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Laser vs Optical Mouse – Which Is Better For Gaming?

Is a laser mouse worth it or should you get an optical mouse instead? In gaming, the answer is obvious, and here’s why.

Ans : Laser mice are more sensitive and can be used on any surface, even transparent ones. A optical mouse is generally more accurate and more cost-effective than a regular mouse.

Today, gamers can choose between laser and optical technology, as trackball mice are long gone. Choosing between two options can often be more difficult than choosing between several.

In this article, we will examine how these two types of mice work, their capabilities, and ultimately, which is better for gaming.

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How Do They Work?

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Both optical and laser mice use CMOS sensors to analyze the surface on which they are placed and determine the extent and speed of movement by taking thousands of digital images per second.

They differ in how they illuminate the surface. Specifically, an optical mouse uses an LED light, while a laser mouse utilizes a laser. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Sensitivity

A mouse’s sensitivity is measured in dots per inch, commonly abbreviated as DPI. In the past, when the DPI gap between optical and laser mice was more significant, this stat was more important. Even budget gaming mice can now have a DPI of over 1000.

See: How to Check Mouse DPI on Windows 10 and 11 [Explained Guides]

One of the reasons why DPI ratings are less relevant today is the advancement of CMOS sensors, which are now so advanced that even mice with a three-digit DPI can achieve high levels of accuracy.

Accuracy

One aspect to consider is how accurately a mouse can identify the surface it is on, and here is where the differences between a laser and LED light are most noticeable.

Mouse Accuracy

Lasers provide accurate results. That’s too accurate. An LED light cannot penetrate the surface it is placed on, but a laser can. As a result, it can analyze the data in much greater detail. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, as it can also result in the laser mouse overanalyzing the surface during slow movements and causing unwanted jitter.

While optical mice cannot work on almost any surface, laser mice can. Since optical mice use light for illumination, they must be placed on a non-reflective surface in order to be accurate. It will be inaccurate and borderline unusable if used on shiny or reflective surfaces.

Price

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Pricing is another factor that used to be much more important in the past. Back in the day, optical mice were the budget gaming solution, and laser mice were the high-end solution. Today, this gap is almost nonexistent.

Go ahead and check Amazon. Optical and laser mice are available for a few dollars up to several hundred dollars. Mouse models with a higher price point tend to be a little more advanced, equipped with additional buttons and aesthetic lighting, but a high price does not guarantee better performance.

For the best experience, stick to the 30-90$ price range. Anything lower risks a lower-quality mouse in terms of build and performance, and anything higher is mostly just a marketing gimmick.

Which Is Best?

When all is said and done, we have to go with optical mice here. Gaming mice have proven to be more responsive and more reliable than laser mice, which is extremely important. One downside is that you will need a mouse pad to ensure the mouse works well, but this should not be a problem unless you move around a lot.

See: Best Gaming Mouse for Small Hands On The Market [2021]

Exactly here, one of the main advantages of a laser mouse lies: it can work on almost any surface, even glass. Although they make a better portable solution, their tendency to over-analyze mouse movements, especially slower ones, makes them less than ideal for gaming.

Moreover, they have higher DPIs, but as stated above, this is not as important as it used to be.

TypeProsCons
Optical Mouse
Generally better price-quality ratio
More accurate

Must be used on a non-reflective surface
Laser Mouse
Can be used on almost any surface
Higher DPI

Over-analyzing on slower movements

Conclusion

Last but not least, another dilemma you might be dealing with is whether to choose a wired or wireless gaming mouse, a topic we have already discussed.

In addition, if you have decided to get an optical mouse, make sure you check out our list of the best mouse pads available right now.

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