Top 10 Best Gaming Mouse Pads of 2020 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Tech companies are notorious for throwing the word “Gaming” in front of a peripheral and acting like it’s suddenly superior to non-gaming options. That’s why it can be a bit surprising that something mundane as your mouse pad has a gaming equivalent that actually matters. As a piece of gear everyone has but never thinks about, the amazing features of gaming mousepads go unnoticed.

We rarely think about our socks having variety but you’ll definitely know the difference between wool and cotton in a polar vortex! Mouse pads are the same. Gaming mouse pads primarily cater to gamers by offering different feels, handling and control, and even unique features like RGB lighting. It’s not easy to tell mouse pads apart though and the market is unknown to many hardcore PC Gamers. It’s just not on everyone’s radar! We’re here to break down the unique factors that make a gaming mouse pad more than a piece of fabric and help you decide if a new mouse pad is right for you. Whether you want the best mouse pad for Fortnite or love playing DOTA 2, you’ll find something on this list for you.

In this guide, you’ll find the top gaming mouse pads of 2020 as well as a major break down of what makes a good gaming mouse pad. We went into length answering niche tech questions because few gamers really know what makes a mouse pad good. If you think you have the answers, head on down to our gaming mouse pad reviews below. If you need more convincing on why a gaming mouse pad might just be your new favorite purchase, skip to our buying guide and read up on modern gaming mouse pads.

Here Are the Top 10 Best Gaming Mouse Pads of 2020:

The Mouse Pad

Type of Mouse Pad

Defining Feature

What Makes It Stand Out?

More Info

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad (Medium)

Soft Micro-woven Fabric

Unparalleled versatility

The Best Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad

Corsair Dual-Sided Aluminum MM600

Hard Aluminum with two different formats

Dual-sided for quick switching between low DPI and high DPI

The Best Hard Gaming Mouse Pad

HyperX Fury S Series

Soft Micro-woven Fabric

Most affordable

The Best Cheap Gaming Mouse Pad

Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris


RGB Mouse Pad

The Best Large RGB Gaming Mouse Pad

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad XL RGB Prism

Soft Micro-woven Fabric

RGB Desk Pad with Discord Notifications

The Best RGB Gaming Desk Pad

Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System

Purchase includes Soft and Hard versions

Wireless Charging

The Best Wireless Charging Gaming Mousepad

Corsair MM1000

Micro-Textured Hard Surface

Wireless Charging for Qi Products

The Best Qi Device Charging Gaming Mouse Pad

Razer Firefly and Mamba Hyperflux

Purchase includes Soft and Hard versions

Wireless Charging and Includes Top-Tier Wireless Gaming Mouse

The Best Wireless Gaming Bundle

Asus ROG Scabbard (Water Resistant)

Special Water Resistant Surface

Water Resistant

The Best Extended Gaming Mouse Pad

HyperX Fury S Speed Edition

Soft Micro-woven Fabric

Low-DPI Desk Pad

The Best Gaming Desk Pad for Speed

The Best Gaming Mouse Pads of 2020

1. SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad (Medium) – The Best Overall Gaming Mouse Pad

Best Overall

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad (Medium)

The SteelSeries QcK has been around 20 years as the favorite of professional gamers everywhere. The QcK sets the bar for quality and continues to impress after two decades.

  • Features
  • Sizes from small to large
  • Several stylish prints such as the PUBG edition
  • Classic, hard, RGB, thick, and stitched edge models


  • Textured rubber underside keeps the mouse pad from slipping
  • The medium sized mouse pad is considered an industry standard
  • Very affordable
  • 20 years of solid quality mouse pads


  • Cloth material gets dirty fast

Our Take

It’s impossible to say that the SteelSeries QcK is just one type of mouse pad. Offering sizes from small to desk pad, different thickness, different materials, threaded edges, and even RGB. The QcK line is one of the most versatile in the industry. It’s also the mouse pad series that has something for everyone. One thing we love is that SteelSeries keeps everything affordable and the general size is fantastic for gaming. They’ve been proven over the course of 20 years to lead the industry in standards for gaming mouse pads. In fact, this thin medium size cloth mouse pad is known for being cheap, reliable, and the best selling gaming mouse pad of all time.

