Explained: Why do gaming mice weigh less and less?

Leicht erklärt: Darum wiegen Gaming-Mäuse immer weniger

In particular, mice for shooters are following the latest trend from 2019: they’re getting lighter; Individual manufacturers are in real competition for the lowest weight. However, some users are skeptical about this – a frequently asked question is whether this development makes sense. Here is the answer.

The trend is towards lightness – but why?

Gaming mice used to be heavy. And as we all know, everything was better in the past, right? No – even in this supposedly simple context, unfortunately it’s not that simple. So it was easy to make a mouse regardless of weight. In addition, many materials and components were heavy. A high mass also generally conveys a sense of quality and value, which some manufacturers wanted to use as a competitive advantage and even built in weight. Some mice also came with optional loadable weights, which should suggest the advantage in lures with handling and customization with an adjustable mass – some manufacturers still provide suitable input devices for this purpose.

However, if accuracy is to come first in games and not a sense of value, flatter adaptability or habit, then the objective requirement is the lowest possible mass. Most of the major mouse makers have realized this by now – some sooner, some later, and some still not. With Logitech’s G Pro Wireless (tested) at the latest, the trend was fully established in mid-2018; The Glorious Model O (Test) was another big step forward in early 2019.

Fantastic PC Gaming Race Model O

To be able to better understand the reasons for this development, the weight of the mouse must be understood in terms of its gliding properties on the one hand and sensory sensitivity on the other. In the end, what matters is the extent to which input devices are used in what type of game. So in order.

Gliding properties as a basis for debate

Four points are particularly important for a mouse’s gliding properties:

  1. weight,
  2. distribution of,
  3. mouse cable and
  4. Glide feet.

The general rule is: the lighter, more balanced, more flexible and thicker and smoother, the better. But while it is readily apparent that more gliding feet with a thicker thickness to prevent wear and a flexible cable that doesn’t affect mouse movements through stiffness, as well as distribution of mass, weight The position itself seems controversial. On ComputerBase, debate raged recently in the wake of Zowie’s special edition V2: the manufacturer is taking a step back and increasing the mass.

The general argument for a heavier weight is that a heavier mouse is more controllable because it doesn’t slip as easily. The latter is clearly true. The problem, however, is that heavy objects are not only more difficult to accelerate due to inertia, but also more difficult to brake. This means that it is more difficult to implement in shooters, especially the flick shot, in which the mouse pointer is first moved rapidly and then stopped abruptly. But even with the crosshairs only tracking becomes more difficult as the necessary improvements of mouse movement have to constantly fight against more force.

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Logitech G303 Shroud Edition
Logitech G303 Shroud Edition

Speaking more vigorously: A high mouse weight is also uncomfortable for the muscles. Especially during long gaming sessions, the constant stress on the hand, and especially the wrist, negatively affects the health of the user. A solution may be found, for example, in vertical mice that relieve the wrists through a more natural posture. Another solution is obvious: Weight reduction gets to the root of the problem—the less force that has to be applied, the more relaxed the muscles. So the low mass is a blessing, especially for users of finger grips, where the mouse is touched and directed only with the fingers; The same applies to the claw grip. But palm-grip players who keep their full palm down also have an advantage.

It’s all about sensitivity

But what about sensitivity? A better way to counteract the mouse pointer’s feeling of too much movement is to further correct the sensor sensitivity. This may seem counterintuitive, as mouse manufacturers have been advertising higher CPI values ​​for years. The abbreviation stands for Counts Per Inch and is often replaced with DPI, i.e. Dots Per Inch or Points Per Inch. However, the latter actually refers to point density of a picture.

High-end mice now offer up to 30,000 CPI, while a few years ago the maximum CPI was 12,000. The higher resolution is intended to suggest proportionally increasing accuracy – but it becomes an illusion when human skills are involved. If the sensor sensitivity is configured too high, the mouse pointer movement becomes unstable and shakes quickly. The user has very little control. So there is no practical use for 5-digit CPI values ​​- they should just be ignored and not used.

Instead, modern sensors have recommended CPI values ​​in the range of 400 to 6,000. The ideal is 1,200 cpi or higher, as higher resolutions about this value are associated with lower latency on average. If necessary, the sensitivity can be adjusted to the desired level at the software level in the game.

