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Best budget gaming mouse 2021: Improve your aim for under £50

Ben Johnston
1 Nov 2021
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Keep your costs down with the best budget gaming mice from HP, SteelSeries, HyperX and more

Crafting the perfect gaming rig is an expensive undertaking, but finding the best budget gaming mouse is a great way to cut some costs. Going cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting sub-par equipment, either, as the technology has advanced to a point that even the budget options offer a decent array of features. At this price point, you won’t be getting the absolute top of the range – you can view the best high-end gaming mice here – but these competent pointers will still serve you well in maintaining your kill-death ratio.

Below, we’ve gathered together all the best budget gaming mice on the market right now, with options for all games and needs. If you know what you’re looking for, scroll on and peruse our selection. If you’re a little unsure, and terms such as DPI and claw grip have got you scratching your head, our buying guide has all the details you need to make an informed decision.

Either way, read on and discover the best budget gaming mice that you can buy today.


Best budget gaming mouse: At a glance

  • Best overall: SteelSeries Rival 3 | Buy now
  • Best wireless option: Trust GXT 117 Strike | Buy now
  • Best lightweight option: HyperX Pulsefire Haste | Buy now
  • Best-value option: MSI Clutch GM08 | Buy now
  • Best for MMO/MOBA games: Trust GXT 970 Morfix | Buy now
  • Best ambidextrous option: HP Pavilion 300 | Buy now
  • Best for RGB lighting: MSI Clutch GM50 | Buy now
  • Best for kids: Trust GXT 960 Graphin | Buy now

How to choose the best budget gaming mouse for you

Why do shape and weight matter?

In most games, you live or die by the swiftness of your mouse, so it’s very important to pick one that best complements your playing style. A big part of this is the overall build of the mouse itself, as using the wrong style can impede your abilities and even exacerbate mouse-related injuries.

Your ideal mouse shape largely depends on what kind of grip you favour. If you don’t know, here’s a quick method to figure out your style:

  1. Place your hand on the mouse as you normally would.
  2. If your palm and fingers are making contact with the surface of the mouse, you likely have a palm grip.
  3. If you naturally lift your palm and only touch the mouse with your fingertips, you have the sensibly named fingertip grip.
  4. If the rear of your palm makes contact with the mouse, but your fingers are arched instead of flat against the mouse, you favour the claw grip.

For the most part, the different grips just come down to personal preference, but there are certain factors that make a mouse more or less suited to each. Palm grippers, for instance, will get on best with a taller mouse that has a more rounded palm rest. This “high-profile” style naturally conforms to the contours of your palm, making for a more comfortable and relaxed grip.

Both fingertip grippers and claw grippers can get away with using mice that have a lower profile, with the latter in particular being suited to flatter mice with a less pronounced palm rest.

Choosing the ideal weight for you is more of a guessing game, as there is no real hard and fast rule as to what weights suit which people. This list features mice that weigh between 59g and 120g, and there are benefits to both ends of the spectrum. To add further complications, some mice feature additional weights that you can add in or take out, to customise the overall heft to your liking.

If you already own a mouse that you find easy or comfortable to use, we suggest finding out the weight of that and shooting for something similar. Personally, the mice I enjoyed testing the most fell somewhere in the middle of the range, so if you don’t have anything to compare weights with, you’re probably best off going for a middle of the road option.

READ NEXT: Pair your new mouse with one of our favourite budget gaming keyboards

How many buttons do I need?

This heavily depends on what kind of game you’ll be playing. For Call of Duty or other similar FPS games, the two additional buttons on the side of the mouse should be all you need. Some more expensive gaming mice feature a dedicated “sniper” button on the thumb rest that, when held, lowers the DPI for greater precision, but this isn’t a necessity.

Conversely, players of MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft or MOBAs such as League of Legends will find extra side-mounted buttons to be incredibly helpful. As pretty much all mice come with PC-based software, you’ll be able to bind abilities or item slots to these buttons, leaving your keyboard hand free for concentrating on keeping your character on the move.