Our favorite pad of all time is the Medium QcK from SteelSeries in the classic form. The reason is that it’s simply incredible quality for an unbeatable price. You don’t get neat features or bells and whistles but for the vast majority of gamers, that’s ok. You want a mouse pad that will show up quickly and feel great. The cloth is a good fit for mid DPI play and medium-size works well for most gamers. It’s the solid pick that everyone just loves and never regrets.

Yet it does have one minor downside. We found it just gets dirty quick. This is in part to the micro-texture fibers. When fluid, powder, dirt, grease, or food residue hits this mouse pad, it tends to stick. So just be wise around it and maybe avoid Cheetos.

2. Corsair Dual-Sided Aluminum MM600 – The Best Hard Gaming Mouse Pad

Best Hard Pad

Corsair Dual-Sided Aluminum MM600

One of the most unique feeling mouse pads around, the MM600 has a sturdy metallic texture and two sides for versatile gamers.

  • Features
  • Double-sided (One textured side, one smooth)
  • Zero slip rubber corners


  • Mid-range weight and feel
  • Rubber corners prevent this from slipping
  • Textured side for controlled gameplay
  • Smooth side for quick mouse movements


  • Hard edges can be a nuisance

Our Take

It’s ok to be a bit indecisive about your play style. Gamers today play a much wider variety of titles than ever before. You may move from MOBA to Apex Legends in a matter of seconds. Corsair has become one of our favorite companies for gaming mouse pad technology in recent years as they tend to produce high-quality products with a clear focus. And we mean really focused. The MM600 is specifically for those gamers that need to switch up play styles on the fly.

It’s a small niche but it’s still a valuable option. It also allows non-gaming uses to be considered so that those in an office setting aren’t always swinging forearms to move word documents around. One side can be heavily calibrated and dedicated to your game. Your PUBG, CSGO, or Fortnite. The other side can be calibrated specifically for general use or other styles of play. They made the twin sides different enough to benefit different play styles and it is quite noticeable. One side uses texture to increase the handling and control of your mouse. The other side eschews thick complex etchings in order to offer a slick surface for mouse play.

The biggest challenge with the MM600 is that it has some pretty tough edges. The rubber plated aluminum can cause the occasional mouse snag. It’s reasonable to be concerned about the long-term effect of this on gameplay and whether or not it’ll cause slight damage to cords but you’ll never have to worry about personal injury.

3. HyperX Fury S Series – The Best Budget Gaming Mouse Pad

Best Budget

HyperX Fury S Series

The competitor to the QcK doesn’t revolutionize gaming mouse pads but it does offer a bit more artistic flair at a great price.

  • Features
  • Sizes from small to large
  • Speed edition for those who want frictionless movement
  • Unique art for favorite teams and streamers (Cloud9, Shroud, Pokimane, Echo Fox)
  • Rubber anti-slip base
  • Surface designed for optical tracking


  • Similar feel to the QcK
  • Speed edition for those who want to run with very low DPI settings
  • Optical tracking is very good because of the woven surface


  • Not much separates it from SteelSeries

Our Take

We selected a series because HyperX has basically taken to creating a mouse pad that goes head to head with the biggest competitor, SteelSeries. The non-speed version of the HyperX Fury S is a great mouse pad that looks and feels very similar to our top pick. It has texture and grain so your control feels stable. It’s made of cloth. It has a comfortable feel and four different sizes. The natural rubber underside keeps the Fury S from slipping around and you generally get a fantastic experience. What does make this slightly different is the ability to customize it with several different art styles. Currently, HyperX offers art from Pokimane, Echo Fox, Cloud9, and Shroud. So if you love a certain streamer or can’t wait to see the next Counter-Strike competition, the unique mouse pads are pretty awesome. They don’t come in all sizes but they have enough variety to please fans and keep you wondering if you should buy two mouse pads.

So the elephant in the room?. SteelSeries has been in the game for a long time and HyperX is basically creating an off-brand QcK. And it works. But the similarities can be a bit jarring for those who know how many other sweet mouse pads are on the market. Still, if you get a fancy art print and go with HyperX Fury, it’ll be a good choice.

The Best RGB Mouse Pads of 2020

1. Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris – The Best Large RGB Gaming Mouse Pad

Best RGB Colored

Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris

The king of RGB, Corsair shows off a whimsical mixture of lighting and top-tier design in the MM800. Particularly fun with newer games such as Far Cry 5.

