It’s time to talk about gaming mouse pads and mats. If you’re spending the money on a quality gaming mouse to make your gaming setup look sweet, then it doesn’t make sense to stick with cheap gaming mouse pads now that there are quality products available these days.
In this post I want to talk a bit about some of the gaming mats available on the market today. They’re pretty darn cool, but they’ll cost more than a plain ol’ mouse pad.
If you just need a quick solution for your gaming mouse, then by all means, save yourself some money and get any old mouse pad. There are cheap mouse pads that get labeled as “gaming mouse pads” which are widely available. I have one from a few years ago that is still perfectly usable, albeit a bit aged.
I am going to cover some gaming pads/mats available from the gaming peripheral giants; Razer, Logitech, Corsair, and Steelseries.
First, a Word About Texture.
Gaming mouse pads typically come in two different texture types, which is supposed to help with different gaming types; smoother or rougher. I’ve used both, and find that I like rougher a bit better as it gives a bit of a “feel” that is nice as you move your mouse around.
As gaming mouse pad technology advances, there is also a bit of an in between texture which is perfect for all-around game play. That said, I don’t have a personal preference for game types. I’ve used each, and like to switch it up here and there.
Pro-gamers may find specific textures more suitable for their needs in whichever game they play pro, but for the average gamer, it shouldn’t matter and just comes down to personal preference.
Generally, the smooth surface is for high DPI settings, so that a very subtle hand movement will meet little resistance and move the cursor farther, whereas a resistance surface is better for low DPI, but again, for the average-gamer it may not matter.
Razer has several mouse mats available currently. Each model has a slightly different purpose, and each purpose means a slightly different texture, size, etc.
Before I get into the list, there is a mouse and pad combo that needs mentioning; the Mamba Hyperflux and Firefly Hyperflux. The Firefly mouse pad wirelessly charges the Mamba mouse while in use.
Additionally, the mouse pad is dual surfaced, so you can flip it over if you need a different texture.
This comes with a hefty 249.99 price tag, which is very steep for my taste, but is a cool feature. Logitech has a similar feature that costs the same, which I’ll cover soon.
Here’s an arbitrary list of all the mouse pad model names currently available, not including the above:
- Goliathus Chroma
- Goliathus Speed
- Goliathus Control
- Goliathus Mobile
- Goliathus Extended Chroma
- Goliathus Extended Speed
- Goliathus Extended Control
- Firefly Cloth
- Firefly Hard
- Vespula V2
- Sphex V2
- Megasoma 2
With so many mats, how the heck can one gamer know exactly what they want? I love Razer products, and it’s nice to have such a wide selection, but in this area it isn’t easy for the average gamer to know exactly what they want.
This is especially true because you can’t touch them for yourself in advance if you’re ordering online.
I recommend taking a deeper look at all of Razer’s options. They do a good job at explaining what each pad is best for. My personal favorite right now is the Goliathus Chroma, and will be picking up one of my own real soon.
Logitech has a simple selection of mouse pads that should make it a bit easier to decide what you want. One really cool mouse pad I want to spotlight is called “Powerplay”.
The Powerplay mouse pad is a powered pad that works with Powerplay-enabled wireless mice. It uses wireless charging technology to wirelessly charge your mouse as you are playing. That’s pretty cool.
Here’s the problem for the average gamer; the Powerplay mouse pad alone has a 99.99 USD price-tag, and the two Powerplay enabled mice currently available are both 149.99 USD.
That is insane! These are clearly marketed towards pro-gamers. It’s really cool technology, so we can only hope that the price-tag comes down as this becomes more common.
Beyond the Powerplay, there are four other gaming mouse pads available: G840, G640, G440, and G240.
The G840 is an extra-large pad that is for both the keyboard and mouse, making for a nice uniform gaming surface. The texture is perfect for balanced play, in that it isn’t too rough or too smooth, and it can be rolled up and easily transported for the on-the-go gamer. This pad comes with a 49.99 USD price-tag.
The G640 is a large, cloth mouse pad, providing ample space for low-DPI play. Like the G840, the surface is perfect for balanced game play with just enough resistance to feel nice and benefit the low-DPI players and can be rolled up and easily transported. This pad comes with a 39.99 USD price-tag.
The G440 is a standard size pad but features a smooth, hard surface, ideal for high-dpi gamers. It’s less ideal for the on-the-go player, but I’ve transported my hard mouse pads many times before with no problem. This pad comes with a 29.99 USD price-tag.
The G240 is a standard size cloth mouse pad. It’s the same as the G840 and G640, but in a regular mouse pad size. This pad comes with a 19.99 USD price-tag.
Corsair has a few more than Logitech to choose from, and quite a few less than Razer. Here’s the list:
- MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging
- MM800 RGB Polaris – Cloth
- MM800 RGB Polaris
- MM600 Dual Sided Aluminum
- MM400 High Speed
- MM300 Anti-Fray Cloth – Small, Medium, and Extended
- MM200 Cloth – Small, Medium, and Extended
The MM1000 is cool in that it can wirelessly charge any Qi wireless charging capable device, such as your smartphone. It also has USB pass through, so you can still charge non wireless charging capable devices. You’ll pay for it though as it has a 79.99 USD price-tag.
The MM800 is Corsair’s lighted mouse pad, with an adjustable colored rim. Comes in cloth and hard varieties.
The MM600 is dual-sided, allowing you to choose if you want smooth, or textured, making it versatile for any gaming scenario. There’s no fancy lighting, but it’s a pretty cool mouse pad and comes with a 39.99 USD price-tag.
Beyond these models, you’re back into your standard mouse pads with varying textures and sizes. Any one of Corsair’s mouse pads is a viable option for the average or pro gamer.
Steelseries has very affordable gaming mouse pads. First, here’s the list, in order from smallest to largest:
- Qck Mini
- Qck Mass
- Qck Prism
- Qck Heavy
- Qck XXL
Everything “Qck” is a “nearly frictionless” surface, according to Steelseries’ specifications, with the exception of the Qck Prism. They have a wonderful graphic that shows the differences between each pad.
The Prism is made to compete directly with Razer’s Firefly, and Steelseries has no qualms about showcasing how much better their’s is than the Firefly. I love Razer, but I’d have to agree here…until you consider the Firefly Hyperflux that is, which Steelseries conveniently doesn’t mention.
The Prism is touted as the world’s first dual-sided RGB mouse pad. As is typical with dual-sided mouse pads, one side is smooth and the other textured slightly for tactile feedback. Having this capability and a lighted base-plate is pretty cool.
The thing is, they must have made their page prior to the Firefly and Mamba Hyperflux combo being released, because the new Firefly is also dual-sided, and wirelessly charges, which the Prism does not do. However, the Prizm won’t cost you your first-born…
The other model available outside of the “Qck” family is called “Dex” and is described as “low-friction” but it features a textured surface so it likely has a very subtle feel. It is the same size as the Qck, which is a standard mouse pad size.
Gaming Mouse Pads are Frickin’ Sweet.
For the average gamer, it doesn’t necessarily matter which brand you go with. If you need cheap, you can find that anywhere. If you need affordable, all brands have something considered affordable.
If you want something nice for your home setup, then I absolutely recommend a lighted mouse pad. You use a bit more power, but gamers typically like to play in the dark, so it’s nice to see your play area in the dark.
While I like the Steelseries Prism, my next mouse pad is likely going to be the Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma. I like the large size for both keyboard and mouse, and the lighted edge.