You can play games with almost any office mouse or a gaming mouse. But, if you’re a professional player, you wouldn’t touch the lower or mid-segment mice. In terms of performance, the best sensors are on gaming mice. The factors that warrant good performance include tracking accuracy at different speeds, precision in tracking and smoothness of tracking. The last two can be implemented in entry-level sensors, but tracking accuracy is where the sensor performance shines.
The surface on which the sensor is tracking is also a factor. High tracking accuracy only makes a difference if you’re used to gaming mice and are able to notice the difference in accuracy. This year, we got to experience more wireless mice than last year. However, wired mice are still better off in tracking accuracy. For Zero1, we stick to the sensor performance.
2018 Zero1 Award Winner: ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin
The ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin adopted the upgraded PMW3360 sensor, so we expected some good scores from it and it didn’t disappoint. Before we begin testing mice, we give it a swipe on MouseTester just to check how well the tracking is so that we know what to expect in testing. We were delighted to see minor deviations from the rising and falling curve. The sensor was able to track the movement even while in motion where many sensors fail.
Even with high-end sensors, few manufacturers are able to calibrate it and maintain tracking at different CPI levels. ASUS has done a great job in both these aspects by using the potential of the 3360. The mouse comes with beautiful RGB lighting customisation using their ROG Armoury software. So, the Gladius II Origin accurate, and it also offers extra cosmetic features.
Runner-up: SteelSeries Rival 600
The Rival 600 is the latest mouse that was launched in India from SteelSeries with the upgraded TrueMove3 sensor, first used on the Rival 310 and Sensei 310. We observed a smooth tracking curve with this sensor and it was pretty close to the 3360. However, the Rival 600 failed to work on a white surface which was a bummer and something that we had also noticed on Zowie mice with the PMW3310 sensor.
Apart from this shortcoming, the mouse performed way above average but not as good as the Gladius II Origin. The SteelSeries Engine is a brilliant software utility tool with a simple and interactive UI. You can add additional weights to the mouse according to your preferences as well.
Best Buy: Logitech G304
Logitech has always been known to have had the best sensors in the mouse market. Now, they have switched to their own branded optical sensor called the HERO. We haven’t tested the HERO sensor in a wired Logitech mouse but only in the wireless mode that uses their Lightspeed technology. The G304 is more of a budget wireless mouse in their lineup. However, the performance was above average and you will be able to comfortably hit headshots.
With time, tracking accuracy in wireless mice will improve. A few other wireless gaming mice struggled when trying to track and send the inputs to the PC simultaneously. This leads to a distorted curve and affects tracking. However, we were still able to play without any issues with them. With the wireless connectivity running on a single AA battery along with good tracking accuracy and a really good software experience, the G304 becomes our Best Buy this year.