  • Features
  • Corsair RGB Lighting
  • Hard and Soft options
  • Built-in USB pass-through port
  • 1.8M braided cable
  • Non-slip rubber base
  • Micro-textured surface with low friction
  • 15RGB zones


  • Corsair offers some of the best RGB software on the market
  • Pass-through saves you from another unnecessary cord
  • Hard and soft versions for those who want a firmer feel or comfort


  • No desk pad option

Our Take

Corsair is king of RGB right now with a dazzling array of peripherals and some epic software to light up your parts. Most pieces sync with other Corsair gear to make stunning light displays. The MM800 is an amazing mouse pad in its own right, living up to the standard Corsair has been setting in the gaming pad market. We particularly like the hard edition as it has a really good feel. The micro-texture gives just enough feedback to keep your mouse smooth and in control without feeling like you are gaming on ice. That’s important to note because some of the best hard mouse pads feel too smooth for wrist-style mouse movements. Another feature we are fans of is the USB pass-through for your mouse. This eliminates the need for another long cord snaking past the MM800. It’s also strange how such a convenient option isn’t standard. We didn’t test it with a flash drive but it could make an easy to access entry point for data storage too. The RGB is really amazing as expected with Corsair and you’ll love the interesting things they are doing with modern AAA titles and lighting.

Our only minor gripe is that the RGB market has very few options that exist beyond the traditional gaming mouse pad dimensions. Those who want a desk pad style gaming pad are most likely out of luck with Corsair. This makes sense as RGB takes extra power and is expensive in its own right but it can be a bit disappointing for those who partnered with Corsair for everything else. There are RGB desk pad options like the Prism but it’s another area Corsair should consider entering into.

2. SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad XL RGB Prism – The Best RGB Desk Pad

Best RGB Desk Pad

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad XL RGB Prism

The larger extended version of the QcK experiments with RGB in new ways, offering Discord notifications and new tactical possibilities.

  • Features
  • RGB Lighting in desk pad form
  • Option for medium QcK RGB gaming mouse pad
  • Dynamic 2-zone RGB illumination and effects
  • Same material as the best gaming mouse pad of all time
  • Non-slip rubber base


  • RGB options allow unique customization and notifications through Discord
  • SteelSeries fiber is renowned in esports
  • Can come in a smaller form


  • No pass-through

Our Take

If you are looking for an RGB desk pad, you’ve found your winner. We’d love to say that means something but the market is pretty slim. Despite the lack of competition, SteelSeries continues to produce awesome, affordable, unique mouse pads year after year. The RGB Prism has several features handy features that other RGB products have yet to attempt. For instance, multiple lighting zones allow the Prism to use custom lighting for notifications. This works in conjunction with Discord to notify you of new messages, alerts, or whatever you set up. It seems weird at first but Discord notifications are great from the mouse pad. You no longer need to keep a phone out or hear that annoying ping while Discord runs in the background. It’s such a sigh of relief to stop the constant pinging that Discord users are used to.

The Prism is also just a solid mouse pad. SteelSeries really has been the standard for 20 years and even superior technology struggles to make a dent in the market when going toe to toe with them. We love the feel and think it’s one of the best mouse pads on the market regardless of the RGB. If the RGB was stripped down and removed from the Prism, we’d still recommend it on feel and quality alone.

The one feature we would have loved is USB pass-through. Corsair has already done this and it makes the set-up of your mouse a breeze, especially since running long cords behind a mouse pad can get old. It’s not standard with RGB mouse pads but it really should be.

The Best Wireless Charging Mouse Pads of 2020

1. Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System – The Best Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

Best Wireless

Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System

The Powerplay is the absolute best wireless charging mouse pad on the market. Paired with some of the best gaming mice in the world, the Powerplay makes your mouse unstoppable.

  • Features
  • Wireless charging for Logitech devices
  • Comes in cloth and hard form factor but both are included with purchase


  • The fastest and stablest wireless charging around
  • Logitech makes some of the best wireless mice as well
  • The powerplay comes with a soft and hard model meaning that you don’t have to choose


  • Only works with Logitech Mice
  • Pricey

Our Take

As one of the first premiere wireless charging pads, Logitech finally removed the hurdle that kept most gamers from going wireless. Charging. Nothing is worse than logging in to find that your mouse is dead and needs juice. Worse yet, some wireless mice lose a charge slowly over gameplay sessions and get progressively unstable. This time between empty and a little charge can result in terrible gameplay moments such as the mouse locking up.The Logitech powerplay keeps your wireless devices from dropping service and also feels great. It’s the best charger on the market. Regrettably it can only charge Logitech mice but for the most part, wireless charging or Qi charging has yet to make a dent in the mainstream market.

