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Best Mouse for Precision Gaming? 65

ubergamer asks: "Logitech's Dual Optical boasts two 800dpi sensors taking 2000 shots a second, Microsoft's Explorer 3.0 only has a single sensor at 400dpi but takes 6000 shots a second. Then there's ofcourse the Razer Boomslang 2000 with a single 2000dpi sensor but is partially mechanical (dust argh!) So which is best for playing my favorite FPS?"
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Best Mouse for Precision Gaming?

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  • Once again, here is an example of the gaming industry paving the way for future technology. These same optical tracking techniques can be easily adopted to the highly sensitive sensors that will provide one half of the human/machine interface in the first generation of bioenhancements.

    Bionics is still out of reach of most people, but in a few years such things as computer-enhanced vision, hydraulic jumping feet, and built-in tools will be commonplace.

    It is so exciting to live in the time that we do. The human race is changing, and it's not going back.

  • 1 for the Logitech (Score:3, Informative)

    by Craig Maloney ( 1104 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:18PM (#3510828) Homepage
    I personally love my dual optical mouse. It's very smooth and quite forgiving of not being completely parallel with the screen. Plus it has a nice "heavy" feel (which can be customized by pulling out the weight inside). The only thing I don't like about it is the rubber on the sides, but other than that, the dual optical is the mouse to beat for me.
    • and another 1 only thing to take into account is the surface you put it on, i have a hard wood dek, and it doens't like it at times, it does some umping, so i put it on a mouse pad
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously. Spin, you're there. The Logitech has 5 buttons (joy! -- extra functions).

    Never run out of mouse area with a trackball.
    • playing an FPS with a trackball makes no sense. It'd be a hard habit to break yourself of the normal mouse usage and there's really no reason to have five buttons. seriously. In my favorite FPS all i have is shoot, jump and the scroll wheel changes my weapon. And if im feeling superior i have taunt on the third button below my wheel. Besides, track wheels suck for just about everything.
    • Those who never use trackballs long enough to get the feel of them will forever be missing out. Seriously, there's a reason the trackball was invented before the mouse, and why the trackball is standard-issue on many high-end workstations and graphics rigs: it's just more intuitive and easy to work with. The only advantage to a mouse, and the reason I think they became standard over trackballs, is that trackballs are easier to gunk up since your hand (with all its oils, dirt, food residue, etc.) moves overtop the ball, rather than theball moving on a pad which sadly enough is usually cleaner than human hands.

      Seriously, with a mouse you have to make sure it's on a surface with enough space to give you free movement from corner of screen to corner of screen--whereas a trackball is stationary, and you only have to move your fingers an inch or two from side to side. just make sure to adjust the sensitivity to your liking; this aspect is more important than with a standard mouse...

      These are reasons why I love my Intellimouse Explorer Trackball and consider it the best gaming mouse *ever*. And, the palm of my hand cups its pseudo-breast-shape perfectly, leaving my thumb to rest on the first button (with the second button and scrolling wheel/third-button-combo thumb-accessible just above), with my forefinger and middle finger resting on the ball, and the fourth and fifth mouse buttons by my little fingers. It's an ideal gaming interface. If your hands are too small to comfortably rest on the Explorer Trackball, try the Logitech Trackman Marble FX which I almost bought instead.

      Like I said, the one drawback of the trackball is that it gets gunked up easy, so give it a quick clean before any important gaming sessions--easy since the trackball pops right out, giving easy access to the "ball holder" which should be quickly wiped across the optical sensor area and at the little metal nubs which space the ball out from the cavity. 30 seconds tops, and it's pristine. Being optical, it seems to track at least as well as the regular Intellimouse Explorer--probably better, since there's a uniform tracking pattern on the ball which probably surpasses most optical tracking surfaces.

