
Pros: Provides a nice surface for both keyboard and mice, Really good tracking, Anti-fray stitching
Cons: Design might not be for everyone
Another renowned peripheral manufacturer, Corsair created the MM300. A mousepad with three different sizes but the Extended edition is by far the one that most people get.
The thing about the extended edition mousepads is that it provides a nice cushion for your other peripherals. Plus, it gives an added aesthetic appeal to your setup.
Speaking of aesthetic appeal, some people might not like the design of the MM300. It sports a black and gray color scheme and although most people love it, some people might be put off with it as it can seem to be too “loud”.
This mousepad has dimensions of 930mm x 300mm and has a thickness of 3mm. You actually want a mousepad that has at least 3mm of thickness so that it provides a nice cushion for your hands as well as giving ample protection for your gaming mouse.
It also has some anti-fray stitching which will prevent wear and tear even after months or even years of use.
The rubber base ensures that the mousepad doesn’t move, even during the heat of the battle.
Performance-wise, the MM300 provides ample traction for increased accuracy and it also lets your mouse glide easily if you want to.
Given the company’s track record, one can rest assured that the Corsair MM300 is a quality soft mousepad.
Best Hard Mousepads For Gaming
If you prefer to have hard mousepads, then you’ve read the right article! Below are just some of the best hard mouse mats you can find that are not only popular, but some are also aesthetically pleasing as well.
1. Logitech G440
Pros: Impressive glide, Low-friction surface, Solid build
Cons: Expensive, might not be adequate for some people
The first on our list is from Logitech: the Logitech G440. This hard mousepad is pretty good when it comes to smooth glides. If you play MOBA or RTS games most of the time, then I highly recommend this mousepad.
It has dimensions of 340mm x 280mm and it comes with a rubber base that ensures that the mousepad will not move even at heated in-game moments.
The thing about hard mousepads is that it provides a smooth surface, meaning, people who always use a high-DPI setting on their gaming mice will have a great time using the G440.
This mousepad is crafted using a solid polymer core and it also comes with a solid rubber base. In other words, this mousepad has an impressive build quality and should last you for a very long time.
It also has a minimalist design in that it comes in an all-black color scheme with a subtle Logitech “G” logo at the bottom right.
If you love to play with insanely high-DPI and you want a smooth surface that provides impressive glide, then the Logitech G440 is for you.
2. Razer Firefly
Pros: Textured surface for maximum glide and precision, RGB lighting, Sturdy
Cons: Expensive, requires a USB port for RGB lighting, requires a Razer account to configure the mousepad.
Razer knows that some people would like to have a hard mouse pad than a cloth pad. The company also knows that RGB peripherals have become mainstream, but no other company thought of incorporating the RGB lighting to a mousepad.
Then, they introduced a seemingly outrageous idea at first, but it really works! Introducing the Razer Firefly; a hard mousepad with a textured surface for a smooth glide and impressive precision, all with a nice RGB lighting.
Gaming peripheral companies seem to use materials that will provide both speed and control and it is safe to say that Razer is at the forefront of this. As the company’s slogan says, “For gamers, by gamers.”
The Razer Firefly is made of sturdy plastic and although it can be bent a little bit, it will bounce back to its original position. The feel of the pad itself is a bit coarse but interestingly, it gives an unhindered glide and it can also give you precise and accurate movements when you need it.
This mousepad has these dimensions: 355mm x 255mm and it has a thickness of 4mm as well.
Now, many gamers use optical sensors because of the fact that these sensors work better no matter what surface the mouse is on. But, if you are using a laser mouse, the Razer Firefly will give you no issues at all. That is thanks to the micro-textured surface that effectively reflects optical or laser signals coming from your mouse.
Although it has great performance thanks to its surface texture, the main selling point of the mousepad is actually its RGB lighting. The Razer Firefly is equipped with the company’s “Chroma” lighting feature.
The thing is, you can sync up your other Razer peripherals so that the mousepad can copy your RGB settings without a problem.
There are just two minor quirks for this thing to work, though. First, you need to sign up for a Razer account so that you can fully utilize the company’s Synapse software. Second, you need to plug the mousepad to a USB port to actually make the Chroma lighting feature turn on.
Despite these prerequisites, the Razer Firefly is one of the best hard mousepads due to its Chroma Lighting and its incredible performance.