We love the feel of this pad as well. It’s quickly gone from a new untested product to one of the best around. They don’t shy away from being a premium option and give both a soft and hard mouse pad to buyers as well. We also love the focus on Logitech. If you go with Razer or Logitech for a Gaming Mouse, chances are you’ll never go back to a normal mouse, even for office work. They have dominated the market and shown what premium peripherals do for control, speed, and comfort. We love the thought of using the best Wireless Gaming Mice in the world with this pad. In our opinion, Logitech has come out on top with the recent G900 series and this mouse and incentivizes picking up those mice even more.

2. Corsair MM1000 – The Best Qi Device Charging Mouse Pad

Best Qi Device Charging

Corsair MM1000

The top of the MM line, the 1000 offers Qi device charging for those futurist among us adopting the newest tech. It makes charging a phone, mouse, or more easier than ever.

  • Features
  • Two surface options (Hard or cloth)
  • Qi Wireless Charging for any Qi-certified device
  • Included adapters for USB Micro-B, Type-C, and Lightning
  • Micro-textured surface for mouse precision
  • USB 3.0 Pass-through
  • Built-in LED indicator


  • Charges more than just one brand of device
  • Can be used to plug in USB devices and charge manually as well
  • Large size is comfortable enough to please fans of medium and big gaming mouse pads


  • No RGB support

Our Take

Corsair has produced another world-class item with the MM1000. The MM600 and MM800 made our list so the logical extension is that the MM1000 would find a home among the top 10 best gaming mousepads of 2020. Obviously, the mouse pad features are all top notch. Corsair just knows how to make a good peripheral. The MM1000 does what we expect by using micro-textured surfaces and being an all-around decent mouse pad. Where it really begins to shine is the wireless charging capability. Rather than stick to one device, Corsair allows any Qi compatible device to charge on the MM1000. That means phones, mice, and other devices with Qi charging can remain on definitely. No more annoying moments where you pick up the phone to realize it’s dead or snake charger cords through a desk just to keep your devices powered. It’s really an amazing addition and for those using Qi charging, it beats buying a dedicated charger. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

We do wish Corsair went with RGB for the MM1000. It’s another point that could’ve nudged them further into the market. At thi,s price point and with this quality it’d just make sense to have the MM1000 also be RGB enabled. This isn’t a killer flaw but the RGB enthusiast crowd does have a good reason to avoid this and choose a competitor. It’s still one of the best pads we’ve encountered though.

3. Razer Firefly and Mamba Hyperflux – The Best Wireless Gaming Bundle

Best Wireless Bundle

Razer Firefly and Mamba Hyperflux

For those who don’t like the Logitech eco-system, Razer offers an amazing mouse pad with wireless charging and RGB. Pair this with the Hyperflux for additional savings and esports quality mouse control.

  • Features
  • Wireless charging
  • Integrated RGB with Razer Chroma
  • Multiple surface and material types
  • Comes with Mamba Hyperflux


  • Premium quality
  • Purchase contains both a hard and soft mouse pad
  • Bundle saves on the mouse and mouse pad combo


  • Very expensive setup

Our Take

Razer was the first one to bite the bullet and go all in with wireless charging and RGB. This makes the Firefly a bit pricier than the other options but it looks great. Razer has been killing it in the market since 2017 when they began releasing laptops, phones, and mice that esports professionals crave. The thin design of laptops and cool aesthetics continue on with the Razer Firefly. The Firefly is a simple culmination of the best modern technologies and uses Razer Chroma to keep this mouse pad stylish. As an RGB option that also does wireless charging, you are looking at the dream mouse pad for many of us.

Like competitors, it comes with a soft and hard option so that users aren’t repulsed by a feeling that they don’t like. That means you ’ll get the experience of your dreams even if it is a bit pricey. Unfortunately, like Logitech, proprietary devices come first. The good news is that you can save a bit of cash and get one of the best Wireless Mice in the world by buying this in bundle form. The mouse and mouse pad combo drops the price a bit and ensures you’ll have no problem keeping that wireless mouse running smooth. We love this combo.