      Let's just say I'm the quickest-aim with a sniper rifle there is, thanks to my optical trackball. ;-)
  • So which is best for playing my favorite FPS? A trackball of course! http://www.logitech.com/cf/products/productovervie w.cfm/89
  • by quantax ( 12175 )
    From the reviews I've read, and people I've talked to, the extra laser doesn't really add too much to its percision. This product suffers from the 'more is better' stigmata, just like the Voodoo4 & Voodoo5. I personally have no desire to spend an extra $20 for some 'feature' whos use is rather dubious & redundant anyway. I'll just buy a single laser mouse for less that does the same exact thing. Regarding the boomslang, its a piece of crap, honest, facts. My friend had 2, both died within 5 months of having it, and I have heard numerous other complaints from other people regarding it. Sorry, but if I spent $80 (boomslang is not cheap) on a mouse, it better damn well work for bare minimum 2 years perfectly. People these days are very quick to judge a product purely by its speed, performance, etc etc, but no one really judges the lifetime of these products. I know I'd rather have a slighly slower HD that has a 99.9% chance of living for 5 years, than some top of the line IBM drive thats more than likely to croak within the first 7 months.
    • by mph ( 7675 )
      This product suffers from the 'more is better' stigmata
      Frankly, if I had stigmata, I wouldn't think that more is better.
    • I use a Logitech Dual Optical at home for gaming and general computer stuff. The main advantage to me is that it tracks over ANYTHING, unlike my single sensor Logitech at work, which sometimes freaks out. My only complaint is that the buttons don't stretch all from side to side of the mouse, like the Boomslang. Those big buttons were the only reason I ever wanted one.
    • I had to clean my boomslang a few times, but it's been working great, and I've had it for two years.
  • PS2rate (Score:3, Informative)

    by alphaseven ( 540122 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:35PM (#3510930)
    Before switching to a more expensive mouse, you should check out ps2rate [game-point.net], you can boost the sampling rate of your mouse up to 200hz. It moves noticably smoother. This is not necessary if you're on Windows 2000 or XP though, but I use it on 98.
    • Re:PS2rate (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sydb ( 176695 ) <michael.wd21@co@uk> on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:48PM (#3511017)
      Is there an equivalent for Linux? I have a Logitech Optical Cordless and I love it for it's nice feel, convenience, and the fact my NiMH rechargeables last for months, but it's sampling rate seems a bit slow (jerky movement).
      • I don't believe there is one. I'm not entirely certain, but I did have quite a thorough look around back when I bought my new Q3 battle rat. :) Remember, though, that if you use USB you don't need to worry, the standard sampling rate of a USB mouse is 125Hz which should be plenty enough for all yer gaming needs.
      • Logitech Optical Cordless,/b>

        Keep away from the cordless mouses for gaming.
        -Their "rate" is a little bit lower.
        -They add lag. The mouse makes you a little bit slower. (this may have bcome better with the more recent mouses)
        -radio interference makes it move jerky. (your problem?)

        and my personal problem
        -you can loose them.

        But then linux is not the optimal FPS gaming platform (yet)
  • by jilles ( 20976 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:38PM (#3510951) Homepage
    My logitech is an OK mouse, except for the drivers. In order to use the thumb button you need the logitech drivers (otherwise it works fine with the MS drivers). However, these drivers interfere with wheel usage in games and you cannot use the thumb button unless you bind it to e.g. the shift or ctrl button which makes it useless outside games.

    The solution for the wheel problem is to kill the mouse software before starting the game or run a registry hack (available on the logitech site, well hidden though) which causes some applications to receive wheel events twice.

    In addition to all this I sometimes have issues with my keyboard after coming out of hibernation mode.

    I would go for the MS mouse if I had to spend my money again. The MS drivers are more stable. In terms of precision you shouldn't expect miracles from the logitech BTW.
    • The solution for the wheel problem is to kill the mouse software before starting the game or run a registry hack (available on the logitech site, well hidden though) which causes some applications to receive wheel events twice.

      Well hidden? Its right on their mouse driver download page.

      But to save others from going to logitech.com to look for it here is the way to make the change to your registry manually (taken from the readme file):

      - Click the "Start" button on the Windows Desktop and select
      "Run...".
      - On the Open line, type C:\WINDOWS\REGEDIT.EXE and press [ENTER].
      - From the Registry Editor screen, double click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
      - Double click on SOFTWARE.
      - Double click on Logitech.
      - Double click on MouseWare.
      - Double click on CurrentVersion.
      - Single click on Technical and information should be displayed on
      the right side of the Registry Editor screen.
      - Under the Name column, double click on the "MouseHookDLLEnable"
      entry and the Edit String Dialogue box should appear.
      - Modify the Value Data line to read "0", and click the "OK" button
      - Exit the Registry editor (saving is automatic).
      - Restart the system.
  • by VarmintCong ( 151154 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:39PM (#3510960)
    but it itsn't the only thing you have to remember.

