You´ll notice that, broadly speaking, there are two main categories of computer mice. The ones that connect to your computer with a cable and the others that work wirelessly. Which one is the better option to play videogames?
We´ll find out. But first, what exactly are they?
A mouse is an accessory that you use to drag your cursor across the screen and interact with the items displayed on your monitor, but you probably already knew that.
A wired mouse is connected to your computer by a cable. The most common type of connection nowadays by the USB port, but there are a lot of mice that require the PS/2 port instead, although modern computers and laptops are facing it out of existence.
A wireless mouse doesn´t need a cable or a port to connect to a computer (usually). They connect via Bluetooth, or with a little USB receiver that enables the PC to detect the mouse (hence the usually).
In any of the two cases, it doesn’t need a physical connection, and the mouse can be used from a fair distance away.
Now that the explanation is out of the way…
What are the advantages of a wired mouse?
The main advantage of a wired mouse comes from the fact that they don´t need a battery or external power source of any kind.
By drawing energy directly from their cable, they can keep running for as long as the computer is turned on.
Contrast this with a wireless mouse that needs batteries to work. They can run out of power at inconvenient times, and you will have to buy a replacement battery over and over again (if you don´t have rechargeable batteries).
When it comes to securing a power supply, wired mice offer much less of a hassle than their wireless alternatives.
Fewer latency issues:
A benefit of being connected to the computer is that you don´t have to deal with latency issues. Because the mouse relays your commands directly, there is a little delay between clicking and having the computer detect it, or at least that´s the theory anyway.
In reality, it depends on the mouse you have. Multiple people have done latency tests and found that a wireless mouse can be just as fast as a wired mouse.
The problem is often the mouse itself, with its quality. High-end gaming mice will react just as fast as a regular wired mouse. Cheap mouse bought for less than five dollars are liable to be slow and irresponsive, as they tend to be made with low-cost materials.
In any event, this lag is minuscule (unless your mouse is defective) and barely noticeable in gameplay. If you aren´t going to compete in a gaming tournament, there is no reason to let this be a factor in buying or not a wireless mouse.
It doesn’t need Bluetooth or a USB receiver:
While Bluetooth is the norm on most modern laptops, this is not the case with home computers. If yours doesn´t have this technology, then a wireless mouse that relies on it will plain not work without an adapter like this one:
To make up for this weakness, a lot of wireless mice come with a little receiver that you plug into the USB port of your computer. While this gadget is connected, the mouse will be detected and usable even by devices without Bluetooth.
But you know what will always work? A USB cable. All of today’s laptops and home computers have USB ports, so you can rest assured that your mouse will work both at your home, at work and even in an Egyptian airport.
Because the cable is connected directly to the mouse, there is no risk of losing it either. The same cannot be said for the tiny wireless receivers.
Advantage of a wireless mouse
The big advantage of a wireless mouse is that they don´t require anything else to work (baring the tiny USB receiver that some have).
This means that you can carry it around more easily than their wired alternatives. They usually take less time to be detected and to have their drivers installed too.
To further simplify issues, they tend to be more compact as well, allowing some to be easily carried in your pocket if you so wish.
No cable means more freedom. You can use a wireless mouse from anywhere in the room and it will work without problems. This opens up a few possibilities.
Want to use it on your desk like usual? Sure, that´s what they are made of. Have a big presentation and want to click to change slides? It can be done, just carry it in your hand. Want to browse the web on your bed? It will work there too!
The lack of cables gives you the capability to use your mouse however and wherever you like, while wired mouse are inescapably tethered to the computer.
They free up a USB port:
This advantage is exclusive to a Bluetooth mouse. If you are someone who has their speakers, headset, keyboard, and gamepad connected to your PC at all times, then you will find it hard to free up a USB port to connect your mouse.
If you don´t have any USB ports available, or you rather not overstuff your poor computer, a Bluetooth mouse will not use any of your precious space, allowing you to connect it without problems.
If you value freedom of movement and comfort over reliability and ease of mind, go for a wireless mouse. You will need to keep an eye on their battery, but you will be able to use it however you want without the constraint of a cable.
On the other hand, if you don´t want to worry about buying batteries and prefer a reliable mouse that is compatible with almost all computers out there, the wired mouse is the better alternative.
Personally, I hate buying new batteries, so I prefer a wired mouse. What about you? Let me know in the comments.
You don´t need a specialized mouse to play videogames, but if you want to game with the best mouse around, the Rival 701 is an excellent wireless mouse that might interest you. While the Rival 600 is it´s wired counterpart. Or, if you want to look at other alternatives to play without a mouse on PC, check out our article on alternatives for mouse and keyboard.
And if want to browse more gaming mice, we have a whole page on them. You can also turn your phone into a mouse! It´s a bit unresponsive, but it will work in a pinch.