The 10 Best Gaming Mouse Pads
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If video games are more than a casual hobby for you and you want to step things up a notch, try out one of these dedicated mouse pads. They are designed specifically to provide greater responsiveness and control than regular models, allowing for improved enjoyment and performance. And when you want to share your latest triumph with a screenshot, they'll even make working in Photoshop feel cool. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gaming mouse pad on Amazon.
A Brief History Of The Computer Mouse
For the best experience using a mouse for gaming, one should treat himself or herself to an excellent gaming mouse pad as well.
It followed logically that the mouse would also become one of the most popular ways to control the action of a computer game.
A device approximating the form and function of the now ubiquitous computer mouse was first developed in the early 1940s. As is so often the case with innovative technology, the unit was developed to assist with the waging of war. The earliest trackball controlled "pointing device" was designed to help a radar system that could track incoming enemy aircraft. It was part of the "Comprehensive Display System" that was run by a series of analog computers.
In the 1960s, as computing technology developed ever more quickly, so too did the computer mouse begin to take a more practical form. Several companies in several countries developed mice using trackballs that could interface with computer hardware and software, but none would prove practical prior to the release of the Xerox Alto in the 1970s. That computer, one of the first personal computers that saw broad appeal and use, could be controlled using a mouse, which freed its operators from the laborious task of memorizing (or referencing) long text commands.
The Xerox Alto was a successful computer, and its moue was a fully functional piece of hardware. But the mouse alone cost more than $400, making it too expensive for most consumers. Then in 1980, under the leadership of it visionary founder Steve Jobs, Apple Computer partnered with a group of researchers and product developers from Stanford University to develop a functional, affordable mouse. The unit they came up with and soon offered to the general marketplace was the Apple Lisa, the first widely successful personal computer that used the now common graphical user interface, or GUI.
Soon the mouse and the GUI interface had been adopted by Microsoft, and by the mid 1980s, the mouse was being used by people at home, at work, serving the government, and beyond. It followed logically that the mouse would also become one of the most popular ways to control the action of a computer game. Today one can find mice in all shapes and forms, from the ergonomic mouse to the upright mouse to the Bluetooth mouse and beyond. For the best experience using a mouse for gaming, one should treat himself or herself to an excellent gaming mouse pad as well.
Why Gaming Mouse Pads Make Sense
The quality of your game play experience is dictated by the level of control you exert over the action. When every split second matters, you need to make sure your hardware is as responsive and precise as possible. You can do much to fine tune your game play by adjusting the sensitivity settings of your mouse (and indeed by choosing the right mouse for your specific needs in the first place), but you give your mouse a great deal of added support by getting a good gaming mouse pad.
By ensuring an optical mouse provides clean, consistent control, a gaming mouse pad removes the issues your mouse can experience on reflective surfaces like glass or a glossy tabletop, or that can occur with uneven or textured surfaces such as wood. Your gaming mouse pad is to your top quality mouse as race track is to a super charged vehicle: if you've made the considerable investment in a great mouse, it only makes sense to make the minor investment in a great gaming mouse pad.
A gaming mouse pad also offers the added benefit of protecting the desk (or tabletop) you use during long gaming sessions. There will be no wear and tear endured by your desk even if you are moving your mouse around vigorously thanks to the protection afforded by a large, durable mouse pad.
Choosing The Right Gaming Mouse Pad
Gaming mouse pads are not expensive items. The priciest model you will find will cost only around fifty dollars, and many decent options cost well under twenty. Thus the gamer who also uses his or her computer for work or other purposes can afford to use one mouse pad for their gaming, and another for different applications, if need be.
They are also a poor choice for use at smaller desks or tables, of course.
When choosing a gaming mouse pad, size matters. Many gaming mouse pads are wide enough to span much of your desk, accommodating your keyboard and providing a sizable area for mouse operation as well. If you use a desktop computer and are fine with always having the same setup at your desk, these are fine options.
If you use multiple monitors that require plenty of lateral motion for proper control, these wide mouse pads are likely necessary. If, however, you use a laptop that might need to sit closer to the edge of your desk, or that you often use in varied locations, these large pads are illogical. They are also a poor choice for use at smaller desks or tables, of course.
And remember that it's perfectly acceptable to select a gaming mouse pad based on aesthetics alone, aka the "cool factor." Many gaming mouse pads have unique designs and color patterns that make them stand out, while others are even illuminated, which not only looks great, but can also make it easier to use your computer in lower light settings. So if you want your gaming setup to look as great as it functions, treat yourself to a vibrant, eye catching mouse pad your friends and colleagues will appreciate.
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