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Choosing the Best Mousepad for your Gaming Needs

April 14, 2016

Choosing the Best Mousepad for your Gaming Needs

When you’re creating your gaming setup, you know how important it is to have the best gear all-around.  Your mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse are there to optimize your game play – but what about your mousepad?

Even professional gamers know the importance of choosing the right mousepad.  Not only can it add to your setup, but it can help reduce tension on your wrist while gaming and improve mouse tracking.  But choosing the right size and texture of your mousepad requires a lot of consideration.  Would a fiber surface be better than a plastic one?  Is a large mousepad better quality than a smaller one?  Here at Rantopad, we have tested out all of our mousepads to give you a greater understanding of the different types and sizes of mousepads and what they provide to gamers.

Surface Types: Hard vs. Soft Mousepads

When gaming, many gamers find that they like a mousepad with a harder surface, like the hard resin Rantopad Cube Illuminated Gaming Mousepad, the ICE+ Acrylic Gaming Mousepad, or the ATS+ Aluminum Ultra-Thin Gaming Mousepad. Harder, smoother surfaces on mousepads tend to have less friction, therefore allowing for an easier glide when moving the mouse.  This is very good for FPS gamers who need quick mouse movements during game play. Mouse feet also do not get as worn down when used on a smooth surface; this means that using a harder mousepad could positively impact the durability and life of your gaming mouse. 

However, just because a mousepad has a super smooth surface doesn’t mean that it won’t allow for precision.  Despite the hard surface of the ATS+, it has been friction-treated to ensure that matte areas on the surface allow for accuracy and precise shots and movements.  The same precision can also be attributed to the slippery resin GTS Carbon Gaming Mousepad, which offers three layers of material for ultimate gaming support, the GTR, or the GTC.  It has been said that mousepads with hard surfaces are also easier to clean that cloth mousepads.

Another benefit of a hard, smooth surface is that you don’t need to put as much pressure on the mouse to move it; this places less strain on your wrist and reduces the chance of wrist injury.  This is very important.  Esports news website eSports Observer notes in their article, “Esports needs to face its injury problem” that wrist injuries are a career-threatening injury for professional gamers.  Professional eSports players like Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer of FNATIC have actually been kept from playing at DreamHack Malmo because of his wrist injury.  Although choosing a smoother, thinner mousepad won’t guarantee that you won’t injure your wrist, it definitely helps take some of the strain off.

Soft, fiber mousepads also have their benefits.  Many professional gamers like using thicker mousepads like the Rantopad H1X XL Nebula Edition Gaming Mousepad when attending LAN parties, events, or tournaments.  Using a thicker, softer mousepad – especially if it is slightly heavier – helps reduce or eliminate the feeling of any bumps, holes, or surface unevenness on whatever table or gaming surface being used.  Cloth mousepads are also better for Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, which require quick but extremely precise movements.  Many gamers who use thicker mousepads do not want the same easy, slippery glide that can be achieved from hard surfaces. 

Additionally, cloth mousepads like the H1X, if well taken care of, can be extremely long lasting and durable.  The softer surface is comfortable, woven, and complete with an anti-fray stitched frame to ensure that the mousepad stays up to par even with frequent use. 

Regardless of whether you prefer a hard or soft surface for your mousepad, it is important to buy a mousepad with a non-slip rubber base so that the mousepad does not slip or move around once on the desk.  When you find yourself in an extremely intense game, you need your mousepad to stay in one place.

Size: Small or Large

While it is up to you to determine your mousepad preferences, small or large mousepads do benefit gamers in different ways.  Those who prefer a smaller mousepad like the GTC, which measures in at 9.2 x 7.8 x 0.1 inches, tend to need high precision in their movements.  They may be gamers who do not move their mice a lot during game play and therefore don’t need much room to move around on a mousepad.  A gamer who prefers a smaller mousepad may also use a high DPI mouse setting.  With a higher DPI comes easier and faster movement on the screen, meaning that small motions may still move the cursor fairly far on the screen.  Therefore, there is no need for large mouse movements.

On the other hand, a large mousepad may benefit gamers who use long, sweeping arm movements during games.  Large mousepads are good for those who play CS:GO and who need to move their mouse a lot as they play.  Additionally, someone gaming with a low DPI setting would also benefit from a larger mousepad, as they would require more mouse movement to get their cursor to travel on screen.  These type of large mousepads like the H1X Nebula Edition, which comes in L (16.5 x 11 x 0.2 inches) and XL (35.4 x 13 x 0.2 inches), also allow for gamers to keep all of their gear on top of the mousepad.  There is no worry about running the mouse off the side while gaming.

Conclusion

There you have it, gamers.  When you’re looking for a mousepad, you will be faced with a lot of decisions – what size, shape, and even texture you’re looking for.  Although there are pros and cons of each type of mousepad, in the end, you should pick the one that best fits your needs.