Sure, the old skill vs. gear debate never ends when it comes to gaming peripherals. While there’s no substitute for good old skill and practice, keeping a steady set of reliable interfaces makes your gaming experience more enjoyable, immersive, and definitely more competitive over time.
While it’s certainly gotten easier to find good gaming deals across the last few years, Indian marketplaces and pandemic shipping constraints mean that most international ‘top-tier’ lists are irrelevant in India, with several good options going out of stock early, or requiring significant shipping fees to get your hands on.
On the bright side, the Rs. 4000 mark seems like the perfect cut-off to get your hands on a solid gaming mouse — one that can easily last through two or more years of daily gaming and productivity use.
Let’s get started with our ranking:
One of the lightest mice available on the market, the Cooler Master MM711 is a solid upgrade from the previous 710 model, which came with a host of issues.
The first major improvement is the MM711’s improved build quality — the flimsy plastic has now been replaced with a much more sturdy design, allowing for heavy-duty long-term use. You also get two finishes to complement your choice of black or white, with matt and glossy surfaces to match with the rest of your gear.
Its small form factor lends itself well to small-medium hands, and it features a largely ambidextrous shape, giving lefties a solidly made, comfortable, lightweight mouse option packed with all the electronics you’d expect at this price point.
On the downside, Cooler Master’s software and lighting systems leave much to be desired, with common bugs and issues; none of this is too serious, but is a sign of bad software QC.
Why fix what isn’t broken? The Rival 3 offers a simple, affordable solution to gamers looking for a few things done right, although its well-made simplicity comes with a few cons.
One of the best mice shapes available for a claw grip, the Rival 3’s low click latency, programmable buttons, and excellent sensor offer a great package for almost every gamer out there, regardless of hand size. Steelseries’ software is relatively low-footprint and easy to use, and allows you to make the most of this mouse’s generous RGB lighting options — it’s one of the few mice in this price bracket that offers three-zone RGB lighting, paired with a great customization suite.
It also offers more custom memory storage than the other mice on this list; a good choice if you switch platforms often, or game on multiple devices.
While it does nail these key basics, the Rival 3 does suffer from subpar side buttons, which can be a bit uncomfortable to press. It also has a very low-profile scroll wheel, which can be off-putting to users with larger fingers.
One of the best jack-of-all-trades mice out there, the Logitech G502 HERO offers a well-built construction with plenty of ergonomic support and a thumb rest for extended sessions at a desk.
This, paired with the tons of programmable buttons available, offers great flexibility between video game genres, allowing you to mix and match keybind modifiers for RTS, MMORPG, and MOBA games, while a solid sensor and ‘sniper’ button make for a reliable FPS workhorse.
These features, along with a lock-unlock enabled scroll wheel, also make this a fantastic mouse for work needs. If you spend several hours on excel, Adobe Suite, or even behind CAD screens, this can seriously speed up your workflow provided you take the time to set up keybind profiles.
It does, unfortunately, fall on the larger, more expensive side, requiring a palm-heavy grip for users with smaller hands, which can be uncomfortable or unwieldy during gaming. This can be slightly offset by using the five included 3.5g weights, although there are certainly better options here for those looking for a smaller mouse. The cable is pretty mediocre as well.
At 61g, Razer managed to get a fully-covered-backplate mouse in the super-lightweight category — all while maintaining a surprisingly high degree of build quality and general refinement.
While it’s almost out of budget, and Razer sometimes gets hate for its peripherals, the Viper Mini is an absolute knockout featuring one of the best shapes and hand-feels for a mouse at its price and form-factor.
Most gaming mice switches are made in China by a company named OMCRON, and die out at around 20M clicks. If you use them for several hours a day, this amounts to under two years, after which you’ll find problems such as unwanted double-clicks, loose feedback, and other issues. The Viper Mini bypasses these entirely by using Razer’s own optical mice switches, eliminating the physical contact that wears away mouse switches over time.
This results in the longest-lasting mouse buttons in the business making the Viper Mini a fantastic choice if you’d like to purchase a great quality mouse without worrying about replacing it anytime soon.
The surface material is smooth and sweat-resistant and the build quality reflects that of a mouse twice the price, you won’t hear any rattles or creaks even during heavy use. The Mini does lose out on the side rubberized grips from its larger sibling, although those wear away fairly quickly on all mice, and the replacement plastic is pleasing to the touch.
The downsides here are few but they may be dealbreakers for some.
The Mini is, of course, quite small, meaning that gamers who prefer a palm grip, or those with medium-to-large hands will be left disappointed. The two ‘grooves’ between the main body and buttons are also notorious for collecting dust; so make sure to wipe these down regularly. Razer also seems to have cut corners with the cable, which feels stiff and low-quality compared to the rest of the package.
Finally, the optical switches, while reliable, are a lot less tactile compared to the other ‘clickier’ mice on this list. So make sure to try one before you put down the money.
For the price, HyperX has the competition firmly beat at the moment — offering one of the best-built ultra-lightweight mice on the market without any serious markup compared to American or European stores; I got my own model at barely Rs 10 above current US prices, unlike almost every other mouse on this list. Big props to HyperX for taking Indian consumers seriously!
The HyperX takes the standard ultralight mouse blueprint, and refines it by combining a very forgiving shape and slightly beefier form factor than its rivals, combining this with build quality on par with Razer’s Viper Mini. The side buttons are well-positioned and do not rattle or betray any sign of shoddy craftsmanship, and you get one of the best braided cables in the business right out of the box. It’s supple, weighs next to nothing, and glides across desks so well you’ll often forget that this isn’t a wireless mouse.
A second concern with the ‘honeycomb’ design of ultralight mice is dust buildup. This is a concern for all mice, but HyperX decided to buck trends and source TTC Golden Micro dustproof switches for the Pulsefire Haste — a possible first in the Indian market.
These offer a seriously satisfying click, last for a claimed 50M presses, and allow you to get away with relatively occasional dusting. They may not last as long as Razer’s optical switches, but they’re certainly way more tactile to use while gaming.
Most mice end up losing their bite precisely because of dust and grime, requiring tiresome DIY jobs to fix. HyperX seems to have listened to the market here, and deserves some major bonus points for doing so.
Along with these excellent and unique features, the Haste also comes with PTFE mouse skates for a better glide experience — even packing in replacement pads. You also get a full set of good quality mouse grips, although the surface material doesn’t really need extra grippiness, the option is welcome.
The only real criticism of the HyperX is the relative lack of RGB lighting compared to other contenders in this list; all you get is a lit up scroll wheel. To me and several other enthusiasts, minimal lighting is a big plus. (At least the configuration software gives you plenty of options to tinker with.)
While you can find more ergonomic options, the HyperX is our top pick for a lightweight gaming mouse that takes build quality, longevity, and everyday comfort seriously.
(Featured Image Credits: HyperX, Cooler Master, Steelseries)