3. Corsair Polaris (MM800)
Pros: RGB Lighting, USB Pass-through, Textured surface
Cons: Top portion may affect mouse movement, Requires a USB port, Expensive
Although Razer was the first one to release an RGB mousepad, Corsair has refined it. The Corsair Polaris (also known as the MM800) is another hard mousepad with some RGB lighting, but there’s more to the Polaris than that.
One of the biggest features of this mouse is its included USB pass-through, which is not present in the Razer Firefly. Although this mousepad still requires a USB port, you can actually plug your gaming mouse on the USB port on the mousepad. This alleviates the need to have two USB ports to have this mousepad up and running with your main gaming mouse.
Another major difference between the Polaris and the Firefly is that the former is much brighter than the latter. Colors are more vibrant and the Corsair logo at the bottom of the mousepad lights up as well.
The Corsair Polaris has dimensions of 350mm x 260mm and it has a thickness of 5mm, which is a bit thicker than the Razer Firefly.
Much like the Razer Firefly, the Polaris requires its own software in the form of the Corsair Utility Engine. Using the CUE software, you can tweak the lighting effects of the mousepad. You are presented with a lot of different RGB lighting options or you can just sync it up with your other Corsair peripherals if you want.
Probably, the only thing (well, other than the price) that you need to be aware of is that the top portion of the mousepad where the USB pass-through is situated.
You see, if you’re using a wired gaming mouse (like the vast majority), the wire can get caught up with the elevated USB hub. This can pose a problem for people who flick their mouse across the mousepad. However, this can somehow be rectified by placing the mouse either on the left or right side (depending on where your PC is).
If you want a much brighter RGB mousepad with a USB pass-through, the Corsair Polaris is your thing.
Best Dual-sided Mousepads
If you are unsure whether to choose a “speed” or “control” mousepad, then you may want to try one of these dual-sided mousepads.
Dual-sided mousepads are almost always hard mouse pads in that you can just use either side of it depending on your need.
For example, you can flip these mouse pads if you want more control (if you’re playing FPS games) or you can use the other side of the mat for more speed (for RTS or MMO games).
Here are just some of the best dual-sided mousepads you can buy on the market today.
1. Corsair MM600
Pros: Durable, Rubber grips on 4 sides, Easy to clean
Cons: Expensive, Control side might eat up your mouse feet
The Corsair MM600 is touted to be one of the best dual-sided mousepads out there and for good reasons. For one, it is one of the sturdiest mousepads you can buy. That is thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum material that is used to construct this beauty.
It has dimensions of 352mm x 272mm and has a thickness of 5mm. There are two sides of the mousepad, one being the smooth “Speed” side and the other being the coarse “Control” side.
You can tell which side you’re currently using easily. The control side looks plain and it is a bit rough to the touch. The speed side has an intricate design and it feels smooth when you touch it. Corsair did a good job of doing this one so that you can easily discern which side you’re currently using.
There are four rubber side grips placed on each of the four corners of the mousepad to prevent it from moving, especially during intense gaming sessions.
One minor quirk with this hard mouse mat is that the control side might “eat up” your gaming mouse’s feet after hours of use. But, if you’ve been using hard mouse mats, you’ll know that this is a common issue. Sadly, this issue hasn’t been rectified by any gaming peripheral company as of yet.
Still, both the control and speed sides offer great performance and I just love how this hard mouse mat looks.
If you want one of the best dual-sided mouse mats available, then the Corsair MM600 is a great choice.
2. Razer Vespula
Pros: Soft-gel wrist rest for added comfort, Razer’s renowned control and speed sides in one mousepad
Cons: The rubber base can tear easily when not properly cared for
Razer prides themselves in creating quality products that were tested by professional gamers, so they know their beef before releasing products to the market.
Since some people cannot decide which Razer mouse mat to use (speed or control), why not put both surfaces in one mousepad, right? They did just that and they released the Razer Vespula.
Yes, the Vespula is a dual-sided mousepad but the thing about this one is that it comes with a soft-gel wrist rest that also acts as its rubber base.
The Razer Vespula has dimensions of 320mm x 260mm and has a thickness of 5mm. It comes with the company’s famed Speed and control sides and it is up to you which one you would like to use at any given moment.
Now, I want to talk about the rubber base first since a sizable number of people have problems with it.
You see, although it does a good job of providing a non-movable base for the mousepad, it can actually get damaged if you do not handle it properly.
That is due to the fact that the rubber base is a bit too thin. Some users report accidental tears if you man-handle the rubber base. But, if you handle it with care, there shouldn’t be any problem.