    Generally what you want is the fastest sampling speed. What is interesting is that in Windows XP (I'm assuming you are using windows for gaming) the USB ports are limited to a 125 hz rate, so in Windows XP, it is usually better to hook your mouse up through the ps2 port and up the sampling to something like 200 hz.

    I believe that in 95/98/ME, you can't up the ps2 sampling rate that high (well, there are tools to do that, but even though they say they are sampling that high they really aren't.) I've heard different things about win2k and its ps2 port, so I'm not sure.

    One more thing, you won't notice a difference if you are chunking along at 30 fps. This will only matter if you have a machine capable of running your game smoothly. (For example, running Quake 3 at 150 fps or something like that, you easily notice the difference when running your mouse at 200 hz. Your aiming will be much smoother. But if you run Quake 3 at 40-50 fps, you won't notice the difference because the extra mouse inputs are thrown out.)

    • what a surprise, but movies at cinema are running only about 24 FPS and do you really see flickering there? (ok, on fast scenes you will, but about 70-80 FPS is limit where the eye cant see flickering) so, there's no point to get your FPS rates higher. And certanly there is no point to get FPS higher then refresh rates, as other rendered scenes will be withdrawn. Better increase your picture quality and use VSync! :)
      • Yes there's flickering, and it's especially annoying during pan shots.

        And I actually started noticing it more because of video games. Woo nice res, aww bad fps :).

        My ex-colleague's worse - whilst driving (real life!) and looking at scenery he starts going- wow great graphics.

        Cheerio,
        Link.
    • Some more notes on framerate. Framerate good, but only while paired with a high refresh on the monitor. 130fps on a monitor refresing at 60Hz? Every second frame gets chucked. Most modern monitors can do 100Hz at 800x600 and that's where I'd start if I were you.

      To set refresh rates under 'doze, change the screen resoltution to what you want to be playing games at, then use the advanced tab to change the refresh rate. You can now change back to your normal desktop rez and your games will start up at the higher refresh.

      This doesn't work under 2k, you need registry hacks to do it under 2k. Don't know about XP.

      Dave
      • 130fps on a monitor refresing at 60Hz? Every second frame gets chucked.

        Or blended. Some games can use the OpenGL accumulation buffer to render several frames and provide a motion-blur effect that tricks the eye into seeing twice the FPS.

  • I have the Razer, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I have tried the Logitech dual optical on friends computers, and it is just not as smooth, or for that matter felt as good in my hand. I would definatly recomend going with the Razer.
  • intellimouse optical (Score:3, Informative)

    by z84976 ( 64186 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @02:36PM (#3511306) Homepage
    I have the intellimouse optical... it's the smaller, less expensive microsoft optical mouse and, in my opinion, far and away the best they offer. You can get the huge grey intellimouse explorer, but I never liked the button layout, it was just TOO big (what's this fad with huge mice that you have to palm to even use?) and... well.. it died after a particularly minor amount of frustration-fed abuse.

    I keep my windows pc around because I'm a rabid CS maniac and simply must have dedicated gaming hardware, and have considered changing both to that dual-optical logi AND the razer boomslang, if it will work better than my ms mouse. The only problems I have with optical (and experienced this will all ms opticals I've owned) are that sometimes I have to wiggle the mouse a bit before it "wakes up" and starts tracking properly (they light gets brighter when this happens), and I have serious problems making fast turns in my game. Basically if I jerk the mouse too fast in trying to do a 90 degree left turn to shoot some villain coming from that direction, all that really ends up happening is my character twitches and moves about 10 degrees to the right. Needless to say, I then die. Very frustrating. I've also had situations where my character suddenly is looking straight up. That's very disorienting. A friend had one that would suddenly look left. Odd.

    Anyway, if there's a mouse that eliminates those problems, is optical (can't go back, I don't think, purely for the don't-have-to-clean-it benefits), and has 5 buttons that work as well as the ms intellimouse optical's, then I'll switch.
    • I have serious problems making fast turns in my game. Basically if I jerk the mouse too fast in trying to do a 90 degree left turn to shoot some villain coming from that direction, all that really ends up happening is my character twitches and moves about 10 degrees to the right. Needless to say, I then die. Very frustrating. I've also had situations where my character suddenly is looking straight up. That's very disorienting. A friend had one that would suddenly look left. Odd.