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Razer Viper 8KHz
Razer Viper 8KHz

Low-sense control allows for greater accuracy

Meanwhile, the mouse uses counts per inch to measure the number of steps or increments reported by the sensor after moving an inch, or 2.54 centimeters. So, at 1,000 CPI, 1,000 counts per inch of sweep is reported. Unless interpolation is used, these 1,000 steps are translated directly into pixels, so moving the mouse one inch to the right moves the mouse pointer 1,000 pixels to the right—the amount of a typical Full HD screen. About half the width.

The translation is accordingly 1:1,000. However, if a sensor sensitivity of 10,000 cpi is used, then 1,000 pixels and thus almost half of the Full HD screen are already covered after 25.4 millimeters, translating to 1:10,000. The movement of the mouse pointer is so fast that fine adjustments are difficult or even impossible. In the e-sports sector, it has always been common practice that most professional players are in the low-sense range – that is, play with comparatively low sensor sensitivity below 2,000 CPI. The equivalent would be high-sense players with a preference of around 6,000 CPI or higher – there is no fixed definition – with a mid-sense range in between.

Low sense and high weight do not match

Now it will be clear why low or low sensor resolutions are useful and popular among competing players. So back to mouse weight. Since the distance traveled by the hand for long mouse pointer movement is comparatively large with such low sensitivity, the mouse has to move around a lot. Lifting and moving are also often the order of the day. For this reason alone, low mass is helpful and desirable. If the muscles get tired due to a very heavy mouse, then after some time the fine motor skills will inevitably be affected.

wrench M2K
wrench M2K

So lightness is an advantage if fine adjustments are to be made. If the mouse is too heavy, however, pushing and braking are no longer smooth, but more jerky—inertia means a built-up thrust is discharged in a jiffy and users shoot beyond the target. . The lighter the mouse, the less force required initially and the more linear motions. In any case, the latter are more accurate – people are used to moving their hands without extra weight. Each additional gram is a challenge for the brain as it has to estimate how much power is needed to overcome the abnormal inertia.

The final argument for a heavy mouse is the high friction on the mouse pad, which is often found to be helpful. If necessary, however, a pad made of coarse material can help – without the loss of high inertia, which is described in detail.

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A tight walk between performance and comfort

The optimal weight of a shooter mouse is therefore theoretically 0 grams, for example, Zunkoenig, makers of the lightest gaming mouse M2K (tested), provocatively solved, Again, this approach is only partially practical. First, 0 g is not achievable, second, it is not possible to choose arbitrarily low CPI values ​​- if only because mouse pad and arm spans are limited – and third, each player and each game has an absolute demand for the maximum. There is no purity. The question of optimal weight is therefore always used to tread the tightrope between the performance and the comfort of small high-sense movements with pleasantly low weights.

However, anyone who currently buys a competitive shooter mouse — whereby multiplayer first-person shooters with competitive game modes and not single-player adventures should be considered first — shouldn’t be surprised at the low weight. Notably, popular high-end models such as Logitech’s G Pro X Superlite (Test), Razer’s Viper V2 Pro (Test) or the Endgame Gear XM2W and Pulsar X2 Wireless, which have yet to be released, are on their way. Stand out with special lightness, symmetrical fingertip grip concept and e-sport ambitions.

Logitech G Pro X Superlite, Razer Viper V2 Pro and Glorious Model O Wireless
Logitech G Pro X Superlite, Razer Viper V2 Pro and Glorious Model O Wireless

The mass is between 50 and 60 grams – and this is precisely the range that will actually be considered light in 2022. At the latest from 100 grams, one can speak of a heavier model. But even mice with oddly shaped palm grips are now too low, like the Glorious’ Model D (Test), Rocket’s Con Pro (Air) (Test) or the Pulsar XLite V2 Wireless.

Users who use their mouse for office applications and occasional point-and-click adventure play are not the target group for gaming mice optimized for high performance. While it may still be more comfortable to use due to its ease of use, it also makes sense if users choose the convenience of high-end controls. And for this purpose, heavier mice can actually provide more control, although in this case the neglected accuracy suffers. Ultimately, everyone can decide for themselves what they want to play with.

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