The mousepad isn’t an essential accessory that you have to buy in order to use a mouse. You can still use it over your desk if it’s smooth enough. Although it’s all about personal preference, if you’re into gaming, you would prefer using your mouse over a mousepad. Sometimes, your desk might just have the right kind of smoothness that you want. It also depends on the sensor you’re using since they tend to function differently on different surfaces. And if you’re gaming, you would want to know about these differences. Whether it has a hard surface or a cloth surface, there are a few options to look out. Between these options, there are a few differences that you should keep in mind before you buy one. Along with the mousepad surface, you also need to need to consider the mouse that you’re using.
What to consider
- Mouse sensor: You probably know that laser sensors are known to work on almost every surface out there. If you have a laser sensor, then you really don’t need to worry about the surface. However, if the finish of the surface is rough, then there are minor inconsistencies in tracking. This should only matter to you if you’re planning to go pro in FPS gaming. Coming to optical sensors, they aren’t compatible with every surface, especially glossy surfaces and transparent glass. Some optical sensors might also refuse to work on white hard surfaces. So, when you’re buying a mousepad try to check what surface the mouse sensor works best with. Otherwise, your mouse will be useless.
- Mousepad surface: This is the most important aspect when you’re buying a mousepad. Naturally, there can’t be a universal surface and it boils down to personal preference. There are mainly three types of mousepad surfaces including rough, smooth and hard. The difference in friction between them is relative where the rough surface induces the highest friction while on the hard surface it’s the lowest. The rough surfaces are mostly made of cloth and they will induce a lot of friction on the mouse, giving you more control on the movement. Smooth surfaces are made of a mixture of cloth and plastic or simply a tighter weave given to the cloth. Hard surfaces are made of plastic or aluminium and they are given different types of finishes. The finish could either be glossy or textured to induce some form of friction. The hard surfaces have the smoothest surface and might not be ideal for everyone.
- Gaming style: The gaming style is related to the previous point and how you play games on it. For example, while playing FPS games, you have different play styles where you might be flicking the mouse a lot with low DPI settings or making minimal movements with a high DPI setting. To boost mouse flicking, you would want to go with a smooth or hard surface. Whereas if you want a more controlled movement, you would go for rough surfaces. Before buying, it’s always best to have experienced most of the surfaces and pick the one best suited to you.
- Size: Mousepads are available in different sizes based on your usage. This is based on how much space you have on your desk and your DPI setting. If you use the mouse on a low setting, you will need a large mousepad otherwise you can do well with a small mousepad on a high DPI setting. Sometimes you’d place the keyboard above the mousepad for a more comfortable position. If you hate the slightly elevated keyboard in this setting, you can go for an extended mousepad that can accommodate a full-size keyboard.
What not to consider
- Colourful patterns: In order to achieve the best performance from your mouse, especially in gaming, you should go for a plain black mousepad. This will ensure consistent tracking without any room for error. Colourful patterns or designs on the mousepad aren’t that of a problem if you’re using the mouse casually. Since the colour of the surface keeps changing, there will be some form of a spike in sensor tracking that will be unnoticeable in general use. Technically, your sensor will perform well when there’s better reflection and if the surface has the same colour as the LED light (mostly red), then you could face tracking issues.
- Fancy lighting: We are living in a time when RGB lighting has penetrated into mousepads as well. These mousepads are usually made of a hard surface with the light strips surrounding the perimeter. They look fancy and additionally take up a USB port on your PC for power. Some of them do offer added functionality such as wireless charging, but they fall in the luxury category. Also, RGB lighting enabled mousepads tend to be almost three times more expensive than regular cloth mousepads.
The best place to get it
- Amazon India
- MD Computers
- The IT Depot