      Not odd at all - it is a function of your mouse mat or whatever surface you are using. There have been numerous posts on various usenet gaming groups about this.

      You need a nice random surface with not too much plain area. For the cheapskate a boring bit of cardboard (I use the backing off a large art pad) is adequate. I also have a nice leather (around sheet metal) pad from IKEA or I have found a Ratpadz [ratpadz.com] to expensive but very effective.

    • You probably have the older hardware version of the mouse. After mine died and Microsoft sent me a new one at no cost, bless their little hearts, my jerking problem went away. Turns out they sent the newer version with a higher sampling rate. Not had a problem since.
    • I have the Int. Optical as well.

      Pluses:
      - Ambidextrous; buttons well located on each side.
      - Intellimouse software allows all 5 buttons to be assigned on a per-program basis, including tying to a keystroke.
      - More properly sized than the Explorer.

      Another thing I'd add is that a friend of mine has gone through 4 Explorers since their initial introduction -- because the USB connector on the mouse wears out! All USB mousers, take heed: plugging into the back of your Intellitype Pro keyboard is not a good idea.

      Other thoughts:

      Go optical -- there's no good reason to buy a roller ball.

      Also, I've seen Logitech drivers on Win2000 be a bit flaky -- the scroll effect from spinning the wheel is a bit laggy, especially when scrolling pages of information. The MS mice react immediately, as they should. This problem appears to go away if you use the default Windows mouse drivers (but then you don't get the Logitech button configurability [which defaults to 'Back']).

      Finally, if you game, avoid the wireless mice. While they may look beautiful in the showroom, their responsiveness is a bit laggy because of the wireless interface. You'd never notice it on the desktop, but if you play FPSs or do fine image work, you'll want to kill it after a while.

  • The Thumb button just looks like a middle button press.

    If I could figure out a way to get the thumb button to register as button-6 instead of just a second button-2 I would have no complaints.

    Some people might think needing so many buttons is overkill, but for Urban Terror I need all of the help I can get.
  • It's really important to have a good mouse, sure. But it's even more important to have the proper accessories. First off, you need to get some Mouse Skatez [gamerzstuff.com], which will drastically reduce the friction between your mouse and mousing surface. Speaking of the surface, I've used the fUnc 1030 [func.net] surface, the Everglide Giganta [everglide.com], and the Ratpadz [ratpadz.com] mousing surface. The first two are OK, but the Ratpadz surface is easily the best.

    Those two items alone can make any mouse feel like it's made for professional gaming use.
    • Do you even need a mousepad with the new optical mice? I have one of the older, slower sampling intellimice with intelli-eye, and I never have a problem just using it on my desk. I hear that it depends on the coloring of the mousing surface (Small details for the eye to track), but I can put my mouse on a piece of white paper, and it still works. The benefit of a plain desk surface is that you never run off of the mouse pad.
      • actually, my ratpadz mousing surface is much slicker than my desktop. this means that I don't have to worry about tearing up my mouse skatez, and I can move my Intellimouse with my breath. (note: that's "move", not "scare" or "kill". those take a few days of binge drinking.)

        so yeah, in general practice you can use your optical mouse "barefoot", but not if you take your games (far too) seriously.
  • I bought a Boomslang 1000 [razerzone.com] for Recon 2000 [recon2000.com] because I thought the DPIs would really improve my fragging.

    I ditched the mouse because I could never get use to the feel of it. Now that I am playing Medal of Honor: Allied Assault [alliedassault.com]. I noticed large performance in my frags when I switched to cable from DSL.

    My performance degraded because I switched mice. I did have better performance when I switched to an optical mouse. I believe that was due to the fact that I didn't have the annoying bumps caused by the dirt in your ball-based mouse.