What is DPI, and how much do I need?

DPI, or dots per inch (also known as Mickeys per second or counts per inch), is the measurement of how far your cursor moves across the screen when you move your mouse one inch. Put simply, the higher the DPI, the more sensitive your mouse is.

There is no “right” setting for DPI, as everyone has a sensitivity that works best for them. As such, pretty much all gaming mice feature one or two buttons behind the scroll wheel that allow users to cycle through different settings. Some mice can go as high as 20,000 DPI, but most users will probably find their Cinderella setting somewhere around 1,600 DPI, depending on the game.

READ NEXT: These are the best budget gaming monitors to buy right now

Any other features to watch out for?

Cable: At this price point, a braided cable is far from guaranteed. While the plastic varieties included here are still well worth considering, the fact is that a braided cable is less likely to tangle or catch on the corners of your desk. In the heat of gameplay, that sort of thing can be essential.

RGB lighting: Look, you’re not going to go to all the trouble of buying a complex gaming setup with multiple programmable lighting features, and then NOT get a mouse that can join in the fun, are you? Don’t worry, everything on this list features RGB lighting of one form or another, so you can find something that matches your rig and enjoy the light show.

The best budget gaming mice to buy in 2021

1. SteelSeries Rival 3: Best budget gaming mouse

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

SteelSeries is renowned in the world of gaming mice, and with good reason. Even the brand’s most affordable output, the Rival 3, is a force to be reckoned with, offering a respectable maximum DPI of 8,500 and a guaranteed 60 million clicks.

The smooth matt surface, though susceptible to fingerprint smudges, feels a lot more premium than the price would suggest, while also providing enough grip to keep you from sending the mouse flying during a particularly frantic firefight. Despite the low profile being best suited to a claw or fingertip gripper, I (a staunch palm-gripper) quickly adjusted to the slender, lightweight frame and ended up preferring it to any other on this list.

Extra features are light on the ground here, as can be expected from a no-fuss model such as the Rival 3, with two extra buttons on the left-hand side and a DPI adjuster beneath the scroll wheel that switches between the two standard sensitivity settings. You can programme the exact DPI of these defaults easily via the SteelSeries GG (formerly SteelSeries Engine) software, as well as adding up to three more for a greater range of choice.

The GG software also includes customisation options for the RGB lighting, encompassing a narrow strip around the bottom of the sides and rear of the mouse, as well as the small SteelSeries logo on the palm rest. In the software, the mouse is split into three sections – front, middle and back – allowing you to programme different colours, patterns, speeds and more for each, resulting in a high level of personalisation.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 22 x 58 x 120mm; Weight: 77g; Sensor: SteelSeries TrueMove Core; Maximum DPI: 8,500; Buttons: 6; RGB: Yes; Cable: Plastic

2. Trust GXT 117 Strike: Best budget wireless gaming mouse

Price: £28 | Buy now from OnBuy

At just 63g, this slim and lightweight offering from the Trust GXT line is nearly the lightest on this list, made all the more impressive by the fact that it’s wireless. Purported to have a battery life of up to 30 hours, based on six hours of charging, the Strike should serve you without fail if you remember to routinely charge it overnight.

Trust itself specifies that this mouse is best suited to a claw grip, and after testing it out, it’s hard to argue that point. The extremely low profile makes it difficult to operate effectively with a palm grip, but things get a lot smoother when switching to either a claw or fingertip grip.