The biggest con is definitely the price. As an overlooked peripheral, mouse pads often get booed anytime they cost anything above cheap. That’s unfortunate though because one of the best mouse pads of all time is currently charging Mambas all around the world and making happy raving fans.

The Best Desk Pads of 2020

1. Asus ROG Scabbard (Water Resistant) – The Best Extended Mouse Pad

Best Extended Desk Pad

Asus ROG Scabbard (Water Resistant)

Never worry about spilling on your mouse pad again with the Scabbard. Water resistant and huge, it’s the perfect endurance based mouse pad for those a bit rougher on the desk.

  • Features
  • Splash resistant design
  • Rubberized non-stick base
  • Anti-fray stitched edges
  • Glow in the dark ROG Scabbard lettering


  • You can eat and drink around this without worrying about coasters
  • It’s a desk pad that also protects your desk


  • The logo is pretty unsightly
  • No RGB

Our Take

This mouse pad stands out for one major reason. Durability. Despite hating the stereotype that gamers purely live off of Mountain Dew or the rude “live in the basement,” comments tv shows often drop on anyone remotely into gaming, we must admit that gamers do occasionally eat at the desk. And if your mouse pad covers the entire desk, that can be a problem. If you spend a long time at your desk working and gaming, you’ll want something that can stand the test of time. While water resistance is a fairly logical feature, few gaming mouse pads actually tout any sort of liquid protection. With the ROG Scabbard you have a splash resistant surface that can weather the tough activities it goes through. It also can survive the occasional use as a coaster. No more annoying stain patches and since the water beads, you don’t experience occasional wet patches from condensation.

The ASUS ROG Scabbard is also a solid desk pad with a very frictionless feel. The material they use to make it water resistant adds a slick feel to the pad. They also offer a vibrant traditional desk pad with a big graphical print. The largest downside to the ROG Sheath is the lack of style. It has unsightly logos that seem out of place and no RGB support. Rather than going all-black or limiting brand awareness, they stamped the brand in the upper right corner of this pad and made it glow. For those of us who live and breathe desk life, this mouse pad is a win.

2. HyperX Fury S Speed Edition – The Best Desk Pad for Speed

Best for Speed

HyperX Fury S Speed Edition

If you love speed and arm aiming, this blazing fast friction free desk pad will have you playing CSGO with the best of them.

  • Features
  • Speed edition for those who want frictionless movement
  • Classic black option available as well
  • Rubber textured underside to keep it on the table


  • The speed edition is great for those with low DPI (FPS Players)
  • The size is perfect for those who use forearm movements with the mouse


  • Some of the best art styles are unavailable in desk pad form

Our Take

HyperX is mostly known for RAM and headphones but they occasionally make a peripheral outside the normal wheelhouse. Our final HyperX item on this list is the Fury S X-Large model. It comes in both the speed and non-speed form factor but the speed version is what stands out. Specifically designed for those who want to use the desk pad form factor, this mouse pad caters to FPS players using low DPI settings. Overall, it is the best fps mouse pad, and the best mouse pad for CS GO. Doom Eternal fans will adore the frictionless glide of this mouse pad and be able to move quickly without sacrificing any control. It’s all around the king of blazing fast forearm oriented gameplay. It’s made from cloth that has been intensely woven and offers the sort of texture you need without being over-grippy. It feels incredible.

The biggest downside to buying an extra large mouse pad from HyperX is that art prints are less common. Twitch obsessed Pokimane fans or Cloud9 aficionados will need to get a different size to pick up branded swag. The black edition has a simple logo and while the speed model comes with a colorful art print. It’s not the best art in the world. So you’ll have to sacrifice some aesthetics but that is worth it for the amazing comfort that this offers.

3. SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad XL RGB Prism – The Best RGB Desk Pad

Desk pads with RGB lighting are rare but this mouse pad offers both size and lighting in the legendary QcK form-factor.

We recommended this earlier for those who want an RGB option that also acts as a desk pad. As one of the only RGB options on the market for desk pads it still stands tall as an innovator with unique features like Discord notifications. You can brush up on what we like in our review and as usual, SteelSeries is always a good choice.

