Mice and controllers
Mice are inherently very personal devices. Like the keyboard, the mouse is under your hand for the better part of the day, so it's important to find one that's comfortable for your particular hands and fingers. For that reason, we'll talk about each recommended mouse's design and features, so that you can pick the one that best suits your needs.
We've also included a couple of game controllers in our recommendations, should you need or prefer one for some games.
|EVGA Torq X5||$54.99|
|SteelSeries Sensei Raw||$59.99|
|G.Skill Ripjaws MX780||$59.99|
|Corsair Gaming M65 RGB||$69.99|
|Logitech G502 Proteus Core||$69.99|
|MadCatz RAT 7||$94.99|
|MadCatz RAT 9 (wireless)||$139.99|
|MadCatz RAT Pro X||$199.99|
EVGA Torq X5
EVGA is best known for its hopped-up GeForce graphics cards, but the company makes solid gaming peripherals, too. The Torq X5 is a featherweight gaming mouse that we deemed worthy of a TR Recommended award. We especially liked its ambidextrous design, rubberized sides and wide main buttons. Its light weight is perfect for fast-twitch gameplay. EVGA built the Torq X5 around an optical sensor, which some gamers might prefer to laser-based mice.
SteelSeries Sensei Raw
If the glossy white upper shell of the Torq X5 isn't your thing, or you prefer a laser mouse, the SteelSeries Sensei Raw is a fine alternative at the same price point. We appreciate its rubberized upper shell and customizable LED lighting, and its ambidextrous design is great for lefties and righties alike. The Sensei's laser sensor features the requisite on-the-fly DPI adjustments we expect in gaming mice.
G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
For those who want an ambidextrous mouse that's a bit more customizable (and flashy) than the Torq X5 or Sensei Raw above, G.Skill's Ripjaws MX780 could be a good choice. It includes magnetic snap-on side panels that change the mouse's shape to fit lefties and righties alike, and it's studded with RGB LEDs that can be customized to show your colors of choice. Its tunable weights, adjustable rear grip, on-board memory, and 8,200-DPI laser sensor make it appealing for gamers, as well.
Corsair Gaming M65 RGB
For those looking for a more fully-featured rodent, or for those with wider hands, we suggest Corsair Gaming's M65 RGB.
This laser mouse features a sniper button under the thumb for extra aiming precision when needed, and it has a tunable weight system that offers a 20.5-gram range of adjustment. Like the K70 RGB keyboard, the M65 RGB features independently-configurable RGB LEDs that can be set to any of 16.8 million colors each. For more information, check out our video review.
Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Love them or hate them, Logitech's gaming mice are undeniably popular. I use the company's latest high-end rodent, the G502 Proteus Core, as my daily driver. The G502's long, contoured shape is great for palm-gripping, and the entire surface of the mouse is coated with a rubberized finish for a sure grip. Like the M65 RGB, the G502 features a sniper button under the thumb for precise aiming. The sensitivity of its optical sensor can also be adjusted with dedicated DPI buttons.
Logitech also includes five 3.6-gram tuning weights that can be added to the G502 to get its feel just right. Last but not least, Logitech includes its trademark dual-mode scroll wheel, which can switch between free-spinning and clicky modes on demand.
MadCatz RAT 7, RAT 9, and RAT Pro X
For those who want to tune every inch of their mouse for maximum comfort, we recommend the Editor's Choice-worthy MadCatz RAT 7. This mouse bristles with adjustment screws that control its length and width. The pinky and palm rests are modular, too. If that isn't enough tweakability, the body of the RAT 7 can hold up to five tuning weights. This mouse sees by way of a "twin-eye" laser sensor with adjustable sensitivity, and its twin scroll wheels are useful for making short work of large Excel spreadsheets. MadCatz also makes a wireless version called the RAT 9.
If the RAT 7 and RAT 9 aren't customizable enough for you, MadCatz just released its RAT Pro X, which comes with a dizzying array of side panels, scroll wheel tires, friction-reducing feet, adjustment points, and even a choice of swappable sensor modules for the truly insane. The Pro X's $200 price tag makes it among the most expensive mice you can buy, but if you need the total tweakability it offers, that could be a small price to pay.
Most folks consider wired mice to be the best choice for gaming, but we appreciate the virtues of wireless mice, too. If you move your mouse between machines often or need to keep one in your laptop bag, a wireless rodent makes plenty of sense. With that in mind, our wireless recommendations veer more toward the productivity side of the spectrum.
Logitech M510 and M525
Logitech's M510 and M525 should fit the bill for basic wireless mice. The M510 is a full-sized, ambidextrous laser mouse, while the M525 is a smaller design with an optical sensor that's best suited for the laptop bag. Both feature Logitech's Unifying receiver technology, and they have exceptionally long-lived batteries for worry-free operation on the go. Logitech claims that the M510 should be good for two years between battery changes, while the M525 can go for three.
|Microsoft Xbox One controller||$56.80|
|Microsoft Xbox 360 controller (wired)||$29.00|
|Microsoft Xbox 360 controller (wireless + receiver)||$49.95|
Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers
Some games just play better with a controller. For the PC, we think that Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers are the best things going. Which controller you buy is ultimately a matter of personal preference and budget, but Microsoft claims the Xbox One controller has 40 improvements versus its predecessor, including a new D-pad and improved triggers with haptic feedback.
If the Xbone controller is too expensive, the Xbox 360 controller is still a fine piece of hardware, and it still has one trump card over the latest and greatest—while wireless support is purporedly coming for the Xbox One controller on the PC, the Xbox 360 controller can be used sans wires today.