There’s no software customisation with this one, meaning you’re saddled with the three default DPI options – 600, 1,000 and 1,400 – and you can’t alter the RGB lighting. The latter point is less of a big deal, as the multi-zone geometric pattern is very attractive, and it can always be turned off via the switch on the bottom if you want to conserve the battery.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 30 x 66 x 110mm; Weight: 63g; Sensor: Trust brand; Maximum DPI: 1,400; Buttons: 4; RGB: Yes; Cable: Plastic (charging cable)

3. HyperX Pulsefire Haste: Best budget lightweight gaming mouse

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

You technically can get lighter gaming mice than this one, but it’s hard to see why you’d want to. As it is, the HyperX Pulsefire Haste sits right on the precipice of being too light, without ever tipping over the edge. The honeycomb shell has enough of a peak to be a solid choice for palm grippers, while still not too pronounced for claw or fingertip grippers to comfortably hold it.

For customisation, you can download the HyperX NGenuity software, which gives you control over the DPI, button mapping and RGB settings. You can programme up to five settings for the sensitivity, putting the DPI anywhere between 200 and 16,000, and to keep track, you can assign a colour to each setting that will flash up when cycling through with the DPI button.

Lighting is less ostentatious than some other entries on this list, with just the scroll wheel being illuminated, but there’s still enough personalisation options here to make it feel worthwhile. After adjusting the colours, brightness, speed and pattern to your liking, you can store the whole package as a preset, allowing you to quickly switch between different setups on the fly.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 42 x 69 x 125mm; Weight: 59g; Sensor: Pixart PMW3335; Maximum DPI: 16,000; Buttons: 6; RGB: Yes; Cable: Braided

4. MSI Clutch GM08: Best-value budget gaming mouse

Price: £15 | Buy now from Zavvi

As with most things, buying the cheapest gaming mouse you can find isn’t always the best idea, as more often than not you’ll fall into a “get what you pay for” false economy. While not quite the cheapest budget gaming mouse on offer, the MSI Clutch GM08 is the best-value option we’ve tested, with an impressive array of features for an affordable price.

First of all, the design is very striking, with the matte black surface cresting into symmetrical dragon-wing buttons, and each side bearing a “Dragon Scale” grip pad in the thumb rest. The whole thing is pulled together by a deep red LED on a steady breathing cycle, lighting up the scroll wheel, along the bottom of each side and the dragon logo on the palm rest.

While there are no customisation options for the RGB lighting, the MSI Center software does let you programme the five levels of DPI up to the maximum of 4,200. These can be scrolled through with the DPI button beneath the scroll wheel, and each can be identified by the number of times the LEDs flash, from one to five.

As a final neat touch, the base features a removable panel that hides three small weights – two 3g and one 5g. Each of these can be taken out separately, allowing you to alter the total weight of the mouse by up to 11g.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 41 x 69 x 128mm; Weight: 92-103g; Sensor: PixArt PAW3519; Maximum DPI: 4,200; Buttons: 6; RGB: Yes; Cable: Plastic

5. Trust GXT 970 Morfix: Best budget gaming mouse for MMO/MOBA

Price: £35 | Buy now from Game

Gaming mice that feature a slew of additional programmable buttons aren’t exactly a novelty any more, but what’s really interesting here is the interchangeable side plates that allow you to customise the number of buttons.

There are four plates in total, two for each side, with the right-hand ones offering different options for finger rests, and the left giving the choice between nine extra buttons, or three, depending on your needs. The three-button plate has a comfortable gap for your thumb to sit, allowing it to double as a solid “daytime” mouse, too.

The programming for these extra buttons can be customised in the Trust software, allowing you to bind whichever actions or abilities you’d most like to have ready to hand. You can also adjust the DPI here, with up to six customisable settings that can be quickly cycled through via the plus and minus buttons situated behind the scroll wheel.

In that same software, you can play around with the different settings for the RGB lighting. LEDs brighten the mouse in three places: a solid colour of your choice radiates from the scroll wheel and the GXT logo beneath your palm, and a thin strip around the rear base can be programmed with various functions, including cycling through a rainbow and lighting up in response to a mouse click.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 42 x 72 x 126mm; Weight: 167g; Sensor: PixArt PMW3325; Maximum DPI: 10,000; Buttons: 14; RGB: Yes; Cable: Braided

6. HP Pavilion Gaming Mouse 300: Best budget ambidextrous gaming mouse

Price: £30 | Buy now from HP

The problem with most ambidextrous gaming mice is that, upon switching to the left-handed mode, you either need to get really flexible with your ring finger, or you lose the use of the thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse. The Pavilion 300 neatly sidesteps this issue by simply including a pair of thumb buttons on both sides of the mouse, equalising the accessibility no matter which hand you favour.