    Gaming usually comes down to PINGs and SKILLS.
  • I bought a Logitech Dual Optical mouse when my Microsoft Intellimouse started getting twitchy for some reason. I absolutely love it, however I've found that the mousing surface has a lot to do with how smoothly the mouse operates. I use a nice padded cloth Belkin mousepad with a wrist rest, and I find that the smoothness is ideal for gaming. I've never had trouble with the mouse getting "lost" during fast movements like some people have, and I suspect this is due to the mousing surface. As long as the mouse knows where it is, you'll be fine.
    • Clean the black rubber pads that touch the surface. It's strage I know, but one you clean the 4 corner pads you mouse will work much better!!!
      • That's good advice, but it wasn't the problem with my Microsoft mouse. It was the second Microsoft optical mouse to go bad on me. Apparently after a year or so of constant use, something happens that makes them get twitchy. Cleaning the pads doesn't help -- it seems like the sensor is misaligned or something. I even tried cleaning the lens. In the end, I'm glad I bought my Logitech. I like it a lot more.
  • I Personally use a Logitech Marble Mouse Trackball [logitech.com] and when the gods are happy and the chi is with me I am pretty unstopable at TFC. The thing is, it's a matter of preference. Maybe the super responsive razor boomslang will make you over shoot and is just too hard for you. Maybe you will do better with something with a slower rate. Maybe a trackball is the way for you. The best bet is to go out and find some people who you know who maybe have them and try for yourself. I Had a top of the line MS Optical mouse (Not the one you speak of, bit older, but the shit of it's time) and when I moved to the little $20 trackball it just felt more natural for me. Some of my friends though are clumsy as hell with a trackball though but great with a mouse. Then there is also that strange one who plays it all with 2 joysticks pretty successfully, but that's just him. Go and try yourself, it's a matter of you, not the reviews.
  • If you really need high sensitivity, the optical mice will not measure up to the boomslang The thing is incredible -- you just rest the base of your hand on the mousepad, and move the mouse with your fingers.

    Dust is not so much a problem, but the parts in the boomslang are pretty sensitive to stuff like hairs (it gets is high sensitivity by having a big ball but small rollers). I have had to clean it several times. Optical mice have their own share of glitches, too, though you can't clean them to fix it. ;)

    Also, the boomslang has a lower form factor and bigger buttons (and a nicer scroll wheel) than the optical mice I've used.
  • if your favorite FPS is counter-strike , well , you don't have to pay too much attention to the mouse you're using.
  • I've never seen a mouse half as cool as this. Admittedly, the feedback functionality is Windoze-only, but it was built into Tribes 2 and Black&White when they were released. IIRC, there's a patch for HalfLife, CS, and others that adds the feedback to them.

    And believe me, feeling your mortar cannon's kick every time you shoot will forever spoil you.
  • An A4TECH [a4tech.com] is the way to go.. although my mouse got worn down so much, I could put a penny on the left button and it would click, my friends is still working fine. I found this mouse AMAZINGLY light.. good for the 180 degree turns. I have now replaced it with a standard logitech optical mouse and found it to be heavier and I also find myself accidentally clicking the right mouse button by mistake (goddamn silencer). So if you want a mouse for $20 that does a damn good job, go for the cheap a4tech mouse.
  • I've got a microsoft optical trackball (the one with 4 buttons and a wheel/button) and it doesn't just own, it simply IS. It's been thrown, fallen, the ball's rolled several miles outside the casing, I've worn it down for more than a year of CounterStrike and the bloody thing just won't give up - it's fewkin' invincible. I don't run out of mouse space, it doesn't get clogged so you can't make the necessary twist at the critical moment, and the precision is amazing. For example, in any Quake or similar I can be running forward, hear fire from behind me, jump, turn 180 degrees, shoot the annoyance behind me down, twist 180 degrees back and still have half a second before I land. It just takes a week or two of getting used to, that's what IMHO is preventing most people from using trackballs; I think it's a computer-evolutionary flop that we started with mice in the first place. But there's probably a lot of other interesting things these days... anyone have experience Quaking with one of those penpads? Is it Movepen-touch-targetdies, or is it still difficult enough that us ballers still have a chance? ;)

    (On the side, I read somewhere down below that Logitech makes MS's stuff, which somehow doesn't surprise me.)

    El Jynx
  • Best FPS mouse is.. a trackball. The Kensington Orbital is the best I've ever used, even though it's a crappy little piece of shit and after five years or so I've actually burned out the roller-holding mechanisms (little black melted plastic stuff.) Any larger and non-troglodytic fingers get tired during marathon matches.

    Notice I specify FPS. If you're in a game of starcraft, the constant rolling and unit-selecting is annoying and there's no substitute for a mouse.

    But in FPS, nobody beats a trackball player. All things equal, the trackball player moves more fluidly, spins around better, and can aim better.

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