The advent of optical mice made a big change to the mouse pad industry, because they went from a must-have accessory for everyone to something of an optional extra for most computer users. In the gaming space, however, a good pad can make a big difference, especially if you’re gaming competitively or for an extended period of time.
If you’ve dished out the dollars for a fancy gaming mouse, you’re only hurting yourself if you use that dinky pad your dad got for free while on a work trip in 2014. If all you need to do is (yawn) shift Excel spreadsheets around all day, then you can run your mouse over just about any surface and you’ll be fine.
Here’s a selection of mouse pads to improve your comfort while gaming:
If you’re working on limited space for your mouse pad, Corsair’s MM300 model could be a good fit. It features stitched edges to limit your mouse flying off on its own accord after one too many serious sideways swipes, a rubberised base to stop it skidding across your desk and smooth surface for those who want a frictionless gaming experience.
Being comfortable with your gaming mouse pad is often a question of size, because you’re not going to be all that comfy if you have to stretch your arms over a different surface to that of your mouse. That’s where a super-sized gaming mouse pad like the SteelSeries QCK Edge could work in your favour. If your gaming desk also has to double as a serious work space, it’s also a plainly adorned black pad, so the boss need never know what you get up to after hours.
Comfort in your gaming mouse pad does not have to explicitly rest purely on soft, squishy surfaces. Indeed, depending on your mousing action you might drag more on a softer surface and have to work your wrists and hands harder that way.
Corsair’s RGB Polaris mouse pad offers a harder surface, but one that claims more precision, which could cut down on movements you don’t need – making it more comfortable along the way. There’s no science that suggests that its inclusion of RGB lighting has any beneficial health effects, but like so much RGB lighting, it’s more about the fun of creating your own illumination style while gaming to intimidate your foes.
Nobody buys a gaming mouse pad for the short term – or at least nobody sane – with most of us wanting durability as well as comfort. That’s an area where the Cooler Master MP510 should have a distinct edge, with splash-proof fabric that should protect it from any accidental drink spillages along the way.
Razer’s gaming accessories are highly regarded and naturally enough more than a little showy if that’s your style, but that’s not all the Razer Goliathus mouse pad has going for it. As the name suggest, this is a very large mouse pad, measuring in at 35.5cm by 44.4cm, and 0.3cm deep to be precise, but that means even the most expansive strategy maps or frenetic FPS shootouts are well within its range.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims and user reviews on Amazon.