You can’t manually program the buttons, but swapping to left-hand mode is simple enough that you don’t really need to. Holding both rear side buttons down together should result in the LEDs flashing three times, indicating that button functions have now been reversed for left-handers.

Similarly, you’re stuck with the four preset DPI settings, each of which has a colour-coded to it for easy selection. The default is 1,600 DPI, marked by a green flash, and you can use the DPI button below the scroll wheel to cycle through to 2,400 (violet), 3,500 (white) or 5,000 (red). For most users, these should be more than sufficient, with the only downside being there’s no option for a low DPI, better suited to precision tasks.

Key specs – Dimensions: 42 x 69 x 125mm; Weight: 120g; Sensor: Not stated; Maximum DPI: 5,000; Buttons: 8; RGB: Yes; Cable: Plastic

Buy now from HP


7. MSI Clutch GM50: Best budget gaming mouse for RGB lighting

Price: £45 | Buy now from Zavvi

Even before diving into the versatile MSI Magic Light software, the Clutch GM50 offers some seriously striking lighting effects. The RGB covers three zones on the mouse: the scroll wheel, the dragon logo on the palm rest and a U-shaped strip on the rear. With nine pattern options, ranging from static red to a dance-party series of flashing rainbow lights, there’s something here for everyone. With the aforementioned Magic Light, you can further customise these options, with varying hues, speeds and patterns to choose from.

Far from being just a pretty light show, this mouse has plenty of other positives to offer. The ergonomic design tucks neatly into your hand, particularly suiting either a palm or fingertip grip. Claw grippers could still get on with the GM50, but the leftward slant of the mouse means that there isn’t as much support for the ring and pinkie finger on the right-hand side.

The only downside with this one is that, while you can cycle through five different DPI settings with the button below the scroll wheel, there’s no visual indication on the mouse telling you which setting is which. This isn’t a dealbreaker if you’re only likely to use one setting, but for those who regularly switch it up, you’ll either need to have the MSI Center open to check which setting you’re on, or just judge it by the cursor speed.

Key specs – Dimensions: 42 x 67 x 120mm; Weight: 87g; Sensor: PixArt PMW3330; Maximum DPI: 7,200; Buttons: 6; RGB: Yes; Cable: Plastic

8. Trust GXT 960 Graphin: Best budget gaming mouse for kids

Price: £30 | Buy now from Game

While it’s not the lightest or most feature-rich option on this list, we found that the Trust GXT 960 Graphin is a solid choice for burgeoning young gamers. The honeycomb shell is lightweight and low-profile enough to be manageable for small hands, and the gently pulsating RGB lights will be visually pleasing for gamers-in-training. To top it off, the relatively low price will be just as attractive to parents.

DPI can be adjusted up to a maximum of 10,000 via the Trust software, and each preset can be cycled through with the aesthetic-appropriate hexagonal button below the scroll wheel. There are no customisation options for the lighting, but the standard offering looks the part well enough that this doesn’t detract from the mouse’s quality.

A small gripe with this model is that the cable – despite being braided – naturally bends downwards, causing an obstructive level of extra friction. This was quickly remedied by gently flexing the cable in the opposite direction, however, so it’s not the most major of issues. Even with this, the Graphin is a dependable and fluid gaming mouse, and the perfect introduction for the next generation of gamers.

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 40 x 63 x 126mm; Weight: 74g; Sensor: PixArt PMW3325; Maximum DPI: 10,000; Buttons: 6; RGB: Yes; Cable: Braided

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