Gaming Mouse Pad Buying Guide

Despite being known as the flat surface we rest our mice on, mouse pads actually have quite a bit of importance in the PC Gamers arsenal. Swapping out an old pad for a gaming pad itself won’t make you a world class e-sports professional or dramatically change your experience, but they do offer a significant quality of life boost. Used in conjunction with different mouse grip styles or forearm movement strategies, a new mouse pad may help you play differently and thus better.

Playstyle consideration is especially important to those who play competitive first-person shooters, use multiple DPI ranges, or are plain tired of the mouse getting confused by shiny materials. It’s hard to select the best mouse pad for Apex Legends or the latest FPS without knowing the technical details of why different mouse pads work better for different games.

Gaming mouse pads also can do very unique things such as charge devices, creating a useful wireless charging platform. And as expected, gaming pads are very important for controlling how things feel. Both the control of your mouse and the general feeling of having fabric underneath your wrist for extended periods of time.

We wrote an extensive guide and answered a ton of frequently asked questions about gaming mouse pads. Hopefully, you’ll learn some new things and see why they might be the little boost you’ve always wanted but never thought of.

Basic features to consider in your gaming mouse pad


The average mouse pad for an office lacks the necessary room for gaming comfortably. Gaming mouse pads are usually two or three times the size of what you would find in an office and can be as large as a full desk (Desk Pad). Always consider your play style and how much room your mouse movements use. The best large mouse pad on this list will be enough for almost any gamer but those using unique play styles such as forearm movements will want to consider a desk sized pad.

Weight and Feel

Most gamers will want a thin pad because that jarring feeling of moving the mouse off the beveled edge is very obnoxious mid game. Some do exist that are thicker or weighted for that special feeling you might crave. As a rule, try to get a mouse pad that won’t slide around easily. This is usually accomplished by a decent rubberized base on most pads.

Raised Edges

Some mouse pads offer raised edges for more control such as placing a plastic border around the fabric area the mouse uses. This allows you to feel out the pad with your wrist and play a little more within boundaries. Keep in mind that the plastic bevel can be annoying to rest your palm on but it’s better than old mouse pads that have a drop rather than a raised edge.


Some pads offer a cushy pillow at the bottom that helps prevent carpal tunnel and feels decent. It most likely will impede gaming by a small margin so that’s a better option for those at risk for carpal tunnel. Truthfully most gaming mouse pads offer comfort as a secondary benefit but the fluffy desk pads usually feel pretty great to those who are sensitive to discomfort.


RGB options exist for pads as well as keyboards, mice, and really anything PC Gamers use these days. Corsair has really taken the lead with RGB and offers neat gaming based RGB options such as lighting the keyboard up like an American flag when playing Far Cry 5. RGB lighting can look amazing and add some style to your set up.


The texture of a mousepad is pretty important to a gamer. Even if you don’t realize it, you’ll be sliding your wrist or resting your arm against the mouse pad frequently. Add to this that mice respond differently when they have different textures. As a rule, super shiny pads without much texture are the most likely to freeze or catch when gaming. Texture helps with control and feel. Avoid pads with too much texture though as they can turn your wrists raw over the course of a marathon gaming session.


Normally cloth/fabric or some sort of light metal such as aluminum are your only options. Some like the cold feel of metal while others prefer the grainy texture of fiber-based material. There are also unique pads such as the Razer Sphex V2. It’s an adhesive based pad with a plastic style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloth VS. Hard Mouse Pads

The most basic feature that most gamers consider when selecting a mouse pad is whether or not the pad is hard or soft. Soft mouse pads are almost universally some sort of fabric with a micro-texture for added control. Hard mouse pads can be made of numerous materials with plastic and aluminum being the most common. The biggest differences come down to comfort and play style.

Cloth mouse pads most often focus on those who like to make slow methodical movements with the mouse such as wrist-based gamers. They also tend to feel a bit more comfortable as long as you aren’t gaming fast enough to get rug burns.

Hard mouse pads can also be textured but they tend to offer smooth frictionless surfaces as well with the overall goal being speed. Players who use the forearm for movement or require great force to move the mouse tend to prefer hard mouse pads.

What is DPI?