Anyway, in terms of performance, the Razer Vespula is pretty good. It has control side which is a bit coarse but it helps to improve your aim, and the speed side, which is a smooth side that helps your mouse glide with ease.
There is another thing you need to be aware of with this product and that is its soft-gel wrist rest. This thing can be a hit or miss depending on the user. For some, they find the wrist rest to be too high and for others, it gives them unparalleled comfort; comfort that they cannot find in other gaming mousepads.
If you have trouble getting either Razer speed or control surfaces, then get the Razer Vespula!
Best Hybrid Mousepads
If you want a mousepad that gives you the speed and tracking you can find on hard mouse mats and the softness and comfort of the soft mousepads, then the Hybrid ones are for you.
Below are just some of the best hybrid mousepads you can find.
1. SteelSeries DeX
Pros: Impressive performance, Comfortable, Water-Resistant
Cons: Price, Silicone Base might not stick to some surfaces
As previously mentioned, hybrid mousepads offer the speed of a hard mouse mat and the comfort of the soft mousepad. The SteelSeries DeX offers both and they’ve amplified it thanks to its amazing performance.
This mousepad is intended for people who play real-time Strategy games (RTS) or MMORPGs mainly because of how smooth your mouse can glide across its surface.
It has dimensions of 320mm x 270mm and has a thickness of only 2mm. This might put off some people but trust me when I say that this mousepad gives you great performance. In fact, some pro players have used the DeX mainly because of how well this mousepad improves their speed and accuracy.
Now, most mousepads come with a rubber base but the SteelSeries DeX is different. It uses a silicone base (with an orange color scheme). Although it does a pretty good job sticking to most surfaces, it doesn’t stick well with some.
The DeX doesn’t stick well on shiny desks. This presents a problem, especially if you flick your gaming mouse often. But, on other surfaces, the DeX doesn’t budge at all!
Aside from its impressive performance, the SteelSeries DeX is comfortable and is perfect for people who are constantly doing marathon gaming sessions.
Furthermore, I am happy to say that the DeX is water-resistant. Even when you accidentally spill your drink on the mousepad, all you have to do is wipe it with a cloth, let the moisture dry up, and you’re back in action.
Its price is probably the only thing that’s holding it back. It costs $40 and for the same price, you can get an extended cloth mousepad. Despite this, the SteelSeries DeX still warrants your money because of its impressive performance and comfort.
2. Cooler Master CM Storm Power-RX
Pros: Durable, Water-Resistant, Impressive performance, Inexpensive
Cons: Silicone base might not stick on some surfaces, might be too thin for some
The Cooler Master CM Storm Power-RX is another great hybrid mousepad that offers superb traction whilst also being Water-resistant.
This mousepad has a predominantly black exterior with the Power-RX moniker on the lower right as well as the CM Storm logo on the upper-middle portion of the mousepad.
The Power-RX is meant to be a “control” mousepad in that it provides more precision than speed. It is made up of a low-friction and slightly textured weave and according to the company, it is submerged into a special rubber compound. What does this mean?
Well, it means that it provides the comfort of a cloth mouse mat while making it water-resistant. This is great if you have the knack of spilling your drinks on your mousepad from time to time.
This mousepad is unbelievably comfortable. Whether you’re using high-dpi settings or if you flick your mouse too often, wrist-strain will not be a problem with this product.
Just like the SteelSeries DeX above, the CM Storm Power-RX uses a silicone base. It does have the same problems as the aforementioned mousepad with regards to grip, but not a lot of people have problems with it.
This mousepad is relatively big at 450mm x 350mm and has a thickness of 2.5mm. It might be thin for some but for most gamers, it is adequate.
The brand might not be too popular amongst gamers but the Cooler Master CM Storm Power-RX is definitely at the top when it comes to performance, comfort, and function.
Choosing the right gaming mousepad is key if you want to win in games. Your gaming mouse needs a partner; a partner that will give it nice performance as well as comfort. That is what a gaming mousepad provides.
Now, there are a lot of gaming mousepads on the market and it can be very hard to choose the best one for you.
Fortunately, for you, this article has got you covered. I’ve outlined the best soft, hard, hybrid, and dual-sided mousepads that you can find on the market today.
Just make sure to read through the entire article to know which mousepads are best for you.
If you play FPS games or games that would require precision over speed, then get the “control” mousepads which have rougher surfaces to give you ample accuracy.
If you play games that require more speed over accuracy, then get those “speed” mouse mats that offer unhindered mouse movement because of its smoother surface.
I hope that this article has helped you choose the right gaming mousepad for you.