During my 20+ years of first-person shooter experience, I’ve tried many different gaming mouse pads and found that not every mouse pad is suitable for every gamer. This post will show you all the decision criteria and which type of mouse pad is recommended.
Many pro gamers use cloth mouse pads like the Steelseries QcK Heavy. Still, depending on how high your sensitivity is in gaming, a hard plastic mouse pad may also be optimal if you play primarily from the wrist with high sensitivity. On the other hand, it may also be worth investing in an oversized model with very low sensitivity.
- Why Should You Use a Gaming Mouse Pad at All?
- What Material Are Gaming Mouse Pads Made of?
- How Big Should Your Gaming Mouse Pad be?
- Which Gaming Mouse Pads Are Most Popular Among Pro Gamers?
- Can I Create a Custom Gaming Mouse Pad?
- How Long Does a Gaming Mouse Pad Last?
- Final Thoughts
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Why Should You Use a Gaming Mouse Pad at All?
The most important reason to get a gaming mouse pad is that you always want to have the same surface with the evenest friction for your mouse to move your mouse precisely and thus not unnecessarily wear out the glide pads on the bottom of your mouse. In addition, not all mouse sensors work without problems on every table surface. Especially in FPS games, however, precision in aiming is enormously essential.
I know outstanding gamers who actually don’t use a mouse pad and play on their table surface, but this is extremely rare, and 99.9% of all pro gamers use gaming mouse pads, for one reason alone, because it turns out to be a bit difficult to bring your whole table to every LAN party or Bootcamp or major tournament 😉
Of course, a gaming mouse pad won’t increase your skill per se, but it will allow you to access your potential more consistently.
What Material Are Gaming Mouse Pads Made of?
Over the past few decades, flexible fabric/textile and rigid plastic/hard plastic mouse pads have become popular on the market. However, fabric/textile mouse pads with a rubber-coated bottom (similar to neoprene) are predominantly used, even by most pro gamers.
These mouse pads can even usually be rolled up and still hold their shape, and on average, are also less expensive than their rigid plastic/hard plastic counterparts. In addition, their soft surface is usually more comfortable when you have your wrists resting on them for hours. On the other hand, the plastic/hard plastic variants are easier to clean, usually a bit more slippery, and more durable.
How Big Should Your Gaming Mouse Pad be?
Every gamer has to determine the necessary size of a mouse pad for himself. The basic rule is that the lower my sensitivity, the larger my mouse pad needs to be to avoid slipping off the mouse pad unintentionally in battle. A very slippery mouse pad can also be kept a little smaller than one with more friction.
In my experience, a mouse pad can’t be big enough. The only arguments against this are the often higher price of large mouse pads or that you don’t have a correspondingly large table available. Very large mouse pads, such as my current Glorious 3XL, can be rotated several times to avoid worn surfaces, and you can also place the keyboard on the mouse pad so that there are no transitions between the table and the mouse pad, which I find very pleasant. However, this is only possible with cloth mouse pads because there are no such large plastic mouse pads as far as I know.
Players who play with very high sensitivity and, for example, execute their mouse movements entirely from the wrist, on the other hand, only need a mouse pad that is slightly larger than the mouse.
Which Gaming Mouse Pads Are Most Popular Among Pro Gamers?
15% of the Pro Gamers are using a Logitech G 640 mouse pad. Pro gamers often use equipment from their respective sponsors. Still, no pro gamer would use equipment that would put them at a disadvantage, so you can definitely take a cue from the pros when buying a mouse pad, as they would certainly only use the highest quality products as a rule.
We have evaluated the currently available data from over 1500 pro gamers (as of July 2021).
The TOP 5 most popular mouse pads among pro gamers are:
|Mouse Pad Model||Share Among Pro Gamers|
|Logitech G640||15 %|
|Zowie G-SR||12,5 %|
|SteelSeries QcK Heavy||10 %|
|SteelSeries QcK+||8 %|
|HyperX FURY S Pro||4 %|
As you can see, the five most popular gaming mouse pads make up just about 50% of the total products used by pro gamers. This is because many manufacturers have different models on the market, some of which differ only slightly from each other. We found a total of 212 different models that are used by the evaluated over 1500 pro gamers.
Therefore, we evaluated the results by manufacturer, which resulted in the following list of the five most popular manufacturers of gaming mouse pads among pro gamers.
|Manufacturer||Share Among Pro Gamers|
Three manufacturers dominate the statistics, namely Zowie, SteelSeries, and Logitech. All three manufacturers are very active in sponsorship in Esports, which is definitely a reason for this distribution. Still, in my experience, their products are usually of excellent quality as well.
If you want to know which mousepad s1mple, kennyS, Fallen, TaZ, TenZ, shroud, ScreaM, WARDELL, or another of your favorite players are using, check it out on prosettings.net conveniently. Of course, you can also find the rest of the equipment, including their settings in the respective game, very interesting to browse through.
Can I Create a Custom Gaming Mouse Pad?
If you want to create a unique mouse pad, that is also possible. Various online stores offer you customizable gaming mouse pads, where you can upload your image and thus determine the design yourself. Size, thickness, and with or without RGB are also options that you can often select there.
Here are some examples of such online stores:
Of the well-known brand manufacturers, Razer, for example, offers the option to select and label at least a few different pre-made designs.
How Long Does a Gaming Mouse Pad Last?
Depending on usage and quality, gaming mouse pads last for years. Plastic/hard plastic mouse pads usually last longer than fabric/textile variants. However, many gaming mouse pads get generally dirty much faster than they wear out.
Many gamers then buy a new mouse pad directly, but cleaning is possible, and the mouse pad is (almost) like new afterward. How you should proceed when cleaning your mouse pad, you can read in this article in detail with corresponding instructions:
A gaming mouse pad belongs to the basic equipment of an ambitious gamer, especially if you mainly play FPS games. Many different mouse pads are available, and apart from the other materials and sizes, most branded mouse pads are very similar in terms of quality. So the choice is certainly more personal preference.
In my gamer career, I have used many mouse pads. On my Pro Gamer Zenit (it’s been a long time, over 15 years 😀 ) I used a mouse pad made of flexible plastic, the funC Surface 1030, but such a mouse pad is unfortunately no longer manufactured all these days.
However, over time I have preferred very large mouse pads because I like to have my entire equipment, including the keyboard on the mouse pad, and thus not feel any transitions from table to mouse pad on the arms. That’s why I chose the Glorious 3XL several times, which you can even clean in the washing machine.
But I also tried hard plastic mouse pads like the Corsair MM800 Polaris. Still, due to my low sensitivity settings, the size wasn’t enough, even though I liked the glide of the mouse pad very much, but for high sensitivity players absolutely recommendable and also with RGB effects, which is quite important to some gamers.
A friend, former CS 1.6 Pro gamer with very high sensitivity with whom I played Valorant, raves about this mouse pad in combination with the Corsair Dark Core RGB PRO SE.
If you don’t even know which is the best gaming mouse for you, then check out this article:
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Masakari – moep, moep and out!