DPI or dots per inch measures how sensitive a mouse is. It’s highly adjustable and most professional gaming mice offer insane DPI settings. It’s common to play at low DPI settings even with a top-tier gaming mouse because the quality is higher in mice possessing a high DPI range. Your mouse pad has nothing to do with DPI itself.

Where DPI does matter is in selecting the size of mouse pad you’ll want. Playing with low DPI requires more force on the mouse to move quickly meaning large frictionless surfaces are best. With high DPI, the cursor moves dramatically with just minor flicks of the wrist. Those comfortable with high DPI want a small mouse pad with a textured surface. This offers control to the user.

What do you mean by saying that different mouse pads are for different play styles?

It’s not uncommon to see massive gaming mouse pads when you watch streamers or professional gamers. It’s not because they just love having a huge mouse pad. Some of the mouse pads we use actually have different styles for different purposes. For instance, gaming mice have different structural designs for the various ways that gamers use them (Such as palm and claw grip). This in turn affects everything from common sensitivity settings to the desired force when moving the mouse.

Professional first-person gamers often use very low DPI and low sensitivity. To compensate for the low DPI they use the mouse differently by controlling it with the forearm. This requires a larger space for the mouse to move on and less friction. If the mouse pad is too small at a low sensitivity level, it’s common to keep picking up the mouse and moving it back onto the mouse pad. This destroys the ability to play competitively!

Why do we calibrate mouse pads?

Mice work by reading a surface repeatedly in a short period of time. This is accomplished by a variety of methods that have come a far way from the mechanical mouse balls of the olden days. Surfaces can be challenging for even high-quality sensors to pick up. Factors such as reflectiveness, a lack of grain or texture, or a poor quality optical mouse will cause hiccups and slow responsiveness. Modern laser gaming mice are fantastic at reading a surface and can be calibrated for different surfaces (We don’t actually calibrate the mouse pad, we calibrate the mouses sensors). This keys in specific settings such as the users typical mouse speed, the perceived play area, and the texture of the mouse pad.

There are different schools of thought on mouse pad calibration ranging from “It’s entirely useless,” to “If you don’t do this you’ll never play a game well again.”

Like most controller based issues. It’s a rather subjective experience because calibration ultimately changes the range that your mouse uses to sense movement on a given surface. If you calibrate a surface with abnormal mouse movement, it’ll feel different. It can be very beneficial though for users who want control or feel something is off with the mouse. Calibration also needs to be done for every new surface as swapping out the pad or going off the calibrated pad will give a different experience than a calibrated surface would.

How do I calibrate my mouse pad?

Usually your gaming mouse company will come with special software. There are numerous options for mousepad calibration these days. Razer and Logitech offer simple quick software fixes that sync with mice and help calibration. The process involves moving the mouse across a surface slowly or in different patterns. This in turn teaches the mouse what surface it is on and helps calibrate it accordingly. It’s a quick process and only takes a few minutes provided your mouse has software available.

How does a gaming mouse pad differ from a normal mouse pad?

A traditional mouse pad has a raised surface covering a pretty small area. This lip can be obnoxious to gamers as most mice will keep moving over it repeatedly. Gaming mouse pads are designed with specific gaming goals in mind such as speed or control. They emphasize comfort and come in enough materials to please everyone. Simply put, normal mouse pads are often worse than just using a desktop. If it’s built for gaming, you’ll notice the difference. Whether it’s a hard plastic SteelSeries pad or the best large mouse pad, gaming mouse pads are designed to be read better by mice, comfortable for long play sessions, and often have RGB lighting.

Hold on, aren’t Wireless Gaming Mice terrible?

If you’ve been around PC Gaming for any length of time, you’ve probably connected the dots about wireless mice. Traditionally they were awful. Not just bad. Terrible. In years past they struggled to connect to the PC effectively and had huge lag spikes. They also would die in a very short period of time making the constant battery swapping obnoxious as all get out. These days though wireless mice are as good if not better than wired gaming counterparts.

And that is where wireless charging comes in. The quality of wireless gaming mice is so great these days that external features such as charging have had huge revisions. Now you no longer have to swap batteries or remember to plug in a dying mouse. Modern gaming mouse pads can take care of that grunt work for you. Some such as the Corsair MM1000 can even charge your Qi charging devices as well.

Should I get a charging mouse pad for my wireless mouse?

