Wired vs wireless gaming mouse: key differences explained

If you’re a PC gamer, you’ve probably heard of the age-old controversy over whether a wired vs wireless gaming mouse is preferable for your requirements. It’s a difficult question to answer, and until recently, there was only one solid answer: wired, forever and ever.

Because a wired mouse is physically attached to your PC, you don’t have to worry about connectivity. Battery concerns are also alleviated, and as for response times, well, wired would always win out, right?

Until 2016, that argument carried a lot of weight, and it was difficult to find a PC gamer who preferred a wireless mouse over a wired one. But then something happened that turned heads and permanently changed the way people thought about wireless mice.

“We spoke with eSports players, and none of them like the cable on a wired mouse,” Ujesh Desai, Logitech’s vice president and general manager of gaming, stated at the time.

“They wish they could have the mobility of a wireless mouse with the performance and dependability of a wired mouse. So that was the design aim we set for our engineers: to create a wireless gaming mouse that was faster than the wired gaming mice on the market. The G900 lives up to its billing, and we’re certain it’s the best gaming mouse we’ve ever created.”

The mouse lived up to its hype, according to reviews at the time, which shifted the balance of the wired vs. wireless debate. That was four years ago, and wireless technology has progressed even further in that time.

But connectivity isn’t the only consideration while looking for the finest gaming mouse. There are a slew of other choices to consider.

When it comes to buying a wireless mouse over a wired one, here are some of the important distinctions outlined.

Is it better to have cable or not have cable?

A wired mouse, by definition, has a cord attached to it. Because your mouse connects directly into a USB port (or a PS/2 port if you’re old school) and a wired mouse has little input lag, this cable has typically meant that problems like input lag aren’t an issue.

Most wireless gaming mice use a USB connector and a 2.4GHz connection to connect to a computer, although low-latency Bluetooth is also an option, and many will come with a wire as well. Latency should not be an issue if you purchase a good specialised wireless gaming mouse.

While purists would always prefer wired, there are some advantages to having a totally wireless setup. When gaming, a cable can generate resistance, which is something to keep in mind. In the heat of an online battle, the friction from a cable could mean the difference between winning and losing. 

Read More: What is RGB Gaming Mouse – Features, Pros & Cons

It’s all about precision.

Accuracy is important whether you use a wired or wireless gaming mouse. There are a few things to consider, but it’s worth noting that they’re quite comparable in both wireless and wired configurations.

DPI is a significant factor. ‘Dots per linear inch’ is the abbreviation for ‘dots per linear inch.’ The theory is that the greater the DPI, the less movement is required to move the pointer. The lower the DPI, the more welly you must give the mouse to get the cursor moving.

The bulk of gaming mice on the market have a DPI of 10,000 to 20,000, which is an incredible quantity. However, don’t automatically assume that the larger the number, the better.

It totally depends on what kind of game you do. While a higher DPI may be beneficial for character movement accuracy, it may not be so beneficial for aiming a rifle; if your mouse is overly sensitive, aiming may become a problem.

The good news is that most gaming mice allow you to change the DPI and sensitivity of a mouse. 

Who is in charge

One of the primary differences between a wired and wireless mouse is charging. A wired mouse does not require charging, but a wireless mouse will require it at some point.

Although many wireless mice can retain a charge for up to 50 hours, if not more, this may be a concern for heavy players.

Take, for example, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless, which is included in our list of the best gaming mice. You can get 60 hours of gameplay out of this mouse, or 30 hours if you utilise the best wifi connection and turn on the RGB lighting. And if they do need to be charged, it will only take two to three hours.

Wired vs wireless gaming mouse - Corsair

Anywhere you want to play

Another significant difference between wireless and wired mouse is their proximity to the computer. Because you are tied to the computer with a wired mouse, it is evident that you must be near it.

A wireless mouse has the advantage of being able to be utilized away from the computer for up to 30 feet without causing latency issues.

This is useful for folks who have moved their computers from their bedrooms to their living areas. It means you can theoretically play your game on the couch rather than sitting at your workstation in your gaming chair.

The verdict on wired vs wireless gaming mouse

Gaming with a wired or wireless mouse is now a matter of personal preference due to developments in wireless technology and battery life.

There will always be people who prefer wired, and the piece of mind that comes with knowing your mouse’s connection will never be compromised, or that a dead battery won’t ruin an all-night gaming session. But these days, they’re a bit of a rarity.

Latency is currently comparable to that of corded mice, and companies like Logitech, Corsair, and Razer have worked hard to ensure that their implementations of 1.4Ghz connectivity are as solid as possible.

Choosing the best gaming mouse now boils down to ergonomics – how the mouse feels in your hand and how much you’re prepared to spend. These are the first questions you should ask yourself, which demonstrates how far wireless gaming mice have progressed.