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You don't have to spend a lot or sacrifice features and performance to get a good gaming mouse.

Joshua Goldman Aug. 19, 2021 4:00 a.m. PT
  • Glorious Model O gaming mouse Jump to details $50 at Glorious PC Gaming Race
  • Corsair Katar Pro Wireless gaming mouse Jump to details $40 at Amazon
  • Steelseries Rival 3 gaming mouse Jump to details $39 at Amazon
  • Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse Jump to details $25 at Amazon
  • HyperX Pulsefire Surge gaming mouse Jump to details $45 at Amazon
  • Logitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless gaming mouse Jump to details $40 at Amazon
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There are tons of gaming mice to choose from -- so many gaming mice, in fact, that choosing a single size and style is a lot more complicated than scouring Amazon's lists or Reddit to find an answer, particularly if you're on a budget. Below, you'll find some of our favorite cheap gaming mouse options that fall below $50. 

If you've never shopped for a gaming mouse before, you should head to a store, if that's an option, to try some out before buying. All sorts of factors are paramount to the best possible gaming experience -- such as ergonomic design, weight, wired or wireless, the mouse's sensor, number and positions of buttons, how programmable or open to customization it is, wired or wireless connection and, of course, lighting.

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We'll continue to test new mice as they become available, so expect this list of cheap gaming mouse options to change as we weigh the pros and cons of each. And, if you need a new gaming keyboard, too, here are our current picks for less than $100.    

Glorious Model O gaming mouse

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Model O ekes onto this list at a penny under $50. However, it's definitely worth the extra cost if you're looking for a full-feature ultralight gaming mouse with RGB lighting. The honeycomb design brings down the weight to just 67 grams and the paracord-style cable gives it almost a wireless feel (though you can get an actual wireless version for $80). 

Despite the lower price, the Model O has quality components like Omron switches with a crisp click response and a Pixart sensor with a DPI up to 12,000. Four DPI settings are preprogrammed to the button on top, but you can use a desktop app to set them up however you want. A light on the bottom lets you know which setting you're on. The RGB lighting can be changed with the same app.  

You'll also find 100% polytetrafluoroethylene skates keep your movements smooth and precise. They are small, though, so if you really put pressure on top, you'll get some drag on a cloth mousepad. (Consider getting Glorious' Air surface for the best speed.) The skates can be easily replaced and so can the cable, which Glorious sells in eight color choices. An amazing mouse for the money. 

$50 at Glorious PC Gaming Race

Corsair Katar Pro Wireless gaming mouse

Josh Goldman/CNET

A rare wireless gaming mouse bargain. The Katar Pro uses the company's Slipstream 2.4GHz wireless that can channel-hop on the fly so it stays on the fastest connection possible, keeping latency under 1 millisecond. This wireless mouse also has low-latency Bluetooth LE 4.2, which is nice to have for gaming when speed is less critical, or for connecting to other computers or devices that don't have a USB-A port for the Slipstream receiver.

Corsair used a 10,000dpi PixArt PMW3325 sensor and a mouse button on top lets you switch between three presets: 800, 1,500 and 3,000. Those settings, along with the mouse's other five buttons, can be remapped in the company's iCue software for Windows and MacOS. You can also store dpi and lighting settings on the Katar Pro so you'll always have your favorites no matter what computer you're using. 

This wireless mouse is powered by a single AA battery that is rated for up to 135 hours of battery life. That's good, but you'll probably want to invest in good rechargeable batteries.  

$40 at Amazon

Steelseries Rival 3 gaming mouse

Sarah Tew/CNET

Steelseries already has an excellent cheap gaming mouse in its lineup with the ambidextrous Sensei 310, which is further down on this list. However, its new $30 Steelseries Rival 3 is also surprisingly decent for a cheap mouse. The ergonomic right-handed six-button mouse is very light at 77g (2.7 oz.) and uses the company's TrueMove Core sensor with an 8,500 CPI and one-to-one tracking for precise movement. This wired mouse uses the same switches as its $120 Steelseries Rival 650 mouse and, while the buttons require a little more force than others we've tested, it has a fair amount of configuration possibilities, including three zones of RGB LED lights that Steelseries says are the brightest its used in any mouse. 

$39 at Amazon

Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse

Sarah Tew/CNET

You can dismiss Razer because it's popular or you feel it's all hype. But the fact is, this is a good budget gaming mouse for any gamer. It's comfortable, particularly if you use a palm grip, with an accurate speedy 16,000 DPI sensor and a lightweight body. The programmable Synapse software lets you tweak its lights and seven buttons as much as you want, and you no longer need to sign in. And it's covered with a two-year warranty. 

$25 at Amazon

HyperX Pulsefire Surge gaming mouse

Sarah Tew/CNET

At 100 grams, the Surge is light enough to use with a fingertip or claw grip, and it's ambidextrous, too. Other pros are that this HyperX mouse is designed with six programmable buttons and a ring of RGB light that runs around the entire body. It's a plug-and-play mouse, but you can program the lights and buttons with the company's NGenuity software. Plus, up to three profiles can be stored to the mouse so you can have custom setups ready to go no matter what system you're using. Its Pixart sensor delivers excellent performance as well with a native DPI up to 16,000 and its Omron switches give you crisp clicks. 

$45 at Amazon

Logitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless gaming mouse

Sarah Tew/CNET

The G305 is the only one here that doesn't have RGB lighting. However, it's also wireless and without that extra lighting, this wireless gaming mouse lasts longer -- up to 250 hours of continuous PC gaming. It takes a single AA battery that hides under the palm rest with its Lightspeed wireless USB adapter. Even with the battery, though, this PC gaming mouse weighs less than 100 grams. The small size, relatively low profile and weight was comfortable used with claw and palm grip styles. It's also an ambidextrous gaming mouse. All in all, it's a great choice among wireless gaming mice, with good battery life, if you don't want a lot of buttons or lights.

The price hovers around the $50 mark, so if it jumps a bit over that, I recommend waiting it out for a price drop or sale. Also, it's now available in four color options if you're looking for something that stands out a bit more on your desk.

$40 at Amazon

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