You’ll be getting a top-notch pad no matter what charging pad you select. They are the premium mouse pad in all respects and usually offer a hard and soft version with purchase as well. It’s hard to go wrong with the Razer Firefly or Logitech Powerplay. It’s not necessary but the annoying aspects of wireless gaming mice tend to surface without newer wireless charging. You may occasionally experience the slow stutter of a dying battery. This in turn is often mistaken for lag or system issues until the user realizes the mouse needs more juice. That alone is a common weekly occurrence that annoyed gamers for years. Charging pads are a huge improvement over this.

Will a gaming mouse pad make me a better gamer?

No. But it will eliminate hindrances to your play style. For instance, some mice struggle to read the surface of a shiny desk or painted surface. A gaming mouse pad will help eliminate mouse misreads. Those can be very frustrating especially when they cause your mouse to skip or game to hang for a second. The other thing is that a normal office mouse pad is pretty small and raised. Often you find yourself moving the mouse off the pad and catching it on the lip of the mouse pad. Gaming pads are at least twice the average size and thin so going off the mouse pad doesn’t feel clunky and you usually have enough room to maneuver.

What is the best mouse pad for FPS gaming?

This is a subjective question because FPS gamers vary how they play. Some LOVE playing with insane sensitivity levels and wrist movement while others love playing with low levels and using forearm movements. Unfortunately, there is no universally beloved option but for FPS games you’ll most likely want something with enough room for your play style and nothing too textured. This is because too much texture can catch your mouse as it glides. We recommend experimenting with a pad such as the HyperX Fury S Speed and forearm based movement. The HyperX Fury S Speed was our FPS oriented pick for best extended mouse pad. Those new to it will need to relearn all they know about mouse movement but often report superior speed and control with low DPI.

What is the best kind of mouse pad for gaming?

This also depends on the user as play styles differ. The best mouse pad for gaming will offer you a mix of balance and control you need without sacrificing speed. Any of our top 10 will do the trick but you’ll want to discover your playstyle first.

What is the best-extended gaming mouse pad?

Extended gaming mouse pads or desk pads are fantastic options for those who want to play with a low DPI. We recommend the HyperX Fury S Speed for FPS players and the ASUS ROG Scabbard for those who want to try a controlled surface. As we’ve stated before, desk pads are the greatest for FPS players who want forearm based control but also good for those who just want to avoid the annoyance of going from mouse pad to desktop to frequently.

What is the best razer mouse pad?

Razer has created a razer gaming mouse pad with the legendary Razer Chroma RGB lighting, wireless charging, unparalleled comfort, and great design. The catch? It’s REALLY expensive. If you want the best absolutely suggest the Razer Firefly but be aware that you’ll need a wireless mouse to take advantage of the wireless charging features. Our item lists the Razer Mamba as well because you save money when bundling it up and get a fantastic world-class gaming mouse.

Which size mouse pad is the best for gaming?

You can probably guess what we are going to say already. The best size mouse pad for gaming is subjective but you’ll want something versatile, long-lasting, and comfortable. The cheap but extremely good SteelSeries mouse pad is a good starting point for those experimenting with gaming mouse pads. The classic feel with a medium size will hardly dent the bank account but gives you a pretty good feeling for what gaming mouse pads are like.

I didn’t see any gaming mouse pads with wrist rest accessories. Doesn’t poor mouse support cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

According to several studies and medical professionals, CTS is often idiopathic and 90% of cases aren’t able to be explained or linked to a direct causes. We didn’t include any mouse pads with a wrist rest accessory because the jury is out on whether or not they really make a difference. We do think those with wrist pain should see a medical professional and take the appropriate advice but in general, mouse pads aren’t realistically the problem or solution to CTS.

Thanks for Joining us!

If you made it this far, we just want to say thanks. Mouse pads can be pretty boring, and most users don’t know the important reasons to get picky with them. We get that. Hopefully, after reading this you got a feel for some of the amazing technologies out there making gaming a little bit better than before. A gaming mouse pad won’t make you a better player, but it may solve some problems holding you back from full potential. They also just feel good. If you haven’t tried forearm movement or different mouse grips, it might be the boost you’ve needed to finally kick Gold Nova and move up the ranking system.

As always, we appreciate you sticking around and learning from us. Keep coming back for more articles on everything gaming and peripheral related. And until next time, give that new mouse pad a shot!

Leave a Comment: